Intro to 1 Peter
The First Epistle of Peter was written to encourage Christian believers who found themselves as a minority in the midst of a predominantly pagan culture. Peter encourages these Christian communities to be influencers, embodying the teachings of Christ, and positively impacting their surroundings. These Christians faced three temptations. They were tempted to assimilate and blend in. To lose all distinctiveness and look exactly like their pagan neighbors. They were tempted to maintain hostility towards their culture, to push and fight back in attempts to gain power and status. They were tempted to retreat and hide from culture, to turn the Church into a safe-subculture. Those same three temptations exist for us today. As modern Christians in America, we are finding ourselves as a minority. We too are tempted to assimilate, embrace hostility, or retreat. Peter emphasizes the importance of living out Christian virtues like love, unity, humility, and grace in the face of persecution, showcasing a counter-cultural approach that attracts others to the Christian faith. We pray that as Peter encouraged believers in HIS time through his letter, that same inspired sacred text will empower us at Crossroads Church to live out our faith in La Habra, La Mirada, Brea, Fullerton, Whittier, and beyond. Let us accept this invitation to influence, and to reject the temptations of assimilation, hostility, or retreat.