05.20.2018 | “1 John Week 1 (1.1 – 1.4)”
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Have you ever seen faith communities or churches become divided over something? What was it? How did it play out, and what effect did it have on people?
Read 1 Peter 2:1-5. In this letter, Peter is making a powerful statement about the role of the church in the world. Specifically, he makes two references to the Old Testament.
When he mentions that God’s people are being built into a spiritual house, what his Jewish readers would think about was first the Temple in Jerusalem, and also the tabernacle from the book of Exodus. Both of these buildings were “dwelling places” of God—the tabernacle was a portable tent, while the Temple was permanent—for the Jewish people.
Read Exodus 19:1-6. This gets at Peter’s other reference. Taken together, Peter is making a compelling statement about God’s people.
First, according to 1 Peter 2:1-5, where does God’s presence now live?
Second, what is the role of God’s people (the church)?
And what do priests do in the Old Testament?
The shortest answer is that priests represent the people to God. They help people experience God’s presence and forgiveness (in the Old Testament, particularly through sacrifices and rituals). Interestingly, they also helped mediate conflicts between people.
If we are a nation of priests to God, what are we meant to do for the world?
How does conflict and division INSIDE the family of God hurt our role in the world?
How can YOU be a part of fixing it?
Either in your group or on your own, read and meditate on Ephesians 2. What does Paul have to say here about Jesus and conflict among the people of God?
Getting Out of the Hole
Go out of your way this week to build bridges with someone in your community. Pick one person and find common ground around Christ that you can build unity with.