Summary of the Book of 1 Peter
Date Written: 64-65 AD
Major Theme: Living victoriously in the midst of suffering and persecution
The book of 1 Peter was written by the apostle Peter to the church made up of both Jews and Gentiles who were undergoing intense persecution. This letter was written around the time that Nero had burned the city of Rome. Because of the widespread devastation and growing hostility from the homeless masses, Nero redirected the bitter resentment to Christians, blaming them for burning the city. Peter most likely wrote from Rome to “God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia (vs. 1:1).
The main theme of the book of 1 Peter is living victoriously in the midst of suffering and persecution. Peter writes to give hope in the midst of it; to remind of our great salvation in Christ Jesus. To give advice on how to live a godly life before unbelievers, then ends with a reminder that the Lord will return and restore all things.
1 Peter 1 - Living Hope & Sure Salvation
1 Peter 1 opens with a beautiful greeting to those who have been chosen by God; sanctified by the Spirit and born again into a living hope. Peter encourages that suffering will prove genuine faith with Christ is revealed. He also reminds that the prophets searched intently for the time and circumstances of Christ, noting that they were not serving themselves but us when speaking of this great salvation. Therefore we are reminded to be holy and love each other deeply because we were purchased with a very high price; the precious blood of the lamb.
1 Peter 2 - Living as God’s Chosen People
1 Peter 2 begins by showing how we are being built into a spiritual house with the Lord Jesus as the cornerstone. Peter says we are a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (vs. 9). Because of this we are to live as strangers in this world, living good lives so that others will see and glorify God. We are instructed to submit to those in authority over us and to show proper respect; we are to follow the example of Christ.
1 Peter 3 - Godly Living
1 Peter 3 starts with advice for husbands and wives. Wives are to live in a way that their inner beauty will shine through. Husbands are to be considerate and respectful toward their wives, so nothing will hinder prayer. Peter then summarizes by encouraging us to live in harmony with one another. We are to set aside Christ Jesus as Lord and always be ready to give an answer for this hope we have in Him. Then we are reminded to keep a clear conscience at all times even when suffering unjustly.
1 Peter 4 - Suffering as Christians
1 Peter 4 reminds that the end is near; we are to be clear minded so we can pray. We are encouraged to love each other deeply and use whatever gifts we’ve been given to serve each other. Peter then points out that suffering because we are Christians should not surprise us, rather we can rejoice because it is evidence that we bear the name of Christ. He encourages that we are blessed when insulted because the Spirit of God rests on us.
1 Peter 5 - Final Greetings
1 Peter 5 closes with a few instructions to leaders, reminding to be good shepherds with what God has entrusted. To be humble and to cast all anxieties on God because of His very great love and care for us. We are encouraged to be self-controlled and aware that the enemy is looking to devour; however the remedy is to resist and stand firm in faith. Peter closes this letter reminding us that the God of all grace will restore all things and make us strong, firm and steadfast.
As you can see this book is full of practical advice and insights for the believer especially in the midst of suffering. May you be blessed and inspired as you read and study the book of 1 Peter.
I’d Love to Hear From You!
Share your favorite passage from 1 Peter or an insight you’ve had from studying this letter in the comments below!