March 11, 2018 – 1 Peter 1:13-25

Lesson Date: March 11, 2018

Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 1:13-25

AIM: To lead students to discover three reasons the Bible tells us to be holy, and to confess their sins and ask the Lord to make them holy people.

 

Before class: Read the notes on 1 Peter 1:13-25 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Prepare the note cards described in the “Conclusion” step. Write the word “Holy” on the marker board or chalkboard.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the word “Holy” written on the board. Ask volunteers to suggest definitions for the word (set apart, sanctified, perfect, godly, morally pure). Ask: “Who do you think of when you hear the word ‘holy?’” (hopefully they will think of God, but they may also think of some particularly godly person). Tell the class that God is holy. In fact, holiness is the main characteristic of God.

Ask: “Do you think the word ‘holy’ describes most modern-day Christians?” After allowing time for responses, tell the class this week’s scripture passage plainly tells Christians to be holy. We should be sanctified, set apart, pure in action and motive, and distinctly different from the world. Ask: Does the word ‘holy’ describe you and me?” Tell the students in this lesson we will discover three reasons why we should strive to be holy.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that this quarter we are studying the New Testament books of 1 & 2 Peter.
    • Read 1 Peter 1:1.
    • Remind the students that Peter wrote this letter in about d. 64-65 to believers who were scattered abroad because of persecution.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the marvel of salvation).
    • Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (1 Pet. 1:3).
  2. Be Holy Because God is Holy.
    • Remind the students that we are looking for three reasons we should strive to be holy. Before we find those reasons, however, the Bible tells us how to be holy.
    • Ask everyone to listen for instructions about how to be holy, as a volunteer reads 1 Peter 1:13-14.
    • Ask them what instructions they heard.
    • The first instruction is to “gird up the loins of your mind.”
      • Explain that in Bible times men wore long robes. When they prepared for work they pulled their robes up and tied them around their waist, thus freeing their legs from encumbrances.
      • Gird up the loins of your mind” means to free your mind from things that hinder you from focusing on Jesus Christ.
      • Ask: “What are some of those things?”
    • The second instruction is to “be sober.”
      • That means to be serious-minded, self-controlled, and watchful.
    • The third instruction is to “hope” in the complete fulfillment of our salvation in the future.
      • Explain that the word hope in the Bible means “confident expectation.”
      • We are to confidently look forward to our ultimate glorification and freedom from the presence of sin.
    • The fourth instruction is to be obedient to God (“as obedient children”), not behaving like we did before we were saved.
    • Tell the class the first reason we should strive to be holy is found in verses 15-16.
    • Read 1 Peter 1:15-16
    • Ask: “Why must we be holy?” (because God, who called us to salvation, is holy).
    • Tell the class these verses are quoted from Leviticus 11:44-45.
    • If we as Christians are followers of Christ, we must strive to be holy, because He is holy.
    • Read 1 Peter 1:17.
    • Ask: “Why must we take these instructions seriously?” (because God will judge our works one day – 1 Cor. 3:13-15).
    • Summarize: The first reason we should be holy is because God is holy. The remainder of the chapter gives us two more reasons why we should be holy.
  3. Be Holy Because Christ has Redeemed You by His Blood.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 1:18-22.
    • Explain that the word redeem means to buy something back or pay a ransom.
    • Before we came to Christ we were lost and under the control of the devil (Eph. 2:1-3).
    • Ask: “According to verse 18, what was NOT used to redeem us?” (perishable things like gold and silver).
    • Ask: “What were we redeemed from?” (vain, empty behavior passed down from our ancestors).
    • Ask: “According to verse 19, what WAS used to redeem us?” (the blood of Jesus Christ).
    • Tell the class Jesus Christ was like a spotless lamb – completely sinless.
    • Ask: “According to verse 20, when was Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross to pay for our sins planned?” (before the foundation of the world).
    • Ask: “When did it actually take place?” (“in these last times” – in the First Century, only about 30 years before this letter was written).
    • Tell the class verse 21 says Jesus Christ gives us the ability to believe and place our faith and hope in God.
    • Tell the students verse 22 tells us how to be holy.
    • Ask them to silently read that verse again.
    • Ask: “What must we do to be holy?” (purify our souls by obeying the truth found in the Bible).
    • Ask: “What does verse 22 say is an evidence of being holy?” (loving other believers fervently with a pure heart).
    • Tell the class the second reason we should be holy is found in verses 18-19.
    • Ask them to silently read those verses.
    • Ask: “Why should we be holy?” (because we have been redeemed by Christ’s precious blood that He shed for us; in other words, Jesus died to make us holy).
    • Summarize: The second reason we should strive to be holy is that Jesus Christ redeemed us by His blood.
  4. Be Holy Because You have Been Born Again.
    • Tell the students the third reason we should be holy is found in 1 Peter 1:23-25.
    • Read those verses.
    • Ask: “What was necessary for us to be born again?” (the Word of God).
    • Explain that the Bible is God’s message of redemption that is available through faith in Jesus Christ. Sinners must be exposed to the Bible to be saved. That may be through reading the Bible, through hearing it preached or taught, or by a tract or a verbal witness from a believer.
    • Ask: “According to verse 24, how long will our flesh and all of our self-glorifying achievements endure?” (a very short time – like the grass that quickly withers away).
    • Ask: “According to verses 23 and 25, how long will the Word of the Lord last?” (forever).
    • Ask the class if they can identify in those verses the reason we should be holy (because we have been born again).
    • Explain that before salvation we walked according to the sinful pattern of the world. When Jesus Christ comes to live in our hearts – when we are born again – old things are passed away and all things become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
    • Holy living is an evidence of a life that has been transformed by Jesus Christ.
    • Summarize: The third reason we should strive to be holy is that we have been born again through exposure to the unchanging Word of God.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Ask: “Why should we be holy?” Hopefully, students will be able to verbalize the three reasons they have discovered in this lesson that Christians ought to live holy, separate, distinctive lives:

  1. Because God is holy and we should follow His example (verses 15-16).
  2. Because Jesus Christ redeemed (bought) us with His blood (verses 18-19).
  3. Because we have born again through exposure to the unchanging Word of God (verses 23-25).

Tell the class that God’s Word doesn’t change. Since it told early Christians to be holy, that means it is also telling us to be holy today.

Many modern church leaders, however, think standards have changed. They have adapted to the world and allowed their churches and members to abandon distinctive Christian behaviors in favor of being “relevant” to modern society. In so doing, they are actually adopting some of the world’s sinful behaviors like social drinking. Rather than stand out as beacons of holiness in a dark world, they are striving to fit in.

Tell the class that even though the Word of God is essential for salvation, many of these modern church leaders have minimized the importance of the Bible in favor of psychological “how to” messages, shortened their sermons, and even eliminated some of their preaching services altogether. In a time when sin and biblical illiteracy is rampant, these so-called “progressive” leaders have actually eliminated some of the Bible preaching services that our society so desperately needs.

Tell the class God’s Word hasn’t changed and God’s standards haven’t changed. He still expects Christians to be holy.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask: “What aspects of your life are not holy?” Urge everyone to silently confess their sins and ask the Lord to make them into holy people. Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Give the students a note card on which you have written the question:

“Did I live a holy life today?”

Tell them to put the card beside their bed and ask themselves that question every night this week. Reading God’s Word helps us grow in holiness. Urge them to read the Bible every day this week. Ask everyone to memorize 1 Peter 1:15.

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