I Am Who I Am, Part 6: God Is Holy (06.15.20)
A Study & Practice Guide on the Biblical Names & Characteristics of God
This guide does not directly engage with the Sunday teaching, but we do look for thematic connections to help keep the CG Practices in alignment.
After greeting one another, take 2-3 minutes of silence to invite the Holy Spirit to be present and help you be aware of what you’re bringing into this time together.
Set a timer for 1 minute per person to check in and answer these two questions:
- What would you like the group to know about your past week?
- What have you done this week (or refrained from doing, or did differently) that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t know God?
Read Scripture Aloud
Ask one or more people in your group to read 1 Peter 1:13-19 aloud. We encourage you to use a physical Bible if possible. As you listen and follow along, silently observe anything that stands out to you.
Cultural & Historical Context at a Glance
Ask one person to read this brief summary of historical and cultural context for this passage:
- Hagios, which is translated “holy:” Plainly, in addition to evoking an “awesome veneration,” holiness is commonly taken to connote a separation, a distinction, a special difference. (BLB)
- In 1 Peter, Peter writes to a group of “pilgrims” or those passing through a foreign land. This audience includes Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus, including socially marginalized followers of Jesus navigating a difficult and unjust world by embracing suffering and sacrifice like Christ.
- The range of the dates of this letter’s writing is sometime between 60-90 AD and is addressed in verse 1 to the diaspora in five cities of Asia Minor. Of note, the First Jewish Roman War started in the year 66. Jerusalem was besieged and burned in 70, and the temple was looted and destroyed.
Before interpreting the message for how it applies to us today, take 15-20 minutes to make some simple observations of the text in light of the cultural/historical context above or other things you know. Here are a few questions you might jump off from:
- What is happening?
- What are some distinct words or phrases in the passage that stand out to you?
- What other verses in the Bible does this passage echo?
Interpreting the Message
In light of your observations, discuss the message of this passage for 20-30 minutes.
- What message do you believe that God’s people would have received from this text?
- What does the passage have to say about who God is and who He is not in this passage?
- What further questions do you have to explore with God after studying this passage?
Living in Biblical Truth
After interpreting the message of the text together and what it reveals about God, consider the implications of this truth for your life. Share with one another for 15-20 minutes:
- In what way has your understanding of God been deepened, expanded, challenged, or refined?
- What would it look like to live into the message of this text in your life? How about in the life of your CG? Your home and workplace?
Pray for your group, our church, our city, and our world.
Do you have any lingering questions or thoughts about this practice guide series? You can offer them on this form here.