This week we begin our journey through the book of 1 Peter. Peter has transitioned from good old boy fisherman to apostle of Jesus. He writes this letter for the purpose of encouraging his readers who would be facing increasing sufferings and persecutions. He wants them to better understand the great salvation they have in Christ and to see this Gospel truth produce a holy lifestyle, even in the face of the inevitable hardship.
Jesus told His followers that they would encounter suffering and trials. In John 15:18 he told them that "if the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you." Thus, we shouldn't be surprised when the world opposes, persecutes, and hates us. Peter describes our status as Christians in this world as "exiles" or "strangers." He wants us to understand that this is not our home and, as a result, we should live differently ... with a hope, expecting opposition, confident in our salvation, prepared for action, living holy lives, and caring for one another as fellow exiles. Our series in 1 Peter will focus on what it means for us to live in this world as exiles, aliens, pilgrims, sojourners, and strangers.
Our first lesson will be 1 Peter 1:1-2. These two verses not only serve as an introduction but also actually serve as a good outline for the entire book. Please read the entire book of 1 Peter prior to this Sunday and come ready to dig into vs. 1-2.
This will be the last Sunday for David and Laura Balzer (and kids) to worship with us. Please come ready to support and encourage our good friends as they make the move to Stone Mountain, GA as David will soon be installed as the pastor of Grace PCA church in that community. We will also enjoy a report from the recent youth missions trip to Savannah ... come ready to hear what great things the Lord did in the lives of our students!