The apostle Peter was one of the twelve disciples Jesus appointed and taught during his time on earth. Peter spent the final years of his life and ministry – in the early 60s AD – as a leader of the church in Rome. When he learned that churches in other Roman provinces (all located in what is now Turkey) were experiencing persecution, he wrote to urge them to remain faithful to Jesus. Peter’s letter was delivered by Silas, a man who also worked with the apostle Paul (see Acts 15:22–17:15). Peter introduces Silas and explains that he helped to compose the letter.
After the opening, the letter has three main sections:
: Peter first tells his readers to be holy in all you do. As Gentiles they once lived in ignorance (they did not know the ways of God). But they are now a holy nation, part of God’s own people, and are called to a new way of life.
: Peter then explains how this way of life will impress those who might accuse and persecute them without just cause.
: Finally, Peter acknowledges that his readers are suffering for their faith, but he explains that this is only to be expected. The Messiah himself suffered, and believers all over the world are facing the same challenge. The followers of Jesus are waiting for the day God will visit them, and even in their suffering they can show they belong to God.