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Summary of the Book of First Peter

By H. A. "Buster" Dobbs

I.  Introduction.
    A.  Letter was written by the apostle Peter (1:1).
    B.  Letter was written to the Jewish and Gentile believers who are 
        sojourners dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and 
        Bithynia (1:1).
        1.  They were sojourners on earth expecting an enduring home in 
            a better world (1:1).
        2.  They were of the elect, having been selected through their 
            obedience to the plan of salvation (1:2).
            a.  God knew from the beginning the scheme of salvation 
                (1:3).
            b.  They were made separate from sin and the world, and set 
                apart to the service of God by agency of the Spirit, who 
                works by the power of the gospel (1:2; Rom. 1:16; 1 Pet. 
                1:22-23).
            c.  By their obedience they were emblematically sprinkled 
                with the blood of Jesus (1:3).
            d.  Having been selected, separated and sprinkled, they  have 
                multiplied grace and peace (1:3)
II.  Inheritance and hope of believers (1:3-25).
     A.  Praised be Jehovah God who has given us a second birth and a 
         living hope (1:3).
         1.  Salvation shows the infinite mercy of God (1:3).
         2.  Our hope of eternal life is based on the resurrection of Jesus 
             from the dead (1:3).
     B.  Our living hope is centered on the incorruptible and enduring 
         heavenly home (1:4).
         1.  By the power of God the saved are guarded against Satan 
             and assured of future salvation in heaven (1:5).
             a.  God's power to save is the gospel (Rom. 1:16).
             b.  The gospel gives us control of the devil (Matt. 4:1-11).
         2.  The anticipation of heaven gives us great joy (1:6-9).
             a.  The elect are glad because of the promise of heaven, but 
                 also sorrow because of multiplied trials of affliction (1:6).
             b.  Faith is purified by persecution and affliction (1:7).
             c.  Indescribable joy is in the hearts of those who believe on 
                 Jesus, though they never saw him (1:8).
             d.  The reward of faith is heaven (1:9).
     C.  Old Testament prophets pointed to the salvation that would 
         come through the suffering of Jesus (1:10-12).
         1.  The prophets tried to discover more about the promised 
             salvation (1:10).
             a.  The prophets studied their writings in an attempt to 
                 understand the time of the sufferings of Jesus and the 
                 glories that should follow his sufferings (1:11).
             b.  As a result of their study, they learned that much of their 
                 prophecy pointed to a future day and would not be 
                 fulfilled in their time (1:12).
             c.  Old Testament prophets served the interest of people of 
                 Peter's day and following (1:12).
             d.  The good things foretold by prophets of old were being 
                 announced to the people of Peter's day (1:12).
             e.  The announcement was being made by the preaching of 
                 the gospel, which was revealed by the Holy Spirit (1:12).
     D.  The inheritance and hope of salvation should cause the saved 
         to live holy lives (1:13-25).
         1.  The saved should concentrate on the glorious gifts that will 
             be theirs when Jesus comes again (1:13).
         2.  Children of God obey their heavenly Father, and do not live 
             as they did before they knew God (1:14-16).
         3.  Jehovah is not only a heavenly Father but he is also a 
             universal judge, therefore revere and obey him (1:17-25).
             a.  You were purchased from the slave pits of sin, not with 
                 perishing things, like silver and gold (1:18).
             b.  You were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ 
                 (1:19).
             c.  The sacrifice of Christ, the lamb of God, was foreknown 
                 before the world was founded, but was not revealed until 
                 the days of Jesus and the apostles (1:20).
             d.  Through Jesus you believe in Jehovah, who raised Jesus 
                 from the dead, so that your faith and hope is in God 
                 (1:21).
             e.  Your careful obedience to the truth purified your souls 
                 (1:22).
             f.  You should love fervently and without pretense all who 
                 obey the gospel (1:22).
             g.  You have been born again by the gospel (1:23).
             h.  All flesh much die (1:24).
             i.  God's word never dies, but lives for ever (1:25).
III.  Patient Endurance (2:1-25).
      A.  Submit to God while suffering persecution and affliction (2:1-
          12).
          1.  Put away everything that is evil (wickedness, guile, 
              hypocrisies, and evil speaking) (2:1).
          2.  Crave the spiritual milk of God's eternal word so you may 
              grow into a future, eternal salvation (2:2-10).
              a.  Your regeneration and joy show that God is good (2:3).
              b.  You have come to Jesus who was rejected by men, but 
                  chosen of God to be the foundation and chief corner 
                  stone (2:4).
              c.  On the foundation of Jesus the saved are built into a 
                  spiritual house (2:5).
              d.  The saved are a holy priesthood (2:5).
              e.  The saved offer spiritual sacrifices to God (2:5).
              f.  This was prophesied (2:6).
          3.  Jesus brings either a blessing or a plague depending on 
              whether he is accepted or rejected (2:7-8).
          4.  Exalted position of the saved (2:9-12).
              a.  An elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people 
                  for God's possession (2:9).
              b.  Show the excellencies of him who called you out of 
                  darkness into his marvelous light (2:9).
              c.  Nobodies turned into somebodies--from nothing to 
                  notables (2:10).
              d.  You are on earth for a short time, so deny the lust of the 
                  flesh which is a deadly enemy to the soul (2:11).
              e.  So live that men may see your good works and glorify 
                  your heavenly Father (2:12).
      B.  Attitude toward civil government (2:13-17).
          1.  Obey civil law (2:13).
          2.  The civil ruler punishes the criminal and protects the 
              righteous (2:14; Rom. 13:1-7).
          3.  Be law abiding and stop the mouths of those who claim 
              Christians are disloyal to government (2:15).
              a.  Your freedom in Christ must not be used as an excuse to 
                  break civil law, though you are free from sinful laws 
                  (2:16).
              b.  "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor 
                   the king" (2:17).
      C.  Household servants must cheerfully obey their masters 
          regardless of the master's attitude (2:18-25).
          1.  Christ suffered wrongfully and we should follow his 
              example of patiently enduring mistreatment (2:19-25)
          2.  It is acceptable for a servant of God to suffer unjustly 
              (2:19).
              a.  There is no honor in being punished for breaking the law 
                  (2:20).
              b.  God rewards those who suffer for doing right (2:20).
          2.  Jesus is an example of unjust suffering (2:21-23).
          3.  Jesus saves us by his unfair suffering (2:24-25).
IV.  Christian Character (3:1 to 4:19).
     A.  Household duties (3:1-7).
         1.  Obligation of wives (3:1-6).
             a.  Wives to be in subjection to their husbands (3:1).
             b.  A dutiful wife may convert her unbelieving husband by 
                 her good example (3:1-2).
             c.  A meek and quiet spirit is more appealing than external 
                 ornaments and decorations (3:3-4).
             d.  Godly women in the past were in subjection to their 
                 husbands (3:5).
             e.  Sarah displayed an attitude of respectful obedience to her 
                 husband Abraham, and you should imitate her (3:6).
         2.  Obligation of husbands (3:7).
             a.  Use good judgment in dwelling with your wife (3:7).
             b.  Honor your wife, treating her as valuable and precious 
                 (3:7).
             c.  The wife is not as physically strong as the husband and 
                 deserves to be protected (3:7).
             d.  She, too, has a right to live and be happy (3:7).
             e.  Do not quarrel and be disagreeable because such bad 
                 conduct will hinder your prayers (3:7).
     B.  Christian fellowship (3:8-22).
         1.  Christians are to get along together (3:8-9).
             a.  They are to be like-minded--if they have the mind of Christ 
                 they will be of the same mind (3:8).
             b.  They must be compassionate, loving as brethren, 
                 tenderhearted, humbleminded (3:8).
             c.  They do not "get even" (3:9).
             d.  Christians return good for evil (3:9).
             e.  Having received mercy, they are merciful (3:9).
         2.  Principles that produce long life and good days (3:10-11).
             a.  Watch your words and do not indulge in gossip (3:10).
             b.  Refuse evil and do right (3:11).
             c.  Live at peace with all men, if possible (3:11; Rom. 12:18).
         3.  God listens to the righteous, but turns away from the wicked 
             (3:12).
         4.  Who will harm you if you are eager to do good? (3:13).
         5.  If you suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed (3:14-
             17).
             a.  Set Christ apart in your heart (3:15).
             b.  Be ready to give an answer to any person who questions 
                 your faith and commitment to Christ (3:15).
             c.  Never deny your religion (3:16).
             d.  Show by your life the error of those who speak evil of 
                 you (3:16).
             e.  It is better to suffer for doing right than it is to suffer for 
                 doing wrong (3:17).
         6.  Christ shows us the right way (3:18-21).
             a.  Christ did good, but was hung on a tree (3:18).
             b.  Christ died for our sins, the righteous dying for the 
                 unrighteous (3:18).
             c.  He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the 
                 spirit (3:18).
             d.  In the spirit Christ preached to spirits in prison (3:19).
             e.  Christ preached in the spirit to those who were 
                 disobedient when Noah was alive (3:20).
             f.  This preaching was done while the ark was in preparation, 
                 and must have been done by Noah as the spirit guided 
                 him--in this way Jesus preached to the disobedient in 
                 Noah's day who were shut up to the condemnation of the 
                 flood (3:20).
             g.  The flood separated between the wicked world and the 
                 pure world. It was the line of demarcation between sinner 
                 and saint (3:20).
             h.  After a true likeness of this, baptism now saves us (3:21).
             i.  Baptism in not washing the outward man, but is the 
                 answer of a right attitude toward God (3:21).
             j.  The confirmation of our faith is the resurrection of Jesus 
                 (3:21).
             k.  Jesus is now at the right hand of God controlling the 
                 universe (3:22).
         7.  Christ suffered in the flesh, but is now risen to suffer and die 
             no more (4:1).
             a.  We, too, must cease from sin--from lasciviousness, lusts, 
                 winebibbings, revellings, carousings, and abominable 
                 idolatries (4:2-3).
             b.  Our former companions think it is odd that we are no 
                 longer willing to run with them to excessive sin. They 
                 consider you to be unsocial and despise you (4:4).
             c.  They will one day give an accounting to God (4:5).
             d.  The gospel is preached to those who are dead in sin,  
                 assuring them that when they die in the flesh, they will still 
                 live to God in the spirit (4:6).
         8.  All earthly things will soon end, therefore be level-headed 
             and prayerful (4:7-11).
             a.  Above all else, love one another from the heart (4:8).
             b.  Love covers a multitude of sins (4:8).
             c.  Provide for each other without complaint (4:9).
             d.  Use your talents for the good of the church (4:10).
             e.  Those who have the ability should preach and teach the 
                 revealed word. Those who can serve should do so with 
                 strength (4:11).
             f.  The purpose of all we say and do is to bring honor to God 
                 through Jesus (4:11).
     C.  Trials, persecution, and affliction can serve a useful purpose 
         (4:12-19).
         1.  It is not unusual or remarkable that good people must suffer 
             opposition and fiery trial (4:12).
         2.  Christ was good, but was beaten and crucified (4:13).
             a.  If you participate in his suffering you will also share in his 
                 reward (4:13).
             b.  Men may ridicule and punish you for being a follower of 
                 Christ, but God will honor and reward you (4:14).
             c.  Let none suffer for criminal behavior (4:15).
             d.  If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed but give 
                 praise to God (4:16).
         3.  Now is the time for judgment to begin at the house of God 
             (4:17).
             a.  If it begins first with saints, what shall the punishment of 
                 the unsaved who have rejected the gospel be? (4:17)
             b.  If the righteous is saved with difficulty, what chance does 
                 the ungodly person have? (4:18).
         4.  If you must suffer and die for Christ, then commit your soul 
             to God (4:19).
V.  Closing Counsel (5:1-14).
    A.   The duty and authority of elders (5:1-4).
        1.  Peter instructs elders in the church as one who witnessed the 
            sufferings of Christ, and who is also a partaker of coming 
            reward (5:1).
        2.  Elders are to take the oversight of the church (5:2).
            a.  They do not supervise the church for pay nor from a sense  
                of unwanted duty (5:2).
            b.  Elders must not lord it over the charge given to them by 
                requiring of others what they are unwilling to do (5:3).
        3.  When Christ, the chief Shepherd, comes again he will reward 
            the under-shepherds with a crown of glory that never fades 
            (5:4).
    B.  The duty of the younger members of the church and of 
        everyone (5:5-9).
        1.  The younger must be in subjection to the elders (5:5).
        2.  Christians are to serve one another (5:5-6).
            a.  Christians minister to each other in humility (5:5).
            b.  God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (5:5).
            c.  Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand and he will 
                reward you (5:6).
        3.  Knowing that God cares for you, cast your anxiety on him 
            (5:7).
        4.  Be serious, be alert; the devil is seeking to destroy you (5:8).
        5.  Withstand Satan, knowing your brothers in the world are 
            courageously suffering (5:9).
    C.  Closing remarks (5:10-13).
        1.  The God of all grace will reward you after you have suffered 
            for a little while (5:10).
        2.  "To him be the dominion for ever and ever" (5:11).
        3.  Silas, the faithful brother, delivered the letter from Peter 
            (5:12).
            a.  The letter urged and testified that this is the true gospel of 
                God (5:12).
            b.  In that gospel they must stand unmoved (5:12).
        4.  The members of the church in Babylon, elect together with 
            you, and Mark my son, greet you (5:13).
        5.  "Salute one another with a kiss of love. Peace be unto you all 
            that are in Christ" (5:14).
   

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H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email: had@worldnet.att.net