New Series Alert!! Basically, I did a bible study towards the end of last year (2016) off my own back. I was down in the dumps and just wanted to read something encouraging. This was my first time reading and making full notes for a whole book, and the impact it had was massive, I’m still living in the fruit of the things I learnt through this study, so I figured it could help other young people that are down or feeling stagnant or just don’t know exactly what to read.
We’re gonna post them weekly till the book finishes, and I started with 1 & 2 Peter, but if anyone has any suggestions for what they want studied (go easy, no Revelations just yet please), then leave a comment! Also, I highly recommend you read this with a Bible open, so you actually know what I’m talking about. Otherwise, I could be saying anything. Without further ado, here’s the first edition of #YoungPersonsGuide!
‘I’m not feeling great. It’s a dark time right now and I need direction. Most days I’m angry and/or confused for no reason. I’m slipping further and further away from God, even when I repent I get attacked straight away and I’m too weak to deal with temptation. The money issues are worse than they’ve ever been, the girl problems get to me more now than ever and my album is nearly done but I feel so disconnected. I just want to see what reading this book does for my faith and focus’ – 27th November 2016.
1 Peter 1
Introduction: Verse 1 & 2
- We have been chosen throughout this world. Though we are scattered and away from our family, we have been handpicked to be God’s servants. This is something to always rejoice in.
- Grace and peace is ours in abundance. It’s there for us to have and to take at any time, it doesn’t run out.
Praise be to God for a Living Hope: Verse 3-12
- Our living hope = Jesus. We are praising God for sending Jesus and what He’s done for us (3)
- Our inheritance, our salvation can never be ruined! What Jesus has done for us and provided for us can never be lost. It is this way because our reward is kept and protected for us, in Heaven. It can’t be spoiled because nothing can get to it to spoil it. (4)
*and on that note, we can’t spoil it either. We’ve not been given our whole reward now, just a little bit, enough to keep us going but not enough for us to spoil it while we’re down here and still growing. Similar to being given snacks to hold you over until it’s dinner time. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19
- Through our believing and trusting in The Lord’s power, we are shielded and kept for this coming reward. Any suffering or trials we may face are to confirm our faith is real, and in the last times we will be rewarded for our perseverance. By trusting God to bring us through tough times, we see that our faith is genuine and precious, as it shows us we have been destined for the reward of Heaven. It’s only a short time of suffering compared to the good times and the eventual gift, so keep perspective! (5-7)
*The struggles are for our good. Jahaziel said ‘Without trials, how’d you know that your faith exists?’. Faith doesn’t become real to us until we’re made to rely on it, if it was up to us we’d stay in our comfort zones and never need to rely on it, and then we’d never see God move.
- The point of faith is salvation! Let that be tied to everything you believe and trust in, because that is the aim and purpose of faith anyway.
– “Preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin or loss”
– “Deliverance from sin and its consequences”
Trust is key to faith!! You must believe without sight to fully unlock the “inexpressible joy” that comes from faith (8-9)
- The fact that we live in a world post-salvation is something innumerable amounts of people yearned for. The prophets and the angels were desperate to have the Spirit reveal the nature and plan of God that we now have through the Bible. This gift of looking back at the entire story gives us hope for things to come in our life, our world and the life and world to come. This hope was the purpose of all the prophets (Old Testament). (10-12)
Be Holy: Verse 13-25
- Because of the full knowledge of hope that we have (through the Word and the Spirit), we need to focus on that and be fully dedicated to what is to come. It naturally influences our actions and our mind, yes, but we still must actively decide to be obedient to God, who gives us hope, not this world and our evil. This is because Jesus, the author and reason for our hope and joy, was Holy, and has called us to be holy. (15-16)
* “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44a
- Because this is the God that we serve, the Father we have, we must actively be different here. There has to be a difference between us and the world because we live out of respect for The Lord due to everything that He has done. This is for all things, seen and unseen, be different. The more we realise how precious Jesus was and is, the more respect/reverence we should have, hence the holier we should aim to be. He came at the time He did for my sake. Specifically, for me to be able to believe in God and put my faith, trust and hope in Him (17-21)
- This holiness that we’re talking about isn’t a fading, earthly holiness and therefore shouldn’t be carried out as earthly holiness is (prideful, judgmental, snobby, etc.). This is a holiness that breeds pure love for your family (though scattered across the world), a deep love that enables us to act as Jesus did, as everything He did was out of perfect compassion and love. It’s not worth loving any other way because it all fades away*, this love, this holiness is all that stays and therefore how we should be. And that is the meaning of Jesus’ ministry. (22-25)
* “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:6-8
- Be thankful for what the Lord has done and the hope that it brings.
- Decide to choose God over everything and live in the joy that faith brings you.
- Be heavenly holy and love deeply and purely.