A Unique Outline for 1 Peter

I’ve been reading and re-reading the book of 1 Peter day after day during my devotions, trying to find the “plan” of the book and to ascertain its primary purpose—not with the help of commentaries or notes from study Bibles, but just from the text itself.  In doing so, I’ve been toying with the observation that Peter: (1) distinguishes various groups within the church; and (2) uses various images to describe the church.  He does this consistently through his book.  I’m not suggesting this as the primary exegetical plan for the book, but—as they used to say in the mountains—“it’ll preach!”   It’ll also serve as a good outline for personal study or Bible teaching.  In fact, it could be the basis for a sermon series.  The key to this outline is found within the text of the book itself, as Peter sees church members in the multi-faceted roles that we occupy as…

  1. God’s Elect – 1:1-12:   Peter…to God’s elect (1:1)
  2. Obedient Children – 1:13-16:  As obedient children… (1:14)
  3. Strangers – 1:17-25:  As strangers (1:17)
  4. Newborn Babies – 2:1-2:   Like newborn babies… (2:2)
  5. Living Stones  – 2:3-8:   Like living stones… (2:5)
  6. Chosen People – 2:9-10:   But you are a chosen people… (2:9)
  7. Aliens – 2:11-12:   As aliens and strangers… (2:11)
  8. Citizens – 2:13-17 :  As free men… (2:16)
  9. Slaves  –  2:18-25:   Slaves… (2:18)
  10. Wives  – 3:1-6:   Wives… (3:1)
  11. Husbands –  3:7:   Husbands… (3:7)
  12. Brothers – 3:8-4:11 :  As brothers… (3:8)
  13. Christians –  4:12-19:   As a Christian… (4:16)
  14. Elders  –  5:1-4:    To the elders… (5:1)
  15. Young & Old  –  5:5-14:   Young men… all of you…

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