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1 Peter

An Inspired Letter (5:12-14)

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The Apostle Peter closes his first inspired letter with the following words, “Through Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand [NIV “Stand fast in it”]. She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you; and so does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (5:12-14)

Humility and Facing the Enemy (5:5-11)

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Vigor and enthusiasm are some of the outstanding characteristics of youth. But these positive qualities can also be their downfall. In their enthusiasm the young are often tempted to dismiss the wisdom of those who are older and to defy the authority of those who are over them.

An Appeal to Elders (5:1-4)

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Good leadership will often make the difference whether a group will survive or not during times of crisis. The followers of Christ to whom the Apostle Peter was writing in his first inspired letter were facing persecution. After encouraging the people and giving instructions about how they should conduct themselves in these circumstances, Peter specifically addresses their spiritual leaders.

Suffering for Christ (4:12-19)

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Jesus plainly told His disciples that they would be persecuted. He said, “Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake.” (Matthew 24:9) In view of this clear warning, what should the attitude of the followers of Christ be towards persecution?

Behavior in the Face of Persecution (4:7-11)

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How should we act when threatened with hardship or persecution? When trouble comes some people think only of themselves. Others try to escape it with alcohol or some other intoxicating substance. But the Apostle Peter says that the followers of Christ should respond to trouble by rendering loving service.

Done With Sin (4:1-6)

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It is a fact of life that people suffer. The question is, Why? In chapter 3 of his first inspired letter, the Apostle Peter reminds the followers of Christ that suffering may result from their own wrong actions. But suffering may also have meaning and purpose. Peter gives the example of Jesus to illustrate that suffering may be necessary in order to reconcile someone else to God. It is only because the innocent Jesus died on behalf of sinners that their sins can be forgiven.

The Purpose of Suffering and the Process of Salvation (3:17-22)

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Why do we suffer? The Apostle Peter gives at least three reasons.

Sanctify Christ as Lord (3:13-16)

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Peter writes his first inspired letter to followers of Christ who are suffering persecution. In the face of suffering or persecution it is always a good idea to try to understand why it is occurring.

Relationship with Fellow Believers (3:8-12)

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As people we often have trouble getting along with one another. We think differently. We have different likes and dislikes. We have different temperaments. And so, whenever we come into contact with other people there is the potential for trouble and conflict. The followers of Christ face the same problems and temptations as everyone else and sometimes it is difficult for them as well to get along with other people – even with other believers. But though it may be difficult, the goal of every Christian should be to live peaceably with everyone.

Husbands (3:7)

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If a person merely says he believes something but that faith does not govern his actions, then his words are meaningless. When the standards of society are in harmony with ideals of our religion, then it is easy for us to act consistently with what we say we believe. But the real test of faith is whether we are willing to defy the standards of society in order to be obedient to the will of God.