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1 Peter 1:1-25

August 12, 2010
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1 Peter 1:1-25

1 PETER, AN apostle (a special messenger) of Jesus Christ, [writing] to the elect exiles of the dispersion scattered (sowed) abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

1.       Christians, as the people of God, now scattered abroad; as similar in their condition to the Jews who had been dispersed among the Gentiles.

2 Who were chosen and foreknown by God the Father and consecrated (sanctified, made holy) by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and to be sprinkled with [His] blood: May grace (spiritual blessing) and peace be given you in increasing abundance [that spiritual peace to be realized in and through Christ, freedom from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts].

1.       The Father, as the Author of the plan of salvation, and as having chosen His people to life, and given them to His Son to redeem and save.

2.       Foreknew, doesn’t mean the “particular ones set apart to be saved”, but that all people would have the opportunity to embrace the offer of salvation.

a.       God knew what He himself would do to secure their salvation.

3.       We are chosen by the Father, and that we are to be renewed in our mind and our thinking and are being made holy (Sanctified) by the Holy Spirit.

4.       Obedient to Christ: So that we might obey God, and lead holy lives.

5.       The “chosen” of God are only those who have received and know Christ according to Rom 10:9-10.

6.       Sprinkling with His blood: We have received cleansing from sin, or to holiness, since it was by the sprinkling of that blood that we are to be made holy.

3 Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1.       The certainty of our Lord’s resurrection is the great seal of the Gospel.

2.       This great hope rests in the resurrection of Christ himself.

4[Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,

1.       Called an inheritance because it belongs to the children of God.

2.       Reserved in heaven: it is that which was typified by the earthly Canaan, and in reference to which the patriarchs endured all trials and difficulties in this life, as seeing Him who is invisible.

5 Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God's power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

1.       God defends us as in a fortress or castle by His mighty and miracle-working power.

a.       There is no persevering without the power, and no power without faith. 

2.       The inheritance is prepared for us and will come to final fruition on that great last day.

3.       Salvation: Gr. Soteria: rescue or safety.  

6[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,

1.       For a little while: during our pilgrimage here on earth, which is but a breath when compared with eternity.

2.       Trials: Gr. Peirasmos: a putting to proof, experience discipline.

7 So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.

1.       Redound means to become added.

2.       Gold is proved to be gold by its enduring action of the fire which refines it from other alloys or mixtures; this enduring action of fire doesn’t cause the gold to lose any of it nature, weight, color, or any other property, just as genuine faith is proved by trials.

3.       Yet, even though gold will bear the action of fire, it will in time, wear away by continual use, but faith will never wear away and will be crowned with glory by Jesus Himself.

8 Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.

1.       Those to whom the apostle wrote had never seen Christ, nor do they see him now, yet they loved him as strongly as any of his disciples could, to whom He was personally known.

2.       Though they did not see Him on earth , ye by that faith which is the evidence of things not seen, and the substance of things hoped for, they knew they were accepted by God as their Father, and their sonship with Jesus Christ.

9[At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1.       They received not only joy now, all the benefits of salvation now, but also heaven later.

2.       Salvation: Gr. Soteria: rescue or safety

3.       Goal of their faith: Gr. Telos: the conclusion of an act; faith: pistis: faith according to Heb 11:1.

10 The prophets, who prophesied of the grace (divine blessing) which was intended for you, searched and inquired earnestly about this salvation.

1.       The redemption that Christ procured for mankind, were made known, in a general way, by the prophets, but they didn’t know the time when these things were to take place, nor the people among and by whom he was to suffer.

2.       They knew that the grace which was to come under the Messiah’s kingdom was vastly superior to anything that had ever been exhibited under the law, and they searched intently but all that God thought fit to instruct them in was what is mentioned in 1 Pet 1:12.

11 They sought [to find out] to whom or when this was to come which the Spirit of Christ working within them was indicating when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow [them].

1.       Not only the glory of his resurrection, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but the manifestation of God’s infinite love to the world in causing the Gospel of his Son to be preached everywhere.

12 It was then disclosed to them that the services they were rendering were not meant for themselves and their period of time, but for you. [It is these very] things which have now already been made known plainly to you by those who preached the good news (the Gospel) to you by the [same] Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Into these things [the very] angels long to look!

1.       We may presume that in many cases, the prophets did not understand the meaning of their own predictions; They had a general view of God’s plans, but didn’t know particular circumstances.

2.       They were satisfied with this and knew that the Judge of all the earth would do right by His people; If many contemporary “interpreters of the prophecies” were contented with the same information relative to the predictions still unaccomplished, we should have fewer books, and more wisdom.

3.       Even the angels are struck with astonishment at the plan of human redemption and wonder at the incarnation of that infinite object of their adoration, (Jesus)

4.       If these things are objects of deep consideration to the angels of God, how much more sho should they be to us;

5.       We learn that it was the Holy Spirit in the Jewish prophets that prophesied the Christ, and it was the Spirit which revealed Him, and takes the things of Christ and shows them to us.

13 So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

1.       KJ says: Gird up the loins of your mind: take courage from this display of God’s love now made known to you, and though you must expect trials, fortify your minds knowing that He that give you his Son, Jesus, will turn all things to good for you.

2.       The allusion here is to the long robes of the Asiatics, which, when they were about to perform any active service, they tucked in their girdles; this they also did when they waited on their superiors at meals. (Remember Elijah?)

3.       Continue to expect all that God has promised.

14[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel].

1.       Don’t form or model your life when you let the lusts of the flesh guide you.

15 But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.

1.       Be set apart, holy, Godly in all that you do.

16 For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. [Lev 11:44,45.]

1.       At first this was addressed to the Israelites in Leviticus; and now to His people, Christians.

2.       The foundation of the command is, that they who profess to be His people, His people ought to be like their God.

3.        It is a great truth, that people everywhere will imitate the God whom they worship.

4.       By knowing what the characteristics of the gods any people worship, me may form a correct estimate of the character of the people themselves.

5.       As the worship of the impure gods of the pagan molds the character of the worshippers into their image, so the worship of Yahweh molds the character of His people into His image, and they become like Him.

17 And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].

1.       God is not influenced in His treatment of people by a regard to rank, wealth, beauty, or any external distinction.

2.       He judges each one according to his character, or to what he has done.

3.       This residence on earth is temporary, it is not our permanent home, but we are strangers and travelers.

18 You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold,

1.       We are not our own, but have been purchased by the blood of Christ.

2.       Silver and gold usually constitute the price or the valuable consideration paid for the redemption of captives, and the obligation of the one who is redeemed, to love his benefactor in proportion to the price which is paid for his ransom.

3.       Since the price to redeem us was God’s Son, Jesus, our proportionate obligation is to devout ourselves totally to His service.

4.       The mode of worship which had been handed down from father to son.

5.       The worship of idols depends on no better reason than that it is that which has been practiced in ancient times; and it is kept up now in all lands, only by the fact that it has had the sanction of the venerated people of the other generations.

19 But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.

                1. In himself, Jesus was without spot from the world, being perfectly pure in His soul, and  righteous in His life.

20 It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you.

                1. Before the law was given, or any sacrifice prescribed, the whole sacrificial system referenced to this preappointed lamb and consequently from Him derived all of its significance.

                2. When God created this universal nature, He foresaw the fall and ruin of man, and he appointed the remedy that was to be the cure of the disease.

                3. These last times are the Gospel dispensation; after the resurrection of Christ.

21 Through Him you believe in (adhere to, rely on) God, Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him honor and glory, so that your faith and hope are [centered and rest] in God.

                1. The writer could be talking to both the gentile, who never knew the true God, or the Jew, who thought he knew God.

                2. By raising up the Lord Jesus, and exalting Him to heaven, He has laid the foundation of confidence in His promises and the hope of life everlasting with Him.

22 Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy ] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart.

                1. “You”, have purified “your” hearts: The apostles were never afraid of referring to the things that the Lord requires of man.

                2. No one is made pure without personal intention or effort; anymore than one becomes accomplished or learned without personal exertion.

                3. The Holy Sjpirit exhorts us, (He applies truth to the mind) to make efforts for our own salvation; no one can expect to have true purity of heart beyond the amount of effortwhich he makes to be conformed to God, just as one cannot expect wealth, or learning without personal effort.  

                4. Genuine love proceeds from a pure heart in which is no guile or hypocrisy.

23 You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin ( seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God.

                1. Not by human generation, or earthly means, but by a divine and heavenly principle which will not decay, nor be affected by the changes which all earthly things are subject.

                2. The Word of God is unchangeable and everlasting.

24 For all flesh (mankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower drops off,

                1. Ps. 103:15-16 “As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth;  for the wind passeth over it and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more.

                2. The passage which is evidently referred to by Peter in this place is Isa 40:6-8 (also see James 1:10-11)

25 But the Word of the Lord ( divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you. [Isa 40:6-9.] 

                1. This gospel is the “word” which was referred to by Isaiah in the passage which has been quoted.

                2. The “Word of the Lord” is eternal; His assurances are that there is a brighter and better world, and this remains the same, no matter what happens in “this natural world.”

                3. The beauty of our Jesus and “His Gospel message” is the only permanent beauty in the earth, and all that has “Him”, knows that it will not fade away like the flower of the field.

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