Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 16

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

With this lesson we reach a milestone in our study: we are finishing 1 Peter. Next week we begin 2 Peter, but for now, let’s finish Peter’s first epistle well.

Our lesson begins in the middle of Peter’s call for humility among believers.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your cares upon him, because he cares for you. (5:6-7) Continue reading

Acts of the Apostles, Lesson 14

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BY KATHY HORAN|CONTRIBUTOR

Acts 18 and 19

This week Paul, on his second missionary journey, arrives in Corinth. Corinth was in a very strategic location, plus it was a modern and cultural center. However, it was also known as the “sex capital of the ancient world”! Paul stays a year and a half here, and it is here that he meets a believing couple, Aquila and Priscilla, Jews who had left Rome when Claudius ordered all Jews to leave. Timothy and Silas are eventually sent for, and they come with news to the apostle about the church in Thessalonica. It is here in Corinth that Paul writes his encouraging letter to the Thessalonians.

As Paul preaches and teaches in the synagogue, he runs into hostility from the Jews. He shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” After spending time preaching in the home of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, who lived right next door to the synagogue, Paul headed for Syria, taking Aquila and Priscilla with him.

Continue reading

Partnering 2 Remember, Week 16

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By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

After a lengthy exhortation concerning suffering, Peter returns to instructions concerning relationships. This portion deals with those within the church, starting with a charge to his fellow elders and then a call for those who are younger to be subject to their elders, and finally, for all to clothe themselves with humility toward one another. In his commentary on I Peter, RC Sproul writes this about I Peter 5:6, “…in that simple phrase we have a microcosm of the entire Christian life.” I tend to agree with him. What about you? Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 15

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to your elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 1-5 Continue reading

Partnering 2 Remember 1 Peter, Week 15

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By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

In week 15, we come to Peter’s final discourse on suffering. It’s interesting that Peter writes back in 3:13, “Now, who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?” And now, in the beginning of this section, he is almost assuring them that suffering will come. At the very minimum, he is telling his readers not be surprised when they do suffer. What caused Peter to go from telling his readers not to worry? His warning to get ready causes a little bit of speculation on the part of commentators, as do many other parts of this letter. Whatever his reasons for writing as he did, Peter’s exhortations concerning suffering have encouraged Christians down through the ages and continue to offer much to gird us up through all types of trials. Continue reading

Acts of the Apostles, Lesson 13

4BY KATHY HORAN|CONTRIBUTOR

We picked up our study in Acts 17 with Paul and Silas being asked to leave the city of Philippi, having experienced a night in prison in the stocks. Paul and Silas, head southward. It’s a long journey, about a hundred miles or so. They end up in Thessalonica, an important city of Roman administration. They head for the synagogue and what do they do there? Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 14

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

Our passage this week brings Peter’s discussion of suffering to a close. After this, he will give instructions to the shepherds of Christ’s flock, then a final call to watchfulness with hope before concluding his letter. But in this passage, he gently, yet urgently calls us to endure our suffering with joy and confidence in our faithful Creator.

First Peter 4 addresses deliberate malice aimed at believers in Christ. Yet, while Peter writes of persecution specifically, there is much to learn about how to face a broader range of suffering for those who aren’t persecuted for their faith. “Whether we suffer true persecution or for another reason, everyone needs Peter’s message about suffering. Therefore, as long as we live in this fallen world, this magnificent ruin, we should expect to suffer. It is neither strange nor surprising. The more we expect trouble, the better we will be prepared for it.”[1] Continue reading