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Word One Bible Study: Easter 3 Epistle

Consider the Cost

Text:1 Peter 1:17-25 for the third Sunday in Easter, Lectionary Series A

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Easter 3 Epistle.

Participants will:
1. Recognize the significant price that Christ paid through His death to redeem us sinners from our sins.
2. Be encouraged to value the new life which they now have in the risen and living Christ.
3. Be encouraged to live their lives in such a way that it reflects the cost which Christ has paid for them.

Materials Needed
Pencils and a slip of paper for each participant
For each participant, tape a shiny new penny to a folded sheet of paper and place it in a sealed envelope
Newsprint and markers
A basket/offering plate

Group Guidelines
Divide into groups of 6-8 people. Choose as leader the person who has the oldest coin in their pocket/purse. The leader's job is to keep the group moving through the material and ensure that everyone has a chance to share. Participants are always encouraged to share, but may pass if they do not feel comfortable sharing a response.

Building Community
Have everyone consider the following scenario.
1. Imagine that today is your birthday. The only thing your family has for you is a card in an envelope. No present to unwrap. No box to tear open. Just a card. Give everyone the sealed envelope and tell them to open it.
2. Open the envelope and then the card. There, taped to the inside of the card, is a single, shiny penny. Nothing else! Not even a ten dollar bill! Have everyone share their initial thoughts.
3. Someone in your family then says, "Now don't be fooled! This is no ordinary penny. In fact, it is the most highly valued penny among coin collectors today, a 1909 VDB penny." Have everyone discuss what their thoughts are now.
4. You cannot help but ask, "What's it worth?" Someone says, "Well, if this penny had been in circulation, it would only be worth $300. But this penny was never put into circulation. Therefore, it is worth a little bit more." "How much more?" you ask. A smile comes over everyone's face as one of them says, "TWO. . . THOUSAND...DOLLARS!" Have everyone discuss what thoughts they have now.
5. Discuss briefly: In what ways would your family want you to treat this penny differently from any other penny? In what ways would they want you to treat this penny the same as you would any other penny?

Getting into Scripture
1. Starting with the person to the left of the leader, take turns reading 1 Peter 1:17-25.
a. Which words speak of what it is that we have been purchased from? (verse 18)
b. Which words speak of the price that has been paid for our salvation? (verses 18-19)
c. Which words speak of how our lives should now reflect the cost that Christ has paid for us? (verse 17)
d. In light of this passage, discuss the similarities between the penny scenario and your life.
2. Make two columns on newsprint. Title one, "Living Like All the Rest," and the other, "Living as Strangers."
a. In the left column, take some time to list some of the empty ways of life from which we have been purchased. What are things that people do which, to them, seem important and valuable, but to God, are empty and worthless? An overview of the Ten Commandments might provide further insight.
b. In the right column, take some time to list some of the ways in which our lives, as Christians, should be lived differently from those who do not believe in God. What are things that the world does not view as important and valuable, but to God, are lasting and life-giving?
3. Let's open our hearts a little more to one another and begin to apply what we are learning.
a. Share some of the thoughts that come to you as you dwell upon the fact that God has purchased our worthless lives with the precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
b. Discuss why God does not want any one of us to return to empty and worthless ways of living.
c. Discuss the value that our lives now have because we know that we have been purchased, not with something that is perishable, but with Him who has been raised...from the dead and is now glorified.
d. Discuss ways in which you can utilize the Means of Grace, to, first of all, be assured of your God-given value, and secondly, to live your life in such a way that it reflects the precious cost that Christ has paid for it.

Reinforcing What Has Been Learned
Share with one another one way in which you are going to strive with God's gracious help to live your life so that it better reflects the precious price that Christ has paid for you to have life in His name.

Hold out your penny with cupped hands. Have someone pray, "Jesus, the fact that my life is now eternally precious is due to the price that You paid for it. Help me, now, to reveal its preciousness by further enabling me to live my life for You." Take an offering of the pennies and ask someone to give them as an offering at church.

Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 8, studies on the Epistle readings for lectionary series A, in 1995.

Republished and revised in March 2014 for youthESource.

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