Categories
Doctrines Foundations

Foundations

Series topics

The Doctrine of the Trinity – Week 1
The Attributes of God – Week 2
The Doctrine of Scripture – Week 3
The Doctrine of Humanity – Week 4
The Doctrine of Sin – Week 5
The Doctrines of Christology, Atonement and Justification – Week 6
The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology) – Week 7
The Doctrine of the Church (Ecclesiology) – Week 8
The Doctrine of Last Things (Eschatology) – Week 9

Categories
1 Peter

1 & 2 Peter Week 8

Reading

2 Peter 3:1-16

Discussion

Question 1
How would you characterize the alternative way of life offered by those outside of Christian faith? In your view, what does the world promise?

Question 2
Verses 1–3 underscore the importance of being reminded of the prophetic word (contained in the Old Testament) and apostolic teaching (which became the New Testament). Yet Peter has already mentioned that his readers are “established in the truth that you have” (2 Pet. 1:12). If these Christians already know the truth, why is Peter reminding them of it?

Question 3
Peter’s reminder comes with a warning: “Scoffers will come in the last days” (3:3). When are the “last days”? Consider the following passages as you answer: Daniel 12:1–3; Matthew 24:4–9; Acts 2:17; Hebrews 1:2; Jude 17-18.

Question 4
We live in very different times to Peter’s audience. What do you think today’s “scoffers” would likely hold up as their primary complaint with Christian faith?

Question 5
What does 2 Peter 3:16 tell us about Peter’s view of Paul’s writings? What does it tell us about the study of Scripture?

Question 6
Peter has emphasized the knowledge of God throughout the letter. Why does he close by adding that we should grow in the “grace and knowledge” of Jesus (3:18)? How can you do so in your local church?

Categories
1 Peter

1 & 2 Peter Week 7

Reading

2 Peter 1:16 – 2:22

Discussion

Question 1
Peter grounds his stirring reminder (1:1–15) not in clever philosophy or fanciful Greek tales but in the eyewitness testimony of Jesus, which Peter shared with other apostles. How does this set Christianity apart? Why does it lend credibility to apostolic writing? Consider what you look for when you want to learn more about an important event.

Question 2
Read Matthew 17:1–8 alongside 2 Peter 1:16–18. When Peter mentions Jesus’ “honor and glory” at the transfiguration, what particular elements of the event might he be referring to? What do these elements tell us about Jesus and his kingdom (see Matt. 16:28)?

Question 3
In 2 Peter 1:20–21, Peter gives a third reason for the reliability of his writing. What is it? This text explains the process of biblical inspiration. Reflecting on this verse, what do you understand of the Spirit’s inspiration of scripture?

Question 4
With a firm sense of the reliability of apostolic writing, Peter turns his attention to false teachers. According to 2:1–3, what motivates these false teachers? What is their principal error?

Question 5
In 2 Peter 2:4–8, Peter identifies two threads of judgment and salvation across four cases. Identify the cases associated with judgment and salvation. What makes them distinct?

Bonus question: Question 6
The first example of judgment (v. 4) may refer to those evildoers mentioned in Genesis 6:1–2 and/or Jude 6. What is Peter’s primary concern in highlighting the judgment of these fallen angels?

Categories
1 Peter

1 & 2 Peter Week 6

Reading

2 Peter 1: 1 – 15

Discussion

Question 1
The word “divine” appears twice in verses 3–4. What is Peter referring to with this term, and why does he repeat it?

Question 2
According to these verses (3-4), what is the basis and goal of the Christian life? How may we obtain this goal?

Question 3
How would you describe your journey of faith to a friend? How has your faith matured or changed along the way?

Question 4
Verses 5–7 list qualities reminiscent of Jesus. List them, noting which are prevalent in your life and which are lacking. Take some time to praise God for what is present and reflect on why certain ones are absent. Where can you see the connection between your weaker qualities and being “ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:8)?

Question 5
Second Peter 1:10 calls us to be diligent in confirming our calling and election. Revisit 1 Peter 1 and locate similar statements there. What does it mean to “confirm your calling and election”? Why is this so critical?

Question 6
The word translated “stir . . . up” means to awaken or stimulate. Why is Peter writing a “reminder”? Why do we need it?

Categories
1 Peter

1 & 2 Peter Week 5

Reading

1 Peter 5:1-14

Discussion

Question 1
How do you understand the role of Christian fellowship in your life?

Question 2
Why does Peter preface his exhortation to elders by commenting on what he has witnessed and what he will partake of (5:1)? How should this influence the way we read his words? Does Peter have skin in the game?

Question 3
In verse 2 Peter ascribes spiritual authority to the elders of the local church. In light of verses 3b–4, where does this authority come from? How would you characterize the role of elder as you understand it?

Question 4
Read 1 Peter 5:5–6. Why is humility such an important ingredient in order for the church to thrive? Notice the direction of grace. Which way does it flow? How are we able to be recipients of God’s grace?

Question 5
Considering the inheritance of 1 Peter 1:3–9 and the promises in 5:10, what does being “[exalted] at the proper time” mean?

Question 6
What is the relationship between anxiety and humility in verses 6–7? Why do you think proud people tend to be more anxious than humble people?

Categories
1 Peter

1 & 2 Peter Week 4

Reading

1 Peter 3:9 – 4:19

Discussion

Question 1
After addressing submission in different areas of life, Peter insists on the importance of unity within the church. According to Peter, what are four marks of unity and why would these marks foster greater togetherness? How does unity foster holiness in churches?

Question 2
According to verses 3.9–12, why should we commit to being a people who bless others, especially when it is hard?

Question 3
Verse 15 talks about our readiness to defend our hope. How would you characterize Peter’s guidance around tone and approach? What is the purpose of defending your faith?

Question 4
Peter points to Christ as an example for patient suffering, but also to Noah. What are the parallels between Noah’s story and Peter’s audience?

Question 5
Peter talks very intentionally. He says ‘arm yourself’ (1 Pet 4:1). Are you living with intent, or are you allowing life to happen to you? What practices or convictions have helped you live in the world, while following God’s lead?

Bonus question
1 Peter 3:19 is regarded as one of the most challenging pieces of New Testament scripture to understand. If you have the time, read up on the competing explanations.

Categories
1 Peter

1 & 2 Peter Week 3

Reading

1 Peter 2:12 – 3:12

Additional resources:

Slavery First Century vs Modern article

Video: John Pipe and Nancy Guthrie discuss submission 43:20 – end

Discussion

Question 1
Since Christianity did not enjoy Rome’s legal protection, many were skeptical of the early gospel movement, thinking it seditious and a threat to governing authorities. How does Peter point believers in a different direction?

Question 2
How would your attitude toward governing authorities change if you took Peter’s counsel to heart: “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Pet. 2:17)? Why should we submit to governing authorities?

Question 3
When we suffer unjustly, it can be tempting to lash out. What alternative example does Jesus provide (vv. 21–23)? Does your view of God’s involvement in your life make this easier or harder? Why?

Question 4
Even if we can escape suffering (and sometimes we can and should), lapsing into vengeance, gossip, murder, yelling, or hatred does not actually enable us to escape. These attempts to cope with unjust circumstances simply injure us and others more. How, then, does Christ’s response to suffering provide a better example ?

Question 5
The submission called for in 1 Peter is unqualified, but this is not because submission comes with no qualifications. Peter’s intent is to: (a) address the issue of submission as it pertains to unbelieving spouses and (b) get to the topic of true, inner beauty. Why does he insist on respectful submission to a spouse who does not share our Christian beliefs?

Question 6
The exhortation to live with one’s wife “in an understanding way” literally translates as “according to knowledge.” What are some ways in which a husband’s knowledge of God and of the gospel should affect his marriage?

Question 7
Although Peter uses only one verse to address husbands, the penalty for not honoring their wives seems to be steeper. What is it? Why does he warn husbands of this danger?

Categories
1 Peter

1 & 2 Peter Week 2

Reading

1 Peter2:4-12

Discussion

Question 1
Peter brushes formalistic religion aside by focusing our hope on a person: “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious . . .” (v. 4). Are you ever tempted to do the opposite, sliding into formalistic religion instead of pursuing a Christ-centered faith? What do you think the difference between the two is?

Question 2
Peter piles up Old Testament texts that describe the cornerstone of a great building. What is unique about this cornerstone? How should its unique qualities impact the way you relate to God and to your own faith community?

Question 3
In verse 9, Peter rattles off a list of communal descriptors of the church. Make a list of these descriptors and briefly note how each one challenges or affirms your practice of community.

Question 4
According to verse 9, why do God’s people exist? How can you and your faith community “proclaim the excellencies” of God in your own mission field? What “dark-to-light” changes are occurring in your heart and life that you could share with your neighbors or coworkers?

Question 5
In verse 11, Peter returns to the exile theme. What marks the exile here? Do you view holiness as something mandatory or as merely optional? According to verse 12, why should you keep your conduct “honorable”?

Categories
1 Peter

1 & 2 Peter Week 1

Keep your eyes on the prize

Reading

1 Peter 1:1 – 2:3

Discussion

Question 1
Read 1 Peter 2:9–12; 5:12–14 and consider how these texts fill out what Peter means by describing his readers as “exiles.” Why would this identification be meaningful to Peter’s audience? Is it meaningful to you?

Question 2
Peter opens his letter with a rich Trinitarian formulation (1:2). What role does each member of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) play in this verse? How does their work convey grace and peace? How does it give hope to a people under fire?

Question 3
All three persons of the Trinity collaborate so that we may be born again into a hope that is alive. Why do we need a new birth? According to verses 3 and 23, how do we obtain this new birth?

Question 4
We often view suffering as an impediment to joy, but Peter insists that trials can result in “inexpressible” joy. How is that possible? Peter compares suffering to the smelting of metallic ore. How does this metaphor help us understand how to rejoice in hard times?

Question 5
Verse 13 begins with “therefore,” indicating that everything that precedes this verse is the basis for what Peter will say next. Summarize the basis for Peter’s command in this verse and consider how it impacts our call to holiness in verse 15.

Question 6
How can holiness be a communal endeavor?

Categories
Prayer

Prayer Week 7 & 8

“Give us this day our daily bread”

In this session, we’ll unpack the practical ways we can tune into hearing God’s voice.

Watch the video and work through the questions provided, ready to have your say this Thursday evening.