Lessons and Notes from I Peter

I’ve noted below the verses in I Peter that seemed to me to be most, well, noteworthy.  That is, these are the verses that tell us most directly how to live, or that contain important theological information.

1:1 refers to those “chosen according to the foreknowledge of God.”

1:1 refers to all three elements of the Trinity.

1:6-7 says trials are only “for a little while”; trials are so that “your faith … may be proved genuine.”

1:13-14 says “prepare your minds for action; be self controlled” and ‘holy.”

1:17 says God “judges each man’s work impartially.”

1:19 says Christ “was chosen [for sacrifice] before the creation of the world.”

1:22 endorses “obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers.”

2:1 says “rid yourself of all malice and deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander ….”

2:11-12 says “abstain from sinful desires” and urges that we “live such good lives among the pagans” that they are impressed.

2:13-3:7 calls for submission to secular authorities (by us all, I suppose), to masters (by slaves), and to husbands (by wives).  Don’t be fearful, and there’s nothing wrong with suffering for right (as Jesus did); ‘live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing.”  Have an answer prepared for those who ask you why you have hope, but deliver it with “gentleness and respect,” to shame those who slander you.  This all seems to be interrelated, and makes sense in the historical context, which is a letter to the Christians being persecuted by Nero:  It’s Gandhi- or King-like in its call for submission/shaming.  See also 4:1-2, 12-19; 5:5.  (Additional notes here:  The harshness of the master is no excuse; the beauty of the wife should be inner, with no “outward adornment.”)

4:3 warns against “debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.”

4:7-9 says, “The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to each other without grumbling.”  It’s interesting that this formulation of something “covering a multitude of sins” appears in back-to-back books in the New Testament:  here and in James 5:20 (“Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins”).

4:10 says to “use whatever gift you have to serve God. ”

In 5:1, Peter asserts he was “a witness of Christ’s suffering.”

5: 5-6 says to be humbled, not proud, and 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert.”

And 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”