1 Peter 1:1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
Peter is introduced as “an apostle of Jesus Christ.”
Audience: “to the strangers scattered throughout.”
Locations: “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”
1 Peter 1:2
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
- The word elect means chosen.
- Though we don’t know who these strangers are, they are people chosen of God.
- “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.”
- It is God the Father that elects. But He isn’t choosing anyone just randomly. There is a standard to His election.
The issue of foreknowledge.
- This foreknowledge is not just simply God choosing in advance. This is not predestination.
- God knows the end from the beginning. He is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8).
- This is just stating that God knows the future. He doesn’t choose randomly.
What is His standard of election, His choosing?
- They are sanctified and they live obedient lives.
- But how are we sanctified?
- It is through the Spirit.
- And how are we able to obey?
- It is by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.
- What is the evidence that we are sanctified?
- It is found in an obedient life.
- The foundation is all found in God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. It is the Godhead that is constantly working for our sanctification and an obedient life.
- That is what is called grace! The effort is all found in God and not in us.
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
“begotten us again unto a lively hope”
- The word begotten means to be “born again.”
- We are born again unto a lively hope. We are made alive to something, just like how Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
- What are we made alive to? We will see this later in the chapter.
- But we can see that the born again experience is already introduced here. It is an important theme throughout the book of 1 Peter.
1 Peter 1:4
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
This inheritance is in the future. It doesn’t fade away. It is in heaven reserved for us.
- Incorruptible means immortal and undecaying.
- Undefiled means pure and unsoiled.
- God has something pure and immortal reserved for us. Nothing like what this world offers. Everything can be lost through moth, rust or thief (Matthew 6:20).
1 Peter 1:5
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
“Who” is referring to those that are born again.
How are we kept by the power of God through faith?
- This is connected to verse 2.
- The word kept can mean preserved which is what sanctification is.
- What is the power of God? When we connect this to verse 2, it is referring to the Holy Spirit. We are sanctified by the Spirit.
- However there is a part for us to play. We are kept by the power of God through faith. We must exercise faith, otherwise we cannot be saved.
When is this last time?
- 1 Peter 4:17
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
- When is that time? When the judgment begins.
1 Peter 1:6
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
What helps us to rejoice?
- It is our faith. Through faith we gain salvation.
- And so even though we go through many temptations, we can still rejoice because we know what the end is – our salvation.
- Yes, we are in heaviness, we are sorrowful and distressed because of many temptations. And it’s not that we will be rejoicing at that very time. But we can have a hope that looks into the future that God will deliver us and save us.
1 Peter 1:7
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
So this is why the trial of our faith is so precious.
- When it is tried, when we go through manifold temptations, that it will be found unto praise and honour and glory.
- It is through the trials that our faith will be proved genuine.
- Notice, it is not through trials that our faith grows. The trial only reveals what type of faith we have.
What will help us to overcome all these trials?
- Verse 5 – the power of God through faith.
- What is that power of God? It is found in verse 2 – sanctification of the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:8
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Who is it that we have not seen?
- It is Jesus Christ.
Then how can we love Him if we have not seen Him?
- This is where faith comes in.
- Though now we don’t see him, yet believe.
- To believe is to exercise our faith.
And the result?
- Then we can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
1 Peter 1:9
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
What does it mean the end of our faith?
- It is the outcome, the final end in view, the goal.
- So the final outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls.
- Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) and without faith it is impossible to be saved (Ephesians 2:8).
- We have seen this in verse 5 already:
- “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation…”
1 Peter 1:10
Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
This salvation is nothing new.
- The prophets inquired. That word inquired means to search out, to investigate.
- And then it says that they searched diligently.
- Just because someone is called to prophetic office, it does not mean that they don’t need to study anymore. God reveals, but there has to be diligent searching on their part as well.
- But the prophets did search it out and understand and then gave it to us.
If they are prophesying of the grace to come, then it must mean that this is referring to all the prophets before the death of Jesus Christ.
- Then it must be referring to the Old Testament.
- The salvation that is spoken of in the NT, the death of Jesus, is nothing new. The OT is replete with it.
- This means that the faith that is spoken of is not new either. And that means that we can understand faith just a perfectly in the OT as in the NT. Those in the OT were not living in obscurity on how to be saved.
1 Peter 1:11
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.
The word signify means to show.
- The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, and it was revealing to them beforehand the sufferings of Christ.
- Here is another evidence to show that this is referring to the prophets in the OT. We can understand faith, grace, salvation, and especially the sufferings of Christ in the OT. It was all clearly written there.
What is the glory that should follow?
- Verse 7 – we give God the honour and glory when we are able to endure the trial of our faith. The glory comes after that.
- So Christ has set us the example of what it means to go through the trials of our faith and be victorious and come out like gold.
- Which means His life is a perfect example of what a sanctified life is.
1 Peter 1:12
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves”
- This is referring to the prophets in the Old Testament.
- It wasn’t revealed just to them to keep it to themselves.
- They gave it to who?
“which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost send down from heaven”
- This is referring to the apostles.
- They received the Holy Spirit from heaven on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). And they have preached to them and even to us.
- Somehow the importance of preaching the gospel is connected to our faith. The apostles knew that if they would share the gospel with us, it would strengthen our faith and help us to overcome temptations.
“which things the angels desire to look into”
- What do the angels desire to look into? The gospel!
- And it’s not just a story. But it gives power! Power to live a holy life. Power to overcome trials and temptations.
- Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1 Peter 1:13
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
Peter is about to make a conclusion in view of the blessings and hopes contained in the preaching of the gospel. What do we have to do?
- Gird up the loins of your mind.
- Be sober.
- Hope to the end.
How do we gird up the loins of our minds?
- What does it mean to gird up?
- To be prepared: a metaphor derived from the practice of the Orientals, who in order to be unimpeded in their movements were accustomed, when starting a journey or engaging in any work, to bind their long flowing garments closely around their bodies and fastened them with a leather belt.
- What are the loins? The loins are the hips.
- That’s exactly where a belt is worn.
- So how do we prepare the hips of our minds? Where do we see a belt in the bible?
- Ephesians 6:14
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
- So how to gird up the loins of our mind? We have to fortify it with the truth. We have to fortify it with the gospel.
- How to be sober?
- 1 Peter 4:7
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
- It is very much connected with watching and praying.
- What about watching and praying?
- Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
- We need to watch and pray if we wish to overcome temptation.
- So when verse 7 talks about our faith that will be able to withstands the trials, there is actually an active part for us to play. What is that? We have to watch and pray!
Hope to the end.
- Why is hope so important?
- Romans 8:24
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
- Hope is connected to salvation!
- This text sounds very similar to another text. We are saved by what? Saved by grace through faith.
- So hope and faith are very much connected. And we have seen faith through the whole chapter so far. Verse 5, 7, 9.
We see Jesus who also girded up the loins of His mind with truth and how He was always watching and praying.
1 Peter 1:14
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
If we gird up the loins of our minds, be sober and hope to the end, this is the result:
- We will be obedient children.
- And we won’t fashion (conform) ourselves to the former lusts in our ignorance.
An important word is found there in the word ignorance.
- What does it mean to be ignorant? To be ignorant means to have a lack of knowledge.
- How can we make sure we are not ignorant? What can give us knowledge? It is the gospel!
1 Peter 1:15
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Who has called us? God! Jesus! We are to be as holy as Jesus.
- That is our standard. Not any human being, but Jesus.
- But we have to be holy. That is the result of verse 13.
- And Peter can make this conclusion here in verse 15 because of all he has told us in the previous verse. How?
- Be sanctified by the Spirit.
- We must be born again (begotten).
- We must be kept by the power of God through faith.
“in all manner of conversation”
- The word conversation here is referring to our behaviour, our manner of life, our conduct.
- It is not just about how we speak, but our whole life how we live it.
1 Peter 1:16
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Where is this written in the Old Testament?
- Leviticus 11:44
For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
- Leviticus 19:2
Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
- Leviticus 20:7
Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
- Two times, being holy is connected with sanctification.
- How are we sanctified according to verse 2? We are sanctified by the Spirit.
1 Peter 1:17
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Why would we call on the Father?
- For help of course!
But now Peter gives us as attribute of the Father.
- He judges people without respect. He’s not partial to a certain religion or the fact that you called on Him.
- He will judge everyone.
- But of course, the Father judges through the Son:
- John 5:22
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.
- 2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
- John 5:22
With the knowledge that the Father judges everyone impartially, what should we do?
- We should pass the time of our sojourning with fear.
- That word fear means – alarm, fright, terror, to be afraid.
- The Greek word actually says “phobos.”
- What does that sound like in English? It sounds very similar to phobia.
- Phobia: an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.
- There is an element of fear in this, like being careful.
- When we are walking on the edge of a cliff, but we have a rope to hold, we will still be fearful, but careful.
- In this world, there is temptations, there are trials, the devil is hot on our heels. We need to walk carefully. God will judge at the end, and He is not partial.
1 Peter 1:18-19
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
What are the corruptible things?
- Silver and gold. Our salvation was not purchased with money. It was purchased with the blood of Christ.
- He was a lamb without blemish and without spot. He was perfect. He was an innocent victim that had never done anything wrong.
We were redeemed from our vain conversation.
- The word vain means empty, useless or profitless, no purpose.
- Remember the word conversation means conduct, our behaviour.
- Many of us maybe still have empty lives today. So we try to fill it with friends, with studies, with achievements, with many things! Entertainment. Behaviours that don’t help us one step closer to heaven.
- But nothing can fill it properly except the gospel.
- But we were redeemed from that empty life that we were living according to our former lusts in ignorance (verse 14). That was built on traditions.
- A tradition is anything that is not built on truth.
- We can even have a tradition of going to church but without understanding the sanctity of the Sabbath and why we do what we do. We can have many traditions that seem to push us in the right path but we don’t have the knowledge as to why we do it.
- That’s why verse 14 Peter wrote about the lusts in our ignorance. What can sweep away all that ignorance and traditions? The gospel, the truth.
1 Peter 1:20
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
The sacrifice of Christ and the shedding of His blood was foreordained.
- It was decided beforehand.
- Before what? Before the foundation of the world.
- That means the plan of salvation was put in motion before we ever sinned!
- Before there ever was a problem, God already had the solution ready.
- Christ had decided before the creation of the world that if there ever was sin, He would be the One to die for it.
“but was manifest in these last times for you”
- We’ve only just come to know it now as it was preached to us and shared with us. But the plan existed a long time ago. God planned for every contingency.
1 Peter 1:21
Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
Who is the “him” that we do believe in God?
- That is Christ.
- How do we know? He was raised up from the dead and God gave Him glory.
What is the big picture of this verse?
- It is through Christ that we believe in God.
- It is through the resurrection of Christ, that our faith and our hope can be centered in God.
- How do we know about this resurrection today? None of us have ever seen Him. It is in the word of God.
1 Peter 1:22
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Let’s figure out these steps.
- It is the Holy Spirit that helps us to obey the truth.
- When we obey the truth, it purifies our souls.
- What is another word for purified soul in this verse? It is a pure heart.
- When we have that pure heart, then we can love one another.
So our inability to love each other is not because of quirky personality of that person, or because of what that person has done or not done to us. It is not because of any situation except the condition of our own hearts.
- If we have a pure heart, if we are obedient to the truth, then we can love everyone that we meet.
- What is the standard? To be holy just like how God is holy.
1 Peter 1:23
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
How to have this pure life?
- We need to be born again by the word of God that lives forever.
What is corruptible seed vs the incorruptible seed?
- Since we know that the incorruptible seed is the word of God, then the corruptible seed must be in contrast to it.
- The corruptible seed cannot help a person to be born again.
- It must be the word of man, traditions.
The word of God lives and abides forever.
- It seems to point out the qualities of the word of God.
- Yet at the same time, this is what Peter wishes for the word of God to do with us.
- He wants the word of God to be living in us and abiding in us.
- To live means to be alive, to be lively.
- The word of God is that which can help us to be holy. To live through us. It is not just head knowledge. But it will help us to be alive.
- To abide means to dwell, to be present, to remain.
- If we wish to be born again, then the word of God must abide in us. It must remain in us. We must remember it. It must live through us constantly. It must endure and remain.
- Born again experience is not just a one time reading of the word of God. It is not just the act of baptism. It is the word of God continually in our hearts through continual study and reading of the word.
- John 15:7
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
- So then this text then is talking about being born again.
- But for the word of God to abide with us, we must abide with Him. Not in the sense of us working and making ourselves perfect first. But we must learn to sit at the feet of Jesus. We must do our part in letting God write His word in our hearts.
1 Peter 1:24-25
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Everything will wither except the word of God.
- The examples given is the grass and the flower.
- We are no different says Peter.
The contrast is the word of God.
- It will endure forever.
- The word endure means abide, dwell, be present.
- Not only will it last forever, but the fact that it endures forever it means that we can have it in our hearts forever too if we wish to put in the effort to sit at the feet of Jesus.
- And this word is the gospel.