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1 Peter
Book type: Letter (Epistle)
Author: Apostle Peter
No. of chapters: 5
Key character(s): God, Jesus, Peter [1]
Brief description: 1 Peter – Faithfulness under oppression.
01) Christian relationship to God (1:1-2)
02) God’s work in us (1:3-12)
03) Call to pure living (1:13-2:10)
04) Ethical principle for living (2:11-3:12)
05) A proper attitude towards suffering (3:13-4:6)
06) The end of all things (4:7-19)
07) Life instructions (5:1-11)
08) Closing greeting (5:12-14)

This was the apostle Peter’s first letter, mainly directed towards Gentile (ie non-Jews) 1st century Christian believers, who often faced isolation & exclusion both physically & spiritually. Peter must have been aware of the persecution faced by Christians because he refers to that subject 4 times in this brief epistle (letter).

Theological conclusions.
Our relationship to God determines the pattern of our lives. Peter was writing to people who had come out of a life of low ethical standards into one that bore the name of God Himself, with all the high morality that implies. They were to develop the nature of God within themselves, most notably the practical expression of love.

Christians were to respect & submit to authority. Husbands & wives, whilst having different roles, were to have mutual responsibilities. Slaves should submit to earthly masters. These new attitudes could lead to persecution from neighbours, but even in this case the life & death of Jesus the Christ was the pattern for life.

Contemporary teaching.
Peter calls us to a close relationship to Jesus the Christ, which practically demonstrates that love connection.

Christians are to demonstrate a completely different lifestyle to the worldly environment in which they physically live.

Even in the midst of trials & suffering we are to look to Jesus as our role model & to practically emulate His way of life. We should show love & humility as God works out our holiness.

We should always be ready to give reasons for our faith in Jesus; to act in gentleness & reverence even if, & when, opposition arises.

We seek to serve Jesus, by serving those around us, in so doing we seek the honour of God, not our own reward & honour.

Key Verses:
1 Peter 1:6-7

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV)

1 Peter 2:13-17
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. (NIV)

1 Peter 3:15-17
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (NIV)