March 4, 2018 – 1 Peter 1:1-12

Lesson Date: March 4, 2018

Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 1:1-12

AIM: To lead students to describe some of the amazing and marvelous aspects of salvation, and to respond to the truths they learn by either (1) thanking God for their salvation or (2) trusting Jesus Christ for salvation.

 

Before class: Read the notes on 1 Peter 1:1-12 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Be sure to read the introductory material on 1 Peter so you can introduce the new study to the class.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the following story to the class:

During America’s colonial days, a young man left his family in England to travel to the New World, in hopes of making his fortune. Upon arriving in Virginia, he apprenticed himself to a cabinetmaker. He had fine dreams of learning a trade, starting his own business, buying property, and eventually living a comfortable life; but his dreams soon faded into the reality of hard work, long hours, and low pay. This went on for years.

Back in England, the young man’s wealthy uncle passed away, leaving him as sole heir to his great wealth and estates. A messenger was sent from England with the good news that the poor cabinetmaker’s apprentice was now a wealthy landowner. Travel being what it was in those days, it took the messenger several weeks by ship and ultimately on horseback to locate the young man.

The messenger found the young man and told him the news. The young man was thrilled and made plans to leave his life of toil in Virginia to return to England and claim his inheritance. His friends looked on in wonder and amazement. The young man and the messenger went back to England, a long and difficult journey. Ultimately, the young man claimed his inheritance, taking possession of the wealth the messenger had promised him.

Ask the students the following questions:

“Did the young man do anything to earn the inheritance?” (no).

“Could he stay where he was and receive the inheritance?” (no, he had to go where it was).

“Why did his friends look on in wonder and amazement?” (because a poor apprentice was suddenly transformed into a wealthy landowner).

“Did his friends take part in his inheritance?” (no, they could only watch in amazement).

“Did the messenger take part in the young man’s inheritance?” (no, he only delivered the good news).

Tell the class today’s lesson is about salvation. We will learn about a very special inheritance awaiting those who have trusted Jesus Christ for salvation.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review and Introduction to 1 Peter.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Paul’s urgent instructions to Timothy).
    • Be sure everyone has a copy of the new Sunday School Member Quarterly. Point out the theme on the cover: “Grow in Grace.”
    • Tell them this quarter we will be studying the New Testament books of 1 & 2 Peter.
    • Read 1 Peter 1:1.
    • Briefly introduce the book using the following outline:
      • First Peter was written by the Apostle Peter, the leader of Jesus’ disciples who preached the famous sermon on the day of Pentecost.
      • Peter wrote this letter about d. 64-65, during a time when the church was experiencing persecution at the hands of Rome’s Emperor Nero.
      • Because of this persecution, believers were scattered to many different regions
      • The letter was addressed to Christians living in Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Locate Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia on the map.
  2. Involvement of the Trinity in Salvation.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 1:2.
    • Remind the class that the Godhead (the Trinity) is made up of three persons.
    • Ask the students to name those persons, and then write the words “Father,” “Son,” and “Spirit” on the marker board or chalkboard.
    • Ask: “According to verse 2, how many of the members of the Trinity are involved in salvation?” (all three).
    • Ask: “What part did God the Father play in our salvation?” (He planned it and chose us to be saved).
    • Write this on the board beside the word “Father.”
    • Ask: “What part did God the Son play in our salvation?” (He shed His blood and sprinkled it on the heavenly mercy seat so we could be saved).
    • Write this on the board beside the word “Son.”
    • Ask: “What part did God the Holy Spirit play in our salvation?” (He sanctifies us so that we act more and more like a person who is saved).
    • Write this on the board beside the word “Spirit.”
    • Summarize: All three members of the Trinity are involved in salvation.
  3. Born Again to an Inheritance and Kept by the Power of God.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 1:3.
    • Ask: “What did the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ do through His abundant mercy?” (caused us to be born again – see John 3:7 and 1 Peter 1:23).
    • Explain that when we were born physically, we were born unto a physical life with a human family here on earth.
    • Ask: “To what were we born again?” (to a living hope).
    • Ask: “By what power did He birth us?” (by the power of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead).
    • Tell the class without the fact of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, there could be no
    • Read 1 Peter 1:4.
    • Ask the students to name four things that verse says about our inheritance (it is incorruptible, undefiled, cannot fade away, and it is reserved for us in heaven).
    • Explain that just as the young man in the opening story had to return to his homeland to claim his inheritance, our inheritance awaits us in heaven.
    • Earthly inheritances can quickly be lost through theft or poor management, but our inheritance in Jesus can never be lost.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 1:5.
    • Ask: “If God keeps a believer by His power, is it possible to lose your salvation?” (no).
    • Summarize: When a person is saved they are born again, become heirs of an amazing inheritance, and are kept by the power of God.
  4. Joy and Triumph, Even in Trials.
    • Ask the class to listen for a benefit that comes with salvation, as you read 1 Peter 1:6-9 (salvation enables believers to have joy and triumph even in times of trial).
    • Tell the students verse 6 says we can rejoice in our salvation, even while we are going through trials.
    • This truth was certainly encouraging to Paul’s readers, who were victims of persecution.
    • Remind the class that Paul and Silas sang praises to God even when they were in jail (Acts 16).
    • Ask: “According to verse 7, how valuable is our faith?” (more valuable than gold).
    • Ask: “According to verse 8, what does our belief in Jesus Christ give us?” (more joy than can be described in human words).
    • Ask: “According to verse 9, what is the end result of our faith?” (the salvation of our souls).
    • Summarize: Salvation produces joy in the heart, even in the midst of trials.
  5. The Marvel of Salvation.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 1:10-12.
    • Tell the class the Old Testament prophets foretold the grace of God that we now experience through Jesus Christ.
    • Ask: “What did they search diligently to learn?” (when the things they wrote about would come to pass).
    • Ask: “Did they live to see the things they predicted come to pass?” (no).
    • Explain that the prophets were like the messenger in the opening story; they brought us the good news, tried to fully understand it, but never experienced it personally. They ministered and prophesied for us, not for themselves.
    • Ask: “What does the last phrase of verse 12 say about the angels?” (they look on in wonder at our salvation).
    • Explain that since they have never been lost, the angels can’t comprehend saving grace; they can’t experience the salvation we enjoy. They are like the friends in the opening story.
    • Summarize: The prophets foretold the wonder of salvation, but they didn’t personally live to see Jesus come and purchase our salvation. The holy angels can’t experience salvation, so they look at us in amazement.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students that salvation is truly an amazing marvel. Direct their attention to the things written on the board. Remind them that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all involved in our salvation. Tell them that in salvation we are born again, promised an inheritance, and kept by the power of God, who enables us to triumph and have joy even when we are going through trials. Salvation is so amazing that the prophets diligently studied it and the angels still marvel at it.

Say: “If you belong to Jesus Christ, all of those wonderful things describe your salvation.” Ask how Christians should respond to these marvelous truths (they should thank God for their salvation). Encourage them to do that as you voice the closing prayer in a few moments.

Say: “If you’ve never trusted Jesus Christ to save you, then none of those marvelous things apply to you.” Tell the students if any of them truly wants the marvelous salvation Jesus Christ offers, they can have it by confessing their sins, believing Jesus can save them, and then sincerely asking Him to save them. Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Encourage any who have never been saved to turn from their sins and place their faith in Jesus while you voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Offer to speak privately with anyone who may have questions about salvation. Encourage everyone to memorize 1 Peter 1:3 and to thank God every day for the marvelous gift of their salvation.

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