1 Peter Chapter 1

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Introduction

This epistle was evidently addressed to those who were passing through severe trials, and probably to those who were, at that time, enduring persecution, 1 Pet 1:6, 1 Pet 1:7, 1 Pet 3:14, 1 Pet 4:1, 1 Pet 4:12-19.

The main object of this chapter is to comfort them in their trials; to suggest such considerations as would enable them to bear them with the right spirit, and to show the sustaining, elevating, and purifying power of the gospel. In doing this, the apostle adverts to the following considerations: --

(1.) He reminds them that they were the elect of God; that they had been chosen according to his foreknowledge, by the sanctifying agency of the Holy Ghost, and in order that they might be obedient, 1 Pet 1:1, 1 Pet 1:2.

(2.) He reminds them of the lively hope to which they had been begotten, and of the inheritance that was reserved for them in heaven. That inheritance was incorruptible, and undefiled, and glorious; it would be certainly theirs, for they would be kept by the power of God unto it, though now they were subjected to severe trials, 1 Pet 1:3ff.

(3.) Even now they could rejoice in hope of that inheritance, (1 Pet 1:6;) their trial was of great importance to themselves in order to test the genuineness of their piety, (1 Pet 1:7;) and in the midst of all their sufferings they could rejoice in the love of their unseen Saviour, (1 Pet 1:8;) and they would certainly obtain the great object for which they had believed -- the salvation of their souls, 1 Pet 1:9. By these considerations the apostle would reconcile them to their sufferings; for they would thus show the genuineness and value of Christian piety, and would be admitted at last to higher honour.

(4.) The apostle proceeds, in order further to reconcile them to their sufferings, to say that the nature of the salvation which they would receive had been an object of earnest inquiry by the prophets. They had searched diligently to know precisely what the Spirit by which they were inspired meant by the revelations given to them, and they had understood that they ministered to the welfare of those who should come after them, 1 Pet 1:10ff. Those who thus suffered ought, therefore, to rejoice in a salvation which had been revealed to them in this manner; and in the fact that they had knowledge which had not been vouchsafed even to the prophets; and under these circumstances they ought to be willing to bear the trials which had been brought upon them by a religion so communicated to them.

(5.) In view of these things, the apostle (1 Pet 1:13ff) exhorts them to be faithful and persevering to the end. In anticipation of what was to be revealed to them at the final day, they should be sober and obedient; and as he who had called them into his kingdom was holy, so it became them to be holy also.

(6.) This consideration is enforced (1 Pet 1:18ff) by a reference to the price that was paid for their redemption. They should remember that they had been redeemed, not with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. He had been appointed from eternity to be their Redeemer; he had been manifested in those times for them; he had been raised from the dead for them, and their faith and hope were through him. For these reasons they ought to be steadfast in their attachment to him.

(7.) The apostle enjoins on them the especial duty of brotherly love, 1 Pet 1:22, 1 Pet 1:23. They had purified their hearts by obeying the truth, and as they were all one family, they should love one another fervently. Thus they would show to their enemies and persecutors the transforming nature of their religions and furnish an impressive proof of its reality.

(8.) To confirm all these views, the apostle reminds them that all flesh must soon die. The glory of man would fade away. Nothing would abide but the word of the Lord. They themselves would soon die, and be released from their troubles, and they should be willing, therefore, to bear trials for a little time. The great and the rich, and those apparently more favoured in this life, would soon disappear, and all the splendour of their condition would vanish; and they should not envy them, or repine at their own more humble and painful lot, 1 Pet 1:24, 1 Pet 1:25. The keenest sufferings here are brief and the highest honours and splendours of life here soon vanish away; and our main solicitude should be for the eternal inheritance. Having the prospect of that, and building on the sure word of God, which abides forever, we need not shrink from the trials appointed to us here below.

Text

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

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. edit

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, edit

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

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

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

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: edit

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: edit

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

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

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. edit

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. edit

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; edit

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

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

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

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: edit

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; edit

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

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

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. edit

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: edit

23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. edit

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: edit

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

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