April 9: Suffering and Satisfaction (1 Peter 3:13-22)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
Josh Herring will conclude a series on spiritual disciplines at 10 am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).
1 Peter 3:13-22
13) Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14) But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15) but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16) having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17) For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
18) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19) in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20) because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21) Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22) who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
What do you think of when you hear about Christians suffering in various parts of the world? Does it sadden, frighten or surprise you? Well, after Peter describes how we should live in many relationships in this world, he now turns to how we deal with suffering in this world from those who oppose our faith. Peter as a good pastor is instructing his people, the saints in Asia Minor who were facing varying degrees of suffering, how to persevere in times of testing. How do we handle such suffering and hardship as followers of Jesus? He gives both practical and theological help to understand why we suffer and how to face it.
Review and Apply
Is it easy for you to believe that suffering leads to blessing (see 1 Peter 4.14)? why or why not?
What are a few ways to help you persevere in times of testing in the faith?
How does not honoring Jesus as the Christ display fear of men? Give an example in your life.
How would you explain your hope that is in you to anyone who asks?
How does a good conscience help us handle suffering? How often do you practice the grace of repentance? Explain.
How does 1 Peter 3.18-22 support us in the face of suffering?
Why does he use Noah as an example to encourage us to remain obedient? What does baptism signify?
How does Jesus's presence at the right hand above all things comfort you in midst of suffering and testing?
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