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.
I think it’s important to read everything and apply it direct to your situation. Sure, there are different levels of opposition and the early church faced a more outwardly dangerous one than we do right now, but God sees and challenge and opposition to the Spirit as dangerous, so don’t undermine it. Particularly in school, it’s important to remember God takes that seriously, so we should to. Don’t think it’s petty and put yourself down because you can’t handle it by yourself, you’re not supposed to bro! Bibles open!
1 Peter 4
Living for God: Verse 1-11
- Attitude, meaning outlook and approach. Have the same outlook and approach to suffering that Jesus did. Suffering is a sign that we are done with sin. It’s often the case that suffering tends to stop (outwardly) when we give in to sin, before coming back with a vengeance when temptation is over and you’re left with the consequences, so beware of the spiritual meaning of suffering. (v. 1)
“Arm yourselves with the same attitude” – 1 Peter 4:1
- We have made a decision to live for Christ, and not only is Christ not of the world but the motives of Christ are opposed to the motives of the world, they crave different things. Our desire is to do God’s will, so we live accordingly. Don’t miss the days when you didn’t know that or wish you didn’t know that, you already spent enough time in the world to know there is more to live for! Those still in it may not have had that realisation or are ignoring it, but everyone has that realisation, and people may even need you to help them realise it through your witness and decisive living. You are the gospel that people will see, and that they will be judged by. (v. 2-6)
*”So that they might be judged according to men in the body, but live according to God in regard to the Spirit” – 1 Peter 4:6
*“By their fruit you will recognise them” – Matthew 7:16
* We live for and through The Lord’s Spirit, which influences our physical and the way we live among men, which is what can be judged.We know that the more Spirit in us, the more different we’ll be by men’s standards, and the more we will be judged and suffer. But the more Spirit, the more Jesus.
- Remember the time that we’re living in! We need love now more than ever, and we must be the ones to give it. If God has blessed you to do something and you know it, use it to serve others because we need service right now! Remember who we do this for. (v. 7-11)
*”Each one should use whatever gifts He has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” – 1 Peter 4:10
Suffering for Being a Christian: Verse 12-19
- Expect opposition, and keep perspective when it comes, because it means that God is with you. Opposition to faith is an indicator that Jesus lives inside you*. (v. 12-14)
*If you’re living in enemy territory, you’ll face opposition. Getting opposition for no apparent reason is a clear indicator that Jesus is on your side, because the world is the enemies territory.
- What kind of witness is it to suffer for something we did wrong? That doesn’t bring glory to God’s name. But to face opposition specifically because you’re a Christian proves your faith and salvation. We go through the tough times now for the joy ahead. (v. 15-17)
- Always remember that God loves you, so what will be the result for those that mess with God’s loved ones? Pray for mercy on their behalf and continue in your walk and witness so even they might meet with Jesus. (v. 17-19)
- Expect opposition, but don’t let it stop you from walking with Christ and witnessing.