Thoughtful Action: Discussion from Sunday's Sermon

Real Suffering

1 Peter 3:13-17


1.     How do you interpret 3:13? 

a.     Do you interpret is a question that deals with what typically happens, as in, “Typically, who is going to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?”  Or do you interpret it as rhetorical, as in, “If you are zealous for what is good, nobody can really harm you”?

b.     What clues in the surrounding context and in 1 Peter in general help you come to your answer?

2.     What are the reasons for why people suffer?  Explain what the following suggestions mean:

a.     Because we sin

b.     Because we are sinners

c.      Because of sin

3.     What are the promises of God in this passage to believers who suffer?  What other passages provide comforting promises to suffering believers?

4.     Please read Isaiah 7-8 (especially 8:12-13) and see the context for this passage that Peter quotes in v.13-14? 

a.     What was Ahaz fearing?

b.     What should Ahaz have been fearing?

c.      How does God lead Ahaz to have the right kind of fear?

5.     How does the believer make Jesus “holy” in his or her heart?

a.     How do you set him apart to a separate place that is higher than anybody else?

b.     What are the challenges that you personally face to doing that well?

c.      Do you think it is reasonable to call that place in your heart where Jesus is a “safe space” that allows to retreat in times of suffering?

d.     If you do create that “safe space” in your heart, what will you experience according to the end of v.15?

6.     Why should you prepare to speak up if you are ever questioned about your hope during times of suffering? What are the positive results that come from speaking up in the right way?

7.     What can you be doing right now to prepare to speak up if you should ever have that opportunity?  Can you pray as a group that God would give you the wisdom to prepare ahead of time and the strength to follow through if/when the time comes?