“This epistle of Peter is one of the grandest of the New Testament, and it is the true, pure gospel. For Peter…inculcates the true doctrine of faith—how Christ has been given to us, who takes away our sins and saves us.”
— Martin Luther
In our day of short texts, spam emails, and social media responses of merely an emoji, it’s quite a treat to get a hand-written lengthy personal letter from someone you love. There is something special about getting such a personal and thoughtful correspondence and explains why everything from birthday cards to love letters and letters from the frontlines of war are among most people’s most treasured possessions.
The Bible is essentially a library grouped by genre of literature. Much of the New Testament is hand-written letters that were delivered across many miles long before the current ease of sending and receiving mail and packages. Generally speaking, the letters were an incredible honor for a church to receive from someone like Paul or Peter. The entire church would gather, the letter would be opened, and the Word from God would be read aloud to the church family, often meeting in homes.
The authors of these New Testament letters functioned a lot like dads, which is the essence of apostolic leadership. The churches they oversaw were like families, and as good dads often do, they would call a family meeting and write a letter in cases where they could not be physically present to lead the family. The content of those letters is the same things that pastors concern themselves with today – false teachers that need to be rebuked, sinners that need to be corrected, new Christians that need to be instructed, hurting people who need to be encouraged, and divided people who need to be reconciled. This explains why Peter uses words like “beloved” (2:11, 4:12), “children” (1:14, 3:6), and the church as a “household” (4:17) to describe his affection for the people he leads and feeds.
To download the free e-book ODD LIFE: Good God which is a study in 1 Peter for individuals, groups, and families from Pastor Mark click HERE. To listen to Pastor Mark’s 9 sermons on 1 Peter preached in the summer of 2020, click HERE. These and other resources are made possible by our ministry partners who support Real Faith as a Bible teaching ministry of Mark Driscoll Ministries to whom we say THANK YOU!