As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
~1 Peter 1:14-15
Notes to the Leader: This is a discussion-oriented study. It is very basic in its approach to Scripture and can be used for youth studies. The focus of this study is to get people to think about how they act and what they do. In a world filled with temptations, it is easy to get swept away in all of the peer pressure, media promotions, and selfishness promoted by society.
The goal of the leader is to get each person to understand that all of life is filled with choices. These are choices that each person makes for themselves and is held accountable for, measured against God’s standards.
Begin class by making a two-column list: left side, list subtle and not-so-subtle sins; on the right side list a godly counterpart for each sin. (Example: gossip on the left – publicly praising another person on the right). Use this as interactive time to get everyone comfortable with participating in group conversation. This is not meant to be deeply personal. Just general discussion about what each person observes in their world.
Note: Peter lists habitual sins as bitterness, resentment, malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander.
Have someone in the group read 1 Peter 1:13-16.
How do you permanently change so as not to sin?
- With confession, repentance and the help of the Holy Spirit. The point here is that people cannot do this alone.
Note: Repentance means to turn, change direction, move down a new path. Many people are sorry for what they do wrong but never modify their behavior.
Have someone read read 1 Peter 1:17.
After someone is saved, what kind of change in behavior would you expect to see?
- Living in reverent fear
What is “living in reverent fear?”
- To gird up one’s loins referred to the practice of taking the loose clothing of the times and tucking into their waistband as preparation to work. It meant getting ready.
Read 1 Peter 1:13 to the group.
How does the modern day Christian gird up their loins? (Hint: Prepare their minds)
- Through self-control. The original Greek word was neepho meaning “living and acting in watchful vigilance.”
Why do we as Christians continue to struggle with our sinful desires?
- Our old self, focused on self-preservation, survival and advancement, continues to sell us with promises that cannot be kept.
Have someone in the group read 1 Peter 1:17-21.
How would you describe the lifestyle Peter refers to as “living as a stranger in a foreign land?”
- Not a citizen, therefore, not fully controlled by their culture.
- Obedient to their laws for self-preservation’s sake.
- As a temporary guest.
- With a longing to always return to your real home.
- Never gaining full approval of the local citizens.
- If the Jews had been pursuing salvation “by works” and the gentiles had been pursuing salvation through the “worship of idols,” how does Paul say we are different today after Christ?
- Christ negated the value of acts and things as a means to salvation through His death and resurrection.
Have someone in the group read 1 Peter 1:22-25.
What does “obedience to truth” mean to you?
- No right or wrong answer here, just a discussion point.
Assuming that “obedience to truth” is related to Scripture, Is it possible to believe in God, Christ, and be saved without believing that the Bible is the Word of God?
- While believing in the power of Christ’s atoning work is in itself, the ultimate act of obedience, it is virtually impossible to separate God’s Word from our belief system (see verse 22).
How should God’s Word affect us?
- We should have a love for one another that comes deeply from the heart.
Do we as a nation of God-believers love one another “deeply and from the heart?”
- It’s hard to find proof that, as a nation, we have moved beyond the primitive motives of self-preservation, survival and advancement.
Note: Peter talks first about phileo love, a sincere friendship but goes on to say we must also move to agape love, that is to demonstrate the love of Christ to someone regardless of their own response.
Read 1 Peter 1:24 to the group.
What point is Peter trying to make about the Word of God?
- People are like grass, here only for a brief time, but the Word of God, the Truth of God and God have endured for all eternity.
Have someone in the group read 1 Peter 2:1-3.
Who was Peter addressing in his advice to change their ways?
- We have met the enemy and it is us (Christians)
- Go back to your whiteboard or easel. as the group to define the following sins Peter was talking about in the prior reading.
- Malice – The intent to cause someone harm and usually springs from unforgiveness.
- Deceit – A deliberate attempt to mislead someone (hypocrisy).
- Envy – It is the lie that we cannot be happy unless we have what someone else has. It is the curse of comparison. A by-product is often slander, hurting someone’s reputation.
- Take several minutes at the end of your time for silent prayer for the following purpose:
- Identify a sin we have discussed that you have a habitual problem with.
- Silently confess this sin.
- Thank God for His forgiveness and asking God’s direction in how to substitute godly behavior.
Bible Truth Being Taught
Sin can enter any Christian’s life but it is through God’s Word that we understand the sin and are moved to repentance.
To make the Word of God a part of your life for your entire life.