INTRODUCTION

Over the course of twelve weeks, we’ll be studying the book of 1 Peter together. We’ll see how we, as believers, can be filled with hope, and experience God, despite facing difficult and trying circumstances. In fact, Peter communicates that in the face of opposition, Christians are provided a great opportunity to show the difference Jesus makes in our lives.

We’ve prepared a Study Guide for Individuals and Life Groups Download the PDF by clicking below.

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“Christians are not different from the rest in their nationality, language or customs. They live in their own countries, but as sojourners. They fulfill all their duties as citizens, but they suffer as foreigners. They find their homeland wherever they are, but their homeland is not in any one place. They are in the flesh, but do not live according to the flesh. They live on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey all laws, but they live higher than that required by law. They love all, but all persecute them.”

– Address to Diognetus
Circa 2nd/3rd century

Peter is identified as the author of the letter in 1 Peter 1:1. Peter likely wrote the letter with the help of Silas (1 Peter 5:12). The Gospel accounts tell us that Peter was a fisherman from Bethsaida; he and his brother Andrew were among the first to be called to follow Jesus (John 1:43-44). Church history suggests that most of the material from the Gospel of Mark are events and stories dictated to John Mark by the Apostle Peter. Peter was also heavily involved in the establishment of the early church, where the Book of Acts highlights his ministry in Acts 1-12, before switching to Paul’s missionary journeys from Acts 13 and on.

As seen in 1 Peter 1:1, the letter is written to believers who are in exile throughout Asia Minor (modern day Turkey, see map). The locations are written in a sequential order, meaning Peter’s intention was that the letter would be itinerant and read widely. The language we find in this letter is extremely inclusive, meaning Peter is addressing the whole church, Jew and Gentile Christians, not just one small segment of the community.

The letter was written around 62/63 A.D. while Peter was likely in Rome (called Babylon in 1 Pet. 5:13).

A key passage that can summarize the entire book is found in 1 Peter 4:12-13. In this passage, Peter reminds us that we should not be caught off guard when we experience hardships, but in fact, we should rejoice in them, because it means we are sharing in the life of Christ.

There are two themes that present themselves throughout 1 Peter̶suffering and the glory of God. While on the surface it may seem that these two things don’t belong in the same sentence, Peter helps to show us that they can and often do intersect in the life of a Christian.

Peter is seeking to bring encouragement and reassurance to Christians who are experiencing persecution, and provide insight on how to live in light of it. Peter focuses on our identity in Christ, and how that identity impacts our conduct in the various areas of our lives. Peter encourages us to remain faithful, knowing that God ultimately has the final word, and we can experience eternal glory (1 Pet. 5:10).

I. Opening Greeting (1:1-2)

II. Called to Salvation as Exiles  (1:3-2:10)
  a. 1:3-5 Our Inheritance
  b. 1:6-9 Rejoice in Suffering
  c. 1:10-12 Privilege of Revelation
  d. 1:13-21 The Basis for Holy Living, Our Future Inheritance
  e. 1:22-2:10 Living as the New  People of God

III. Living as Aliens to Bring Glory to God in a Hostile World (2:11-4:11)
  a. 2:11-12 Christian Life as a Battle and Witness
  b. 2:13-3:12 Demonstrating the  Gospel in Our Relationships
  c. 3:13-4:11 How to Respond to Suffering

IV. Persevering in Suffering (4:12-5:11)
  a. 4:12-19 Persevere in Suffering and Joy
  b. 5:1-5 Exhortations for Elders and Young 
  c. 5:6-11 Exhortations to Humility

V. Concluding Words (5:12-14)

Week 1

1 Peter 1:1-2

February 24, 2019

Individual/Group Study Guide

Conversation Starters

Q. When we walk through our front doors after a long trip, we frequently state, “Home sweet home.” What are we trying to communicate when we use such language?

Q. Have you ever had an experience where you may have been “home,” yet you still felt unwelcome, unwanted, or uncertain?

Read & Discuss 1 Peter 1:1-2

The term “elect exile” creates an interesting connotation. While the readers of this letter were scattered and may have felt things were in ruin, Peter doesn’t allow geographical separation and difficult circumstances to take away from an eternal perspective. This week we will explore our security in God’s plan of salvation.

Within this passage, we see some large theological terms that carry great importance. If needed, spend some time reflecting on what each of them mean.

Elect: Generally refers to either the members of God’s people or to those within a local church. As we see within 1 Peter, it is addressing the creation of a people, rather than a calling of an isolated individual. God’s people are a privileged people, for they have direct access to Him, are saved by Him, and have Him there to uphold them through all trials.

Q. What does it mean to be “chosen” or “elect?” For further clarification see: John 15:16; Acts 13:17; Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.

Exiles: The removal of an individual from one’s native land. Typically done in instances when one conquers another. The usage of the term “exile” would conjure up images for the original audience of the captivity the Jews experienced underneath the rule of Babylon (as highlighted in the books of Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Daniel, Jeremiah, etc.).

Helpful Supplemental Video: Exile – The Bible Project

Q. Have you experienced this feeling before? When? What have been the circumstances?

Foreknowledge: God is fully aware of all events before they occur. Nothing is outside of God’s knowledge (past, present, or future). Nothing is hidden from Him and He knows everything completely. Foreknowledge is often connected to God’s plan of salvation as well as His reign over the universe.

Q. Considering that we have been God’s chosen people from all eternity, does this change the way we view our circumstances? Even in the midst of hard ones?

Sanctification: As believers we receive a new identity, a new heart, and the Spirit to indwell us. The Spirit does a work in setting us apart, for dedicated service to God, as well as aiding in our progressive maturity into Christlikeness.

Q. There are two things Peter can be addressing here: 1) Initial conversion or 2) The gradual progress in becoming more like Jesus. Which interpretation seems to make the most sense?

Note: It is entirely possible Peter is meaning both here. The Spirit sets people apart for God, so they may be holy. The Spirit empowers people to live in obedience that they may grow in holiness.

Q. Each role of the Trinity is highlighted and introduced in this passage. Based upon this passage, what is the activity of each member?

    Application

    While Peter will later explain the duties a Christian has in the realm of politics, work, marriage, the church, and other relationships, he starts off explaining the exiles’ identity in God.

    • Why is it this so important to remember as we further study 1 Peter?
    • How important is it for Christians to understand that this world is not our home?
    • What kind of perspective does this remind us to have towards the things of this world?

    Heritage Park Campus

    Elect Exiles

    February 24, 2019 • Michael Hearn

    Westside Campus

    Your Identity and Purpose

    February 24, 2019 • Patrick Schreiner

     

    Week 2

    1 Peter 1:3-12

    March 3, 2019

    Individual/Group Study Guide

    Conversation Starters

    Q. In moments of doubt and uncertainty, what do you typically lean on for support and security?

    Q. Can you think of an example of God’s faithfulness to you in the midst of hardship? How did this trial show you the genuineness of your faith?

    Read & Discuss 1 Peter 1:3-12

    Verses 3-13 are technically one long sentence in Greek (the original language in which the book was written). In this section, Peter addresses God’s mercy, our new birth, the eternal inheritance waiting for us, and experiencing joy in the face of suffering. Why do you think Peter starts this section with “Blessed be God?”

    In verse 3, Peter mentions being “born again.” What does it mean to be “born again”? See John 3:1-21; Colossians 2:13; 1 John 5:1. Follow-up: How would you answer someone who asked how to be born again?

    What reason does Peter give us as the purpose behind some of the suffering and persecution we experience? See 1:6-7.

    Is it possible to have hope regardless of circumstances? Follow-up: List the reasons given in verses 3-12 for a believer to maintain hope during difficult circumstances. Do these reasons help you have hope? Why or why not?

    This section starts off with Peter celebrating, rejoicing, and praising God. In verse 8, he speaks of a joy inexpressible. Do you share in this? If not, how can you share in Peter’s excitement and joy as expressed in this passage?

    Application

    In his commentary on 1 Peter, John Calvin notes that Peter begins his letter by describing our hope in such strong and bold terms that we may “enjoy the invaluable treasure of a future life; and also that we may not be broken down by present troubles, but patiently endure them, being satisfied with eternal happiness”. This week, how can you keep this eternal perspective in your conversations, relationships, and other responsibilities?

      Heritage Park Campus

      Guarded By God

      March 3, 2019 • Michael Hearn

      Westside Campus

      Living Hope

      March 3, 2019 • David Libby

      Unavailable

      Week 3

      1 Peter 1:13-2:3

      March 10, 2019

      Individual/Group Study Guide

      Conversation Starters

      Q. Think of your life before you became a Christian. How different is your life now?

      Q. What is the biggest battle between how you used to live, and how you are now called to live?

      Read & Discuss 1 Peter 1:13 - 2:3

      Define holiness (see Leviticus 11:44-45Psalm 24:3-4; Isaiah 6:1-7; John 14:21). What are some other terms or descriptions that help us define “holy”?

      Peter instructs us to conduct ourselves with fear (verse 17). What is Peter telling us to do here? Follow-up: What role should fear play in our lives? See 1 Peter 1:17; Exodus 20:20; Deuteronomy 5:29; Proverbs 1:7.

      Considering that our salvation came at a great cost (1:18-19), how should this motivate us toward holy living?

      In 1 Peter 2:1, Peter calls us to rid ourselves of five specific things. What are they?

      What kind of impact would it have if God’s people truly lived that way? Follow-up: Which would be the most challenging for you?

      While 1 Peter 2:1 tells us what we should rid ourselves of, 1 Peter 2:2-3 tells us what we should be craving. As Christians, what should we be feasting on? Follow-up: What do you find yourself mostly nourishing your soul with?

        Application

        Theologian Wayne Grudem states that, “Holiness involves not only avoiding outward sin
        but also maintaining an instinctive delight in God and his holiness as an undercurrent
        of heart and mind throughout the day.” How does this shift your thinking and
        understanding of the pursuit of holiness?

        In what areas of your life are you still struggling to walk in holiness? How can we as a
        group support one another in this pursuit?

        Heritage Park Campus

        Transformed

        March 10, 2019 • Michael Hearn

        Westside Campus

        Conformity With Eternity

        March 10, 2019 • David Libby

         

        Week 4

        1 Peter 2:4-5

        March 17, 2019

        Individual/Group Study Guide

        Conversation Starters

        Q. Is involvement and participation in your local church an important part of your spiritual life?

        Q. What role do we personally play in the local church? Is it of any importance?

        Read & Discuss 1 Peter 2:4-5

        Q. In verse 4, Peter refers to the regular routine of Christians coming to Jesus. What are some ways we can draw near to His presence? Hear Him speak?

        Q. In the Old Testament, there are many verses that prophesy about Jesus, and refer to Him as the stone. See Isaiah 28:16; 51:1-2; Psalm 118:22Daniel 2:26-35. Considering those prophecies, and what Peter writes here, what are we to understand about Jesus?

        Q. What does it mean that we are a “spiritual house / “holy priesthood”? Follow-up: For what two purposes does a priest exist?

        Q. What are “spiritual sacrifices”? See Romans 12:1; Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 13:15-16.

        Q. How does Peter’s description of the church impact your own view of the church?

        Application

        “Church fellowship is not an optional advantage, to be chosen or ignored, like
        membership in a social club. It is the calling of every Christian. There is a spiritual
        ‘ethnicity’ to the church of Christ; Christians are blood relatives, joined by the blood of
        Jesus Christ.” – Edmund Clowney

        While believers individually become a temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19), we are collectively built
        into a temple along with other believers, where God dwells among us. This week, how can
        we tangibly experience this, and express it for others?

        Heritage Park Campus

        Living Stones

        March 17, 2019 • Kyle Wetzler

        Westside Campus

        Spiritual Houses

        March 17, 2019 • David Libby

        Week 5

        1 Peter 2:6-12

        March 24, 2019

        Individual/Group Study Guide

        Conversation Starters

        Q. We’ve been studying 1 Peter for a month. What has God taught you so far?

        Q. Have you ever shared the Gospel with someone? How did it go?

        Read & Discuss 1 Peter 2:6-12

        Q. Verses 6-8 seem to be pointing us to the fact that everyone has a choice between two options. What are they? Why are these the only two options? Which have you chosen?

        Q. What are other things (besides Jesus), that we have unfortunately put forward as stumbling blocks for unbelievers? (Think of what you’ve heard… “I would go to church but…” “All Christians are…”)

        Q. In this passage, Peter says that you are chosen, royal, holy, and one of his own people. Does this passage change your sense of value when you see yourself through God’s eyes? How?

        Q. According to verse 9, what are God’s people supposed to do?

        Q. In verses 11-12, Peter revisits the subject of the proper conduct in a believer’s life. How does obeying God enhance our witness to non-believers? According to Peter, what keeps us from doing this?

          Application

          In this passage, Peter encourages the people of God to reveal and proclaim just how
          excellent our God is. He has rescued us from darkness and shown us great mercy. He
          has given us a new family, community, and ethics. Our lives are a story of God’s grace,
          and He uses these stories to draw people to Himself and bring encouragement to fellow
          believers. Take a few minutes to write out a short version of your testimony, and consider
          sharing it with a friend, or in your group. In general, you can use a three-point outline:

          1. Life before knowing Christ
          2. How you came to know Christ
          3. Life after you received Christ (changes He has made, what He means to you now)

          Heritage Park Campus

          Cornerstone

          March 24, 2019 • Jon Siebert

          Westside Campus

          Marvelous Light

          March 24, 2019 • David Libby

          Week 6

          1 Peter 2:13-25

          March 31, 2019

          Individual/Group Study Guide

          Conversation Starters

          Q. How do you respond to authorities in your life, even if they appear unjust, incompetent, or harsh?

          Q. Why do you think that we as 21st Century Americans have difficulty with the concept of submission?

          Read & Discuss 1 Peter 2:4-5

          Q. According to Scripture, what is the reason Christians are to submit? See verse 15 and Romans 13:1-5.

          Q. Is there ever a reason for Christians to NOT submit? See Daniel 3:8-12; Daniel 6:6-10; Acts 4:18-20.

          Q. According to the Scriptures, is submission based on the worthiness of the one who is being submitted to? Does it  imply inferiority to the one who is submitting? See 1 Corinthians 15:28; Philippians 2:5-11. Follow-up: How do we
          go about doing this regardless of what political party the leader belongs to?

          Q. What do you think Peter is calling for in verse 16?

          Q. In verses 21-25, Peter grounds his whole argument in the example that Christ has set for us. How does the promise of suffering and hardship as you follow Christ bring you comfort, yet also challenge you?

          Application

          In verse 17 of this passage, Peter gives us four succinct commands. What are they? What are practical examples of how we can do this as Christians?

          Heritage Park Campus

          Good Citizens

          March 31, 2019 • Michael Hearn

          Westside Campus

          Subversive Submission

          March 31, 2019 • David Libby

           

          Week 7

          1 Peter 3:1-7

          April 7, 2019

          Individual/Group Study Guide

          Conversation Starters

          Q. If you were asked to describe a perfect husband / perfect wife, what would you say?

          Q. Why would a community/local church benefit from strong marriages?

          Read & Discuss 1 Peter 2:6-12

          Q. In this passage, Peter starts his exhortations by stating “likewise” (verses 1 and 7), meaning they are to be viewed in light of what we covered last week (submission and the example set by Jesus). How does that help impact how we approach these verses? What does that protect us from using these verses as?

          Q. What kind of impact can a wife have on a husband? What about a wife with an unbelieving spouse? See verses 1-2. 

          Q. What is modesty? Peter here, and Paul in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, teach that Christian women should look different than other women in the culture. Do you agree with this? How could these verses impact our everyday lives?

          Q. What does it mean for husbands to live with their wives “in an understanding way”? How does what Peter says in verse 7 inform husbands how to treat their wives?

            Application

            WOMEN: Where do you need to trust God, rather than fight to make your own way?

            MEN: Peter warns that those who do not honor their wives and live with them in a Godly manner, God may hinder, or pay no heed to their prayers. How does this impact the way your view, treat, and speak to your wife?

            Heritage Park Campus

            Husbands & Wives

            April 7, 2019 • Michael Hearn

            Westside Campus

            Submission Without Loss

            April 7, 2019 • David Libby

            Week 8

            1 Peter 3:8-22

            April 14, 2019

            Individual/Group Study Guide

            Conversation Starters

            Q. How do you typically respond when you’ve been mistreated, slandered, or insulted?

            Read & Discuss 1 Peter 3:8-22

            Q. In verses 8-9, Peter addresses the covenant community of believers. He gives a summary of the characteristics of the believing community. Do you think this could be said about us?

            Q. What does it mean to suffer for the sake of righteousness? See verse 14.

            Q. Earlier we asked about how we typically respond when we’ve been mistreated. How does this passage (verses 8-17) change your initial response?

            Q. In verse 15, Peter says we should be ready to make a defense for the hope we have. Do you feel prepared to give an answer? When was the last time you had the opportunity to do so?

            Q. Verse 18 is one of the most succinct descriptions of what Jesus has done for us. Can you explain in your own words the truths we learn about in this verse?

            Q. Peter is linking believers with Noah (Genesis 6-8) in the latter part of this passage. Both Peter’s audience and Noah were considered a minority in a hostile world. Peter is saying Christians can be sure that they are safe when judgment comes. As Noah was delivered, we too will be delivered because of Jesus’ victory over sin and death. As Christians, how should this encourage people facing unjust suffering?

            Application

            While this passage is filled with practical applications for believers, it also concludes with a wonderful doxology. A doxology is simply a short hymn of praise that celebrates and thanks God. Peter’s song of praise here is not a wish, but a statement of fact. It helps root and anchor all the commands given. We don’t follow God’s commandments for our own glory; but that Christ may be glorified in us. Take time to reflect upon why Peter is praising God, and see how you can do so likewise in your life this week.

            Heritage Park Campus

            Called To Be a Blessing

            April 14, 2019 • Michael Hearn

            Westside Campus

            The Call of the Persecuted

            April 14, 2019 • David Libby

             

            Week 9

            1 Peter 4:1-11

            April 28, 2019

            Individual/Group Study Guide

            Conversation Starters

            Q. We’re over halfway through our study in 1 Peter. What are some things God is teaching you about living as an exile?

            Q. By looking at someone’s life, do you think it is easy to tell whether they are a Christian or not?

            Q. How do you typically respond when you’ve been mistreated, slandered, or insulted?

            Read & Discuss 1 Peter 4:1-11

            Q. In verse 2, Peter tells us to live in a specific way for the rest of our lives. What is it? And how do we go about doing it? Follow-up: In what ways have you been pursuing the will of God versus the will of man?

            Q. In verse 4, Peter states that there should be a distinct difference between the way Christians live, versus how the rest of the world lives. Has anyone ever been surprised when you decided not to partake in something due to your faith?

            Q. List the commands Peter gives in verses 7-11. How do these relate to the end of all things being close? Follow-up: Do you see any similarities or common themes in these commands? Follow-up: Which of these commands do you find hard to obey? Why?

            Q. In verse 8, Peter talks about love covering a multitude of sins. How have you seen love cover a multitude of sins in your life? See Proverbs 10:12; James 5:20.

            Q. This passage brings about a lot of instruction and direction for believers. What is one practical change the Spirit is inviting you to make as you read and discuss this?

            Application

            What are some ways you can live with greater harmony and sympathy for others in your community this week?

            If you have not been baptized yet and you would call yourself a Christian, consider getting baptized at Summit View on April 28 at Heritage Park, and April 21 at Westside. For more details, email: kyle@summitview.net

            Heritage Park Campus

            Adulting

            April 28, 2019 • Michael Hearn

            Westside Campus

            Subversive Society

            April 28, 2019 • David Libby

             

            Week 10

            1 Peter 4:12-19

            May 5, 2019

            Individual/Group Study Guide

            Conversation Starters

            Q. Can you think of a time when you were surprised by a trial in your life? When was it, and how did you respond?

            Q. What is your initial response to suffering?

            Read & Discuss 1 Peter 4:12-19

            Q. Unfortunately, today there is a popular teaching and belief in Christianity that God simply wants us to be happy, rich, successful, etc. How does this passage correct this unhelpful and unbiblical teaching?

            Q. According to this passage, what is God’s view on, and purpose for, suffering?

            Q. What is Peter’s expectation of Christians when they experience suffering?

            Q. How does verse 19 help summarize this passage and encourage us?

            Q. Has Peter’s letter helped bring a different perspective to you and your life? How can Peter’s words help us from becoming discouraged when suffering, hardship, and trials come?

            Application

            Q. In verse 19, Peter gives two calls to action. What are they? What are the ways you can do this?

            Note: If this subject and topic has stirred a desire for more conversation on suffering and God, we will be circling back to this topic later this year in our apologetics series.

            Heritage Park Campus

            Suffering Is Not Strange

            May 5, 2019 • Jon Siebert

            Westside Campus

            Surprised?

            May 5, 2019 • David Libby

             

            Week 11

            1 Peter 5:1-5

            May 12, 2019

            Individual/Group Study Guide

            Conversation Starters

            Q. What are the qualities and characteristics that you look for in a great leader?

            Q. Should we expect to see a difference between leadership in the church and in the world?

            Read & Discuss 1 Peter 4:1-11

            Q. Why do you think Peter uses the imagery of a shepherd when speaking to the role of a church leader? See Matthew 9:36; Isaiah 53:6John 10:1-17.

            Q. What are some principles for leadership found in verses 1-5? Note: Look at what Peter highlights for what ought and ought not be done.

            Q. Peter says leaders are to be an example to the flock. Exactly how are leaders to be examples to the flock? See Ezekiel 34:1-22; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9.

            Q. While most of this passage is specifically addressing the elders, there is some instruction about the church’s responsibility to respond in verse 5. Hebrews 13:7 and 13:17 provide further insight for relationship dynamics between the church and their leader. How do these verses help further clarify the role between the church member and their leader?

            Hebrews 13:7 – Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (ESV)

            Hebrews 13:17 – Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (ESV)

            Application

            This week, spend time praying for our elders, pastors, and church leaders. Pray for them to live a life worthy of the calling, and that they may exhibit the qualities Peter emphasizes. Find a way to encourage one of our leaders this week. Note: Learn more about how this is expressed at Summit View by reading our Elder’s Booklet.

            Heritage Park Campus

            Shepherding the Flock

            May 12, 2019 • Michael Hearn

            Westside Campus

            Shepherd the Flock

            May 12, 2019 • Kyle Wetzler

             

            Week 12

            1 Peter 5:6-14

            May 19, 2019

            Individual/Group Study Guide

            Conversation Starters

            Q. Have you experienced a time in your life where God’s care for your concerns was obvious?

            Read & Discuss 1 Peter 4:12-19

            Q. What does it mean to humble yourself under God?

            Q. Are there any anxieties that you need to cast upon God? Follow Up: Read Matthew 11:28-30 – does reading Jesus’ words here help you believe that God really cares for you? What would your life look like if you really handed over your anxieties to Him?

            Q. Three times in this letter, Peter tells us to be “sober-minded” (1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8). Why do you think Peter keeps repeating this?

            Q. How does Peter describe Satan in verses 8-9? Follow Up: What are some other ways in which he is described throughout Scripture? See John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:9.

            Q. What are some ways in which we can resist him? See James 4:7-10Ephesians 6:10-20.

            Q. The letter concludes with yet another reminder that suffering and hardship on this earth are temporary, and that God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. What do you think Peter is attempting to communicate to us with these four different verbs?

            Application

            1 Peter 5:12 can provide as a wonderful summary of the whole book of 1 Peter. His writing exhorts and declares that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.

            In our 12 weeks of studying 1st Peter, we have been given a mix of  commands and Gospel truth. Take some time over the next week to reflect upon what you have learned about God, what He has called you to, and ask that He would continue to give you the grace to stand firm.

            Heritage Park Campus

            During the Meantime

            May 19, 2019 • Michael Hearn

            Westside Campus

            Not Today, Satan

            May 19, 2019 • Kenan Stolz