1 Peter 1:1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
(a) Peter was one of the first disciples to be called and he became one of the Lord’s closest friends (Mark 1:16). His given name was Simon (2 Pet. 1:1), but the Lord called him Peter (John 1:42). He witnessed the Lord’s transfiguration (2 Pet. 1:17–18) and crucifixion (1 Pet. 5:1), and he was the first apostle to see the Risen Lord (Luke 24:34, 1 Cor. 15:5).
(b) Apostle means delegate or ambassador, or someone who has been sent. An apostle is someone who has been sent out as a messenger for God. In a sense, we are all called to be God’s messengers or ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). But in the church, some are uniquely gifted and called to be apostles (1 Cor. 12:28–29). See also the entry for 1 Cor. 1:1.
(c) Aliens. The original word (parepidemos) means foreign resident.
(d) Scattered. The original word (diaspora) means dispersed and usually describes Jews living in Gentile nations. Peter was writing to Christian Jews who had fled Judea on account of the persecution that came against the early church (Acts 8:1, 11:19). Those who were scattered settled in foreign countries and preached the gospel (Acts 8:4). Churches were planted and Gentiles were welcomed into the family of God. Although Peter wrote to encourage scattered individuals, his letter was circulated among churches led by elders (see 1 Pet. 5:1).
(e) Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia were five Roman provinces in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Peter sent a letter to the churches in these provinces and the letter was delivered by his good friend Silvanus (1 Pet. 5:12). Later, he sent a second letter (2 Pet. 3:1).
(f) Chosen. You have been chosen by God (Eph. 1:4, 2 Th. 2:13, 2 Tim. 2:10). In the New Testament believers are referred to as the elect or chosen of God (Rom. 8:33, Col. 3:12, Tit. 1:1).
“Many are called, but few are chosen,” said Jesus (Matt. 22:14). Those who respond to the call of God are called the elect or the chosen. “For you are a chosen generation” (1 Pet. 2:9). In a manner of speaking, the chosen choose themselves by responding to the call of God. But since the Lord initiates the call, it’s accurate to say we are God’s chosen.
1 Peter 1:2
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
(a) Foreknowledge. The God who sees the end from the beginning knew who would respond to the gospel (Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:4–5). Before time began he wrote their names in the Book of Life (Rev. 17:8).
(b) God the Father; see next verse.
(c) The sanctifying work of the Spirit. You were chosen by God (see previous verse) and set apart by the Holy Spirit. You are not sanctified on account of anything you have done. You were sanctified through the sacrifice of Jesus (Heb. 10:14). You are part of a holy priesthood. See entry for 1 Pet. 2:5.
(d) To obey Jesus Christ is to heed his call to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). In contrast, unbelievers are those who do not obey the gospel of God (1 Pet. 4:17).
(e) Sprinkled with his blood. Just as Moses ratified the old covenant by sprinkling the blood of sacrifices on the Israelites (Ex. 24:8), the new covenant was ratified with the better blood of the Lamb (Heb. 9:22, 12:24).
(f) Grace and peace. Peter was familiar with Paul’s letters (2 Pet. 3:16) and seems to have adopted Paul’s traditional greeting (see entry for Rom. 1:7). Grace encompass all the blessings of God (Eph. 1:3), and peace is the fruit of receiving his great grace.
(g) The fullest measure. May God’s grace be yours in increasing abundance.
Grace is not merely for your salvation; grace is for partaking in the divine life that Christ offers to all of us. Grace saves us, keeps us, protects us, and blesses us (1 Pet. 5:10). We grow in grace by growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18).
Further reading: “Who are the hypergrace preachers?”
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(a) God and Father. God is the Father of Jesus (John 8:54), but he is also the Father of all who have been born again (see entry for 1 Peter 1:17).
(b) Great mercy. Just as God has great grace (see entry for Jas. 4:6), he has great mercy (Luke 1:58). God is both rich in grace (Eph. 1:7, 2:7), and mercy (Eph. 2:4). His great mercy testifies to his great love for us (Eph. 2:4). See entry for Mercy.
(c) Born again. The original word (anagennao) means to beget. You are begotten by God and his imperishable seed abides in you (1 Pet. 1:23, 1 John 3:9).
In this letter Peter describes two wonderful things that have happened to the believer; (1) you have been redeemed (1 Pet. 1:18), and (2) you have been born again. Because you were redeemed, you could be born again, and because you were born again, everything has changed. The moment you put your faith in the Son of God, you crossed over from death to new life (John 5:24). You left Adam’s doomed family and were adopted into the family of God (Rom. 8:15). Because your rebirth was an act of God, you cannot undo what the Lord has done. Because you have been born of imperishable seed, you are eternally saved and eternally secure. See entry for John 3:3.
(d) A living hope is a hope in a risen Lord who gives life and hope to the dead. Jesus who died but now lives is our living hope.
This world will crush your hopes and dreams, but your heavenly Father does not want you to become weary and hopeless. You have a great need for hope; you have a great God who meets your need (Rom. 15:13).
(e) The resurrection is what makes the good news good news for it proves that Jesus is the Holy and Righteous Savior. If Jesus had been a fraud, God would not have raised him. But Jesus rose and ascended to heaven and now sits at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). The Author of Life has conquered the grave and now holds the keys of death and Hades (Rev. 1:18). For those of us clothed with mortal bodies, this is a source of great comfort and hope.
1 Peter 1:4
to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
(a) An inheritance that is imperishable refers to eternal life. In one sense, eternal life is something we enjoy now through our union with Christ (John 17:3). But an unfading and imperishable inheritance that is reserved in heaven refers to the glorious resurrection body we will receive when Christ returns (see next verse).
(b) Reserved in heaven. Your resurrection life is kept safe for you in heaven, where sin and disease cannot touch it. Aware that his earthly life would soon be taken from him (2 Pet. 1:14), Peter was looking forward to a resurrection body that no one can harm.
1 Peter 1:5
who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(a) Protected. The original word (phroureo) means garrisoned or guarded. The Lord is your Guardian and Keeper who protects you with his mighty power (1 Pet. 2:25). Nothing in life or death can separate you from his love (Rom. 8:38–39).
(b) Power of God. You are not protected because you believe right or pray right. You are protected because God is powerful. Consider Peter. On his worst night his courage failed him, but he was not lost because Jesus was praying for him (Luke 22:32).
It may seem strange to say that Christians who were being persecuted and sometimes martyred for their faith were powerfully protected by the power of God, but Peter is talking about the salvation of their souls, not their bodies (1 Pet. 1:9). Your body may age and decay, but you – the real, inner you – will not be lost. And when Jesus is revealed from heaven, you will be clothed with a resurrection body that will never fade away or die.
(c) Faith. All of God’s blessings, including his protection, come to us freely by grace and are received by faith. You are not protected because you diligently pray prayers or psalms of protection. Nor are you protected because you confess and keep short accounts with the Lord. You are protected by the mighty power of God. Your part is to trust in him and rest in his grace, knowing that he who watches over you will neither slumber nor sleep (Ps. 121:4)
(d) Salvation to be revealed. In Christ, we are born again and 100 percent saved. Yet we are still looking forward to the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23). Our present bodies age and decay, but one day we will be clothed in glory. When Jesus returns, we will be changed and that which is mortal shall be clothed in immortality. The perishable will put on the imperishable and death will be swallowed up in victory (1 Cor. 15:53–54).
(e) Revealed. The original word (apokalupto) means uncover and disclose. Who we are has not been fully disclosed. But when Jesus returns, the real, glorious, imperishable you will be revealed (Col. 3:4, 1 Pet. 5:1).
(f) In the last time. The last days; see entry for 1 Pet. 1:20.
1 Peter 1:6
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
(a) Greatly rejoice. God’s promise to watch over us is a source of great joy and comfort as we face life’s trials.
For the believer there is a joy that comes from knowing the shadowless love and acceptance of the Father (see 1 Pet. 1:8). Yet there is also another kind of joy that we can experience in the midst of our trials (Jas. 1:2). The latter joy comes from knowing that what the enemy intends for evil, our Redeemer will repurpose for good (Rom. 8:28).
(b) A little while; see entry for 1 Pet. 5:10.
(c) Various trials. Trials and tribulations are a normal part of the Christian life (2 Tim. 3:12), but the recipients of Peter’s letter were experiencing harsh and unjust suffering on account of their faith (1 Pet. 2:19–20). They were being slandered as evildoers (1 Pet. 2:12, 3:16) and they were experiencing a fiery ordeal (1 Pet. 4:12). What form that persecution took we can only guess. It could be that they were being plundered or losing their homes (Heb. 10:34, Rev. 2:9). However, a fiery ordeal suggests something more serious (see entry for 1 Pet. 4:17).
1 Peter 1:7
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
(a) Proof. The original word (dokimion) means proving in the way an assayer tests and approves gold.
(b) The proof of your faith. Just as some materials get stronger when compressed, your God-given faith reveals its supernatural qualities when you go through trials.
The trials of life are not to see whether we are made of the right stuff or whether we can whip up enough faith, for we can’t manufacture faith at all. Faith is something to receive (2 Pet. 1:1). Faith that endures is a gift from God and we get it from hearing the good news of Jesus (Eph. 2:8).
(c) More precious than gold. Just as gold is purified through fire, the precious quality of our God-given faith is revealed when we go through fiery trials.
Further reading: “The endurance of the saints”
(d) Praise and glory and honor. No matter what life dishes out, the children of God will make it through. Every one of us will stand blameless and confident before the Lord on the day that he is revealed (1 Cor. 1:8, 1 John 4:17). All this is to the glory of the Shepherd who watches over us and sustains us to the end (1 Pet. 2:25).
(e) The revelation of Jesus Christ refers to the final coming when the Son of Man is revealed from heaven (Luke 17:30, 2 Th. 1:7). Peter also refers to this event as the day of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:10), the day of God (2 Pet. 3:12), the day of visitation (1 Pet. 2:12), the day of judgment (2 Pet. 2:9, 3:7), and the day of eternity (2 Pet. 3:18).
1 Peter 1:8
and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
(a) You have not seen him. Peter had seen Jesus and witnessed his earthly ministry (1 Pet. 5:1), but we have not seen him.
(b) You love him… believe in him. When you know how good God is and how deeply he loves you, he is easy to trust (see entry for 1 John 2:5).
(c) You do not see him now. We cannot see Jesus in his physical form until the day he is revealed (2 Cor. 5:16). But we can know him through the eyes and ears of faith.
(d) Joy inexpressible. Trusting the Risen Lord brings us great joy. Knowing that he is with us through thick and thin and that he will complete the good work he has begun in our lives fills our hearts with gladness.
1 Peter 1:9
obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
(a) The outcome of your faith is salvation from death. It is eternal life.
There are different types of faith. The religious Jews had faith in God but theirs was not a saving faith as it was unaccompanied by the work of believing in the Savior he sent (see entry for Jas. 2:14). But we who have obeyed Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:2) and believed in him (1 Pet. 2:6) have the same faith as the apostles (2 Pet. 1:1) – a faith that leads to salvation (2 Tim. 3:15). “For by grace you have been saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8).
(b) Your faith comes from the Lord. It is not something you manufacture, but something you receive (2 Pet. 1:1). Faith comes from hearing about the love of God revealed in Jesus (Rom. 10:17).
(c) The salvation of your souls will be fully realized when the Lord returns and we are clothed in glory (1 Pet. 1:5).
Some speak of salvation as though it was an ongoing process. That is not what Peter is talking about here. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation, fully saved and fully sanctified. Your soul has been purified by truth (1 Pet. 1:22). Yet our physical bodies remain subject to decay. In our bodies we engage with sin and experience its deathly effects (Rom. 6:6, 12). But when Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven we will be clothed with resurrection bodies that cannot be touched by sin (1 Cor. 15:52, Php. 3:21).
1 Peter 1:10
As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,
(a) Salvation. The original word for salvation means deliverance or rescue. In context, salvation means deliverance from death and the futile or doomed life we inherited from our forefathers (1 Pet. 1:18). See entry for Salvation.
(b) The grace that would come through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
Although the Old Testament prophets lived under the law covenant, they knew through the Holy Spirit that a better covenant of grace was coming. The prophets who prophesied of the grace to come included Isaiah (Is. 54:10), Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31–34), and Ezekiel (Eze. 37:26–27).
(c) Careful searches. Having received revelation from the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament prophets were understandably curious about the grace to come. Who? What? When? How? What they longed for, we have received.
1 Peter 1:11
seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
(a) What person or time. The Old Testament prophets knew by the Holy Spirit that a Savior was coming to redeem humanity, but who and when? They sensed the plan, but they did not know the details. Only now, in the fullness of time, has God revealed his hand. The details of his rescue plan are known to us as the gospel (see next verse).
(b) The Spirit of Christ within them. Although the Holy Spirit had not been poured out prior to the Day of Pentecost (John 7:39), he revealed the coming Messiah to the Old Testament prophets.
(c) The sufferings… the glories. The Old Testament prophets foretold both the crucifixion of Christ (e.g., Is. 53:6–9) and his glorious ascension and return (e.g., Ps. 68:18, Zech. 9:14).
1 Peter 1:12
It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
(a) It was revealed to the Old Testament prophets by the Holy Spirit that a Savior was coming, and they recorded these revelations for our benefit. Now, through the gospel preachers of the new covenant, the Holy Spirit has announced the good news that the Savior has come.
(b) Announced. The gospel is an announcement of the glad tidings of a happy God that brings great joy to all (Luke 2:10).
Manmade religion tells you what to do; the gospel announces what has been done. Reconciliation, acceptance, and forgiveness are not rewards to earn, but gifts to receive on account of what Christ has done.
(c) Those who preached. The gospel has to be preached to be heard (Rom. 10:14). Preachers like Paul and Silas had gone to Asia and Galatia to preach the good news to the recipients of this letter (see entry for 1 Pet. 5:12).
(d) The gospel is the good news that God so loved the world that he gave us his Son. This good news is referred to as the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1) or the gospel of Christ (Rom. 15:19, 1 Cor. 9:12, 2 Cor. 2:12, 9:13, 10:14, Gal. 1:7, Php. 1:27, 1 Th. 3:2). There is also the gospel of God (Mark 1:14, Rom 1:1, 15:16, 2 Cor. 11:7, 1 Th. 2:2, 8, 9, 1 Pet. 4:17), the gospel of the blessed God (1 Tim. 1:11), and the gospel of his Son (Rom 1:9). There is the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4:23, 9:35, 24:14, Luke 16:16), and the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). These are all different labels for the one and only gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). See entry for The Gospel.
(e) The Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Christ (1 Pet. 1:11) or the Spirit of glory (1 Pet. 4:14). Peter heard the Lord promise that the Father would send the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), and Peter was present on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came (Acts 2:1–4).
(f) Angels. The prophets looked forward and the angels looked down to see the marvelous rescue plan that God had prepared for us.
1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
(a) Prepare your minds for action. Don’t be passive but put your faith to work. Fortify your mind with the promises of God so that you may walk in newness of life and participate in his divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
(b) Keep sober in spirit. Be clearheaded and live with your eyes open. Don’t be so preoccupied with your appetites that you let the opportunity for real life pass you by. Life is short (Jas. 1:11). Live with eternity in mind.
(c) Fix your hope on the risen Lord who gives life to the dead (1 Pet. 1:3).
(d) Hope. The gospel points you to the God of hope and leaves you abounding in supernatural hope.
Hope is a rope that links us to truth and there is no greater Truth to which you can affix your “hope-rope” than God himself. At one time we were “without hope and without God,” but “on him we have set our hope” (Eph. 2:12, 2 Cor. 1:9–10). The God of hope will never let you down. See also the entry for Rom. 15:13.
(e) Grace; see entry for 1 Pet. 5:5.
(f) The revelation of Jesus Christ. The glorious return of the Lord Jesus; see entry for 1 Pet. 1:7.
1 Peter 1:14
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
(a) Obedient children. Believers are known as the children of God (see entry for 1 John 5:2). We obey our Father because we know how good he is and how much he loves us.
In the old covenant, obedience was defined as compliance to a set of laws. But in the new covenant obedience is the fruit of trusting Jesus. Because we have come to realize that God is good we have confidence in his Son (1 John 3:23).
(b) The former lusts are the desires of your old and futile way of life when you walked after the flesh, were captive to your appetites, and gave no thought to the things of God.
(c) Ignorance. When you were an unbeliever and didn’t know there was a better way to live.
1 Peter 1:15
but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
(a) The Holy One is the Lord God.
Although the Holy One is usually a reference to the Son of God (e.g., Mark 1:24, John 6:69, Acts 2:27), the context here suggests God the Father. It is “the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ” (1 Pet. 5:10). Jesus referred to God as his Holy Father (John 17:11).
(b) Who called you. God’s call to turn to him and be saved goes out to the ends of the earth (Is. 45:22). God calls us to himself that we might be saved (Is. 45:22). He calls all of us, Jew and Gentile alike, to come out of darkness and enter into his wonderful light (1 Cor. 1:24, 1 Pet. 2:9). Not everyone responds to his call, but those who do are known as the called of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:6).
(c) Be holy because you are holy. You are a holy priesthood and a holy nation (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). You are the holy offspring of your Holy Father. So be holy because you are holy. To act any other way is contrary to your new nature.
Some say holy behavior is an unobtainable goal. It’s something to strive for knowing that you will never hit the mark while you are in your earthly body. Yet Christ’s perfections more than compensate for our imperfections, and Christ the Holy One lives in you. Learn to see your body as a holy and living sacrifice, totally acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1).
(d) In all your behavior. Behavior follows identity. When you know who you are – a holy child of the Holy Father – you will know how to act. We are not made holy because we act holy, but we will act holy when we realize that we are holy people.
The New Testament is peppered with exhortations to be holy (Eph. 1:4, 1 Th. 4:7, Heb. 12:14, 1 Pet. 1:15, 2 Pet. 3:11, Rev. 22:11). We are called to be holy because in Christ we are holy.
1 Peter 1:16
because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
(a) Written. The quote comes from Leviticus 11:45: “For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.” This passage is significant for it is the first time in the Bible that God is described as holy.
Under the old covenant, the command to be holy was bad news because no one can be as holy as God. But in the new covenant, the exhortation to be holy is a thrilling invitation to the holy and beautiful life that is ours in Christ. Because you are begotten by a holy Father, you are holy and can be holy in all you do (1 Cor. 1:2, Heb. 10:10). Holiness is not something to work for but a gift to receive and enjoy.
(b) Be holy; see previous verse.
(c) I am holy. God is the definition of holiness.
God is holy and holy is his name (Luke 1:49). To say God is holy is to refer to the wholeness, fullness, beauty, and abundant life that overflows within the Godhead. God lacks nothing. In contrast with sinful humanity, He is unbroken, undamaged, unfallen, completely complete and entire within himself. He is the indivisible One, wholly self-sufficient, and the picture of perfection.
See entry for Holiness.
1 Peter 1:17
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;
(a) Father. What makes the new covenant new is that we recognize God as our heavenly Father and ourselves as his dearly-loved children (see entry for 1 John 3:1).
An old covenant mindset causes you to view God as a bookkeeper recording your sins or a judge condemning your failures. But Jesus revealed a God who loves you like a Father (John 16:27). In the old covenant, no one dared to address the Almighty in familiar terms. But after Jesus, every New Testament writer did (see entry for Matt. 5:16)
Further reading: “What makes the new covenant new?”
(b) Each one’s work. We are judged by what we have done with Jesus.
This verse is a favorite of those who preach works. “One day God will judge the good works you have done in this life.” But if we could stand before God on the basis of our works, we would have no need for grace. Or Jesus. Our righteous works are like filthy rags (Is. 64:6).
On several occasions Peter heard the Lord talk about being judged or repaid for what we have done (Matt. 16:27, John 5:29). Peter came to understand that the only work that counts with God is the work of believing in the One he has sent. Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is the action that reveals our faith (see entry for John 6:29).
(c) Conduct yourselves in fear. Live in reverence and awe of God.
Although the original word for fear (phobos) literally means fear, Peter’s use of this word in other contexts suggests reverence or deference (e.g., 1 Pet. 3:2). In the new covenant, to fear the Lord is to worship and revere him (see entry for 1 Pet. 2:17). Peter is saying, “If you know God as your heavenly Father, let your conduct on earth be your spiritual act of worship.”
Why worship the Lord? In the opening chapter of his letter Peter gives us several reasons. We worship the Lord because he redeemed us from bondage with the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:18–19); he has given us rebirth through imperishable seed into new life (1 Pet. 1:23); he has sanctified us by his Spirit (1 Pet. 1:2); he is reserving for us an eternal inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4), and he protects us with his mighty power (1 Pet. 1:5).
Further reading: “What is the fear of the Lord?”
1 Peter 1:18
knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
(a) Redeemed. To be redeemed is to be ransomed. You were a slave of sin, but a free man from heaven purchased you and now you are free (Gal. 5:1).
Throughout history many pseudo-saviors have come promising freedom, but every one of them was a slave to sin. They couldn’t save anyone (Ps. 49:7–8). We needed a free man to redeem us and Jesus is the free man who gave his life as a ransom for all (1 Tim. 2:6). See entry for Virgin Birth.
(b) Perishable things. You weren’t ransomed with something as common as silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ (see next verse).
(c) Your futile way of life. The original word for futile (mataios) means empty or useless. Such was the life we had when we lived for our appetites and without regard for the things of God. (1 Pet. 1:14).
(d) Forefathers. Your family tree is riddled with sinners from Adam all the way down to your ancestors. We act like sinners because that is how the world teaches us to act. See entry for Sinful Nature.
1 Peter 1:19
but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
(a) Precious blood. You were ransomed with the most valuable substance in the universe – the precious blood of God’s only Son.
(b) As of a lamb. Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world; see entry for John 1:29.
(c) Unblemished and spotless. In the old covenant, a sinner had to sacrifice a lamb that was without blemish (Ex. 12:5). But in the new covenant, we have been eternally redeemed by the superior sacrifice of the sinless Son of God (1 Pet. 2:22).
1 Peter 1:20
For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
(a) Foreknown. God knew in advance that he would send his Son to redeem us (Rom. 8:29).Before Adam sinned and condemned humanity to death, God had a plan to rescue us.
(b) These last times are the last days (2 Pet. 3:3). Some say the last days are the present generation, but last days or last times began 2000 years ago when Jesus began his earthly ministry (see entry for Heb. 1:2).
1 Peter 1:21
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.
(a) Through him. It is through the Son that we came to know and trust the Father (John 14:6).
(b) Believers in God. Many religious people consider themselves believers in God, but unless they come to the Father through the Son their faith is dead and useless It is not a saving faith (Jas. 2:14, 17).
(c) God, who raised him. Although the religious Jews believed in God, they did not believe that he raised Jesus from the dead. They did not share the faith of those who were witnesses of the resurrection (2 Pet. 1:1).
(d) Glory. The original noun (doxa) means majesty, magnificence, splendor, preeminence, and exalted.
(e) Faith and hope. Our faith and hope are not in ourselves or our works; our faith and hope are in the Lord and his finished work.
1 Peter 1:22
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
(a) Obedience to the truth. You obeyed Christ’s call to believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). You obeyed God’s command to believe in the Name of his Son (1 John 3:23).
(b) Purified your souls. Our souls were purified when we heeded the truth of the gospel and were born again (1 Cor. 6:11, 1 John 1:7, 9).
The preacher of works misquotes this verse: “You need to purify your souls through prayer and discipline.” But Peter says our souls were purified when we obeyed the truth and came to Jesus. Your soul is not filthy. When you were born again you were given a new heart and a new mind with new desires to please the Lord (Eze. 11:19, 36:26, 1 Cor. 2:16).
Further reading: “Spirit and soul”
(c) Fervently means with intent; see entry for 1 Pet. 4:8.
(d) Love one another. We don’t purify our souls by loving others. Rather, we are able to love others because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Love for our Christian brothers and sisters is a sign that someone is growing in the love and grace of God (2 Pet. 1:7, 1 John 3:14).
(e) One another. Although we are called to share God’s love with all people, the exhortation to love intentionally applies to “the brethren,” meaning the household of God or fellow believers.
1 Peter 1:23
for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
(a) Born again; see entry for 1 Pet. 1:3.
(b) Seed. The imperishable seed is the living and enduring word of God (Luke 8:11). It is the spiritual DNA of Jesus himself (1 John 3:9). Jesus is the Word of life (1 John 1:1) who imparts life like a seed.
(c) Imperishable. Because you have been born of imperishable seed, you are eternally saved and secure. No one can undo what the Lord has done and no one can snatch you from your Father’s hand (John 10:29).
Further reading: “Eternal security scriptures”
(d) The word of God God is most clearly revealed in his Son. Jesus is the Word made flesh and the Living Word of God (John 1:14, Rev. 19:13).
The word of God refers to the way God makes himself and his will known (1 Sam. 3:21). God’s word is powerful, creative and sustains all things (2 Pet. 3:5). His word is the means by which the universe came into existence (Gen. 1:3, John 1:1), and his word gives life to the dead (Eze. 37:4). His word is a lamp that guides us in the path of life (Ps. 119:105), and his word always comes to pass (Is. 55:11).
Some people equate the word of God with the Bible. Although the Bible reveals the word of God, it would be incorrect to say you have been born again of the Bible. The imperishable seed that gives you new life is not the written word but the Living Word who dwells in you. See entry for Word of God.
1 Peter 1:24-25
For, “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you.
(a) All flesh withers and dies like grass. Life is a vapor that appears for a time then vanishes away (Jas. 4:14).
(b) Endures forever. In contrast, those who have been born again through the life-giving word of God, endure forever. This prophecy comes from Isaiah 40:6–8.
(c) The word of the Lord created the heavens and the earth (2 Pet. 3:5) The creative word of the Lord fills you with new and lasting life.
(d) Endures forever. In scripture, two things endure forever; the word of the Lord and the love of God (1 Cor. 13:7). When you know the love of God and allow the word of the Lord to take root in your heart, you will endure forever.
(e) Preached. The creative life-giving word of God that was preached to you is the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh who sustains all things and through whom all things were made (Col. 1:16, Heb. 1:3).
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- 1 Peter 1:1
- 1 Peter 1:2
- 1 Peter 1:3
- 1 Peter 1:4
- 1 Peter 1:5
- 1 Peter 1:6
- 1 Peter 1:7
- 1 Peter 1:8
- 1 Peter 1:9
- 1 Peter 1:10
- 1 Peter 1:11
- 1 Peter 1:12
- 1 Peter 1:13
- 1 Peter 1:14
- 1 Peter 1:15
- 1 Peter 1:16
- 1 Peter 1:17
- 1 Peter 1:18
- 1 Peter 1:19
- 1 Peter 1:20
- 1 Peter 1:21
- 1 Peter 1:22
- 1 Peter 1:23
- 1 Peter 1:24-25