1 PETER

Book of 1st Peter – Introduction and Background Information – Date of Writing somewhere around AD 62-64 [by Peter in Rome] {note: The cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the start of His Christian Church was in 32 A.D. counting His birth as year 0 A.D. [33 A.D. otherwise] — The Apostle Paul was martyred about 64-65 A.D. in Rome — Peter was martyred about 67 A.D. also in Rome — Caesar Nero (*was the fifth, and last Roman Emperor (and also the most wicked) of the Julio-Claudian dynasty) reigned in Rome from 13 October, AD 54 – 9 June, AD 68 — later the 2nd Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by Rome in 70 A.D. (Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Vespasian) was the Emperor in Rome [69-79 AD] — his son Roman General Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Titus) oversaw the destruction of Israel, Jerusalem and the Temple {this generation, Matthew 23:36} in 70 A.D. and was later briefly Emperor of Rome himself [79-81 A.D.]) – wiki.com} – Clearly, this was a horrific time for the early Christian church – Themes: There are generally speaking five themes that permeate this text: Hope, Suffering, *Holiness, Humility, Submission

This period is, in all likelihood, the first official persecution of Christians by Rome. The madman Nero was the Emperor of Rome at this time. This was the time period of The Great Fire of Rome where Nero supposedly played his fiddle while Rome burned. Roman historian Tacitus describes the scene this way: "Neither human resources, nor imperial generosity, nor appeasement of the gods, eliminated the sinister suspicion that the fire had been deliberately started. To stop the rumor, Nero, made scapegoats--and punished with every refinement the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were popularly called). Their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius' reign by the Procurator of Judaea, Pontius Pilatus (who was actually a Praefectus, not a Procurator). But in spite of this temporary setback, the deadly superstition had broken out again, not just in Judaea (where the mischief had started) but even in Rome. All degraded and shameful practices collect and flourish in the capital. First, Nero had the self-admitted Christians arrested. Then, on their information, large numbers of others were condemned--not so much for starting fires as because of their hatred for the human race. Their deaths were made amusing. Dressed in wild animals' skins, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or made into torches to be set on fire after dark as illumination.... Despite their guilt as Christians, and the ruthless punishment it deserved, the victims were pitied. For it was felt that they were being sacrificed to one man's brutality rather than to the national interest." -- Clearly, this was a horrific time for the early Christian church. Themes: There are generally speaking five themes that permeate this text: Hope, Suffering, Holiness, Humility [and] Submission. It serves us well to understand the historical backdrop to this text. The church was under unspeakable persecution. Let's keep this in mind as we journey together the God-breathed doctrines and life-applications from the Apostle Peter. [link]

Studies in 1 Peter – A Call to Holiness – “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called [invited] you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written (Leviticus 11:44), Be ye holy; for I am Holy” [1 Peter 1:14-16 KJV] – “But ye are a chosen generation [peer group], a Royal Priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; *that ye should shew forth the Praises of Him who hath called [invited] you out of darkness into His marvellous light” [1 Peter 2:9 KJV]

Introduction: The word "holy," in contemporary thinking, is closely akin to the term "nerd" which our children use. Holiness is not thought of as a virtue but as a vice. How insulting to be thought of as "holy" by your peers. Even in the church, holiness is becoming rare. Only recently I heard a well-known evangelist speak of holiness as something which the church in America has lost. How comfortable we are to add God to our lives with little or no change necessary on our part. Such is not the message of the true gospel or the teaching of the Scriptures on the spiritual life. The Old Testament prophets, along with John the Baptist and then Jesus, called for a radical change for those who would trust and obey God. "Repent" was an indispensable word to those who proclaimed the Word of God in truth. To repent means to change not only our thinking but our actions. When we are saved, we are saved from our heathen desires and practices and called to live a life of holiness. This call to holiness comes very early in Peter's first epistle in chapter 1:14-16 and continues to be stressed throughout his epistle. The belief and behavior of holiness of which Peter speaks comes neither naturally (through our flesh) nor easily. Peter did not find it natural or easy either. While the concept of holiness is frequently taught in the Old Testament, Judaism (especially the scribes and Pharisees) distorted it until it became something entirely different. To many, the scribes and Pharisees, who saw themselves as holy, were the epitome of holiness. How shocking Jesus' words must have been to those who first heard them: "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20). True holiness was not what the scribes and Pharisees or Peter thought it was. The message Peter shares with us in his first epistle came to him with great difficulty. In fact, only after the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord did Peter understand true holiness. ... A Basic Definition of Holiness: To be holy is the opposite of being "common" or "profane." God is holy in that He is utterly different and distinct from His creation. His people must also be distinct, separate from the heathen attitudes and actions which characterized them as unbelievers. The translation of 1 Peter 2:9 by the King James Version conveys this idea of "separateness:" [link]

1 Peter 1: 22-2:3 Spiritual Dynamics of Holiness – When Peter tells us: “Be holy in everything you do” he is simply saying: “Live every aspect of your lives the way God designed you to live” – God has created us in His image, and therefore our lives have a high purpose-to demonstrate His character (His love, righteousness, justice, etc.) in this world – *To live otherwise is to profane my life, to misrepresent God’s character **and to damage myself and others

Introduction: As Mark pointed out last week, this section of 1 Peter is about holiness (read 1:15). "Holiness" has negative connotations in our culture ("holy roller;" "holier than thou"), so we tend to avoid it (and use a more relevant synonym like "sanctification!"). Actually, the biblical meaning of holiness is intensely positive. Holiness means fulfilling the special purpose for which something or someone was designed. Holiness presumes a designer [creator]. Holiness not only brings fulfillment to the holy thing or person-it also brings health and beauty into the world, and it brings honor to its designer/owner. Conversely, to use something or someone in an unholy way is to make it profane. ... When Peter tells us: "Be holy in everything you do," he is simply saying: "Live every aspect of your lives the way God designed you to live." God has created us in his image, and therefore our lives have a high purpose-to demonstrate his character (his love, righteousness, justice, etc.) in this world. To live otherwise is to profane my life-to misrepresent God's character and to damage myself and others. ... Holiness begins with a new birth: The first thing Peter emphasizes is that holiness begins with a new birth. Everything he says about holiness in this passage is rooted in the assumption that his audience has "been born again" (1:23). To be born again means to be {born again spiritually, become a child of God - adoption as sons and daughters comes later after the (2 Corinthians 5:6-10) judgment in Heaven} adopted into God's family, to be made his son or Daughter. Why must holiness begin with {spiritual birth} adoption? Because adoption provides the foundation for the rest of your development. {Note: If you are waiting for an adoption (in heaven) to begin to become holy it will be too late because holiness begins with becoming a (born again) child of God [here on earth] and then holiness in a sense is completed and mostly finished at the adoption in Heaven. - Also Note: I think we have discovered something about modern Christianity and that is that all the leaders, teachers and pastors all want to ignore the (2 Corinthians 5:6-10) Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ that is needed in the life of every believer for God's final and ultimate approval of the believer. Skipping over being a child of God and wanting instead to immediately claim the Adoption as Sons and Daughters attempting to prematurely receive the advanced privileges and blessings that go along with the adoption and Sonship. -- Consider This: If Jesus Christ were to manifest [being God] before our very eyes and at the same moment Elijah, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and the Angels Michael and Gabriel and even the evil entities Apollyon, Abaddon and Satan himself also materialized before our eyes as deceiving messengers of light would you be able recognize and immediately be able to pick out your Father God in Jesus Christ from among the group? No! Because we have never seen Jesus visually [face to face] in His Glory and therefore having not seen Jesus [and being unable to identify who He is] we remain a "children of God" it is a child that might not be able to recognize their father [earthy or heavenly] by sight but it is a Son having met his father that can identify their father by sight [the other option from 'born again' into the family as a Child of God and later the 'Adoption' {inheritance} as an approved of Son (Sonship) or Daughter, becoming a living heir of the Kingdom of God or else that of a spiritual 'bastard' a child or an adult who has not yet met or is unable to identify their Heavenly Father]. For the Christian we will see Jesus face to face in Heaven and having met Jesus face to face [brother to brother and Father to Son or Daughter] and after becoming adopted by God [Father, Son and Holy Spirit] in Heaven we as Sons and Daughters will know who our Father is. But in the meantime being a child we have to be very careful because Satan is indeed passing himself off as our Father and having not seen our Father (because we are only children) we can be deceived if we look to the advanced giftings that Satan is going to present in order to entice people to accept sonship in Satan. -- We will be able to cover more of this very important topic in the Bible's book of Job. -- Lastly: In ancient Rome, Greece and also in Israel if a person [regardless of age] went into their fathers house and saw the keys to the chariot (or car) sitting on the counter as a child of the family [regardless of age - they might even be living on their own] they would have to wait for the parent and ask permission from the parent to use the chariot. However if the person were a Son [in status and authority] (having received the adoption - very literal in Roman customs) within the family that person could help themselves to the vehicle because they know their father and their father knows them and trusts them and they are going to be faithful to use the vehicle in accordance with the father's desires. The son is probably not going to be reckless and wreck the vehicle or damage property possibly injuring or even killing himself. Instead the son will use the vehicle in a way that will assist the family overall and will return the vehicle in good condition, fueled and ready to go again because the Son knows the Father and is in agreement with the Father! However with the child [regardless of age] who knows what kind of a 'wild child' event might happen and therefore a good Father would more closely supervise and initiate more authority over the child until the child can grow and mature [through a relationship in knowing who the Father is] into a faithful Son or Daughter.} [link]

1 Peter 1 – The Apostle Peter the Apostle of Holiness – The first order of Holiness is to understand that while we are alive in our fleshly body in the physical world that we live holiness generally at the level of a Child of God in need of God’s constant presence and supervision — ‘1 Peter 1:1-5 Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect [called for a purpose – i.e. Evangelist] according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the [Holy] Spirit, *unto obedience *and sprinkling of ***the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope ***by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, **reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith [in the completed works of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ] unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’

1 Peter 1:9-17 Receiving the end [lit. final, completed, end result, outcome - Telos, G5056] of your faith [as a child], even the salvation {Adoption} of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [individuality - individual relationship with God] that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings [1st Coming] of Christ, and the Glory [2nd Coming] that should follow. ... As obedient *children [Teknon, G5043], not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written (Leviticus 11:44), Be ye holy; for I am Holy. -- 1 Peter 1:18-23 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things [i.e. money], as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious Blood of [Jesus] Christ, as of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the [beginning] foundation of the world, but was manifest [revealed] in these last times for you, Who by Him [Jesus] do [we] believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him Glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the Truth [Bible] through the [Holy] Spirit unto **unfeigned love of the brethren [fellow Christians], see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: ***Being ***born again, not of [perishable] corruptible seed, but of [eternal] incorruptible [Spirit], by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. - Note: The eternal Holiness that Peter is speaking of first involves the Blood of Jesus Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit and of our being 'born again' by faith through the eternal Blood and the Holy Spirit in order to become children of God. It is only through having the born again Spirit image of God within us and by being in the actual spiritual presence of God that the Holiness of God then becomes our holiness.

1 Peter 2 – Holiness derives from being in the presence of God [prayer, Bible study, fellowship, service to God] ‘the milk of the Word’ as a Child of God and then Christian maturity derives from holiness [maturity does not lead to holiness (acceptability and a closer relationship with God), holiness (intimate fellowship with God) leads a Child of God to maturity and eventually into Sonship] — ‘1 Peter 2:1-3 Wherefore laying aside all malice [mischievous], and all guile [bitterness], and hypocrisies [self-promotion], and envies, and all evil speakings, *As newborn babes (Matthew 18:3), desire the sincere milk of the Word (Bible), that ye may grow [mature] thereby: If so be **ye have tasted [fellowshipped with God] that the Lord [Jesus Christ] is gracious.’

1 Peter 2:4-12 To whom coming [unto Jesus Christ], as unto a living (Temple) stone, disallowed [rejected] indeed of men, *but chosen of God, and *precious, **Ye [fellow Christians] also, as lively (Temple) stones, are built up [together as the body of Christ comprising] a Spiritual House [Heavenly Temple], an Holy Priesthood [having direct access to God], to offer up *spiritual sacrifices [praise, thanks, worship], acceptable to God by [being through] Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture (Isaiah 28:16), Behold, I lay in Sion (Mt. Zion - Temple Mount in Jerusalem) a chief corner stone {the cornerstone anchors the location and sets the direction of the building}, elect (chosen for a reason), precious: and he that believeth on Him [Jesus Christ] **shall not be confounded [disappointed]. Unto you therefore which believe He [Jesus] is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and **a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the Word (Bible), being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed [lit. placed aside - served their desires]. ***But ye [Christians] are a Chosen Generation [peer group], a Royal Priesthood [brotherhood with Jesus the King of the Tribe of Judah and the High Priest of the order of Melchizedek], an Holy Nation [assembly], a peculiar people; **that ye should shew forth the praises of Him [Jesus Christ] who hath called [invited] you out of darkness into His marvellous [eternal] light: Which [but] in time past [Gentiles] were not a people, but [Christians] are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy [knowledge of God], but now have obtained mercy [knowledge of God]. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation [God's presence]. - Note: This amazing verse proclaims that each individual Christian [while on earth] through the experiencing of trials and tribulations on earth is being shaped and matured by life itself [a relationship with God] in order to be a part of and to belong as a living stone in an eternal Spirit Temple being built and crafted for all eternity by God.

BasicChristian.org: The Royal Priesthood – The High Calling of each Christian – Now that we are Christians and in a relationship with God there is still the question of how do we as people approach and interact with the Holy God?

In the Old Testament there are three groups of people who knowingly interacted with God these three distinct groups are the Priests, the Prophets, and the Citizens of God's Kingly Rule and Authority. • The office of Priest is interaction with God in the act of man offering to God. • The office of Prophet is interaction with God in the act of man receiving from God. • The office and position of Citizen or Subject of the King is interaction with God, the Eternal King, in the act of man having placed his life under the Authority and Rule of God the True King. Are these just Old Testament Practices or do these offices still have merit for us today in the New Testament Church? And if so, how do they work?  [link]

1 Peter 3 – The Apostle Peter admonishes all Christians to have a Heavenly, eternal perspective — ‘1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as [Christian] brethren, be pitiful [compassionate], be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise [contrary to the ways of the world instead be a] blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should [as Sons and Daughters] inherit a [living, eternal] blessing.’

1 Peter 3:10-18 For he that will love life [lit. eternal spirit life - Zoe, G2222 - (not physical life - Bios {Biology}, G979)], and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. **For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and ***His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good [being in God's Divine protection]? But and [then] if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and **be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; ***But sanctify the Lord God [Jesus Christ] in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. **For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer [as Jesus Christ did] for well doing, than for evil [criminal] doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might [remove sin and] bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened [made alive] by the [Holy] Spirit ... - Note: The two and only two options of mankind [and as the verse goes on to explain the same two options equally had applied to the Angelic realm]. The first option (desired by God) is fellowship with God as a Child of God [as a Son of God for Angels] the second option (not intended by God) is to be at enmity with God.

1 Peter 4 – The Apostle Peter reveals that the Christian Church is an intermixed, interdependent group of individuals – Comprised of all the individuals in attendance [and in prayer] and it is certainly not just the efforts and accomplishments of one highly visible person or of a few notable people — ‘1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the [spiritual] gift [i.e. administration, servant, teacher, leader, visionary, etc.], even so minister the same [use your own (God given) gift – don’t try to imitate the gifts of others] one to another, **as good stewards of the manifold grace [individuality given to us] of God. If any man speak [to a group or to another person], let him speak as the oracles [pages of the Bible] of God; if any man minister [servant], let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: ***that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be Praise and Dominion forever and ever. Amen.’

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the House of God: and if it first begin at us [Christians], what shall the end be of them [non-believers] that obey not the Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved [only by the works of Jesus Christ through His cross and His resurrection], where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear [there is no place but the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ to appear for salvation]? Wherefore let them [Christians] that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. - Note: The judgment of God actually begins with the Children of God in the 'House of God' and then later [the Book of Revelation] everyone and even the entire earth is ultimately judged by God.

1 Peter 5 – The Apostle Peter warns the Pastors not to neglect their temporary assignment as a faithful shepherd to a part of the flock of God — ‘1 Peter 5:1-4 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and ***a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker [Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17:1-2] of the Glory [of Jesus] that shall be revealed: *Feed [read the Bible to] the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords [owners] over God’s heritage, but being [servant] ensamples [examples] to the flock. And when [Jesus Christ] the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away.’

The Bible's book of 1 Peter concludes: 1 Peter 5:6-14 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: **Casting all your care upon Him; for ***He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil [Satan, Lucifer], as a roaring [boasting] lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are [alive] in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal Glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect [complete], stablish [establish], strengthen, settle you. To Him [Jesus Christ] be Glory and *Dominion [governmental authority - i.e. federal authority] forever and ever. Amen. By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. The Church that is at *Babylon [probably Rome], elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. - Note: It's probably Rome that Peter is referring to in that he is saying that the previous captivity and spiritual warfare of old Babylon has only shifted and is now in the new location of Rome and is just as fierce as ever in waging a multi fronted [physical, emotional, spiritual] assault against the Children of God.

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