March 18, 2018 – 1 Peter 2:1-12
Lesson Date: March 18, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 2:1-12
AIM: To lead students to discover and describe the new desires, relationships, and behaviors that characterize those who have been born again, and to examine themselves in light of those things to determine if they have truly received new life in Christ.
Before class: Read the notes on 1 Peter 2:1-12 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Gather some products and advertisements that include the words “NEW” or “IMPROVED.” Display these items or advertisements at the front of the classroom.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the “NEW” and “IMPROVED” products and advertisements you have brought to class. Tell the students it is a very common marketing strategy to place the word “NEW” on a product. Consumers seem to be naturally drawn to “NEW” or “IMPROVED” products.
Ask the students if they have noticed how often advertisements and product packaging feature the words “NEW” or “IMPROVED.” Comment that often the only thing new about the product is the word “NEW” printed on the package. In fact, the word “NEW” is used so often today that it is almost meaningless.
Tell the class today’s lesson is about “NEW” life in Jesus Christ. In today’s scripture we will discover that the person who has been truly born again will have new desires, new relationships, and new guidelines for their behavior.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the class that we are studying the New Testament book of 1 Peter.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (three reasons we should try to live holy).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (1 Pet. 1:15).
- New Desires.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 2:1.
- Ask: “What is the first word of that verse?” (“wherefore”).
- Explain that words such as “wherefore,” “therefore,” and “for” are conjunctive words that tie the present verse back to the verses that came before. In order to understand verse 1 we must remember what came before.
- Read 1 Peter 1:23-25.
- Ask: “What are those verses about?” (being born again through the witness of the incorruptible Word of God).
- Tell the class verse 1 must be read in that context: “Since we have been born again ….”
- Ask the volunteer to read 1 Peter 2:1
- Ask: “Since we have been born again, what should we do?” (lay aside malice, guile [deception], hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking – stop doing those things).
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 2:2-4.
- Ask: “Since we have been born again, what does verse 2 say we should desire?” (the Word of God – the Bible).
- Ask: “Have you ever been around a baby that is hungry? How do you know he desires milk?” (he cries until he gets it).
- Tell the students that babies have an intense, urgent, and insistent desire for milk.
- Ask: “When was the last time you had that kind of desire for the Word of God?”
- Tell the students verse 3 reveals that those who have been born again have tasted the grace of God. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
- Ask: “According to verse 4, if we have been born again who do we desire to come to?” (the precious Lord Jesus).
- Explain that ancient buildings were built of stone blocks, which were cut out of a quarry and then transported to the building site. If a stone was flawed or was not square the builders would disallow it: reject it as unsuitable for use.
- Tell the class verse 4 says men reject Jesus Christ but those who have been born again consider Him precious.
- Summarize: Verses 1-4 reveal that those who have truly been born again have NEW DESIRES. They desire to lay aside evil behavior (verse 1), they have an intense desire for the Word of God (verse 2), and they desire the Lord Jesus (verse 4).
- New Relationships.
- Tell the class that believers not only have new desires, they also have new relationships.
- Read 1 Peter 2:5-8.
- Tell the students these verses describe our new relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Ask: “What does verse 5 say about our new relationship to Jesus Christ?” (we are living stones in His spiritual house and part of a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ).
- Ask: “What does verse 6 say about our new relationship to Jesus Christ?” (He is our chief corner stone and He is precious, valuable, and of great worth to us).
- Ask: “Accord to the last part of verse 6, what will NOT happen to those who believe in Jesus Christ?” (we will not be confounded, disgraced, or put to shame).
- Ask: “According to verses 7-8, what is different about our relationship to Jesus Christ in contrast to those who reject Him?” (He is precious to us but He is an offense to them).
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 2:9-10.
- Tell the class these verses describe our new relationship with others who are born again.
- Ask: “What does verse 9 say about believers?” (we are chosen, holy, different, and have been called out of darkness into light).
- Ask: “What does verse 10 say about believers?” (we are the people of God who have experienced God’s mercy).
- Summarize: Verses 5-10 reveal that those who are truly born again have NEW RELATIONSHIPS with Jesus Christ and with other believers. They value and love the Lord Jesus (verses 5-8) and they and other believers are the people of God (verses 9-10).
- New Guidelines for Behavior.
- Tell the class that believers not only have new desires and new relationships, they also have new guidelines for their behavior.
- Read the first five words of verse 11 (“Dearly beloved, I beseech you”).
- Explain that the word beseech means to call someone to your side for the purpose of admonishing, instructing, or exhorting – much like a loving father might put his arm around his son, lean down close to his ear, and intently whisper some important instructions he didn’t want his son to miss.
- The following verses contain important instructions.
- Read 1 Peter 2:11-12.
- Tell the students these verses describe new guidelines for behavior as children of God.
- Ask: “In verse 11, why do you think Peter referred to believers as strangers and pilgrims?” (because we don’t really belong to this wicked world: we have a new citizenship and we are just passing through to our heavenly home).
- Ask: “What new guideline for behavior do we find in verse 11?” (abstain from fleshly lusts).
- Tell the class that people who do not belong to Jesus Christ are controlled by their flesh: all that really matters to them is their pleasure and comfort.
- Ask: “What does verse 11 say fleshly lusts do?” (they war against the soul).
- Tell the students one new guideline for our behavior as believers is to abstain from fleshly lusts.
- Ask: “What guideline for behavior do you see in verse 12?” (live an honest and upright life before the lost people of the world).
- Ask: “What does following this instruction do?” (it disarms the attacks of unbelievers and will cause them to glorify God for your life in the day of judgment).
- Explain that if a lost person who has observed the Christ-like behavior of believers ever gets saved, he or she will glorify God for the believer’s good testimony. If that same lost person never receives Christ, he or she will glorify God for the faithful witness and testimony of Christians at the Great White Throne Judgment. Either way, our Christ-like behavior brings glory to God.
- Summarize: Verses 11-12 reveal that those who are truly born again have NEW GUIDELINES for their behavior. They should abstain from fleshly lusts (verse 11) and they should live an honest and upright life before the world (verse 12).
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the class’ attention once again to the “NEW” and “IMPROVED” products and advertisements you brought to class. Tell them that using the word “NEW” is a common marketing tactic, but the product inside the package might not actually be new. In today’s lesson, however, we have discovered that those who are born again believers experience some truly “NEW” things.
Tell the class believers have new desires – they want to lay aside evil behavior and they have an intense, urgent desire for the Bible. They also have new relationships, both with Jesus Christ (He is precious to them) and with other believers (they are the people of God). Finally, believers have new guidelines for living – they must abstain from fleshly lusts and be honest.
Ask: “What about you? How does your life compare to those things? Do you have new desires, new relationships, and follow new guidelines for living?”
Tell the students if they don’t see those new things in their life it may be because they have never truly been born again. Say: “If you are willing to turn away from your sin and turn your life over to Jesus Christ, you can experience genuine salvation today.” Briefly share the plan of salvation and urge any who are not saved to confess their sins and ask Jesus to save them right now. Genuine salvation will produce newness in their life (2 Cor. 5:17).
Tell the students if they are already Christians but realize they are falling short in one of these areas, they should confess their sin and recommit themselves to the Lord.
Lead a closing prayer. After the prayer encourage any who might have trusted Jesus Christ for salvation to make that public right away. Offer to stay after class and talk to any who might have questions about salvation and the changes it makes in our lives.
CONCLUSION: Ask the students to memorize 1 Peter 2:9. Ask them to read the Bible every day to help them grow in grace. Urge them to lay aside evil and dishonesty, and to enjoy their new relationship with the precious Lord Jesus.
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