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PGA Chaplain Bible Studies

Weekly Bible Study - Series In 1 Peter
Study 1 -
1 Peter Ch 1: verses 1 and 2

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for the obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”  (1 Peter Ch 1: verses 1 and 2 New International Version).

WHO AM I?

How would you describe yourself if you could only say 1 thing about yourself apart from being a human being? We could describe ourselves by our family name, our job, our sport, a footy team or something else. One of the first questions we often ask a new person we meet is what do you do?

For those who follow Jesus our relationship with Jesus is the way we define ourselves before anything else. That is how Peter describes himself in our reading and those he is writing to.

The beginning of most letters that are written in the bible introduces us to the people that the letter is being addressed to and to the writer. 

We looked last week at Peter, the author in the introduction. He writes to various groups of Christian scattered around Asia, north of Jerusalem.  By being scattered he refers to them living among people who were not followers of Jesus. In other words there was no organised church in those days like there is today. He also calls them strangers to the world and by this he means they had adopted a different way of life following Jesus to the world in which they lived. Their home was with God and not limited to a house, family or a country. One 2 occasions in his introduction Peter refers to them being chosen by God, a reference to God’s action in drawing people to follow him.
Peter makes it clear that the defining character for himself and those he writes to is their relationship to Jesus. This is so important and misunderstood in our culture. People have the habit of defining their faith by their actions without a relationship with Jesus. It is not the actions that is inadequate but a failure to mention Jesus is an injustice to his place in God’s plan for us and the world. So many people I speak to do not understand that Jesus is the most important.

We have a tendency to describe ourselves according to our employment or even as a golfer. Describing ourselves by what we do is setting ourselves up for disappointment, because we can’t always do what we want.

I want to encourage you to see your identity in relationship with Jesus. We should according to our faith define ourselves as followers of Jesus, Christians or believers. It is our identity with Jesus that the New Testament is so strong on. The word we use to describe this is not as important as the idea that our destiny and hope is linked to Jesus. The letter itself will teach of the advantages of this relationship with Jesus. This is what the next paragraph is about.

Gracious God, Thank you that Jesus came to bring new life and that my identity is found in Jesus. Amen

 

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