An Inheritance Incorruptible – Sabbath School Lesson 2, Q2, 2017
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An Inheritance Incorruptible – Sabbath School Lesson 2, Q2, 2017

“An Inheritance Incorruptible.” Last week we had a quick pick in what Peter’s life was after he met Jesus. Now that we know who wrote the letters that we will be reading for the next three months, it only makes sense to find out and to determine who it was addressed to. Then we want to know, what motivated him to write it? What was the message conveyed and the issues he opened up talking about? I’m really curious to know what was in Peter’s mind in these early stages of Christ’s church. Yes, the historical context is important if you want to properly understand the message. And this week we’re basically looking through chapter one of the first letter. So Peter the addressor, writes two official letters to the addresses, namely “To the God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the province of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithhynia.” So these were people who were living in those provinces and geographically today this is Turkey. But who were they? Were they pagans? Gentiles? Definitely not! Were they Jews, or were they newly converted believers? There is no definitive answer, there are evidences for either one. But, most likely these were people consistent of both groups, Jews and newly converted Gentiles. What was clear was that they were the elected from God. The letters were not merely a public letter, but disclosed messages, specific and exclusively for the followers of Christ. So, the author is Peter and he presents himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. He writes to Jewish and/or Gentile believers in a specific region, and he calls them “elected”. The lesson makes a point to clarify that God doesn’t choose who is to be saved or lost. This is our choice, but He also knows us very well so He knows. This is a very interesting topic, however, it’s not the center of the lesson. The next question is what did Peter have to tell those believers, who were one of the first ones to join the legacy of Christ, His church. First and foremost, his intent to lift up God and His promises, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and His promise of inheritance incorruptible and undefiled one that does not fade away reserved in heaven for you. After all, most of the recipients of his letters simply believe the testimony of Peter and those who had seen Jesus. To us it seem like those people were one hand stretched away, from seeing Jesus, from meeting Jesus very close. Where in reality they apply the same trust and the same faith, as we do today in what they were hearing from the apostles and what was demonstrated to them. Think about the time of these letters, it wasn’t popular to be a Christian then. It was a choice that was making sense for many of them and decision that they did because they believed, in the messages from the apostles, they wanted the values that Jesus was preaching and they desired His return, but life was harsh. There were persecutions, there were issues, so Peter finds it important to encourage them, and to remind them about their hope. Jesus’ resurrection won an inheritance for us, secured our salvation. And Peter makes a point that all prophets from the ancient testament, they search intently about this grace that we are now enjoying, and that in fact, they were us when they spoke about those things. Grace and salvation, rebirth of hope, things that even the angels long to look into. Peter also talks about Christian motivation in Chapter 1:13-21, Three motivational points of what really drives our behavior as Christians. First one, God’s character, overwhelms our mind and our heart. Second point, our Father is a judge and He will bring justice. And this brings so much hope and expectation of the future. Everything that we believe has value! And the third point is, we are redeemed! Jesus gave it all, He paid the price for our imperfections, so now we can forget the past, focus on the present and in the future. Motivation was important in those days of suffering and persecution. For us to be constantly and consistently loving in the many things that we do, we need a solid and permanent power of motivation. And Peter knew that from experience, he knew it from the divine, personal touch of Jesus. He carried this experience and he wanted it to be owned also by those who were elected by God. Motivation is very important. Okay, we have made a decision some time ago, but do we still want it? Is it worth it? Is it the right decision? So Peter is saying, you guys now should be able to see it even better than you did before. You should be able to see what is right and wrong, what is good and bad. You have been opened to a different hope, to higher standards. Yes, it’s a struggle, but don’t be slaves to these desires that you have been set free from. Look at God and aim there. You know that God will judge and that right will be re-established. These things will change! And remember the price that was paid for you. This shows how valuable you are, how important you are for God, does anyone else really care as much for you? Peter makes some great points. The first chapter of the first letter ends with a heartfelt appeal. “Love one another deeply, from the heart.” It comes as a conclusion of all the thoughts preceding in this chapter, as the wisdom of all said above by Peter. Usually you would expect something like this coming from John, who spoke of love so often and with such persistence. Now we discover that Peter saw also everything hanging on love and grace only. After all he was commissioned to “feed the sheep of God.” And Jesus showed no other example but of love and sacrifice. In the opening of his letter to the believers scattered as exiles, Peter encourages them by referencing to their inheritance. He asks them to remember, he motivates them, And then he commissions them to look out for each other. Join us again next week for the lesson: “A Royal Priesthood”

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