1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Born Again to a Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Called to Be Holy
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
1 Peter 1 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Peter knew suffering firsthand. He’d been beaten, jailed and threats were upon him continually. He had watched his friends and other disciples be martyred and scatter.
Suffering comes in all shapes and forms to us today. We feel overwhelmed, crushed by the weight of other people’s actions. We feel it tangibly through physical abuse, disease and being marginalized. Many times hopelessness racks our senses and vision. We get to those moments where we just want to give up.
Yet, Peter held firm to the fact that Jesus had died and was risen. He had saved him from himself and called him toward a mission. This letter he wrote was to be an encouragement to stay the course as the readers had suffered for Christ’s sake and remain loyal to Him. He knew firsthand that suffering refined ones faith. Despite what was against them he believed God’s plan was still evident.
Throughout this letter, Peter reminds us of the absolute gift of salvation we’ve received when we trust in Jesus as Lord. He practically lays out relationships and how we are to respond and live within them toward holiness. He calls us to model our life after Jesus on every level, including those times when we suffer.
Following Christ is costly. We lose many things in this life. Sometimes they are deeply personal. Trials will come and maybe you’re in one right now. These are refining your faith in ways unseen. The Holy Spirit will strengthen us as we turn to Him and allow His work to progress despite the suffering. Remain faithful through the trials and hardship. Turn to Him hour by hour, moment by moment and let His work that redeemed you refine your faith and reaffirm your calling.
1 Peter 1 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
It is beneficial to explore the interesting background on the book of Peter. First, many scholars have debated if this was actually was written by Peter. The main criticism is that a fisherman would never have been able to construct such beautiful and articulate thoughts. However, we read in 1 Peter 5 that Silvanus was his scribe and could have likely influenced the style. As compared to Peter’s speeches in Acts, there are many similarities.
During the time of this letter, tension and hostility were rising in Rome. Christians had not yet received an official “ban” according to the government, but that process had begun, and Peter knew it. The bottom line is that all believers who are actively following Jesus will suffer. This means that every church body which is active in following Jesus will suffer. In this first chapter, Peter begins to lay out the case for our Salvation as believers. The entire book of 1 Peter 1 follows a pattern of Salvation, submission, & suffering.
It is not exactly the most glamorous book in the Bible! Regardless, Peter, in the same way as Paul, puts into perspective the powerful process of suffering for Christ, and what that means for the believer. It had ramifications then, and it is still applicable today. He reminds us of many things when it comes to trouble.
Peter alludes to the fact that our treasure is not found here on Earth. He acknowledges that there will be seasons of grief and suffering. He also explains that the prophets of old relentlessly sought God to determine when Christ would come with all His intangible blessings. The documentation of their studies and revelations was not for them – it was for us. In fact, even angels marvel at the way God has orchestrated our Salvation.
“They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things.”1 Peter 1:11-12 HCSB
Think about that for a moment. The fact that we have such practical direction and guidance from Scripture today stems from the obedience of these Old Testament prophets long ago. Many would not see the fruit of what they were describing, but they endured in their suffering and ridicule from the world in order to accomplish the divine task that God had placed on their hearts. These historical documents penned thousands of years ago through the Holy Spirit have led you to a personal relationship with the God of the Universe. It’s no wonder angels desire to look into these things.
Though none of us will ever author a chapter of Scripture, we do have a plan that He has set before us. What work has He begun in you that will extend beyond your years? What if you never see the fruit of that work… will you still endure?