1 Peter: Give a Defense

I PETER 3:15

Scripture verse: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”



  1. Students should be able to recite the middle section of the verse and to identify its context and content.
  2. Students should be able to present the gospel to another teen credibly.


Background on the book:

            This letter was written by the apostle Peter, one of the Lord’s disciples.  Since Peter uses his Greek name, Peter, and not his Jewish name, Simon, we know that he is writing to Gentile believers, Greeks scattered throughout Asia Minor. Remember that Peter at Pentecost became the first leader of the church in Jerusalem.  He then traveled throughout Asia Minor and ended his ministry in Rome. Peter did not speak Greek well and used Silas to help translate and write down his message. (Remember Silas from Paul’s 2nd missionary journey?) Peter wrote the letter from Rome sometime between his arrival there around AD 50 and his martyrdom AD 67 under Nero. The church was under persecution worldwide and Christians were suffering great trials. In fact, the letter may have been written immediately after the martyrdom of Paul and carried by Silas back to Asia Minor, along with news of Paul’s death.


Possible Lesson Plan:

1.      Open with prayer.


2.      Review the background of the Epistle. Who wrote it? Under what conditions?


3.      Scripture lesson: Again, for an overview of the book, have each student read a chapter, trying to gather the salient points and communicate them to the class. Too few students? The teacher can always summarize a chapter if needed.

·         Chapter 1: Genuine Faith in our Heavenly Hope is tested – What is our heavenly hope? How is our faith tested? Who is the Lamb of God? Whose blood was shed for us? How should we then live?

·         Chapter 2: Bondservants of God – Who is the chief cornerstone, rejected by the builders? What are WE? (living stones) Think a bit about that imagery of the Church. Why do we obey civil authorities? Why do Christian slaves obey their masters? Who is our true master?

·         Chapter 3: True righteousness – How should a Christian marriage be different from worldly marriages? Discuss the verse, “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” Examples of people who have suffered for doing good? (martyrs, confessors…how about in our own society?) Where do we state this in the liturgy? (The Beatitudes)

·         Chapter 4: Prepare for heaven by serving and suffering – certainly a far cry from the desires for happiness and pleasure sought by most of society. How should a Christian life look, as compared to that of a non-Christian? Do we serve each other with joy? ALL the time? Do we look forward to suffering, when it’s for the name of Christ? Or do we, like most of the world, look for the easy way out, avoiding all suffering if possible?

·         Chapter 5: The roaring lion chapter – Who are our shepherds? Who is the Chief Shepherd? How should we live as sheep? Who is roaring like a lion, trying to draw us away from our faith? (the devil) Who can perfect our faith?


4.      Scripture verse: I Peter 3:15


5.      What are some Old Testament examples of men and women who had to “give a good defense” of their faith? Look at Noah, Moses, and Daniel. Did they look pretty foolish and receive a lot of abuse from their so-called friends? Did they obey God anyway? How did it turn out for each? Who helped them?


6.      Discussion questions:

Have you ever been treated differently because you say you’re a Christian or because you go to Church.  How do you feel? Can others see such a difference in your life that they ask you the reason? Why or why not? Is there any shame in suffering a bit of embarrassment or insult for the name of Christ? Is there shame in suffering because you’ve done something wrong? What’s the difference? 

Have you ever told a friend about Jesus? How does Peter counsel us to approach the unbeliever – yelling and screaming or with gentleness and respect? Who will help you? Try some role-playing with each student approaching a supposed unbeliever in various situations – inviting him to church, explaining why we don’t get drunk, giving comfort because a loved one died…


7.      Close with prayer.