1 Peter, 1
1: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 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. 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, 4: To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5: Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 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: 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: 9: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10: Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 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. 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. 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; 14: As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 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: 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: 20: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 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. 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: 23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 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.
Peter addresses his letter to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Who are the strangers? May I say they are not NT Christians. Christians are never described as strangers! Peter is addressing those Israelites who have been scattered by the judgment of God throughout Asia Minor. He speaks of their empty lives in Judaism which they received from their ancestors by tradition, (by oral teaching handed down from father to son). Now in our reading we can expect a specific message of God to the Israelites. It will be legal in character and the Messiah of Israel will be the subject. These people are elect, that is they are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God for a particular service. These believers have been called into the New Covenant. Peter brings the Christian and Jewish greeting Grace and Peace. Yet Peters emphasis is focused on the Hope of Israel the resurrection of the dead into the Kingdom. (Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.) Peter looks forward to the salvation of God which will be revealed in the last time. Israel did not have the salvation that christians now enjoy, rather they looked forward to the salvation that would be revealed in the last time. Israel will come into the New birth and the New Covenant at the second coming of Christ for Israel prior to the Messianic kingdom. Their inheritance is unable to be corrupted or defiled because it is reserved in heaven for them. It will be seen one day on earth but it is kept safe in heaven today. In the meanwhile they are kept by the power of God and their faith is tested by many trials. One day, having come through testing they will receive the salvation of their souls. (But they don’t have it at present) This is the salvation that the OT prophets inquired into and they searched for it very carefully, when they prophesied of the grace of God that would come to them. They searched out what suffering Christ would enter into and the glory that would follow. It was revealed to them that they would not receive Gods salvation but that it would come to us who have the gospel preached to us. So gather up your thoughts and be serious and look forward to the grace of God that is to be brought to you when Christ himself comes in glory. Do not construct your lives according to the former lusts of the days of your ignorance. But rather as God has called you to holiness be holy in every aspect of your lives. Because God is holy and he calls you to be holy. If you call on the Father, who without prejudice judges every man’s life of work, go on living righteously in the fear of the Lord. You know that is was not by filthy money of gold or silver that you are redeemed from your empty lives which you received by teaching passed on by your teachers. But you are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, who like a lamb without outward blemish or inward spot. He was ordained to this mission, beforehand, even before the world was made, but in these recent days he was revealed to you Israel. You believe in God who raised him from the dead and glorified him so that your faith and hope might be in God. You have heard the Gospel of the kingdom and turned away from sin, purifying your souls by obeying the truth, through the Spirit and have come to sincere love of the brethren. See to it that you love one another with a pure mind and totally. You have entered into a new beginning, not by a corrupted seed but by the message of God which lives and remains for eternity. All men are like grass and the glory of men is like the flower of the meadow. The grass will wither and the flower will droop and shrivel but the Gospel will endure for ever and it is this good news that I preach to you.