• Daniel Baker
Posted in Sermons
What do we find when we open up Peter's first epistle? Perspective. Perspective on so many of the things that confront us in life: identity, gender, marriage, Christ and his cross, salvation, government, what God asks of us as Christians, what God accomplishes in us as Christians, the church, leadership in the church, work (vocation), our purpose, suffering, our past, present, and future, how we should think of ourselves in the midst of this fallen world—and where we should think of our true home. And there's more. These five chapters (or 105 verses) are packed with God's truth for God's people—and all people.
This will be a very different series from our last one in the book of Daniel. That book was filled with stunning narratives and then mysterious prophecy. We took large passages at a time. In 1 Peter we're in the world of letters by early church leaders sent to young churches and Christians trying to figure things out in light of Christ's birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and return. The father of the faith Peter takes up his pen (or, at least, his secretary does) and writes words he meant for a few in his day but which God meant for millions of Christians for generations to come. We'll take a while in 1 Peter, covering only a few verses each week.
To give you a flavor of how rich this letter is, here are the opening two verses of the letter and the final two verses of the body of the letter (right before his close):
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (1 Pet 1:1–2)
After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet 5:10–11)
If you get a chance today or tomorrow, read the whole book. If you'd like to especially meditate on (think over, pray over) the verses we're preaching on a given Sunday you can see the preaching plan here.
Since it's only 105 verses consider memorizing the whole thing. Andy Davis gives some good practical tips on how to approach memorizing a whole book here.
If you'd like a resource or two to help you go deeper in your study of it and understand it a little more, two excellent commentaries are by Wayne Grudem and Ed Clowney. Both are highly respected theologians and expositors, and these works have held up extremely well over the years. They're also not as long or detailed as some others, though they wrestle with the key issues throughout the book. Grudem has an appendix on "Christ preaching through Noah" (1 Peter 3:19–20) that D.A. Carson says is worth the price of the book. If you do want a long and detailed reflection on 1 Peter consider Schreiner or Keener. Schreiner is the scholar who did the introduction and notes for 1 Peter in the ESV Study Bible.
May God do wonderful things through this season of going deep in 1 Peter. And may God do in this series and in our church what Peter describes in 4:10–11:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet 4:10–11)