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Memory Text: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21, NKJV).
The history of persecution in the first few centuries of Christianity is well known. The Bible itself, especially the book of Acts, gives glimpses into what awaited the church. Persecution, with the suffering it brings, is also clearly a present reality in the life of the Christians to whom Peter is writing.
In the first chapter, Peter comments that “now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6-7, NKJV). Almost the last comment in the letter also deals with the same idea: “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to [H]is eternal glory in Christ, will [H]imself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Pet. 5:10, NRSV).
Within the short epistle, there are no less than three extended passages that deal with his readers’ suffering for Christ (1 Pet. 2:18-25, 1 Pet. 3:13-21, 1 Pet. 4:12-19). By any reckoning, then, the suffering caused by persecution is a major theme of 1st Peter, and to that we turn.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, May 6.
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons