Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.
We’ll be diving into 1 Peter for the next few weeks. I read this last week as I was waiting for my taxes to be done, (no comments on that lol) but I thought it was a good letter to focus on. It’s not too long, only 4 chapters, but is, like all the Scriptures, full of nuggets, truth and encouragement for all believers.
In this first part of Peter’s letter, he reminds believers of the hope we have in Christ Jesus, and the eternal, imperishable life and inheritance we have waiting for us in heaven. He reminds us that trials and griefs help to refine us, and that God uses events to prove (quicken) our faith, so it will glorify and honor the Lord at His revealing (His coming). I know Peter is talking to believers throughout Asia in this, but he is also talking to generations of believers, including us when he speaks about the joy of His coming, and also that the prophets searched for the time and season of His salvation.
Peter infers about angels also looking into these things. I like the way Matthew Henry put it in his commentaries,
The mysteries of the gospel, and the methods of man’s salvation, are so glorious that the blessed angels earnestly desire to look into them; they are curious, accurate, and industrious in prying into them; they consider the whole scheme of man’s redemption with deep attention and admiration, particularly the points the apostle had been discoursing of: Which things the angels desire to stoop down and look into, as the cherubim did continually towards the mercy-seat.
The mysteries of the church, salvation and God’s eternal redemption plan from before this world was created is something to ponder and be in awe of. It’s a reminder though that even angels are mindful that the Lord’s plans are bigger than we understand, or that human minds could even imagine.
In the ways that we should live as we wait for His glorious appearing, Paul reminds us to be sober (minded) that our home is not of this world. Living as foreigners much as people from Abraham’s time, Moses’ time all the way throughout history- being productive and responsible, holy (sanctified as separate for God) lives as a testimony to those around us, but always having our hopes set upon the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
And finally he reminds us of the Word preached, which we have believed, which endures forever. There is so much in this simple opening letter that really gives a weary pilgrim a renewed hope for that which we have not yet seen!
While this song is obviously affiliated with Christmas, it’s actually a song for all time and seasons. When you listen to the lyrics, you realize this song is about Jesus coming again and a great reminder of what Peter calls the inexpressible and glorious joy which we as believers have and look forward to! YAY!!!
I hope y’all have a blessed day!