Saved Sojourners (Living in the Light of the Resurrection Series)

Peter addresses his readers as "elect exiles" (ESV), but his words could also be translated as "chosen sojourners." I prefer this description in part because sojourner not only communicates the idea of being a temporary resident, but also the sense of movement, of being on a journey. Indeed, as followers of Jesus we are on a narrow road that leads home (Matt. 7:13-14). What Peter emphasizes in this first letter of his is that hope of another home, a place where we belong.

Victor Frankl was a holocaust survivor who succeeded Sigmund Freud in Vienna Austria after World War II. While in a Nazi concentration camp he made the observation that when a man no longer possessed a motive for living, no certain future to look forward to, he would curl up in some corner and die. "Any attempt to restore a man's inner strength in camp,"  he wrote, "had first to succeed in showing him some future goal." Hope. We cannot live without it.

Read I Peter 1:3-9 and let the questions below help you meditate on this joy-filled description of our hope, our salvation!

  1. After the theologically rich salutation in verses 1-2, Peter erupts into praise: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!" What is the cause of Peter's praise (vv. 3-5)?
  2. What is mercy, and how is it different from grace? What does mercy have to do with God causing us to be born again? (v. 3)
  3. What does it mean to be born again, and what are we born again into? (vv.3-4; John 3:1-8; II Cor. 5:17).
  4. What is hope? How would you define it?
  5. What do you think Peter has in mind when he writes that we "have been born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (v. 3)? What is living hope?
  6. What is an inheritance, and what does Peter say is true about our inheritance?     (v. 4)
  7. John Calvin raises this question: "What does it avail us that our salvation is laid up in heaven, when we are tossed here and there in this world as in a turbulent sea? What can it avail us that our salvation is secured in a quiet harbour, when we are driven to and fro amidst a thousand shipwrecks?" How does Peter answer that question in verse 5?
  8. Two aspects of the resurrection of Jesus are referred to here and they play a significant role in Peter's joy-filled praise (vv. 3, 6). What are they?
  9. How would you describe what Peter is doing in verses 3-6? What response is he hoping to produce in his readers?
  10. What is your response to these four verses?
  11. What one thing do you think the Lord wants you to know or do from these verses?

God be with you and see you on Sunday!