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1Peter 1:20-25

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 27, 2019


From Rome, the apostle Peter writes this letter to the Jew and Gentile believers that are living throughout the province known as Asia Minor, or, modern Turkey.

It is AD 64.  Caesar Nero is beginning to unleash his persecution of Christian back in Rome, where Peter is.

The believers in Rome faced torture, being burned alive, and death by animals in the Coliseum.

Video:  Paul, Apostle of Christ – Games Tomorrow

Video:  Quo Vadis – Nero kills Christians

The main themes that we will see woven through this tapestry of difficulty are:

Suffering -

Submission – an unusual response to suffering, learning to “yield” to God rather than “fight” the problem.

Relational Evangelism – the way we go through our difficulties and yet still cling to God can be a light to those who are going through dark times of their own.


Last week Caleb took us through the great price that was paid for us.

One way of measuring an item’s worth is by the price that someone is willing to pay for it.
If you go to a garage sale, it’s not the suggested price that indicates an item’s worth, but what you actually pay before you take it home (of course in the world of garage sales, there are exceptions to that rule).
Some of us struggle with wondering whether we have any value at all, to anybody.  We struggle with the suspicion that we’re totally worthless.
You need to rethink those thoughts.  God the father didn’t pay for your salvation with a nickel, or a few dollars, of even a million dollars …

(1 Peter 1:19 NKJV) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

You are of great value to God.

Peter goes on to talk a little more about Jesus…

1:20-21 The Great Redeemer

:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

:21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

was foreordainedproginosko – to have knowledge before hand; to foreknow; of those whom God elected to salvation; to predestinate

perfect passive participle

foundationkatabole – a throwing or laying down; a founding (laying down a foundation)

was manifestphaneroo – to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way

:20 He indeed was foreordained

The word “foreordained” has also been translated “chosen”, or “foreknown” in various translations, but the point is this:

Before God even laid the foundations of the earth, He had already planned that Jesus would take on human flesh, die a humiliating death, and pay for the sins of the world.

God was not caught off guard when Jesus was crucified.  It was God’s plan all along.

This is why the ancient prophets were able to catch glimpses of God’s great rescue plan for humanity – hundreds of years before it had happened.
Peter wrote that the ancient prophets “searched carefully” (1:10) into these things…
(1 Peter 1:11 NKJV) searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

The ancient prophets like Isaiah were able to talk about the Messiah’s plan because it had been put into action long before they were born.

:20 was manifest in these last times for you

It wasn’t until Peter’s own generation that the plans of God became clear by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

The word translated “for” (Greek: dia – used with the accusative here) could better be translated here, “because of”.

:21 who through Him believe in God

Jesus was made manifest for us, us who believe in God through Jesus.

It is through believing in Jesus that we come to have an accurate idea of what it means to believe in God the Father.

At the last supper, Jesus clarified to His disciples that He was the only true representation of the Father.

(John 14:6–7 NKJV) —6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

You cannot have a true faith in God apart from believing in Jesus.

:21 who raised Him from the dead

God did two things that would help our hope and faith to be in the Father.

The Father raised Jesus from the dead and gave Jesus great glory.
This should help us put our faith and hope in God.

1:22-25 The Enduring Word

(1 Peter 1:22–25 NKJV) —22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

:22 Since you have purified your souls

The word “purified” is related in the Greek to the word for “holy”. (hagnizo/hagios)

have purifiedἁγνίζω  hagnizo – to make pure, purify, cleanse

This is a word related to hagios, the word for “holy”.
perfect active participle
The word” is related to the word “holy” (hagios)

Peter has already written

(1 Peter 1:15 NKJV) but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

soulspsuche – the soul

How do we help our “souls” be more “holy” or “pure”?

:22 in obeying the truth through the Spirit

obeyinghupakoe – obedience, compliance, submission; obedience rendered to anyone’s counsels, an obedience shown in observing the requirements of Christianity

This is one of the means involved in “purifying” our “souls”.

We learn to obey the truth.
When God says that something is right or wrong, we learn to work this into our lives and change our behavior.
This results in “purity”.

:22 in sincere love of the brethren

love of the brethrenφιλαδελφία philadelphia – love of brothers or sisters, brotherly love

This is loving others with an emotional, affectionate kind of love (phileo).
Paul wrote,
(1 Thessalonians 4:9 NKJV) But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

sincereἀνυπόκριτος anupokritos (“without” + “hypocrisy”) – unfeigned, undisguised, sincere

The Greeks word for “actor” was “hypocrite”. It meant you were pretending to be something that you weren’t.  That is what “acting” is all about.
The phrase could be translated “unto an unhypocritical brotherly love”.
This is what results when I learn to “purify my soul” in obedience.
The love that Peter is talking about is simple and sincere.  No ulterior motives. No faking.
It takes some work.  It takes some discipline.  It takes some practice.

:22 love one another fervently with a pure heart

loveἀγαπάω agapao – love; choosing to value another person unconditionally.

We’ve moved from an emotional “soulish” love (phileo/philadelphia) to a deeper love (agape)
This is God’s kind of love.
Extra credit – read through John 21:15-17.  Peter is the one Jesus has a dialogue about with phileo and agape.
Note:  Twice Jesus asks Peter if he has agape for Jesus.  Peter responds that he has phileo for Jesus.  Then Jesus asks if Peter has phileo for Jesus.  Peter says he has phileo.

Jesus was okay with Peter just having phileo, but perhaps Jesus was trying to nudge Peter towards agape.

Here Peter commands us to have agape.

aorist active imperative
This is a command.  This is what we do because we are learning to purify our souls, obeying the truth, loving unhypocritically.
We take “love” up a notch.

purekatharos – clean, pure; in a levitical sense clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness; ethically free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt

ferventlyektenos – earnestly, fervently, intensely

From a verb which means to "stretch out the hand.", thus it means to be stretched out—earnest, resolute, tense.


Pure Love

There is a process being described that roughly looks like this:
Obedience > Purity > Sincerity > Love
Sometimes our love for others carries all kinds of baggage with it.
There might be different types of impurities in our relationships.
Sometimes we only “love” others in hopes of getting something from them.
Clean Mind
Our world is constantly bombarding us with sexual undertones.

It could be the commercials that come on between innings at a baseball game.

It could be the choice of TV shows or movies we choose to watch.

The problem is that when we continue to bombard our minds with these images or ideas, it’s hard to look at or even be with people without your mind turning to the sexual.

If someone gets hooked on pornography, the effects go nuclear.

I’m curious how the #MeToo movement is going to play out.  I’m appreciative that sexual abuse is out in the open and in the headlines.  I’m a little concerned that the media like to play the #MeToo news stories, but then bombard the viewer with TV shows that brush it all back under the rug.
Some fellows feel that they have such a lust problem that they avoid women altogether.  They feel like an alcoholic staying away from alcohol.  The problem with that analogy is that God isn’t a fan of alcohol, but He cares greatly for women, with complete purity.  Learn what it means to truly value people.
Folks, if we want to love with a “pure heart”, we need to stop filling our minds with junk.
Sometimes we are just a bit nicer to people from whom we might benefit.
Jesus said we were to learn to “love our enemies” as well as loving our “neighbor” (Mat. 5:43-44)

(Matthew 5:43–44 NKJV) —43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

He also said,

(Matthew 5:46 NKJV) For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

If we want to learn to have a “sincere” or “unhypocritical” love, then add to your list of “loved ones” a few folks from whom you expect nothing in return.

We can only learn to love with a pure love when we are “born again”…

:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

being born againanagennao – to produce again, be born again, born anew; metaph. to have one’s mind changed so that he lives a new life and one conformed to the will of God

perfect passive participles

seedspora – seed

corruptiblephthartos – corruptible, perishing

incorruptibleaphthartos – uncorrupted, not liable to corruption or decay, imperishable; immortal

wordlogos – word

liveszao – to live, breathe; to enjoy real life

abidesmeno – to remain, abide

:23 having been born again…

Jesus told a story we call the parable of the Sower and the Seed (Mat. 13).  He describes a farmer going out to throw seed on his property, and how the seed reacted differently to four different kinds of soils.

He explained that the “seed” was a picture of God’s Word (Mat. 13:19)
(Matthew 13:19 NKJV) When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

You are “born again” when God’s Word takes root in your heart.

Unlike seeds like that of wheat or barley, God’s Word is a seed that doesn’t spoil, is living, and lasts forever.

Peter then backs this statement with Scripture.

:24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,

:25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”  

withersxeraino – to make dry, dry up, wither

falls awayekpipto – to fall out of, to fall down from, to fall off

:24 All flesh is as grass

Peter is quoting from Isaiah 40:6-8

(Isaiah 40:6–8 NKJV) —6 The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

All of mankind is as durable as grass.  Not artificial grass.  Not grass that has sprinklers and gardeners, but wild grass.

You’ll see it pop up on the dirt field out back when it rains.  A few months after the rain, the grass is dead.

In contrast, God’s Word is eternal.

:25 Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

wordrhema – that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word; subject matter of speech, thing spoken of

enduresmeno – to remain, abide

the gospel was preachedeuaggelizo – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings

aorist passive participle

:25 this is the word

The preaching of the gospel brings people to that same eternal, enduring, word of God.

:25 the word of the Lord endures forever

I don’t know about you, but I like to invest in things that are going to last.

Would you buy one of these water beds?
Video:  The Water Bed Prank
I would rather invest in something that lasts.  How would you like a new iPhone that lasts forever?
God’s Word is forever.

I also think that it’s important that we learn what the “essentials” are in life.

When you go on a long trip, you want to remember to pack for the “essentials”
On my first overseas trip, I didn’t think it was possible to get all my “essentials” in a single bag and keep it under 55 pounds.
Fifteen years later I have to laugh at what I thought was “essential”.

You can get by with much less.

But you still don’t want to skip packing the absolute essentials.

In your trip through life, there is one “essential” you need to learn to pack – God’s Word.
When Moses brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt, there was a short time when God allowed them to go hungry, but for a reason.  He wanted to teach them something.
(Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV) So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

God’s Word was an “essential”.

They could get along without their snack bars, but they couldn’t get along without hearing from Him.

So, how can I best take advantage of God’s Word?

When I acquire something new (or get an update/upgrade), I like to learn how to use it.
Wouldn’t it be such a waste if someone spent $1,500 on the latest iPhone, and all they used it for was to make phone calls?

Here’s Rich’s tips to get the most out of God’s amazing Word:



Learn to read your Bible every day.
I think it sounds kind of obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many Christians don’t read their Bible every day.
I personally think it’s a great idea to learn to read the whole Bible, and I do it every year.  It only takes three chapters a day (about fifteen minutes)
I’m not talking about in-depth studying here.  I’m not talking about figuring out what every verse means.
These days you can even have your phone read to you.
You can use the free “YouVersion” app.
The Word of Promise app is $40, but has some cool dramatic effects and is read by top notch actors.

Here’s a sample…

Get God’s Word into your head and try to find at least one verse to think about through the day.
Just read.
(2 Timothy 3:16–17 NKJV) —16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I’ll warn you, it’s harder than you think.  The enemy will do everything he can to keep you from becoming useful.  I’d encourage you to find a buddy and learn to read the same chapters each day so you can encourage each other.

Lesson #2


The Psalmist wrote,
(Psalm 119:11 NKJV) Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
There might be a Scripture from the Sunday morning study that hits you – try memorizing it during the week.
It may be in your daily Bible reading, a verse will stand out that actually deals with something you’re struggling with.
Memorize it.

Lesson #3


The value of memorizing a Bible verse increases when you stop to chew on it.
David talks about the blessing that comes on the man who walks away from sin…
(Psalm 1:2 NKJV) But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Stop and think about each phrase in the verse.

Pray through the verse and ask God to work that promise into your life.

One of the verses I’ve been meditating on this year has been:
(Hebrews 13:20–21 NKJV) —20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

I also pray these things for several people on my prayer list.

There are actually quite a few “blessings” and prayers in the Bible, and they are all very powerful.
See also:
Numbers 6:24-26; Rom. 15:13; 1Thess. 5:23; Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:9-12

(Numbers 6:24–26 NKJV) —24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’

(Romans 15:13 NKJV) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Philippians 1:9–11 NKJV) —9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

(Colossians 1:9–12 NKJV) —9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Lesson #4


It’s one thing to know you need God’s Word, it’s another to learn to use it correctly.
Here’s a gal whose car is low on oil…
Video:  Blonde adding oil
There is very little value in the words on the page if you don’t get them into your heart and work at obeying it.
Jesus compared the building of our lives with the building of a house.
You can take the effort to build a house to withstand the storms of life, or you can build it the cheap way, and it will not survive the storms that are coming.
(Matthew 7:24–27 NKJV) —24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Both builders experienced a storm.

God doesn’t promise a way of avoiding trouble in life, He promises how to survive trouble.

Both builders “heard” Jesus’ words.

They both were exposed to the Word of God.

Only one survived.

It’s the one who paid attention and obeyed what Jesus said that survived.

I’ve been a believer for almost 50 years. 
There are not too many things more critical to the stability and growth of the believer than getting connected to God’s Word.
There’s an interesting Old Testament story that illustrates this.
Jeremiah was the prophet who lived in the days when the Babylonians wiped out the city of Jerusalem.
After Jerusalem was destroyed, there were a few Jews left still living in the land of Israel.

The Babylonian overlords appointed a Jewish governor to supervise things in the land, but one day some rebels sneaked up and assassinated the governor.

The remaining people were being led by a man named Johanan.  They were afraid that the Babylonians were going to come back, find their governor killed, and wipe out the remaining Jews.  They came to Jeremiah and asked what they should do. 

(Jeremiah 42:5–6 NKJV) —5 So they said to Jeremiah, “Let the Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the Lord your God sends us by you. 6 Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”

Did you hear that?  They promised to do whatever God asked.

Jeremiah prayed and got an answer from God.  God told them to stay put and they would be safe in the land of Israel.  God warned that they better not go to Egypt, because the Babylonians were going to conquer Egypt.

The problem was, they were really hoping that God would say it was okay to flee to Egypt.

They were willing to do whatever God said, as long as they liked what they heard.

When they heard God’s reply, they responded to Jeremiah:

(Jeremiah 43:2 NKJV) …“You speak falsely! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to dwell there.’

They ended up doing what they wanted to do, and not what God warned them about.

And in the end, they did not survive in Egypt.

Bleak story.
But the point is this – make it your heart’s desire to obey what God says in His Word.

God knows what He’s doing.