Survey of the Bible - I Peter

Text: I Peter 4


I.         Peter’s letter is addressed to those scattered by persecution - I Peter 1:1

            A.        That sets the theme of I Peter – how to live in a world that is hostile to you

            B.        The author is clearly stated to be Peter.

                        1.         It has always been accepted as Peter’s letter, at least up until recent years when the fad has been to try and doubt all things in the Bible.

                        2.         But phrases used in I Peter match phrases in the records of Peter’s sermons in Acts

                                    a.         For example, Peter refers to the cross using the Greek word xylon (wood or tree) - Acts 5:30; 10:39; I Peter 2:24.

                                    b.         The other apostles use this word, but not in regards to the cross.

                        3.         Peter alludes to events that Peter witnessed and were significant to him

                                    a.         Jesus’ trial - I Peter 2:23

                                    b.         Jesus’ death - I Peter 3:18

                                    c.         Jesus’ suffering - I Peter 4:1; 5:1

            C.        Like Paul, Peter used a scribe to record his letter - I Peter 5:12

                        1.         Many believe this Silas, the same Silvanus mentioned in Paul’s letters - II Corinthians 1:19; I Thessalonians 1:1; II Thessalonians 1:1

            D.        As we mentioned the letter is address those dispersed into Gentile territory

                        1.         Followed traditions of the fathers - I Peter 1:18

                        2.         The encouragement to behave among the Gentiles - I Peter 2:12

                        3.         Tells us this letter was written primarily to Jewish Christians - Acts 8:4

                        4.         But not limited to the Jewish Christians

                                    a.         These are people who are Christians - I Peter 2:9-10

                                    b.         No longer accepted by their fellows - I Peter 4:3-4

            E.        Peter says he is writing from Babylon - I Peter 5:13

                        1.         Whether it is the area where Babylon used to exist, which there was a small settlement there, or a figurative reference to Rome as John used in Revelation 17-18 is debated.

            F.        Dating the book precisely is a bit more difficult

                        1.         It mentions the growing opposition to Christianity

                                    a.         Various trials - I Peter 1:6

                                    b.         Being threatened and defamed - I Peter 3:13-17

                                    c.         A reproach for being a Christian - I Peter 4:12-19

                                    d.         Suffering from Satan - I Peter 5:9-10

                        2.         Tradition is that Peter died in Nero’s persecutions of the church, which would be A.D. 68

                        3.         Mentions Mark in I Peter 5:13. Mark was in Rome when Paul was imprisoned - Colossians 4:10

                        4.         Taken together, I Peter was probably written around A.D. 60-64, in other words about the time Paul wrote many of his letters to the churches.

II.        Theme

            A.        It is the Christian’s response to persecution and suffering - I Peter 4:12-14

                        1.         Suffering should not be surprising as Christ, the one we follow, suffered - I Peter 2:21; 3:18; 4:1, 12-14

                        2.         It is a privilege to share in Christ’s suffering

                        3.         It should not be suffering because we have done wrong

                        4.         It is a suffering shared with other believers - I Peter 5:9-10

                                    a.         It isn’t a punishment by God, but an opportunity to grow stronger

            B.        Another theme is encouragement through remembering our true destiny - I Peter 5:12

III.       Outline

            A.        Salutation - I Peter 1:1-2

            B.        The salvation of Christians - I Peter 1:3-1:12

                        1.         Hope for the future - I Peter 1:3-4

                        2.         Trials for the present - I Peter 1:5-9

                        3.         Anticipation in the past - I Peter 1:10-12

            C.        The response to Salvation - I Peter 1:13-2:12

                        1.         Prepare your minds by being holy - I Peter 1:13-16

                        2.         Conduct yourselves with fear - I Peter 1:17-21

                        3.         Purify yourselves with a sincere love of the brethren - I Peter 1:22-25

                        4.         Desire the word so you can grow - I Peter 2:1-3

                        5.         Offer up spiritual sacrifices to God - I Peter 2:4-8

                        6.         Proclaim the excellencies of Christ - I Peter 2:9-10

                        7.         Abstain from lusts - I Peter 2:11-12

            D.        The submission of Christians - I Peter 2:13-3:12

                        1.         Submission to government - I Peter 2:13-17

                        2.         Submission to employers - I Peter 2:18-20

                        3.         The example of Christ - I Peter 2:21-25

                        4.         Submission in marriage - I Peter 3:1-7

                        5.         Summary of how to live as a Christian - I Peter 3:8-12

            E.        The sufferings of Christians - I Peter 3:13-5:14

                        1.         How to conduct yourselves in suffering - I Peter 3:13-17

                        2.         The example of Christ - I Peter 3:18-3:22

                        3.         Arm yourselves against lusts to follow Christ - I Peter 4:1-6

                        4.         Living under persecution - I Peter 4:7-11

                        5.         Be prepared to share in Christ’s sufferings - I Peter 4:12-19

                        6.         The service of elders - I Peter 5:1-4

                        7.         Humble yourselves - I Peter 5:5-7

                        8.         Resist Satan - I Peter 5:8-9

                        9.         It isn’t forever - I Peter 5:10-11

            F.        Closing - I Peter 5:12-14