Nov. 20. Peter’s First Letter

I Pet. 1:1, 2

Simon was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee by trade and was brought to Jesus by his brother Andrew. Christ changed his name to Peter or Cephas, a small stone or rock. He became a disciple very near the beginning of the ministry of Christ. His leadership abilities made him very prominent among the apostles. During various events, he would be the first of the group to speak. At times his words and actions were rash and later came back to haunt him just as those of other mortals. However, it was he who first preached the gospel to the Jews on Pentecost and to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius.

The first letter by Peter was written from Babylon around A.D. 65. There was much persecution of the church during that period of history. It is recorded that Nero even burned Christians as human torches in his garden. Peter, along with other writers of that time wrote his letter to encourage Christians to remain faithful to Christ even in the face of those cruel and intense sufferings.

Peter began his epistle by identifying himself and asserting his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ to address those who would read his letter. He referred to those addressed as pilgrims (probably included Jews and Gentiles) scattered in areas in the country that is now known as Turkey.

Christians are elected through their obedience to the commands of the gospel to become partakers of the grace, peace, mercy and salvation in heaven that come through the resurrection of Christ.