This outline continues a series preached in 2002. However, since my original outline for 1 Peter 1:13-16 is missing, the following is new.
What do you say to people who are suffering? More to the point for us, what do believers say to believers who are suffering?
It’s fascinating to me what Peter communicates to the suffering believers who were the original audience for the epistle we call 1 Peter. Though their suffering was apparently of the persecution variety, Peter puts his message in terms that speak to the heart-need of the Christian experiencing any kind of serious difficulty.
What the suffering saint needs to hear is what we find in this epistle—and what we find is a bit surprising. Peter reminds the believers of who they are in this world (displaced but God-beloved strangers) and who they are in Christ (reborn heirs of a salvation so great even angels wish they knew more about it).
But then Peter burdens these struggling recipients of grace with a solemn three-fold responsibility. He commends them to firmly embrace something, to reject something, and to pursue something. To look at it another way, the Scriptures here command us to think differently, desire differently, and do differently.
Note the word “therefore” at the beginning of 1:13. The responsibilities that follow are being revealed because of the privileges already revealed in the preceding verses.