Summary of 1 Peter
The author of 1 Peter is Jesus’ disciple bearing that name. It was most likely written in between A.D. 62-63.
The theme of 1 Peter is rejoicing in our suffering and trials. Peter is writing to a people who are suffering, yet he sees that they have joy. He says that their joy comes from the knowledge that their inheritance is not on this earth, but waiting in heaven for them. It is an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading, and God is the one who is reserving it for us. Therefore, even though we may suffer for a little while, we have that hope of the prize at the end of the race, thus, we can rejoice in our trials. If we suffer for Christ with joy, then He will strengthen us and give us grace for each day, and we will be glorifying Him.
A. What is the author telling me in 1 Peter 1:1-2?
Peter begins his letter stating who he is and who he is writing to. He is writing to the pilgrims who have been dispersed most likely because of persecution. He states that they have been elected by Jesus, through the sanctifying of His blood.
B. How should I respond to 1 Peter 1:1-2?
Peter calls those he is writing to, pilgrims, because this earth is not their home; they are only strangers on a journey to their real home. I also am a pilgrim on my way to my real home, thus, I should live for the eternal prize and not for the things that will fade away. I have been elected by Jesus Christ.
A. 1 Peter 1:3-2:10
Peter blesses God for His mercy toward us in that He has given us hope through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ has given us an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading. In this hope, the people rejoice, even though they have been going through various trials. Peter says that these trials are a testing of there faith which will produce something much more precious that silver or gold, but rather eternal glory. He reminds them that Christ also suffered because he knew of the glory that lay before Him. He exhorts them to live set apart holy lives for Christ. He reminds them that it is Christ who has redeemed us, not with perishable things, but with the Precious blood of Jesus Christ. He encourages them to live in love towards each other, and put away all malice and evil. We once were children of disobedience, but now we are children of Light, a chosen generation, and a royal priesthood.
I have hope through Jesus Christ because he has redeemed me with His own precious blood that is eternal. Even though I may walk through various trials, I can rejoice in the knowledge of the eternal prize and glory that awaits me at the end of this journey. I should live a holy life that is set apart to Jesus Christ, the one who has redeemed me. I have been chosen by God to be a part of His family, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and His special people.
A. 1 Peter 2:11-4:11
We are told to live as sojourners, doing what is honorable so that when others see us they may see Christ in us. We are to submit to all authority for God’s sake. Christ is an example to us of how we should suffer joyfully for what is good. Peter encourages the women to be submissive to their husband and to desire beauty of the heart more than the outward beauty. Husbands are to live with their wife in understanding. We are to love one another; blessing those who curse us and returning evil with good. We should always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have within us. Peter reminds us that Christ suffered on the cross and died for our sins; therefore, we should stop living in the flesh, but rather live for God’s glory.
My life should reflect Christ, so when others see me they would want to know what makes me different. I am to submit to the authority that God has set over me. The hidden beauty of the heart, with a gentle and quiet spirit, is much more precious to God then fine apparel. Christ is an example to me of how I should love those who curse or revile me. I should return evil for good. I should no longer live in my flesh, my life before I was redeemed, but rather live for God’s glory.
A. 1 Peter 4:12-5:11
Peter entreats us to rejoice in our suffering so God would be glorified. He says that those who suffer for Christ’s name are blessed, for God is being blasphemed by the persecutors, but He is glorified through you. We are told not to be ashamed of our suffering, if we suffer for Christ’s name, but rather commit our souls to Him. Peter exhorts the elders to shepherd the flock and live in a Christ honoring way, so they can be an example. Peter then tells the young to be submissive and live in all humility. He encourages them to cast their cares upon Jesus for God cares for them. They are to be sober and vigilant to watch out for the devil, who walks about like a lion seeking whom he may devour. Yet, he reminds them that God will give them grace and strengthen them.
When I suffer for Christ’s sake, I need to rejoice, so Christ will be glorified. I should not be ashamed to suffer for Christ’s name, but rather trust Him. I am to be humble because when I am humble God will give me grace. I need to be watchful at all times so that I am not caught in one of the devils snares. Although I may suffer for a time, God will give me grace and strengthen and establish me. I need to cast all of my cares upon Jesus for he cares about me.
A. 1 Peter 5:12-14
Peter blesses Silvanus, a faithful brother in the Lord, who wrote this letter for him. Peter testifies of the true grace of God for which we stand. He sends greetings from two of his friends and himself. He closes with sending peace to all who are elect in Christ.
It is good to praise the good qualities I see in others. Peter sets that example by saying Silvanus has been a faithful brother to him. I stand here today, only because of God’s grace in my life.
The theme verse for 1 Peter could be “But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:13. Peter not only exhorts us to rejoice when we suffer, but to rejoice so much that we partake of the sufferings of Christ. In so doing, we shall rejoice when His glory is revealed.