1 Peter Chapter 1
The book of 1 Peter starts off with a letter from Peter to those who are ‘scattered throughout’ in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). Although mostly comprise of the Jewish people who have been scattered through out the land ever since the Babylonian captivity, he speaks also to the people of the believing church both the Elect and the Gentiles. All of who have been going through persecution for their faith. Peter speaks with words of encouragement. To remind them who they are (God’s children) and that their faith is secured by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. Praise to God for a Living Hope. 1 Peter 1:1-2
The sprinkling of blood is reference to the sacrifice of Jesus. In the old testament, the sprinkling of blood from a sacrificed animal was done in accordance to the Mosaic laws, for cleansing and forgiveness of sins. The sacrifice Jesus gave with His life and His blood that was shed is one way in which Jesus fulfilled the old testament law
Paul continues to remind them of the sanctifying grace that is given them by means of an inheritance. A inheritance that is not of earthly material things but an eternal one in Heaven. He recognizes their suffering of “grief of all kinds”, but assures them it is temporary. (Ref. verse 6, some textual versions say their suffering is for a season- Greek translation is “a little while”
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 1 Peter 3:1-6
He compares their faith and its integrity with an analogy of fire and gold. Gold is refined by fire, so it is with their faith, refined by going through trials. A faith, that ultimately results in glory to God;
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1: 7
An example of faith in Jesus even though they have not seen Him is given next;
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9
These verses are parallel verses in the book of John, when Jesus was speaking to Thomas;
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
The importance of this salvation was evident even to the old testament prophets as they knew of a coming savior. Even the angels inquired as to the time and specifics of the coming of the Messiah;
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. 1 Peter 1:10-12
Peter therefore warns them, to stay stead fast in their faith, and not to return to the sinful ways before they were saved, (lived in ignorance). We are to remain Holy as He is holy, as we were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
Next comes a reminder as to who they were and who they are now. Confirmation that even from the beginning of time, God had a plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:13-21
Lastly, the remaining verses compare man to grass and their glory to flowers of a field. Both of which eventually whither and die, but the enduring word of God lasts forever. Amen!
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25