“… I have written to you briefly exhorting and testifying to the true grace of God.”1st Peter 5:14b
Author: Peter, the Disciple. Date: between AD 63-64)
The Author (1:1a)
The Recipient (1:1b-2)
The New Birth (1:3a)
The Living Hope (1:3b)
The glorious inheritance (1:4)
The Omnipotent Protector (1:5-12)
Conduct Before God (1:13-2:12)
Conduct Before Men (2:13-4:19)
As An Example, (4:1-19)
Conduct of the Church (5:1-11)
Peter, The Disciple
Although we understand that Peter pinned this epistle, Peter is not the true author. The Author is God Himself. Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding comes to us in Scripture, so we learn to fellowship with God and live the with-God life with boldness and confidence.
Author of Sacred Scripture
All Scripture is God breathed (2nd Timothy 3:16-17) and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training us in living right before God.
Some may think Scripture is only a reflection of someone’s religious experience, or maybe a record of ancient people striving to understand our God. Nope. They’re deceived.
Scripture is and always will be God’s revelation of Himself and His will.
God commissioned apostles and prophets to speak on his behalf. Their gifting from the Holy Spirit and writing styles also give His Word a richness and beauty like no other.
God’s work in bringing us His word is trustworthy. Scripture has and never will be in error, and it is the supreme authority for all believers. Why? Because it is from the Supreme Authority, and He sent for our good.
So, let’s take a few minutes to meet the man God breathed on to write 1st Peter.
Who is Peter?
Of all the Disciples, this man understood the value of grace. Christ chose this self-centered fisherman, and we see what a change Christ makes in his life. Peter becomes a fisher of men.
Peter was called Simon, Simeon, and even Cephas, but Jesus called him Peter. Before meeting Jesus, Peter had worked alongside James and John fishing on the Sea of Galilee.
Peter was a family man. We don’t hear anything about his wife, but it is obvious that she gave him her support. Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:30-31). They lived in Capernaum.
Peter walked on water (Matt 14:28-31), confessed Jesus as Messiah (Matt 16:13-20), and saw Christ transfigured (Matt 17:1-9 & II Peter 1:16-18)
Jesus knew Peter well and understood that he would not betray Him, but would deny Him not once but three times. (Mk 14:27-31, Jn 18:15-18 & 25-27). What sorrow Peter must have suffered until Christ’s resurrection. I can only imagine. Each day, as the rooster crowed, poor Peter was forced to remember his sin.
It is interesting to note God’s perfect grace toward Peter.
Peter at the Resurrection
On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead and the angel told the women that, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they put him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there just as He told you.” (Mark 16:6-7)
When Peter heard this news, he didn’t run away and hide. He and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves (Luke 24:12 & John 20:30-10). If Christ were really alive, Peter knew he had a chance of forgiveness.
At Pentecost, it was Peter who boldly professed Christ. The Holy Spirit was in him so powerfully as people were healed (Acts 3:1-10, 5:15, and 9:34). A girl named Tabitha was raised from the dead (9:36-43)
Peter in the Book of Acts
Because of their bold witness, Peter and John were arrested and forbidden to preach (4:1-31 & 5:17-42). Peter was given a vision and sent to Cornelius. He watched as God saved a Gentile and then filled him with the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:15).
Herod imprisoned him once, and yet he was freed by an angel (Act 12:1-19)
All said and done, Paul’s mission was to the Gentiles, but Peter’s focus was on the Jewish believers. Jesus call Peter to feed his sheep (John 21:15-19).
Before his untimely death at the hand of the Roman Emperor Nero, Peter wrote two epistles. One teaches us about our conduct in the loving mercy of God, and the other reminds us that Jesus is returning soon.
At Peter’s request, he was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus.
Peter and the 1st Epistle
Peter learned to be humble, caring, and considerate in his earthly walk with Jesus and learned the heart of God as he walked in the spirit. Peter’s desire for all Christians was to live in an enduring fellowship with God. Peter teaches us that in the intimacy of knowing Christ, our conduct and character will change.
His first letter has enjoyed a good reputation down through the ages. It is the easiest letter in the New Testament to read, and it has not lost its appeal to the human heart.
The epistle of 1st Peter is genuine and trustworthy. This letter was written in Rome, year AD 67, immediately following Ned’s first wave of persecution. Christians had been forced to leave their homes and scatter.
The scattered churches needed to know how the grace of God followed them wherever they were. Peter knew they needed such guidance and instruction. Encouragement is needed no matter what.
Peter reminds us that Christ will return, and we are safe—kept for the salvation to come (1:5). Those who keep the faith will be saved from the coming judgment (1:7). Such grace is ours in Christ Jesus. We are to place our hope in this truth (1:13) and those who suffer for Christ will rejoice (4:13). He firmly believed that judgment begins in the house of God (4:17).
When the Shepherd appears, the faithful will receive a crown of glory (5:4)
Peter reminds us that our conduct matters. We are walking witnesses—witnesses of God’s amazing grace. Christ will return, so we must be prepared. It is our motive for steadfast faith. We do not wait in vain.
Christ is watching us and gracefully leads us on until the day He returns at just the right time.
There’s more to the first epistle of Peter than meets the eye. Are you ready to dig deep and find the treasure of a lifetime?
I am, so let’s get ready. This is going to good.