Striving For Hope

First Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:06:17
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We’re starting a new series this morning where we’re going to be looking at the the book of First Peter. As we do that, I want to give you a bit of background on this letter written by the disciples of Jesus.
First, this is the same Peter
who was a fisherman when he was called and left his nets,
who was told he would be a fisher of men,
whose mother-in-law was healed by Jesus,
who walked on water,
whose name was Simon but Jesus’ gave the monicker Petros, or Rock which we know as Peter.
Who denied he knew Christ three times.
Who was reinstated by Jesus when he was asked three times, “Do you love me?”
Why do I recall all of this for you? Because we need to recognize the similarities between Peter and ourselves. Peter was just a common man at the time - just as we are common women and men of our time - and his relationship with Jesus changed him.
As we go through Peter’s letter, pay close attention to what Jesus says about his audience and in extension about us.
First Peter was written by Peter sometime between AD 60-67, to the believers in Asia Minor.
Where’s that? As you can see here, that is in the northwest part of the Mediterranean. Peter is likely in Rome.
Looking at how this fits in the time after Jesus
You can see where this fits after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter was imprisoned by Herod Agrippa in 44, and the Jerusalem Council was in 47. And then these two letters we have from Peter were written in Rome before his martyrdom in AD67.
So with that as background we’re now able to jump in knowing who it is, to whom the letter is written, when, and from where.
1 Peter 1:1 ESV
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
Then we get a greeting:
Peter’s greeting differs from Paul’s, in that his is a very theological greeting. He doesn’t need to prove himself as Paul was often concerned about. Everyone knew he was one of Jesus’ inner circle, but notice his greeting is trinitarian:
1 Peter 1:2 (ESV)
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
1 Peter 1:2 (ESV)
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
1 Peter 1:2 (ESV)
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Then Peter gets right to business reminding us of the hope that we are born into through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1Peter 1:4-5
1 Peter 1:4–5 ESV
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
That’s a future hope. And that is the challenge for all of us - it lies in the future. It is to be revealed. It was definitely the challenge for Peter’s audience. Peter affirms his audience for rejoicing in their salvation though they are enduring trials that are testing the genuineness of their faith.


The topic of salvation is central to Peter’s letter. It’s something that has become less talked about in churches and yet it is THE central doctrine of the Christian faith, and it is offensive in our culture. Many have been distracted following socially focused ministries rather than the path of salvation Christians are called to travel.
We live in an incredibly pluralistic period of time. What we mean by pluralism is that there are a multitude of ideas, world views, religions, etc. that are influencing todays culture. You and I live in what has been called the post-Christian culture. As this pluralism has creeped in, these forces have taken the Christian values and theology that was once central to our lives and made it one among many. At the same time religious convictions that were at one time shared have been driven from the public to the private sphere of our lives.
As that has happened it has also removed these views from public interference, debate and prejudice. I would argue that in many ways this has weakened our faith. It has watered down our Christianity to be something like “all religions lead to the same God and to heaven.”
With this emphasis on the topic of salvation, Peter highlights and issue for us today is what Scot McKnight calls the pervasive lack/denial of a sense of any need for salvation in contemporary society.” He goes on to say:
1 Peter Contemporary Significance

At the root of this denial is a view that sees people as essentially good, though possibly hurting through some sickness or victimization, but not one as sinners in the sight of God who need divine grace and re-creation.

So for us today, when we want to speak the message of salvation it is countercultural - something that our culture does not want to hear.
So, let’s take a moment talk about what Salvation is, as Peter lays it out for us.
it is new birth:
1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
And that new birth being integrated into our lives as people who have received the Holy Spirit:
1 Peter 1:9 ESV
obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Salvation is our living hope (v.3) Salvation is an inheritance (1:4), it is currently present in us and it is still in the future (1:5).
Peter concludes this intro to his letter with these words:
1 Peter 1:10–12 ESV
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

So What?

So what does this mean for you and I today? What should we do with this message from Peter?
First, I would challenge you to take the message as one written to you. Recognize the if and then of having been “born again” something that Jesus spoke of in John 3 saying
John 3:3 ESV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
And Paul wrote:
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
If we are indeed saved, we’re born again, we are not the person we once were. We have accepted this salvation offered to us through the person of Jesus Christ.
If we are a new creation, we should see the world differently. We have a hope that comes through Christ. But we need to be committed to the truths that are brought to us in Scripture. That means we need to be students of Scripture.
As Christians, followers of Christ, receivers of that salvation we need to live as people of that hope.
This week let’s all take the time to examine ourselves. Are we living as people of hope in what God has promised us? Or people of despair. Are we seeking to be influenced by God’s Word or the latest news report, social media post, or social trend?
It makes a difference. I want to challenge you this week to take the time to read through Peter’s first letter. Become familiar with it, think about it, let it influence you and the way you live your life out.

Striving For Hope

Let’s take the time to be intentional about our faith, to strive for hope, the hope that is brought to us in the salvation being revealed to us through our Lord Jesus Christ. To God be the glory. AMEN
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