You will find an introduction and outline of 1 Peter, here.
A prayer from the Book of Common Worship, for your use before reading;
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
I. A New Person in Christ and How to React 1:1-2:10
II. Appropriate Conduct for a New People in Christ 2:11-4:11
A. How to React to the World 2:11-3:7
3:1-7 The author continues to use the normal cultural patterns of the ancient near east as examples of how Christians are to behave. Part of the authors intent is to show how critics of Christianity can be reassured by how Christians act. At the same time, how husbands and wives treat each other is by showing concern and care for each other.
B. How to React in the Christian Fellowship 3:8-12: Instructions for all Christians. Has the author asked all Christians to do something substantially different from what he outlined in 2:11 –3:7? Why do you think he used the examples (in 2:11-3:7) that he did?
C. Christ’s Fate has Ultimate Importance 3:13-22: remember scholars believe the community was facing persecution, not probably death, but day in day out difficulties.
Verses 18-22: Some believed that Noah’s generation were the most evil people who ever lived. Strictly speaking, the Ark saved Noah and his family, not the water. As Johnson points out, “…just as Noah was separated from the wicked people of his day through “water”, so Baptism now separates the believers from the world around them. What began with Jesus’ death and resurrection now continues through Baptism, and what will be consummated at Jesus’ return can and will be achieved by the power of God, the one who both literally and figuratively brings life out of death.” (Johnson, 486)
These verses are difficult to fully understand. The author uses several complex images and traditions. The main point is that God, through Jesus is in control of history and cosmic forces.
D. A New Life Now and a New Time Coming 4:1-11: How Christians are to live now
III. Appropriate Behavior in the Hostile World and in the Christian Community 4:12-5:14
A. How to React in the World 4:12-19: A restatement of previous exhortations.
B. How Church Leaders and Followers are to React 5:1-6: Again, as with earlier examples, Christians are to act with humility toward each other.
C. How Members are to React 5:7-11: Again, cautions for life in the world.
D. Closing Greetings 5:12-14: Scholars believe the reference to Babylon is really a reference to Rome, recalling the Jewish exile to Babylon.
Read More About It
Achtemeier, Paul J. “1 Peter” in HarperCollins Bible Commentary, rev. ed.James L Mays, ed. (New York: Society of Bible Literature) 2000.
Johnson, Luke Timothy, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, rev. ed. (Minneapolis:Fortress Press) 1999. Chapter 21 “1 Peter”.
Quanbeck, Warren A., Pheme Perkins, “1 Peter” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Bruce M. Metzger, Roland E. Murphy eds. (New York: Oxford University Press) 1994.