By Edward O. Bragwell, Sr.
A. 1 Peter was written to help Christians in a time of severe suffering and abuse (4:12-19).
B. 1 Peter reminds us of the transient nature of life on earth.
1. “Sojourning here” (1:17).
2. “Sojourners and pilgrims” (2:11).
3. “All flesh is as grass. . . ” (1:24).
C. 1 Peter outlines three basic ways that Christians are to spend their time on earth.
I. In Hopefulness.
A. Good reason to hope (3:15).
1. The resurrection of Jesus (1:3-9).
2. The testimony of the prophets (1:10-12).
3. The incorruptible and eternal word (1:18-25).
B. Hope of inheritance in heaven (1:3,4).
1. Sojourning here.
2. Citizens of heaven, going home (cf. Phil. 3:20).
II. In Humbleness.
A. Humble obedience to God (1:13,14; 5:6).
B. Humble submission to all legitimate authority.
1. Citizens to government (3:13-17).
2. Servants to masters (3:18).
3. Wives to husbands (3:1-7).
4. Flock to elders (5:1-5).
C. Humble submission to abuse (2:18-25).
1. By unjust critics (2:12).
2. By harsh masters (2:18-25).
3. By persecutors (4:14-16).
4. Will do more good in long run than returning in kind.
D. Even Christians with authority must be humble (5:5-7).
1. Masters are subject to higher authority.
2. Governing officials are subject to higher power.
3. Husbands are subject to higher authority.
4. Elders are subject to higher authority (5:3-5).
5. Christians in these positions of authority are careful not to abuse it, because they are also under authority (cf. 1 Pet. 3:7; 5:3,4).
E. Even Christ submitted to unjust treatment. Look what it accomplished (3:17-22).
III. In Holiness.
A. In order to be obedient children (1:13-15).
B. In order to grow (2:1-3).
C. In order to proclaim His praises (2:1-10).
D. In order to silence the enemies of the Lord (2:11,12).
E. In order to put our critics to shame (3:15,16).
A. “This world is not my home, I am just passing through.”
B. A temptation to demand our dues in this life.
1. Human nature says, “I don’t have to take anything off anybody.”
2. Human nature says, “You are stepping on my rights, I don’t intend to allow it.”
C. Christian realizes that what we suffer here will not hinder his hope.
D. Christian realizes that a proper reaction to mistreatment can be a testimony to his faith and may even have a positive effect on those who mistreat him.
E. Christian realizes that a submissive, holy and hopeful life will bring him more lasting protection from real harm.
Guardian of Truth XXX: 16, p. 495
August 21, 1986