1. When was a time that you felt extremely out of place? What happened?
2. This weekend we begin a new series, “Exiles,” where we will journey through the New Testament letter, 1 Peter. Before starting this study, pray that God would transform you as you read and ponder the Scripture. Then, whether you are alone or with others, read 1 Peter 1:1-12 aloud.
3. Background: While there is some debate, the letter known as 1 Peter was most likely written by the Apostle Peter somewhere in the early to mid-60s during the reign of Nero. Peter writes to a group of followers of Jesus Christ in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), who are facing trials for their faith. It is most likely that this group includes Jewish-background believers with some ties to Rome as well as local Gentile (non-Jews) believers. Peter writes in order to encourage them with God’s truth so that they will persevere (1 Peter 5:12).
4. 1 Peter 1:1-2 provides the opening or salutation of the letter. What do you notice about the recipients’ situation? How does Peter say about God here?
5. In verses 3-5, Peter bursts forth with praise and thanksgiving for God. What has God done for believers, according to Peter in these verses?
6. If the believers receiving this letter were suffering in their cities, why do you think Peter’s words about their inheritance is so important (vss 4-5)?
7. Peter leads us into a deep discussion about trials in verses 6-9. What does he say is the purpose of our trials and why can we have joy in the midst of them?
8. What trials are you facing right now? What do you think it looks like to live into Peter’s perspective on suffering shared in these verses?
9. One thing we can easily forget as believers is what a gift it is to know about Christ. Read verses 10-12 and reflect on what Peter is saying about our perspective on the gospel compared to those in the past and even the heavenly angels.
10. What is one specific thing God is speaking to you about your life with God through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about these things together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.