Literary Context

1 Peter 5:1-4

Outline of 1 Peter

  1. Introduction (1:1-2)
  2. A Community of Exiles (1:3-2:10)
    1. Peter details the beauty of salvation (1:3-12)
      1. Inheritance in Christ (1:3-5)
      2. Confidence of our hope (1:6-9)
      3. Fulfillment of prophetic revelation (1:10-12)
    2. Peter calls his readers to holiness (1:13-21)
      1. Future inheritance should inspire obedience (1:13-16)
      2. Reverential fear of judgment should inspire obedience (1:17-21)
    3. Peter describes the people of God (1:22-2:10)
      1. Loving your neighbors (1:22-2:1)
      2. Desiring God’s Word (2:2-3)
      3. Being build into a new community upon Christ (2:4-10)
  3. Living as Exiles (2:11-4:11)
    1. Peter urges the church to be blameless among people (2:11-12)
    2. Peter details implications for various relationships (2:13-3:12)
      1. Government (2:13-17)
      2. Masters and Slaves (2:18-25)
      3. Husbands and Wives (3:1-7)
    3. Peter exhorts the church to suffer well (3:13-4:19)
      1. Suffering for righteousness (3:13-17)
      2. The reward of Christ’s suffering (3:18-22)
      3. Sharing in Christ’s suffering (4:1-6)
      4. Suffering with the end in sight (4:7-11)
      5. Perseverance in suffering (4:12-19)
  4. Exhortations for the Church (5:1-11)
    1. The responsibility of elders (5:1-4)
    2. Instructions to the whole church (5:5-11)
  5. Closing Words (5:12-14)

The Literary Setting of 1 Peter 5:1-4

Leading up to this passage, Peter has acknowledged the difficulty these churches are facing. These Christians were experiencing real suffering, and Peter was well aware that their suffering would likely increase soon. Therefore, Peter used the majority of the letter to encourage the churches in their identity as elect exiles purchased by Christ and to exhort them to faithfulness and holiness as a result of their identity. 1 Peter 5:1-4 comes at the end of Peter’s primary exhortations. Peter transitioned to speaking to the elders of the churches in order to emphasize that which has come before. The elders likely would experience suffering to a greater extent, so Peter called the elders to lead by example in response to these exhortations.

Explore more…

Genre Analysis
Historical Context
Translation & Notes
Word Study
Exegetical Outline
Preaching Outline

Or return to the passage overview