This is the page for all my resources and documents for the book of First Peter. The first section contains documents that survey the entire book. The next section is broken down by each passage. Click the label of any passage to expand for access to documents and information about each individual passage. In each section, you can also click to see a detailed, annotated outline of each section. Feel free to use and distribute any information you find helpful as long as you give credit where appropriate.
General Documents
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Individual Passages
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1:1-2 Salutation - Elect/Aliens
  • 1:1-2 Salutation - Elect/Aliens
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1 Author
    of Jesus Christ
    2 Recipients: To the...
    Who they are:
    Gentiles addressed as Jews
    Christians are the people of God
    "He regards the church as the true Israel...Israel's place has been taken by the church, who are 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation'...[this] is further supported by the fact that Peter applies to the church words that in their Old Testament context refers to the future conversion of literal Israel [Hosea 1:10]"" - Ladd, New Testament Theology p. 599-600
    To God: Elect
    Not to position, but to commission
    "The people of Israel were warned against supposing that they were God's favorites, for there was no partiality in Israel's God. If their privileges as God's chosen people were so great, their responsibilities were proportionally great; wickedness in Israel was dealt with more severely than wickedness in other nations, because Israel had better opportunities of knowing what was right...Since He selected Israel for Himself, Israel must be a holy people: 'You shall be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy'" Bruce, NT developments of OT Themes p. 59-60
    Relationship and responsibility - Jn 15:16
    Not the basis for pride - Deut. 7:6-8, I Cor. 1:26-29
    Election involves purpose Eph 1:4-5, Rom. 8:29-30
    Goal of election is God's glory - Eph. 1:6-12
    To the world: Strangers
    Someone not at home, not comfortable, not having a sense of total identification or belonging - Phil. 3:20, 1 Jn 2:15
    "The greater part of 1 Peter helps the reader to understand how Christians ought to live in a world which does not provide congenial soil for the cultivation of Christian graces." Bruce, Message of the New Testament p. 91
    "Christians are in a foreign land, in which they live as in the world and yet not of the world; hated by the world and yet seeking to overcome it...'The Christians dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners. As citizens they share all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as a native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers.' In other words the Christian life is one of pilgrimage to another and better country." Tasker, The OT in the NT pp. 132-3
    In the dispersion
    scattered away from a homeland
    in Pontus, Glatia, Capadocia, Asia, and Bithynia
    Why they are:
    Reason: according to the foreknowledge of God the Father
    -cf. Rom. 8:29-30, Eph. 1:4, Deut. 7:6-8
    Means: by the sanctifying work of the Spirit
    -cf. 2 Thes. 2:13
    Purpose: into obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ
    Signifying consecration into new community and covenant and relationship to God
    -cf. Exo. 24:3-8
    3 Greeting
    and peace
    be multiplied to you
1:3-2:10 Elect
1:3-12 The hope of Salvation
  • 1:3-9 The hope of the New Birth
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    3-5 God has done great things
    3a Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
    3b-5 Reason Why:
    3b-4 He has changed our lives - He has given us new birth
    3b Reason: He did this because of His great mercy
    3c-4 Results:
    We live in hope
    into a living hope
    active hope
    because of the partial realization of a future blessing
    through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
    means - our hope is guaranteed by the resurrection
    We have an inheritance
    Permanent: into an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading
    imperishable/immortal pure/undefiled/undefilable unfading/pristine
    Safe: kept/preserved in heaven for you
    5 He has made us secure - you who are kept (guarded)
    [kept] by the power of God
    [kept] through faith
    [kept] for the salvation
    ready to be revealed
    revealed in the last day
    6-9 Our response to what God has done
    6-7 You rejoice in suffering and will rejoice at the last day
    6a You rejoice in this
    You rejoice in this
    Either a statement: "You are rejoicing in this"
    Or a command: "Rejoice in this"
    in this
    possibly - "in this time" referring to the "last day" in v. 5
    less possibly - "in Him" referring to "God" in v. 3
    least possible - "in these" referring to "trials" in v. 6
    6b-7 Even though we may have to suffer now
    6b-c Suffering is a great possibility
    6b If it is necessary
    Possibly - "since it is necessary"
    6c Now, for a little while, suffering in manifold trials
    Time of trials:
    For a little while
    Type of trials
    Suffering - becoming sorrowful
    Trials - temptations
    Manifold - of various kinds
    7 This suffering is for a purpose
    So that your faith may be rewarded
    So that the tested genuineness of your faith
    Your faith is tested
    Which is more precious than gold
    Which is being destroyed
    Gold is liable to be destroyed
    It will not last forever
    Contrast with our hope and inheritance (v. 4) which will last forever
    Even though it is tested by fire
    Gold is tried by fire to burn out impurities - to make it pure and demonstrate its purity
    Likewise, your faith is tried by suffering, both to purify it and to demonstrate its purity
    Even the most pure gold is still destroyed - even the weakest genuine faith will be proved true
    Your faith may be found into praise, glory and honor
    Our faith (and faithfulness) will ultimately bring praise and honor to Christ
    However, in this passage, Peter is referring to the reward that we will receive from Christ for faithfully enduring trials
    God's vindication and rewarding of His suffering people is a Major theme in 1 Peter
    When Jesus is revealed
    8-9 You rejoice in expectation and will rejoice in fulfillment
    8a-b You love without sight
    8a Even though you have not seen Him [in the past or present]
    8b You love Him
    8c-9 You rejoice in faith and will rejoice in fulfillment
    8c-e You will rejoice
    8c-d The means by which you will rejoice
    8c Even though you don't see Him now
    8d You believe in Him
    8e The result is that you will rejoice in that time
    You are rejoicing with inexpressible and glorious joy
    with unspeakable joy
    with glorious joy
    9 The reason:
    You are receiving [and will receive] the end goal of your faith
    [that is] the salvation of [your] souls
  • 1:10-12 The Greatness of This Salvation
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    10-12c Christian salvation was of great interest to the prophets
    10-11 The prophets searched into its meaning and implication
    10 The prophets took a great interest in the things concerning this salvation
    10a The prophets who prophesied concerning the grace that was to be yours, they searched out
    10b And they inquired carefully concerning this salvation
    Both terms searched out and inquired carefully have the implication of exerting a lot of effort to learn something
    11 Specifically: they investigated to find out exactly what the prophets meant when they predicted the sufferings and resulting glories of Christ
    11a They investigated into what time and what kind of time
    The time and circumstances
    -cf. Matt. 24:3
    11b-c The Spirit was telling them beforehand about the sufferings and the resulting glories of Christ
    11b The Spirit of Christ in them was making known
    -cf. 2 Pet 1:19-21
    11c By bearing witness beforehand about the sufferings that happened to Christ and the glories that came after them
    The sufferings of Christ - cf. Luke 24:25-6
    The glories that come after
    This is a key connection that Peter will reference throughout the rest of the epistle
    Notice how many times in Peter, whenever he mentions the sufferings which his readers are experiencing, he immediately points to their future experience of glory as God's certain vindication of them and the recompense for their suffering
    Peter is reminding his readers of Jesus' experience as a promise: when they follow in the footsteps of His suffering, they will likewise have a similar experience to His vindication and glory
    The readers follow the pattern of Christ through suffering to glory
    12a-d They found out it was not for them, but for our time
    12a-c It was revealed to them that they were serving a future age
    12a It was revealed to them
    12b-c That they were not serving themselves, but you
    12b It was not to themselves
    12c But they were serving these things to you
    12d These things have now been proclaimed to you through those who preached you the Gospel by the Holy Spirit, sent from Heaven
    12e Christian salvation is of interest to angels - they long to gain a clear glance into these things
    Into which things
    Angels desire to try to learn/gain a clear glance
    Literally - "stoop to look"
1:13-2:10 Right living in hope
  • 1:13-16 Holy living in hope
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    13 Have Christian Thinking
    points back to the preceding
    "With the connective particle dio of v. 13, Peter shifts from reflection on the gospel his readers have received and the eschatological hope this gospel has given them, to the ethical responsibilities they now have as a result." WBC p. 52
    13a Gird up the loins of your mind
    -cf. Exo. 12:11, Luke 12:35
    Prepare your mind for action (roll up your sleeves)
    To prepare yourself for learning and thinking,
    To get your mind ready for action, to be alert and ready to think
    Meditation and introspection, personal examination
    Thinking through the faith and its implications
    "Peter has in view not the natural human intellect but a capacity that is theirs by virtue of their redemption in Jesus Christ (contrast the agnoia of their former way of life in v. 14" WBC p. 54
    13b Be sober
    -cf. 4:7
    Be well balanced in judgment, self-controlled, free from every form of mental and spiritual drunkenness,
    i.e. rashness, excess, passion, confusion, etc., to be in control of ones thought processes, restraint and moderation.
    Do not be carried away by fads
    13c Hope completely in the grace to be given to you
    God's unmerited favor, signifying the whole benefits of heaven spoken of already
    Hope, like faith, depends on its object
    the grace being brought to you
    The word "brought" means "carry, bring" and speaks of God's work in bringing it about, not our work in seeking it out
    "The use of ferein instead of ercesthai underscores the sovereign action of God in bringing grace to his people" WBC p. 56
    the grace being brought at the revelation of Christ
    Once again Peter points to the future rewards of the Christian as a basis for present attitude and action
    14-16 Have Christian Action
    14a As obedient children
    Act according to the way obedient children would and should - comparison
    14b-16 Act in this way
    -cf. 1 Thes. 4:3-8
    14b Neg: Do not be conformed to your desires
    Not being conformed to
    To form or mold one's behavior in accordance with a particular set of standards
    To shape ones behavior, to conform to, to be guided by... cf. Rom. 12:2
    to your desires
    -cf. Eph. 2:3, 4:17-19
    lusts, strong desires, inordinate desires
    "It is possible that Peter is using the word [desires] as a neutral term (in the sense of 'impulses' rather than 'evil desires' or 'lusts')...In any case, [desires] does not refer exclusively to 'lust' in the sense of sexual desire, but more generally to all kinds of self-seeking, whether directed toward wealth, power, or pleasure" WBC p. 57
    To conform to our self-centered desires was natural to do, but no more, we now have a new standard which should drive our desires and pursuits
    to your former desires
    Peter is not denying that we still have desires
    He is denying that they are still the standard by which we live
    Sometimes we deny our natural desires because they clash with our new standard of living
    Our old, selfish desires are replaced with new, godly desires and standards
    "As obedient children", "be holy because I am holy"
    in your ignorance
    These desires are characterized by ignorance
    There are two types of ignorance:
    The ignorance of innocence - not yet knowing because we have not yet had the experience
    And the ignorance of deception - purposely keeping ourselves in the dark
    We are no longer in ignorance - cf. vv. 10-12
    We know the truth and we know Christ
    "agnoia is not primarily an intellectual but a moral and relifious defect, nothing less than rebellion against God" WBC p. 58
    15-16 Pos: Be Holy
    15 Be holy
    Like the Holy One Who called you
    "This clause is usually translated 'as he who called you is holy' (RSV; cf. NIV, TEV; cf. the expression 'he who called you' in 2:9 and 5:10)...kata [like], however, is a preposition ('like' or 'in accordance with'), not a conjunction ('as' or 'just as');" WBC p. 5a
    This goes to show that the emphasis is God as our standard, that we live up to the example of His person and character as our aim and goal
    Holy one
    God is completely holy and perfect in all He is and does
    Holiness basically means separate or different - in a class by Himself
    It is the sum total of all that God is in contrast to His creatures
    It also means superior (perfect) moral qualities
    Not that God lives up to a standard outside Himself, but He is the standard by which all is measured
    God is holy, perfect in morality
    Therefore, holiness is measured in conformity to His person, character and will.
    Who called you
    We have a calling, to relationship and responsibility
    We are called to be holy because that is the trait of the one who called us -
    We are called from our past desires and called to God's will
    "the function of the modifier kalesanta [who called] is to indicate why the holiness of the God of Israel must be a model for the behavior of these Gentile Christians. Their identity rests in the fact that they have been 'called' (2:21; 3:9) by a holy God. Consequently they belong to 'him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light' (2:9; cf. 5:10). They are Gentiles invited to stand before the God of Israel with the same privileges as the Jews and, more to the point in our passage, with the same responsibilities: 'be holy because I am holy.'" WBC p. 59
    You also Be holy in all your conduct
    You also
    In the same way that God is - "like the Holy One Who called you"
    Be holy
    To be holy means to be set apart, separate, different, to be separated from the profane things of the world or the past and consecrated to God
    In all your conduct
    This means in your daily conduct, your way of life, your behavior in all aspects of your life
    The Bible does not teach us to run away to a monastery to be hermits separated from the world in all aspects, but to bring our consecration into every walk of life, to be in the world, but not of it, to be salt and light, cf. Jn. 17:14-18, Matt. 5:13-16
    Holiness does not take us out of life (except those sinful aspects)
    It invades all areas of our life making them fruitful for God
    16 The Reason - Scripture says so
    16a Because it is written -
    16b-c What is written:
    quoting Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7
    16b Be holy
    16c The Reason: because I am holy
    Notice above that God's holiness is our standard for holiness.
    Here it is also our reason for holiness
    -cf. Lev. 11:45
    Christ is not asking us to think more or think less, to feel more or feel less;
    He is telling us to think and feel in the right way
    Not according to our lusts or fancies, but with a clear mind,
    According to His standard or His life and Word and according to the hope that we have
    To think and live in a Christlike manner is our standard and goal
    the character and holiness of our God is both our motivation and guide
  • 1:17-21 Honorable living as aliens in hope
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    Continuing a series of commands in vv. 13-16
    All based on "therefore" relating back to vv. 3-12
    17 Live your life as one who will be held responsible for one's own actions
    17a Since you call on a Father Who impartially judges each according to his works
    "The emphasis of this clause is less on the fact that the reader addresses God as Father than on the fact that the One they address as Father is also the final Judge of every human being." WBC p. 60
    He judges without favoritism/impartially
    -cf. Acts 10:34, Rom. 2:11, 2 Chron. 19:7, Gal. 2:6, Eph. 6:9, Col. 3:25
    He judges each according to his works
    -cf. Psa. 62:12, Prov. 24:14, Jer. 17:10, Rom. 2:5, Rev. 20:12-13, 22:12, Matt. 16:27
    Not salvation by works - Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 8:1
    He grades and rewards or punishes things done as a Christian
    Eph. 2:10, 1 Cor. 3:10-15, 4:1-5, Lk. 19:11-27, 2 Tim. 4:14
    17b Live the time of your pilgrimage in reverent fear
    Have a lifestyle
    Same word as v. 15
    For the time of your pilgrimage
    -cf. 1:1, 2:11
    A lifestyle of reverent fear
    Not paranoia or phobia, cf. 3:6, 14, 2 Tim. 1:7
    But reverence toward God, cf. 2:17, Heb. 12:28
    18-21 The reason why we should do this:
    This reason also applies to the commands of vv. 13-17
    18-20 We are redeemed by the blood of Christ
    18a We know that -
    The focus is not so much on our knowing
    But this is just a formula to introduce what follows
    18b-21 What we know:
    18b Neg: We were not redeemed with perishable things such as silver or gold
    To redeem means to purchase back with a price, such as a slave or prisoner of war - cf. Matt. 20:28, Mk. 10:45, Exo. 6:6-7
    "The basic concept of reception is the exchanging of ownership, often by paying a price." Kennard, JETS Dec. 1987 p. 399
    "There were people whose rightful place was back there in the homeland, alongside their brothers. But by a cruel accident of war they had fallen into the power of a strong enemy. They could not break free. Left to themselves, they would remain in captivity for the rest of their lives. If they were to be set free, money must be paid. For them to be restored to the place where they belonged, they must be bought out of their captivity. This buying of prisoners of war out of their captivity was the basic idea in redemption. But the redemption words came to be used of other forms of freeing people. They were sometimes used, for example, of setting slaves free." Morris The Atonement p. 108
    "To his gentile readers, [redemption] may have suggested not so much the language of [the Old Testament] as that of the Roman custom of sacral manumission, a legal fiction by which a slave (or his benefactor) paid money into a temple treasury so that the god honored at that temple would 'purchase' or 'ransom' him from his master; he would then be the property of that god but in relation to society a free person....That Peter thought of the readers of his epistle in this way is suggested by 2:16. Where he characterized them 'as those who are free...yet as God's slaves.' Their redemption is first of all liberation from the past (cf. v. 14). Now seen as a form of slavery." WBC p. 64 - cf. Exo. 8:20, Rom. 6:16
    "Petrine redemption is an act that focuses on requiring the redeemed to live differently. For example, the repeated command throughout 1 Peter remind believers of their obligation. The act of Christ redeeming them must be followed by their own action....Petrine redemption then is a definite act wherein Christ initially frees a person from his former futile way of life and this renders him under obligation to obey God in his new changed lifestyle." Kennard. p. 401
    "The Christian must live life in reverence, because it cost so much, nothing less than the life and death of Jesus Christ. Since, then, life is such surpassing value, it cannot be wasted or thrown away." Barclay p. 188
    Not with perishable things like silver or gold
    -cf. v. 4, 7, 23, 3:4, Isa. 52:3
    "Where Isaiah's point was redemption without the paying of a price. Peter's is redemption at a price far beyond silver or gold." WBC p. 63
    Redeemed from the futile way of life inherited from your forefathers
    -cf. Rom. 6:21, Eph. 2:1-4, 1 Pet. 4:3, 1:14, 2:1
    Way of life
    Same word as v. 17
    "the [way of life] of the readers' past stands in sharpest possible contrast to the [way of life] required of them now (v. 15)." WBC p. 64
    Idle, empty, fruitless, useless, powerless, lacking truth
    -cf. Jer. 2:5, Acts 14:15, Rom. 1:21, Eph. 4:17
    Passed down from forefathers, almost as an assumption, taken for granted
    Which now must be looked at more carefully and discarded if found wanting
    19-20 Pos: We were redeemed by the blood of Christ
    19 Spoken of in general terms
    But by the precious blood of Christ
    -cf. 1:2, Acts 20:28, Heb. 9:12, 1 Cor. 6:20, 1 Clem. 7:4
    like a blameless and spotless lamb
    A simile for comparison
    Referring to the animals used for Old Testament sacrifices for sin - cf. Exo. 12:5, Gen. 22:8, 13, Isa. 53:7, Jn. 1:29
    Blameless and spotless - Jesus was qualified to pay the debt for sin because he was sinless
    -cf. 2 Cor. 5:21
    20 Specific description about Christ
    He was foreordained before the foundation of the world
    -cf. 1:2, Acts 2:23, Eph. 1:4, Rev. 13:8
    He was revealed in the last time for your sake
    Already existing and prepared, but now made known
    The veil was drawn away
    In the Last time
    In contrast with 'before the beginning of the world'
    -cf. Heb. 9:26
    "The phrase [in the last time] assumes a series of these time periods or 'ages' spanning the world's history, and affirms that the last of these has begun with the appearing of Christ" WBC p. 68
    for your sake
    Brining this theoretical material to a personal level as a transition to what follows
    21 The effects of redemption on us
    21a Through Him, you are believers in God Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory
    Through Him
    because of what Jesus has done
    Who raised Him from the dead
    -cf. Rom. 4:24, 10:9
    "Jesus' resurrection was not simply a resumption or extension of earthly life, but the beginning of a new and transcendent existence (cf. 3:18-22)" WBC p. 69
    Who gave Him glory
    -cf. 1:11
    21b The Result: Your faith and hope are in God
    -cf. v. 13
    "It is more than a mere repetition of [through him you are believers in God]. Peter's additional point is that what is now the experience of his readers (i.e. believing in God) was God's intention already when he raised Jesus Christ to glory." WBC p. 70
    "By introducing hope at this point, he comes full circle back to v. 13, where the series of exhortations began, while at the same time reinforcing his insistence in vv. 3-9 simultaneously on the hope of salvation as an encouragement to faith, and on faith's testing during the interval before the hope is realized. The placement of [in God] at the very beginning ([blessed be God] v.3) and at the end, whether in the literary structure or in the horizons of the author's thought. In 1 Peter, faith no less than hope is pointed toward the future, and hope no less than faith is a response to God's work of redemption through Christ (v. 3) and governs the conduct of Christians in the present (3:15-16). If there is a new element introduced with the mention of hope, it is the possible implication that the God who raised up Jesus and gave Him glory will also raise and glorify those who hope in Him." WBC p. 70
  • 1:22-2:3 Love according to New Birth
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    22-25 Love one another unceasingly
    22 Sincerely love one another unceasingly
    -cf. 4:8, Jn. 13:34, Rom. 12:10, Heb. 13:1
    22a Having purified your souls
    By obedience to the truth
    -cf. 'ignorance' in v. 14 and 'empty way of life' in v. 18
    as opposed to the 'gospel that was preached to you' in v. 12
    -cf. 1:2, 14, Jn. 17:17, 19
    For the purpose of sincere love for fellow believers
    22b Therefore, love one another
    From a pure heart
    Unceasingly, continuously
    The key term here is the word translated "unceasingly/continuously"
    The rest of this section will explain and illustrate what Peter means when he uses this word
    "[unceasingly] with the imperative [love] maintains the emphasis of the three previous imperatives in vv. 13, 15 and 17 on the necessity of fulfilling the commands 'until the end' or during the whole of the readers' allotted lifetime. vv. 23-25 in their turn can be understood as the explanation and elaboration of the [unceasingly] with which v. 22 concludes." WBC p. 76
    23-25 Reason: Your love should match your salvation
    Your salvation is active and enduring,
    So your love should be active and enduring
    23 You were born from imperishable seed
    -cf. 1:3, Jn. 1:13, 3:3
    Your salvation is active and enduring because it comes from seed that is active and enduring
    23a The fact - You were born again
    "Peter explains the experience of new birth here in much the same way that he explained the experience of redemption in vv. 18-19, by means of a contrast between perishable and imperishable things...Just as they were redeemed 'not with perishable things such as silver or gold' (v.18), so they were born anew 'not from the planting of perishable seed but from imperishable." WBC p. 76
    23b-c The means by which you are born again
    Neg: Not from perishable seed
    -cf. 1:4, 7, 18, 3:4
    Pos: But from imperishable [seed]
    -cf. Mk. 4:2-9, 14-21, 26-32
    Through the living and enduring word of God
    "The incorruptible quality of the seed which has been sown is thus accounted for by the living and enduring qualities of the [word]....The word as received [seed] is incorruptible because it reflect the permanence of the word as given by God." CBQ Vol. 36 p. 92
    "It is this quality of permanence that requires of Christian believers permanent and unremitting love (v.22)." WBC p. 77
    24-25 Reason: the life matches the seed
    24-25a General principle:
    Illustrated by a quote from Scripture (Isa. 40:6-8)
    The Scripture highlights that the Word is active and enduring
    24 Negative contrast
    24a-b Comparison with perishable plants
    24a All flesh (mankind) is like grass
    in ways to be defined next
    24b All its glory is like the flower of grass
    -cf. 'empty, fruitless' in v. 18 as compared to 'glory' in vv. 7, 8, and 11
    24c-d The impermanence of plants
    -cf. Psa. 37:18-20
    24c The grass withers
    24d And the flower falls
    25a The Positive fact Peter is emphasizing
    But the Word of the Lord remains forever
    -cf. Mk. 13:31, Matt. 5:18
    It is enduring and does not fall
    Like the love that Peter is encouraging
    25b The specific point of the quotation
    This is the Word that was preached to you
    -cf. 1:12, 20, Isa. 40:9
    The Word that was preached to them was active and enduring
    Therefore, it gave birth to a life that is active and enduring
    Therefore, their love should also be active and enduring
    "[Peter] knows that brotherly affection among those who are not literally brothers and sisters is impossible without purification of soul, and that mutual love even in a community of shared belief is impossible without the new birth of which Jesus had spoken in the Gospel tradition. Without these things it is possible to be fond of other individuals and to have a commitment of sorts to a community or a cause. What is always lacking in such cases is that quality of constancy or steadfastness which Peter sums up with the adverb 'unremittingly.' The love or brotherly affection of which he speaks is an unremitting, imperishable love, because it has about it something of the nature of 'the living and enduring God.'" WBC p. 80
    1-3 Grow in spiritual truth and maturity
    1-2 Act like you have been born again
    Points back to 1:23 where Peter says they have been born again. He continues this metaphor by telling them to act like figurative newborns in term of growth, both in putting aside their old life and craving the things of new life.
    1 Put off your old way of life
    Linked with v. 2 as a dependent participle, imperatival, but probably logically also means/manner relationship
    Rid yourself of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind
    -cf. Eph. 4:22, Jms. 1:21
    "Peter then listed five sins of attitude and speech, which if harbored would drive wedges between believers. malice is wicked ill-will; deceit is deliberate dishonesty; hypocrisy, pretended piety and love; envy, resentful discontent; and slander, backbiting lies. None of these should have any place in those who are born again. Rather in obedience to the Word, believers are to make decisive breaks with the past." Bible Knowledge Commentary, en loc
    2 Crave the things of your new life
    -cf. Jms. 1:21, Eph. 4:23-4
    "Warnings against evil attitudes and practices have no point if nothing is provided to take their place. While urging his readers to get rid of all kinds of malice and deceit, Peter stirs in them instead a longing for God, and for all that God has to give." WBC p. 91
    2a-b Single-mindedly crave spiritual nourishment
    -cf. 1 Cor. 3:2, Heb 5:12-13
    2a Comparison: as newborn infants
    "The metaphor's point of comparison is not the smallness or innocence of a bay, but its strong and instinctive longing for a mother's milk." WBC p. 86
    "Like newborn babies does not imply that Peter thought of his readers as young or immature Christians, for some of them had been Christians for thirty years. It only says that they are to long for spiritual milk in the same way that new babies long for milk (eagerly, frequently)...Milk in this context does not represent elementary Christian teaching (as it does in a different metaphor in 1 Cor. 3:2 and Heb. 5:12-13, where milk is contrasted with meat or solid food), but rather something to be eagerly desired for nourishment." Grudem, TNTC p. 94
    2b Crave pure spiritual milk
    As contrasted to 'deceit' of v. 1
    Basically reminding that this is a metaphor and not to push the imagery too far. It is spiritual nourishment from God that is the point.
    Refers to the teaching of the word, but it also refers to much more than that, like the baby partakes of the 'life' of the mother in milk, we partake and participate in the life of Christ.
    "In light of 1:25 there can be no doubt that the medium by which the milk is received is the proclaimed message of the gospel, but the milk itself is more appropriately interpreted as the sustaining life of God given in mercy to his children." WBC pp. 88-9
    2c Purpose: so that you may grow in it into salvation.
    -cf. 1:5, 9, 10, Eph. 4:14-16
    "[salvation] in our passage points to a vindication arising inevitably, almost 'naturally,' out of the spiritual growth that results from receiving 'pure spiritual milk.'...There is a shift of emphasis between chapts. 1 and 2 but nothing more. The center of interest in 1:3-12 is the hope of final vindication, while in our passage it is the process of spiritual growth that precedes the end. In neither instance, however, is 'salvation' seen as anything other than God's decisive intervention on behalf of his people 'at the last day,' and in neither instance are his people seen as merely waiting passively for their eschatological reward. Rather, they are active participants in the drama of salvation, whether their participation is depicted as having their faith tested and proved genuine in 'various ordeals' in pagan society, or as feeding on the life-giving 'milk' of God's mercy for the well-being of their minds and souls." WBC pp. 89-90
    "Salvation is seen not as a last minute rescue operation from the outside but as the fitting consummation of a process already at work in and among Christian believers." WBC p. 91
    3 Reason: You have experienced that the Lord is good
    -cf. Psa. 34:8, Eph. 4:21, Matt. 11:29
    In the form of a condition "if you have...", challenging the reader with the opposite possibility. But most likely an assumed condition "Since you have..." giving the reason.
    Not all the benefits of the Christian are future, we have indeed experienced the kindness and goodness of Christ.
    We are reminded of this past experience as a motivation to continue to crave the things of God, and in so doing, continue to experience His goodness and continue to grow into the consummating experience of His goodness, our salvation.
    "Once a person has come to taste the graciousness and goodness of the Lord, he should have a continuing appetite for spiritual food." EBC 12.228
  • 2:4-8 Sharing the destiny of the "stone"
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    4-6 Those who come to the Lord have a great future and identity
    4-5 As we come to the Lord, He builds us up
    4 We are coming to the Lord
    [by] coming to Him
    -cf. Matt. 11:28, Jn. 1:12, 5:40, 6:35, 37, Jms. 4:8, Psa. 34:5
    Possibly imperative - "come to Him"
    More likely means - "by coming to Him," "insomuch as we come to Him"
    Elaboration of who "He" is
    to Whom
    refers back to "The Lord" of v. 3
    The Stone
    -cf. Dan. 2:34, Isa. 8:14, Psa. 118:22
    Peter is using a metaphor which Jesus Himself used (drawing attention to OT passages) to explain about himself
    These passages were some of the most frequently quoted OT passages in the NT to talk about Jesus.
    Peter will more fully quote these passages and explain their significance in the verses which follow
    -cf. 1:2, 23, Jn. 5:25, 6:57
    "Living" seems like an unusual word to describe stones
    Peter will elaborate on the significance of this in the verses which follow
    Rejected by men
    -cf. Mk. 8:31, Lk. 9:22, 17:25, Jn. 1:10-11
    but chosen and precious to God
    -cf. v. 7, 1:19-20, Isa. 42:1
    "Perhaps the key word in 1 Pet. 2:4-10 is not 'stone' but 'chosen'. As Christ was chosen by God but rejected by men (2:4), so also believers are chosen by God but rejected by men (2:9-10 and the 'alien' motif in v. 11; cf. also the alien/chosen motif in 1:1-2)." JETS 32/2 (June 1989). p. 194
    5 We are being built into a spiritual house
    5a-b He is building us
    5a Like living stones
    -cf. Jn. 11:25-26, 14:19
    " is meant to apply secondarily to the readers, the 'living stones,' as well as to Christ. they too are 'rejected by people generally but in God's sight choice and precious.' For their identity is to be defined over against those who do not belong to their number." WBC p. 99
    5b You yourselves are bing built up to be a spiritual house
    -cf. Eph. 2:19-22, 1 Cor. 3:9, 16, 6:19, 1 Tim. 3:15
    5c the Purpose: to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices
    Peter is slightly changing the metaphor
    Before, we were living stones built into a spiritual house [referring to the temple], now we are the priesthood serving in the temple
    Both are metaphors ('living stones,' 'spiritual house' and 'spiritual sacrifices' not literal stones and house and sacrifices) but they both speak about the same reality - we bring honor and glory to God by our worshipful attitude and lifestyle
    To be a holy priesthood
    -cf. v. 9, 1:16, Isa 61:6, Rev. 5:10
    "To be the people of God is not only a privilege but a responsibility, and in particular a priestly responsibility. Before there was a special priestly class in Israel, there was the idealized notion of all Israel as a priesthood (Exod. 19:6), and it is to this ancient notion that Peter makes his appeal." WBC p. 96
    Offering spiritual sacrifices, pleasing to God through Jesus Christ
    -cf. Jn. 4:22-24
    pleasing to God
    -cf. Rom. 12:1, Phil. 4:18
    "That the spiritual sacrifices are 'acceptable to God through Jesus Christ' supports the view that they are above all acts of worship." WBC p. 102
    through Jesus Chirst
    -cf. Heb. 13:15-16
    "[through Jesus Christ] corresponds in its significance to the [through him] of 1:21: even as they have believed in God through Jesus Christ, the readers of the epistle now offer to God acceptable worship through him." WBC p. 102
    "...the spiritual sacrifices are first of all something offered up to God as worship and, second, a pattern of social conduct. The two aspects cannot be separated, and the priority is always the same." WBC p. 101
    6 The reason this is so:
    6a Disclosure formula
    It is contained in Scripture
    6b-c Scripture quote:
    quoting from Isa. 28:16
    6b Behold, I am placing a stone in Zion - a chosen and precious cornerstone
    most important, most essential stone, which gives shape to the rest of the building
    select, excellent
    -cf. v. 4 'chosen by God'
    -cf. v.4 'precious to God'
    Notice that the two terms used by Peter to describe Jesus in v. 4 are taken from the Isaiah quote which he anticipates in v. 4, and quotes in this verse
    He also implies that these same terms apply to believers, who are also 'stones'
    6c Whoever believes in Him will in no way be put to shame
    -cf. Psa. 25:1-3, 34:5, Isa. 61:7, 45:16-17, 50:6-7, 54:4-5
    Whoever believes
    the one who trusts in Him
    Will in no way
    "Will most certainly not...""
    Emphatic strengthened negative construction to make the denial more forceful
    Be put to shame
    be left un-vindicated
    The future and final vindication of believers is a major theme of 1 Peter
    7-8 The implications of this:
    There are two types of people (those who believe and those who don't)
    - with two types of futures
    7a To those who believe, [God will give] honor
    -cf. 1:6, 1 Sam. 2:30
    "the 'honor' or 'praise' to which Peter refers is final vindication before God, the equivalent of never being put to shame; it is the same vindication already described more fully as 'praise, glory, and honor at the time when Jesus Christ is revealed' (1:7)" WBC p. 104
    7b-8 To those who disbelieve, it is a different story
    7b General statement: To those who do not believe
    7c-8 Specific details: the stone has a different relation to them
    7c-8b The way that the 'stone' has different relations to them
    7c-d The stone which the builders rejected has become the most important part of the building
    Cornerstone = most important stone - either the chief foundation stone or the central keystone of an arch
    Quoting Psa. 118:22, cf. Matt. 21:42-44, Acts 4:9-12
    The stone is vindicated and their judgment is shown to be false
    7c The stone which was rejected by the builders
    7d This stone has become the head of the corner
    8a The stone has become a stone of stumbling
    Quoting Isa. 8:14
    A stumbling stone which trips up people and brings them to harm
    8b The stone has become a rock of offense
    -cf. Rom. 9:32-33, Lk. 2:34, 1 Cor. 1:23, Gal 5:11
    A scandal/offense
    8c-e The results to unbelievers of this rejection
    8c-d They stumble by rejection of the Word
    8c They stumble
    8d Because they rejected (refused to believe or obey) the word
    -cf. 1:14, 22
    "The point of the statement that unbelievers 'stumble by disobeying the word' is not that 'stumbling' is synonymous with the rejection of the Christian message, but that it is a consequence of that rejection. In simplest terms, it is the opposite of divine vindication, the negative equivalent of the 'honor' reserved for Christian believers of not being 'put to shame'." WBC p. 106
    8e Reason: They were ordained to this
    "[they were appointed for this] corresponds to the [I am placing] of the first quotation in v. 6; there are two 'appointings' or 'destinies' - one, of the 'choice and precious stone, a cornerstone in Zion,' to vindication, and the other of those who 'disobey the word' to shame and stumbling." WBC p. 95
    "The matching verbs do not represent two distinct 'appointings' but one with a twofold result....In the single act of raising Jesus from the dead, God has laid the 'choice and precious Stone' that means honor and vindication for those who believe, but stumbling and shame for the disobedient." WBC p. 107
  • 2:9-10 Elaboration of the destiny/hope of those who believe
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    9 You have a new identity from God
    These two verses further explain the 'honor' of v. 7a
    vv. 7b-8 spoke of the result of the choice for the unbelievers, now Peter elaborates on the other side of the coin for believers.
    "The words [but you]...introduce a series of honorific titles spelling out the [honor] of those who believe...vv. 9-10 unfold both the present and future aspects of this 'honor'....All four of these titles of honor appear to be adaptations of titles from either Exod. 19:6 or Isa. 43:20-21. With the use of these titles, Peter makes explicit his basis for consistently addressing his Gentile Christian readers as if they were Jews." WBC p. 107
    Notice there is both continuity and discontinuity between OT Israel and the NT believers
    Notice that the positions of honor come with significant responsibility and purpose
    9a Who you are in Christ
    You are a chosen race
    -cf. 1:2, Isa. 43:20-21, Deut. 10:14-15, 7:6
    "Within 1 Peter, the use of [chosen] here for the Christian community as a whole is a corollary of its use for Christ the 'living stone' in vv. 4 and 6, recalling as well the [chosen] of Peter's initial address to his readers as individuals in 1:1." WBC p. 108
    [You are] a royal priesthood
    -cf. Exod. 19:6, Isa. 61:6, Rev. 1:6
    "This means that every Christian has the right of access to God; and that he must offer his work, his worship and himself to God." Barclay p. 199.
    [You are] a holy nation
    -cf. 1:2, 16, Exod. 19:6, Isa. 62:12
    "Although [nation] is not used here to distinguish Israel from the surrounding nations, the adj. 'holy' is used and this is pivotal. It is the one thing that makes them distinguishable from the nations. They are separated to God and from the nations. They are holy unlike the rest of the nations." Smith p. 25
    [You are] a people for God's possession
    -cf. Exod. 19:5-6, Isa. 43:20-21, Deut. 4:20, 7:6, 14:2, 26:18, Acts 20:28, 1 Cor. 6:19-20, Titus 2:13-14
    "In Exod. 19:5 we find God promising Israel that they shall be his possession if they keep his covenant. Their being a people for God's possession 'From among all the peoples' is conditioned on their obedience, keeping the covenant. If they do not obey then he will dispossess them and turn his back on them (Dt. 31:17)." Smith p. 32
    9b The purpose for this new identity
    To proclaim the wonderful deeds
    -cf. Isa. 43:21
    "Whatever else they may imply, the 'spiritual sacrifices' are first of all the praise of God by His people...[wonderful deeds] does not refer to God's 'virtues' of ethical qualities in an abstract sense but to His praiseworthy deeds." WBC p. 110
    of the One Who called you
    "What God has done is immediately defined by who he is" WBC p. 111
    out of darkness
    "The 'darkness' of which Peter speaks is the same as the 'ignorance' (1:14) that belonged to his readers' Gentile past....It was the darkness of not being a people and of not knowing the mercy of God (v. 10)" WBC p. 111
    into His marvelous light
    -cf. Isa. 42:6-7, 16
    The light is the sum total of the relationships started in v. 9, the 'being a people' and 'receiving mercy' of v. 10, and the future rewards promised throughout. It is both present and future.
    "The elect community lives between the darkness of its pagan past and the light of its eschatological future. Alienated from the one and not yet at home in the other, it is a community of 'strangers and foreigners' in the Roman Empire (2:11; cf. 1:1)" WBC p. 112
    10 This new identity is a complete change from your old one
    Specifically describes 'darkness to light'
    10a-b Change of your relationship to one another
    10a Once you were not a people
    -cf. Hos. 1:9-10, 2:1, 23
    10b Now you are the people of God
    "This means that the Christian is called out of insignificance into significance. It continually happens in this world that a man's greatness lies not in himself but in what has been given him to do. The Christian's greatness lies in the fact that God has chosen him to be his man and to do his work in the world. No Christian can be ordinary, for he is a man of God." Barclay p. 198
    10c-d Change of relationship to God
    10c You were not the ones who received mercy
    10d Now you are the ones who received mercy
    "Peter uses the terminology to remind his Gentile readers that they are Gentiles. They were not always the people of god but have become so by God's mercy now revealed in Jesus Christ (cf. 1:3; Eph. 2:4)" WBC p. 112
2:11-5:11 Aliens
2:11-12 Theme - Live Worthily
  • 2:11-12 Theme - Live worthily as aliens to disprove slanderers
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    11a Intro Address: Beloved, I urge you
    This type of formula is often used to introduce a new thought or section of thought in the New Testament, e.g. Rom. 12:1, 15:30, 16:17, 1 Cor 1:10, Eph. 4:1, 1 Thes. 4:1, 5:12, 14, esp. 1 Pet. 4:12
    "The same function can be assigned here to [Dear friends, I urge you]...The brief appeal thus introduced is best understood as a heading to 2:11-4:11 in its entirety." WBC p. 115
    "In the broadest sense, the structure of 1 Peter is marked out by two occurrences of the direct address, 'Dear friends' in 2:11 and 4:12. These divide the epistle into three parts, 1:1-2:10, 2:11-3:11, and 4:12-5:14.
    1. The theme of the first part is the identity of the people of God established on the basis of the great salvation Christ has accomplished on their behalf. Their identity as a 'chosen' people is affirmed programmatically in the address (1:1-2) and confirmed in the concluding pronouncements of 2:9-10...This identity as God's people rests on the experience of salvation (1:5, 9-10; 2:3) or rebirth (1:3, 22-23; 2:2-3).
    2. The address, 'Dear friends, I appeal to you,' in 2:11 marks a shift from the identity of God's people to their consequent responsibility in a hostile world. If 1:3-2:10 expanded on their identity as 'chosen people' (cf. 1:2), the reference to them as 'aliens and strangers' in 2:11 serves as a reminder that they are at the same time 'living as strangers' (again cf. 1:2) in contemporary society. Their mission to the worlds is summarized generally in 2:11-12 and specifically in 2:13-3:12"
    WBC p. xxxiv-xxxv.
    11b-d Overcome the enemies within
    11b-c Abstain from fleshly desires
    -cf. Isa. 55:7, Acts 15:29, Eph. 4:22, 1 Thes. 5:22, Heb. 12:1
    11b As aliens and strangers
    -cf. Heb. 11:9-10, 13-16, 13:14
    "The basis of [Peter's"] appeal is not his own identity or status (as in 5:1), but that of his readers. Their identity as 'aliens and strangers' in Roman society is what necessitates the moral demands that will follow." WBC p. 116
    "These two words [aliens and strangers] give us two great truths about the Christian. (a) There is a real sense in which he is a stranger in the world; and because of that he cannot accept the world's laws and ways and standards. Others may accept them; but the Christian is a citizen of the Kingdom of God and it is by the laws of that Kingdom that he must direct his life....(b) The Christian is not a permanent resident upon earth; he is ont he way to the country which is beyond. He must therefore, do nothing which would keep him from reaching his ultimate goal." Barclay p. 201.
    -cf. Shepherd of Hermas 50
    11c Abstain from fleshly desires
    -cf. Matt. 5:29-30, Rom. 6:6, 13:14, Gal. 5:16-17, Col. 3:5, 1 Pet. 4:2
    "Fleshly desires and sins of the flesh include not only the grosser sins but all that is characteristic of fallen human nature." Barclay p. 200
    "Because they are aliens and strangers in Roman society by virtue of their election. Peter urges on his readers a clean moral break with the natural impulses of their past (cf. 1:14; 4:2)...Peter characterizes these impulses as merely physical in motivation and intent, centered on self-preservation and material well-being....In light of the emphasis on suffering in the remainder of his epistle, it appears that the principal factors that Peter sees undermining a person's life are the natural impulses toward comfort, self-protection, and self-gratification....Such natural impulses, although not intrinsically evil for Peter, must yield to other, more vital considerations, centered on what he calls the soul." WBC pp. 116-7
    11d Reason: which wage war against your soul
    -cf. Luke 9:23-25, Rom. 7:23, 8:13, Jms. 4:1
    We must never settle for second best if it will keep us from God's best. We must sometimes sacrifice our present for our future, never sacrifice your future for your past. We must lose our life in order to gain it. cf. Mk. 8:35-37
    12 Overcome the external enemies
    -cf. Rom. 12:21
    Overcoming the enemies within and the external enemies are not two separate things but are interrelated as two sides of the same coin.
    "Peter starts with the assumption that the first and most immediate conflict is within the Christian believer. That is, between the 'natural impulses' toward survival and acceptance in Roman society, and the 'soul' or new life focused on God and the approaching 'day of visitation.' The resolution of this individual conflict is the key to the resolution of the social conflict between Christians and their detractors." WBC p. 120
    This verse is the primary theme of the whole middle section of this epistle. It is a general command to have excellent conduct. this is worked out throughout the rest of this section specifically in the following real-life situations: citizens and rulers (2:13-17), slaves and masters (2:18-25), wives and husbands (3:1-7), persecutors and persecuted (3:8-4:6), and a concluding summary outlining excellent conduct for the whole church (4:7-11)
    12a Have excellent conduct among the Gentiles [unbelievers]
    -cf. 2 Pet. 3:10-13, Phil 1:21, 1 Tim. 4:12, Jms. 3:13, Phil. 2:15-16
    'conduct' here is the same word used in 1:15-18 and means habitual way of life, not just being on your best behavior when someone is watching
    "The emphasis here is on conduct that can be seen and appreciated as 'good' even by fellow citizens who are not believers in Christ." WBC p. 117.
    12b-e The purpose of doing so:
    12b-d You may show the beauty of the Christian life
    12b-c Even though they speak of you as [if you are] evildoers
    -cf. Matt. 10:25, Jn. 15:18-21
    "The closest English equivalent is 'in case' or 'in a case (or situation) where' [they speak of you as evildoers]" WBC p. 117
    Christians have been misunderstood, slandered, and maligned behind their back and to their face throughout history. Very often Christians have been socially and/or violently persecuted. Jesus warned that it would be the norm for Christians. Peter knew this and assumed that this type of persecution was happening to his readers
    12d they may see and take notice of your good works.
    -cf. 1 Thes. 4:11-12
    "The context, both her and in 3:2 suggests an act of observing that leads to a change of mind or outlook, like having one's eyes opened to something not seen before. Peter's interest is not in the act or moment of conversion itself, but in conversion's cause ('from observing your good works') and final result ('to glorify God on the day of visitation')." WBC p. 118
    "Slanderous charges were continually being made against the Christians; and the only effective way to refute them was to live lives so lovely that they would be seen to be obviously untrue." Barclay p. 201
    "The only way to refute accusations of wrongdoing is to 'do good'." WBC p. 118
    12e The Result: They may be among those who glorify God in the day of His visitation (they may be converted)
    -cf. Matt. 5:16
    Glorify God
    -cf. Jn. 15:8, 1 Pet. 4:11
    "The use of the term here evidently signals repentance or religious conversion at or before the last day." WBC p. 118
    The day of His visitation
    -cf Lk. 19:44, Isa. 10:3
    this could mean the day when God visits them with initial salvation, but more likely in 1 Peter it means the last day of either praise or judgment; that those who used to slander Christians would have been brought around by observing the lives of Christians to join their number and be a part of those who will glorify God in that day.
    "Peter's hope for those who now despised and slandered the Christian community was that they would change their minds and join in the chorus of praise to God that distinguished Christians from the rest of the world. The scenario was...that simply by observing the 'good conduct' or 'good works' of those who believed in Christ, the accusers would see that their charges were false. Acknowledging the faith of the Christians as true and the God of the Christians as worthy of their worship, they would 'glorify God on the day of visitation' (cf. the scenario played out between a believing wife and an unbelieving husband according to 3:1-2)." WBC p. 118 - cf. 1 Cor 7:16
    "Whether we like it or not, every Christian is an advertisement for Christianity, by his life he either commends it to others or makes them think less of it. The strongest missionary force in the world is a Christian life." Barclay p. 202.
2:13-4:11 Live worthily in immanent suffering
  • 2:13-17 Live worthily before governments
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    13-16 The command: Subject yourself for the Lord's sake
    13-15 Subject yourself to all human institutions
    13-14 Subject Yourself
    13a Subject yourself to every human institution because of the Lord
    -cf. Rom. 13:1-5, Titus 3:1, Eph. 5:21
    Subject yourself
    It is a command, so it involves an act of the will
    It is not automatic, it is not forced under compulsion
    We must subject ourselves voluntarily
    Therefore, this kind of subjection demonstrates the same kind of power Christ demonstrated by subjecting Himself
    Subjection is not a sign of servile weakness, but a sign of moral strength
    To every social structure
    lit. "every human creation," i.e. human institution, social structure, human form of authority
    Because of the Lord
    First of all, because He has commanded it
    Also, because we know that our submission is part of His greater plan - cf. v. 12, 15
    Also, because we are following in the footsteps of Jesus - cf. 1:11, 2:21-23, Heb. 2:10, 5:7-8
    "Peter requires cooperation and compliance not because the state requires it, but 'for the sake of the Lord'." WBC p. 124
    13b-14 Specifically: To whom to be subject
    to the king, who exercises authority over you
    And to the governor who is sent by him
    "Peter continues to be specific as he brings his appeal closer to where his readers actually live. It is often easier to honor the emperor from a distance than to respect the authority of his local representatives." WBC p. 125
    To punish evildoers
    And to praise doers of good
    Peter is advocating, by clear implication, not just abstaining from doing evil, but positively doing good
    "Men join themselves together and agree to live under certain laws, so that the good man may have peace to do his work and go about his business and the evil man may be restrained and kept from his evil-doing. According to the New Testament life is meant by God to be an ordered business and the state is divinely appointed to provide and to maintain that order." Barclay p. 205
    15 The Reason: This is God's will:
    -cf. 3:17
    15a By doing good
    -cf. Matt. 5:16
    15b To silence the ignorant talk of foolish men
    lit. 'to muzzle'
    To overcome those opposing/persecuting Christians by good deeds is a recurring theme in 1 Peter cf. 2:12, 3:16
    16 Further explanations
    16a [Subject yourself] as being free people
    This is to be voluntary subjection, not mandatory, not as a slave
    This means that subjection may be subordinate to other, higher concerns
    16b-c Specifically what it means to be a free person
    16b Neg: not using your freedom as a covering/disguise for evil deeds
    -cf. Gal. 5:1, 13
    This freedom is not unqualified, it comes with responsibilities
    Christian freedom can be the occasion for sinful self-deception - beware!
    16c Pos: but as slaves to God.
    "Christians are free from all that bound them in the past, but at the same time they are slaves of God committed to full and unqualified obedience." WBC p. 128
    "Christian freedom is always conditioned by Christian responsibility: Christian responsibility is always conditioned by Christian love. Christian love is the reflection of God's love. And, therefore, Christian liberty can rightly be summed up in Augustine's memorable phrase: 'Love God, and do what you like.' The Christian is free because he is the slave of God. Christian freedom does not mean being free to do as we like; it means being free to do as we ought." Barclay p. 207
    Because Christians are slaves to God, they have responsibilities to the state, first to submit freely to good and just laws, even unpopular ones out of reverence to God.
    Christians are not to use their freedom in Christ to break just laws or as an excuse to neglect their duties to the state.
    Finally Christians have a higher loyalty to God and must promote justice and righteousness in the state and stand against injustice and unrighteousness of the state, realizing that they must do this in lawful ways if at all possible, and if it is necessary for conscious' sake to break unjust laws, realizing that they must be willing to pay the penalty for breaking these laws
    17 Summary of what to do:
    -cf. Matt. 5:43-48, 22:21
    17a Honor all men
    17b Love the brotherhood
    -cf. 1:22, Rom. 12:10, Heb. 13:1, Jn. 13:34
    17c Fear God
    -cf. Prov. 1:7, 24:21
    17d Honor the King
    -cf. Rom. 13:7
    "The necessary stance of the Christian community is further described in vv. 16-17 with two corollary questions in mind: (1) What have the universal obligations of Christians to their fellow citizens to do with their particular obligations to one another? (2) What do their obligations to the emperor and civil magistrates have to do with their obligation to God? The answer follows in a terse four-part maxim in v. 17. The first two and the last two form pairs: respect is for everyone but love is for fellow believers - God deserves reverent fear while the emperor deserves respect" WBC p. 123
    The loyalties and responsibilities have a priority and precedence. Our responsibilities to God and the church are greater than our responsibilities to rulers and all people. But our responsibility to God keeps us from neglecting our responsibilities to all the others.
  • 2:18-25 Slaves live worthily by Christ's example
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    18 Slaves submit to masters with reverence
    This passage is part of what is often called a house code, where the author gives separate instructions to the different members of a typical household. Other examples of this kind of house code are found in Eph. 6:5-9 and Col. 3:22-25.
    18a Slaves submit to masters with all reverence
    This is the same word submit that Peter used for all people submitting to rightful authorities (2:13), for wives submitting to husbands (3:1), and younger men submitting to elders (5:5). This is a participle with imperative force (see BDF § 268 (2)). And it means to obey in a subordinate relationship.
    And they were commanded to submit with reverent fear (see 1:17, 3:2, 14, 16, Eph. 6:5). This has a connotation of respect and reverence, but it also includes fear, because the masters had the authority to harm them. And in the context of this passage, this attitude of reverent fear is not primarily toward their masters. It is primarily toward God, Who is the ultimate master of all.
    This command was intended for household slaves in those particular churches. But this commands and its accompanying reasons and required attitude, can also apply to other authority relationships. And we need to keep in mind that there are limits to submission as seen in other Scriptures and in the nature and legitimacy of the authority. We can give no human or human institution unquestioned ultimate submission, because that belongs only to God.
    18b-c Specifically: to whom to submit
    18b Neg: Not only to the good and kind masters
    good is the generic word for good. This implies the kind of characteristics the slaves would wish their master to have.
    kind has the connotation of tolerant and forbearing - not harshly punishing any deviation from custom. This kind of master would allow the slave to have some leeway and a measure of freedom in their life and activities.
    18c Pos: But also to the harsh ones
    harsh has the connotation of being morally twisted. We would describe these masters as crooked, unscrupulous, or unjust.
    In that day, the life and treatment of the slaves depended entirely on the character and mood of their master. And slaves were typically expected to share the same culture and religion as their masters. So, a Christian slave of a non-Christian master was sometimes seen as a threat and persecuted as disloyal to the family. So, Peter clarified that they were to submit to their masters, even when they were harsh and unjust.
    In that day, the slaves' options were limited. If they would have fought back or run away, they would have risked being killed, because slave rebellion carried the death penalty in the Roman empire. And that is why Peter did not counsel that kind of response. Rather, he gave a better response, based on the reality of the Gospel and the hope that all Christians have as elect strangers.
    19-25 Two Reasons:
    19-20 First Reason: This is right and pleasing to God
    19 It is good to bear under unjust suffering
    19a For this is praiseworthy
    This means that it is pleasing to God, it brings God's favor. And this strongly implies that God will reward them for it. This proposition does not explicitly mention God. But this is clearly meant, as evidenced by the mention of the consciousness of God in 19b and the specific mention of being praiseworthy before God in the summary statement of 20h.
    This refers to whatever brings someone God's favor and goodwill, or wins a favorable response from God, as elaborated in v. 20. Of course, in the larger New Testament, most of God's favor and grace is completely undeserved and not conditioned at all on our works. But there is also some teaching in the New Testament that tells us how to live in a way that places us in the condition where God's tangible favor is more readily experienced.
    19b-d The condition for it to be praiseworthy
    This is the explanation and elaboration of the previous statement, describing what kind of behavior is praiseworthy and pleasing to God.
    19b-c If someone responds in this way:
    19b The Reason: If, because of consciousness of God,
    That is, because they are mindful of God. They are aware of God, and keep God's character and promised vindication in mind as the reason for their bearing up under suffering.
    19c Someone bears suffering
    If the person endures, they bear up under this pain and affliction. This assumes that they bear it in a Christian manner - they bear it rightly, graciously, and humbly, as Peter will explain in v. 20 and illustrate with Christ's example in 21-25.
    19d [in the situation where they are] suffering unjustly/undeservedly
    This praiseworthiness only applies to situations where they are suffering unjustly, as Peter will explain in v. 20. In this situation, it might be expected that a person would complain and fight back, because the suffering is unjust. But for Peter, it is praiseworthy because they don't respond as expected.
    20 Reason: Some kinds of suffering are praiseworthy, some are not
    This verse is an elaboration and explanation of the previous verse. It uses a negative/positive contrast to describe some suffering that is praiseworthy by contrasting it with some suffering that is not.
    20a-d Neg: Some are not praiseworthy
    This uses a rhetorical question to describe what kind of suffering is not praiseworthy, in order to highlight that which is praiseworthy by contrast.
    20a What credit is it?
    This is a rhetorical question. Peter is stating that there is no credit, there is no honor in what he is about to describe. This is what is not meritorious in any way. The word credit has the connotation of good reputation and high status. It is the legitimate honor which is deserved based on some good accomplishment.
    This negative statement of what is of no credit is setting up for a positive statement reinforcing the previous proposition, which described what is pleasing to God, and therefore is a credit and honor to the person who does it.
    20b-d Condition: If you bear under suffering which you deserve
    This is a hypothetical with a number of related conditions, used to state what is not praiseworthy, what is of no credit.
    20b-c Situation: If you suffer for sin.
    20b If You sin
    Peter used the general word for sin. This means any activity that is against God's will or which fails to live up to God's will and character. This word covers all possibilities of cause for deserved suffering.
    20c And you are beaten as a result
    This is deserved suffering. This type of suffering, illustrated by the specific experience of physical beating, is deserved because of the person's sin.
    20d Response: And You bear up under it
    This is a different word than bear used in 19c. It has the connotation of endurance, to stand firm and put up with it in the midst of affliction and persecution.
    To endure under deserved suffering is nothing unusual, nothing praiseworthy. Usually there is no choice but to endure in this kind of affliction. So, there is no credit in this. The person is only getting what they deserved.
    20e-h Pos: Some are praiseworthy
    This is the positive side of the contrast, describing what kind of suffering is praiseworthy.
    20e-g Condition: If you bear up under unjust/undeserved suffering
    20e-f Situation: If you do good and suffer anyway
    20e Even if you do good
    doing good is also a generic word covering all types of appropriate and positive behavior. This is an adversative clause, showing that what happens is against the expected response for doing good. You still suffer even though you did not deserve it, even though you behaved well.
    20f And still suffer
    This is Peter's standard word for suffering, which he also used in 19d.
    20g Response: And bear your sufferings patiently
    bear is the same word Peter used in 20d. But because the suffering is undeserved in this case, it is implied that this takes more patience and endurance, enduring not only the punishment and suffering, but also the injustice.
    20h This is praiseworthy before God
    This phrase summarizes all of v. 20 and ties it to v. 19. All of v. 20, by the negative/positive contrast has elaborated and illustrated the kind of response that deserves honor and favor. And here Peter explicitly says that this favor is before, or in the sight/opinion of God. This clearly says what was only implied in 19a.
    So, for Peter, there are three main factors in suffering rightly: 1) that you are mindful of God, 2) That you suffer well, not returning in kind, and 3) that you suffer innocently – your suffering is not deserved by your own conduct. Later in chapter 4 (vv. 15-16) Peter will tell his readers, If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler, but if you suffer because you are a Christian, you should not be ashamed.
    So, the first reason Peter gave for his readers to submit to unjust suffering is that it is pleasing to God when we suffer in the right way, with the implication that God will eventually reward.
    21-25 Second Reason: It is part of God's plan
    21 We are called to follow Jesus' example
    21a You were called to this
    this refers to bearing up well under unjust suffering. The context makes this clear.
    called is the standard New Testament word for being chosen for a special benefit, experience, responsibility, and/or task. It also implies a new kind of relationship with the One doing the calling (God). For Peter's readers, this is a reminder that their suffering is not just the random accident of fate or chance in an impersonal universe. Rather, it is the carefully chosen providence of the One they trust as their Heavenly Father. And it is not just one slave being singled out for the painful experience of unjust suffering. All true believers in Christ are called to this experience to at least some extent. Sometimes suffering is a part of God's plan for each of us. We were called to this.
    21b-d Reason: Jesus gave us an example
    21b-c Jesus suffered, leaving us an example
    21b Because also Christ suffered for us
    Peter included the word also to remind his readers that they were not alone in their suffering. Jesus Himself also suffered, and therefore knew what they were going through. But this also reminded them that their suffering was small in comparison with the suffering that Jesus endured on their behalf.
    suffered is the same word used in 19d and 20f.
    And Christ's suffering was on their behalf. They were recipients of the benefits brought about by the suffering of Jesus. This fact encourages them that they were elect, with an eternal destiny purchased by Christ. But it also prepared for the following statements, encouraging them with the benefits they had received in order to strengthen them to suffer for the benefit of others.
    21c Result: leaving us an example
    There are many times in the New Testament where Jesus is said to be an example for His followers (e.g. Jn. 13:13-17, Mk. 10:42-45). There are an abundance of ways that we cannot follow His example, because His identity and mission are unique. And He is much more to us than just an example for us to follow. But He is not less than an example. There are many ways He demonstrated how were are to live and He expects us to follow His example.
    Peter highlighted one particular way that Christ modeled behavior to his readers, which was most applicable to their current experience suffering as slaves under unjust masters.
    21d Purpose: that we would follow in His footsteps
    This is obviously the purpose statement elaborating on why Jesus left us an example. The metaphor to follow in His footsteps means to broadly follow in the pattern He left, even if the particulars are not exactly the same. Peter highlighted the model of Jesus' attitude, which led to His particular actions and responses. Peter's readers are to actually use Jesus' behavior as a model which they emulate in their own lives. They are to take on the attitude and mindset of Jesus in the midst of suffering, and from that attitude, respond in a way most appropriate to their own circumstances.
    22-25 Specifically: the example He left for us to follow
    Peter connected the reader with the example of Christ, and he connected Christ with the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. These verses contain two quotes and many allusions from Isaiah chapter 53.
    22-23 He suffered innocently
    22 He didn't sin
    This verse is a quote from Isa. 53:9
    22a He didn't commit sin
    Jesus was completely sinless throughout His life. But here Peter emphasized that during His arrest, trial, suffering and death, He committed no sin in responding to the injustice committed against Him. He was innocent of the false charges against Him, and He responded to His punishment in an innocent manner.
    22b And deceit was not found in His mouth
    He never spoke in a deceiving or treacherous manner. But Peter's emphasis is that He did not resort to verbal trickery or flattery to get out of suffering. The Gospels note that Jesus was mostly silent at His own trial. This was noted by Pilate, who was used to prisoners either pleading, threatening or saying anything to try to get out of their punishment.
    23 He bore suffering in a godly way
    23a-d Neg: What He did not do
    This verse alludes to Isa. 53:7
    23a-b He did not abuse His abusers
    cf. 3:9.
    23a Even though He was insulted
    Jesus was insulted at His trial. He was abused and mocked by the soldiers in preparation for His execution. And He was mocked and insulted by the people while He was hanging on the cross.
    23b He did not insult back
    insult back is related to the word insult in the previous proposition. Jesus did not respond in kind when He was mocked and abused. Rather, as the Gospels tell us, He prayed for those who were mocking and crucifying Him.
    23c-d He did not threaten when suffering
    23c Even though He suffered
    suffered is the same word used in 19d, 20f, and 21b. Christ suffered beating, mocking, and crucifixion. Peter's point here is to emphasize Christ's response to His experience of suffering, as stated in the next proposition.
    23d He did not threaten
    Christ did not speak of His authority to judge those harming Him, even though He truly had that authority. He never threatened them with retribution. Rather, He prayed for them. He did not respond with hate and reviling to those who hated and reviled Him. Rather, He responded with love and pity. All of Christ's responses were so far from what was typical and expected of a prisoner in His situation, that they were noticed and remarked by everyone involved.
    23e Pos: But He entrusted Himself to the One Who judges righteously
    All of the previous mention of what Christ did not do was leading to this emphasis on what Christ did do. Christ's attitude and actions demonstrated that He was fully mindful of God and His plan throughout all of His experience of suffering. He entrusted Himself to God, knowing that God would make it right. Jesus modeled faith and looking forward to future reward, knowing that His vindication would happen, because God is faithful and always judges rightly. Jesus knew that His case would be heard by a higher court and that God's justice is never corrupted or mistaken. So, Christ suffered innocently and rightly because He knew that God would make it right in the end.
    And this is the overall attitude that Peter was teaching his readers. They could follow Christ's example of suffering innocently, because they were chosen, and therefore, they could temporarily live as strangers, even suffering, because they knew their destiny.
    24-25 He suffered redemptively
    24a-c He suffered for our sins so we would be set free from them
    24a He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross
    This is a quote from Isa. 53:11, and also echoes Isa. 53:4 and 53:6.
    By the word order, Peter put emphasis on the phrase our sins. Our sins were the reason for Christ's death, and the purpose and result of His death is to deal with our sins and their effects, including our guilt and lostness. There is also an echo of the emphasis from Isa. 53:4-6 which alternates between the first person (we, our, us) and the third person (he, him, his). This constant back and forth between he and us in Isaiah drew attention to the substitutionary nature of the servant's work. This is reflected in how Jesus took our sins and their penalty on Himself, and we received the benefits of His obedience and righteousness. And there is also emphasis on Christ as the One who bore our sins. There is an emphatic pronoun, He Himself is the One who removed our sins.
    The term bore is often used as a technical term for offering sacrifice, so this phrase may have connotations of the sacrificial system. But in this context, the object is not some sort of sacrificial offering, but rather our sins. It also could mean endure which would make sense in this context, and serve as encouragement to slaves having to endure the sins of their unjust masters. However, in this passage, that probably is a secondary connotation that was included in the primary meaning of this word. The primary meaning of this word here is to take away our sins, thereby removing (carrying away) the punishment for our sins. On the cross, Jesus took away our punishment by His bodily death.
    The word translated cross could be translated tree. It refers to an object made of wood. But in this context, it obviously refers to the wooden structure used for crucifixion, i.e. the cross (see Deut. 21:22).
    24b-c The purpose:
    The following statements might possibly be intended to refer to the result of Him bearing our sins. But they are almost certainly intended to refer to the purpose for Him bearing them. And then, because He is an effective Savior, He perfectly attained the results which He purposed to do. But the emphasis in this relationship is that the following statements are what Christ intended to accomplish in our lives by bearing our sins. And this is more than just freedom from eternal punishment. It impacts our daily lifestyle as well, which is Peter's emphasis here.
    24b dying to sins
    this phrase is a subordinate, supporting thought, modifying the next statement. But that does not mean that it is unimportant or secondary. It means that this phrase gets its meaning in connection with the next statement about living for righteousness. The connection is somewhat ambiguous. It could possibly communicate the means by which we can live for righteousness - we live, by dying to sin. However, it is more likely that this is a cause/effect relationship - because we died to sin, we can now live to righteousness. This is very similar to Paul's argument in Rom. 6:2-11.
    Being dead with regard to sins means being unable to respond or react to any sinful desire or impulse. to sins shows the relationship that was terminated by our death in Christ. We have been set free, so that we can and should not respond as slaves to sin in the way that we used to. We died to sins, and so, our time of slavery is finished.
    But this is in the already/not yet tension. We are done with sin because we have died. And yet, we still need to be vigilant to break with sins on an ongoing basis.
    24c So that we might live for righteousness
    The purpose for Christ bearing our sins on the cross is so that we would live righteously. True Christian conversion results in a change of lifestyle - not perfection, but a growing pattern of righteous behavior in our lives. We have died to sins, so that now, we are not just to live neutrally, or float in some moral grey area. Rather, we now can and should respond as willing servants of righteousness in the way that is pleasing to God, that demonstrates His greatness to a watching world, and that brings us eternal blessedness. This is similar to Paul's argument in Rom. 6:15-23.
    righteousness is all behavior that is upright, and most appropriate for each situation. It is the behavior that God requires - the behavior that most closely conforms to God's character and revealed will.
    Our living for righteousness is the natural outgrowth of us having been given new birth into a living hope (1:3). And these two propositions echo Peter's theme statement for this entire section of the letter in 2:11-12, that we should abstain from sinful desires, but rather live such good lives that people see our good deeds and glorify God.
    24d-25 You have been healed/converted
    24d You have been healed by His wounds
    This is a quote from Isa. 53:5.
    In the language Peter used to write this, by His wounds comes before you are healed in order to emphasize the means by which we are healed more than the healing itself. And the word of Him, which is translated as His in His wounds is the first word in the sentence. This means that Christ is the main focus in this sentence, followed by the emphasis on His wounds, and then the fact that we are healed. Our healing is only because of Him, and what He has done on our behalf. Because He was wounded, you were healed. And we only receive healing, not by looking for healing, but by looking to Him.
    There is some debate about the meaning of healed. Does it refer to physical healing, or does it primarily refer metaphorically to spiritual, or to some kind of psychological wellness? In Isaiah, all the times he used the word heal, it primarily refers to forgiveness and restoration from sin, and only secondarily (if at all) to physical healing. In this context in First Peter, it most naturally fits as figurative healing from sin and its punishment. The very next verse explains this healing by talking about conversion. So, this primarily is referring to the spiritual healing of having our sins forgiven and our relationship with our creator restored. However, in Matt. 8:17, Matthew uses Isa. 53 to refer to physical healing. So, physical healing may be a secondary, additional reference, which is dependent on the healing of conversion. In other words, by being healed from sin, sometimes we may also be healed from the physical consequences of sin. Physical healing is a blessing of the Kingdom, which is already and not yet. Therefore, our physical, psychological, and social healing is in the already/not yet tension. We will be fully healed then, and we may be at least partially healed now. Full healing - physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and psychological - is guaranteed. Only the timing is uncertain.
    25 The explanation of what it means to be healed
    Peter explained this healing by making a contrast between his readers' former lives and their current situation. you were this..., but now you are that....
    25a For you were like sheep going astray
    This alluded to Isa. 53:6. In the Isaiah passage, the emphasis is that all have gone astray. And here Peter applied it personally to each of his readers. To go astray may have the connotation of innocently getting lost or wandering off, or of being deceived and led astray. But in the context of the New Testament, this idea of going astray always has the implication of willful, sinful rebellion against God and His standards.
    25b But now you have returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls
    Returned means to have changed one's mind and course of action. It is an about-face turning. And this word is often used to speak about conversion. They had turned from sin by turning to Christ. And they had turned to Christ by turning from sin.
    And Peter said, this returning was to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. The term guardian or overseer is the same term used elsewhere in the New Testament to speak of leadership in the church, sometimes translated bishop. But in this verse, it has no connotation of office, but rather it conveys the idea of function. It refers to one who safeguards and cares for something. So, in this verse, the words shepherd and guardian are basically used synonymously. They both refer to Christ's care, protection, and oversight of His people.
    So, Christ suffered redemptively, taking away our sins, so that we could live for righteousness. And we have been healed through conversion, turning back to our shepherd after we had gone astray. All of this is because of what Christ has done in His people's lives.
    [Implied Result: He was vindicated]
    In light of what Peter had written, especially because of His connection with the Isaiah suffering servant passage, there is an unstated implication that Peter clearly wanted his readers to draw from what he had written. And that is that Christ's experience did not end with suffering. The readers would have known that Jesus was resurrected, and ascended to the throne of power and authority over all the universe. So, the idea of Christ's vindication is clearly implied in this passage.
    This is the only place in First Peter where the word suffering is not closely tied to the word glory. But this glory is strongly implied and assumed by the larger story of what happened to Christ after His suffering. He was vindicated by the resurrection. And Peter had already mentioned Christ's suffering and the glory that followed (1:11). And Peter had clearly connected Christ's suffering with the suffering servant passage in Isaiah, where the servant's vindication was a major theme. So, part of this passage is Peter's clear reference to the vindication and victory of Christ as part of the example that his readers were to follow.
    Suffer Innocently
    We should suffer rightly. That means that our suffering should be undeserved. We should live in a way that does not cause our suffering, but rather shows that our suffering is unjust and our accusers are wrong. And we should suffer in a worthy manner, following Christ's example of not fighting back, not slandering and insulting in return. Injustice will never solve injustice, and we should never resort to it. We should demonstrate that we are in the right by the way that we handle injustice and suffering. And we should do it in a way that does not excuse injustice or empower further injustice. And when we suffer, we should always do it in a way that is mindful of God.
    Suffer Redemptively
    We can also suffer redemptively. Of course, we cannot do this in the same way as Christ. We cannot bear anyone else's sin. We cannot bring healing by our wounds. but we can suffer in a way that leads people to the One Who can bear their sin and effect their healing. In the larger context of 1 Peter, the readers are exhorted to good works in order to display God's glory and influence others. Following the example of Jesus bearing sins, by suffering, we can take some injustice on ourselves, in order to protect others from injustice. And we should consider the possibility that our sufferings could have redemptive purpose. Because we were called to this by Christ's saving us, and by Him leaving us an example. In and by our suffering well, we can impact the world. Our good works under suffering could be the means by which our abusers and critics become converts. Respond in a way that returns blessing for cursing, and shows the patience and grace that can only come from Christ. Suffering well, especially when it is known that we are suffering for Christ, is a witness to Christ. And it can be used for the redemption of others. In that sense, we can suffer redemptively.
    Trust God and Expect Vindication and Reward
    We can also expect vindication whenever we suffer rightly. This is a major theme of the book of First Peter. And this is also included in the example of Jesus, Who rose from the dead to glory after His suffering. And we also can entrust ourselves to the very same Judge Who always judges justly. So, all of Peter's readers can expect vindication when they suffer innocently, and in a worthy manner, being mindful of God, and trusting in His divine justice. We can trust God to vindicate and repay. As Peter wrote earlier (1:13), we should set our hope fully on the grace to be given to us when Jesus Christ is revealed.
  • 3:1-7 Wives and Husbands live worthily
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-6 Instruction for wives
    1a In the same way, women, submit to your own husband
    1b-6 The Purpose: To win your unbelieving husbands
    1b-c Your lifestyle may win your husband
    1b If any of them disobey the Word
    1c They may be won without word, by the conduct of their wives
    2-6 The way this will happen
    2 Generally: They may see your pure and reverent life
    3-6 Specifically: What they should see:
    3-4 A life of inward beauty instead of outward adornment
    3 Neg: Not the beauty of braided hair or gold jewelry or fine clothes
    4 Pos: But with a godly life
    4a But an inner life of a meek and gentle spirit
    4b Reason: This is highly valuable in God's sight
    5-6 The Godly women of history have given example
    5a The holy women, who hoped in God adorned themselves in this way also
    5b-6 How they adorned themselves
    5b By submitting to their husbands
    6 For example - Sarah
    -cf. Gen 18:12
    6a-b What she did
    6a Sarah obeyed Abraham
    6b Calling him master
    6c-e Therefore, what you should do
    6c You are her children
    6d-e Conditional: If you do these things
    6d Doing good
    6e Not fearing any terror/fearful thing
    7 Instructions for husbands
    -cf. Eph. 5:25-33, Col. 3:19
    7a-b Live with your wife in a caring manner
    7a Live with them in an understanding way [with the care necessary] as [caring for] a weaker vessel
    7b Give them honor as fellow-heirs of the gracious gift of life
    7c Purpose: So that your prayers will not be hindered
  • 3:8-12 Live worthily to receive blessing
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    8-9 Summary of commands
    -cf. "finally" of v. 8
    Based on relationships discussed in 2:13-3:7 with concluding commands
    8-9c The Commands:
    8 Have these characteristics:
    Unity of mind and purpose
    -cf. Rom. 12:16, 15:5, 1 Cor. 1:10, 2 Cor. 13:11, Phil. 2:2
    Sympathy for one another
    -cf. Heb. 10:34, Rom. 12:15, 1 Cor. 12:26
    Brotherly love
    -cf. 1:22, Rom. 12:9-10, Jn. 13:34-35, 1 Thes. 4:9, Heb. 13:1
    Compassion, tenderheartedness
    -cf. Eph. 4:32, Phi. 1:8, 2:1, Col. 3:12
    -cf. Prom. 29:23, 1 Pet. 5:5-6, Rom. 12:16
    9a-c Do these things:
    9a-b Neg:
    9a Do not return evil for evil
    -cf. Rom. 12:17, 1 Thes. 5:15, 1 Pet. 2:23, Matt. 5:38-48
    9b Or insult for insult
    9c Pos: But rather give blessing
    -cf. Lk. 6:28, Rom. 12:14, 1 Cor. 4:12-13
    9d-e The Reason:
    9d Because you were called to this
    "this" = giving blessing even when insulted
    -cf. 1:15, 2:21
    9e Purpose: So that you may receive (inherit) blessing
    cf. Lk. 6:37-38, 1 Pet 1:4
    10-12 The Reason: God pays back as each deserves
    Quoting Psa. 34:12-16
    10-11 Doing good pays off well
    10a If anyone wants these things to happen (conditional)
    If he wants to love life
    And if he wants to see good days
    10b-11 Let him do the following things:
    10b-c Have right speech
    10b Let him keep his tongue from evil
    10c And let him keep his lips from speaking deceit
    11a-b Have right actions
    11a Let him keep away from evil
    11b And let him do good
    11c-d Have right desires
    11c Let him desire peace
    11d And let him pursue after it
    12 Reason: God pays back in kind
    12a-b God pays back the good
    12a The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    12b His ears are open to their prayers and requests
    12c God pays back the bad
    But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil
  • 3:13-16 Suffer worthily before the world to be vindicated
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    13-14b You will do well as long as you do good
    13 Evil will not happen if you do good
    13a Rhetorical question: Who will do evil to you?
    Implied answer: Nobody
    -cf. Prov. 16:7
    13b Condition: If you are zealous to do good
    14a-b Even if it did, you will be blessed
    14a Even if [in the unlikely case] you might suffer for righteousness
    14b You will be blessed
    -cf. 2:19-20
    14c-16 The implications: How you should live since this is the case
    14c-16b Do these things:
    14c-d Do not be afraid
    -cf. Isa. 8:12-14
    14c Do not fear the things they fear
    14d Do not be troubled
    15-16b Let Christ be your Lord, both privately and publicly
    15a Set apart Christ as Lord in your heart
    15b-16b Be a witness for Christ
    15b Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks for an explanation about the hope in you
    16a-b How you should answer
    16a With meekness and reverence
    -cf. Col. 4:6
    16b having a good conscience
    16c Purpose:
    So that those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame in the very things they say about you
    -cf. 2:12, 15
  • 3:17-22 Christ suffered worthily and was vindicated
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    17 Suffering for righteousness is better than evildoing
    17a-b Suffering for righteousness is better
    17a It is better to suffer while/for doing good
    17b Condition: If the will of God chooses [that you suffer]
    17c [It is Better] than to suffer while/for doing evil
    18-22 Reason: Christ has shown by example that glory follows suffering
    -cf. 1:11
    "Above all, the death of Jesus and his triumphant resurrection give a theological basis to the suffering of Christians and assure them of ultimate victory over the forces of evil manifested in persecution." Marshal p. 118
    18a-c What Christ has done
    18a-b Christ died for your salvation
    18a Christ suffered
    18a-b Specifics about His suffering
    18a Christ suffered once and for all for sins
    He suffered once and for all
    -cf. Rom. 6:10, Heb. 7:27, 9:12, 26, 28, 10:10
    [He suffered] for sins (as a sin offering)
    -cf. 2:24, Gal. 1:4, 1 Cor. 15:3, Heb. 1:12
    18b The Righteous One suffered for the unrighteous
    -cf. 1:19
    18c The Purpose: to bring you to God
    -cf. Rom. 5:1-2, Eph. 2:18, 3:12, Heb. 10:19-22
    18d-22 Further explanation of what this means
    18d-20c What Christ accomplished
    18d He died in the flesh
    18e He was made alive in/by the Spirit
    19-20c He ascended in triumph
    -cf. Col. 2:15
    19 He proclaimed His victory to His enemies
    "Much more likely is the view that Christ made proclamation to the evil powers, announcing his victory on the cross and confirming their defeat. They are now subject to him (3:22) and those who are persecuted need not be afraid of the evil spiritual powers who inspire their persecutors." Marshall p. 128
    19a in/by which [Spirit] He went to the spirits
    19b He proclaimed to the spirits under guard
    -cf. Rev. 18:2, Matt. 12:29
    "The point is simply that Christ went and announced his sovereignty to these spirits wherever they might be, in every place where they thought they were secure against their ancient divine Enemy. The location of their strongholds, and hence the geography of Christ's mission to them, is not Peter's main concern." WBC p. 210
    20a-c Specifically which enemies
    20a The spirits that disobeyed
    20b-c When they disobeyed
    20b In the days of Noah
    This passage is about vindication!
    It is the vindication of the Lord aimed at the point in history [Noah and the Flood] when it most plausibly seemed that God had failed (it may have seemed that way, but of course it was not true). God's enemies could cast this episode as an example of when they won out over God's plans and purposes. They may even have congratulated themselves on their victory for thousands of years and harbored the delusion that they could actually defeat God.
    The cross of Christ would have added to the delusion of thwarting God's rule.
    But Jesus quickly dispelled this illusion by raising from the dead and proclaiming His victory over all who stood against Him.
    His apparent defeat was only part of His plan. And the only reason they could suppose that their animosity toward God had any success was God's grace and patience in allowing a delay of their inevitable total defeat.
    The evil spirits were rejoicing in Noah's day.
    The evil spirits were rejoicing at the cross.
    The evil spirits were no longer rejoicing, because Christ proclaimed His vindication and victory.
    20c When the ark was being built
    This passage is about vindication!
    It also points to the vindication of all who are on Christ's side
    During the time when Noah was building the ark, he probably looked like a fool, and he was subject to the mocking from all his neighbors.
    But when the flood came, Noah was vindicated
    In the same way, Peter's readers may have appeared foolish, subject to the mocking of their neighbors.
    Just as Noah was vindicated in the flood, and Jesus was vindicated in the resurrection.
    Peter's readers could be assured that they would be vindicated in the eschatological future (if not earlier)
    20d-22 The implications for Peter's readers
    20d-21 Christ's victory assures your victory
    20d-e An illustration from Noah's time
    20d Few people - eight in all
    20e Few were saved out of that situation through water, in the ark
    21 How that applies to you
    21a It corresponds to baptism, which now saves you
    21b-c Further explanations
    21b It is not the purifying from defilement of the flesh
    21c It is the promise of a good conscience to God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
    "The word Peter uses for pledge is eperotema. In every business contract there was a definite question and answer which made the contract binding. The question was:'Do you accept the terms of this contract, and bind yourself to observe them?' And the answer, before witnesses was: 'Yes.' Without that question and answer the contract was not valid. The technical word for that question and answer clause is eperotema in Greek....Peter is, in effect, saying that in baptism God said to the man coming direct from heathenism: 'Do you accept the terms of my service? Do you undertake its responsibilities and its demands?' And in the act of being baptized the man answered: 'Yes'." Barclay p. 245
    22 The Reason: Christ has absolute authority in the whole of creation
    22a He is at the right hand of God
    -cf. Psa. 110:1, Rom. 8:34
    22b He has gone into heaven
    -cf. 1 Tim. 3:16
    22c Angels and authorities and powers are subject to Him
    -cf. Psa. 8:7, Heb. 2:5-9, Eph. 1:19-23
    All of those spirits to which Jesus preached His vindication are specifically described as being under His authority
    Everything and everyone who could possibly cause the persecution and suffering of Peter's readers is under His authority
    And therefore, the suffering is not ultimate or eternal, Jesus' authority and vindication is ultimate and eternal
  • 4:1-6 Therefore live like Christ, not your old life
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-3 Live for the will of God.
    1-2 Follow in Christ's attitude
    1a Because Christ suffered in the flesh
    1b-2 Follow in His footsteps
    1b Have the same attitude
    1c-2 Reason: It leads to a clean break with the old way of life
    1c the one who suffers in the flesh has stopped from sin
    2 Purpose: To live for God
    2a Neg: in order to no longer live for human desires
    2b Pos: But rather live the rest of your time in the flesh for the will of God
    3 Reason: Enough is enough
    3a The time past is sufficient to have walked in the will of the Gentiles
    3b By participating in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and detestable idolatry
    4-6 The Response you can expect
    4 They will respond harshly to your rejection of their values
    4a-b They will be surprised at your change
    4a They will be unpleasantly surprised
    4b because you no longer plunge into the same flood of dissipation
    4c They will slander you and blaspheme as a result
    5-6 The final result - They will be judged, you will be vindicated
    5 They will have to give an answer to the One Who is ready to judge the living and the dead
    6 Parenthetical explanation of the term "living and the dead"
    6a The Gospel was preached even to those who are now dead
    Possibly still referring back to the people in the days of Noah
    More probably referring to people in Peter's recent past who had been martyred for their faith
    6b-c The purpose for the preaching
    6b Even though they may be judged in the flesh according to mankind's standard
    Probably referring to Christian martyrs who had been judged worthy of being put to death for their Christian faith
    This is a judgment based on faulty, demoniacally inspired standards grounded in autonomous human centered secular/pagan values
    6c They may live in the spirit according to God's true and just judgment
    They will be vindicated by God, Who upholds righteous judgment by true standards
    Therefore, even if they die (like Christ) they will live (like Christ)
  • 4:7-11 Live appropriately in light of the end
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    7a The end of all things has drawn near
    7b-11 The implications and necessities in light of this fact
    7b-11b In light of the preceding fact, these four things must be done
    7b-d First Command:
    7b-c Be in the proper state of mind
    7b Be clear-minded
    7c Be self-controlled/sober
    7d Purpse: So that you can pray [properly]
    8 Second Command:
    8a Have fervent love for one another
    cf. 1:22 - "Love one another fervently"
    8b Reason: Love covers a multitude of sins
    cf. Prov. 10:12
    Love does not broadcast and fuel sins, but rather seeks to diminish (not hide) sins
    9 Third Command:
    9a Be hospitable
    9b Without grumbling
    10-11b Fourth Command:
    10 Given in general terms:
    10a Each person has been given a gift
    10b-c Therefore, use it
    10b Use the gift you have received to serve others
    10c Use it like a good steward of God's multifaceted grace would
    -cf. 1:6 "manifold trials" are met by God's "manifold grace"
    11a-b Specific ways to carry out the command
    11a-b Speaking:
    11a If someone speaks [whoever speaks]
    11b speak as if speaking the words of God
    11c-d Serving:
    11c If someone serves [whoever serves]
    11d serve with the strength which God provides
    11e-f The purpose for doing these things:
    11e So that God will be glorified through Jesus Christ
    11f to Him be glory and power forever and ever, amen
4:12-5:11 Live prepared for actual suffering
  • 4:12-19 Worthily suffer with Christ in order to share in His glory
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    12-18 You can rejoice in trials because glory follows righteous suffering
    12-14 Rejoice in trials and persecution
    12-13 Don't be surprised in suffering but rejoice
    12 Don't be surprised
    12a Beloved, don't be surprised when intense trials and temptations come upon you
    12b As if this was something strange happening to you
    13 But rather rejoice
    13a-b Rejoice as you share the sufferings of Christ
    13a Insomuch as you are sharing in the sufferings of Christ
    13b To that extent, rejoice
    13c-d The Purpose: You will continue to rejoice forever
    13c So that you will rejoice also at the revelation of Christ's glory
    13d That is, you will exceedingly rejoice
    14 The Reason: God's Spirit and blessing are on such people
    14a If you are abused on account of the name of Christ
    14b-c You are blessed because God repays suffering with glory
    14b You are blessed
    14c Because the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you
    15-18 You should suffer in the right way and for the right reasons
    15-16 Don't suffer as an evildoer, but as a Christian
    15 Don't suffer as an evildoer
    15a Don't let any of you suffer [for the following reason]
    15b Because you are a murderer, thief, evildoer, or meddler in others' affairs
    16 Suffering in the right way if you suffer for being a Christian
    16a-b If you suffer for being a Christian
    16a If anyone suffers
    16b As a Christian [because you are a Christian]
    16c-d Suffer in the right way
    16c Do not be ashamed
    16d But rather glorify God in this Name
    17-18 The Reason: Judgment is starting
    17a It is time for judgment to start with the people of God
    17b-18 The implications - especially for those outside God's people
    17b-c If Christians first, others finally
    17b If judgment starts with us
    17c What will be the end of those who disobey the Gospel of God?
    Implication: Final judgment!
    18 If the righteous barely make it, the unrighteous don't at all
    18a If the righteous are saved with difficulty
    18b How are the ungodly and sinners going to fare at the end?
    Implication: Not very well!
    19 Final Implication: Therefore, those who suffer according to God's will should entrust themselves to their faithful creator by doing good works
  • 5:1-4 Elders serve worthily as church leaders
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-3 The leaders among you should exercise leadership in the proper way
    1 Peter urges the leaders to proper conduct
    I urge the elders
    Peter's description of himself
    The fellow elder
    And a witness to the sufferings of Christ
    And a partaker in the glory which is about to be revealed
    To whom Peter is speaking:
    To the elders [leadership] among you
    2-3 What conduct he urges them to:
    2a Pastor (shepherd, oversee) the people of God among you
    2b-3 Specifically how to do that:
    2b Overseeing them [in the following manner:]
    2c-3 The way you should oversee them
    In 3 pairs of contrasting motivations
    2c-d First pair:
    2c Not because you have to
    2d But because you want to
    2e-f Second pair:
    2e Not doing it for monetary gain
    2f But willingly
    3a-b Third pair:
    3a Not lording it over people
    3b But setting an example for the people
    4 The motivation - If you do so:
    4a When the Chief-shepherd [Christ] is revealed
    4b You will receive the unfading crown of glory
  • 5:5-7 Young men live humbly
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    5a Those who are younger, be subject to the elders
    In the same way, younger ones
    [Command] Be subject to the elders
    5b-7 Everyone be humble
    5b-d Everyone clothe yourself with humility
    5b Command: Clothe yourself with humility toward one another
    5c-d Reason: God responds to the humble and proud appropriately
    5c God opposes the proud/arrogant
    5d God gives grace to the humble
    6-7 Therefore, humble yourself before God
    6 Generally - Humble yourself before God
    6a Command: Humble yourself under the powerful hand of God
    6b Purpose: So that He may lift you up in time
    7 Specifically - a way to do this is by casting your cares on Him
    7a Cast your anxieties/worries onto Him
    -cf. Psa. 55:23
    In the Psalm context quoted, the promise is that He will support/sustain you
    7b Reason: It is a concern/interest to Him about you
  • 5:8-11 Be on your guard as you wait for the reward
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    8 Be watchful and alert against the devil
    8a-b Commands: Be on your guard
    8a Be sober-minded
    -cf. 4:7
    8b And be alert/watchful
    8c-e Reason: Your adversary is trying to destroy you
    8c-d Fact: Your adversary is prowling around
    8c Your adversary the devil is prowling around
    8d Like a lion
    8e Interpretation: [He is] looking for someone to devour
    9-10 Implication: Resist him
    9a Command: Resist him
    9c-10 The way to resist him
    9b [By] being firm/steadfast in faith
    9c-10 By knowing the truth of the situation
    9c Disclosure formula: [By] knowing
    9d-10 Content of what you know:
    9d Neg: You are not alone/abnormal in this experience
    The same kinds of sufferings are being carried out/fulfilled against your brotherhood which is in the world
    10 Pos: God will counter your sufferings with His glory
    10a-c God will restore/make fit/prepare
    10a-b the fact: God will restore
    10a God's character God of all grace Who has called us into His eternal glory in Christ
    10b This very same God will restore [you]
    10c The concession: Even though we suffer for a little while
    10d God will strengthen [you]/establish [you]/cause [you] to be firm
    10e God will make [you] strong/capable
    10f God will establish/secure [you]
    11 Doxology: To Him be power/dominion forever. Amen
5:12-14 Conclusion
  • 5:12-14 Conclusion and Greetings
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    12 Purpose for writing
    12a-d Peter wrote to encourage them and testify to God's grace
    12a-b Peter wrote through Silvanus
    12a Through Silvanus/Silas, whom I consider to be a faithful brother
    12b I wrote to you with few words/briefly
    12c-d The purpose for writing
    Testifying that 'this is the true grace of God'
    12e Inference: Stand firm in this grace
    13-14a Greetings
    13 From Peter's people
    She who is in Babylon greets you
    Almost certainly the church in Rome
    Which is chosen along with [you]
    My [spiritual] son, Mark also greets you
    14a To one another
    Greet one another
    With a kiss of love
    14b Peace wish
    Peace to all of you
    Who are in Christ