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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (I)

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Lesson 1 Sabbath, April 6, 2024

An Apostle of Jesus Christ

MEMORY TEXT: “The Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31, 32).

“It was after Peter had been led to self-renunciation and entire reliance upon divine power, that he received his call to act as an undershepherd. . . . Not until he had learned his weakness, could he know the believer’s need of dependence on Christ.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 515.

Suggested Reading:   The Desire of Ages, pp. 244-251

Sunday March 31


a. Describe Simon Peter’s first encounter with Jesus. John 1:40–42.

“Andrew sought to impart the joy that filled his heart. Going in search of his brother Simon, he cried, ‘We have found the Messias.’ Simon waited for no second bidding. He also had heard the preaching of John the Baptist, and he hastened to the Saviour. The eye of Christ rested upon him, reading his character and his life history. His impulsive nature, his loving, sympathetic heart, his ambition and self-confidence, the history of his fall, his repentance, his labors, and his martyr death—the Saviour read it all.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 139.

b. Under what circumstances did Jesus officially call Peter and his brother to become His disciples? Matthew 4:18–20.

“The prompt, unquestioning obedience of these men, with no promise of wages, seems remarkable; but the words of Christ were an invitation that carried with it an impelling power. Christ would make these humble fishermen, in connection with Himself, the means of taking men out of the service of Satan, and placing them in the service of God.”—Gospel Workers, p. 24.

Monday April 1


a. How did Peter see himself at the beginning of his discipleship? Luke 5:8.

“In the days of Christ the religious leaders of the people felt that they were rich in spiritual treasure. The prayer of the Pharisee, ‘God, I thank Thee, that I am not as the rest of men’ (Luke 18:11, R.V.), expressed the feeling of his class and, to a great degree, of the whole nation. But in the throng that surrounded Jesus there were some who had a sense of their spiritual poverty. When in the miraculous draft of fishes the divine power of Christ was revealed, Peter fell at the Saviour’s feet, exclaiming, ‘Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord’ (Luke 5:8); so in the multitude gathered upon the mount there were souls who, in the presence of His purity, felt that they were ‘wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked’ (Revelation 3:17).”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 6, 7.

b. What did Peter believe in regard to who Jesus was? Matthew 16:13–16.

“From the first, Peter had believed Jesus to be the Messiah. Many others who had been convicted by the preaching of John the Baptist, and had accepted Christ, began to doubt as to John’s mission when he was imprisoned and put to death; and they now doubted that Jesus was the Messiah. . . . Many of the disciples who had ardently expected Jesus to take His place on David’s throne left Him when they perceived that He had no such intention. But Peter and his companions turned not from their allegiance. The vacillating course of those who praised yesterday and condemned today did not destroy the faith of the true follower of the Saviour. Peter declared, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ He waited not for kingly honors to crown his Lord, but accepted Him in His humiliation. . . .

“Jesus answered Peter, saying, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.’

“The truth which Peter had confessed is the foundation of the believer’s faith. It is that which Christ Himself has declared to be eternal life. But the possession of this knowledge was no ground for self-glorification.​ Through no wisdom or goodness of his own had it been revealed to Peter. Never can humanity, of itself, attain to a knowledge of the divine. . . . Only the spirit of adoption can reveal to us the deep things of God. . . . The fact that Peter discerned the glory of Christ was an evidence that he had been ‘taught of God.’ ”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 411, 412.

Tuesday April 2


a. What biblical examples show Peter’s inquiring mind and reveal how we can grow by developing the same attitude? Matthew 15:15; 18:21; 19:27; Mark 13:3, 4.

“No other study will so ennoble every thought, feeling, and aspiration as the study of the Scriptures. . . . Here we learn how to improve the present life and how to secure the future life. No other book can satisfy the questionings of the mind and the craving of the heart. By obtaining a knowledge of God’s word, and giving heed thereto, men may rise from the lowest depths of ignorance and degradation to become the sons of God. . . .

“As an educating power the Bible is without a rival. Nothing will so impart vigor to all the faculties as requiring students to grasp the stupendous truths of revelation. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. If occupied with commonplace matters only, to the exclusion of grand and lofty themes, it will become dwarfed and enfeebled. If never required to grapple with difficult problems, or put to the stretch to comprehend important truths, it will, after a time, almost lose the power of growth. . . .

“In the word of God the mind finds subject for the deepest thought, the loftiest aspiration.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 24, 25.

“The most inquisitive may safely learn in the school of Christ that which will prove for their present and everlasting good.”—An Appeal to Mothers, p. 32.

b. While inquisitiveness in spiritual matters is encouraged (John 5:39), when does healthy human curiosity have a limit? Deuteronomy 29:29.

“[Satan] is constantly seeking to excite a spirit of irreverent curiosity, a restless, inquisitive desire to penetrate the secrets of divine wisdom and power. In their efforts to search out what God has been pleased to withhold, multitudes overlook the truths which He has revealed, and which are essential to salvation.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 54, 55.

“We must not attempt to lift with presumptuous hand the curtain behind which He veils His majesty. . . . It is a proof of His mercy that there is the hiding of His power, that He is enshrouded in the awful clouds of mystery and obscurity; for to lift the curtain that conceals the Divine Presence is death.”—The Review and Herald, April 7, 1885.

Wednesday April 3


a. What should we learn from Peter’s first recorded experience of walking by faith? Matthew 14:28–31.

“[Peter] should have kept his eye lifted upward to Jesus; but he looked down at the troubled waves, and his faith failed.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 273.

“Unless he makes it his life business to behold the uplifted Saviour, and by faith to accept the merits which it is his privilege to claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus. Now, it has been Satan’s determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man. . . . For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 93.

b. The longer Peter was with Jesus, how did he overestimate himself and his ability to withstand a major trial? Matthew 26:33–35, 69–75.

“There is nothing so offensive to God or so dangerous to the human soul as pride and self-sufficiency. Of all sins it is the most hopeless, the most incurable.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 154.

“The history of no one of the disciples better illustrates Christ’s method of training than does the history of Peter. Bold, aggressive, and self-confident, quick to perceive and forward to act, prompt in retaliation yet generous in forgiving, Peter often erred, and often received reproof. . . . Patiently, with discriminating love, the Saviour dealt with His impetuous disciple, seeking to check his self-confidence, and to teach him humility, obedience, and trust.

“But only in part was the lesson learned. Self-assurance was not uprooted. . . .

“For them all, Peter’s experience had a lesson. To self-trust, trial is defeat. The sure outworking of evil still unforsaken, Christ could not prevent. But as His hand had been outstretched to save when the waves were about to sweep over Peter, so did His love reach out for his rescue when the deep waters swept over his soul.”—Education, pp. 88, 89.

c. Why don’t many years of church membership guarantee greater strength in faith? Romans 11:20–22; 1 Corinthians 10:12; 8:2.

Thursday April 4


a. Why does God not always stop us from pursuing our own course, knowing it can end up in sin and shame? Isaiah 48:17; Luke 22:31, 32.

“Christ had said to Peter, before his denial of Him, ‘When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ Luke 22:32. These words were significant of the wide and effectual work which this apostle was to do in the future for those who should come to the faith. For this work, Peter’s own experience of sin and suffering and repentance had prepared him. Not until he had learned his weakness, could he know the believer’s need of dependence on Christ. . . . Now, converted and accepted, . . . . He was to deal with the sheep and lambs committed to his care as tenderly as Christ had dealt with him.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 515, 516.

b. In his later years, what encouragement did the converted Peter give in his letters to believers under trial? 1 Peter 3:14; 4:12–14.

“These letters bear the impress of having been written by one in whom the sufferings of Christ and also His consolation had been made to abound; one whose entire being had been transformed by grace, and whose hope of eternal life was sure and steadfast.”—Ibid., p. 517.

Friday April 5


1. When I hear the voice of Jesus calling in various life circumstances, how can I be sure to respond as promptly and zealously as Peter did?

2. As the number of years of my profession of Christianity lengthen, what must I never, ever forget?

3. In today’s age of constant distractions, where do I need to direct my natural inquisitiveness if I am serious about being saved for eternity?

4. In what aspects of life may I be in danger of self-trust and self-sufficiency?

5. When I err, how can I draw positive lessons out of that experience?

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