Stranger Things - Bible Study

by Tom Bulick and Stephanie Thomas on

Bible Studies 1 document
1 Peter 1:1–2

  • Stranger Things | The Scrolls | January 14, 2024

    Copyright Central Bible Church

The Scrolls is a weekly Bible study written by pastors and other leaders at Central Bible Church, based on that week’s sermon topic. Use The Scrolls as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and for small group discussions. You can read part of it below. The downloadable PDF also includes discussion questions, more in-depth commentary, end notes, and a kids’ page designed for families to study the topic together. This lesson goes with the sermon "Stranger Things."

Your salvation results in more than going to heaven when you die and entails more than being forgiven of your sins. The apostle Peter’s first epistle goes a long way in making that clear. He explicitly mentions “salvation” four times. In 1:5 he refers to his readers as those “who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” In 1:9 he refers to them as those who “are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” In 1:10-11 he adds, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who predicted the grace [note reference to true grace in 5:12] that would come to you searched and investigated carefully. They probed into what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ and his subsequent glory” (NET). And finally in 2:2, he advises them “like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation not that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 

And throughout his epistle he links “this salvation” to a variety of related things and a number of its results. Here are some examples. He links salvation to being “elect” or “chosen.” In 1:1 he writes: “To God’s elect  . . . who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (cf. 2:4, 6, 9). He links it to regeneration, to hope, and to an everlasting inheritance. In 1:3-4 he writes: God “has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” He links it to sanctification. In 1:2 he declares that his readers have been chosen “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.” He links it to participation in new covenant blessings. In 1:2 Peter’s reference to being “sprinkled with his blood” alludes to Exodus 24:8. “Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.’” Just as the sprinkling of the blood of bulls on them tied the Israelites to the old covenant, so also does the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus tie Peter’s readers to the new covenant and its blessings. He links it to redemption. In 1:18-19 he tells them, “you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” He links it to joy. In 1:8 he observes that they “are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” He links it to adoption. In 1:14 he refers to them as “obedient children.” He links it to mercy now that they are the people of God. In 2:10 he writes: “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. What’s more, as a result of “this salvation,” they are now a “spiritual house” (2:5), a “royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (2:9).

In addition to the results of salvation and related things mentioned explicitly by Peter, salvation involves a number of other doctrines. The doctrine of salvation entails the doctrines of atonement, propitiation, justification, reconciliation, forgiveness, predestination, glorification, and indwelling by the Holy Spirit. Salvation is an inclusive term that involves all of these.

The first epistle of Peter was no doubt written by the apostle Peter (see 1:1), given the preponderance of internal and external evidence to that effect, albeit its Greek is thought by some to be better than that of any Galilean fisherman—something that may be accounted for by the fact that it was written with the help of Silas (see 5:12). It was written from Rome, referred to figuratively as “Babylon” (see 5:13), c. a.d. 60-64, to Gentile and Jewish believers scattered throughout five Roman provinces located in Asia Minor, namely, what is now northern Turkey. Peter wrote it to Christians facing persecution to expound on the “true grace of God” (5:12), namely, “this salvation” (1:10; cf. 1:5, 9; 2:2) and encourage his readers to “stand fast in it” (v. 12).

Central Message of the Text: 

Christians are his elect, chosen by the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to the Son. 

Family Talk:

There’s something so sweet about picking out baby names. There’s a sense of possibility and promise as you wonder what kind of person your child will become. Today, names are chosen for their popularity or how they sound, but back in Biblical times they were given more for prophetic meaning. I wonder how the parents of Nabal felt as they named their child “fool.” They must have known it was hopeless from the start, but did they need to let the world know? And I wonder, did poor Nabal just live up to his name? What about Jabez? Did his mom really need an ongoing reminder of his terrible delivery and agonizing birth? Those are things I wanted to instantly forget. How sad for us today that we call inept people nimrods, when the name actually means skillful hunter. That’s a solid name, but things do get lost in translation. Occasionally, God pulled rank and made name changes for some folks — Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Levi to Matthew and one of my favorite apostles, Simon to Peter. The names changes were clear markers of God establishing a new identity or new calling or mission in the life of these people. Brash and impetuous Simon became Peter, the rock on whom the church is built. What does your child’s name mean? This week, go on a journey with your child exploring extended family names and meanings. While you’re at it, look up the names of God, our faithful and steadfast Lord who never changes.