Summary: Introductory Sermon to 1 Peter series
Date Written: April 27, 2007
Date Preached: April 29, 2007
Where Preached: OZHBC (PM)
Sermon Series: A Study on 1 Peter
Sermon Title: Introductory Sermon
Sermon Text: 1 Peter
It is almost unanimous among scholars that Peter wrote this book. Some of the reasons are that we know that Peter was a fisherman in Galilee which was a bi-lingual community, and Peter had to know both Greek and Aramaic to make a living.
Another solid clue that leads us to the authorship of Peter by Peter is that Peter was with the ‘master’ communicator Himself for 3 ½ yrs and he probably learned from Jesus how to express the kingdom of God to others.
Many believe that even though we find in the book of Acts that Peter was a untrained and uneducated man, we know that Silas was capable in that area. In fact many believe that Peter dictated this book to Silas and Silas ‘polished’ up the Greek.
There are many who say that 2 Peter is much more rough in its Greek and it shows that Peter possibly wrote 2 Peter without the editing help of Silas. But regardless, the evidence of Peter’s authorship for 1st and 2nd Peter is overwhelming.
Now we can see that the book of 1st Peter was written to believers to help them and to encourage them. This is because the believers Peter was writing to were experiencing life in hostile world of the Roman Empire and they were being persecuted because of their belief in Christ, both by the Roman government and by the Jewish religious leaders, and by society itself.
And because of all this persecution and trial, these believers needed Peter’s encouragement and help to cope with this day to day trouble that they were faced with.
These believers that Peter wanted to help were living in Roman occupied territories. They were in the area we now know as Turkey. This area has been long suspected of being one of the most persecution prone areas for the believers of the 1st century.
But the persecution that these people were facing was not just death from the government or pressure from the Jewish religious leaders.
It was also being socially ostracized by their friends and neighbors, it was being treated badly by that neighbor who had been so friendly toward you in the past, it was the Christian wife having to deal with her pagan husband’s rants, and it was the pagan masters taking out their frustrations on the Christian slaves…
In reading this letter we can determine a few things on our own…
First, we can see that the people Peter was writing to… the persecuted believers… were not just ONE people, but actually MANY people groups. So they came from many cultures.
Second we find Peter giving counsel a great many times to slaves, but we do not find him doing this with masters as much. So the implication here is that there were many more believer’s who were slaves than there were believers who were masters…
Thirdly, it seems that the majority of converts to Christ that Peter was writing to were converts from pagan religions and not from Judaism, but we know that there were some Jews that were converted as well…
Fourth, we can glean from this book is that Peter may not have known these churches personally, but he had been where they were now… and he had experienced persecution and was writing them to calm their fears and help them to cope with the situation.
But just what did Peter say to this group of many different people? Well as believers we have heard the phrase, “return good for evil” and we know this to be the Christian path…
However, when you are in the middle of a being persecuted, returning good for the evil your enemy is placing in your life is a very difficult thing to do.
So we can see that Peter is addressing this and many more topics as he writes to these wounded souls. We find in this letter that Peter combines 5 different themes that he teaches extensively about… they are:
1) Persecution for the believer is natural, don’t be surprised when you are persecuted…Jesus told us to expect it!
2) All believers are called of God to live holy lives… separate from the world, and with a godly attitude toward the world.
3) And although persecution is upon you… you do not deserve it and God will ultimately pull you out of it.
4) That all believers are to submit themselves in obedience to God and in servant hood they are to submit to others.
5) Finally we can see that Peter teaches the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The date of this letter is somewhat in limbo but we can gather that it was written between 64 and 67 AD. First because we find Paul making NO mention of Peter being in Rome and we have Paul in Rome and being executed around 60-62 AD.