1 Peter 1

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. The Jews were scattered (diaspora) around the world (Jas. 1:1), but Peter is talking about scattered believers (1 Pet. 1:8, 2:11, 4:16). Believers are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and strangers on earth.

(d) 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).

(e) Chosen. You have been chosen by God (Rom. 8:33, 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 (Col. 3:12, Tit. 1:1).

“Many are called, but few are chosen,” said Jesus (Matt. 22:14). God’s call goes out to all but not all respond. 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. 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. 8:9). Before time began he wrote their names in the Book of Life (Rev. 13:8).

(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).

(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 living the blessed life. Grace saves us, keeps us, protects us, and blesses us. 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 amazing 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. You left Adam’s doomed family and were adopted into the family of God. 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 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.

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 imperishable inheritance refers to the resurrection life 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) 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 rest in his grace, knowing that the One who watches over you will neither slumber nor sleep (Ps. 121:4)

(c) Salvation to be revealed. In Christ, you are born again and 100 percent saved. But we are 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).

(d) Revealed. The original word (apokalupto) means uncover and disclose. Who we are has not been fully revealed. But when Jesus returns, the real, glorious, imperishable you will be revealed (Col. 3:4, 1 Pet. 5:1).

(e) 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 manufacture iron-clad 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 (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 trails.

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 referred 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 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 Jesus 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 have the same faith as the apostles (2 Pet. 1:1) – a faith in the Lord 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. But our souls inhabit earthsuits which are subject to decay. Our physical bodies are the battleground where we engage with sin and experience its deathly effects (Rom. 6:6, 12). But at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:7) we will be clothed with resurrection bodies that cannot be touched by sin (1 Cor. 15:52, Php. 3:21).

(a) The outcome of your faith. There are different types of faith and faith in Jesus leads to salvation. In contrast, 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 One he sent (see Jas. 2:14).

(b) Your faith. Our faith is the result of knowing Christ’s love for us. We don’t get faith from hearing a good sermon; we get it from hearing about the good news of Jesus (Rom. 10:17).

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. Jesus is the great Deliverer who rescues us from our enemies (Luke 1:71). See entry for Salvation.

(b) The prophets. 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 covenant to come included Isaiah (Is. 54:10), Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31–34), and Ezekiel (Eze. 37:26–27).

(c) The grace that would come through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

Prior to Christ you had to pay or atone for your sins. But on the cross, the Lamb of God carried all your sins and there is nothing left to pay. By his sacrifice you have been redeemed from all claims against you (Col. 2:14). You have been forgiven according to the riches of God’s grace (Eph. 1:7).

(d) Careful searches. Who? When? How? These were the sorts of questions the Old Testament prophets asked about the grace to come (see next verse), and Jesus was the emphatic answer to all their questions. What they longed for, we have received. What was in their future, is in our past. The prophets of old longed for what we now enjoy in the new covenant.

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 mysteries of 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 religions tell you what you must do to earn divine favor. In contrast, the gospel announces something that has been done. Reconciliation, acceptance, and forgiveness are not rewards to earn, but gifts to receive. You are not blessed for what you do but 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 marvellous rescue plan that God had 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. As you go through life’s trials, remind yourself of the eternal hope we have in God’s grace. Jesus is coming and he will bring an end to suffering and wipe away every tear (Rev. 21:1).

(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).

In the old covenant, obedience meant following a long list of laws. But in the new covenant, obedience is the fruit of trusting Jesus (1 John 3:23). Jesus is easy to trust and obey when you know how good he is and how much he loves you.

(b) The former lusts are the desires of your old 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 out of darkness and into his wonderful light (1 Pet. 2:9).

(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.

(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. Peter is quoting Lev. 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 is passage is significant for it is the first time in the Bible that God is described as holy.

Under the old covenant, this command was bad news because no one can be as holy as God. But in the new covenant, it is a thrilling invitation to the holy life that is ours in Christ. Because you are begotten by a holy Father, you are holy and can be holy.

(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. 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 will cause 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.

On several occasions Peter heard the Lord talk about being judged or repaid for what we have done (Matt. 16:27, John 5:29). He 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 suggest 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 without regard for the things of God and his good gifts.

(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 Christ.

(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. 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). The last times or last days began 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) 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).

(c) Glory. The original noun (doxa) means majesty, magnificence, splendor, preeminence, and exalted.

(d) Faith and hope. Our faith and hope are not in ourselves or our works; they are in God and his finished work of redemption. We have confidence not because of anything we have done, but because of all the Lord has done on our behalf.

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. Just as our spirits have been purified (2 Cor. 7:1), our souls were purified when we heeded the truth of the gospel and were born again.

Further reading: “Spirit vs soul”
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(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).

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) that 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 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).

The Word of God has its clearest expression through the revelation of Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14, Rev. 19:13), and the exact radiance or representation of God the Father (Heb. 1:3). Jesus is the Living word who gives life to all who receive him. See entry for Word of God.

1 Peter 1:24-25


(a) All flesh. Everyone dies. Life is a vapor that appears 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) and it is this word that has brought new and imperishable life to you (1 Pet. 2:23).

(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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