1 Peter 1:1-12
- What do Christians mean by ‘salvation’ (verse 5)? How is it provided? What benefits does it offer? What kind of understanding and response are essential to its full enjoyment?
- How can Christians ‘greatly rejoice’ while they may ‘suffer grief in all kinds of trails’ (verses 6, 8)? What causes of joy does Peter enumerate in verse 3-9?
- What light is thrown in verses 10-12 on: (a) the work of the prophets, (b) the ministry of the Spirit, and (c) the task of preachers of the gospel? What is their common interest and concern? Is it yours?
- Verses 4-10. What images does Peter use to describe the Christian church? What determines whether men find a place in it or not? Each image suggests special blessings and responsibilities. Seek to identify these, and to face up to the practical challenge of each.
- Verses 11-17. What instruction concerning worthy Christian conduct are given here? In what ways are aright attitude and corresponding right action important: (a) for our own spiritual well-being, and (b) for effective witness for God in the world? How can God use our ‘good conduct’? Cf. Matt. 5:16.
- Verses 4-8. Peter justifies his comparison of Christ to a stone from there Old Testament passages: Ps.118:22; Is. 8:14; 28:16. To the believer Christ is the corner-stone on which the whole building depends; to the unbeliever he is a cause of stumbling.
- Verses 16. ‘A cover-up for evil’: i.e., ‘an excuse for base conduct’ (Weymouth). Cf. Gal. 5:13.
1 Peter 2:18-25
- In what ways does Christ’s suffering provide an example for us follow? What does Peter suggest that this is also part of my Christian calling?
- Why was the sinless Jesus willing without propose to submit to the full penalty due to the worst of sinners? What purpose was his sacrifice intended to serve? What response and what results ought to follow in my life?
Notes. Verse 24. ‘Bore our sins’: to ‘bear sin’ means to ‘endure its penalty’. ‘On the tree’: the wording suggests ‘up on to the tree’, i.e., to the extreme limit of shameful crucifixion and, in Jewish eyes, of coming openly under the curse of heaven. Cf. Deut. 21:23; Gal. 3:13.
1 Peter 3:1-12
1.Verses 1-7. What qualities in wife and husband make for a happy and harmonious wedded life? In addition, what special results can sometimes follow if the individuals concerned behave as a Christian wife or husband should?
- Verses 8-12. What characteristics are mentioned here that should mark Christians in their relations: (a) with one another, and (b) with non-Christians who work or speak evil against them? What is the way to blessing according to: (a) Ps. 34:12-16 (here quoted), and (b) our Christian calling? Cf. Matt. 5:11, 12, 44, 45. Apply these stands to your own life in self-examination and prayerful concern.
1 Peter 3:13-4:6
1.3:13-17. In what spirit should the Christian: (a) face suffering ‘for what is right’, and (b) explain his faith and hope to a hostile questioner?
- 3:18-43. What were the nature, purpose and issue of Christ’s suffering?? How, in consequence, ought we to face, and to spend, the rest of our earthly lives?
- 3:14. Such suffering should be regarded not as one’s unhappy lot, but as an added privilege. Cf. 4:13, 14. It means one is the object of special divine favour. Cf. Luke 1:48. If God so wills it (3:17), such suffering must be for some good reason and purpose. See 3:18; 4:1.
- 3:18b-20. After his death on the cross Christ was at once able, as one alive in the spirit, to go and proclaim his triumph to the rebellious and imprisoned evil spirits who had involved men in sin and judgment.
- 3:20. In the ark Noah and his family were ‘saved through water’, i.e., brought safely through the judgment of God that fell on a sinful world.
- 4:6. This is best understood as meaning that this is why the gospel was preached during their earthly lives to those believers who are now dead.
1 Peter 4:7-19
1.Verses 7-11. In what practical activities ought all Christians to engage? Make a brief list of them from this passage. In what way do they all start? At what end should they all aim? What is my gift (verse 10), and am I properly exercising it in ministry?
- Verses 12-19. What kind of suffering should the Christian: (a) avoid, and (b) rejoice in? How should the latter kind of suffering be faced, and what good can be expected to come as a result of enduring it?
Note. Verse 14b: i.e., because God will specially manifest his presence to you and whish you. Cf. Exod. 40:34.
1 Peter 5
1.Verses 1-4. How is oversight or the shepherd-care of God’s flock to be exercised? Characteristics should a good pastor: (a) avoid, and (b) exhibit? Note: (a) how Peter speaks of himself, and (b) who is the chief Shepherd.
- Verses 5-14. What according to these verses is ‘the true grace of God’, and how are we to ‘stand fast in it ‘ (Verses is 12)? In other words, what purpose is God working out for our good, and what must we do to co-operate with him, and to enjoy the full enrichment of all his grace?