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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 2 - ELECT STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS (BACKGROUND STUDY)

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK WE CONTINUE OUR BACKGROUND STUDY OF 1
PETER. STARTING NEXT WEEK WE WILL SYSTEMATICALLY GO THROUGH THE
BOOK, STUDYING EACH CHAPTER.  

LAST WEEK YOU WILL REMEMBER THAT WE LOOKED AT PETER'S BACKGROUND AS
A DISCIPLE.  PETER WAS THE LEADER OF THE DISCIPLES, THE FIRST TO
SPEAK AND BOTH GOD AND SATAN SPOKE THROUGH HIM.  

HIS BELIEF AND DETERMINATION THAT JESUS WOULD SET UP HIS KINGDOM ON
EARTH CAME TO AN END IN A PRETTY ROUGH WAY. THAT TOUGH EXPERIENCE
CAUSED HIM TO LOSE HIS ANCHOR FOR A BIT, BUT ULTIMATELY RESULTED IN
THE TRUE CONVERSION OF HIS HEART.  IN LUKE 22:31 JESUS SAW THE
DIFFICULT TRIAL OF PETER'S FAITH, TOLD PETER THAT HE WOULD PRAY
THAT HIS FAITH WOULD NOT FAIL, AND INSTRUCTED PETER THAT WHEN HE
CAME THROUGH THIS TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE, HE SHOULD "STRENGTHEN HIS
BROTHERS". OUR LESSON SUGGESTS THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT PETER IS DOING
WHEN HE WROTE 1 PETER.


I. INTRODUCTION

     A. READ 1 PETER 1:1. WHEN PETER STARTS OUT HIS LETTER, "PETER,
AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST," WHAT IS HE SAYING? (FIRST, THAT HE
IDENTIFIES HIMSELF. SECOND, BY SAYING THAT HE IS AN APOSTLE OF
JESUS, HE IS REALLY SAYING THAT HIS MESSAGE IS FROM GOD.)

     B. SOME THEOLOGIANS DISPUTE THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY PETER THE
APOSTLE WHO WROTE THIS BOOK.  

          1. DOES IT MATTER TO YOU WHO WROTE THIS BOOK? 
          2. SOME COMMENTATORS ON THE BOOK HAVE SAID THAT THIS
FALSE CLAIM WAS A "HARMLESS LITERARY DEVICE."(SEE SELWYN pp.42-44) 

(YES, IT MATTERS.  IF PETER THE APOSTLE DID NOT WRITE (OR DICTATE)
IT, THEN THE BOOK STARTS OUT WITH A LIE -- ON A VERY FUNDAMENTAL
MATTER: THE AUTHORITY OF THE BOOK.)

     C. LETS LOOK AT THE RECIPIENTS OF PETER'S LETTER. WHAT DOES
PETER SAY ABOUT THEM IN VERSE 1 (JUST v.1): (WRITE)
     
          1. GOD'S ELECT

          2. STRANGERS IN THE WORLD

          3. SCATTERED.

     D. WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT THE RECIPIENTS ARE "GOD'S ELECT?"
(THAT GOD HAS CALLED THEM AND THEY RESPONDED. SO THESE ARE
CHRISTIANS.)

     E. "STRANGERS IN THE WORLD."  THEY ARE LOCATED IN THE MODERN
AREA OF TURKEY.  WHY ARE THEY STRANGERS? (IT APPEARS THAT THEY WERE
NOT IN CHRISTIAN AREAS.)
     
     F. WHEN PETER SAYS THAT THEY ARE "SCATTERED,"  WHAT DO YOU
THINK HE MEANS?  WHAT DO WE  LEARN ABOUT THESE PEOPLE BASED ON THE
STATMENT THAT THEY ARE SCATTERED? (THE IDEA IS THAT THEY WERE
ISOLATED INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS IN A LARGE AREA.) (IT SOUNDS LIKE A
REFERENCE TO THE JEWS WHO WERE SCATTERED FROM THEIR HOMELAND. 
ALTHOUGH PETER MIGHT HAVE BEEN WRITING (AT LEAST IN PART) TO JEWS,
OUR LESSON AND OTHER COMMENTATORS SUGGEST THAT THE MAJORITY OF
THESE PEOPLE WERE GENTILES.)

     G. THE BIG PICTURE HERE IS THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE ALONE IN AN
     UNFRIENDLY LAND.

II. ELECTION

     A. IN VERSE 2, PETER CONTINUES WITH HIS THEME OF ELECTION:
READ.
     
     B.  LETS DIAGRAM THIS AND SEE WHAT WE LEARN:

          1. WHO AMONG THE GODHEAD ARE INVOLVED IN THIS ELECTION?

          2. WHAT ROLE DO THEY PLAY?

(FATHER ---- CHOSE US BASED ON FOREKNOWLEDGE
 SPIRIT ---- SANCTIFIES US FOR: a)OBEDIENCE; b)SPRINKLING BY BLOOD.
 JESUS ----- PROVIDES THE BLOOD.)

          3. WHICH OF THESE ARE ESSENTIAL FOR SALVATION? (1:3
SUGGESTS THAT WE ARE GIVEN THE NEW BIRTH INTO AN INHERITANCE IN
HEAVEN.)

          4. DOES OBEDIENCE COME THROUGH THIS SANCTIFICATION OF THE
SPIRIT?

          5. DISCUSS.

     C. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELVES TO BE "ELECTED?" (IN EPH.1:4
PAULS WRITES, "FOR HE CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE
WORLD TO BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS IN HIS SIGHT IN LOVE HE PREDESTINED
US TO BE ADOPTED AS HIS SONS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, IN ACCORDANCE
WITH HIS PLEASURE AND WILL.."  THE IDEA IS THAT WE ARE ALL
"ELECTED," BUT THE "ELECT" ARE THOSE WHO RESPOND. 1PET.1:2)

     D. SO WE SEE BOTH THE EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL SITUATION OF THE
RECIPIENTS OF THIS LETTER:
          1.  THEY ARE SCATTERED AND ISOLATED IN A HOSTILE WORLD.

          2.  THEY HAVE CHOSEN GOD, HAVE CLAIMED CHRIST'S BLOOD AND
ARE EXPERIENCING THE SANCTIFYING WORK OF OBEDIENCE.)

     E. YOU WOULD THINK THAT BECAUSE OF THE EXTERNAL SITUATION OF
THESE PEOPLE THAT THEY WOULD BE ANXIOUS.  WHAT DOES v.2 SUGGEST CAN
BE THEIRS? (GRACE AND PEACE--IN ABUNDANCE!)
          1. HOW? (THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE THAT COMES FROM THE FIRST
PART OF v. 2.)

III. WHERE PETER WROTE.

     A. LETS TURN NOW TO THE END OF THE BOOK AND READ 5:13.  IT WAS
CUSTOMARY TO ADD THE GREETINGS OF THOSE WHO WERE WITH THE AUTHOR AT
THE TIME OF THE WRITING.  FOR EXAMPLE, I MIGHT SAY AT THE END OF A
LETTER TO MY MOM, "MARGIE AND THE KIDS SAY, 'HI' TOO."
     
     B. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE REVELATION TO YOU? (REV. 18 REFERS TO
BABYLON AS "SHE" (v.2)  AND A CITY (v. 10.))

          1. SO WHO IS "SHE?" (GODS PEOPLE OR CHURCH ARE SOMETIMES
REFERRED TO AS A WOMAN. REV. 12:16 & 17; EZEK 16:13 (PUTS JEWELRY
ON HIS PEOPLE.)
          
          2. AND WHAT IS "BABYLON?" (BECAUSE THE ROMANS WERE
OPPRESSING THE JEWS, SIMILAR TO THE WAY THAT BABYLON HAD OPPRESSED
THEM, "BABYLON WAS A NICKNAME THEY USED FOR ROME.  IN FACT ROMAN
WRITERS ALSO USED THIS TERM FOR ROME BECAUSE OF ITS LUXURY AND
DECEDANCE. (MARSHALL, 1 PETER, p.175) 

     C. SO PETER WROTE HIS LETTER TO THESE OUTLYING AREAS FROM THE
CITY OF ROME.

IV. NEXT WEEK: WE START OUR SYSTEMATIC STUDY: 1 PETER 1:3-5
HIS LETTER TO THESE OUTLYING AREAS FROM THE CITY OF ROME. IV. NEXT WEEK: WE START OUR SYSTEMATIC STUDY: 1 PETER 1:3-5