Dear 5x5x5 Bible readers, Welcome to 1st Peter this week! You know Peter – a fisherman, one of Jesus’ three closest disciples, the one who walked on water, also the one who denied knowing Jesus – Peter, the rock, who became the leader of the church in Jerusalem after Pentecost. Peter writes this letter from Rome, late in his life, to Christians who are enduring hardships and persecution across the Roman empire.
1st Peter is a letter of encouragement, speaking into the lives of those who are suffering. Important themes in 1 Peter are:
– the identity of a believer (reborn into a new family, exiles and sojourners, a royal priesthood, and a chosen people),
– a call to holiness and good character in keeping with the standards of their new family,
– persevering through suffering,
– a living and eternal hope,
– submission and humility, and
– the coming judgment.
I’m actually teaching 1st Peter this fall at The River, and it is such a rich text – full of encouragement in suffering, and reminders of our identity and our future. As the world seems a bit crazy these days, and many are suffering, the words of Peter are timely. Be encouraged.