Lesson 23

The First Epistle of Peter

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

5:10 But may the God of all grace (who called you to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus), after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 5:11 To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

5:12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. 5:13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark, my son. 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Today's Lesson 

Peter is concluding this short epistle. He has written to them about the importance of enduring their trials by sustaining their faith unto the end. He has spoken to them of the necessity of coming together and to be united in the face of difficulty. He has told them of their obligations to one another and to God. In Today's Scripture He closes with a prayer and some personal notes.


At the end of this entreating letter, Peter has a prayer for those who he has called beloved. He knows that they will be asked to suffer for a little while and so he prays to the God that called them to glory in Christ Jesus. He prays that after they have suffered God would "perfect, establish, strengthen and settle" them. He can pray this knowing that it is God's will for them because these are the things that God has promised to do for all of His children.


God perfects us because we are being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. As we draw nearer to Him, the sanctifying work of the Spirit of God makes us more and more perfect in the eyes of God. God establishes us because as we pass from trial to trial our faith is confirmed and we grow more and more secure in our relationship with God. We are strengthened because our faith is refined by our sufferings as the gold is refined by fire. We grow stronger from the touch of the flame of adversity. We are settled because our vision of the working of God becomes clearer as we walk with Him.


All of these things are done because by protecting and strengthening His people, glory is given to God. Christ is glorified in our redemption and reconciliation. Our endurance and triumph glorify God.


In his final personal words, Peter mentions two clear figures and one more obscure one. First, he mentions Silvanus (see the Background for 1 Peter for more information on Silvanus). This is probably the same Silvanus that was a traveling companion on Paul's later missionary journeys. Silvanus probably had a great deal to do with the writing of this epistle. Some scholars believe that he may have done the lion's share of the writing.


Another person who is clearly mentioned is Mark. This person is likely John Mark, who is also mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in reference to Paul but who tradition holds to be the author of the Gospel of Mark and a close associate of Peter. The more obscure reference is "She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you." Since this reference is of no great import I will only say that the majority opinion would probably say that Peter is sending greetings (in a rather cryptic fashion) from the church in Rome. Rome is often referred to by later Christian and Jewish writers as Babylon. Moreover, Babylon is associated with the Jewish exile and exile has been a common theme of this book.


It is my prayer, as we conclude this epistle, that these lessons have helped to strengthen your faith. Each of us must endure hardship in this life, to varying degrees. God uses our trials and sufferings for the confirmation and our faith. We find that, whatever the circumstance, we can trust the Lord to be with us and to guide us through everything that we must face.


May the God of grace and mercy be with you in the trials you must face. May you find the strength in Him to endure until the end. And may your faith be confirmed in your heart until, in the end, you are assured of the boundless love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


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