An International Center for Fellowship and Learning

THE EPISTLES OF PETER LESSON 7: SUFFERING – A PART OF THE EARTHLY PILGRIMAGE

Scripture Reading:  I Peter 3:13-4:11.

Memory Verse:  “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye:  and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled….” (I Peter 3:14)

INTRODUCTION:

A study on the suffering of a Christian should never be easy. Peter presents to us the position of a Christian suffering both as a citizen and a saint.

This lesson deals more with our attitude towards suffering. Many of those that Peter is directing this letter to will be persecuted and even die for their personal commitment to Jesus Christ. When all is said and done it’s this individual commitment that really matters. As we read earlier, Peter also faced a martyr’s death.

The passage of scripture that has always been most difficult to interpret we will save for the extra-mile question. The language is not consistent enough to imply a doctrine of a second chance. We should also consider that Noah and his family were saved in spite of the flood, not because of the flood. It’s also interesting to note that Noah was considered a preacher of righteousness.

There is even in normal times a period of physical suffering, mental suffering and heartbreak. Often the providence of God takes us through difficult personal times. In many cases God is allowing us a time to apply spiritual principles and preparing us to be a more effective servant.

LESSON QUESTIONS:

  1. Why is it unnatural to suffer for doing good? I Peter 3:13. How should we react if it happens to us? I Peter 3:14; Matthew 5:10-12.
  2. Why will others notice that we have a special hope? I Peter 3:15. What opportunity might present itself? Colossians 4:6.
  3. Should we feel guilty if we suffer because of our good Christian behavior? I Peter 3:16-17. What kind of assurance can we have during these difficult times?
  4. What was the character and consequences of Christ’s suffering? I Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:26-28; Romans 8:11.
  5. In what way does suffering for Christ affect our attitudes and conduct? I Peter 4:1-2; Titus 2:12.
  6. How does the world view it when we leave our past life of sin to serve the Lord? I Peter 4:3-4; Ephesians 4:17-19. Witnessing to old friends and relatives is often difficult; how can we do it?
  7. What must those who mock and make fun of Christians also face? I Peter 4:5. Is 1 Peter 4:6 talking about the Gospel being taught previous to or after physical death? I Peter 4:6.
  8. Is this verse talking about the second coming of Jesus or their own personal death by persecution? I Peter 4:7; Genesis 6:13; Romans 13:11.
  9. Why is it essential for our love to be literally “stretched out?” I Peter 4:8-9.
  10. As we near the second coming of Christ, we’ll very likely need this intense love to survive.
  11. How does the Holy Spirit use us for the glory of God? I Peter 4:10-11; Romans 12:6-8.

EXTRA-MILE QUESTION: Read I Peter 3:19-22. Part 1 – Did Christ preach between His death and resurrection? Part 2 – Did Christ offer them a second chance? Part 3 – Does water baptism save us?