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1 Peter-Detailed Outline
A. Suffering and the Security of Believers Produces Joy
1 Peter 1:1-9 This epistle is directed to Jews out of Palestine, scattered in Asia Minor. We are blessed because Jesus was raised from the dead. Because of this we have an inheritance. This inheritance is Incorruptible and is non-destructible — no germ, rust, moth, or enemy can destroy it. It will always be new and it will never decay. Our inheritance is not received illegally. Our inheritance is not withered; no season, change of weather, or drought affects it. Our inheritance is reserved in heaven it is guarded there. Rejoicing in trials and suffering is a strange combination. Testing produces joy; it is the end result. As metal is subjected to the furnace in order to draw off the dross and refine it, the child of God is permitted to suffer for the purpose of refinement. Peter had seen Christ personally, but most of the believers had not. The Holy Spirit had made Him real to them, and they loved Him.
B. Suffering and the Scriptures Produces Holiness
1 Peter 1:10-1:25 Salvation was a subject of prophecy. Prophets and apostles bore witness. The Prophets did not distinguish between the first and second comings of Christ. The prophets saw these as two great mountain peaks. They did not see the valley between. We live in that valley. We can look backward and forward. The apostles delivered the gospel. Although angels desired to, they were not permitted to preach the gospel. The Scriptures give hope. The Scriptures also lead to obedience. Holiness is to the spiritual life what health is to the body. We are to be mature and grow up. The only holiness we have is in Christ. God wants us to grow that we may be like Him. This is the ideal. The second reason to be holy is that the Lord Jesus Christ is also the Judge. Is the life I am living worth the price He paid for my redemption? Jesus is the basis of hope. This hope is a transforming hope that leads to obedience of the Scriptures and love of the brethren. Being born again is having been begotten again. The Word of God is the instrument of God for producing the new birth. The Word of God is not sterile; it is living and powerful. Man’s feebleness and frailty is compared to the grass in contrast to the Word of God that is life giving and eternal.
C. Suffering and the Suffering of Jesus
1 Peter 2 Suffering produces separation. We are to put away malice, guile, hypocrisies, envy and evil Malice is congealed anger. It is an unforgiving spirit. Guile is the spirit of using cleverness to get even. Real separation is to be from the works of the flesh. Just as a hungry baby reaches for the bottle, a believer is to desire the Word. At the moment of salvation a person is born with an appetite for the Word. Peter identifies Jesus as a living stone. Believers are living stones that are built on Jesus. They constitute a living temple in which spiritual sacrifices of praise, possessions, and one’s person are presented. Jesus is either a stepping-stone or a stumbling stone. Jesus in the Word of God is a stumbling stone to many. A Christian is to live a life commensurate with his position in Christ. This is normal Christian living. We are a Chosen generation because we are saved. We are a Royal priesthood; believers are priests. Israel had a priesthood. The church is a priesthood. We are a Holy nation. Believers are holy because of their position in Jesus. We are a nation because they are a new entity in the world. We are a peculiar people, not oddballs or weird but a people for God’s own possession. We are to is publish or tell abroad the virtues of Jesus. Christians are to publish His praises by not manifesting the works of the flesh. Believers who are in business show forth His praises by honesty. Believers who submit to governments and those in authority reveal the praises of God. A believer’s relationship to others speaks louder than anything else. We are to treat all men equally. Christians in labor relationships also reveal the praises of God when their attitudes and actions are mild and fair. Christ suffered vicariously to set us an example as well as for our sins. Christ suffered a vicarious, substitutionary death for our sins. “By whose stripes ye were healed” is a quotation from Isaiah 53, which reveals that Isaiah is not speaking of physical healing, but that which is more important and profound…healing from sin.
1 Peter 3:1 -3:7 Conduct in the home. Wives are to be in subjection to their husbands. “Be in subjection” is submitting yourselves. This is a voluntary step, not a command. Obviously this refers to an unsaved husband who will not hear the Word of God, but who might be won by the conduct of the wife. This is real personal evangelism. Inward, not outward, adornment wins the lost husband. A Christian woman may win a husband by sex appeal, but she can never win him to the Lord by sex appeal. Sarah and the wives of the other patriarchs did not hold their husbands by sex appeal. Christian husbands are to love and honor their wives because of their intelligent understanding of the marriage relationship. The apostle indicates that the prayers of a family are not answered when the marriage relationship is not right.
1 Peter 3:8-3:17 Conduct in the church. Believers are to be like-minded, sympathetic, tenderhearted, and courteous (which means humble-minded). This means turning the other cheek. For the one who loves life and really wants to live, here is the key. Refrain from evil talk, speak no guile, eschew evil, do good, seek peace and pursue it. God has not guaranteed to hear the prayers of those who do evil, but He has guaranteed to hear the prayers of His own. Suffering for what is right should bring joy to the child of God. By our lives and lips we can sanctify God in our hearts. Our lives should bring glory to God. Also, the believer should be able to explain his position in Jesus. Be sure that those who speak evil of you are in error. Be sure our suffering comes to us because of doing good, not evil.
1 Peter 3:18-3:22 Christ’s suffering preached by the Holy Spirit in Noah’s day. Again, Christ’s suffering for our sins is cited as the hope in our suffering. Noah preached the gospel, through the Holy Spirit in his day. In Jesus’ day, the spirits of those men to whom Noah had preached were in prison, for they had rejected the message of Noah. Baptism is identification with Jesus but by the resurrection of Jesus Christ is salvation. Jesus is now in heaven, on the right hand of God almighty.
1 Peter 4 Suffering produces obedience to the will of God. God permits us to suffer sometimes to keep us from going into sin. A child of God with a new nature longs to please Christ in all things. The child of God can no longer be satisfied to live in the flesh. This is the life of the unbeliever. The unbeliever cannot understand what has happened to a sinner when he is saved. The believer knows that he must come before the judgment seat of Christ. The coming of the Lord is an incentive to living in obedience to Christ. Love each other as much as is possible. Every believer has a gift. Gifts are to be administered in the power of the Spirit. Suffering is not accidental, but it is normal Christian experience. The believer is partaking of Christ’s sufferings in his own suffering. The believer is to rejoice if he is reproved for Christ’s sake. The believer should not suffer as a sinner. He is to suffer as a Christian. Believers are to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Those that are righteous are saved only by their faith in Christ. His is the comfort of a suffering saint.
D. Suffering and the Second Coming of Jesus
1 Peter 5:1-5:4 Produces service and hope. Peter calls himself a fellow elder. He never claimed a superior place above his brethren. The business of the elder or minister is to feed the flock of God. He is to do this willingly and not for money. The leader is an example. The Chief Shepherd will reward His own for service.
1 Peter 5:5-5:11 Produces humility and patience. In view of the coming of Christ, humility should be the attitude of the child of God. Christ will establish justice and make things right when He comes. We are to cast our cares on Jesus for He cares for us. We are to be sober. To be sober” is to be intelligent. The believer is in an evil and dangerous world. Satan is loose and trying to devour whomever he can. Suffering is on God’s agenda for the believer…for our own benefit.
E. Summation
It is a fact that we stand by the grace of God through His son Jesus Christ. Peter closes with a benediction.

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