Peter is continuing to guide us through how to navigate suffering as we follow Jesus. One of the big themes of the letter has been that followers of Jesus are strangers and exiles in this world because of our new identity in Jesus. This means that some will see our good works that flow from following Jesus and will find them beautiful and give God glory; yet others will respond with hostility. Peter’s encouragement in our passage is to not cave in to that pressure and to continue to follow Jesus and cling to the people of God.
- Read 1 Peter 4:1-11 a few times and write down 10-15 observations you see like: Where is the pressure coming from? What have these followers of Jesus been freed from? What commands are given? Etc.
- Peter appeals to Christ’s suffering in 1 Peter 4:1. How does 1 Peter 4:1 and 4:6 compare to 1 Peter 3:18? What did Jesus’ suffering accomplish and why would Peter encourage us to “arm yourselves with the same way of thinking?”
- Who does Peter say the opposition is coming from, what does it look like and why is it there? (See 1 Peter 4:3-4).
- Peter encourages followers of Jesus to look beyond this life to see that there is a day when judgement is coming and that believers have a future hope. Why would this be encouraging news for the people Peter is writing to? (Remember, they are not the people in power.)
- 1 Peter 4:7-11 lists out 3 “one anothers” what are they and how do they relate to each other?
- Peter seems to be encouraging us to do these things even when it is difficult… we’re to love “earnestly”, show hospitality “without grumbling” and use our gifts to serve “with the strength that God supplies”. But we’re also shown the blessing of these things… love covers a multitude of sins, hospitality build relationship in the body of Christ and serving one another is a way to glorify God. We can see that at times deep relationships in the church can be inconvenient but as we stay committed and seek to follow Jesus we find that they are also a huge blessing. List our a couple ways have you been blessed by relationships in the church and
- Peter puts these encouragements from verses 7-11 in the middle of two passages of navigating suffering. How does clinging to the family of God help us navigate suffering in this world?