Lessons from 1 Peter

Session One – Finding True Happiness in a Hopeless World (1 Peter 1:1-12)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

This letter was written to encourage believers to persevere in the midst of suffering and persecution. Similar to Paul’s writings, Peter uses the opening of this letter to introduce the major themes contained in the rest of this book. The apostle will stress grace, joy, and hope to his readers. These “rallying cries” will then serve as the basis for Peter’s call for his readers to live a life dedicated to the Lord rather than enjoy the fleeting comforts of this world.

Session Two – Knowing the Secret to a Pure Life (1 Peter 1:13-25)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

In the opening of this letter, Peter celebrates all that the Lord has done for believers. From their secured inheritance to the privilege of living in the days of God’s fulfilled promises, believers can rejoice. Based upon all that the Lord has accomplished for His people, Peter instructs the believers in their proper response. Peter will specifically layout four commands in this section: a call to hope, an edict for holiness, a command to live in reverence, and a mandate to love. As we explore this section, note that what God has done for us in Christ serves as the basis for why and how we should live our lives.

Session Three – Knowing Who We are in Christ (1 Peter 2:1-10)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

In this section, Peter continues to expound upon who we are in Christ and the implications this truth bears upon our lives. In particular, the apostle addresses our identity as true believers. Through the use of several Old Testament texts, Peter highlights how our identity as believers is shaped by the Scriptures and established in Christ. In so doing, Peter encourages us to live as holy people who glorify the Lord in an unbelieving world.

Session Four - Thriving in the Midst of Suffering (1 Peter 2:11-25)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

In the first part of this letter, Peter addressed our glorious salvation and the new identity we have in Christ. He now dedicates the second portion of this letter (2:11-4:11) to highlight ways in which believers live out these truths in a world that is often hostile to the things of the Lord. These practical applications of his theology call for followers of Jesus to persevere in the midst of suffering for God’s glory.

Session Five: Learning the Secrets to a Great Marriage (1 Peter 3:1-7)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

Social etiquette often argues that the topics of politics and money should be avoided. However, we could easily add to this list the subject of marriage. The topic is laced with past issues to present struggles. With individuals approaching this subject from various walks of life (e.g., single, divorced), as well as having been influenced by our present culture, opinions are diverse, and often, contradictory concerning this topic. Not surprisingly, marriage was also problematic in the early Church. Both Peter and Paul address the roles of husbands and wives. This particular passage, 1 Peter 3:1-7, is just one example. Our study will be confined primarily to Peter’s exhortations—commandments given to the Church via the Holy Spirit for all ages.

Session Six: Living as if Our Future Depends Upon It (1 Peter 3:8-12)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

In 3:8-12, Peter will summarize the content of 2:11-3:7. This section not only concludes his discussion pertaining to particular human relationships (i.e., a citizen to his/her government, a slave to his/her master, and a wife and a husband), it also provides a general principle for all relationships. Vital to his argument, Peter employs the use of Psalm 34 to “bring the Christian reader into solidarity with the experience of Israel through the lens of David, and with the experience and example of Christ as the ultimate righteous sufferer, encouraging a present response of obedience while awaiting the ultimate blessing of vindication” (S. Christensen, “Solidarity in Suffering and Glory,” JETS 58.2. [2015], 351).

Session Seven - Embracing Contentment as We Live Out God’s Will (1 Peter 4:1-6)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

As noted in chapter 3, our obedience to Christ, even in the midst of suffering, is based upon the blessings that await us and upon the model set forth for us by Christ. In other words, Peter’s doctrine governs his ethics. We will observe this truth once again in chapter 4. Continuing his stress upon Christology and eschatology, the apostle calls for believers to persevere in their faith—a perseverance that will most likely face persecution and suffering.

Session Eight - Living to Glorify the Lord (1 Peter 4:7-11)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

Establishing that the end is near in verses 5-6, Peter returns to his call for believers to live in accordance to God’s will. In order to accomplish this task, Peter addresses their prayer life, their love for one another, and their use of their God-given gifts. Such instruction is not for their self-preservation in the midst of a hostile world, nor are these commands for the purpose of making Christianity more palatable to one’s culture; but rather, “their aim and motivation in all they do is to see God glorified through Jesus Christ” (Schreiner, 1, 2, Peter, Jude, 210).

Session Nine: Acquiring the Skills to Finish Well (1 Peter 5:6-11)

Presented by Dr. David Hoffeditz

In these final words, the Apostle Peter provides some invaluable reminders to his readers. First, Peter notes the importance of trusting the Lord. Even in the midst of a hostile world, Peter exhorts his readers to walk in humility. The second reminder pertains to the devil. While a believer is to rest in the Lord, a believer is also to resist Satan. While the Lord does not rest, the Devil doesn’t either! The final reminder Peter provides to his readers is a call to cling to hope—not a whimsical or wishful thought, but a hope that rests in the very character of God Himself.