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Summary: Introduction to 1 Peter

1st Peter - Suffering

INTRODUCTION: 1 Peter was written at a time when it was extremely dangerous to declare one’s personal faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Christianity had been outlawed, and Nero was doing all he could to eradicate the “sect” from his empire. Believers had begun to suffer religious persecution, and the persecution would not soon end. This Letter was written to prepare them for the persecution to come, and to encourage them and give them hope in the midst of their anguish.

I. The Author of the Book - Peter

A. Simon Peter (1:1,8; 5:1), perhaps the best known of the twelve Apostles, is mentioned by name 227 times in the Bible, but only once in this Letter, and only 5 times are 1st person pronouns used of him.

B. He was originally a fisherman of Galilee, who became interested in the preaching of John the Baptist and was later brought to Christ by his brother Andrew, who had heard John’s testimony. (John 1:35-42; Mat. 4:18-19)

C. His original name was Simon or Simeon, but he was named Peter (Cephas = stone) by the Lord. (Mat 4:18-19; John 1:35-42)

D. He was married. (Mat 8:14-15)

E. Important events in Peter’s life include his…

· walking on water (Mat 14:22-36);

· confession of faith (Mat 16:13-23);

· boast never to forsake Christ, followed by his denial (Mat 26:31-35);

· repentance (Mat 26:75; John 21:15-24);

· sermons at the Pentecost and after healing the lame man (Acts 2 & 3);

· deliverance by an angel from imprisonment and execution (Acts 12);

· preaching to the Gentiles (Acts 10);

· testimony for salvation through faith and for Christian liberty at Jerusalem (Acts 15);

· denial of Christian liberty by his actions at Antioch (Galatians 2).

F. Tradition says that at his execution, he requested to be crucified up-side-down, feeling unworthy of dying in the same manner as his Master.

II. The Recipients of the Book

A. Strangers, {diaspora} Jews who lived outside Palestine and yet looked on it as their native land.

B. But also to Christians everywhere (1:18,19,23; 2:10,24). He speaks to them not as Jews but as Christians.

III. The Date and Place of Writing

A. Date - About 63 AD. This Epistle has a number of similarities to the epistles of Paul, which lead scholars to think that Peter was familiar with Paul’s writings (2 Peter 3:15 bears this out).

B. Place -According to 5:13, he wrote from Babylon.

IV. The Purpose of the Book

A. To encourage persecuted and suffering Christians (1:6-7; 5:8-9, 12).

B. To prepare them for more severe trials yet ahead (4:12-13).

C. To give consolation during the present sufferings and to prepare them for the trials still ahead. This he does by showing them the wonderful hope that lies ahead (1:13), and also pointing them to the example of Christ (2:21-23).

D. To exhort husbands, wives, servants, elders and people to fulfill their duties and not give the enemy any ground for true complaint (4:15-16).

V. The Keys of the Book

A. Key Thought: Trials of our faith are precious because of their results.

B. Key Verse: 4: 12, 13; 5:6-7

C. Key Words:

1. Suffer - 15 times

2. Glory - 16 times.

3. Grace - 9 times

4. Precious - 5 times

5. Hope - 4 times

VI. The Outline of the Book

A. God’s Grace and Salvation (1:1- 2:10)

1. Live in Hope (1:1-12)

2. Live in Holiness (1:13-21)

3. Live in Harmony (1:22- 2:10)

B. God’s Grace and Submission (2:11- 3:12)

1. Submit to authorities (2:11-17)

2. Submit to masters (2:18-25)

3. Submit in the home (3:1-7)

4. Submit in the Church (3:8-12)

C. God’s Grace and Suffering (3:13- 5:14)

1. Make Christ Lord (3:13-22)

2. Have Christ’s attitude (4:1-11)

3. Glorify Christ’s Name (4:12-19)

4. Look for Christ’s return (5:1-6)

5. Depend on Christ’s grace (5:7-14)

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