Life Group Discussion Guide
We recently spent the month of December talking about the Old Testament connections that the Gospel of Matthew deliberately makes with the birth of Jesus. One such connection portrays Jesus as the savior of his people living in exile. (https://youtu.be/K1sQ8QVTRe0?t=1405 takes us to a point where this connection is made in Matthew 2:18)
The apostle Peter understands the church to be all of us who are being saved by Jesus to follow him. Part of our identity is that we are living in this world as temporary exiles who are awaiting a final destination in a greater home (1 Peter 1:1-2). We are being made into the fulfillment of the “kingdom of priests” that God had originally intended for Israel to be (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Keeping the mindset of exiles who are being saved by a king whose specific purpose was to identify with exiles should give us an incredible reservoir of encouragement to persevere in the Christian life. Peter gives us a wealth of practical experience to help us to maintain that mindset.
1 Peter 1:13-21
13 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. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 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, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 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.
The three core takeaways from this passage that will help us to remember our identity are:
- To get our hope right
- To get our conduct right
- To get our attitude right
Speaking to each other about these things as fellow believers can help to inspire us to actual positive change as we turn the page to a new year.
- In what ways do you feel like an exile?
- Why is hope always essential for life?
- What are your hopes for 2021?
- Does your conduct always reflect your identity?
- What is the role of discipline in getting our conduct consistent with our identity?
- What disciplines do you hope to develop in 2021?
- In what ways do our attitudes guide our destiny?
- What sort of attitude do you hope to carry with you in 2021?
- Can an attitude be changed?
- What are the steps that can be taken to change your attitude?