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Dudley's Weekly Word

Husbands and Prayer

Posted May 22, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

In marriage, the role of the husband is different from that of the wife, but the perspective and attitude are the same. Peter’s use of “likewise” or “in the same way” is common to both his instructions to the wife and to the husband and is probably referring to 2:13 where believers are exhorted to place their explicit trust in God by properly submitting to his delegated authority structures.... Keep Reading

Beautiful Wives

Posted May 9, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Since the new order has been launched in the resurrection of Jesus, every aspect of life is affected, including marriage. As all married people know, marriage can turn out to be not only different than expected, but difficult to navigate. For marriage to be anything like what God intended in the beginning, we need a new perspective. Peter is describing that new perspective in this whole section of his letter. He has already said that we have been freed and empowered to submit to God’s order by honestly respecting the delegated authority structures that allow society to function best. But just exactly how does the resurrection of Jesus affect the wife’s role in marriage?... Keep Reading

Standing in Strange Grace

Posted April 25, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

The first readers of Peter’s letter might have been wondering if God’s favor was really upon them. After all, they were being persecuted for their faith. The new kingdom they had embraced upon hearing the gospel was not all tea and roses. They had come to realize that hostile powers were aligned against God’s established king and his people. Probably some had mocked them for not being more prosperous in material things and more victorious over physical maladies. There have always been some in the church who measure everything by the same metrics as the surrounding society. Peter reassures them that they have heard the true gospel and that they are experiencing the true grace of God. He exhorts them to stand in this grace.... Keep Reading

You Aren't Alone in Suffering

Posted March 28, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

Last week we saw the reality of being stalked, and the necessity of resisting Satan. One of his main tactics is to interpret circumstances in such a way as to misrepresent God’s intention and involvement in our lives.... Keep Reading

We Are Being Stalked

Posted March 21, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

We have all watched the scary movies where a party is going on with everyone laughing and having a carefree time, yet a menacing bad guy is watching, waiting for the opportunity to pounce on some unsuspecting victim. We want to scream out, “Watch out! There is danger lurking!” Well, Peter does warn us all that there is a stalking enemy out there just looking for someone who will be his prey.... Keep Reading

What's the Fashion of the New Creation?

Posted March 7, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Those properly dressed in God’s kingdom are wearing humility. They are not competing for attention and vying for position. They have come to know a Father who is so big that they are not tempted to suppress themselves. Many trying to look humble are busy beating themselves down in order for God to be noticed. That is evidence of having a small God. Humanity does not have to be diminished in order for divinity to be seen as superior. Such efforts are false humility and look as cheap and out of place as overalls and sneakers at a President’s ball.... Keep Reading

Shepherd the Flock of God

Posted February 28, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

Peter is an elder himself who has witnessed the glory of Christ and the suffering that comes from partaking of life with him. He is well aware of the commission he was given by the resurrected Lord after breakfast by the sea. Remember! He had promised to stand with Jesus no matter what but had failed miserably on the night of the betrayal. Jesus had confronted him over breakfast in Galilee. Jesus had three times commissioned him to tend the sheep. Now in this text, he is telling other elders how important their role is in the future of the church.... Keep Reading

The End of All Things

Posted February 21, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Many lessons have used this text to promote the idea that the end of the world was upon us. Since Peter wrote this prior to 70 AD, we would have to say he was wrong if, in fact, he was saying that. It has been 2000 plus years, and the earth is still here. Peter is telling his readers and us that everything that needed to be done had been done for God’s narrative to reach its climax.... Keep Reading

Suffering Is Not Strange

Posted February 13, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

In our culture, comfort and ease are valued so highly that the very thought of suffering as a normal part of life is unthinkable. In fact, too often the message coming from Christian leaders makes a mockery of suffering and categorizes it as outside of personal faith. Many people try to believe that they can live without suffering and still be faithful witnesses of God’s kingdom. This is a sad state of theological confusion that leaves people without adequate support when trouble comes.... Keep Reading

Trusting the Just Judge

Posted January 31, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Christians are participants in the new creation, radically born again of the imperishable seed of God’s word. They have been separated for his possession and use in this world. They are filled with light and are placed in the midst of darkness. They are often broken so the light is seen by those walking in darkness. They embrace this calling and are ready to give an answer for the radical hope that steadies them in the midst of storms. They live in the same world as those who have not yet been enlightened by the gospel, and they must submit to the same forces that inhabit the world. Injustice and unfairness are common.... Keep Reading

Live As Free People

Posted January 17, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

When bondage masquerades as liberty we must be on alert in order to escape the trap. It usually occurs when we have incorrectly identified our captors. If we think that our problem is authority or even rules, we will define liberty in terms of being out from under authority and beyond rules. Many have celebrated their presumed liberation only to find themselves deeper in bondage.... Keep Reading

Submission is to the Lord

Posted January 10, 2017 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Peter’s instructions regarding how to live in a culture that is hostile to the Gospel includes how believers are to respond to governmental structures that often put pressure on the Christian worldview. Peter reminds them and us that God has instituted certain structures in society and that submission to those God-ordained authorities is submission to God himself. The civil government is for the purpose of protecting citizens and punishing evil doers. As long as the government stays within the bounds of its purpose and is not demanding its citizens disobey the clear instructions of God, it is to be honored.... Keep Reading

The War Against Your Soul

Posted December 28, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

It has been established that we are set apart to represent our Lord on this earth. We have been forgiven and cleansed by an act of unmatched mercy. We have been identified as his people on earth. We have been born again of the imperishable seed of his word. Our purpose is to reveal what free living looks like. We are not only free from the enslaving power of sin, but we are free from the accusing voice of the Law. We have been so united with Christ by the Spirit that we as a faith community can display the original design for mankind. We must be aware that there is a war going on because God's enemy has a strategy to thwart the plan.... Keep Reading

People of Mercy

Posted December 14, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

The distinguishing feature of God’s people is that they are objects of mercy and reflections of mercy. No person really knows God personally if he or she has not cried out for mercy. People don’t become living stones in the living temple of God until they have faced their own desperate need of forgiveness. We are dead in trespasses and sins. We are blind to a true perspective of God and his ways. We are enslaved to sin and energized by the spirit that works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-4). We don’t just need to try harder or act better. We don’t just need more information or some inspiration. We need a new start.... Keep Reading

The Truly Elite

Posted December 7, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Writing to a group of scattered Christians who had no real identity in their culture, Peter emphasizes who these people really are. They were rejected by the Jewish community because their Savior was the same Jesus that was rejected by the Jewish system. The secular culture viewed them as some kind of strange sect that was neither Jewish nor pagan. They were followers of a rejected and crucified master. They had no status. Yet their mission was to bless all nations. How would they ever do it?... Keep Reading

The Rejected Stone

Posted November 29, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Jesus is offensive to those who have refused to respond to the previous revelations of God given through creation, conscience, and scripture. It is truly remarkable that mankind could be so blind as not to see the beauty of God in all that is around us. Yet, we are reminded daily that Jesus is rejectable. Believers should be overwhelmed with the mercy shown to us in opening our eyes to see his matchless mercy.... Keep Reading

Born to Worship

Posted November 8, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

We were made to worship! It is the reason for our existence. It is the only way we find our purpose, and it is the epitome of our delight. Adam and Eve worshipped God at all times. They adored him and obeyed him as they enjoyed his fellowship. It was in an act of worship that Cain became angry and killed his brother. When humans have gone astray, they have done so by worshipping something other than the true God.... Keep Reading

Coming Grace

Posted November 1, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

The nature of this magnificent salvation that former prophets inquired about and angels long to see is one of ever approaching grace. It is the continual progressive revelation of Christ and his rule now and forever. The prophet Daniel had dreams about the various kingdoms in history, culminating with the establishment of God's kingdom through his people on earth. The stone rolling down the mountain and crushing the image of human governments is identified as the same stone that the Jewish leaders rejected, but who became the cornerstone of God's final temple. Jeremiah had prophesied of a new day with a new covenant and a new people. Jesus confirmed that covenant with his own life and death.... Keep Reading

No Mere Angel

Posted October 25, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Someone recently referred to the time of his death as being when he would get his harp and wings. It is a common euphemism but does not reflect the Bible's evaluation of us. We have never been angels. (Even our mothers can agree with that!) We shall never be angels. We are the unique image-bearers of God himself. The blood of God's Son has redeemed us, and that doesn't apply to angels.... Keep Reading

Taste of Good

Posted October 18, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

One taste of the kind of goodness found in God is enough to motivate one to do whatever is necessary to get more. Those who find it a chore to drink of the pure spiritual milk must not have tasted the goodness or they have somehow forgotten how it taste.... Keep Reading

Freedom Is Tricky

Posted October 11, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Many people are tired of their enslavement. It is true also that many are not. They have denied their condition and bristle at the suggestion that they are being deprived of a world of delight by holding on to their own bondage. But the ones who admit that they are tired have had enough of the fears that paralyze them, the addictions that drive them, the obsessions that haunt them, the perversions that shame them, and the cycles of oppression that keep them in confusion. They long to be free.... Keep Reading

Liberating Fear

Posted October 4, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Christians have long debated what it means to fear God. Some view him as the strict judge who is keeping a detailed record of all our misdeeds, and so they are almost paralyzed in fear of doing something wrong. Others emphasize the bigness of God and say that we are to live with a sense of awe, but not to fear any repercussions for our actions. Peter gives us some clarity: God is the impartial judge who is our Father. Both of those designations are good news.... Keep Reading

Holiness is a Fun Word

Posted September 29, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

The way we sang the old hymn Holy, Holy, Holy in the little Baptist church of my upbringing didn't bring to mind visions of fun and adventure. It felt more like suppression and boredom. I'm absolutely sure it was my perspective rather than the merits of the music or the lyrics, but the idea of "holiness" did not appeal to me. Evidently it doesn't to many others as well. Too often it either is an unreachable standard we strive for without success, or it is a truncated concept of spiritual discipline resulting in self-righteous ritual.... Keep Reading

Restored Glory

Posted September 20, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

We are familiar with the statement of Paul that we have all sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). What glory have we come short of? It is the glory that God designed humans to have in the beginning. It is the glory of trusting God as his partner and image bearer on earth. Mankind is most honored when they are living in total trust toward God. There is a security and significance in that state that exults in being alive. Every created person longs for such glory and honor.... Keep Reading

Angelic Envy

Posted September 13, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

The salvation that has been revealed through Jesus Christ is of such a nature that the majestic angels would love to look into it, but can't. What is so intriguing to the angels? Aren't they the mighty beings of heaven that have access to realities that we can't see? Aren't they more powerful than even our imaginary superheroes of today? What is so grand about the salvation that Jesus revealed?... Keep Reading

It Was God's Idea

Posted September 6, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |0 Comments

Christians who are under pressure because of their unfriendly culture need to hear that God is not only their comforter, but also their source. They do not need to be so focused on their efforts that they forget his. They are not breathlessly trying to get to heaven or be heavenly on this earth as much as they are the beneficiaries of God's mercy. Before they got here, God's mercy was being displayed. He has been the initiator of their salvation, and it includes their being born again into a new realm.... Keep Reading

Both Grace And Peace

Posted August 30, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

We don't pay much attention to salutations now. It is just a formality that we glance at as we move quickly into the content of the correspondence. Biblical writers viewed it with much more appreciation. In this case, Peter is speaking over his readers the blessing given in the gospel he is advocating.... Keep Reading

Set Apart to New Obedience

Posted August 23, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

Peter is giving scattered first century believers reason to hope even though they are surrounded by a hostile culture. He establishes for them the truth about who they are and what has happened to them as they embrace the gospel. It is fantastic what has happened to them. It started long before they ever decided to believe. God the Father loved them and chose them to be his own. Foreknowledge means more than knowing the future. It means knowing people. He didn't just know what was going to happen when they heard the gospel. He chose them to hear the gospel and to be set apart for the purpose of living in obedience to Jesus.... Keep Reading

Chosen Sojourners

Posted August 16, 2016 by: Dudley Hall |1 Comments

Alan Wright has wisely instructed us to get accustomed to living as missionaries in our own nation. Increasingly, the prevailing culture is becoming more hostile to the values of the gospel community. We can spend our time pining over the losses we have incurred morally, or we can take courage from the testimony of the early church that lived in the midst of cultures that were yet to be infected by the power of the gospel of Jesus. The apostle Peter wrote to such people, and we shall seek to find in his writings reasons for hope in our day.... Keep Reading

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