Sermon Notes & References

Introduction to 1 Peter

January 6, 2019

A. Introduction

    1. Garnered from the Gospels

    2. Our Text:- 1 Peter 1:1, Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to those chosen, living as pilgrims in a foreign land, of a people scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia; (RGH)

B. Peter, the Man

    1. First Encounter 1

    2. Family 2

    3. Work 3

    4. Nature 4

C. Peter, the Apostle

    1. His Calling 5

    2. Spokesman 6

    3. His Commission 7

D. Peter, His Writings

    1. From Babylon (1 Peter 5:13)

    2. To the Church in Turkey 8

E. Conclusion

    1. Books for Believers 9

    2. Books for Pilgrims

1 1 Peter 1:1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Introduction to Peter’s Letters


A. Introduction

    1. Garnered from Gospels

        a. in seeking the background for these letters by the apostle Peter, we have many references, primarily from the gospels, to look at and hopefully you will find them in your handout

        b. they stick with us better if we look them up as we come to them, but that may not be practical today, so you will see them on the overheads


    2. Our Text: – 1 Peter 1:1

        a. NAS: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen – some translations put those last few words in verse 2 because it goes on to enlarge on what it means to be chosen

        b. RGH: Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to those chosen, living as pilgrims in a foreign land, of a people scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia; – this follows the word order of the Greek

        c. this follows the custom of the day, giving the name of the one writing the letter and the person or persons to whom it is addressed.

        d. today we shall primarily consider the writer


B. Peter, the Man

    1. First Encounter

        a. John the Baptist, pointed out Jesus to two of his disciples

            (A)    saying, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’ (John 1:36)

            (B)    these two went to Jesus, following Him to where He was staying

        b. one of the two was Andrew

            (A)    ‘He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” … [and] he brought him to Jesus’ (John 1:41-42)

            (B)    then ‘… Jesus looked at him, and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).’ (John 1:42); that is ‘Rock, or Stone’.

            (C)   this is the writer of this book, and how as well as his proper name of Simon (or Simeon), he received the names Cephas and Peter

        c. this forecast the transformation that would take place in his life


    2. His Family

        a. we have already mentioned his brother Andrew, who also became one of Jesus’ twelve disciples

        b. did you notice that Jesus already knew Simon’s father’s name, John?

        c. now Jesus makes the house Peter shared with his brother Andrew the centre of a teaching and healing ministry: “And immediately after they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.”(Mark 1:29)

        d. from which we learn that Peter’s wife and mother-in-law lived there: “Now Simon’s mother-in-aw was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they *spoke to Him about her.” (Mk 1:30)

        e. implication his wife joined Peter in his travels, 1 Corinthians 9:5, “Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?”

        f.  the fact that Peter could have “left all to follow” Jesus (Luke 18:28) is an indication of a certain affluence in this family.


    3. His Employment

        a. at Jesus’ official calling of Peter, along with brother Andrew, to be His disciples we discover that they were fishermen, ‘And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.’ (Matthew 4:18), and called them to become fishers of men

        b. in fact, in their fishing business, they were partners with ‘… James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon …’ (Luke 5:10)

        c. so they all followed Jesus, leaving the business to be run by Zebedee, the father of James and John –‘And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed Him.’ (Matthew 4:21-22)

        d. it has been suggested that it was through their business that John the disciple was known to the high priest himself in Jerusalem (John 18:15)


    4. His Character

        a. mixture of strength and weakness

            (A)    in he night that Jesus came to them on the sea, Peter asked to be called out by Jesus, stepped out of boat and walked, but seeing the wind, lost his courage and began to sink (Matthew 14:22-23)

            (B)    in the garden of Gethsemane, he was quick with his sword , but later in the courtyard afraid of the maid who questioned ‘Was he not also one of this man’s disciples’ (John 18:10-27)

            (C)   at the last supper he was quick to speak (‘Don't wash my feet’) and quick to repent (‘wash all of me’) – John 13:1-11

            (D)   stood up for the gospel being proclaimed to Gentiles at Jerusalem council (Act 15), but fell down at Antioch (Gal 2:11) in separating himself from Gentiles to eat with the Jews

        b. physically imposing

            (A)    in John 21after the resurrection the disciples were out fishing & Jesus appeared on the shore, Peter swam 100 m with his cloak on

            (B)    it is possibly such a feat as this, and the next, that led Lloyd C. Dounglas to entitle his book of Peter, ‘The Big Fisherman’ (1949)

            (C)   later, we have the record of his dragging the net filled with 153 large fish onto shore (Jn 21:11) – a weight they could not lift together into the ship and surprise that the nets did not break


C. Peter, the Apostle

    1. His Calling

        a. as we have already read from Matthew 4:18, He was, with Andrew, the first to be summoned to be one of Jesus’ disciples, with James and John, sons of Zebedee, being added moments later

        b. later we read ‘… He (Jesus) went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, …’ (Luke 6:12-14)

        c. part of ‘inner three’, Peter, James and John

            (A)    it was these three who saw Jesus transfigured, with His divine glory manifest on the mountain (Mt 17:1-9)

            (B)    and were present at the raising of Jairus’ daughter from death (Mark 5:22-43)

            (C)   and were taken apart in Gethsemane (Mk 14:33)

        d. so His calling was special among the others as to become the …


    2. Spokesman

        a. first in all the lists of the disciples in the four gospels

        b. when a question was posed, or need to be asked, it was Peter whose voice was heard

        c. answering the great question, Matthew 16:13-20

            (A)    ‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’

            (B)    the disciples responded with the varying public opinons

            (C)   then He asked, ‘But who do you say that I am?’

            (D)   Peter spoke for all: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God’

            (E)    receiving this commendation

        d. chaired the first church business meeting , Acts 1:15


    3. His Commission

        a. in addition to that given to all the other disciples (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8), Peter received one especially for himself: ‘Tend my lambs, … shepherd my sheep, … Tend my sheep’, (John 21:15-17)

        b. he was early at forefront bearing gospel beyond the Jewish people

            (A)    following Philip to the Samaritans to confirm those who had there believed in Christ ‘Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John,’ (Acts 8:14)

            (B)    and you will recall the lesson on the roof-top that Peter learned before he went down to Caesarea to become the human means of the conversion of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-45, 15:7)


D. Peter, the Writings

    1. From ‘Babylon” ch 5:13

        a. this was either literally so, the city in Mesopotamia

            (A)    after Babylon defeated by Medes, Persians, later Greeks, the peopl there gradually drifted away

            (B)    but there was a continuing Jewish community there into NT times

        b. or, the word may have been used allegorically of Rome, as the head of the current world empire as it is also in the book of Revelation

        c. the doubt is there because early church historians record Peter’s being in Rome in mid-60's, but make no mention of being in Mesopotamia


    2. To Church in Turkey

        a. Scattered or Dispersed

            (A)    first let me take issue with those who use this word to say that this book was written only to Jews and is not for Christians in general

                 (1)    since the Greek word is Diaspora, a technical word is used of the 12 tribes who have been scattered throughout the world

                 (2)    but it is not so used here: this is not a world-wide dispersion, but rather the church that is spread over what is now Turkey

                 (3)    this church resulted from Paul’s early missionary journeys

                 (4)    Acts shows these consisted both of Jews and Gentiles

                 (5)    and this is not God’s Kingdom view of His Church in Christ

            (B)    so both Peter and Paul had a commission to these churches

            (C)   this assertion does not deny Peter’s special responsibility to Jewish based church, ‘(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we might go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.’ (Galatians 2:8-9)

        b. Sojourners & Pilgrims

            (A)    the word describes people who live alongside those who are citizens and natives of a land, but do not themselves belong to it: aliens

            (B)    as in, ‘This world is not my home, I’m only passing through’ 2

            (C)   the view of God’s people in the world as being pilgrims – following, as it were, in the steps of Abraham – is repeated later in this letter


E. Conclusion

    1. Books for Believers

        a. to all Christians

        b. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

        c. let us apply its truths to our hearts as we study it week by week

    2. Books for Pilgrims

        a. like Abraham – written so we know how to live in a foreign country




© 2019 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:


              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

       NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

       JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

       UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

       WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth


Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:


       Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

       Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

       EBC             The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

       EGT             The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

       Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

       JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

       Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site,

       RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson


Attributed to Alfred E. Brumley, but there is evidence of its having an earlier origin