Church, This is Us (1 Peter 1)

  • We are a born-again people (1 Peter 1:3, 23-25)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again
  • We are a hopeful people (1 Peter 1:3-4, 9)
to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
  • We are a guarded people (1 Peter 1:5)
who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
  • We are a Jesus-glorifying people (1 Peter 1:6-7)
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • We are a Jesus-loving people (1 Peter 1:8)
Though you have not seen him, you love him.
  • We are a Jesus-believing people (1 Peter 1:8)
Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and
  • We are a rejoicing people (1 Peter 1:6, 8)
rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
  • We are a surely-saved people (1 Peter 1:9)
obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
  • We are a served people (1 Peter 1:10-12)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
  • We are a thinking people (1 Peter 1:13, 18)
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • We are a holy-obedient people (1 Peter 1:14-17)
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,
  • We are a redeemed people (1 Peter 1:18-21)
knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
  • We are a loving people (1 Peter 1:22)

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,

  • We are a born again people (1 Peter 1:23-24)
since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

What’s a Member to Do?

“A church member’s job…is to know the gospel, to only support teachers who teach the gospel, to live by the gospel in word and deed, to help other church members do the same, and to call non-Christian neighbors to the obedience of repentance and faith in Christ the Savior-King. We help other church members by knowing them, by involving ourselves in their lives, and by speaking ‘only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear’ (Eph 4:29).”

Dever and Leeman, Baptist Foundations

2/19 Discussion Questions for Community Groups

  1. Use Matthew 16:13-19 to explain the idea that Christians are confessors.
  2. Does anyone have the right to question a person’s confession of Christ? Why or why not? Use Scripture to defend your answer.
  3. What are Jesus’ keys and who possesses them today?
  4. How should we use the keys in this church?
  5. Explain how binding involves membership, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.
  6. Explain how loosing can be a response to heresy, hypocrisy, or division.
  7. How can we grow as a church when it comes to using the keys?
  8. Pray for the unity and strength of Mambrino Baptist Church.

2/12 Sermon Discussion for Community Groups

  1. What is a church?
  2. What does a church do?
  3. Where in the Bible do you get those answers?
  4. How can you pray for the church?
  5. What are elders, overseers, or pastors?
  6. What do elders do?
  7. Where in the Bible do you get those answers?
  8. How can you pray for your elders?
  9. What are deacons?
  10. What does a deacon do?
  11. Where in the Bible do you get those answers?
  12. How can you pray for your deacons?

What is a church?

“We can illustrate the difference between a church and a collection of Christians in this way: I can easily imagine a summer camp counselor watching a seventeen-year-old boy undergo conversion over the course of a summer, which is followed by a seemingly credible profession of faith. Should the camp counselor then baptize the body? He can, if he can baptize him according to the authority of the charter Jesus handed the apostles in Matthew 16. Has this counselor, together with several others, determined to continue indefinitely in overseeing the boy and one another; to regularly proclaim the Lord’s death through the Lord’s Supper; to discipline the boy or one another should they revert to following in the ways of the world; to teach one another everything that Christ has commanded; to guard, protect, and proclaim the gospel; and to make more disciples among not just other teenagers but among all comers who do not yet know Christ? If so, yes, he can baptize that boy on behalf of the church. If that counselor cannot commit to all this, that is, if there is no church to speak of, he does not have the authority to baptize the boy. The camp counselor’s desire to protect the gospel in the boy’s life and in the eyes of the broader public should impel him to send the boy to a church saying, ‘Join it! Be guarded. Be watched over. Be cared for. Be protected. Be loved.'”

Jonathan Leeman, The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love, 205 

What’s a church to do?

As we begin a short series on the church, it is important to define exactly what a church should be after. Here is some help from Jonathan Leeman. Ultimately, its an issue of authority.

What authority does Christ give the local church and why?

Christ authorizes the local church to proclaim and protect the gospel, to recognize or affirm those who belong to him, to unite them to itself, to oversee their discipleship, and to exclude any imposters. He gives the local church this authority in order to protect and display his gospel in a fallen world which continually misunderstands and misportrays his gospel love.

Jonathan Leeman, The Surprising Offense of God’s Love, 168