Peter’s First Letter

Discovery for Students

Peter’s First Letter


1 Peter 1:1 through 5:14

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)


The Book of 1 Peter is a letter written by Peter around A.D. 62-64, to the saints who had been scattered throughout Asia minor because of the rampant persecution of the time. Emperor Nero had come into power in Rome and great persecution followed in his wake. History tells us that Peter was later executed during this same period of oppression.

The purpose of Peter’s letter was to comfort and encourage the saints who were suffering. Before He ascended, Jesus had told Peter to “strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32) and to “feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). Peter was fulfilling this charge by encouraging believers in their time of intense persecution. He offered concluding thoughts when he said, “I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand” (1 Peter 5:12). Peter was describing their ability to stand as “the true grace of God.”

Peter started the epistle by giving thanks for salvation, and pointed out the hope there is in the Gospel. He reminded the saints that adversity would come — in fact, it should be expected — but these trials would work to strengthen their faith. Peter admonished the saints to live holy lives, reminding them of Christ who suffered for them and had redeemed them. They were encouraged to react with love in the face of persecution, just as Jesus did when He faced the Cross.

Beginning with chapter 2 verse 11, Peter advised the believers on how to conduct themselves in many aspects of their lives. He spoke of submission to civil authority, to their masters, within the family, and among each other. He wanted them to live in God’s will, with prayer, love, hospitality, and service.

Peter drew this epistle to a close by reminding the saints to be vigilant and to resist the devil, who as a roaring lion would try to devour them. He let them know that God’s grace would be available to make them perfect, established, strengthened, and settled in the faith.


  1. The saints Peter was addressing were suffering great persecution. He encouraged them by stating that there are benefits in suffering. What purpose might suffering accomplish in God’s people? What should be our attitude when we go through trials? 1 Peter 1:7; 4:12-13
  2. In 1 Peter 1:15-16, we are admonished to be holy as God is holy. How is this possible when we are born with a sinful nature, and we live in a world where sin is all around us? How can we maintain our hearts in a manner so God’s holiness can shine out through us?
  3. The saints were instructed to “love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Peter 1:22) and to “have fervent charity among yourselves” (1 Peter 4:8). What does it mean to love with a pure heart? How do we love a brother or sister in Christ fervently?
  4. The epistle of 1 Peter has practical advice for families, and sets guidelines and rules for conduct in the home. Peter indicated that wives are to be subordinate to their husbands, winning unbelievers by their holy conduct (1 Peter 3:1-6). Husbands are to tenderly honor their wives, lest their prayers be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). What are ways women can show submission and respect to their husbands? How can men show love and honor to their wives?
  5. In 1 Peter 3:15, we are told to always be ready to answer anyone who questions us about our faith. The next verse says that our lives need to be above reproach in the sight of others. How do these two verses tie together concerning our witness for the Lord?
  6. Peter instructed the early believers to be good stewards of the talents and gifts God had given them (1 Peter 4:10-11). Often we think of stewardship in terms of money. While it is important to use our financial resources carefully for God’s glory, good stewardship also encompasses time and talents. What are some excuses we might be tempted to make when we are called to use our talents for the Lord? What are ways to overcome in this area?
  7. In 1 Peter 5:7, we are told to cast our cares on God, “for he careth for you.” Life is not always easy. We will most likely face separation from someone we care about, sickness, pain, weakness, death, or other difficulties during our lifetime. How wonderful to know there is Someone to help us carry the burden! How can we cast our burdens on Him and leave them there, without picking them up again by worry or doubt?
  8. We read in 1 Peter 5:8, “The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” It is important to know one’s enemy. We realize Satan has power and experience, and he may seem a fearsome foe. He may put up a fierce fight at times. Why can we feel peaceful in the face of such a terrible adversary? What can we do to assure ourselves of victory?


The Book of 1 Peter encourages us that although our commitment to Christ may bring suffering and persecution at times, we can rejoice because we are following Jesus, who suffered for us. When our faith is tried, the process will refine us, and that is more precious than gold.