Sunday School Bible Survey:      I PETER

Theme: Suffering


Key verse:
"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" (5:10).



From the Scofield Study Bible:

WRITER: The Apostle Peter (1:1)

DATE: Probably A.D. 60. That "Babylon" refers to the former city on the Euphrates, or to Rome, cannot be inferred from I Peter 5:13. The text is obscure.

THEME: While Peter undoubtedly has scattered Jewish believers in mind, his Epistles comprehend Gentile believers also (I Peter 2:10). The present Epistle, written from a church on Gentile ground (5:13), presents all the foundational truths of the Christian faith, with special emphasis on the atonement. The distinctive note of First Peter is preparation for victory over suffering. The last-name word occurs about fifteen times, and is the key-word to the Epistle.



The Epistle is in three parts:

  1. Christian suffering and conduct in the light of full salvation (1:1—2:8).
  2. The believer's life in view of his sevenfold position, and of the vicarious suffering of Christ (2:9—4:19).
  3. Christian service in the light of the coming of the Chief Shepherd (5:1-14).

Introduction:

  1. Peter identifies himself as "an apostle of Jesus Christ" (1:1). Later on, in I Peter 5:1, he calls himself "an elder" (bishop or pastor).
  2. Nowhere is Peter ever referred to as a priest or a pope. In fact, in I Peter 2:5 and 9, Peter teaches that all Christians are priests before God. This doctrine is called "the priesthood of the believer."
  3. Furthermore, we know Peter was married because Matthew 8:14 says, "And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever."
  4. Mark and Luke also refer to this healing of Peter's mother-in-law.
  5. J. Vernon McGee said, "Peter has been called the ignorant fisherman, but no man who had spent three years in the school of Jesus could be called ignorant, and the epistles of Peter confirm this. A great change is seen in the life of Peter from these epistles. He had been impetuous, but now he is patient. The transforming power of the gospel has wrought this change in his life" (Thru the Bible).
  6. Peter wrote his letter "to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" (1:1). These were Jewish believers scattered throughout the Roman Empire (cf. James 1:1; John 7:35).
  7. Peter addresses Gentile believers also (cf. 2:10).
  8. McGee said, "Peter wrote his two epistles and was put to death sometime during this period. First Peter was written, evidently, around A.D. 64 and II Peter a short time later." (Cf. II Peter 1:14).

OUTLINE from John Phillips (Exploring the Scriptures):

  1. INTRODUCTION (1:1, 2)
  2. THE QUESTION OF SALVATION (1:3-9)
  3. THE QUESTION OF SCRIPTURE (1:10-12)
  4. THE QUESTION OF SANCTIFICATION (1:13-25)
  5. THE QUESTION OF SEPARATION (2:1-12)
  6. THE QUESTION OF SUBMISSION (2:13—3:13)
  7. THE QUESTION OF SUFFERING (3:14—4:19)
  8. THE QUESTION OF SHEPHERDING (5:1-7)
  9. THE QUESTION OF SATAN (5:8-11)
  10. CONCLUSION (5:12-14)


From J. Vernon McGee:


Theme: Christian hope in the time of trial Peter deals with doctrine and handles weighty subjects. This is seen in his treatment of the great words of the gospel, many of which are gathered together at the outset (1 Peter 1:2) — elect, foreknowledge, sanctification, obedience, blood, and the Trinity. He used some of these words several times. Added to these are: salvation (used three times), revelation (with cognate words, used five times), glory (with cognate words, used sixteen times), faith (five times), and hope (four times).



Peter has been called the apostle of hope; Paul, the apostle of faith; John, the apostle of love.



The word that conveys the theme, however, is suffering (which, with cognate words, occurs sixteen times). The word hope is tied to it — the Christian hope in the time of trial.



OUTLINE:

  1. Suffering and the security of believers produces joy (1:1-9)
  2. Suffering and the Scriptures produces holiness (1:10-25)
  3. Suffering and the suffering of Christ (2 — 4)
  1. Produces separation (2)
  2. Produces Christian conduct (3)
  3. Produces obedience to the will of God (4)
  1. Suffering and the Second Coming of Christ (5)
  1. Produces service and hope (5:1-4)
  2. Produces humility and patience (5:5-14)



These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.



—  Pastor James J. Barker  —