Peter writes to Christians in a secular government who are enduring severe persecution for following Jesus. He tells them to be glad because such persecution proves they have the Spirit working in them. The persecution they endure is God proving the realness of His people who have aligned themselves with Jesus in the world.
1. Rarely are we as Christians in America directly persecuted in the same ways for following Jesus. Why do you think this is? Where have you seen persecution of Christians in our country and around the world?
2. What are the ways you see Christians in our country avoid persecution for following Jesus? How have you personally avoided persecution? How do you believe we could more faithful embrace persecution with the joy spoken of in our text?
3. The role of the Spirit is to spotlight the person and work of Jesus. How should we experience this as Christians? How does this work of the Spirit in us make us distinct from the world? How should this lead us to be persecuted in our culture?
4. List the things we believe as Christians that should be more strange to the culture in which we live. Things we believe the Bible really teaches that should sound odd to most people.
5. How have you seen shifts in America’s culture that make genuine Christianity more noticeable? How do you believe we might see this more in the days ahead? How does this make you feel about the state of the church? How should the hope of the gospel inform they way you think and feel about the future of the church?