Verse by Verse Sample

Studying a Book of the Bible from beginning to End

 

Important Principles

1.  Try to find the purpose of the entire Book,

2.  Divide the chapter into sections

3.  For each section, be able to explain the events.

4.  Find any words, concepts, or sentences that need to be explained

5.  Be ready to explain how this section helps to meet the goal of the entire book.

6.  Try to find something in the section that applies to our life today

 

A SAMPLE CHAPTER STUDY: 1 Peter chapter 1.

 

Outline of the sample study “First Peter Chapter One.”

 

Background information of the book.

Sections and verse numbers:

1) verses 1-2

2) 3-5

3) 6-9

4) 10-12

5) 13-16

6) 17-21

7) 22-24

 

 

A.  Focus attention.  As a young teacher, I faced a crisis when the electricity stopped at my school.  Suddenly I had to watch 100 young people who were packed tightly together in a small room.  As they got bored, they began to misbehave.  I did not have enough authority to discipline them.  But I was not nervous, because I kept repeated God’s promise to myself from 1 Corinthians 10:13 “no temptation will come upon you, except that which is common to man, and God will give you a way of escape, so that you will be able to endure it.”  I did not see how I would survive the situation, but God’s promise gave me hope.  That is the same point that Peter will teach us in today’s lesson chapter one of 1 Peter.   (When you teach, you may want to use a different story about how hope helped you to endure suffering.)

 

B  Goal.  By the end of this lesson, I hope you will be more prepared to face suffering, as you realize the ways God has prepared you for it.

 

C.  Learning Sequence.

Background of the book.  The author, Peter, was one of Jesus’ disciples.  He is writing this later in life, when he has become a leader of the Christian church.  He is aware that many people throughout the church are facing persecution, and he wants to give them strength and also advice.

 

1).  First section.  Please read 1 Peter 1:1-2.

Words to explain:  The place names are in today’s Turkey.

Concepts to explain:  The idea of “strangers” means that our home is in heaven, and we are on earth temporarily.

Difficult sentences:  none

Main point of the section:  It is the greeting of the letter, but Peter already introduces the idea that we are on earth temporarily.

How the section relates to the purpose:  The idea of being on earth temporarily enables us to see our suffering as something short, compared to eternity in heaven.

Anything in the section practical for life today:  I need to be reminded that heaven is my home, since I tend to fall in love with the earthly life around me; that makes it more likely that I will be devastated when earthly things go wrong.

How the life-application moves me to depend more on Jesus:  I am safe and secure in Christ, for all eternity, no matter what goes wrong in my life today.

 

2).  Second section.  Please read 1 Peter 1:3-5.

Words to explain:  new birth means we are part of God’s family

Concepts to explain:  living hope.  Using the word “living” to describe “hope” is unusual, and seems to emphasize the power of that hope.

Difficult sentences:  coming of salvation ready to be revealed at the last time.  This is a strange sentence because we already have salvation.  When we are suffering, we do not see our salvation, so Peter stresses that we will see it at the last day.

Main point of the section:  God gives us hope because we are sure that we will go to heaven

How the section relates to the purpose:  People who suffer have a lack of security, and the hope of heaven provides them with security.

Anything in the section practical for life today:  during the times when things are going badly for me, I also need this assurance that heaven is there for me.

How the life-application moves me to depend more on Jesus:  The reason heaven is secure for me is only because Jesus has died for me.

 

3)  Third section.  Please read 1 Peter 1:6-9.

Words to explain:  all OK

Concepts to explain:  refined by fire proves faith to be genuine.  If you melt metal ore, the impurities will separate from the metal and can be removed.  Through suffering, our impurities become obvious, so we can fight against them by repenting of them; this will result in spiritual growth for us.

Difficult sentences:  we are now receiving the goal of our faith.  This seems different than the previous section, which said that the goal would be revealed at the end of time.  Perhaps it means that even though we do not always see it now, yet we can be confidant that we already have it.

Main point of the section:  Suffering has an advantage: it purifies us.

How the section relates to the purpose:  This idea relates very clearly to the purpose: one way to endure suffering is to realize that suffering purifies us.

Anything in the section practical for life today:  I do not like suffering, and the idea that it can purify me is appealing.

How the life-application moves me to depend more on Jesus:  The only way I can be purified is to confess my sins to Christ.  Without him, the point of the section will not happen.

 

4)  Fourth section.  Please read 1 Peter 1:10-12.

Words to explain:  all OK.

Concepts to explain:  The idea that the Old Testament prophets did not know how all the details of their own prophecies would be fulfilled, but that we do know, is an insight into the mystery of prophecy.  This sentence also clarifies that the prophets really were foretelling the sufferings of Christ: this is something that recent scholars cast doubt upon, so it is helpful to know that Peter, who was instructed by Christ, was sure about it.

Difficult sentences:  The sentences are long but logical.

Main point of the section:  we know the fulfillment of the prophecies of Christ more clearly than even the prophets themselves.

How the section relates to the purpose:  for those under suffering, the idea that god has given special insights to us even beyond what the prophets knew has to be encouraging.

Anything in the section practical for life today:  I was moved by the assertion that the Old Testament prophecies really were about Jesus.

How the life-application moves me to depend more on Jesus:  The prophecies assure me of the reality of Jesus.

 

5)  Fifth section.  Please read 1 Peter 1:13-16.

Words to explain:  all OK

Concepts to explain:  all OK

Difficult sentences:  The word “therefore” at the beginning is important — it links the section to the previous section.  It is not obvious how the prophecies link to holy living, so perhaps the link is to the entire first part of the chapter: because of heaven, because of salvation, there is meant to be an effect on how we life today.

Main point of the section:  Live holy lives even under suffering.

How the section relates to the purpose:  Someone undergoing suffering could be expected to make excuses for imperfect behavior.  Peter says that since our salvation is secure, we can still live holy lives even under pressure.

Anything in the section practical for life today:  If Peter expects people to live holy lives even while under suffering, what excuse do I have for not watching my behavior when things are going smoothly.

How the life-application moves me to depend more on Jesus:  I am reminded that I cannot live this kind of holy life without the power of Christ.

 

6)  Sixth section.  Please read 1 Peter 1:17-21

Words to explain:  all OK

Concepts to explain:  The idea of strangers, introduced in verse one, is repeated here.  Calling the previous generation an “empty way of life” seems quite strong.  This must mean he is writing to Gentiles, not to Jews, since one would not call the Israelite religion before Christ’s coming an “empty way of life.”

Difficult sentences:  none

Main point of the section:  We live our lives as strangers because Jesus has redeemed us.

How the section relates to the purpose:  Reviewing our redemption provides encouragement for the difficulties of living as a stranger.

Anything in the section practical for life today:  It is good to be reminded that the way of life we had before we believed in Christ is meant to be totally set behind us, due to the great price that Jesus paid for us.  (his blood).

How the life-application moves me to depend more on Jesus:  Hearing about the precious blood of Christ helps me to appreciate the salvation he earned for me.

 

7)   Seventh section.  Please read 1 Peter 1:22-24.

Words to explain:  all OK.

Concepts to explain:  calling God’s word a “seed” is meaningful — the same image that Jesus used in the story of the sower and the seed.

Difficult sentences:  The word “for” appears at the beginning of verse 23.  The connection is that we can love one another because we have been born again.  The comparison to man as grass is a quote from Isaiah 40:6-8.  The purpose of the quote is to highlight the enduring nature of the word of God.

Main point of the section:  The encouragement to love one another is based on the power of God’s word.

How the section relates to the purpose:  Persecution is not mentioned in this section.

Anything in the section practical for life today:  The reminder that not only is heaven eternal, but God’s Word is eternal. We cannot see heaven, but we have access to something else of eternal value, and this assists us to survive the temporary sufferings of life.

How the life-application moves me to depend more on Jesus:  God’s Word led me to Jesus; the dependability of God’s Word reminds me of the dependability of Jesus.

 

D.  Check on goal.  The goal was to become more prepared to meet suffering.  Can anyone mention any of the ways that Peter prepares us to meet suffering?

 

E.  Closing prayer.  Give thanks for God’s salvation, and ask for strength in persecution.

 

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