1 Peter 1
Preface To The First Epistle Of Saint Peter
(1546 and 1522)This Epistle St. Peter wrote to the converted heathen, and exhorts them to stand fast in faith and to increase through all manner of suffering and good works.
In chapter 1, he strengthens their faith through the divine promise and the power of salvation to come, and shows that this has not been deserved by us but was proclaimed before by the prophets. Therefore they ought now to live holy lives, as new creatures, and forget the old life, like men who are born anew through the living and eternal Word of God.
In chapter 2, he teaches them to recognize Christ as the Head and Cornerstone and, like true priests, to sacrifice themselves to God, as Christ sacrificed Himself, and begins to give instruction to all classes of men. First, he teaches generally to be in subjection to temporal rulership; afterwards he teaches particularly that servants are to be subject to their masters and suffer wrong from them for Christ’s sake, who also suffered wrong for us.
In chapter 3, he teaches wives to be obedient, even to unbelieving husbands, and to adorn themselves with holiness; likewise, that husbands are to be patient with their wives and bear with them; and then that Christians, in general, are to be humble and patient and kind to one another, as Christ was because of our sins.
In chapter 4, he teaches to subdue the flesh, with sobriety, watching, temperance and prayer, and to be comforted and strengthened with Christ’s sufferings; and he instructs the spiritual rulers to deal only with God’s words and works, and everyone to serve another with his gifts, and not wonder, but rejoice, if we have to suffer for Christ’s sake.
In chapter 5, he exhorts the bishops and priests how they are to live and care for the people, and warns us against the devil, who without ceasing pursues us everywhere.
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