Book of 1 Peter


SANCTIFIED SUFFERING – We see suffering and persecution in a new light when we focus on Living for Eternity and following the pattern of our Lord Jesus Christ. The grace of God enables us to stand firm and maintain a good testimony before the watching world. Our hope is set on the exaltation which Christ has promised to bring to us at His return. The resource of the Living Word of God enables us to bear up under unjust suffering and support the believing community with mutual love and encouragement as we worship God together.

Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” – 1 Peter 4:19

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” – 1 Peter 5:10

 

Big Idea:

By The Grace Of God, The Persecuted Church Finds Vindication And Victory Thru Living For Eternity, Maintaining Commendable Conduct, And Accepting Suffering As The Will Of God

Basic Outline:

I. (1:3-2:10) Live For Eternity: 3 Living Realities Associated With Our Salvation

a. Focusing on Our Living Hope (1:3 – 1:21) – Joy in Suffering — Our Guaranteed Future Spurs Overflowing Joy Despite Fiery Trials

b. Feeding on the Living Word (1:22 – 2:3) – Living for Eternity Requires Feeding On the Living and Abiding Word of God in Order to Aggressively Love One Another

c. Functioning as Living Stones (2:4-10) – The Living Stone in Fulfillment of OT Prophecy Elevates the Privileges and Worship of God’s People in the Church

II. (2:11-3:12) Commendable Conduct – Especially Submission To Every Appropriate Human Authority – Is The Only Answer To Persecution And The Best Way To Glorify God

a. Commendable Conduct (2:11-13a)

b. Submission in Society (2:13b-17)

c. Submission in the Workplace (2:18-25)

d. Submission in the Home (3:1-7)

e. Balancing Instructions to Husbands (3:8-12)

III. (3:13-4:19) Suffering (From The Perspective Of Living For Eternity And In The Context Of Commendable Conduct) Fulfills God’s Will And Finds Vindication And Victory)

a. Triumph of Suffering (3:13-17)

b. Assurance of Triumph – Victory in Jesus (3:18-22)

c. Acceptance of Suffering (4:1-6)

d. Urgency of Commitment (4:7-11)

e. Be Prepared (4:13-19)

IV. (5:1-14) Stand Strong In The Grace Of God

a. Profile of a Pastor (5:1-4)

b. Faithful Followers (5:5a)

c. Mutual Humility (5:5b-7)

d. Careful Resistance (5:8-14)

 

Why Study This Book?

  • To approach suffering from the same perspective as that of the ultimate Suffering Servant, our Lord Jesus Christ, that Great Shepherd of the Sheep
  • To strive for a good reputation among non-believers in every context in which we rub shoulders
  • To set our hope on the exaltation that will be brought to us when our Lord returns
  • To live in light of eternity – understanding the pilgrim nature of our sojourn on this earth
  • To endure persecution by rallying together as believers to support the entire community

 

Notable Quotes:

David Malick:In the midst of severe suffering Peter exhorts his readers to rejoice, grow, remain engaged (submissive) to one another, do what is right and entrust themselves to God so that they may bring glory to God, reach others for God, and receive honor upon Christ’s return.

Bob Deffinbaugh:When I read about Peter in the Gospels, I find an entirely different “Peter” than the apostle who penned the first epistle of Peter. In the Gospels, Peter wanted the kingdom of God to come now, and without human suffering. He wanted Jesus to quickly overthrow human government and establish His own. He bristled when Jesus spoke of His imminent suffering and death on the cross of Calvary. In his first epistle, Peter writes about our heavenly hope—the kingdom of God which will come after the suffering of the saints for their faith. He urges the saints to submit to divinely ordained human institutions, even when abused and corrupted by sinful leaders. Suffering is not represented as an exception, but as the rule for true believers.

The suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary becomes the pattern for Christian living and service in this life. As we read 1 Peter, we see a transformed man, and the theology which turned his thinking and lifestyle upside-down. It can do the same for all who read his epistle with an open heart and mind, searching for the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of all, Peter changed because he came to know and trust Jesus Christ. It is my hope that Peter’s words will help you know Him as well. The material in these sermons is available without charge for your personal study and to assist you in living, teaching and preaching God’s Word.

Dwight Edwards:Years ago the Russian scholar Berdyaew wrote, “Life in time remains without meaning if it does not receive its meaning from eternity.” If this is true, which no doubt it is, then we ought to consider very carefully the path down which we want our lives to march. Since we have but one life, it is eternally crucial that we make the right decision in how we spend it. If we give our life to things which mean nothing in eternity, then our life really will be meaningless here on earth. It wil1 be gone once it is lived and eternity will bear no lasting imprint as the result of this squandered existence. If, on the other hand, we spend our lives on things that last forever (God’s word, men’s souls, character, etc.) then our lives will be eternally etched upon the pages of time and we will “still speak” after our earthly sojourn is finished. The philosopher William James put it well when he said, “The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” Apparently the Apostle Peter was also keenly interested that we make our lives count for eternity; for he devoted an entire letter of the New Testament to this very issue. It is the book of 1 Peter, written sometime between 64 and 68 A.D.

J Sidlow Baxter: Christ Our Hope And Example Amid Trial

I. The Living Hope – and What Goes with it (1:3-2:10)
II. The Pilgrim Life – and How to Live it (2:11-4:11)
III. The “Fiery Trial” — and How to Bear it (4:12-5:11)

Alan M Stibbs:Its three main themes are all particularly relevant to the present day. When scientific achievement, the welfare state, and dialectical materialism combine to make our century too worldly-minded, 1 Peter recalls us to the heavenly and eternal outlook, and reminds Christians that they are but strangers and pilgrims here. Similarly, when relief from physical disease, and the provision of physical comfort tend to be treated by some as the primary Christian objective, we need the reminder of 1 Peter that holiness matters more, and that all who would follow Christ must, in a selfish and sinful world, be prepared to suffer for righteousness’ sake and to recognize that God uses suffering for the highest good. Also, when moral standards in so-called Christian countries tend seriously to decline, and when genuine young converts to Christ are tempted to spend their enthusiasm more in words than in deeds, we need the challenge of 1 Peter to express our response to Christ and the gospel in transformed behaviour in relation to our fellow-men.

J N D Kelly:This letter, one of the most pastorally attractive and vigorously confident documents in the NT, presents itself as a message of encouragement from the Apostle Peter to Christian communities in Asia Minor which are bewildered by the cruel treatment and persecution to which they are being subjected. As Christians, it reminds them, they are God’s chosen people and their sufferings are a purely temporary testing of their faith; the End is at hand, which will bring destruction to their enemies and, if they stand firm, everlasting glory to themselves. So far from being disheartened by malice and misunderstanding, they should seek to disarm them by making their conduct in every department of life a reflection of their holy calling. Christ Himself, innocent though He was, accepted death patiently, and indeed by undergoing it has conquered the powers of evil and been raised to glory. They should take Him as their example, for participation in His sufferings will lead to participation also in His triumph. So they should reckon their present tribulations not only a challenge to steadfastness, but a positive ground for rejoicing.

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