November 1, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for 1 Peter 1-3
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Author: Simon Peter
Date: AD 64
Context: This letter was written to Jewish and Gentile believers during a time of political, social, and personal persecution. It is a letter of hope. The lesson taught by Peter in this book, is one that he knew well. After all, he was the guy who swore he did not know Jesus Christ…after swearing hours earlier that he would never do such a thing. But Peter took that humiliation, that defeat, that shame and used it to help others. He became a leading force for Christ in the early church. Peter’s opening greeting is filled with hope, just as we have a living hope in Jesus Christ. That hope cannot be taken from us, no matter the persecution we face. No matter what trials we may face, what suffering is upon us, we are to continue living holy lives that are pleasing to the Lord. Our faith in the Lord, not our circumstances, should define us and our life. Chapter 2 is all about growing as Christians. The Lord continues to shape and perfect us, but we must also work to live lives that are pleasing to Him. This includes obeying authorities set over us. We may not understand why, but God has placed every authority figure in their place for a reason. Even if they do us harm, we are to do good to them. Chapter 3 focuses on relationships with our spouses and the world. A relationship between a husband and wife is to be harmonious one. A wife should never fear her husband and the husband should never cause his wife to fear him. Marriage is not a relationship of power! As Christians, we are to set an example for the world. We are set apart, different, and it should be noticeable! We are to be kind, no matter how others treat us.
World History: Unbeknownst to Peter or his recipients, in less than a year, persecution of Christians was going to greatly increase under the rule of Emperor Nero.