This post is based on CJ Mahaney's sermon, Meet the Readers, given on February 12, 2017.
As we prepare to study 1 Peter, CJ took this Sunday to introduce us to the original readers of the letter. The recipients were “elect exiles.” When they came to know Christ, they became citizens of a different world. As such they were rejected and even persecuted by the citizens of this world. Today, we find ourselves living in a world that looks increasingly similar to that hostile environment. Because of this, we can take unique courage and gain timely wisdom from the words of Peter.
Read 1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter is writing this letter to exiles, but Peter reminds them that they are “elect exiles.” What they were experiencing was a part of God’s plan since before the beginning of time. As Christians, we are also “elect exiles. We are no longer citizens of this world, but of God’s Kingdom. As a result, we should expect rejection and persecution in this world.
- Why does this world treat those who have come to know Christ with surprise and hostility?
- What are some ways you see evidence of this hostility today? In your life? In our culture? Around the world?
The fact that they are exiles because of their faith in Christ reminds the readers that there is no enduring city here. Thus they must not live as though this is their home.
- What are some ways in which you are tempted to live as though this world is your home?
- Why do you think that temptation can be so strong?
If you are a Christian, you, like the readers of this book, were once a polluted Gentile. But now, you have been chosen by the Father, sanctified by the Spirit, and saved by the Son. The entire Trinity was involved in setting God’s affection on you and saving you. God is responsible for your ongoing sanctification and the fact that you are an exile from this world. You belong to Him!
- Are there times you have difficulty experiencing these truths? Why?
- How should this affect your daily life?
- How does it strengthen your soul in times of suffering?
[post written by Rich Humphrey]