Read 355.) the 5 chapters of I Peter. Perhaps no one blows away the fraudulent “Health and Wealth, Prosperity Gospel” preachers better than Peter; as, surely, the theme of his first epistle is “Suffering Now, Glory Later!” This is so patently obvious, and can be seen in all 5 chapters, 1:6+7, 2:19+20, 3:14+17, 4:12+13, 4:16-5:1, and finally, in 5:9+10. This is what Jesus Christ endured, and we are to follow His example in suffering, 1:11, 2:21, 4:1 and 5:1. If the theme is suffering now and glory later, just as Christ experienced, then we go deeper into the very reasons for it. And there are at least two.
The first, is to affect our eternal salvation! Our glorious salvation came by His death and blood, 1:2, 18+19, 2:24, 3:18. It came by His resurrection from the dead, 1:3+21, 3:21. This is the Good News! And, all we had to do was to repent, 2:25, and believe this Gospel, 1:8+9. These result in our New Birth, by means of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, 1:3 and 23-25.
The second reason is that we might live a whole new life in Jesus Christ, 1:13-5:11, chiefly characterized by holiness, 1:15, that we might be a mature priesthood unto God, 2:2, 5+9. As His “priests,” we are to offer up spiritual sacrifices of praise to God, 2:5+9, and witness to others of the Gospel, 3:15. Our new life will largely be seen by the way that we are submissive and humble, 2:13-3:6, 5:5+6. This will result in our living in harmony one with another, 3:8, particularly in our homes, 3:1-7, on the job, 2:18-20, and as citizens, 2:13-17. Let us, therefore, live for God, 4:2, and exercise our spiritual gifts within the church for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Christ, 4:10+11. Some specific counsel, and favorite verses would be how that we ought to let love cover a multitude of sins, as we seek to live close to one another, 4:8, and where that is not possible, invoke Eph.4:26+27, and resolve a matter in the day of the offense, lest we give Satan a foothold in our relationship. Or, in other words, “Don’t cover with blankets, what you cannot cover with love!”
Speak of the Devil… another favorite is 5:8+9. Top that with 5:7, and the tremendous counsel to bring our deep cares to God in prayer! Finally, all of Peter’s letter truly revolves around the promise of the Second Coming of Christ, when all will be restored and made whole, as it is going to be, 1:7+13 and 5:4. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell