1&2 Peter Bible Study

Living Stones: A Study of 1 & 2 Peter ~ Lesson 1- Introduction

Welcome to our new study, Living Stones: A Study of 1 &2 Peter!

How can we live lives of holiness as the world, and even the church, become increasingly unholy? For the next several weeks we’ll work our way through the books of 1 & 2 Peter, and learn how Jesus is the Living Stone – our perfect example of holiness – that we are to build our lives and churches upon.

Our lovely title pic for the study was designed by Kati Champlin, who is a pastor’s wife in Montana. Many thanks to all of those who worked so hard on their entries for our title pic contest. You ladies were very creative and did some beautiful work! 

Terri Mobley

 

Lesley Hazen

 

Carey

 

Clare McNaul
 

(Clare pointed out the crosses etched into the rock. Can you see them?)

Debra Gartland

If you’re new to using my Bible studies, just a few housekeeping items and helpful hints:

The studies I’ve written (you can find all of them at the Bible Studies tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page) are like “training wheels”. They’re designed to teach you how to study the Bible for yourself and what kinds of questions to ask of the text so that, when you get the hang of it, you won’t have to depend on other people’s books and materials – even mine – any more. To that end, I do not provide answers for the study questions in the studies I’ve written.

My studies are meant to be extremely flexible and self-paced so that you can use them in the way that works best for you. You can do an entire lesson in one day or work on the questions over the course of the week (or longer). You do not need to feel obligated to answer all (or any) of the questions. If the Holy Spirit parks you on one question for several days, enjoy digging deep into that one aspect of the lesson. If He shows you something I haven’t written a question about that captures your attention, dive in and study it! Those are ways the Holy Spirit speaks to us through His Word. This is your time to commune with the Lord, not a school assignment or work project you are beholden to complete in a certain way by a certain deadline.

I will post a new lesson on the blog every Wednesday, so there is nothing to sign up for or commit to. Simply stop by the blog each week, or subscribe to the blog via e-mail to have the lessons delivered to your inbox.

I use hyperlinks liberallyThe Scriptures for each lesson will be linked at the beginning of the lesson and in the lesson questions. As you’re reading the lesson, whenever you see a word in a different color text, click on it, and it will take you to a Scripture, article, or other resource that will help as you study.

All of the studies I’ve written are suitable for groups or individuals. You are welcome to use them as a Sunday school or Bible study class curriculum (for free) with proper attribution.

You are also welcome to print out any of my Bible studies (or any article I’ve written) for free and make as many copies as you’d like, again, with proper attribution. I’ve explained more about that in this article (3rd section).


Introduction to 1 Peter

Before we begin studying a book of the Bible, it’s very important that we understand some things about that book. We need to know…

Who the author was and anything we might be able to find out about him or his background.

Who the audience of the book is: Jews or Gentiles? Old Testament Israelites or New Testament Christians? This will help us understand the author’s purpose and approach to what he’s writing.

What kind of biblical literature we’re looking at. We approach books of history differently than books of wisdom, books of wisdom differently than books of prophecy, etc.

What the purpose of the book is. Was it written to encourage? Rebuke? Warn?

What the historical backdrop is for the book. Is Israel at war? At peace? In exile? Under a bad king? Good king? Understanding the historical events surrounding a piece of writing help us understand what was written and why it was written.

When the book was written. Where does the book fall on the timeline of biblical history? This is especially important for Old Testament books which are not always arranged in chronological order.

So this week, before we start studying the actual text of the book of 1 Peter, we need to lay the foundation to understanding the book by finding the answers to these questions.

Read the following overviews of the book of 1 Peter, taking notes on anything that might aid your understanding of the book, and answer the questions below:

Bible Introductions: 1 Peter at Grace to You

Overview of the Book of 1 Peter at Reformed Answers

Book of 1 Peter at Got Questions

1. Who wrote the book of 1 Peter? How do we know this?

2. Approximately when was 1 Peter written? What is the geographical setting of the book of 1 Peter? Here are some maps (scroll down to “1 Peter”) that may be helpful as you study through the book of 1 Peter.

3. Who is the original, intended audience of the book of 1 Peter? Describe the historical setting (historic events, politics, sociology of the time, etc.) of 1 Peter.

4. Which genre of biblical literature is the book of 1 Peter: law, history, wisdom, poetry, narrative, epistles, or prophecy/apocalyptic? What does this tell us about the approach we should take when studying this book versus our approach to books of other genres?

5. What is the theme or purpose of the book of 1 Peter?

6. What are some of the major topics of instruction in the book of 1 Peter? How do these topics relate to the theme of 1 Peter?

7. What are some ways 1 Peter points to and connects to Jesus?

8. What else did you learn about 1 Peter or the setting of this book that might help you understand the text of the book better?

Take some time in prayer this week to begin preparing your heart for this study. Ask God to grow you in holiness and in following the example of Christ as we study together Living Stones: A Study of 1&2 Peter.

Prayer Bible Study

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Lesson 12- Wrap Up

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Wrap Up

As we wrap up our study today, think about the things God has taught you through His Word and how you might apply them to your prayer life.

Questions to Consider

1. Was there anything new God taught you that particularly impacted you? What was it, and why was it so significant?

2. How is your personal prayer life different after this study than it was before?

3. Has this study helped you to notice things about the way your brothers and sisters at church pray that would strengthen your own personal prayer time and/or the way you pray in public (ex: leading your children in prayer, leading prayer in your Bible study class)?

4. What have you learned about prayer that you could implement in your public prayers so that others could learn things to strengthen their own prayer lives from your example?

5. What have you learned about God and how He wants to be approached in prayer?

6. What have you learned about your heart’s motives as you approach God in prayer?


Homework

Spend some time in prayer this week asking God to show you how to put into practice one thing you learned from this study.

Recite all of your memory verses from this study. Which one is most meaningful to you right now?


Additional Resources

Additional Scriptures on prayer: Part 1  Part 2 (Be sure to study these in context.)

Basic Training: 8 Things You Need to Know about Prayer

“Can We Talk?”

Praying the ABC’s of Jesus

Priming Your Prayer Wall

The Mailbag: What is Contemplative Prayer?

The Mailbag: Help! Our ladies’ prayer meeting is a disaster!

More resources on prayer

Prayer Bible Study

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Lesson 11

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Prayers

There are so many wonderful prayers in Scripture that we could have examined during this study. I am listing several here (I’m sure there are many more) in case you would like to continue studying the prayers of the people of Scripture.

2 Kings 19: Hezekiah’s Prayer for Deliverance

2 Kings 20:1-11: Hezekiah’s Prayer for Healing

2 Chronicles 20:1-19: Jehoshaphat’s Prayer for Deliverance

Ezra 9: Ezra Confesses Israel’s Sin of Intermarriage

Nehemiah 1: Nehemiah’s Initial Prayer

Nehemiah 9: Israel’s Confession of Sin

Daniel 9:1-19: Daniel Intercedes for the People

Jonah 2: Jonah Cries Out to the Lord

John 17: Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer

 

Questions to Consider

1. To acclimate yourself to the book containing the prayer you’ve chosen to study, choose a Bible Book Background to review.

2. Who is offering this prayer? What do you know about him? What is his position in Israel, the temple, or the Kingdom? Why is he offering this prayer?

3. Is this an individual prayer or a corporate (group) prayer? Is the person praying interceding for a certain group of people? Who? Why is he interceding for them?

4. How does this prayer address God? What does it say about God, His character and His attributes? How can you extol these attributes of God in your own prayer time?

5. How does this prayer point us to Jesus or the gospel?

6. Carefully examine the context of the prayer. Is there anything in it that does not apply to Christians today? Which parts do apply to Christians today that could inform the way you and your church pray?

7. Consider some of the main components of prayer: praise, worship, petition for God’s provision, help, or action, confession of sin, thanksgiving, recitation of God’s promises or past actions, etc. Which of these components does this prayer have, and how can they serve as an example to you in your own prayers?

8. How does this prayer reflect the relationship this person has with God? How do your prayers reflect your relationship with God?


Homework

This week, study at least one of the prayers above and apply what you’ve learned to your own prayer time.


Suggested Memory Verse

Prayer Bible Study

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Lesson 10

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Read Acts 4:24-31

A Prayer of the Early Believers

Questions to Consider

1. To acclimate yourself to the book of Acts, choose a Bible Book Background to review. In today’s Scripture link, the entirety of chapter 4 is provided for context. Today’s questions will mostly pertain to the Believers’ prayer in 24-31.

2. Briefly summarize the events leading up to the Believers’ prayer. (1-23)

3. Is this an individual prayer or a corporate (group) prayer? (24)

4. How does this prayer address God? (24) Which words and phrases in this prayer demonstrate God’s sovereignty? Considering the events (1-23) that inspired this prayer why do you think the Believers would focus on God’s sovereignty in their prayer?

5. Explain the connection between verses 25-26 and 27-28. How do prophecy and the fulfillment of prophecy each demonstrate God’s sovereignty? What are some prophecies you see being fulfilled today? Have you ever prayed about them in the way the Believers did in their prayer?

6. Clearly the church was already experiencing persecution at this time. Did the Believers ask God to take the persecution away? What did they ask God for? (29-30) Why? Did God answer their prayer? (31) How? What did God’s answer to their prayer enable them to do? (31)

7. Did the Believers spend more time praying about God’s sovereignty and prophecy or more time presenting their request to Him?

8. What are some ways this prayer can inform our corporate prayers at church? How does this prayer teach us to view, and pray about, persecution?


Homework

This week, declare God’s sovereignty in your prayers and present your requests to Him through the “filter” of His sovereignty.


Suggested Memory Verse

 

Prayer Bible Study

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Lesson 9

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Read Matthew 26:36-46

Jesus’ Prayer in Gethsemane

Questions to Consider

1. To acclimate yourself to the book of Matthew, choose a Bible Book Background to review. In today’s Scripture link, the Mark and Luke accounts of Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane are provided for comparison, and Matthew 26:1-35 is provided for context. Today’s questions will mostly pertain to Matthew 26:36-46.

2. Briefly summarize the events leading up to Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:1-35) Who is “them” in verse 36?

3. Examine all three gospel accounts of Jesus’ prayer. Which words and phrases describe what His state of mind and heart were? How do Jesus’ actions demonstrate that difficult times should always drive us to prayer as a first response rather than a last resort?

4. What is the progression of fellowship to solitude in 36-39?
36a- Jesus is with all eleven disciples
36b-
37-
38-39a-

Why would Jesus have wanted to pray alone at this moment? When you are experiencing soul-rending grief or distress, why is it important to spend time alone in prayer? Conversely, how could it be helpful and encouraging to have close brothers and sisters in Christ, or your church family, physically present to pray with or over you?

5. What does the word “watch” (“watch with Me,” “watch and pray”) mean in verses 38,40,41? What did Jesus want the disciples to do? Is “watching” applicable to our prayer lives today? How?

6. Compare Jesus’ prayer in verse 39 to His instruction to the disciples to “pray like this,” followed by The Lord’s Prayer, (see lesson 8, especially the last paragraph of question 3, link above). Is Jesus contradicting Himself by not praying according to the template of The Lord’s Prayer? Why not? Explain how different situations, contexts, and states of mind can call for different kinds of prayer, which can all be pleasing to God.

7. Break down Jesus’ prayer in 39 and 42 and explain what He means (use your cross-references if you need help) in each section:

“My Father” (compare to the salutation of the Lord’s Prayer)-

“if it be possible,” (Is Jesus questioning God’s power, control, or ability? Why not, and what does He mean by this?)-

“let this cup pass from Me;”-

“nevertheless,”-

“not as I will, but as You will.”-

“if this cannot pass unless I drink it,”

“Your will be done.”

In what ways might each of these concepts apply to your prayers in times of distress? Describe the heart attitude in which Jesus approaches God in prayer here. Does this same attitude characterize your prayers?

8. How many times (39,42,44) did Jesus pray “saying the same words again” (44)? How does this not contradict Jesus’ teaching not to “heap up empty phrases” or “they think that they will be heard for their many words,” but rather is more in line with Jesus’ teaching on persistence in prayer? (it may be helpful to look back at lesson 8, link above)

9. How did God answer Jesus’ prayer? (read the remainder of the book of Matthew if you need some help) Why didn’t God give Jesus what He asked for?

A popular false teaching of the Word of Faith (prosperity gospel) and New Apostolic Reformation heresies is that, if we just have enough faith when we pray, if we just believe enough when we ask God for something, He is obligated to give it to us or do what we want. Explain how Jesus’ perfect faith, His total surrender to God’s will rather than His own, and God’s answer of “no” to Jesus’ prayer completely blows this false teaching out of the water.

10. Explain how Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane demonstrates that prayer is not about getting God to do what we want Him to do, but about getting us to do what God wants us to do.


Homework

Do you completely surrender your will to God’s will – as Jesus did – when you pray? Are your prayers more along the lines of “My way or the highway,” or “Thy way, not my way”? Are you willing to let go of what you want God to do, what you think is best, in order to embrace what God wants to do and what God thinks is best, even if that means excruciating loss or suffering? As you pray this week, present your requests to God through the lens of “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”


Suggested Memory Verse