In 1 and 2 Peter, Peter is writing to a despised and persecuted people. On July 19, 64 A.D., a fire broke out in Rome. The flames licked up large parts of the city and both mansions and hovels were destroyed. The fires burned for three days and three nights. There were rumors that Nero had his men all over town trying to hinder people from putting out the fires. Nero identified a scapegoat – the Christians. A savage outbreak of persecution ensued. In view of these circumstances, Peter instructs these “pilgrims of the dispersion” to pursue holiness and truth. He encourages them that they are protected by the power of God.
In 1 & 2 Peter, God is glorifying Himself through holiness and truth, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people, for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ…”
1 Peter 1:1
“Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ…”
2 Peter 1:1
1 Peter is addressed to “the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Pet. 1:1). While 2 Peter does not contain as specific an introduction, it appears to be a follow-up letter to the same recipients (2 Pet. 3:1).
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:6–9
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:8–11
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
2 Peter 1:19–21
What are we supposed to rest our hope upon?
The grace that is to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:13).
How do we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men?
By doing good (1 Pet. 2:15).
What should we always be ready to do when asked about our hope?
Give a defense (1 Pet. 3:15).
What does love cover?
A multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8).
What kind of animal does Peter compare the devil to?
A roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8).
What did Peter and the other apostles hear God the Father say on the holy mountain?
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Pet. 1:17).
While false teachers promise liberty, what are they themselves slaves of?
Corruption (2 Pet. 2:19).
As what will the day of the Lord come?
A thief in the night (2 Pet. 3:10).