With Gentleness And Respect

March 1, 2015

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Summary

Group Discussion Starters – 1 Peter 3:13-22
Peter returns again to his theme of Christian suffering and its direct connection to our opportunity to tell people about Jesus. Have one or two people read verses 10-22. As the verses are read mark any verses you have difficulty understanding.

Review verses 10-12 as a reminder that God’s plan for good days and loving life is for us to do good, seek peace, and be righteous.

Does verse 13 mean that if we do good, no harm will come to us?

In normal circumstances, doing good and living by God’s instructions lead to peace. But when persecution comes even to those who do right Peter says we have another source of peace apart from our circumstances. Read John 14:27 and consider how Peter is applying it to these circumstances.

Again Peter points out that when Christians suffer, yet live peacefully and with joy they will have an opportunity to share the gospel. 9-11 created a national sense of suffering, and many people were open to conversations about faith at that time. Can you recall a more personal time of suffering where opportunities to discuss faith arose? Where you ready to take advantage of those opportunities? How can you be ready?

Peter’s point in verse 18 is that the suffering of Christ was not pointless, in fact His death in the flesh made us all alive in the spirit. How can we make our suffering profitable like the suffering of Jesus?

Gen 6:1-4, and 8:14-19 speak of the time Peter is referring to in verses 19-20. Consider who the “spirits in prison” might be and what Jesus might be making proclamation of. These are difficult verses to understand so don’t worry if they are not perfectly clear. Peter is really using them as a bridge between the death of Christ, and the symbolism of baptism. God has consistently “submerged” his people in death in order to raise them to new life. God is in the business of bringing to life people and circumstances that appear dead. That is our hope!

Bible References

  • 1 Peter 3:13 - 17

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