June 21, 2020 Discussion Questions

The Heart and Mind of a Sojourner
Discussion Questions
  1. Peter begins this section of the letter by addressing the humble heart of a leader. Based on 1 Peter 5:1-4, what are some of the characteristics of a faithful leader? Have you known anyone who leads like this?  Explain.
  2. A faithful sojourner is humble before God. In 1 Peter 5:6-7, we learn one of the keys for humbling ourselves before God is to cast our anxieties on Him. Explain why worrying is a form of pride.  Peter doesn’t tell us to not have anxieties.  He knows we will have anxieties.  What does it look like to cast our anxieties on the One who cares?  Have you ever done this?  Explain.
  3. A faithful sojourner also has a clear mind. In 1 Peter 5:8 he tells us to be sober-minded and watchful. What are the consequences if we are not thinking clearly and alert?  
  4. In 1 Peter 5:9 we discover we resist the devil by standing firm in the faith (also see 5:12). What does it look like to stand firm in the faith? Are you surprised the key for defeating the devil and having victory in spiritual warfare is not by doing anything we might see in the movies?  Are you surprised the key is simply to stand firm in the faith?  What are some examples of key truths of the Christian faith we can cling to in order to defeat the enemy?
  5. In 1 Peter 5:10, he reminds us our suffering is just for “a little while” and then He will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” Why is it important that we keep this eternal perspective in mind? We mentioned that when Jesus introduced the Lord’s Supper, He pointed to His future return when the meal would be fulfilled (see Luke 22:16,18).  Do you have this eternal perspective when we take the Lord’s Supper?  Explain.
  6. As we conclude this study in 1 Peter, has there been anything you have learned that has been especially challenging or helpful to you?

June 14, 2020 Discussion Questions

Equipped for Suffering
Discussion Questions
  1. The Bible presents God as all-good and all-powerful. Some people have wrestled with this, and they have asked how He could be all-good and all-powerful since there is so much suffering and evil. Have you ever wrestled with this question?  Have you wrestled with this question intellectually or has it been more because of something you have experienced in your life?  Explain.
  2. In 1 Peter 4:12 we are encouraged to not be surprised when we experience suffering. Why should it be helpful to us to know we should expect suffering? What are the consequences if we are not equipped to think like this?
  3. In 1 Peter 4:12 Peter refers to our suffering as a test or a trial (also see 1 Peter 1:6). Can you think of an example of a test you have enjoyed taking? Can you think of an example of a test you have not enjoyed taking?  How does suffering test us, and what does it prove when we go through the trial of suffering?
  4. In 1 Peter 4:15 we are encouraged not to bring suffering on ourselves. When we experience suffering, we are given an opportunity to examine ourselves and make sure we are trusting in Christ and we are not the cause of our own suffering. Why is it important we learn to examine ourselves when we suffer?  Have you ever done this?
  5. In 1 Peter 4:19 we are encouraged to keep trusting God to the end. We are reminded He is the Creator and He is in control. We are also reminded He is faithful and good, so we have reason to keep trusting Him.  What are some key truths that help you keep trusting God to the end?  Why should it encourage us to consider that Jesus kept entrusting Himself to the Father (see Luke 23:46)?  

June 7, 2020 Discussion Questions

A New Perspective
Discussion Questions
  1. Our perspective changes as we grow older. What is a fun example of one way your perspective has changed? For example, is there something you used to think was difficult or scary and now you think differently?  What changed?
  2. As faithful sojourners, we have a new perspective on suffering. 1 Peter 4:1 says Christ suffered and we should be ready to suffer as well. We said one way we experience suffering is that this world is not our ultimate home, so we are not meant to be overly comfortable while we are here.  What are some examples of ways we should experience some discomfort in this world?
  3. As faithful sojourners, we have a new perspective on sin. In 1 Peter 4:2 he says we live for the will of God instead of for the human passions. We said our desires change and get deeper and we desire to please the Lord more than we desire to please ourselves.  How would you respond to someone who said they feel sorry for Christians because they are having to deny themselves?  How would you explain that we are freely choosing to desire something that is greater? 
  4. As faithful sojourners, we have a new perspective on life & death. According to 1 Peter 4:5-7, what are some ways we should think about life and death? In 1 Peter 4:7 he says “the end of all things is at hand.”  How would you respond to someone who says, “since the end is near we should quit school or our jobs and move away from people and just wait?”  How should it change our perspective on living since we know the end is near?
  5. As faithful sojourners, we have a new perspective on church. According to 1 Peter 4:8-11 how should we treat God’s people in the church? Can you think of a time when someone in the church loved you, showed you hospitality, or used their gift to bless you?  Can you think of a time when you loved someone in the church, showed them hospitality, or used your gift to bless them? 
  6. 1 Peter 4:11 ends by telling us we should be driven by God’s glory. What does it mean to be driven by God’s glory instead of our own glory? Why is this essential for our perspective as sojourners?

May 31, 2020 Discussion Questions

Our Simple Message
Discussion Questions
  1. The first part of our simple message is the death of Jesus (see 1 Peter 3:18). Peter is encouraging churches who are suffering as he mentions Jesus “also suffered.” However, he also suggests several ways Jesus’ suffering is different from our suffering.  What are some ways His suffering is different from our suffering?
  2. Why is it important we continually return to and talk about the death of Jesus? This message of Jesus dying on the cross as our substitute is simple and it is good news for us. Why do so many people have problems with this teaching?
  3. The second part of our simple message is the exaltation of Jesus. The exaltation includes several key events beginning with the resurrection. Why is the resurrection of Jesus significant to our faith?  While we are familiar with the resurrection of Jesus, we usually don’t talk as much about the ascension of Christ or the session of Christ (when He was seated at God’s right hand).  Why are the ascension and session of Christ significant to our faith?
  4. We talked about how the resurrection, ascension, session, and Pentecost event (Acts 2:32-33) changed the disciples so that they went from being afraid to being bold. Even while Jesus was on earth with the disciples they were unfaithful and scared. But when He was physically gone from them (but reigning as King) they were confident and faithful.  Explain why these key events changed them.  In what ways should these events change us?
  5. The third aspect of our simple message is our response. In 1 Peter 3:21 he mentions baptism as one way we should respond. What do we learn about baptism from this passage?  Why should we value baptism and get baptized?
  6. We know that getting wet in the water doesn’t save us. Faith in Christ is what saves us, and baptism is a picture of that saving faith. How would you explain to someone what it means to trust in Christ and become a Christian?  How would you explain our simple message to a friend?

May 24, 2020 Discussion Questions

Representing Christ
Discussion Questions
  1. It was mentioned that the Nike swoosh is well known and everyone recognizes what it represents. What are some examples of other symbols that are well known and recognized? We talked about how we are supposed to be representing Christ.  Are you surprised God wants to use you to represent Him?  Explain.  If someone watched a reality TV show of your life, would they see a good representation of Christ?  Explain what areas might not represent Christ well in your life.
  2. We are supposed to represent Christ to each other. According to 1 Peter 3:8, how are we supposed to relate to each other? Are any of these more difficult or challenging for you?  Explain.  What are some of the consequences if Christians treat each other the way the text talks about?  What are some of the consequences if we don’t treat each other this way?
  3. We are supposed to represent Christ to the world. One way we do this is by not retaliating but instead by blessing others even when they are enemies (v.9). What does it mean to bless someone who is our enemy?  Have you ever done this? 
  4. One way we can bless others is by being ready to “make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (v.15). Are you ready and prepared to explain the Christian faith to someone? If not, what can you do to prepare yourself?  If you are able to share your faith, are you able to do it in a way that is winsome and “with gentleness?”  Explain what happens if someone shares the faith but their motivation is to win an argument more than seeing a person come to Christ.
  5. It was mentioned we should be motivated to represent Christ because of a healthy fear of God (vv.13-14). How do our fears reveal what we really value? What kinds of fears do you experience?  What would it look like for you to replace those fears with a healthy fear of God?
  6. In 1 Peter 3:17 we learn that sometimes it is God’s will for us to suffer for doing good. How would you respond to someone who says it is never God’s will for us to suffer? What are some lessons we can learn from Jesus’ suffering that can motivate us when we suffer so that we represent Him well?

May 17, 2020 Discussion Questions

Marriage for Sojourners
Discussion Questions
  1. The instructions in this passage about marriage go against the messages we usually hear from the world. We have to choose if we will come under God’s Word and allow God to be our authority. What are some other examples of Christian teaching that go against the messages we often hear from the world?  Are there certain teachings in the Bible that are difficult for you to accept?
  2. In v.1 he says for wives to be subject to their husbands. He also said for servants to be subject to their masters (1 Peter 2:18). How would you respond to someone who said that this teaching about marriage is dated just like the teaching about masters and servants is dated?  What are some key differences between how the Bible presents slavery and how the Bible presents marriage?  Are there times when a wife should not be subject to her husband and not follow his leadership?  Explain. 
  3. If you are married, what are some ways you could more faithfully follow the teaching in this passage? If you are not married, what are some ways this passage should inform your thinking about a potential spouse? What are some key qualities you should look for in a spouse?
  4. In 1 Peter 3:3-4 we learn we should focus more on internal beauty than external beauty. Why do we often put more emphasis on the external? Why do you think God puts more emphasis on the internal?  What are some practical steps we can take to make sure we are emphasizing the internal more than the external?
  5. In 1 Peter 3:7 we learn that husbands should be understanding and honoring. What does it look like for a husband to be understanding and honoring? The standard and example that is given for husbands is the way Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).  What are specific ways Christ loved the church that can motivate the way husbands love their wives?
  6. This letter is written to sojourners who are struggling with difficult situations. For example, he mentions the Christian wife whose husband is not a believer. He encourages us by pointing us to Christ who was the ultimate sojourner (1 Peter 2:21-25).  He came to love us and make us His bride.  Why is it essential we experience His love before we can truly experience other types of love?  Why should knowing Christ and His love make us better husbands and wives?

May 10, 2020 Discussion Questions

Authority & Submission
Discussion Questions
  1. God is our ultimate authority. When we submit to “human institutions” we are doing it “for the Lord’s sake” (v.13). While we honor everyone including the emperor, we only fear God (v.17).  Because God is our ultimate authority, we should not obey someone if obeying them requires us to disobey God.  Can you think of some examples from the Bible when God’s people had to disobey authority in order to obey God?
  2. What is religious liberty? Why should we be especially grateful we live in a country that recognizes and supports religious liberty? Imagine a Christian living in a country that does not recognize religious liberty.  What kind of situation might require that he/she disobey the government in order to obey God? 
  3. We obey God by submitting to authority He places over us. How do we see this truth in 1 Peter 2:13-14? Can you think of some examples in the Bible of God’s people obeying God by obeying people in positions of authority?  What are some ways you can obey God by obeying people in position of authority?
  4. As Americans we have a unique opportunity to be involved politically and have an influence on policies and laws and who serves in office. How should we balance trying to influence the direction of our country, while also being good citizens who submit to authority (even when we don’t like it)?
  5. Peter tells slaves to be subject to their masters even when they are unjust (1 Peter 2:18-20). Some people will point to this and say the Bible can’t be trusted because it is promoting slavery. How would you respond to someone who said this text is encouraging slavery?
  6. Read 1 Peter 2:21-25. What do these verses have to do with submitting to authority? Why should this motivate us to obey even when authority is unjust?  Who (or what) do you have a difficult time submitting to that God has placed in authority over you?  What might it look like for you to respond to that authority in a way that is faithful to this passage and to Jesus? 

May 3, 2020 Discussion Questions

Who Are Sojourners?
Discussion Questions
  1. In 1 Peter 2:5, we are called His spiritual house, or temple. We said when we come together as His church, God is present in a special and unique way. What are some of the aspects of gathering with God’s people you miss the most and look forward to experiencing again? 
  2. Peter is not emphasizing how each Christian is a temple, but how God is bringing people together to form a temple. Why is it important that we emphasize how God is working through the church and not just through individuals?
  3. We are also called His honored people (1 Peter 2:7 & 10). Peter says Jesus is a rock that will either lead to your shame or your honor. Explain why Jesus is like a rock that either leads to you being saved or crushed.  We said it is important to always come back to the shame and humiliation He experienced at the cross if we want to experience honor like He did in His resurrection.  Why is it important that we learn how to keep coming back to the cross?  How do we do this?
  4. In 1 Peter 2:5 & 9, we are called His holy priests. We don’t have priests, or a temple, or sacrifices in the exact way God’s people did in the Old Testament. But the New Testament teaches us Jesus is a priest, and the temple, and the ultimate sacrifice. Explain how Jesus is the fulfillment of each of the aspects.  Not only is Jesus referred to as a priest, but we are called priests.  In what way are we priests?  Why should this encourage us?  Do you take advantage of the opportunity as a priest to go directly to God in prayer? 
  5. Even though this world is not our ultimate home and heaven is our home, we still battle against our own flesh (1 Peter 2:11). This battle is a continual reminder that we do need to be saved from this world and even from ourselves. Why is it healthy to understand that we will fight this internal battle until the Lord returns?
  6. While we are passing through this world as sojourners, we are missional exiles. This means we are supposed to be making an impact and having an influence on others. Based on 1 Peter 2:12, what is our purpose for being here in this world?  Was there a person in your life who had a significant influence on you because they represented Christ well to you?  Who are some people in your life right now you can start being more intentional about representing Christ and telling them about Him?

April 26 2020 Discussion Questions

A Faithful Sojourner
Discussion Questions
  1. In 1 Peter 1:22, he refers to God’s Word as “the truth.” Why is it important we recognize God’s Word is true? What are some of the consequences if a person thinks it is not fully true? 
  2. God’s Word is clear. The clarity of the Bible doesn’t mean we can fully understand everything in the Bible. It does mean we can understand the main point of a passage and the message of the Bible.  Explain the difference between fully understanding everything and understanding the main point.  Do you think of the Bible as being clear?  Why is this important?  Have you ever practiced reading a section of the Bible and summarizing the main point?  Why is this helpful?
  3. God’s Word is necessary for conversion (1 Peter 1:22-23). Share your story of how you became a Christian and what role the Bible played in your conversion. What are some ways you can share the Bible or the message of the Bible with people in your life in hopes that they experience Christian conversion?
  4. God’s Word is enduring (1 Peter 1:24-25). Peter quotes Isaiah and gives the examples of grass and flowers that change and fade. What are some other examples of things in our lives that change and fade away?  Why is it encouraging to hear that God’s Word does not change and that it endures forever?  Why should this truth influence the amount of time we give to reading and studying God’s Word?
  5. God’s Word is necessary for growth. Peter says we should long for it like an infant longs for milk (1 Peter 2:2). We can “taste” that the Lord is good (2:3).  What does this mean?  Why do you think he describes this experience like taste?  How would you explain this experience to someone?  What can a person do if he/she doesn’t long for God’s Word like this?  Are there ways we can develop a hunger for God’s Word?  Explain.

April 19, 2020 Discussion Questions

A Faithful Sojourner
Discussion Questions
  1. The sermon series in 1 Peter is called “sojourners.” This term comes from 1 Peter 2:11, where Peter says we are sojourners and exiles. What is a sojourner?  What does it mean that we are sojourners?  What are some other terms or images that might help us understand what it means?
  2. We are called to be a hopeful sojourner and set our hope on Christ (v.13). “Preparing our minds for action” and “being sober-minded” are keys for this (v.13). What are some ways we can take care of our minds and train our minds to help us focus on our hope?  Why is the mind important in the Christian faith?  Do Christians emphasize the mind as much as we should?
  3. We are called to be holy sojourners (v.15). We often think about holiness as a list of things we do and a list of things we avoid. Based on vv. 14-16, how does Peter talk about our holiness and what are some keys for holiness?
  4. Growing in holiness involves both recognizing our identity as God’s people (our roots) and doing what God has called us to do (our fruits). What is the problem if we de-emphasize the role of bearing fruit? What is the problem if we de-emphasize the role of recognizing our identity/roots?  Which of these two extremes do you gravitate toward?  How can you grow in this area?
  5. We are called to be a fearing sojourner (v.17). We said we would want our surgeon to have both confidence and fear as he operates on us. What other professions in life would we want someone to have both confidence and fear?  How would you explain what a healthy fear of God looks like?  Do you have a healthy fear of God?  Explain.
  6. He says we have been ransomed with the precious blood of Christ (vv.18-19). Why should this truth lead us to have a healthy fear or reverence? Peter doesn’t conclude by talking about the death of Jesus, but instead he concludes with Christ’s resurrection and our hope (v.21).  Why is it essential that we have both hope and fear?  What does this look like for you?