Peter writes to Christians of the Roman Empire living in what is now Turkey. In calling them strangers he refers to the dispersionafter Stephen's martyrdom of Gentile Christians, to Gentiles who converted to Christianity. The were dispersed and were, therefore, strangers in those lands.
(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.
Just as the nation of Israel was chosen by God to be his covenant people, so also, Christ would come from that people and to that people. God planned this when he planned to choose Israel.
Christians are made holy, are sanctified, through the sacrificial death of Jesus. He obeyed God the Father in offering himself up as the sacrificial Lamb of God. His own blood was sprinkled just as the blood of sacrificial animals was sprinkled as part of the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament.
I find it striking that when speaking to Gentiles, the apostles often refer to Jewish ideas such as sacrifice, priesthood, temple, etc. Perhaps the majority of Gentile Christians were the God-fearers who had partially become Jewish and had learned Jewish ways.
(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,
Peter uses the phrase "born again".
Our hope comes from the resurrection of Jesus for 3 reasons:
Once resurrected, the redeemed will live forever in a glorified body.
People often say that our final destiny is heaven,but this is not the case, it is the new heavens and new earth.This verse merely says that our reservation, our ticket to eternity if you will, is kept in heaven. In other words, God has reserved our place.
If the new heavens and new earthis in heaven, this merely means that whatever heaven is, it includes the new heavens and new earth. Perhaps the word "heaven" refers to any place where God dwells and where we can commune with him.
Those who are redeemed are kept that way by God himself. This verse does not address the topic of what happens to someone who habitually commits mortal sin or who apostatizes from the faith.
People don't seem to notice what this verse actually says. It clearly says that our faith is what keeps us in God's saving power. Those who commit habitual mortal sin simply do not have saving faith, that is clear from many, many verses which state that those who sin do not inherit eternal life. Saving faith requires good works or it is not saving faith, rather, it is mere belief.
Notice when salvation actually occurs: at the end of time.
Faith involves doing.Mere mental remembrance of our loyalty to Christ is not faith but, rather, mere belief. In habitually performing good works, motivated by our desire to please God, we are acting out our faith. Without this acting out of faith, there is no faith. Faith only exists moment to moment when you prove you have it by doing it. It's like saying you love someone without doing something loving. True love expresses the love through continual loving actions.
We live a dual life: (1) the glorious eternal life of the future, and (2) the difficult life of the present.
Since these Christians had to flee for their lives, some were probably tempted to give up being a Christian so they could retain their security. They likely were not as well off in their new homes since they had to give up their livelihoods and start over.
I wonder how Peter's letter was communicated to all these people dispersed over such a large area? I suppose delegates were sent around to read it during mass and some copies were probably made. It must have taken months if not years for everyone to hear this letter read, and they probably only heard it read once. I suppose if they made a copy for themselves, they would have read it from time to time during mass. After all, how often did they get to hear from an apostle?
(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:
The trial tested their faith. People often use verses like this to support the idea that we are tempted into watching bad TV shows or what-not. But the trial of the recipients of this letter involved their very lives. They had to flee for their lives or give up their faith. Remember that Saul was going around looking for people to capture and take back to the Sanhedrian for trial. Presumably, what was done to Stephen is what would have been done to them.
Gold is very valuable but it perishes. Our faith is much more valuable than gold and it results in life eternal.
These people's faith had been tested and proven. Because of this, they will be blessed with redemption when Jesus appears.
Those who might use this verse as referring to the so-called rapture are not paying attention. When Jesus appears at his coming (his second coming), it is for salvation as verse 9 indicates.
The faith of some is tested by fire but not necessarily of everyone.
The goal of faith is salvation.
Notice that it is our souls which are saved. Some claim that we have body, soul, and spirit, and only our spirit is saved. This verse refutes that notion. We have only body and soul. The body dies and is resurrected. The soul never dies.
(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 [by] the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
The Old Testament prophets who wrote about Christ did this for the apostles and those they taught and passed the gospel down to, for us of the Church Age.
The gospel is from the Holy Spirit. This implies the Old Testament prophets spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit also.
The phrase "gird up" mean to secure your clothing with a belt. In English this phrase is used metaphorically. In the old days they would gird up their robes before travelling or before war, so girding up was done as a preparation for something. In Ephesians 6:14Paul establishes the idea of preparing for war as an extended metaphor for preparing ourselves to fight spiritual enemies. Normally I prefer to interpret the Bible strictly literallybut in this case the apostles themselves have established a metaphor.
Here are preparations Peter suggests...
In referring to various translations it is not clear whether the phrase "at the revelation of Jesus Christ" refers to his second coming or his first coming. In either case, we are redeemed by God's grace, and we hope and trust in God for this grace.
(1 Peter 2:9) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
(1 Peter 2:12) Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Since they are waiting for Christ's coming, this implies that he comes at their death; that everyone encounters Christ at death and they are received into the kingdom of heaven at that time.It doesn't make sense for them to be exhorted to wait for Christ's coming if it occurs thousands (millions?) of years after they have died.
I can think of plenty of examples of laws Christians should not obey. This is an example of the word "every" not meaning "each and every last one";rather it is limited to the category of just laws, or at least those laws (such as slavery) which Christians should not try to change.
From the Catholic point of view, it's a startling omission that Peter doesn't include submission to the Church hierarchy. If Peter the so-called first pope doesn't think it's important to mention this, well...
Peter assumes the political, secular rulers are accurately judging those doing evil from those living righteous lives. In reality, corruption and graft abounded.
Flash forward a couple of hundred years from the time Peter wrote this and the Christians would en masse be refusing to offer a pinch of incense to the emperor. I happen to think they should have offered the incense for the reason Peter mentions in the next verse: to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Christians are not to make a fuss over every problem in society because, in doing so, they become targets for criticism. Christians are to take aim carefully at issues that can be addressed without bad side-effects and harm done to the cause of Christ. This is, I think, a main problem with evangelical fundamentalist Protestant thinking; they anger the culture at large by fighting amongst themselves and with the culture. For example, they make eschatologyand creationismessential topics. In the same category: opposing contraception (Catholics) and opposing gay rights including gay marriage. For example: my dad rejected Christianity out-of-hand because of young earth creationism.
Peter seems to be addressing Christians who think they no longer have to obey the government rulers because they are bound to Christ only, and his laws. Peter informs these that Christ's law includes living as a good citizen in the context of a relatively just society. Obviously, there will be many bad and immoral practices in the culture that Christians would simply have to overlook.
(1 Peter 2:20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
Did Jesus bear sins which were ultimately not forgiven, for example, for those who will end up in hell?
(1 Peter 3:7) Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
We are bless those who harm us and who speak badly of us. Here we have another of the many examples of the necessity of good works to be redeemed.We are blessed only when we bless others, including those who have wronged us.If we wish to inherit a blessing we must do this.
This verse is directed to those righteous Christians who are persecuted and troubled by the wicked; they are not to be afraid nor troubled in their hearts but, rather, to remain holy and self-controlled — to keep their cool. In fact, they are to calmly explain why they believe as they do when asked.
Notice that our attitude is to be of meekness and fear. How many times I've encountered Christians seeking to correct my views and they are so angry. Where is all this anger coming from? Perhaps it is because many Christian movements don't emphasize training in virtueas a key aspect of salvation; in teaching salvation by faith onlythere is no motivation for these angry Christians to stop being angry. In fact, some pastors seem to believe that anger is a virtue! Imagine that.
Christians should know their faith well enough that they can at least give an answer for why they hope in Christ. This implies that they realize they are doomed by their sin and they look to Christ for redemption from their sin. This also implies that Jesus is able to redeem us from our sin.
It's not a question whether we suffer, but for what cause. Suffering as a consequence of our sin and wrongdoing is useless. We should wonder what kinds of wrongdoing Paul has in mind and why it leads to suffering.
Notice Paul says suffering can be good; it is better if out of persecution. If he was trying to say suffering is bad he would have said certain kinds of suffering are worse.
God has a hand in our suffering. In a sense, suffering (for the right reasons) is an act of worship because we become united with God's will in something we would not otherwise choose.
Substitutionary atonement: only the Orthodox Churches have the proper view of this — Christ the victor...
Christ's death on my behalf did for me what I could never have done for myself. My original sin doesn't cause me to die, rather; this created world order influenced by Satan causes death for all. Christ's sacrificial death was to remedy this, to provide a happy eternal home in the new heavens and new earthfor the redeemed.
Christ must wrest free control of the spiritual realm from Satan; he does this by taking on human nature into the divine nature, by "deifying"it; and this light of divinity invades Satan's realm ultimately pushing Satan and all the spirits of darkness into the Lake of Fire. Christ took upon himself the wrath of Satan and overwhelmed it to rescue us from God's wrath against sin. Until our soul was disentangled from evil, God cannot redeem us because darkness flees from the light, repelled like a magnetic repulsion.
The unjust referred to are the redeemed, those who merely receive in faith the grace obtained by Christ's redemptive work on the cross and in the incarnation in general. These are called unjust because they carry original sin which separates them from God. Christ's redemptive work makes union with God again possible.
People often assume Peter is referring to the damned, and specifically to those who were killed by Noah's flood. But of what use is it for Christ to preach to the damned? During the great white throne judgment they will give account for all the world to see of their wicked ways and their rejection of God's mercy.
Peter is referring to those who are members of the redeemed of all times before Christ's coming.Since salvation had not yet been obtained through his sacrificial death on their behalf, they waited in Abraham's bosomuntil Christ came to them, preached to them, and took them to another location in the spiritual realm, to the same location as the redeemed now go to.
(1 Peter 3:20) Which sometime [in the past] were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Peter abruptly shifts the focus to the damned before the time of Christ, and specifically to those at the time of Noah.
(1 Peter 3:21) The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
(1 Peter 4:3) For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Some have been killed by others for various reasons, sometimes because of their faith, sometimes out of tyrannical wickedness by the perpetrators. Presumably Peter is referring to those of times past who were righteous in God's eyes, deserving of redemption. Fellow humans killed them, not recognizing they were beloved of God. But God redeems those who are his. For those righteous souls who died before the coming of Christ, they were reserved in safety in Abraham's bosom,a location in the spiritual realm, to await Christ's visit to preach the gospel to them and to redeem them. Everyone will know their eternal fate upon their death. This was true for those in Abraham's bosom but the difference is that Christ did not come to them upon their death as he does now; they had to wait to see him until later. But now, everyone meets with Christ at death.
Peter exhorts them to be sober and prayerful and to persist in this because the end of all things is at hand. I think the best explanation for references to the imminencyof the end is that this refers to the death of each person which does come soon and at which time they are judged.
Notice the emphasis on prayer as an ingredient of our salvation. We are to take this whole subject of salvation very seriously.
(1 Peter 4:11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
There are many passages in the New Testament exhorting Christians not be murderers (or adulterers.) This is shocking. I can't imagine hearing this kind of thing in a sermon today. Perhaps this was directed to the Roman soldiers, many of whom became Christian and who fought in a brutal manner in a violent time. I've often wondered how a Roman soldier could even be a Christian at all.
It is almost comical that murderer and busybody are referred to in the same sentence. But this busybody referred to here probably means someone who interferes with someone else's life in a serious way, maybe preventing them from getting a certain job or position and things such as this.
Peter was both a bishop and an apostle. As apostle he had the right and duty to exhort the other bishops. This does not mean he was the first pope since the eastern church never agreed there even was to be such a thing as a "head" bishop over all bishops (but the Patriarchate of Constantinople played and continues to play a role similar to this.) Certainly Jesus called-out Peter to take care of the early Church, a role he took seriously.
Peter was a very humble man. He refers to himself as a mere equal to the other elders.
Peter was a witness of the beatings of Jesus during his trial before Pilate.
Peter refers to a future time in which the glory of God would be revealed; presumably all the redeemed of past, present, and future would participate in this event. I must assume, therefore, he is referring to the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of all the redeemed, the Great White Throne judgment, and the new heavens and new earth.The redeemed will partake of this glory.
It's hard to imagine how anyone could function properly as a bishop who didn't willingly choose to serve God's people. The idea of aristocratic bishops or bishops of birth is foreign to Biblical teaching.
Perhaps this occurs at each person's death.
(1 Peter 5:5) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
This verse says Peter lived in Babylonwith the church in that city. Some early church fathers remark that Peter refers to Rome — perhaps he changed the name of the city in his letter to protect the Roman Christians from persecution.
Those who wish to deny that Peter ever lived in Rome have no other option except to interpret this verse as referring to the city named Babylon,(there was also a Babylon in Egypt at the time but it was a fortress, not a city) but Peter actually did live in Rome, and he was martyred there. The anti-Catholic perspective pervades everything in Protestant thinking.
Mark wrote the gospel of Mark under Peter's direction and that gospel is, therefore, apostolic. Mark wrote that gospel in Rome when he and Peter lived there.
King James Version