1 Peter 1:1-6
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
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.
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,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
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:
This first letter from Peter is thought to have been written sometime in the A.D. 60’s, around 30 years after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is also thought to have been written from Rome, though his letters say he was in Babylon. It is believed that Babylon was a code word of some sort for Rome, possibly to keep his whereabouts a secret.
By the time Peter wrote this letter, he is believed to be in his mid-60’s. At the time of this writing, Peter has come a long way from that immature, bold, reckless, presumptuous character that Jesus called off of a fishing boat alongside his brother. He is now an older, wiser, more mature Christian whose concern at this point is the spiritual growth of other believers.
Peter was for sure the most prominent of the disciples of Jesus Christ. His influence on the early church was, in my opinion, the strongest and most long-lasting of all the original twelve apostles. His ministry is outlined in the first twelve chapters of the book of Acts. His preaching of the gospel was so powerful and authoritative that the Lord used him to increase the church dramatically on two different occasions.
As I look at Peter’s letter to the “strangers scattered abroad…” throughout the Roman provinces of Asia Minor, I am so blessed by Peter’s understanding of who the Christian is in the sight of God. He calls the believers “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” Wow. I like the word elect in the English language, but let’s look at it in the Greek for just a moment. The word “elect” comes from the Greek word, “el-ek-tor” which means “from or select” or, by implication, “favorite or chosen”. The converts to whom Peter was writing this letter were the chosen of God, selected by the Ruler of the universe for His service. He explains that they were elect or chosen through sanctification of the Holy Spirit of God.
He goes on to say “..unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:..” They were elect, it is true, but there was also an expectation of obedience to God the Father. God set the bar high in the Person of Jesus Christ, and we are to strive to that end. No way can we strive for perfection in Him without obedience to Him. Jesus obeyed God the Father, all the way to the cross. It was His greatest desire to please the Father, and that should be our greatest desire also…
Peter tells us in verse 3 that we have a “lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead….” Praise God, Jesus lives! He was crucified, dead and buried, but then He rose from the dead on the morning of the third day of this event. He did not lie in the grave and decompose; He was raised from the dead by God the Father, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, and the Bible says that He is making intercession for the saints…
We have, according to verse 4, an “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled” that “fadeth not away, reserved in heaven”… How I long for the day when I receive my inheritance! When I compare the inheritance that my parents may leave to me, or the inheritance that I will leave to my children, and that inheritance does not even remotely begin to compare with what the Lord has stored up for me. My earthly inheritance will decay; it will be squandered by some reckless human being, or lost to some con artist, or stolen by a thief. My heavenly inheritance, however, will never go away; there will never be a relative or someone else who comes along and tries to take it from me, no lawyer can contest my receipt of it…it is mine for all eternity and that is settled! Praise the LORD!
Praise God that we are “kept by the power of God through faith and salvation”. God is so good. Our faith, which comes only through salvation, is a gift that comes from God and is the means by which we are granted eternal admission to the kingdom of heaven. I thank God for being kept, particularly when I consider the alternative…Mark 9 describes hell, in all of its doom and gloom, and I am so glad that hell is not my final resting place. I look forward to the day, when my salvation’s reward will be realized, and I am in His presence forever.
I pray that you are able to rejoice with me. If so, that means that you have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and heaven will be your eternal home. If you are not in a faith relationship with Jesus, won’t you just take this moment to confess to Him that you are a sinner, and you know that He is the Savior? Ask Him to forgive you for your life of sin, and to take you as His own. No one who has ever come to Him in repentance has ever been denied, nor will He ever deny anyone. I urge you to do this today, because tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Jesus could return today, and if you have not repented, you will be lost forever.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.