Introduction to the Epistle of 1st Peter
We might call 1st Peter "The Epistle of Living Hope" as it has often been called. It is a letter of exhortation, encouraging the believer to live with courage and determination, undergirded with the knowledge of where hope comes from.
The best date for the letter seems to be around A.D. 64, just before the outbreak of Nero’s persecution (reign of terror) of Christians after the burning of Rome which he blamed on them.
The letter helps the believer to know how to live with trouble that comes with this life. Especially for those that live as foreigners in a distant land from their heavenly home. Our home is with Our Lord, we are a chosen people, like Israel here for a purpose---To get the Word out!
Normal suffering is a part of this life, and people not liking or even hating Christians can also be normal,,,This letters helps know how to deal with the animosity.
Written by a man who lived as we live, failed as we sometimes do, afraid as we sometimes are, but always ran back to the Anchor, which we must also do.
We will see in this letter Christ is the Anchor!, the solid Rock of our faith that gives us Hope, Courage, Strength to Love and assurance that Our faith will stand.
I. The True Character of the Saints
A. The Person of the Apostle Peter
son of John, a fisherman, married and his wife traveled with according to 1Co 9:5. Leader among the apostles in fact there is more information about Peter in the gospels than anyone other than Christ. Peter's name Simon before conversion meaning - Pebble, changed to Cephas after conversion meaning 'Rock/cliff''- That is what God does! Silvanus help write the letter as a secretary 1Pet 5.12. A man with a mind of his own, impulsive, courageous.
B. The People of Asia Minor
Nucleolus of Jews but there were many gentiles as well. We know there were many gentiles from many ethnic groups from Acts 2.9-10. This was one of the ways God caused the gospel to spread so rapidly throughout Asia Minor, if fact it spread so rapidly that in many of the cities in this region the pagan temples were abandoned completely- wow! That’s the gospel in action.
ESV dispersion not with the definite article as in James, the emphasis here is on being scattered where as in James the Jews as an official group.
C. The Particulars of the Saints
Chosen here is an adjective it descriptive of who they saints are. Try to think of a noun without using an adjective,,,,you could say that it is coffee,,,but you could not say it is "good" coffee. The word good helps us understand the difference between this coffee and any other coffee. When Peter writes we are chosen he describes which people dispersed in Asia Minor he is talking about.
The electing action of God- 2Thes 2.15. 1) Election means responsibility 2) election means accountability. We are aliens 1Pet 2.11, strangers in the world, just as Israel in Lev 25.23. DIA means through and SPORA means a sowing . Peter is emphasizing the Saints current status- No longer a native.
II The Characteristics of Their God
A. The All-Knowing Character of their God
proginosgo- foreknowledge, denotes God's plan. God knows everything and has always known everything, because He planned it. Acts 2.23. (J. Vernen MaGee airplane Illustration)
B. The All-Loving Character of their God
"God the Father" an endearing term, 1Pet 1.14 obedient children , 1.17 says we address him as Father.
The Greek word for Father is pater and it reminds me of the very kind remarks that S. Lewis Johnson made in regards to his earthly father. That his memory of him was very warm and that his Father did many kind things for him as a young man. I lost my own earthly father as a young boy but this warm memory is the one I remember; his arm around me speaking kind words to encourage me. He was a truck driver and he let me sit up in the cab in the big rig he drove.
Our heavenly Father brings even sweeter thoughts....when I was saved I found out The Heavenly Father is The Father of the fatherless and he is our refuge.
C. The Trinitarian Character of their God
All emcompasing work of the Trinity; The Plan of the Father, the Sanctifying work of the Spirit 1Pet 1.12 and the Atoning work of the Savior.
III The Principles of Their Provision
A. The Active Agency of the Spirit
Principles of Sanctification here- the work of setting Christians apart from the world. 2Thess 2.13.
B. The Actual Participation of the Saints
Obedience- Listening and submitting and taking action to what is heard. Ex 24.3-8 and 1Pet 1.22. This is the sign of the Elect of God.