This teaching was given by pastor Barry Forder on 21st June 2020 at Calvary Chapel Portsmouth.
In this introduction to 1st Peter, we look at the background, life and authenticity of this first letter of the Apostle Peter. Although scholars and critics have tried to call into question Peter’s authorship of both his first and second letters, with the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery in Cave 7 at Qumran of a fragment of 2nd Peter, the debate regarding Peter’s authorship is all but ended. The Dead Sea Scrolls were sealed up in their resting place at Qumran before A.D. 70, so, you can dream up all sorts of objections regarding words, sentences and paragraphs, you can try to claim that Peter was not educated enough to have written these words, you can come up with any objection you want, but there is no getting around the fact that these ancient documents were not only written but in circulation before A.D. 70 – well within the ‘eye witness period’.
As to Peter’s academic credentials, yes he was a fisherman, it is true that he had not had a university education, but he knew the scriptures and as recorded in the book of Acts, the time he had spent with Jesus had changed this county fisherman into a powerful and persuasive orator! “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
Peter knew failure, but he also knew the power of God’s grace to change a life.
Jesus once asked Peter if he loved him unconditionally. At that time Peter was unable to say yes. He loved Jesus for sure, and wanted to follow Him; but to give up everything, to take up his cross, follow Jesus and abandon everything else seemed just too hard. What if he were to fail again? Peter’s answer speak more of his doubt in his own abilities than his confidence in Jesus’.
Yet give up all he did.
This letter is for those who are struggling. For those who know and want to do what is right, but cannot find it within themselves to do it. This letter is for those who have taken the easy route for fear of others’ opinions, only to be mortified that they didn’t have the courage of their convictions.
This letter if for all those who are growing in Grace!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.