The Book of 1 Peter: Summary, Key Verses and Lessons
As Christians we are continually under attack; we face many trials that weigh us down because of our beliefs, which are founded in Jesus the Christ and His life. Jesus lived a perfect life but that does not mean He was immune to persecution, trials and suffering; Jesus was tempted, beaten, betrayed and killed and yet still did not sin.
Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, wrote 1 Peter encouraging believers who were, and are, experiencing persecution (1:1). Peter’s familiarity with the old testament and Jesus is evident in this book as he relates several teachings toward how believers should respond to persecution based on the life that Christ lived fulfilling the old testament.
Peter was once called Simon which means “one who hears”. However, sometimes Simon seems to have had a difficult time listening on occasion. Jesus gave Simon his new name, Peter, which means “rock”. Peter was the originally “Rocky”!
1 Peter was likely written prior to the persecutions by Nero, which began in A.D. 64, sometime between A.D. 61-64. Nero’s persecutions are often associated with arenas in which Christians were thrown into battle against fierce animals. However, it is likely, Peter was not writing to address physical persecution taking place but verbal.
The epistle was probably written from Rome however uncertainty arises because the epistle states in 5:13 that it was written from Babylon but this was probably just a cryptic reference for Rome.
Key Bible Verses
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart since you have been born again, not of perishable seek but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. (1 Peter 1:22-23)
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21)
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in your; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:15-17)
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit (1 Peter 3:18)
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:7-10)
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1 Peter 4:16)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 4:10)
In the book of 1 Peter we find three main sections: salvation (1:3—2:10), submission (2:11—3:12) and suffering (3:13—5:11). Each of these sections were written to encourage believers to remain strong in the foundation that had been laid by Jesus through his disciple Peter. In the section about salvation Peter affirms that trials bring about renewal as they burn away our past way of living toward living holier lives in Christ. Chapters 2 and 3 begin to focus on our role in being submissive to the powers above us: roles between spouses, the government and God are explicitly mentioned in these passages. Finally the book culminates in chapters 4 thru 5 about how to we should respond to suffering. The word “suffering” occurs sixteen times in the chapter (1:11; 2:19, 20, 21, 23; 3:14, 17, 18; 4:1 (bis), 13, 15, 16, 19; 5:1, 10).
Do what it says
James 1:22 says we better not only listen to the Word, but we aught to do what it says; put it into practice.
The book of 1 Peter emphasizes that suffering brings perseverance. It is by suffering that we are disciplined. Christ allows suffering in our lives to mold us into the person He has fully created by disciplining us (much like a loving father and mother would) (Romans 5:3-6). As we go about life sometimes it can become easy to blame God for the things that happen in my life but it is important to recognize that the suffering we face develops perseverance in our lives and ultimately should sanctify us toward living holy lives.
Related Reading: The Book of James: Wisdom and Key Verses