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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Peter's FIRST letter

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Frameworks: 1 Peter, chapters 1 - 5

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(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a simple comment of what is happening)

[Note:  Because it is sometimes difficult to follow the flow of a letter like this, we have added a synopsis of each chapter & passage to try to help clarify Peter's train of thought and where he is going with his writing.]

    

Why Read 1 Peter: Possibly more than any other in the New Testament, this letter reminds us that in the early days the Church was scattered and persecuted. Peter starts out (ch.1) by giving what we are calling ‘anchors of faith', ways of looking at our salvation in the face of opposition. He continues this (ch.2) with reminders of who we now are and what has happened to us, encouraging us to live godly lives as examples to the rest of the world. He then proceeds (ch.3) to give practical directions of how to live righteously in the face of the unsaved world. He goes on developing this (ch.4) teaching on coping graciously and righteously with opposition and persecution. Finally (ch.5) he rounds this off with encouragement to elders who tend to be at the forefront of attacks, and also encourages the whole flock to recognise spiritual warfare and resist the enemy. From one who was once a fisherman, there are some surprisingly sublime examples of the basic theology of the faith. We may not be suffering persecution in the same way as the early church, but there is much here to guide us through life as believers.

 

GO TO:   Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4   Chapter 5 

 

FRAMEWORKS: 1 Peter 1

v.1,2 Greetings to the Scattered Church

v.3-12 Praise to God for a Living Hope in the Face of Present Trials

v.13-17 Live Holy Lives as your Await His Return

v.18-21 We are what we are because of Christ

v.22-25 The result is born-again lives of love

 

[Chapter 1 Synopsis: We are suggesting that each of the five things seen in this chapter are seen as ‘anchors of faith' to help the scattered believers stand in the face of persecutions: God has a plan, that plan is seen in the work of Christ, that plan stretches into eternity for us, a plan guaranteed by the death of the Son of God, and a plan we are living out by the word of God.]

      

v.1,2 Greetings to the Scattered Church

 

[Passage Synopsis: Anchor No.1: Peter sets the scene for what is coming by helping anchor the scattered believers reminding them first that they are all part of God's plan – He knows that they will face]

 

v.1 (Peter to the scattered Christians) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

v.2 (the believers who can trust in the knowledge that God chose them knowing how they would respond and cope as He used circumstances to change them to be more Christlike) who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

 

v.3-12 Praise to God for a Living Hope in the Face of Present Trials

 

[Passage Synopsis: Anchor No.2: Whatever trials occur, the believers are to be anchored in the knowledge that all needs to be seen within the context of God's eternal plan being worked out, seen as things that just prove the reality of our faith in Christ that the prophets of long ago foresaw]

 

v.3-5 (everything about them is rock solid in the plan of God being worked out in them) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

v.6 (we rejoice in this plan even if it involves trials) In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

v.7 (because such trials just prove the reality of His work in us) These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.

v.8,9 (it's a faith life that loves without seeing, working to an end goal) Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

v.10,11 (the prophets sensed this plan and the sufferings of the coming messiah) Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.

v.12 (they saw it was you they were seeing in their spirit) It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

 

v.13-17 Live Holy Lives as your Await His Return

 

[Passage Synopsis: Anchor No.3: We cope with resent pressures by seeing the big picture, and a hope of eternity, as well as remembering we have a different life to live out to the one we used to have.]

 

v.13 (we are helped in our present struggles by looking forward to eternity and Christ's return) Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

v.14 (so now we reject the way we lived in the past) As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

v.15,16 (so we can live the holy lives we are called to) But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” [Lev 11:44,45; 19:2]

v.17 (looking to our heavenly Father, remembering there is our real home ) Since you call on a Father who judges each person's work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

 

v.18-21 We are what we are because of Christ

 

[Passage Synopsis: Anchor No.4, is to remember how we are here – by Christ's life given for us]

 

v.18,19  (our lives are precious because they were bought with Christ's blood) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

v.20 (this plan was formulated before creation and is now being revealed) He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

v.21 (it's all through Christ, risen & ascended, our hope) Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

  

   

v.22-25 The result is born-again lives of love

 

[Passage Synopsis: Anchor No.5 is the knowledge of what has already happened to us by the word of God]

 

v.22 (we are made holy through our obedience to live the life of love) Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

v.23 (his everlasting word is what led us to be born again) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

v.24,25 (the grass may die but God's word never does) For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [Isa 40:6-8] And this is the word that was preached to you.

 

 

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: 1 Peter 2

 

v.1-3 New Beings
v.4-10 A Spiritual Building & a Chosen People
v.11-16 Live as Godly Examples in a Pagan Society
v.17-21 How we do it
v.22-25 Jesus our example

 

 

[Chapter 2 Synopsis: Again, against a background of being scattered and persecuted, Peter gives the churches goals to aim for, reminding every believer that they are new creations, a special people in God's sight, all because of what Christ did, and therefore when we consider our places in ungodly society we are to stand out by our goodness and the way we respect authorities and take the opposition now being received, just like Christ did]

 

 

v.1-3 New Beings

 

[Passage Synopsis: Having been born-again, get rid of the old and start living as new spiritual babes]

 

v.1 (get rid of your old-life selfish attitudes) Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

v.2,3 (see yourselves as babes in Christ needing feeding to grow) Like new-born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

 

v.4-10 A Spiritual Building & a Chosen People

 

[Passage Synopsis: Jesus was the rejected cornerstone against whom we are now built, a building and a special people]

 

v.4,5 (Christ is the corner of house of which we are part, a place of self-sacrifice) As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

v.6 (OT prophecy spoke of him in this way) For in Scripture it says: See, I lay a stone in Zion,  a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him  will never be put to shame.” [Isa 28:16]

v.7,8 (he is our keystone but rejected by unbelievers who stumble over him) Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” [Psa 118:22] and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” [Isa 8:14] They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

v.9 (but we're now God's special people to proclaim Him) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

v.10 (now His people receiving His mercy) Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

 

v.11-16 Live as Godly Examples in a Pagan Society

 

[Passage Synopsis: Be different, casting off your old ways, living good lives, obeying authorities, and silencing the critics by your good examples of holy freedom]

 

v.11 (as people of His kingdom live differently) Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

v.12 (be examples of good and godly lives) Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

v.13,14 (respect & obey authorities who are God-sent to keep order) Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

v.15 (our good lives are to silence the ignorant) For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

v.16 (demonstrating a holy freedom) Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.

 

    

v.17-21 How we do it

 

[Passage Synopsis: in this questionable world let there be no questions over your life, attitudes and outlook, whether in daily life or the way you cope with unfairness]

 

v.17 (give respect & honour where due) Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.

v.18 (if an employee demonstrate good attitudes) Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

v.19 (cope well with injustice) For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.

v.20 (and be a blessing to God) But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

v.21 (letting Christ's example lead you) To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

 

   

v.22-25 Jesus our example

 

[Passage Synopsis: In the face of suffering (persecution), let the way Christ refused to respond to insult or opposition be your guide]

 

v.22 (after all Jesus never spoke a word out of place) “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” [Isa 53:9]

v.23 (he didn't respond to insults and persecution, simply trusted his Father) When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

v.24 (giving his life for us so we might have transformed lives) “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

v.25 (once we were lost sheep but now part of His flock) For “you were like sheep going astray,” [Isa 53:4,5,6] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

 

 

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: 1 Peter 3

     

v.1-7 Wives' Winning Ways
v.8-12 Demonstrating the Righteous Life
v.13-17 Handling Opposition (1)
v.18-22 Christ's Work & Example on our Behalf

 

[Chapter 3 Synopsis: A chapter full of practical directions of how to live righteously in the face of the unsaved world – wives with unsaved husbands, living well in the fallen world, demonstrating righteousness in the way we think, speak and act, especially when we are opposed. Such is life for the scattered church]

 

v.1-7 Wives' Winning Ways

 

[Passage Synopsis: The problem of unsaved husbands is addressed in a spiritual manner, also with instructions for Christian husbands]

   

v.1,2 (strategy for wives with unsaved husbands) Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

v.3,4 (win them with inner beauty) Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

v.5,6 (use Sarah as an example) For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

v.7 (husbands if you want to be spiritual, care for your wife) Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

 

 

v.8-12 Demonstrating the Righteous Life

  

[Passage Synopsis: Ingredients of goodness in dealing with others. Each verse is worthy of meditation and reflection on how to apply these things]

 

v.8 (an agenda for godly righteousness) Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

v.9 (handling opposition righteously) Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

v.10 (your mouth is an instrument for good or bad) For, “Whoever would love life  and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

v.11 (let peace be your goal) They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.

v.12 (God watches over the righteous) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” [Psa 34:12-16]

    

   

v.13-17 Handling Opposition

   

[Passage Synopsis: Again, very practical ways of remaining righteous in the face of opposition]

 

v.13 (security can come through goodness) Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?

v.14 (even in the face of opposition) But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” [Isa 8:12]

v.15,16 (let Christ be both your Lord and your example) But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

v.17 (doing God's will graciously and righteously should be our goal) For it is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

 

v.18-22 Christ's Example & Work on our Behalf

 

[Passage Synopsis: Christ is the supreme example of one who coped with persecution and even in death showed care for the lost]

 

v.18 (again, let Christ be your example in all these things) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

v.19-22 (Christ was concerned for the lost of earlier generations, with the Flood being an example of how going through death [baptism] brings us through in resurrected loves as Christ did, thus resulting in the position of rulers in Christ) After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—  to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

 

 

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: 1 Peter 4

   

v.1-7 Living for God Goals
v.8-11 Living for God Practicalities
v.12-19 Handling Opposition (2)

 

 

[Chapter 4 Synopsis: A chapter all about coping with opposition and persecution, coping graciously and righteously, simple as that!]

 

v.1-7 Living for God Goals

 

[Passage Synopsis: We will be helped by remembering Christ's example and work on our behalf, helped to live out new lives different from our old friends]

 

v.1 (Let Christ's death be an example of sin's power being broken) Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.

v. 2 (letting God's will prevail over personal preferences) As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

v.3 (that latter approach belongs to your past) For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

v.4 (and you old friends may now be surprised by you) They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.

v.5 (but it's them who will have to answer at the Judgment) But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

v.6 (the gospel reveals the reality of sin in both the living and those who have passed) For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

v.7 (be ready to face the end whenever it comes) The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

 

v.8-11 Living for God Practicalities

 

[Passage Synopsis: Ways of living as lights in a dark world]

v.8 (love one another) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

v.9 (be hospitable) Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

v.10 (seek to bless others with your gifts) Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.

v.11 (when you speak do so as God's representatives and glorify God) If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

   

  

v.12-19 Handling Opposition (2)

 

[Passage Synopsis: recognising the face that persecution and opposition are part of the Christian package]

 

v.12 (don't be surprised at opposition) Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

v.13,14 (instead rejoice that you walk the same path as Christ) But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

v.15 (if you have to suffer don't let it be for doing wrong) If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.

v.16 (if you do suffer for Christ, don't be ashamed of it) However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

v.17 (God's disciplinary judgments starts with His own people) For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

v.18 (and it will certainly end with sinners) And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,   what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” [Prov. 11:31]

v.19 (so in persecution trust in God) So then, those who suffer according to God's will, should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

 

 

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: 1 Peter 5

    

v.1-4 Guidance & Encouragement for Elders
v.5-11 Guidance for the Flock in resisting the Enemy
v.12-14 Final Greetings

 

[Chapter 5 Synopsis: Remembering to the end that this is a letter to the scattered church, elders are encouraged to persevere in their caring for the flock, the flock is called to resist the enemy and some final greetings are given]

 

v.1-4 Guidance & Encouragement for Elders

 

[Passage Synopsis: Encouragement to elders in their roles as shepherds]

 

v.(to the elders [out front] hang on in there) To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ's sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:

v.2,3 (focus on willingly caring for the flock as gracious examples) Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

v.4 (Jesus will reward you) And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

 

  

v.5-11 Guidance for the Flock in resisting the Enemy

 

[Passage Synopsis: a reminder that the Christian faith is a battle with an enemy to be resisted]

v.5 (to all, let humility reign) In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud   but shows favor to the humble.” [Prov. 3:34]

v.6 (be humble as you trust God) Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

v.7 (give Him all your worries) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

v.8 (watch for enemy attacks) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

v.9 (resist him) Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

v.10 (God will keep you through it all) And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

v.11 (He has the power) To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

  

v.12-14 Final Greetings

 

[Passage Synopsis: final concluding comments]

 

v.12 (Silas has helped me write about the grace that is available to us) With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

v.13 (the church in Rome sends its greeting) She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.

v.14 (greet each other affectionately and maintain peace) Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

 

 

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