Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:1-2

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Peter’s first epistle was addressed to “the pilgrims of the Dispersion” in the region of Asia Minor. The term “Dispersion” (diaspora) means “a scattering.” It is used three times in the New Testament. In John 7:35 and James 1:1, it seems to be used to refer to Jews (in James, Jewish believers). However, there is little indication of this in 1 Peter, where it seems that Peter’s primary audience is Gentile (cf. 1 Peter 4:3-4).

The second verse refers to them as “the elect.” This choosing was accomplished by God’s foreknowledge and grace, resulting in their sanctification and salvation. So, in this instance, Peter seems to be referring to Christians who were scattered among the gentiles in the region of Asia Minor.

It was important for those Christians to consider themselves in, but not of the world around them. They were “pilgrims” (strangers, sojourners). The same is true of us today. We may live in the world, but we are to be and act differently from it! (cf. 1 Peter 2:9-10).
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Mining the Scriptures: 1 Peter 2:1-3

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In the previous chapter, Peter had indicated that we are to purify our hearts through obeying the truth, revealed in God’s will for man. In our text, he continues the thought, calling for the Christian to remove evil from his character, (malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and evil speaking), and to replace it with God’s word. The Christian’s desire to know God’s word is to match the desire of a baby for his mother’s milk.

The word of God is here described by Peter as “pure” (NKJV). The KJV renders it “sincere.” God’s word is not harmful as long as it remains unsullied by the impurities men supply. Even in passages such as these the importance of doctrinal purity is evident. Be wary of those who seek to minimize the importance of such purity.

The pure word of God, when ingested, results in growth. By ingested we mean studied and applied. By growth we mean Christian maturity. Babes in Christ become full grown when they, “by reason of use [of God’s word], have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). This desire for God’s word is a byproduct of His extended Grace. In fact, the totality of our life and faith is motivated by His gift to us (cf. Titus 2:11-12).

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:3-5

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Because of who God is, He deserves every expression of good will and praise we can offer. He is our Creator, and is a caring and just Being.

There is no better reason for our devotion and praise than His efforts to secure our Redemption. As our text shows, His mercy led Him to bring us to reconciliation through His Son, Jesus.

Specifically, we have hope through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This hope is living and sure. Jesus is a forerunner. His victory over death assures us that we too one day will transformed to eternal life (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

That eternal life is a wondrous thing, here described as “incorruptible and undefiled”, and “reserved in heaven.”

As always, however, the Holy Spirit reveals the conditional nature of that hope. It is not reserved for all men. It comes only for those, “who are kept by the power of God through faith” (vs. 5).

He has chosen to save, through Jesus, all who believe (cf. John 3:16). One day Christ will come again, and that hope will be realized. Will you be among the elect, ready to claim your reward?

Mining The Scriptures: 1 Peter 3:3-6

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1 Peter 3:3-6

In this text, the apostle praises God, and gives reason for that praise. He, according to His mercy has “begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

The term “begotten” in verse 3 is the same term in verse 23, where we are told we have been “born again” through the word of God.

The term is found only in these two verses. Interesting, it is a similar term to the one used in John 3:16, where Jesus is said to be the “only begotten” (gk., monogenes). Here all Christians are “begotten” (gk., anagennao).

Where Jesus, in a sense, is the only begotten; in another sense all Christians are begotten of God when we obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As stated in the text, when we are begotten, or born again, we are granted great privileges. We have hope, and an undefiled and incorruptible inheritance reserved in heaven.

This is so because we are kept by God’s power. We are protected by Him because we are His children. This is a reason for rejoicing, no matter the present circumstances of our lives. We are the begotten of God!

Mining The Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:13-16

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1 Peter 1:13-16

Whenever the word “therefore” is used to begin a passage of scripture, it is necessary to refer to previous verses to obtain a context.

In verses 3-12 of 1 Peter 1, the apostle wrote eloquently concerning the salvation and eternal reward we receive through the “sufferings of Christ.”

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind…” Peter’s exhortations to dligence and holy living in verses 13-16 are in response to the hope we have in Christ (cf. Titus 2:11-12).

It is also because of the holiness of God Himself. When God requires holiness of His people, it is not an arbitrary thing.

God is perfect in His holiness. James states that, “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (1:13).

As God is holy, and cannot countenance evil, it is required of his people that they be holy in all of their conduct as well. You can’t court the world and serve God!