1 Peter

1 Peter

  • 1 Peter 1
    • Written to Jewish Christians of Turkey (1:1), described as sojourners, temporary residents.
    • Chosen (1:2) The faithful are chosen.  We are not acceptable because of our faith, but because God through His grace chose those with faith.
    • Plan (1:2) Many translation use “foreknowledge,” which gives the incorrect impression that God knew beforehand.  The point is that God planned.  God is not simply reacting to messy people, but has a workable plan despite people.  Later (1:20), Peter adds that this plan was formulated before Creation.
    • Sanctification by the Spirit (1:2) The Spirit is the power behind the faithful being reserved for godly purposes.   “Into obedience and the sprinkling of the blood” describes that our obedience is due to the work of the Spirit, and that we are re-dedicated after our bad choices in the same way that physical objects were re-dedicated under the Law (g., Leviticus 16:19, the sacrifice symbolized atonement, the sprinkling symbolized sanctification)
    • Mercy (1:3) Even the faithful require mercy; our faith is not sufficient.
    • Born again (1:3, 8, 23) Transformation is an essential feature of the good news.
    • Living hope (1:3) This hope has to do with living, not just the future (1:13).
    • Through the Resurrection (1:3) An essential feature of good news is evidence.  See also 1:21.
    • An inheritance eternal and pure (1:4) Heaven is prepared.  The present heaven is neither permanent nor undefiled.  The new heaven will replace it; Satan and his angels formerly lived there, defiling it.  Jesus has cleaned it up, but it was defiled, so will always be less than flawless.  The new heaven in which we will reside was created in the six days of creation and will be the eternal residence.
    • Kept by the power of God through faith (1:5) If we were kept by our self-discipline, we would not have good news.  However, the effectiveness of the power of God depends on faith.  Whether our faith is sufficient is revealed only when the power of God is seen in us.
    • Ready to be revealed (1:5) This encompasses both the destruction of Jerusalem through which the final evidence was revealed, and at the end of time when our rescue is completed.
    • Rejoice despite a broken world (1:6, 8)
    • The brokenness of the world has a purpose (1:7) Our faith is refined by difficult times.  The revelation applies more to the destruction of Jerusalem because our praise, honor, and glory are evidence to unbelievers of the power of God.  At the end of time, unbelievers can no longer benefit, and the character traits of the faithful will already have been transformed.
    • We trust His promises, so we choose what is in His best interests (1:8)
    • Our souls already have been resurrected from death (1:9). Salvation is rescue.  “Soul” in this place is one’s eternal part.  The eternal part is either dead (separated from God) or alive (connected to God).  We have been re-connected.  Later, Peter uses the word “redeemed” (1:18).
    • Grace (1:10) The specifics of how God’s gracious character would be manifested was not available to the prophets, although God’s grace is described in the Old Testament.  This manifestation of grace (1:11) is Jesus, God coming to earth, His sacrifice, and the subsequent indwelling Spirit that transforms us.  In 1:13, this grace is future and the object of hope.  See also 1:20.
    • Angels desire to know how this faith system works (1:12) because faith is the piece that angels lacked, resulting in the exile of many.
    • Lust is ignorant (1:14) and aimless (1:17)
    • Our motivation to purity is to imitate God (1:15 – 16).
    • The fear described here (1:17) has its objective in 2:10 – 12, fear for the fate of unbelievers.
    • The value of that which redeemed us (1:18 – 19) is our motivation.
    • The objective of purified souls is love of the faithful (1:22)
    • The “logos” (1:25) is not the printed Bible, but the concepts that derive from the character of God. These concepts are present now, “living,” and forever, “abiding” (1:23).
  • 1 Peter 2
    • (2:1 – 3) Grace is our motivation to absorb the concepts that derive from the character of God.  Peter reminds his readers that bad choices are inappropriate (2:1), ignorant (1:14), and aimless (1:18).  Understanding the concepts of the character of God cause our spirits to develop.
    • (2:4 – 10) The purpose of our temporary transit of earth is to be the temple of God.
    • The message of God, Jesus in this case, was rejected by the religious establishment (2:4, 7, 8), as had happened several times in the past (Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 8:14).
    • Christians share that attribute with Jesus, being rejected by the establishment (2:5). Further, the Turkish Jews, considered unholy by Palestinian Jews, would become the true temple in which true sacrifices will be offered.  The concept of “being built up” refers to the period between the beginning of the church and the fall of Jerusalem.  This temple is now complete.
    • The priest image is extended to all Christians in 1 Corinthians 3:9 – 17. The spiritual sacrifices are the lives of the faithful (Romans 12:1 – 2).  We celebrate forgiveness as we are being transformed by the Spirit.
    • As God promised to the faithful in Isaiah’s day (2:6), so is it in all times (Isaiah 28:16).
    • Those who were appointed but stumbled (2:8) were the unbelieving Jews, specifically the Jewish hierarchy.
    • (2:10) See Hosea 1:9, 10, 2:23. God predicted that this new nation would arise from the division of Hosea’s time.
    • The purpose of this new priesthood is to proclaim the character of Jesus to those who are in darkness (2:10 – 12).
      • The purpose of most of the rest of 1 Peter is to list specific ways that the faithful were to be in contrast to the world for the purpose of attracting them to God.
      • General principles are given in each of the following examples, but the principles apply to all of life.
    • The “day of visitation” (2:12) probably refers most to the day in which unbelievers choose the path of faith, which seems more in keeping with “glorifying God” than Judgment.
    • One way of attracting people to God is to obey the civil government (2:13 – 17).
      • Avoidance of laws, in every era and in every country, has been commonly accepted behavior (g., taxes).
      • The concept of being free yet submissive also is a fundamental principle of Christian marriage, church leadership, and family leadership.
      • Peter does not address specifics or exceptions, only that we evaluate our motives if we choose disobedience to the civil government.
        • Daniel and his three friends disobeyed openly and accepted the consequences gladly rather than being secretive or claiming to be above the law.
        • Peter and John defied a religious authority, not a civil one, and that only after receiving a miraculous sign to do so.
        • As free people, we must find ways to be obedient without abandoning liberty rather than using the Scriptures to justify disobedience.
      • Another way to attract people to God is to be a good servant (2:18 – 25).
        • Jesus also suffered for doing the right thing.
        • Obedience to the unreasonable is endorsed.
        • Jesus’ attitude toward those who abused and then killed Him is endorsed.
        • Jesus’ example ties together the paragraphs about governments and masters.
          • Jesus commented on the Sanhedrin’s inconsistency, not His own authority (John 18:19 – 24).
          • Jesus commented to Pilate about the nature of civil authority (John 19:11).
        • Through liberty, we have returned to imitating Jesus.
  • 1 Peter 3
    • Another way to attract people to God is by being a submissive wife (3:1 – 6).
      • The concepts of the previous examples also apply: as free women, even to the unreasonable.
      • Peter does not give specifics but generalizations to be applied in light of attracting unbelievers in general and unbelieving husbands in particular.
      • Unbelieving husbands may come to fear God because of the contrast.
      • Focus on inward beauty rather than outward beauty.
      • Sarah was submissive yet contributed to family decisions (Genesis 16:1 – 6, 21:1 – 21).
    • Another way to attract people to God is to be a godly husband (3:7)
      • Understand the differences between men and women.
      • Describe godly character traits of wives to outsiders.
      • Keep equality in mind. Male leadership is the woman’s curse (Genesis 3:16).
      • Arrogance hinders prayers.
    • Another way to attract people to God is through our unity based on love (3:8 – 12).
      • Our unity is not based on authority but on love.
      • Our response to bad choices by fellow believers is to do good for them.
      • Responding to evil in like kind means I am doing evil. Rather pursue peace.
      • Responding with love, compassion, tenderness, and humility gets God’s attention.
    • Another way to attract people to God is to talk about hope in this life (3:13 – 22)
      • Live confidently despite bad experiences and negative prospects. Isaiah 8:12 is the example.
      • Realize that Jesus is something special.
      • Be ready to explain in a kind way why your hope is legitimate.
      • Be fearful for the fate of unbelievers.
      • Avoid excuses (g., 2:16) so you can be confident that you are doing right.
      • Jesus had some bad times, but did it to bring people to God. We do the same (Romans 12:1 – 2).
      • Enduring bad times with hope causes the Spirit to revitalize our spirits.
      • Jesus preached to people imprisoned by sin; so should we, despite the consequences.
      • As God was patient before the Flood, despite the small yield; so should we be.
      • Our hope includes that we are rescued from the brokenness of this world.
      • Our hope is based on the fact that Jesus reigns now over both earth and heaven.
      • Technical notes on the “spirits in prison”:
        • Many teach that Jesus went to the realm of the dead between His death and resurrection in order to preach to disobedient spirits from before the Flood.
          • What about the disobedient dead from after the Flood?
          • Did they get a second chance to develop faith or was Jesus just making them feel worse?
        • Many teach that Peter was referring to the Book of Enoch.
          • Some of the book pre-dates Jesus, not all.
          • The early part is among the Dead Sea Scrolls, but mainstream Judaism never accepted it.
          • Existing copies are poor. The original content is much in doubt.
        • A better punctuation is to put a period after “disobedient” and a comma after “when.” The idea is that Jesus preached to people who were, at the time of the preaching, disobedient.  We should not expect people to clean up first.  As an encouragement to being patient with the disobedient, remember that Noah preached with no responses with the arguable exception of his own family.
  • 1 Peter 4 Another way to attract people to God is through our behavior
    • Peter has used “suffered” to describe physical death or the negative experiences of life (1 Peter 2:19, 20, 21, 23, 3:14, 17, 18, 4:1, 15, 19 5:10).
    • Jesus’ handling of adversity has been described in 2:21 – 24 and 3:18 – 22.
      • Not returning evil for evil
      • Our suffering leads to the healing of others
      • That we might bring others to God
      • By which we are rescued from a broken world
      • Identified with the king.
    • Understand that “the lusts of men” are sensible to unbelievers (4:2 – 5)
      • The will of God consists of
        • Romans 12:2 Our transformation.
        • Colossians 4:12 To be perfect and complete.
        • 1 Thessalonians 4:3 Our sanctification,
        • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 To give thanks.
        • 1 Timothy 2:4 For all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
        • 1 Peter 2:15 To do good
        • 1 Peter 4:19 Some suffer according to the will of God.
      • Believers get help with participation in the will of God
        • Ephesians 5:17 Christians are able to know the will of God
        • Philippians 2:13 God assists Christians to desire His good pleasure, in contrast to Romans 7:18 in which the unbeliever fails. (See also Hebrews 13:21.)
    • We share good news with those who are spiritually dead (4:5 – 7)
      • See also 3:18 – 22. We speak to spiritually dead people, even though they are messy.
      • One motivation is that God is prepared to judge.
      • The good news makes people feel bad about their own pasts which previously seemed sensible. But that remorse has a great result.
      • Another motivation is the impending destruction of Jerusalem. To Jewish Christians, this is “the end of all things.”  This cannot refer to the final judgment since no sign or anticipation is possible.
    • We attract people as we use the ability which God supplies (4:8 – 11)
      • 2 Corinthians 4:7
      • Romans 5:5
      • Romans 12:6 – 13
    • We are motivated because unbelievers are not prepared for impending disaster (4:12 – 19)
      • Christians experience negative events along with the rest of humanity.
        • Connects to 4:1, “Arm yourselves with the same mind.”
        • “Let him glorify God in this name” (4:16) “Name” is the essence of the person. Let us recount the parade of God’s character traits as we partake of them, particularly the character of Jesus when He suffered.
      • “The time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God” (4:17)
        • “When His glory is revealed” (4:13) in the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:30 – 31, Mark 13:26 – 27, Luke 21:27)
        • The reason to be prepared is out of concern for unbelievers who must live through it (or die) without Jesus’ attitude or the Spirit’s help.
      • “Doing good” (4:19) in time of crisis gets attention
        • “According to” means “in keeping with.” (1:2, 3, 14, 17, 3:7, 4:6, 19)
        • The will of God (see list with 4:2 – 5) sometimes includes difficult times
        • The fate of our souls depends on how we understand adversity
        • God keeps His promises (so knowing what He promised is essential)
  • 1 Peter 5 Maintaining the premise that Peter intended to advise concerning the attitudes and actions that promote the spread of good news.
    • Leadership (5:1 – 4)
      • Elders were given the gift of leadership until the body could edify itself (Ephesians 4:7 – 16).
      • Jesus outlined a peculiar form of leadership that was to characterize his disciples (Matthew 20:25 – 28, 23:8 – 12, Mark 10:42 – 45, Luke 22:25 – 27, John 13:12 – 15).
      • The equality of the parts of the body is emphasized (Romans 12:3 – 21, 1 Corinthians 12:4 – 31), leadership being one of the gifts listed.
      • This leadership style would be remarkable to outsiders and, therefore, an attraction to hear more about the good news.
    • Following (5:5 – 7)
      • Note: Followers should value leaders to the point that the leaders are compensated (1 Timothy 5:17 – 18).
      • Be submissive to all other body parts, not just the leaders.
      • Our humility is maintained by comparing our abilities to God’s.
      • Be patient.
        • Exaltation from God is far better than that from people.
        • Desiring leadership generally stems from wanting to fix something that bothers us. God, as demonstrated by His love in the past, can handle it better.
      • This relates to Jesus’ prayer for the miraculous unity of the saints (John 17:20 – 26).
      • This supportive environment, as contrasted with normal personal agendas, is appealing to outsiders.
    • Motivation to good behavior (5:8 – 11)
      • Reasons for good behavior
        • 2 Corinthians 6:16 – 7:1 We are the Temple of the living God.  Keep it clean.
        • 1 Corinthians 5:8 Malice and wickedness spoil sincerity and truth
        • 2 Corinthians 4:7 Success displays God’s power
        • 1 John 3:3 Everyone who has this hope purifies himself just as He is pure
        • Ephesians 4:30 Failure grieves the Holy Spirit
        • Romans 2:24 The name of God is blasphemed
        • 1 Peter 2:1, 1:14, 1:18 Bad choices are inappropriate, ignorant, and aimless.
      • Resist based on
        • Other believers suffer, too. It’s not you.
        • God has promised to perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
      • Summary: Methods of Evangelism
        • Obedient to civil government yet living as free people.
        • Obedience to masters, especially the unreasonable, as Jesus was.
        • Submissive wives with a brain.
        • Godly husbands who value equality and lead for be benefit of those who follow.
        • Unity based on love.
        • Hope in this life with patience toward those who have not listened yet.
        • Handling adversity and overcoming ourselves
        • Sharing good news with the spiritually dead
        • Using the ability which God supplies
        • Motivated by compassion for those who have no Helper
        • Leading by serving
        • Letting others have their way
        • Being patient while awaiting transformation
      • These are not rules (legalism) but attitudes (faith).