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First Peter
Chapter 1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout
Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the
foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to
obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: grace be to you, and
peace, be multiplied.

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to
His abundant mercy has fathered us again to a living hope by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible,
and undefiled, and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who
are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed
in the last time.

In which you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in
heaviness through many temptations: that the trial of your faith, being
much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire,
might be found for praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus
Christ: Whom having not seen, you love; in Whom, though now you see Him
not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who
prophesied of the grace that should come to you: searching what, or what
manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it
testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should
follow.  To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they
delivered the things, which are now reported to you by those who have
preached the gospel to you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven;
which things the angels desire to look into.

Because of this, gird up the loins of your mind, be serious, and hope to the
end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus
Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the
former lusts in your ignorance: but as He Who has call you is holy, so you be
holy in all type of living; because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.

And if you call on the Father, Who without respect of persons judges
according to every man's work, pass the time of your pilgrimage here in fear:
forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things,
like silver and gold from your vain life received by tradition from your
fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, like a lamb without blemish
and without spot: Who truthfully was foreordained before the foundation of
the world, but was revealed in these last times for you, who by Him do
believe in God, Who raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that
your faith and hope might be in God.

Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit
to unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure
heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of
incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.  For all
flesh is like grass, and all the glory of man like the flower of grass.  The
grass withers, and its flower falls away: but the Word of the Lord endures
for ever. And this is the word by which the gospel is preached to you.

  • I. 1-2: Greeted as the Elect of God
  • II. 3-5: Fathered by God & Kept by His Power
  • III. 6-9: Rejoice in the Trial of Faith Receiving the Salvation of Your
    Souls
  • IV. 10-12: This Salvation was Revealed by the Prophets to Us
  • V. 13-16: Be Obedient Children Who are Holy
  • VI. 17-21: Fear God, Realizing You are Redeemed by the Blood of
    Christ
  • VII. 22-25: Love One Another as Directed by the Eternal Word of God

I. 1-2 Greeted as the Elect of God

The apostle addresses his letter to those in the region we now know as Turkey.  
These brethren are the elect strangers, or the strangers who are the called.  God
had foreknowledge of those who were to be the called: those who by their
obedience were made holy by the Spirit of God and cleansed by the blood of
Jesus Christ.  The called are the church.

II. 3-5: Fathered by God & Kept by His Power

The called are fathered by God to a living hope certified by the resurrection of
our Lord Jesus Christ.  As He was resurrected from the dead never to die again
and to ascend into heaven, so each of us have the hope of resurrection and an
entrance into heaven.  The called have an inheritance as the "born again" or
adopted children of God reserved in heaven, where it cannot be contaminated by
the destructive forces of this world.

The called who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation will have
the inheritance given to them at the end of time.  Those who maintain their faith
have this hope.

III. 6-9: Rejoice in the Trial of Your Faith Receiving the Salvation of Your Souls

This hope of heaven causes the called to greatly rejoice even when, as they were
then experiencing, many temptations.  These temptations would refine their faith
as gold is refined by the fire that their faith might be found worthy of praise and
glory when the time came for them to claim their inheritance.  For even though
they have not seen Jesus, the love Him.  Even though they have not seen Jesus,
they believe in Him.  Even though they have not seen Jesus, they have a joy that
cannot be explained as they look forward to His return.  And, it is this love, it is
this faith, it is this joy which will allow them to receive the thing which they hope
for: the salvation of their souls.

IV. 10-12: This Salvation was Revealed by the Prophets to Us

The prophets prophesied of the salvation which the called had.  The prophets
foretold of this salvation, yet they asked and searched for the answers to what
their prophecies meant and when they would be fulfilled: when they were
prophesying of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  Their
prophecies were not for themselves, nor for those of their own time, but for the
called who had the gospel preached to them by the Holy Spirit sent down from
heaven.  Only with the Holy Spirit given to the apostles and evangelists and
prophets of the New Testament were the prophecies of the Christ (i.e., the
Messiah) opened up for understanding. The angels had desired to know these
things, and the called were given these things.

V. 13-16: Be Obedient Children Who are Holy

Because the called have received the gospel of the prophecies concerning the
Christ, they need to strengthen their minds, be serious and maintain the hope of
heaven that has been revealed by those who have preached to them the gospel
of salvation.

Now they need to make sure that their lives reflect who they are as the born again
children of God, the called.  They should not conform to the lusts of the flesh
which had controlled them before they came to the knowledge of the truth and
became children of God.  They now must live as children of God, reflecting the
family trait of being holy.  The One who brought them to the knowledge of the
hope of heaven is holy, and so must they be: in every thing they do.  As God has
said, You must be holy, because I am holy.

VI. 17-21: Fear God, Realizing You are Redeemed by the Blood of Christ

If they call upon God as their Father as the One Who will judge all men without
partiality, they need to make sure that they show Him the proper respect: they
need have the fear of God.

They need to remember what the price was that was paid for their sins.  They
were not redeemed with silver or gold or any type of money.  They turned from
the ways of their fathers which was useless in receiving the salvation of their souls
because of the precious blood of the Christ.  As the sacrificial lamb was without
spot or blemish, so the Christ (i.e., Messiah) Who was without sin became the
sacrifice for the sins of the world.  God had foreordained that salvation would be
in the sacrifice of Jesus before the creation of the world, but waited until the time
of the called to bring Him to the earth for the called.  Jesus died for the called who
through Him believe in God Who raised Him from the dead, and took Him to
heaven to sit upon the right hand of the Father to receive a kingdom and honor
and glory.  The faith of the called is in Him Who devised the plan, Who sent the
sacrifice, Who raised Him from the dead, Who received Him into heaven, and
Who crowned Him with all power and all authority in heaven and on earth as King
of kings, and Lord of lords.

VII. 22-25: Love One Another as Directed by the Eternal Word of God

Since the called have purged their souls of sin by obeying the truth delivered by
the Spirit, they should have a pure love for the brethren, which is true and
fervent, realizing that all who are the called have been born again.  The seed
which has given them life is the seed of God: the word of God, which lives and
abides for ever.  They have been called, not by the words of men, but by the
Word of God revealed and delivered by the Holy Spirit.  As such, this Word
endures forever.  Men and their words are like grass and its flowers.  The flowers
fall off, and the grass withers and dies.  Men lose their glory, and their lives.  But,
the Word of God delivered by the Spirit does not.  And this is the Word by which
the gospel has been preached.

Summary

Knowing that they are the called of God, according to the eternal plan of God,
receiving the salvation of their souls through their faith established by the gospel
preached to them in fulfillment of the prophets; they needed to realize if they
would keep the faith, be strong, be serious and be holy, remembering what had
been revealed to them through those inspired by the Spirit of God (that Jesus was
the sacrifice for their sins, was resurrected from the dead, and glorified in
heaven) they would fervently and purely love one another.