1 Peter | 1:1-9 | 1:10-12 | 1:13-25 | 2:1-12 | 2:13-25 | 3:1-7 | 3:8-22 | 4:1-11 | 4:12-19 | 5:1-5 | 5:6-13 | PDF |


These small group studies of 1 Peter contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

1 Peter 1:1-9 Bible Study Commentary and Questions – An Unfading Inheritance

Outline

I. Greetings to God’s chosen ones (1-2)
II. An eternal inheritance in heaven (3-9)

I. Greetings to God’s chosen ones (1-2)

Discussion Questions

• Who wrote this epistle?
• Imagine a new believer asks you, “Who is Peter?” In two minutes, introduce Peter to this person.
• To whom was this epistle written?
• Who is chosen? What does it mean that we are chosen according to God’s foreknowledge? Does it mean that God only knew ahead of time we would believe? Why or why not?
• What is the Spirit’s involvement?
• From verse 2, what did God choose us to do?

Cross-References

Matthew 10:1-2 – Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew.

Deuteronomy 7:6 – For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

Romans 8:33- Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

2 Timothy 2:10 – Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Acts 2:23 – This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart: I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Background – This book was written by Peter, who was one of the 12 apostles of Christ, and many times functioned as their leader. He was a chief leader of the early church. Earlier, he had denied Christ three times, but then was given an opportunity by Christ to state his love for Christ three times. Peter was often brash and outspoken, yet he truly loved the Lord and was willing to follow Him anywhere.

In 1 Peter 5:13, Peter alludes to the church located in “Babylon.”

Very likely this was a code word used for Rome. At that time Nero had stepped up persecution of Christians, so Peter may have been trying to protect believers in Rome by not mentioning it directly in his letter. This letter was likely written towards the end of his life. He is thought to have been martyred near Rome.

The great Roman fire was probably a recent event. People suspected that Nero had started the fire out of some personal motivations to build more things (and because he was crazy!) Public opinion was turning against him, so Nero instead blamed the Christians for starting the fire. These were popular scapegoats, as they were associated with Jews, who were already disliked. They were also new and unknown, so were perceived as a threat to Roman culture. Because of this, some persecutions began to come to the Christian church. This is why much of 1 Peter discusses trials and how believers ought to respond to said trials.

2. This book was written to aliens scattered throughout much of the Roman Empire. Many Christians at that time had been uprooted either to share the gospel or to escape persecution. Also, all believers are aliens in this world since our eternal home is in heaven.

3. Peter also identifies his letter as being written to the chosen. This is yet another place in the Bible that supports the doctrine of election and predestination. We did not choose God of our own initiative. We, in fact, are incapable of doing so as is taught in Romans 3:10-12 that there is none who does good, there is none who seeks after God.

God called us and chose us and saved us. Believers are merely responding to him because of His calling in our lives. There are a number of applications from this, the chief one being that God is sovereign. He did not love us for any good quality which we had. It was completely His own mercy – ultimate proof that God is merciful. Therefore, we should be grateful to Him, since He has done so much for us, while at the same time knowing that our salvation is secure because it does not depend on us.

4. We are chosen according to His foreknowledge. This doesn’t mean that God merely knew ahead of time who would believe. That would clearly contradict with the teaching that God chose us. God didn’t just know ahead of time that we would believe, but He planned and predestined it. All the glory goes to Him.

5. We see here the three members of the Trinity are all involved. The Father chooses us; the Spirit sanctifies us; Christ redeemed us with His blood; and we should obey Him.

II. An eternal inheritance in heaven (3-9)

Discussion Questions

• What does it mean to be born again?
• What is our living hope? Why is it called a “living” hope?
• What made this hope possible?
• What are the unique characteristics mentioned about this inheritance? How does that compare with the inheritance left behind by an extremely wealthy person for his child?
• In this world, sometimes a child with a big inheritance will grow lazy. Can our heavenly inheritance have the same effect on us? Why or why not?
• What does it mean that our salvation is going to “be revealed in the last time?” Is not our salvation complete yet? In what way?
• What is our rejoicing (6) based on? Do you greatly rejoice? When do we tend to rejoice more than other times?
• What should our attitude be when we face trials? Have you faced any trials recently? Can you share about one with the group?
• How will knowing we have an inheritance in heaven affect our behavior and attitudes when we face trials?
• What is more precious than gold (7)? Why?
• Do you have this kind of inexpressible joy mentioned in verse 8? Why or why not?
• How can we get more of this kind of joy?

Cross-References

Verses on Hope

Psalms 43:5 – Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 – May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope.

Romans 15:4 – For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 146:5 – Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 – May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,

Verses on Inheritance

Ephesians 1:18 – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.

Colossians 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. I