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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
1 Peter 1

 

 

Verses 1-12

Introduction - After giving a customary salutation ( 1 Peter 1:1-2) Peter introduces his readers to the glorious theme of the Father's divine election to the saints of God ( 1 Peter 1:3-12).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Salutation — 1 Peter 1:1-2

2. Foreknowledge of the Father — 1 Peter 1:3-12

1 Peter 1:1-2 — Salutation - 1 Peter 1:1-2 serves as the salutation to his first Epistle. Within these opening verses we clearly see the primary theme of the believer's perseverance in the faith, as well as the secondary theme of God the Father's role in equipping the saints for perseverance. After Peter carefully identifies his recipients so as not to intrude upon the ministry of Paul the apostle and others ( 1 Peter 1:1), he establishes the basis for his call to the perseverance of the saints by referring to their divine election ( 1 Peter 1:2).

A Comparison of the Recipients within the Salutation of the Petrine and Pauline Epistles- The apostle Peter does not use the phrase "saints" in his salutations as does Paul the apostle, whom he mentions in his second epistle ( 2 Peter 3:15). The reason may result from the fact that Peter did not have the same revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that was given to Paul the apostle, whose epistles laid down the doctrines of the New Testament Church and which describes the identity of every believer in Christ as "saints" before God. Instead, Peter addresses his recipients as "elect" ( 1 Peter 1:1) and as "those of like precious faith" ( 2 Peter 1:1). Peter does not appear to make as much of a distinction between the Jew and the New Testament Church with these phrases. For example, the Jews understood that the nation of Israel was God's elect, so Peter defines this divine election in light of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in his opening salutation ( 1 Peter 1:1-2). Also, the Jews had faith in God as well as the New Testament believers, so Peter defines this faith in God in light of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ ( 2 Peter 1:1-2). Both Jew and Christian believe in the same God, but the Christian's knowledge of God has been greatly enlightened through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Messiah ( 2 Peter 1:2).

The Motifs of "Strangers…Elect" within 1Peter - The KJV and other modern English translations separate the two words "strangers" and "elect" found within the opening salutation of 1Peter by placing them in two different verses. However, in the Greek text the words "elect" and "strangers" are placed side by side in these opening verses, with "elect" coming first, rendering a better translation as "elect strangers." The opening phrase should read, "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers of the Diaspora of…" The word "elect" reflects this Epistle's secondary theme by emphasizing God the Father's role in the believer's perseverance in the Christian faith by giving us an eternal hope in Glory. He elected us and gave us a hope and an inheritance in Christ Jesus. The word "stranger" reflects this Epistle's third supporting theme by referring to our response to our Father's election as we live a life of good works and as we endure persecutions for righteousness sake as a testimony to the world of our eternal hope. We are to consider ourselves to be strangers on this sinful earth and in this life, while looking in hope to our inheritance of eternal life in Heaven. Thus, we see in these two words the motif of persecution and hope, of a life of rejection by the world, while we are beloved by the Father.

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

1 Peter 1:1"to the strangers" - Word Study on "the strangers" - Strong says the Greek word "strangers" ( παρεπί δημος) (G 3927) means, "an alien alongside, i.e. a resident foreigner." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 3times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "pilgrim 2, stranger 1." The other two uses are:

Hebrews 11:13, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."

1 Peter 2:11, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;"

Comments- Hebrews 11:13 uses another synonym with παρεπί δημος, which is ξέ νος (G 3581), meaning, "a guest, entertainer" (Strong). The Enhanced Strong says it is used 14times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV, "stranger 10, strange 3, host 1."

The second use of παρεπί δημος in 1 Peter 2:11 is accompanied with the word πά ροικος (G 3941), used as a synonym, which is an adjective meaning, "having a home near, i.e. a by-dweller, alien resident" (Strong) The Enhanced Strong says it is used 4times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "stranger 2, sojourn 1, foreigner 1."

Comments- Peter uses figurative language in addressing his recipients as strangers in his opening salutation. The concept of a stranger, or sojourner, reflects the theme of 1Peter, which is the perseverance of the saints. In contrast, Paul's epistles address "the saints" because his epistles emphasize the sanctification of the saints.

In order to better understand Peter's use of the term "strangers," it may help to note his statement in the closing remarks of this same epistle, in which he sends greetings from "Babylon." It is generally understood that Peter was using the name "Babylon" metaphorically as a designation for the city of Rome. We also note that John the apostle used the term "Babylon" metaphorically of the city of Rome in his book of Revelation ( Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2; Revelation 18:10; Revelation 18:21). Such a term was most likely applied because the city of Rome was the seat of the Roman Empire where the center of widespread opposition and persecution against Christianity began. For the Jews the term "Babylon" represented a place of exile, which would have appropriately applied to the early Church in the hostile environment of the Roman Empire. Thus, Peter could have accurately called his readers "strangers and pilgrims" living in a land of persecutions.

1 Peter 1:1"scattered throughout" - Comments- The English word "scattered" in 1 Peter 1:1 is the Greek word διασπορϊά, from which we derive the English word "Diaspora." This Greek word occurs three times in the New Testament, being found in two other New Testament passages.

John 7:35, "Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?"

James 1:1, " James , a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."

The term "Diaspora" normally refers to the Jewish dispersion of the Jews across the civilized world as a result of the Assyrian (722 B.C.) and Babylonian captivities (586 B.C.). John Calvin writes, "When the ten tribes were banished, the Assyrian king placed them in different parts. Afterwards, as it usually happens in the revolutions of kingdoms (such as then took place,) it is very probable that they moved here and there in all directions. The Jews had been scattered almost unto all quarters of the world. He [James] then wrote and exhorted all those whom he could not personally address, because they had been scattered far and wide." 81]

81] John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistle of James , trans. John Owen, in Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1855), 278.

Every city that Paul the apostle entered, he first found the synagogues and preached to the Jews. It was only after the Jews rejected the message of Jesus that Paul went to the Gentiles. God had prepared an ideal time when the Greek language was universally known, the Romans had built the infrastructure of roads, and the Jews had spread the synagogues throughout the civilized world.

Peter, the apostle to the Jews according to Galatians 2:8, refers to the "Diaspora" in this first epistle as a reference to Jewish Christians.

Galatians 2:8, "(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)"

Because Peter was an apostle to the Jews and Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles, he would not have crossed over and began to minister to those Gentiles that Paul was ordained to reach. Jerome (A.D 342to 420) calls "the strangers" in 1 Peter 1:1 "believers in circumcision." Thus, he makes this an epistle to the Jewish believers, as Peter is an apostle to the circumcision.

"Simon Peter the son of John , from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion--the believers in circumcision, in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia--pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to over-throw Simon Magus," (Lives of Illustrious Men 1)

Why would Peter make a distinction between Jewish and Gentile Christians? Most likely it is because Peter did not want to infringe upon Paul's ministry to the Gentile converts. Therefore, in Peter's ministry to the Jewish Christians who lived in the same region of the world as the Gentile converts, Peter was careful not to exercise authority over the Gentile churches founded by Paul.

James and Peter both were ministers to the Jewish nation. In light of this, they did not want to boast of laboring in another man's field. Even Paul was careful not to do the same in his ministry to the Gentiles. Note:

2 Corinthians 10:13-16, "But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that Isaiah , of other men"s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man"s line of things made ready to our hand."

Song of Solomon , both James and Peter address the Jewish converts who had scattered with the persecutions that had arisen by the time of the writing of their epistles, in respect of Paul's converts who were living in these same parts of the world.

The early New Testament church did not make the distinction between the Jewish religion and a separate Christian religion that we do today. These were not two different religions, but, rather, one was a greater revelation of the Messianic promise.

Paul went so far as to call the Jews his brethren:

Romans 9:1-3, "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:"

Spiritually, we also are Abraham's seed, grafted to the true vine.

Romans 11:24, "For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?"

Galatians 3:7, "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham."

Therefore, this epistle is also used by the Gentile Christians.

1 Peter 1:1 — "Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" - Comments- J. Ramsey Michaels says the Roman provinces listed in the opening verse of 1Peter were located north of the Taurus Mountains in Asia Minor, which is located within modern-day Turkey. 82] Philo the Jew testifies to Jewish colonization of these provinces. 83] When these areas were first evangelized is a mystery. There are several suggestions (1) Converted Jews on the Day of Pentecost- We find that Jews from three of these provinces were in Jerusalem on the day Peter preached and converted three thousand souls ( Acts 2:9). (2) Peter- Peter may have traveled there, avoiding the regions of southern and western Asia Minor where Paul the apostle had established churches. But, we must note that Peter does not include any personal references within his two Epistles that reveal personal contact between him and his readers. In fact, his statement in 1 Peter 1:12 seems to disassociate him from those who brought the Gospel to this region. (3) Paul- Our strongest evidence suggests that Paul traveled to these regions and planted some of these churches. We know that he preached the Gospel in parts of Galatia ( Galatians 4:13), thoroughly evangelized Asia ( Acts 19:10) after having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit earlier to go there ( Acts 16:6), and he was forbidden by the Holy Ghost to go into Bithynia ( Acts 16:7). Song of Solomon , the fact Isaiah , Paul did plant churches in some of these Roman provinces.

82] J. Ramsey Michaels, 1 Peter , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 49, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), comments on 1Peter .

83] Philo writes, "It, as I have already stated, is my native country, and the metropolis, not only of the one country of Judaea, but also of many, by reason of the colonies which it has sent out from time to time…and also with those more distant regions of Pamphylia, Cilicia, the greater part of Asia Minor as far as Bithynia, and the furthermost corners of Pontus… And not only are the continents full of Jewish colonies, but also all the most celebrated islands are so too…" (On the Virtues and Office of Ambassadors: Addressed to Caius 36) See C. D. Yonge, The Works of Philo Judaeus, the Contemporary of Josephus, vol 4 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1855), 161.

Acts 2:9, "Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,"

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."

Galatians 4:13, "Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first."

Acts 16:6, "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,"

Acts 16:7, "After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not."

Acts 19:10, "And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks."

Donald Guthrie suggests that these five Roman provinces are listed in the order that one would naturally visit them if traveling from the east by ship. After entering into the Black Sea and landing at a seaport of Pontus, a traveler would have made a circuit through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, which puts him back on the shores of the Black Sea near his original port of entry into Asia Minor. 84]

84] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 784.

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.

1 Peter 1:2Word Study on "elect" - BDAG says the Greek word "elect" ( εκλεκτό ς) (G 1588) means, "chosen, select." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 23times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "elect 16, chosen 7." The English word "elect" means, "chosen, or taken by preference from among two or more" (Webster). This word is compound in its Greek form, being made from two words, εκ (G 1537), which means, "out of, from, by, away from," and λέ γω (G 3004), which means, "to say, to speak," or "to call by name, to call, name."

Comments - Divine Election- 1 Peter 1:2 refers to our ultimate entrance into heaven. We know from the use of the word εκλεκτό ς in the Gospel of Matthew that many are called, but few are chosen.

Matthew 20:16, "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

Matthew 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen."

The word "chosen" used in Matthew's text is the same Greek word that is used in 1 Peter 1:2. This means that the "elect" are those who have an entrance into heaven, although God's calling will go out to the multitudes. These verses in Matthew show us that man's free will is involved in this process of calling and election, for some chose to refuse this call. For example, Adam and Eve were divinely elected to tend the Garden of Eden, but they were driven from the Garden and from this ministry because of the Fall.

Peter will later state that Israel was chosen and appointed to bear the message of God's salvation to the lost and dying world, but they stumbled and fell having rejected their Messiah ( 1 Peter 2:7-8). Then, he will call his readers an "elect generation" while exhorting them to persevere until the end as a condition of obtaining their salvation ( 1 Peter 2:9, 1 Peter 1:9).

In addition, in Christian ministry, God may choose and call a person to do a particular task for the Kingdom of God. However, if this person does not respond to this divine call the Lord will often call someone else to the task. There have been times in the history of Israel when God sought for a man to fulfill the task of intercession but found none.

Isaiah 63:5, "And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me."

Jeremiah 5:1, "Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a Prayer of Manasseh , if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it."

Ezekiel 22:30, "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."

1 Peter 1:2 shows us that this election involves a three-fold process in the individual who has answered God's call of redemption. Election involves the work of God the Father who planned and foreknew all things. It also includes the process of sanctification that the Holy Spirit does within the life of each believer. Finally, election requires our obedience to God's Word as we rely upon the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the daily cleansing of our sins.

It is important to understand that divine election is not just the role of the Father in foreknowing all things that result in a person entering into heaven. Otherwise, man's freewill is ignored. Divine election must include man's will to choose to believe in Calvary and to submit himself to a work of sanctification. Thus, we are elected according to the three-fold work of God the Father, Jesus the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Herein lies the theme of the first epistle of Peter. We find that the Greek word translated "called" in Romans 8:29-30 is the same Greek word that is also used in Matthew 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen." Thus, it refers to election within the context of a person who responds to God's plan of redemption.

Romans 8:29-30, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Song of Solomon , that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

While 1 Peter 1:2 refers to this same plan of redemption with emphasis placed upon our perseverance, Romans 8:29-30 places emphasis upon our glorification. Thus, the descriptions are slightly different. While Romans 8:29-30 ends with our glorification, 1 Peter 1:2 ends with the sprinkling of the blood, which symbolizes our daily cleansing that allows us to maintain our position of justification in order that we may persevere.

Peter will later write and exhort believers to be diligent to make their calling and election certain by allowing God to do a work of sanctification in their lives. This was how they could be certain of going to Heaven.

2 Peter 1:10, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

Thus, divine election can be defined as the culmination of a person who responds to the Foreknowledge of the Father, the justification of the Son and the Sanctification of the Holy Spirit in order to reach Glorification in Heaven.

It is important to comment on the lengthy passage in Romans 9:1-33, which deals with the divine election of the nation of Israel. My best understanding of this passage in Romans is that it places emphasis on how God the Father divinely intervened in the affairs of mankind in order to create His people Israel by appointing Jacob as their forefather and by bringing them out from Egyptian bondage and giving them the Promised Land. Even within this passage on divine election Paul discusses the fact that not all of the individual Israelites were saved nor will be saved today, but rather those who believe on Jesus Christ. In contract, Peter discussed divine election in his first epistle within the context of the perseverance of each individual saint so as to place the emphasis upon the believer, while Romans 9 places emphasis upon the role of the Father in divine election as He fulfilled His covenant promises to Abraham, the father of our faith, in making him a father of a nation and in bringing this nation out after four hundred years of bondage. We can even examine the two individuals mentions in Romans and see their role in divine election; for Esau ( Romans 9:9-13) despised his birthright ( Hebrews 12:16) and Pharaoh ( Romans 9:17) hardened his heart.

The Office and Ministry of the Godhead to the Saints - We see in 1 Peter 1:2 the three-fold office of the trinity. The revelation of the triune God as the Father, Jesus the Song of Solomon , and God the Holy Spirit was given to the New Testament Church under the new covenant, and not the old. In fact, the doctrine of the Trinity has been the major stumbling block for Jewish conversion to Christianity because of their adherence to message of one true God in the Shema ( Deuteronomy 6:4-6). The three-fold role of the Trinity in man's redemption was explained by Peter the apostle in the opening statements of his first epistle, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." ( 1 Peter 1:2) Peter was present on the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus was manifested in His glory and God the Father spoke from Heaven, and he was present on the day of Pentecost to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In the opening verse of his first epistle, Peter refers to the Trinity as the Father, the Spirit and Jesus Christ, in which he also associates each member of the Godhead with their respective redemptive roles. Thus, Peter revealed that God's divine plan of redemption is accomplished through what the Scriptures call "divine election."

The office of God the Father is to plan and thus foreknow all things. The purpose of His plan is to redeem all things unto Himself. The office of Jesus Christ His Son has been to shed His blood so that all people and nations can have the opportunity to find obedience to God's divine plan for their life. The office of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify and bring to maturity each believer. Since the underlying theme of Hebrews , James and 1Peter is the perseverance of the saints from persecutions, the epistle of 1Peter will emphasize the role of God the Father in our perseverance, the epistle of James will emphasize the role of God the Holy Spirit in our perseverance, and, the epistle of Hebrews will emphasize the role of Jesus Christ in our perseverance.

In 2 Corinthians 13:14, we now see the means by which each of the Godhead accomplishes their work. God the father is moved by His boundless love for mankind, which moves Him to intervene in the affairs of men. It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that His blood daily cleanses us from our sins. It is through the believer's fellowship with the Holy Spirit that he is brought to maturity and finds God's plan for his life.

2 Corinthians 13:14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

In 1 Peter 1:2 we see the divine Trinity and a comment, or summary, about each of their divine offices. It is important to note that these particular offices are not the only ones that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have had or ever will walk in. The Father was initially and still is the Creator of all things ( Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3); Jesus Christ has been and still is the Word of God in this creation ( John 1:1-18, Revelation 19:13); and the Holy Spirit was and is the Wisdom and Power of God in creation ( Proverbs 8:22-31). The offices listed here are those that relate to God's plan of redemption for mankind. In redeeming mankind, the Father foreknew and chose those whom He would redeem. Jesus was sent to earth and died on Calvary as our Apostle and to become our High Priest ( Hebrews 3:1). He will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords after our redemption has been completed. The Holy Spirit has been sent upon the earth in order to sanctify His Church and to prepare the Bride for the Second Coming. It is all of these ministries together that will bring us to glorification in Heaven.

Particularly, 1 Peter 1:2 refers to the offices of the Trinity in their ministry to the believer, and not to the sinner. This is because the epistles are written to the saints and not to the world. For the child of God, the Father has foreknown him and has a plan for him to follow. He is intervening in his life daily in order to perfect His plan in the life of a believer. For the sinner, the Father is at work first calling him to Himself, but for the child of God, the Holy Spirit is at work bringing him thru a process of sanctification. For the sinner, the Holy Spirit is first convicting him of sin, righteousness and judgment, trying to justify him thru faith in the Cross, but for the child of God, Jesus Christ is at work teaching him obedience and daily cleansing him of sin. Therefore, this verse refers to God's redemptive work in the life of a believer.

There will come a time when these "Redemption" offices will no longer be needed. There will be a time when the Father is not intervening in our lives to bring us into glorification and Heaven. There will be a time when Jesus is not interceding for us before the Father in order to bring us into Heaven. There will be a time when the Holy Spirit is not bringing us through the process of sanctification in order to get us to Heaven. Although they will still hold these titles and offices, they will no longer need to operate in them, for they will have fulfilled their ministries. In Heaven, we will see them in a greater aspect of their offices and ministries, ministries for what God created us to behold before the Fall. But for now, let us study their ministries that are before us.

1. God the Father in His Foreknowledge - The Father foreknew us, the chosen aliens (or foreigners) ( Romans 8:29-31). He has planned the calling and work of each individual Christian.

Romans 8:29-31, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Song of Solomon , that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

God "foreknow" us to be predestined to be conformed to the image of His Song of Solomon , to be called, justified, glorified.

2 Thessalonians 2:14, "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The office of God the Father is to foreknow and plan all things. His planning can be referred to as divine election. Thus, foreknowledge and divine election work hand in hand. Foreknowledge refers to the fact that God knows the future, while election refers to the fact that God has a plan for the future. Before the foundations of the world, God knew all things and He planned all things according to His will and purpose. Since God does not live in the realm of time, He knows eternity past to eternity future. Divine election simply means that since He created all things with a divine purpose and a plan.

The use of the word "foreknowledge" in this verse is a word that attempts to place God's ways within the realm of time. Since man lives in this realm, God is trying to communicate to us within this realm. However God dwells in eternity and as a result, He knows the beginning from the end.

2. God the Spirit in Sanctification - The office and work of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify the believer. The word "sanctification" literally means, "to set apart." A good illustration of this word is seen in the Old Testament where King David "dedicated," or "set apart," the spoils of war to God by carrying these items into the storage rooms of the Temple. Another example is when God set apart the Levites for the service of the Temple. Solomon sanctified these priests before they could do their service. We become strangers (or aliens) on this earth by the process of sanctification, having been set apart for the service of the Lord. He works in our lives to sanctify us. Sanctified by the Spirit ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13) - God a chose us unto salvation by:

a. Sanctification of the Holy Spirit (of promise)

b. Faith in the truth

2 Thessalonians 2:13, "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:"

2 Thessalonians 2:14, "....called by the Gospel to obtain the glory ( Romans 8:30) of Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 8:30, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

3. God the Song of Solomon , Jesus Christ in our Obedience and Sprinkling of the Blood for Forgiveness - Jesus was sent unto obedience and sprinkling of His blood. Our obedience refers both to our initial salvation ( Romans 6:17), and to our life of sanctification that follows. The sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, involves forgiveness and cleansing of sins ( Hebrews 12:24). We are obedient when we yield our lives to Gospel and we are led by the Holy Spirit ( Galatians 5:16), Who receives instructions from Jesus ( John 16:13). When we are disobedient, we confess those sins and are cleansed by His blood, which is referred to as "sprinkling of the blood."

Romans 6:17, "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."

Hebrews 12:24, "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."

Galatians 5:16, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

John 16:13, "Howbeit when Hebrews , the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."

Peter will give us further insight into the meaning of this phrase shortly. He will tell us "as obedient children" not to shape our lives according to our former lifestyles ( 1 Peter 1:14). We are to be holy as God who called us is holy knowing that we were not redeemed with silver and gold but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ ( 1 Peter 1:15-19). Thus, the phrase "sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" emphasizes the believers' daily access to cleansing of sins while learning to walk in obedience to Him. This phrase reveals that we have a reference to an obedience lifestyle with a divine provision for those times of disobedience. We also see within this phrase a reference to Jesus' present role as our Great High Priest, who ever lives to make intercession for the saints, helping to bring us through the process of sanctification. Thus, Jesus Christ plays a two-fold role in man's salvation, as noted in Hebrews 10:19-21, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God;" He died on Calvary to make a way for our justification and He is now our Great High Priest to maintain our position of justification before God the Father.

1 Peter 1:2 — "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" - Comments- In a similar way that the early apostles were instructed by Jesus to let their peace come upon the home of their host ( Matthew 10:13), so did Paul the apostle opening every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God's peace and grace upon his readers, and Peter did the same in his two epistles.. Matthew 10:13 shows that you can bless a house by speaking God"s peace upon it.

Matthew 10:13, "And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you."

This practice of speaking blessings upon God's children may have its roots in the Priestly blessing of Numbers 6:22-27, where God instructed Moses to have the priests speak a blessing upon the children of Israel. We see in Ruth 2:4 that this blessing became a part of the Jewish culture when greeting people. Boaz blessed his workers in the field and his reapers replied with a blessing.

Ruth 2:4, "And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee."

We also see this practiced by the king in 2 Samuel 15:20 where David says, "mercy and truth be with thee".

2 Samuel 15:20, "Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee."

This word of blessing was a part of the Hebrew and Jewish culture. This provides us the background as to why Peter was speaking a blessing on the churches of Asia Minor, especially that God would grant them more of His grace and abiding peace that they would have otherwise not known. In faith, we too, can receive this same blessing into our lives. Peter actually pronounces and invokes a blessing of divine grace and peace upon his readers with these words, "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." I do not believe this blessing is unconditional, but rather conditional. In other words, it is based upon the response of his hearers. The more they obey these divine truths laid forth in this epistle, the more God's grace and peace is multiplied in their lives. We recall how the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, with six tribes standing upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people and six tribes upon Mount Ebal to curse the disobedient ( Deuteronomy 27:11-26). Thus, the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28:1-68 were placed upon the land. All who obeyed the Law received these blessings, and all who disobeyed received this list of curses. In the same way Peter invokes a blessing into the body of Christ for all who will hearken unto the divine truths of this epistle.

We see this obligation of the recipients in Beck's translation of 2 Peter 1:2, "As you know God and our Lord Jesus, may you enjoy more and more of His love and peace."

1 Peter 1:1-2Comments- "to the strangers....be multiplied" - Peter and the Apostles saw the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ reaching all people. Jesus never turned down anyone. He strengthened, healed and ministered to them all. The purpose of Jesus" ministry was to make all mankind whole. Peter"s ministry followed this same vision that he also was to minister and build up all people. This epistle is built around the purpose of building up and edifying and equipping everyone who hears and reads, as Jesus did in his earthly ministry, no respecter of persons.


Verses 3-5

Our Future Inheritance to Give Us Hope in Election - The base-line sentence of 1 Peter 1:3-5 is "Blessed (be) God the Father." This passage will expound upon the blessedness of the Father in electing us unto eternal redemption through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:3-5 tells us that the Father has provided us a future inheritance in Heaven as a part of His divine election for us. The base-line sentence of 1 Peter 1:3-5 is "Blessed (be) God the Father." Therefore, these verses will expound upon the Father's blessedness by showing us the inheritance He has prepared for us His children through His divine foreknowledge.

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,

1 Peter 1:3 — "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" - Comments- 1 Peter 1:3 begins like Ephesians 1:3. Both epistles have in common the fact that they place emphasis upon the office and ministry of God the Father. Ephesians focuses upon the doctrine of His plan of redemption for the Church, while 1Peter focuses upon the Father's role in our perseverance.

Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"

This statement reveals that God is not only the Father of Jesus Christ, but also His God. We see a similar statement in 1 Corinthians 11:3, "…the head of Christ is God."

1 Peter 1:3 — "which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope" - Comments- The word "hope" used in 1 Peter 1:3 reflects the theme of this epistle, which is the perseverance of the saints. For all who endure hardships are able to do so because they have been given a hope of something better. Peter uses this same Greek word three times in his first epistle ( 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:21; 1 Peter 3:15).

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."

1 Peter 3:15, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

We read in Ephesians 2:12 that before Christ redeemed us we were without hope in this world. Our hope is living in that we now serve a living God who is actively at work in our lives. We can imagine the despair that Peter went through at Christ's Passion, after denying Him three times, then the renewed hope at His Resurrection. Thus, Peter experienced God's "abundant mercy" and renewal of hope by a living experience with Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:12, "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:"

1 Peter 1:3Comments- 1 Peter 1:3 tells us that our rebirth is available to us now because of Christ's rebirth, because of His resurrection. Paul's epistles teach us that we have been raised up together with Christ Jesus. Note:

Ephesians 2:6, "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"

We have been born anew by God the Father through the intermediate agency of Jesus Christ's resurrection. Unto:

(1) a living hope (verse 3), and

(2) an inheritance (verse 4)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ provided our redemption so that we can now be born again by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Our born-again experience testifies to God's abundant mercy towards us. This abundance of mercy proves God's blessedness. In other words, all good things proceed from God. He is a good God. Even in eternity, when the fallen angels and unrepentant mankind are being tormented in an eternal Hell, God will still be blessed and good in everything He has done. There is no evil in Him.

In this Epistle Peter will expound upon God the Father's blessedness by building upon this foundational truth. He will reveal God's redemptive work for us so that we might place our hope in eternal things, rather than in the temporal things of this life, so that we can find the courage to endure persecutions by placing our hope in Him and our eternal inheritance.

1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:4Comments- 1 Peter 1:4 reflects the theme of the perseverance of the saints by mentioning our inheritance. This inheritance is something that has been given to us to hope for, something that we can look forward to receiving when we persevere to the end. This inheritance is:

1. Imperishable, immortal- Incorruptible (KJV), Never perish (NIV)

2. Pure, unstained- Undefiled (NASB, KJV), Will never spoil (NIV)

3. Will not fade away (NASB), Never fades (NIV)

4. Kept, reserved for us in heaven(s) (NIV, KJV, NASB)

The first three words tell us that this inheritance is eternal, pure and unable to be corrupted. These three Greek words all begin with the letter "alpha" or "a."

In 1 Peter 1:4 the author contrasts our eternal inheritance with the corruptible, perishable things of this world. Peter will even state that gold and silver, which were considered the most valuable and enduring material of the ancient world, is perishable ( 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18)

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.


Verses 3-12

Foreknowledge of God the Father: The Believer's Blessed Hope - The believer's divine election is established upon the three-fold work of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and God the Holy Spirit ( 1 Peter 1:2). The Father's role is discussed first. In 1 Peter 1:3-12 we are told that our blessed eternal hope is based upon the Father's foreknowledge in electing us unto salvation. In His divine providence He has prepared for our election by making provision for us in the future ( 1 Peter 1:3-5), in the present ( 1 Peter 1:6-9) and in the past ( 1 Peter 1:10-12). The role of God the Father in divine election is found in the fact that He Himself has prepared a future inheritance for us, who have been saved and kept by His power ( 1 Peter 1:3-5). Our heavenly position with God is then quickly contrasted with our earthly circumstances, which involve temptations that try our faith ( 1 Peter 1:6-9). In other words, God the Father is keeping us as we walk in faith and He will one day send His Son Jesus Christ back to earth to gather the saints who are persevering in hope of this future event, which we refer to as the Second Coming ( 1 Peter 1:6-9). God the Father sent the Holy Spirit to speak through the prophets of old to testify of these future redemptive events for those who endure these trials of faith ( 1 Peter 1:10-12). This introductory passage is used to show us the enormous value of our election, being much more valuable than gold which perished, and valuable enough that the prophets of old inquired and sought diligently to understand these prophetic revelations.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Our Future Inheritance — 1 Peter 1:3-5

2. Our Present Trials — 1 Peter 1:6-9

3. Our Past Prophecies — 1 Peter 1:10-12


Verses 6-9

Our Present Trials of Faith Bring Us to Salvation in Election - Having declared our future hope ( 1 Peter 1:3-5) Peter then mentions in 1 Peter 1:6-9 our present condition of suffering in this life. The Father has also elected, or determined, that our faith must be tested in this present time, resulting in the salvation of our souls. These verses explain that our faith in God is more valuable that any material gain that man may achieve in this life. We are told in this passage that God will allow us to go through periods of testing so as to refine our faith in Him. Such trials become our opportunity to demonstrate our love and devotion to our Saviour. These tests teach us to place our faith in Him and help us to develop in maturity in the midst of our trials. The clearest examples in Scriptures of those whose faith was tried and proven genuine and whose faith brought them into their eternal glory is the list of men and women found in Hebrews 11:1-40. In these verses we read of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Rahab who all endured trials of faith on this earth in order to obtain their eternal inheritance. This exhortation to persevere in hopes of our eternal glory is the message of 1 Peter 1:3-5.

Peter Speaks from Experience - In 1 Peter 1:6-9 Peter exhorts his readers to endure the manifold temptations so that their faith might be purified, resulting in the salvation of their souls. Peter was speaking from experience. We read in Luke 22:31-32 how Peter's faith was tested. Thus, he is speaking in 1 Peter 1:6-9 from the personal experience of knowing the "heaviness" that comes during these seasons of trials. In fact, Peter's personal experiences of sufferings undergirds his entire message in 1Peter.

Luke 22:31-32, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

We see in 1 Peter 1:6-9 how God will allow us to go through periods of testing so that we will learn to place our faith in Him and become more mature than before. In fact, Peter will exhort his readers towards Christian maturity in 1 Peter 2:1-3. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts explaining the purpose of trials in the development and maturity of our faith and trust in the Lord.

"My people, heed My words; yea, walk not carelessly; neither lay out thine own paths on which to travel. Ye cannot know what lieth in the distance, nor what adversity ye may encounter tomorrow. So walk closely with Me, that ye may be able to draw quickly upon My aid. Ye need Me; and no matter how well-developed is thy faith nor how mature is thy growth in grace, never think for a moment that ye need My support any less. Nay, but the truth is that ye need it even more. For I shelter the new-born from many a trial and testing such as I permit to confront those who are growing up in spiritual stature. Yea, verily, ye cannot grow unless I do bring into your lives these proving and testing experiences." 85]

85] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 17.

1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

1 Peter 1:6"Wherein ye greatly rejoice" - Word Study on "wherein" - The Greek phrase ἐν ᾧ can be translated, "in which." Its antecedent is our hope of a heavenly inheritance. Thus, we could read, "in which hope ye greatly rejoice."

1 Peter 1:6 — "though now for a season" - Comments- Peter contrasts the eternal nature of our heavenly inheritance with the temporal nature of our sufferings in this life.

1 Peter 1:6 — "if need be" - Comments- Within the context of 1Peter these temptations are the persecutions that we face for righteousness sake. It is not always necessary that we be tried through affliction. However, they are used to refine us and purify our faith in God ( Isaiah 48:10). When these times are appointed, then we must be willing to endure them as Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:1.

Isaiah 48:10, "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."

1 Peter 4:1, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;"

(We must be careful in our theology not to uses 1 Peter 1:6 as an excuse to allow sickness into our bodies; for Peter will point out in 1 Peter 2:24 of this same Epistle that healing is a part of our redemption now.)

1 Peter 1:6 — "ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations" - Comments- Peter describes our Christian life in this sinful, corrupt world as a season of being in heaviness through manifold temptations. This is the way life appears from the eyes of a sojourner ( 1 Peter 1:1) dwelling in a hostile land.

1 Peter 1:6Comments- The idea of rejoicing in the midst of manifold temptations is found in the book of James. 1 Peter 1:3-5 gives us our reason for rejoicing in the times of temptations, which is because of our glorious hope and inheritance in Christ Jesus. Note similar verses that tell us to rejoice:

Nehemiah 8:10, "Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

James 1:2, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;"

Matthew 5:12, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

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:

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" - Comments- The fire of testing refers sometimes referred to as gold. The testing of our faith is much more precious than perishable gold which is tried by fire. Note:

Job 23:10, "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

Psalm 66:10, "For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried."

Proverbs 17:3, "The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts."

Isaiah 48:10, "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."

Zechariah 13:9, "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."

Malachi 3:3, "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness."

1 Corinthians 3:13, "Every man"s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man"s work of what sort it is."

Scripture References- James uses a similar phrase, "the trying of your faith."

James 1:3, "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."

1 Peter 1:7"might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" - Comments- At the time of Jesus' second coming and rewards ( Luke 14:14), Jesus will be looking to find one thing - our faith. This is what counts in eternity ( Hebrews 11).

Luke 14:14, "And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

1 Peter 1:7Comments- Knowing the reality of facing the soon coming Day of Judgment becomes a reason for Godly fear in our lives.

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:

1 Peter 1:8 — "Whom having not seen, ye love" - Comments- Peter, the author of this epistle, had seen the Lord Jesus Christ and walked with him. Song of Solomon , he is complimenting the faith of his readers, who had never seen the Lord by saying "you love," rather than "we love."

"in whom, though now ye see him not" - Comments- Not only had they never seen Jesus in the flesh, as did Peter, but they were still faithfully awaiting His Second Coming. Song of Solomon , Peter writes, "though now ye see Him not."

"yet believing" - Comments- Despite these facts, they believed in His redemptive work on Calvary during His earthly ministry, and they expectantly awaited His Return to take them to Heaven.

1 Peter 1:8 — "ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" - Comments- There is a joy in a Christian"s heart that can flow like rivers of water from a bubbling spring with inexpressible feeling and it fills your lips with praise (i.e. glory) of God, lips "full of glory" to God.

Note these words from Frances J. Roberts of joy unspeakable, which proceeds from God. It is not man's joy, but the joy of the Lord.

"Ye must walk in the Spirit, and in so doing keep thyself from becoming entangled in the things of the flesh. Ye just live in obedience to the Spirit, and thus be kept from being in bondage to the desires of the flesh. Myself cannot keep you except ye first make this choice. It was concerning this matter that Jude write his word of admonition: And ye, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost, keeping yourselves in the love of God ( Jude 1:20-21). By setting your soul through deliberate choice of your will to pursue the worship of God by praying in the Spirit, thou shalt find thy faith strengthened and thy life bathed in the love of God. With thy faith laying hold upon God's promises and power, and thine actions motivated by the love of God, thou wilt find thyself in the path of the activity of God: His blessing shall be upon thee, and He will accomplish His works through thee. Thou needest make no plans nor resort to any clever strategy. Keep yourself in the love of God. Pray in the Spirit. Rejoice evermore. Set your affections upon Christ. God will do through you and for His glory such things as it pleases Him to do, and thou shalt rejoice with Him. For as thine own spirit is aware when His Spirit is grieved within thee, so shalt thou also be aware when His Spirit rejoices within thee. This is His joy. This is the joy He promised. This is the greatest joy that can come to the human heart, for it is the joy of God, and the joy of God transcends the joy of man. Surely thou shalt not only rejoice but be exceeding glad, with a gladness surpassing thy power to tell." 86]

86] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 83-4.

Illustration- In 1984, on a Monday night, I had been studying my Bible until about a.m. in the morning. I then laid down to sleep. As I tried to fall off to sleep, the presence of the Lord began to fill my room. I began to worship the Lord in song. This continued until about 5:00 a.m. in the morning. By this time, the presence of the Lord was so intense that I was laying on the floor. The Lord gave me this verse in a popular worship song. I then understood this verse like never before. In God"s presence that night, I was feeling a joy that I could not explain, and it was full of worship and glory to the Father.

Scripture References- Look at the praise in the passages in the book of Revelation - This is it.

1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.


Verses 10-12

Our Past Prophecies to Exhort Us to Persevere in Election - 1 Peter 1:10-12 explains that God the Father elected us by sending the Holy Spirit to speak through the prophets of old, who were elected to testify of these future redemptive events regarding our salvation. These prophecies were spoken to us in the past so that they could be preached to us now during our present trials as a way of exhorting us to persevere.

Peter will explain to his readers how the prophets of old desired to understand the redemptive work of Christ, and even today the angels desire to fully understand the same. It is now being revealed unto us.

1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

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.

1 Peter 1:11"Searching what" - Comments- Peter was saying "searching unto what event or unto which person the prophets were referring to."

1 Peter 1:11"or what manner of time" - Word Study on "what manner of time" - The Greek phrase ποῖον καιρὸν (what manner of time) means, "when will these things take place"

1 Peter 1:11"the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" - Comments- The previous passage in 1 Peter 1:3-9 emphasized the sufferings and glory of the saints. 1 Peter 1:11 gives us an example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself suffered and has entered into His glory.

The neuter personal pronoun "it" in this statement refers to the Holy Spirit as its antecedent, since the Spirit is a neuter word in the Greek text. This statement in 1 Peter 1:11 tells us that the prophets were particularly interested in the prophecies predicting Christ's suffering and exaltation. There were many prophecies of Christ encompassing his birth, life, death, resurrection and glorification. Some of those surrounding His death and glorification are very detailed, as we see in Psalm 22and Isaiah 53.

Jesus knew perfectly well from these prophecies in the Holy Scriptures what He was about to suffer, for He told His disciples, "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again." Thus, all of these events are found in Old Testament prophecies. 1 Peter 1:11 implies that it was these prophecies that raised the most inquiries about the events in the life of the Messiah.

Note statements our Saviour made to His disciples concerning His suffering and exaltation:

Matthew 16:21, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."

Matthew 17:22-23, "And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry."

Mark 9:31, "For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day."

Mark 10:33-34, "Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again."

Luke 9:22, "Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."

Luke 13:32, "And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."

Luke 18:31-33, "Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again."

Luke 24:6-8, "He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words,"

Luke 24:46, "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:"

What were these specific events that Jesus knew about from Scripture regarding His suffering?

Psalm 22:1 - God the Father forsaking Him

Psalm 22:6-8; Psalm 22:12-13 - men mocking Him

Psalm 22:14-15 - weakness and thirst

Psalm 22:16 - hands and feet pierced

Psalm 22:18 - garments parted and lots east

Isaiah 52:14 - His visage marred

Isaiah 53:3 - despised and rejected

Isaiah 53:4 - smitten of God

Isaiah 53:5-6; Isaiah 53:8 - scourging and death of our sins

Isaiah 53:7 - speechless at His trial

Isaiah 53:9 - grave with the wicked

Isaiah 53:12 - numbered with the transgressors

Isaiah 50:6 - Back smitten, beard plucked, spit in His face

Micah 5:1 - Smitten with a rod upon the cheek

Zechariah 13:7 - The shepherd smitten, sheep scattered

Daniel 9:26 - Messiah is cut off

Jonah - Risen on the third day

Jesus Christ also knew of the glories that should follow His Passion and Resurrection.

Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

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.

1 Peter 1:12 — "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things" - Comments - We can look back and admire those men and women of God in the Old Testament who placed their faith in God; but we need not long to live when they lived because they were longing to see what we see and to experience the new covenant. We have a much better opportunity to serve the Lord under the new covenant than anyone in the Old Testament.

1 Peter 1:12 — "which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven" - Comments- The phrase "with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven" reflects the emphasis in 1Peter upon the role of the God the Father in our election unto glorification, which is the underlying theme of 1Peter.

1 Peter 1:12 — "which things the angels desire to look into" - Comments- The angels in Heaven are not all-knowing. They are interested in beholding God's divine plan of redemption as it unfolds in the affairs of humanity.

1 Peter 1:13 to 1 Peter 5:9

The Body of the Sermon - We should note that while Hebrews emphasized our need to have a pure heart in the midst of perseverance through the office of Jesus as our Great High Priest, and James emphasizes our physical works mixed with faith by the power of the Holy Spirit, the epistle of 1Peter places emphasis upon our minds as we place our hope in the Father's election. Therefore, 1Peter offers three primary exhortations that appeal to the believer's mind and will to make the decision to persevere. We can title these three divisions in the format of a sermon with explanation, illustration, and application.

EXPLANATION - Peter first explains how we are to respond to the Father's election ( 1 Peter 1:3-12) by choosing a lifestyle of sanctification through the indwelling the Holy Spirit by partaking of God's Word ( 1 Peter 1:13 to 1 Peter 2:10).

ILLUSTRATION- Secondly, Peter illustrates his sermon by us illustrations of how we choose to obey Jesus Christ in the love walk by a life of good works and submission to authority, which is our "spiritual service," even when it involved suffering for righteousness sake ( 1 Peter 2:11 to 1 Peter 4:11).

APPLICATON- Thirdly, Peter shows us how to apply our hope of divine election by exhorting us we to rejoice while fulfilling our spiritual duties in light of our blessed hope of Heaven ( 1 Peter 4:12 to 1 Peter 5:9).

All three of these choices are based upon the living hope that has been placed before us by the office and ministry of God the Father. We make these choices by "girding up the loins of our mind" with the Word of God ( 1 Peter 1:13), by "abstaining from fleshly lusts that war against the soul" and walking in love in order to enter into our spiritual duties ( 1 Peter 2:11), and by rejoicing in hope of eternal live in order to persevere in fulfilling our duties ( 1 Peter 4:7). This means that 1Peter is emphasizing the mind of man in choosing to serve God in light of his understanding of the eternal hope his has in heaven. Thus, when Peter describes the former lifestyle of his readers as being foolish and ignorant, he is again emphasizing the mental realm of our spiritual makeup.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Sanctification by the Spirit (Explanation) — 1 Peter 1:13 to 1 Peter 2:10

2. Obedience to Christ Jesus (Illustration) — 1 Peter 2:11 to 1 Peter 4:11

3. Final Exhortation (Application) — 1 Peter 4:12 to 1 Peter 5:9


Verse 13

Sanctification by the Spirit (Explanation of Sermon): The Believer's Response is to Decide to Sanctify Himself Through Partaking of God's Word in Light of This Blessed Hope - Once we have been enlightened to our blessed hope of the Heavenly Father ( 1 Peter 1:3-12), Peter explains how we are in the position to make the choice to sanctify ourselves by growing in the Word of God through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit ( 1 Peter 1:13 to 1 Peter 2:10).

This passage of Scripture in 1 Peter 1:13 to 1 Peter 2:10 tells us that this work of sanctification is based upon our willingness to grow in the Word of God. We are first given the charge to become holy ( 1 Peter 1:14-16). Peter makes this appeal to be holy based upon the price that God the Father has paid for our redemption, which is the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ ( 1 Peter 1:17-21). Since our new birth came about when we partook of the eternal, living Word of God ( 1 Peter 1:22-25), then it means our spiritual growth into holiness is also accomplished by this same living Word of God ( 1 Peter 2:1-3). Peter then explains how we are a chosen people of God set apart, or sanctified, with a purpose, which is to effect redemption for mankind ( 1 Peter 2:4-10).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Summary Statement — 1 Peter 1:13

2. Calling: The Charge to be Holy — 1 Peter 1:14-16

3. Justification: The Price of our Redemption — 1 Peter 1:17-21

4. Sanctification: The Love Walk — 1 Peter 1:22-25

5. Sanctification: Indoctrination — 1 Peter 2:1-3

6. Sanctification: Spiritual Service — 1 Peter 2:4-10


Verse 13

Summary Statement - Our glorious hope of an eternal inheritance has been described in 1 Peter 1:3-12, and summarized in 1 Peter 1:13 as an exhortation to be mindful this living hope. The rest of this Epistle will now take us on a journey to show us how to "hope fully until the end" ( 1 Peter 1:13).

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;

1 Peter 1:13 — "Wherefore" - Comments- The Greek word διό (wherefore) literally means, "because of this." In refers back to our blessed hope of divine election described in 1 Peter 1:3-12. Thus, it means, "because we have been born again by the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven in anticipation of an eternal inheritance ( 1 Peter 1:3-4), kept by the power of God ( 1 Peter 1:5), enduring trials of affliction which tests our faith ( 1 Peter 1:6-9), and made partakers of these prophecies of Old ( 1 Peter 1:10-12), we should fix our hope of Jesus' Second Coming and our eternal hope in Him.

1 Peter 1:13"gird up the loins of your mind" - Comments- When Peter tells his readers in 1 Peter 1:13 to "gird up the loins of your mind," he is telling them to assemble their attire for a journey and be in a state of readiness. This statement paints an image in the minds of his readers of a sojourner who is getting ready to embark upon a long journey. The journey is our life of divine election whereby we live as those who are looking for a blessed, eternal hope in Heaven. Goodspeed translates this phrase, "Prepare your minds for action." Therefore, Peter will spend the rest of this Epistle telling us how to prepare our minds to persevere and complete this spiritual journey. We are to first sanctify ourselves with the Word of God ( 1 Peter 1:13 to 1 Peter 2:10). We are to walk in obedience with good words in the midst of persecutions ( 1 Peter 2:11 to 1 Peter 4:11). We are to rejoice in hope of our eternal inheritance laid up for us in glory ( 1 Peter 4:12-19).

We find a similar statement in the Gospels. When Jesus taught of His Second Coming, He said to His disciples, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning," ( Luke 12:35). The figurative phrase "let your loins be girded about" implies that a person be in a state of readiness. Regarding the phrase "your lights burning", we may compare it to The Parable of the Ten Virgins ( Matthew 25:1-13), where Frances Roberts says that the lamp represents the Word of God, while the oil represents the Holy Spirit that illuminates the Word and the fire of the lamp represents the fire of testimony that goes forth from those who witness to others of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and in particular of the Second Coming of Christ. 87] Thus, Jesus is describing a person in Luke 12:35 who is ready and looking for Christ's Return while proclaiming to others to prepare themselves for this eminent event.

87] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 159.

Luke 12:35, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;"

Paul told the Ephesians to "have their loins girt about with truth". We do this by renewing our minds with the Word of God.

Ephesians 6:14, "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;"

"be sober" - Comments- The idea of being sober means that a person must be in his right senses while living among the cares of this world. We live in the world, but we are not to pursue the things of this world and set our heart upon them.

"and hope to the end" - Comments- Then he tells them to "hope to the end," which is a way of having them focus upon a destination at the end of this journey. In order to persevere until the end we are told in 1 Peter 1:13 to fix our hope upon the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, our focus is to be in a state of readiness for His Second Coming in much the same way the children of Israel girded up their loins on the night of the first Passover awaiting the call to come out of Egypt ( Exodus 12:11).

Exodus 12:11, "And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD"S passover."

In the same way that Jesus set His face towards the joy that the Father set before Him ( Hebrews 12:1-3), so does Peter set before his readers a hope and expectation to help them endure their journey as a pilgrim here on earth.

Hebrews 12:1-3, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

1 Peter 1:13 — "for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" - Comments- In 1 Peter 1:13 the author refers to our redemption at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as "the grace that is to be brought unto you." The emphasis in this phrase is upon God the Father's role in divinely electing us unto salvation and providing redemption through His Son Jesus Christ. The use of the word "grace" emphasizes the fact that our redemption is a free unmerited gift from God. In the next verse Peter will emphasize our role in order to partake of this grace by saying, "as obedient children" ( 1 Peter 1:14). Our obedience will then be discusses as a life of holiness ( 1 Peter 1:15-16)

1 Peter 1:13Comments- The rest of this Epistle will now tell us how to gird up our loins and hope until the end for our blessed salvation at the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.


Verses 14-16

Calling: The Charge to be Holy - We are exhorted to make the decision to live a holy lifestyle in this present time in 1 Peter 1:14 to 1 Peter 2:10. 1 Peter 1:14-16 exhorts us to this life of holiness based upon a charge from Moses to the people in Leviticus 11:44-45 to sanctify themselves. Therefore, Peter gives us our divine calling to a life of holiness.

1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

1 Peter 1:14"not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts" - Comments- That Isaiah , do not shape your life after your former lifestyle before you were saved.

1 Peter 1:14 — "in your ignorance" - Comments- The phrase "in your ignorance" contrasts our present condition of understand our eternal hope with our former lifestyle of ignorance and darkness which held us in sin.

The phrase "in your ignorance" used in 1 Peter 1:14 is contrasted with the believer's understand and decision to choose holiness, with the emphasis of this Epistle being upon man's mental realm in his choice to persevere. We see a similar phrase in "the ignorance of foolish men" used in 1 Peter 2:15.

1 Peter 2:15, "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:"

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1 Peter 1:15 — "so be ye holy in all manner of conversation" - Comments- It is possible to be saved, go to Church, and do good things for others while still carrying hidden strongholds of sin in our lives, which were carried over from our former lifestyles, mentioned in 1 Peter 1:14. Peter exhorts his readers to lay aside every single vice and not just some of them; for Peter understands that without true holiness we will not "Receiving the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls" ( 1 Peter 1:9).

1 Peter 1:15Comments- The reason we sanctify our lives and live holy before God is because of the hope we have in entering into our future glorification ( 1 Peter 1:13). We must choose to lay aside our old lifestyles ( 1 Peter 1:14) and walk in holiness ( 1 Peter 1:15) based upon our new hope.

1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1 Peter 1:16Comments- 1 Peter 1:16 is a quote from Leviticus 19:2.

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."


Verses 17-21

Justification: The Price of our Redemption- But how is this process of sanctification, or holiness, implemented in our lives. It is the fear of the Lord that causes us to choose a lifestyle of holiness. Proverbs 16:6 says, "…and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." Thus, 1 Peter 1:17 tells us to walk in the fear of the Lord. How is this fear instilled within our lives? The next verses in 1 Peter 1:18-21 gives us the answer. This fear is instilled by walking in the revelation and realization of the costly purchase of our redemption through the precious blood of God's Son. Peter tells us the cost of our salvation, which was purchased by the blood of His dear Son. Thus, Peter's takes a digression in 1 Peter 1:17-21 to lay a foundation for our need for sanctification based upon the cost of our initial salvation, which is called justification. He describes this event from the perspective of God the Father's role in bringing about our salvation by explaining how the Father prepared Jesus as our sacrificial lamb from the foundation of the world.

Instilling the Fear of God In Our Lives- Since 1 Peter 1:14-16 exhorts us to a life of holiness, and this lifestyle is achieved by walking in the fear of the Lord ( 1 Peter 1:17), then we must find the way to instill the fear of the Lord within our lives. 1 Peter 1:18-21 addresses this need to develop the fear of God by telling us that it is instilled by growing in the revelation of the costly purchase of our redemption through the precious blood of God's Son.

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:

1 Peter 1:17Comments- 1 Peter 1:14-16 exhorts us to a life of holiness. But how is this implemented in our lives. It is the fear of the Lord that causes us to choose a lifestyle of holiness. Proverbs 16:6 says, "…and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." Thus, 1 Peter 1:17 tells us to walk in the fear of the Lord. How is this fear instilled within our lives? The next passage in 1 Peter 1:18-21 gives us the answer. It is by walking in the revelation and realization of the costly purchase of our redemption through the precious blood of God's Son. This revelation comes by partaking of the living Word of God, which initially redeemed us, on a regular basis, which will be reflected in 1 Peter 1:22 to 1 Peter 2:3.

1 Peter 1:18 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;

1 Peter 1:18Comments- 1 Peter 1:18 clearly reflects the Jewish ancestry of the readers. The Gentiles kept no such particular ancient records of genealogies and traditions, but were led about in vain idol worship. 1 Peter 1:19 refers to the Jewish sacrificial lamb under the Mosaic Law. Thus, his readers were Jewish converts.

How many times the Jews must have brought their offerings unto the synagogues and Temple, thinking it brought reconciliation between them and God, not realizing that their sins could only be redeemed by the precious blood of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. These earthly sacrifices of the blood of bulls and sheep simply provided a temporary atonement and postponement for their sins until they were actually paid for on Calvary.

1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

1 Peter 1:19Comments- The Jews clearly understood the redemption provided in the lamb offering as it is described in the Mosaic Law. The books of Exodus and Leviticus taught that all lamb offerings must be without blemish.

Exodus 12:5, "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:"

Leviticus 1:3, "If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD."

1 Peter 1:18-19Comments- The Blood of Christ- The Greek word "redemption" comes from the verb λυτρόω meaning, "to redeem, liberate by payment of ransom" (Thayer).

The price of our redemption is the blood of Jesus Christ. We were released from bondage to sin and from God's eternal judgment. Jesus paid the price of our sins (transgressions) with His blood.

Colossians 1:14, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"

Hebrews 9:15, "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."

We have been redeemed from sin and all forms of death that sin brings. Worry, anxiety, fear, strife, bitterness, resentment, sickness and disease are all manifestations of the process of death. They are produced in our lives as a result of sin dwelling in us.

Why did it take the precious blood of Jesus Christ to redeem us from our sins? The life of a soul is in the blood, and life is the only antidote for death. Just as when a person is bitten by a venomous snake and there is only one antidote to cure that species of snake bite, so there was only one blood that could redeem us from our sins, and that was the spotless blood of the Lamb of God. No other blood would have worked to redeem us.

1 Peter 1:18-19Comments- Redemption Under the Mosaic Law- Note Exodus 30:11-16 which tells us that the children of Israel were to redeem themselves with a half shekel of gold.

Exodus 30:11-16, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls."

Note other references to this redemption money.

Exodus 34:20, "But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty."

Numbers 18:15, "Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem."

2 Samuel 7:23, "And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?"

Jesus now makes atonement for our souls, and not by silver or gold, but through His precious blood.

1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1 Peter 1:20Comments- If God planned the redemption of mankind from the beginning of eternity, then it means He has plans for us that will last an eternity. Our purpose in this life is a small part of the eternal plan that He has ordained for us. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

"O My people, I have purposes for thee that embrace eternity. Before the creation of the worlds, I planned for thy redemption, for it is written of the Lord Jesus Christ that He was the Lamb foreordained before the foundation of the world ( 1 Peter 1:20). Yea, I have manifested Him to you, so that ye have believed in Him and have been born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, even that which liveth and abideth forever." 88]

88] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 120.

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.


Verses 22-25

Sanctification: The Love Walk - In 1 Peter 1:22-25 Peter turns his discussion back to our call to be holy by describing it as the love walk. Our spiritual growth and sanctification come by the natural process of partaking of the living Word of God on a regular basis, which Word initially redeemed us. Our sanctification is manifested to others by walking in love with our brethren ( 1 Peter 1:22) as well as fearing the Lord ( 1 Peter 1:14-16). In other words, holiness is a process of being sanctified in our relationship with both God and man. For example, we can see this two-fold application within the Ten Commandments. The first four commandments are directed towards our relationship with God, while the other six commandments emphasize our relationship with men. Jesus explained it well in Matthew 22:37-40 in His reply to the Pharisees about the greatest commandment.

Matthew 22:37-40, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Love is the goal of our sanctification ( 1 Timothy 1:5), and it becomes our testimony to the world that we are God's children ( John 13:35).

1 Timothy 1:5, "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:"

John 13:35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

This spiritual growth is effected by partaking of the same Living and Eternal Word of God that brought us into salvation ( 1 Peter 1:23). Peter then quotes from Isaiah 40:6-8 to emphasize the living, eternal nature of God's Word with the power to transform us into maturity ( 1 Peter 1:24-25).

The Eternal Nature of God's Word - 1 Peter 1:22-25 describes the eternal nature of God's Word. No other passage in Scripture gives such a description of God's Word. Peter gives it this description from the perspective of the Father's divine plan of election in the life of the believer, which is the underlying theme woven throughout this Epistle.

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:

1 Peter 1:22 — "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren" - Comments- The phrase "in obeying the truth" in 1 Peter 1:22 reaches back to 1 Peter 1:14, which calls us "obedient children" and picks up with the theme of sanctification, after having digressed to discuss our initial salvation in 1 Peter 1:17-21.

1 Peter 1:14, "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:'

God the Father has provided the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a life of sanctification and obedience unto Him. We are able to also purify our souls through repentance, which cleansing is made possible by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, a reference to our Saviour standing at the right hand of the Father making intercession for the saints ( 1 Peter 1:2).

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."

1 Peter 1:22 — "see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" - Comments- We see in 1 Peter 1:22 man's role in his divine election, which is to walk in love with his brethren. We are reminded of Paul's statement in 1 Timothy 1:5 that the goal of the commandment is love. Thus, the objective of our indoctrination is to walk in love.

1 Timothy 1:5, "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:"

Peter will expound upon the believer's role of loving the brethren later in this epistle when he teaches on submission to one another.

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.

1 Peter 1:23Comments- In 1 Peter 1:23 the Word of God is called "the incorruptible seed." This means that God's Word will always produce a harvest when it is sown. It will never fall to the ground as dead seed which cannot sprout. Every farmer knows the disappointment of planting corruptible seed, because it will not sprout. When I was a child and helped my father plant a garden, I would put several seeds into each hole we dug, just to make sure that at least one of these seeds sprouted. This is because we purchased a bag of seed at the feed store, knowing that not every seed in the bag was good. Once the seed sprouted, it was our job to water the seed and hoe the garden to keep the weeds from choking out the seed. 1 Peter 1:23 tells us that God's Word is incorruptible seed, with each person who received God's Word being born again. In other words, the Word always sprouts. Peter will soon explain in 1 Peter 2:1-3 how to maintain this Word so that it grows and produces fruit in our lives.

1 Peter 1:24 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:

1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

1 Peter 1:24-25Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - In 1 Peter 1:24-25 the author is quoting from Isaiah 40:6-8. This passage in Isaiah contrasts man's brief mortal life here on earth with the God's Eternal Word, which will stand forever.

Isaiah 40:6-8, "The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Peter 1:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/1-peter-1.html. 2013.

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