What is in 1 Peter?
1 Peter is the 60th book in the Bible, the 21st book in the New Testament, and is one of Peter’s letters.
Peter starts off praising God for salvation through Jesus. Some Christians are facing trials in the present moment, but these serve to verify the genuineness of their faith. Peter says that the prophets of old were serving the present Christians in helping identifying Jesus as the Messiah. Thus, Christians are to set their mind on God’s grace and be holy, putting away the temptations of the flesh as people chosen by God should, so that the unbelievers may take notice of the good that Christians do.
Christians are to submit to human rulers, as they come from God. Likewise, servants are to subject themselves to their masters even if they are unjust, as Jesus did good even while He suffered. Suffering for doing good is better than suffering for doing evil. Wives are to be subject to their husbands, and husbands are to show honor to their wives. All are to show unity with one another, resisting the urge to repay evil with evil. Instead, Christians should bless that they might be blessed.
Through baptism, believers become saved as they appeal to God through Jesus’s resurrection. With a willingness to suffer in the flesh as Christ suffered, they turn their earthly passions to those of God’s. While unbelievers may scoff at this, they too will have to give account to God after their life. The end is drawing near, so Peter tells Christians to always love one another and use their gifts from God to the fullest.
Peter then tells Christians that they shouldn’t be surprised when trials come. Instead, they should rejoice for sharing in Christ’s sufferings if they do good, as they can reveal God’s glory. In the last chapter, Peter specifically addresses the elders of the church, that they would shepherd the church by being godly examples. The young should likewise obey the elders. All should humble themselves before God. Lastly, Peter gives his final greetings.
Who wrote it?
1 Peter 1:1 names Peter as the author. Peter was one of the disciples under Jesus.
Who was it written to?
1 Peter 1:1 addresses the letter to ‘those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia’. ‘Exiles’ is not meant in a literal sense, but to people who are waiting to be with Jesus in heaven. In other words, this is addressed to the church all over the globe.
When was it written?
Unlike many of Paul’s letters, 1 Peter does not have much information to date it with a high degree of accuracy. Assuming Peter really was the author, the likeliest time of writing is in the early 60s A.D.
Why was it written?
Peter was addressing all Christians to show that they may have to suffer persecution for doing good, but suffering through that actually serves to reveal God’s glory.
How does 1 Peter apply to me?
Peter says in this letter that a life fully given to God will enable one to persevere through sufferings for His sake. Enduring sufferings for the sake of doing good is exactly what Christ did, but on a much larger scale, for all of us. At the end, though, Christ was exalted above all, and so will we be. Our beliefs and actions shouldn’t be shaped by society, but by God Himself.
As for all posts in this series, a book introduction in a good study Bible will provide more information than listed here. The ESV Study Bible is one recommendation.
The Bible Project video on 1 Peter
Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984. Released under new license, CC-BY-SA 3.0