1 Peter (Part 1) Important Themes of the Epistle

a) List all the terms in Chapter 1 that describe what God has done for the believer in the present.

– Chosen v.1
– Set apart v.2
– Show mercy, New birth, living hope v.3
– Inheritance imperishable, undefiled and unfading v.4
– God protects inheritance v.5
– Ransomed v.18
– Born anew v.23

b) Describe all blessings associated with Christ’s return (the revelation of Christ). When is “salvation” in 1 Peter?

– Inheritance that can never perish is kept by God until coming of salvation at the last day 1:5
– Salvation of your soul (receiving the end result of faith) 1:9
– Receive boundless joy 4:13 (rejoice when his glory is revealed)
– Elders/ overseers who are faithful will receive a crown of glory that never fades 5:4
In these references “salvation” for Peter comes later, awaiting the arrival of Christ. Ideas flowing in this manner arises from the mention that believers will receive their inheritance at the last day (1:5), “that they are receiving” (1:9) which indicates the ongoing receiving, boundless joy arising when Jesus’ glory is revealed (4:13) and that elders will receive a crown of glory when the Chief shepherd arrives (5:4). These references indicate a future disposal of blessings.

c) List all the terms that Peter uses in 2:4-10 to describe the church. Where are these terms from and to whom did they apply.

Terms used:
– Chosen by God, precious to him v.4
– Living stones, holy priesthood v.5
– A chosen people, a royal priesthood, A holy nation, God’s special possession, Called out of darkness v.9
– The people of God, Those who receive mercy v.10
Where are these terms from?

It is apparent that these tones have a large connection to the Old Testament designation towards Israel. The call to be “living stones built into a spiritual house” has the idea that Peter is drawing understanding from the OT e.g. 1 Kings 5:5 and Is 56:7. The word use on house which is ‘oikos’ is referred to Jerusalem temple. Holy priesthood is echoed from Ex 19:6; 23:22; Is 61.6. “A chosen people” Is 43:20. Royal Priesthood and holy nation: Ex 19:6 and 23:22. “God’s special possession”: Ex 19:5 Is 43:21 Mal 3:17. In v.10 Peter borrows words from Hosea 1:6, 9; 2:1, 23.
To whom did they apply? These terms apply to the believers whom Peter was addressing who were predominantly Gentile and some Jewish Christian church/ community.

d) List all the references to suffering/ persecution throughout the epistle, and restate in your own words the point(s) made by each reference.

– 1:6-7: Peter calls the believers to rejoice because of what he said in v3-5 but now they are facing trials which are for the testing of their faith which will show that they are genuine in what they believe. This will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus comes.
– 2:12: The call to be witnesses by way of life in society, though accusations may come. This may turn for their salvation in which they witness their good life and they will give glory to God when he comes.
– 2:18-25: Out of Fearing God, slaves to show unconditional submission to their masters. Suffering unjustly is commendable rather than being in the wrong. God approves of this (God’s favour). Jesus becomes the example to follow in this scenario.
– 3:9-12: Don’t take revenge but bless instead. This is because then God will be attentive to our prayers on the basis of our speech and life.
– 3:13-14: Blessed to suffer for doing right.
– 3:16-18: Way of life that follows Christ distils slanderous remarks from outsiders. Jesus is given as an example to follow.
– 4:1-6: Jesus is our example in that we prepare to suffer like he did if need be so. The ones who suffer have no desire for sin but focus to God. God will judge us according to how we live.
– 4:12-19: Suffering happens and Peter tells them that not to be surprised when it comes. Suffering somehow shows that God’s Spirit rests on you and that we rejoice that we carry his name.
– 5:8-11: Be prepared, resisting the devil by standing firm and standing together with other Christians who are sojourner of the same condition they were going through.

e) How should believers behave towards one another?

– 1:22 To love without hypocrisy and truly from the heart
– 2:17 Love for fellow believer
– 3:1-6 wives are called to submit to their husbands, this is by way they live (gentle and quiet spirit v.4) following the way OT women did.
– 3:7 Husbands to be considerate with their wives treating them with respect
– 3:8 call to be like minded, sympathetic, loving each other, being compassionate and humble.
– 4:8 love each other deeply
– 4:9 offer hospitality willingly
– 4:10-11 edify each other by ministering to one another so Christ will be praised
– 5:2-4 Elders are called to be shepherds of the flock, willingly, eager to serve and being examples to them.
– 5:5 Younger people are to submit to elders in humility to one another
– 5:14 Greet each other warmly (holy kiss)

f) How should believers relate to the non-Christian pagan society? What are the terms that Peter uses to describe the status of believers within such a society?

How they are to relate to their society:
– Living good lives amongst them 2:12
– Submit to human authority, do good, live in freedom but not to cover up evil, 2:13-16
– Respect others, honor the emperor 2:17
– Slaves are to submit to their good and bad masters 2:18
– Wives are to submit to their unbelieving partners in their behaviour 3:6
– Don’t tread the route of revenge but rather bless those who insult them 3:9, 13-14
– Ready to explain the faith to others if they ask with gentleness and respect 3:15
– Don’t participate with them in their pagan way of life which they used to live in before 4:3-4

Terms Peter used to describe status of believers within the society:
– 1:1 God’s elect and exiles
– 1:10-12 They were privileged
– 1:17 Foreigners
– 1:23 Born again
– 2:5 Living stones, built into spiritual house, holy priesthood
– 2:9 Chosen people, royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession
– 2:10 The people of God, those who receive mercy
– 2:11 Foreigners and exiles
– 3:9 Those who inherit the blessing
– 4:14 Blessed
– 4:16 Those who bear his name if one suffers for his name sake/ Christian
– 4:17 God’s household
– 5:14 Those who are in Christ

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