The readers of Peter’s epistle were pilgrims of the Dispersion (1:1). As aliens in foreign lands, they were undergoing trials of various kinds (1:6). Peter’s epistle to them is full of encouragement. He opens the letter by assuring them of their identity as the elect and the great salvation they have received.
Did You Know...?
1. Apostle (1:1) means “messenger.”
2. Dispersion (1:1): the dispersion of Jews among the Gentiles after the Babylonian captivity
- Salutation (1:1-2)
- Praise to God for Salvation (1:3-5)
- Joy and Hope in Trials (1:6-9)
- Prophecy of Salvation (1:10-12)
How does Peter identify the believers?Hide Answer
See verse 2.
What does Peter say about God’s election in terms of the following? Briefly explain the meaning of each. a. God the Father b. the Spirit c. Jesus ChristHide Answer
a. We are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. By His sovereign will God has chosen us and prepared for our salvation even before the foundation of the world (1:20; Rom 8:29; 2Thess 2:13).
b. We are chosen in sanctification of the Spirit. The word “sanctify” means “separate and dedicate to God” or “purify”. The Holy Spirit sets us apart by testifying that we are children of God (Rom 8:15-16; Gal 4:6), sealing us for the heavenly inheritance (Eph 1:13-14; 2Cor 1:21-22; 5:1-5), making us the temple of God (1Cor 6:19; Eph 2:22), and dedicating us to God as an acceptable offering (Rom 15:16). He also works in our lives for our salvation, transforming us to conform to the will of God (1Cor 6:11; 2Thess 2:13; Eze 36:25-27; Rom 8:9-11).
c. We are chosen for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. God has called us to obey the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 28:18-20; cf. Rom 1:5; 2Cor 10:5; Heb 5:9). He has also given us His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins with His blood (Rom 3:25; Rom 5:9; Eph 1:7; Col 1:13-14; Heb 9:14; Rev 5:9).
Explain the meaning of “begotten us again to a living hope.”Hide Answer
The new birth that God has given us is the spiritual rebirth through the water and the Spirit (Jn 3:5; Tit 3:5-7). We were once dead in our transgressions, but God made us alive through the forgiveness of our sins (Eph 1:7; 2:5). Having been saved by grace, we now possess the hope of eternal life (Tit 1:2; 3:7).
How was this new birth to a living hope possible?Hide Answer
The new birth to a living hope is made possible through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (3). The Lord Jesus declared that He had the power to lay down His life and the power to take it again (Jn 10:17-18). Indeed, after He was crucified and buried for our sins, He was raised to life on the third day. Because Christ has overcome sin and death through the resurrection, we who are in Christ can be justified and born again (Rom 4:25; Col 2:12). Through Christ’s resurrection, we also have the hope of being raised from the dead (1Cor 15:20-22).
What do verses 3 and 4 tell us about what we hope to receive but have not yet received?Hide Answer
We hope for the heavenly inheritance reserved for us and the salvation that is to be revealed in the last time.
Why does Peter emphasize the future aspect of salvation in these verses?Hide Answer
Peter wants to remind the believers of the hope they have in Christ. Faith is not affected by the present, but believes what is in the future (Rom 8:24). Despite their present sufferings, a glorious future is in store for them. Although they have not received the promise, God is reserving an inheritance for them and is keeping them by His power.
What aspect of salvation is to be revealed in the last time?Hide Answer
Glorification, resurrection, transformation, eternal life with God (Rom 8:18-25; Php 3:21-22; 1Thess 4:16-17; 1Jn 3:2; Rev 21:3-4).
Verse 5 teaches us that we are kept by God’s power. From what are we being kept?Hide Answer
Since we still live in this world, Satan constantly tries to harm our soul. But God’s power is able to keep us from the hand of the evil one and from falling away (Jn 17:11-15; Rom 8:33-39; Jude 24).
What part do we play with respect to God’s protection?Hide Answer
We need to depend on God’s shielding power through faith (1Pet 1:5). As long as we always seek spiritual growth in the Lord and look to Him for mercy, Satan will not be able to harm us (cf. Jude 20-21).
How does it help us in our Christian walk to always look forward to the inheritance God has prepared for us?Hide Answer
1. Looking forward to the heavenly inheritance reminds us that, as pilgrims in this world, we should not focus our minds on the material pursuits of this temporary life.
2. Looking forward to the heavenly inheritance enables us to rejoice in our sufferings.
How do the various trials we encounter bring out the genuineness of our faith?Hide Answer
Trials allow us to assess our own faith in God at a deeper level and learn to depend on God. They also help our faith to develop perseverance so our reliance on the Lord may be steadfast. Furthermore, as we experience God’s love and power in our trials, our faith is strengthened through a greater knowledge of God.
According to Peter, what gives us joy?Hide Answer
Faith in Jesus Christ and His salvation, believing Him whom we have not seen (3-6, 8-9).
In your life, do you experience joy inexpressible and full of glory? If not, how can you obtain this joy?
What is the concrete expression of our faith in Christ?Hide Answer
Faith in Christ expresses itself in loving Christ (8). This love is manifest when we obey His commands (Jn 14:15).
What is the result of such faith?Hide Answer
The salvation of our souls (9).
What do we have today that the prophets of old inquired about and searched for carefully?Hide Answer
We have the gospel of salvation (12). Whereas the prophets of the past lived under the law and eagerly expected the coming of the Savior, we are now freely justified by God’s grace through the sacrifice of Christ.
What is the message of this paragraph?Hide Answer
The salvation we have received is so great, that all the prophets in the past inquired about and searched for it carefully. Even the angels desire to look into it. This salvation is the greatest news for the world, and we are truly blessed to have received such a wonderful grace of God.