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1Peter Lesson #01

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1 PETER
Lesson #01
INTRODUCTION

    • THE AUTHOR: Simon Peter
      • There is no disciple with a character more interesting than Simon Peter and a character with which many people can easily relate. When you read the gospels and the book of Acts and concentrate on the character of Peter, you see a rough fisherman with a quick tongue and an impetuous nature. Many believe that because this man was a fisherman, he was ignorant.
        • The two little books at the end of the New Testament deal with some very important doctrines at great depth. They demonstrate to us that this rough fisherman was not ignorant.
        • The difference that is obvious in the gospels compared to the book of Acts and 1 and 2 Peter is a disciple that has been greatly changed by his relationship to Jesus Christ and his relationship to the Holy Spirit. This change is so great that often when we read 1 and 2 Peter we are hardly aware that this is the same man that denied Jesus.
      • His background:
        • Simon Peter was born near the Sea of Galilee in Bethsaida (Joh 1:44)
        • He was born into a family of fishermen.
        • His education was that of a normal Jewish boy. He learned to read Hebrew and enough Greek to do business. He spoke Aramaic and common Greek. However, he was not trained in the Scriptures like a Rabbi.
        • Peter may have been a follower of John the Baptist before the baptism of Jesus. He was one of the first disciples chosen by Jesus and is always listed first among the disciples.
        • From Peter’s call to the ascension of Christ:
          • Joh 1:35-42 “Come and see” – interest
          • Mat 4:18-19 “Come and follow” – investment of time
          • Mat 10:1-2 “Come and do” – involvement in ministry
        • Peter was one of three disciples that Jesus permitted to see the event of the Mount of Transfiguration.
          • Read Joh 1:42
            • Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter (meaning a small piece of rock). Peter established his life on Jesus Christ, the big rock.
            • The name Peter is Cephas in the Aramaic language or Petros in the Greek.
        • Read Mat 16:15-19
          • Jesus gave Peter the position of leadership over the disciples of the early church.
          • The first 12 chapters of the book of Acts deal with Peter’s ministry.
        • We do not know specifically what happened to Peter after 47 AD for the remainder of the book of Acts deals with the Apostle Paul’s ministry.

 

  • WRITTEN TO: Dispersed Jewish believers

 

  • The early church began in Jerusalem but God’s plan was one of expansion throughout the world. We see this plan given to the early church in Act 1:8. God planned to use persecution as a means of expanding the church. Persecution in the early church came from the Orthodox Jews. Then persecution came from the Roman emperors. Nero’s persecution occurred between 64-67 AD.
    • Nero burned Christians every night in his garden.
  • These eras of persecution dispersed Christians throughout the Roman Empire including Jewish believers.
    • Peter was called the apostle to the Jews and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles.
    • Therefore in 1 and 2 Peter we find Peter writing specifically to Jewish believers dispersed by Roman persecution.

 

  • THE DATE: 60-67 AD

 

  • Peter wrote these two books after Paul had written his letters, in the years between 60 and 67 AD. 1Peter was probably written just before the Roman Emperor Nero had begun to persecute Christians in 64 AD. 2Peter was probably written in 66 AD, the year before Peter’s death.
  • The great fire in Rome planned and carried out by Emperor Nero with the idea of destroying the city so that he could rebuild it in a glorious new style was blamed on the Christians. This fire occurred in 60 AD.
  • The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Romans occurred in 70 AD and therefore had not yet happened when Peter wrote these two books.

 

  • THE LOCATION: Babylon

 

  • Peter says that he is writing from Babylon. (1Pet 5:13).
  • Some theologians think that Babylon is used symbolically to refer to Rome, but Peter mentions other areas that are not near Rome but that are in Asia Minor in what we now call Turkey.
    • These places mentioned by Peter are listed from East to West: Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. (1Pet 1:1)
  • There is a great difference of opinion as to whether Peter travelled to Rome or not and concerning the location of his death. Many believe he went to Rome and was crucified there. However, because of the setting of these two books of 1 and 2 Peter, many believe that after leaving Jerusalem, he ministered in Asia Minor (Turkey) and was crucified there. In this case it is unknown from where he wrote these two books to Christians in Turkey.

 

  • THE THEME: Hope in Suffering

 

  • Even though Peter deals with doctrine, his theme is that of hope during times of great trials and sufferings. He is concerned about believers that are living lives in conflict with the culture in which they must live.
  • Peter is very qualified to tell us from his own experience that there is great hope in Jesus Christ that sustains the believer through suffering. Peter suffered under Roman persecution for his faith in Christ. He died a martyr’s death having been crucified upside down.
    • Roman persecution of Christians was promoted and extended by the Roman Emperor Nero. He was mentally unbalanced filled with pride and in love with his own importance.

 

  • EXPLANATION OF THE PROCESS OF SUFFERING:

 

  • For a people beginning to suffer a persecution that will become worse through time, encouragement that lifts the head and enables the believer to stand firm in faith is very necessary ingredient in the church of Jesus Christ. Even though Peter directed his words to Jewish believers, these insights are relevant to any believer suffering trials in life.
  • In the Bible the three words “test”, “tempt”, and “trial” all come from the same root word. This word is translated into English into three words in order to give us an understanding of the process of suffering all of which is under God’s control. These three words can be used interchangeably to refer to exactly the same event or they can be used separately to designate separate events.

God’s Sovereign Control

TEST

TEMPT

TRIAL

Directed by God

Permitted by God

Used by God

Perspective and Explanation

A specific test directed by God to determine a believer’s level of faith. It is not God that does not know the believer’s level of faith, but it is the believer that is unaware of how much his faith can stand.

The direct intervention by Satan for the purposes of attempting to defeat the faith of the believer. The Bible tells us that it is the enemy that tempts man to sin and not God

The believer suffers persecution, problems, sickness, etc. that are common to human life and subject to the weaknesses of the flesh. God uses these trials as a means of strengthening the character and the faith of the believer.

The Word and the Process from the Perspective of:

God

Satan

Man

God can use Satan’s attempts at Intervention. Job is the example.

Satan’s Direct Intervention

Satan may or may not have influence

  • OUTLINE OF 1PETER:
  • =1= Suffering and the security of believers (1:1-9)
  • =2= Suffering and the scriptures (1:10-25)
  • =3= Suffering and the Suffering of Christ (2-4)
  • =A= Produces Separation (2)
  • =B= Produces Christian Conduct (3)
  • =C= Produces Obedience to the Will of God (4)
  • =4- Suffering and the Second Coming of Christ (5)
  • =A= Produces Service and Hope (5:1-4)
  • =B= Produces Humility and Patience (5:5-14)
    • SOURCES FOR OUR STUDY:
    • Thru the Bible Commentary Series: First Peter, Second Peter;
    • by J. Vernon McGee

    • The Epistles of Peter: Practical Advice for the Last Days;
    • by Edgar C. James, ThD.

    • Life Change Series:A life-changing encounter with God’s Word from the book of 1Peter:
    • Navigator Study; NavPress

    • The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament;
    • by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck

    • Misc. Notes and Sermons

 

HOMEWORK
1PETER 1:1-12
This is a self-study. Please do not send homework answers to the teacher forcorrection.

  • Preparation for 1Pet 1
    • Read 1Pet 1:1-12
      • What are the characteristics of the Christian’s identity? (1-3)

 

  • What method does Peter use to lift the eyes of suffering believers from his earthly condition of suffering?

 

  • For what two reasons does God permit Christians to face problems? (vs. 7 and Jam 1:2-4)

 

  • Why can a Christian be joyful in adversity? (6-9)

 

  • What do the angels long to understand?

Memory Verse: 1Pet 1:6

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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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