LESSON 1: Understanding Peter.
1) The obvious author of this letter is ________________________________ (1 Pet 1:1).
2) He is also known as
a. ____________________________ and _______________________________ (John 1:42).
b. _______________________________ (Acts 15:14).
3) He had a __________________________ (1 Cor 9:5).
4) He was a from the city of ________________________ (John 1:44), But he lived in ________________________ (Mark 1:21-31).
5) His brother’s name was _________________________________ (John 1:40-41).
6) Before they were called as disciples of Jesus, they were____________________ (Matt 4:18-20).
7) They were both selected as apostles after Jesus had ___________________________________________________ (Lk 6:12-16).
His Key Characteristics
1) He acknowledged that he was ____________________________________________ (Luke 5:8).
2) Sometimes had little faith and was presumptuous (Matt. 16:22; John 13:8; 18:10) and timid (Matt. 14:30).
3) Sometimes he was spiritually perceptive (Matt. 16:16; John 6:68).
4) Inquisitive (Matthew 15:15; 18:21).
5) Attained preeminence above the others. In the lists of the 12 just mentioned, Simon’s name always appears first, and Matthew 10:2 prefaces his name with “first.” Also, the Twelve are often designated “Peter and those with him” (Mk 1:35-38; Lk 9:32).
6) Outspoken and often acted and spoke on behalf of the other disciples (Mk 9:1-5; Lk 8:45).
7) Often displayed empty boldness (Matt 26:31-35; John 18:10-11).
8) Often lacked the courage to be steadfast (Luke 22:54-62; Galatians 2:11-14).
His Key Characteristics
1) He became a leader. Jesus said that He would give Peter _________________________________ (Matt 16:19; Acts 2:14-41; Acts 10).
2) He was a minister to the ___________________________________________ (Galatians 2:7-8).
3) Paul would later describe Peter as one of the ________________________ of the church in Jerusalem (Galatians 2:9).
4) Displayed extraordinary courage and faith
a. After healing a lame man at the temple, he addressed the amazed crowd by boldly
giving glory to ________________________ and preached a heart convicting sermon demanding the people to ________________________
b. He confidently defended his actions before the same council that was responsible for putting Jesus to
death. Upon seeing Peter and John’s boldness, the councils reaction was ____________________________________________ (Acts 4:1-14).
c. He condemned the deceitful actions of _____________________ and ___________________ (Acts 5:1-10). His boldness to address sin in the church made a significant impression on the whole church (Acts 5:11).
d. After defying the command of High Priest and the Sadducees (to stop preaching in Jesus’ name) Peter and the
apostles responded boldly by saying, “_________________________
___________________________________________________________” (Acts 5:27-29).
e. He boldly defended his special ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 11).
5) His death was special because ______________________________________________________________________________ (John 21:18-19).
Lesson 1 Questions
1) What do you think was Peter’s greatest flaw?
2) What do you think was his greatest strength?
3) Is there a key characteristic of Peter’s that sticks out, when considering the spiritual journey that we as servants of Christ must all take?
LESSON 2: Understanding 1stPeter.
Christians described as: “elect exiles, strangers,
chosen, pilgrims, aliens.”
a. Northern Kingdom of Israel (722 B.C. By the Assyrians).
b. Southern Kingdom of Israel (586 B.C. By the Babylonians).
c. Egyptian King Ptolemy I (deported Jews to Alexandria 300 B.C.)
d. Rome deported many Jews to Rome. Many became slaves to Pompey.
5) Council of Nicaea declared the full deity of Christ and the observance of Easter.
6) Council of Chalcedon made pronouncements on the nature of the person of Christ and the canonicity
of the 27 NT books.
The readers of the apostle Peter’s letter were
Peter exhorted them
Called the “apostle of hope,” Peter’s primary message is to
Suffering is to be expected, but it is temporary and yields great blessings for those who remain
steadfast. Peter probably wrote this letter in the mid-60s a.d. -ESV 1st Peter introduction
Chapter 1: Born Again.
Chapter 2: You Are Special To God.
Chapter 3: The Power of Submission.
Chapter 4: Response To Suffering.
Chapter 5: The Significance Shepherds During Trying Times.
LESSON 3: Born Again.
(Read 1 Peter 1:1-25)
A) Elect. Is an important concept used throughout Scripture.
1) Sometimes translated, “Chosen (one’s)”
2) In Scripture, the word is primarily used to identify and describe God’s people.
a. O.T. Israel and its leaders (Acts 13:17; 1 Sam 10:24; 2 Sam 6:21).
3) Israel became God’s people, not because they decided to belong to Him, but because
He took the initiative and chose them. Nor did God’s choice rest on any particular
virtues that His people exemplified, but rather on His promise to their forefathers (Dt 7:7, 8).
4) The word indicates God’s prerogative in deciding what will happen, independently of human
choice. This does not however nullify human choice in response.
5) N.T. God’s people are described as “elect/chosen ones”
a. Used by Jesus (Mk 14:20,27; Lk18:7).
b. Used by N.T. writers (Ro 8:33; Eph 1:4; Col 3:12; 2 Tim 2:10; 1 Pet 1:1; 2 Pet 1:10; Rev 17:14).
6) The use of the word “election” emphasizes that membership of God’s people is due to God’s
initiative, prior to all human response, made before time began (Eph 1:4; Jn 15:16, 19). It is God
who has called men and women to be His people, and those who respond are elect.
a. God’s call does not depend on any virtues or merits of humankind (Eph 2:8-9).
7) Spiritual Duty Of The elect. The elect:
a. Are distinguished by their faith in God (Ti 1:1).
b. Are called to show the character that befits God’s people (Col 3:12).
c. Must make their calling and election sure (2 Pt 1:1-10).
B) God’s Foreknowledge. Is a key theme of salvation, throughout the N.T.
1) It reveals the fact that God knew and determined beforehand what He would do
(Titus 1:1-3; Eph 1:3-5; 2Tim 1:8-10).
2) It does not mean that God determined beforehand who would be saved and who would
be lost, without having a chance to respond—that would make God a respecter of persons
(Acts 10:34-35) and would conflict with His personal desire for the human race (1 Ti 2:1-6; 2 Pe 3:9).
C) Spirit Sanctification.
a. nasb: “by the sanctifying work of the Spirit…”
b. leb: “by the sanctification of the Spirit…”
2) The Spirit’s Role in Sanctification of the Saints
a. Through His Word & spiritual transformation (Ac 2:38-39; Titus 3:4-7).
b. Spiritual identification & fellowship (1 Cor 6:9-11; Ro 8:9-16).
D) Obedience to Jesus Christ.
1) This was in accordance to God’s plan all along.
a. Genesis 49:10.
b. John 3:35-36.
c. Romans 15:18.
d. Hebrews 5:9.
E) For Sprinkling With His Blood
1) This refers to “Covenant Language.”
a. Exo 24:1-8.
b. Hebrews 9.
II) The Relationship of Trials to God’s Purpose in Salvation (1 Pet 1:3-12)
A) The Blessings of Salvation (1 Pet 1:3-5)
1) According to Peter, why should God the Father be highly blessed, because of his mercy?
2) How does the resurrection of Christ provide His followers with a “Living Hope?”
(consider Rom 1:4; 1 Cor 15:17-23; 1 Thes 4:13-18).
3) Peter’s audience suffered displacement and experienced uncertainty about their future.
How could revelation of this inheritance (1:4-5) become a sense of comfort for
them? For us?
B) The Reality of Trials (1 Pet 1:6-9)
1) Trials will come despite the blessedness of our current and future status in Christ.
How long will God’s people be grieved by them, compared to eternity? (1 Pet 1:6).
a) Do you think that some of these “Various Trials” may refer to more than persecution
and encompass the full range of human experience: sickness, injury, natural disaster,
financial loss, poverty, hunger, and death?
2) The ultimate glory that God’s people will receive is so stupendous that the sufferings of
this present time are… (Ro 8:18).
C) Strengthening Confidence During
Trials (1 Pet 1:10-12)
1) Our salvation was the subject of ancient prophecy (1 Pet. 1:10a).
2) The ancient prophets were intrigued about our salvation, tried to learn more about it
(1 Pet. 1:10-11).
3) The ancient prophets gave up their lives to serve us! (1 Pet. 1:12).
4) Even the angles of heaven are excited about our salvation! (1 Pet. 1:12).
How does this make you feel?
To Live As You Were Taught! (1 Pet. 1:13-25)
A) Stay Spiritually Focused (1 Pet. 1:13-14).
1) “Therefore, preparing your minds for action…” This idiom, which is often
3) Does the substance of our redemption have a bearing on our behavior? If so, how
5) How does Peter describe the Word that had been taught to these dispersed exiles?
LESSON 4: You Are Special To God.(Read 1 Peter 2:1-25)
6) As spiritual priests under the New Covenant, what are we to proclaim (1 Pet 2:9). According to
7) In view of 1 Pet 2:11, what are some of the “Passions (lusts) of the flesh” that wage war against our
8) What does giving glory to God on account of His people’s honorable conduct have to say about
II) We Are Special People To God—Vital to the Gospel Call: Live As Such (1 Pet 2:13-25)
1) Exo 22:28. ________________________________________________________
2) Matt 20:15-21.
3) Rom 13:5-7.
B) Live as free people… (1 Pet 2:16). In Christ we enjoy freedoms. But not as motivation to sin
(study Rom 5:20-21; 6:1-23).
C) In Chapter 1 Peter identifies the blessing of suffering through various trials for one’s faith
1) How can Jesus provide guidance, strength and endurance to those who suffer under such
LESSON 5: The Power Of Submission.
A) In the marriage relationship (1 Pet 3:1-7)
1) Peter’s Teachings vs social norms.
3) If husbands fail to fulfill these obligations, what will be the consequence? (see 1 Pet 3:7).
II) Submission To Godly Virtue (1 Pet 3:8-17)
A) Among fellow Saints (1 Pet 3:8)
1) According to Peter, what qualities of character are vital for Christians to submit to one
B) To Righteousness amid unrighteousness (1 Pet 3:9-17)
1) How should we deal with evil done to us? (see also Mat 5:38-48).
2) Personal revenge is never justified (Rom 12:19).
Two wrongs never make a “right.”
3) How can verse 12 be a motivation to avoid repaying evil for evil, and to seek peace
4) Peter points out the fact that most people are
not harmed for living rightly (1 Pet 3:13)
5) According to Peter, why is keeping a good conscience important, especially in these
A) Consider the outcomes of Jesus’ Submissiveness:
1) He submitted to the Father’s will—that He suffer and die to for our sins. According to
2) Proclaiming His Victory: Because Jesus faithfully submitted to the Father’s plan and
THE VIEW OF CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (200 A.D.)
BASIC ELEMENTS... That Christ went to Hades in His spirit between His death and His resurrection. That He proclaimed the message of salvation to the souls of sinners imprisoned there since the flood.
MAJOR DIFFICULTIES... This view would suggest that for some reason these souls were given a "second chance." Whereas the Bible consistently teaches against such an idea..."it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" - He 9:27. Peter himself later wrote that the wicked souls before the flood were being "reserved... under punishment for the day of judgment" - 2Pe 2:4-5,9. Why would people before the flood be given a second chance when those after the flood are not?
THE VIEW OF AUGUSTINE (400 A.D.)
BASIC ELEMENTS... That the "pre-existent" Christ in His spirit proclaimed salvation through Noah to the people who lived before the flood. We know that Noah was "a preacher of righteousness" in his day - 2Pe 2:5. We know that the Spirit of Christ was at work in O.T. prophets - 1Pe 1:10-11. This view is held by many brethren today.
MAJOR DIFFICULTIES... The wording of Peter would more naturally suggest that he is speaking of... The Christ who was "put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit." I.e., the "crucified & resurrected" Christ, not the "pre-incarnate" Christ. Also, the wording would more naturally suggest the preaching occurred... To the spirits "in prison", not before they were imprisoned. When they "formerly were disobedient", not during their disobedience [Augustine's view dominated the theological scene for centuries, but then other views were presented...]
THE VIEW OF CARDINAL BELLARMINE (1600 A.D.)
BASIC ELEMENTS... That in His spirit Christ went to release the souls of the RIGHTEOUS who repented before the flood and had been kept in "LIMBO." In Catholic theology, "limbo" is the place between heaven and hell, where the souls of the O.T. saints were kept
MAJOR DIFFICULTIES... The Bible is silent about a place such as "limbo." The "spirits" under discussion by Peter were "disobedient" in "the days of Noah"... According to Ge 6:5-13; 7:1, only Noah and his family were righteous. If others had repented, would they not also have been on the ark? I.e., there were no righteous before the flood save Noah and his family!
THE VIEW OF FRIEDRICH SPITTA (1900 A.D.)
BASIC ELEMENTS... After His death and BEFORE His resurrection, Christ preached to "fallen angels", also known as "sons of God", who during Noah's time had married "daughters of men" This view is based upon a particular interpretation of Ge 6:1-4... Job 1:6; 2:1 is offered as evidence that angels are sometimes referred to as "sons of God" Jude 6, also, is offered as referring to "fallen angels" in the days of Noah. Because it sounds very similar to references in a book called I Enoch, which expounds in detail the idea that the "sons of God" in Ge 6 were "fallen angels." And Jude seems to quote directly from this book in Ju 14,15. Josephus, a Jewish historian born in 37 A.D., took a similar view of Ge 6 This view is held by many Protestant scholars
MAJOR DIFFICULTIES... In responding to the Sadducees, Jesus taught that angels of God do not marry - Mt 22:30. Of course, Jesus may have been referring to angels who "keep their proper domain", and do not leave "their own habitation. "If righteous angels could temporarily take on human form to deliver God's message (as in the case described in Ge 18:1-8; 19:1-3) where they ate food... It might have been possible for "fallen angels" to take on human form and cohabitate as some believe Ge 6 suggests. But it just as feasible to understand Ge 6 differently... That the "sons of God" were the descendants of Seth (i.e., godly people), and the "daughters of men" were descendants of Cain (ungodly people). This view stays clear of speculation which can easily take on mythological proportions!
THE VIEW OF SOME CONTEMPORARY COMMENTATORS (PRESENT)
BASIC ELEMENTS... That the resurrected Christ, WHEN HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, proclaimed to imprisoned spirits his victory over death. That the exalted Christ passed through the realm where the fallen angels are kept and proclaimed His triumph over them (Ep 6:12; Col 2:15 is offered as support for this view). This interpretation has met favorable response in both Protestant and Roman Catholic circles. More importantly, this view is in beautiful harmony with Peter's wording and context...
- The preaching was made by Jesus Himself (not through Noah).
- The preaching was made by Jesus AFTER "being put to death in the flesh" (not in His pre-incarnate form).
- The preaching was made by Jesus AFTER He was "made alive by the Spirit" (i.e., after His resurrection, not
- The preaching was made to "THE SPIRITS" Not to "the spirits of men" (which is how the souls or spirits of men
- The preaching was made to them "IN PRISON" (that there are angels so bound is clearly taught in 2Pe 2 and Jude).
- The preaching was made to them who were "FORMERLY DISOBEDIENT ...IN THE DAYS OF NOAH" This view does not require that the rebellious angels were the "sons of God" in Ge 6. But simply were somehow disobedient at that time (as some were later during Christ's time)
- The preaching was a proclamation of victory over death, not an offer of a second chance to a select few!
A) “Baptism… now saves you?”
1) How does baptism relate to the salvation story of Noah and his family?
2) Where is Christ now, and what was the ultimate
outcome for His