1 Peter 1:1-2:3 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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A Living Hope
Comments for Study 1

1 Peter 1:1-2:3
Memory Verse: 1:3


I. Greetings (1:1-2)

>1. Who is the sender of this letter?

* 1 Peter 1:1a "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ"

* "Peter" -Peter is the original Greek. Cephas is Arabic. Both mean small pebble. See introduction for more about Peter.

* "apostle" -"Apostolos" in the original Greek means one sent, a title Jesus gave twelve Jewish men during his earthly ministry. (Matthew 10:2, Mark 3:14, Luke 6:13) After Jesus ascension a few others received the title; Matthias (Acts 1:26), Barnabas (Acts 14:14), Paul (Acts 14:14), James the Lord's brother (Galatians 1:19), Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7). There were even false apostles. (2 Corinthians 11:13)

* "Jesus" -Jesus is the original Greek. Y'shua is Hebrew. Joshua is also Hebrew and almost the same as Y'shua (Some say the two are the same because "Y" and "J" are pronounced the same in Hebrew.) They mean the same, "the Lord saves". The angel told Joseph to name the baby in Mary's womb Jesus. Matthew 1:20-21 records, "...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

* "Christ" -Christ is the original Greek and equivalent to the Hebrew word Messiah. Christ is Jesus title, not his name. Much like President is a title and Obama is the man's name.

>Who is the recipient?

15th century map of turkey region

* A 15th century map showing Asia Minor is to the right.

* 1 Peter 1:1b "To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia"

* The five Roman providences in verse 1 are listed in progressive order from east to west in two rows. The first row being Pontus and Galatia. The second row being Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. They are part of the area historians call Asia Minor. All are in modern day Turkey.

* "Pontus" -Pontus was in the north-eastern region of Asia Minor, a Roman province lying along the Black Sea between Bithynia to its west (south/west) and Armenia to it's east. It's location is now part of modern day Turkey. Jews from Pontus heard Peter's speech during Pentecost and were converted to Christianity. (Acts 2:9) Aquila, a Jewish Christian and acquaintance of Paul was from the area. (Acts 18:2) Paul wanted to go into at the beginning of this mission journey, but was kept from doing so by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 16:6-7)

* "Galatia" -Galatia was in present day Turkey. Galatia was a "geographical name derived from Gaul because its inhabitants were Celts or Galli (Gauls). The original settlement was in central Asia Minor. King Nicomedes of Bithynia invited the Celtic warriors across the Bosporus River to help him fight his brother in 278 B.C. The invaders fought on their own capturing cities until stopped by Antiochus I in 275 B.C. They then occupied the northern part of Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Pontus and Bithynia, on the east by Tavium and Pessinus in the west. For the most part, true Galatians lived in open areas, leaving city occupation to their predecessors, the Phrygians. The true Galatians constantly switched sides in ongoing battles in the area. Finally, in 25 B.C. Rome made Galatia a province of the empire and extended its borders, adding Lycaonia, Isauria, and Pisidia with Ancyra serving as the governmental center. Various Roman rulers added and subtracted territory from the province, so its precise boundaries are difficult to draw." (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Cappadocia" -Cappadocia was in the north-eastern region of Asia Minor, a Roman province lying along the Black Sea. Although the extent of Cappadocia varied through the centuries depending on the currently dominant empire, it lay south of Pontus and stretched about 300 miles from Galatia eastward toward Armenia, with Cilicia and the Taurus Mountains to the south. Jews from Cappadocia heard Peter's speech during Pentecost and were converted to Christianity. (Acts 2:9) The Christian message was probably carried to Pontus by way of the highway that went northward across Cappadocia from Tarsus through the narrow mountain pass known as the Cilician Gates. In the second century A.D. the famous historian Eusebius (265-340 A.D.) reported that the church at Rome sent financial aid to churches in the Near East, including Cappadocia. It's in north-east modern Turkey.

* "Asia" -The Asia here is not the continent of Asia in modern times. Rather, Asia in the New Testament refers to a Roman province on the west end of Asia Minor, the south-west portion of Anatolia whose capital was Ephesus. Jews from Asia heard Peter's speech during Pentecost and were converted to Christianity. (Acts 2:9) Paul the apostle traveled and preached extensively in Asia (Acts 19:10,22) especially in the neighbourhood of Ephesus; but God forbade him to preach there prior to his Macedonian call. (Acts 16:6) Asia was known for its worship of Artemis. (Acts 19:27)

* "Bithynia" -Bithynia was a district in northern Asia Minor with the Black Sea to its north. Paul's missionary company desired to enter with the gospel. (Acts 16:7) The Holy Spirit prevented them from doing so and directed them instead to Macedonia. Though no record exists of how the Christian faith took root in Bithynia, believers lived there during the first century. It's in modern day north-west Turkey.

* Jews had moved to Asia Minor when the Greeks invaded Palestine and Judah under Alexander the Great's leadership. Galatia was heavily settled because of its large fertal plataea containing great agriculture.

dandelion seeds

>How are they identified? (1)

* "elect" -Elect is "eklektos" in the original Greek meaning chosen, by implication also favorite. God has chosen us as his favorite.

* "God's elect" -These are Jesus' people, both dead and alive, the ones he chose to be his bride. When Jesus comes again we will be gathered together to him. (Mark 13:26-27; and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) The "gathering" implies that they are in different places right now. Here it is clear that some are on the earth and some are in heaven. When Jesus comes again he will gather all of his chosen favorite together as he descends.

* God's election is a common theme throughout the Bible. Israel is God's elect in the Old Testament. In the New Testament God's elect is Christ's Church. 1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." Mark 13:20 also speaks of God's elect. In chapters 20 and 22 of Matthew, Jesus' parables has the theme of God's elect and illustrate the sovereignty of God in salvation. And finally in John 15:16 Jesus said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-- that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."

* "strangers in the world" -The world are those who do not believe in Jesus, those who follow the ways of Satan. Jesus says that many travel the way of the world; while only a few follow him. (Mark 7:13-14; Luke 13:24) Jesus' people do not live as the people of the world and so we are seen as strange and unusual. As we live the life of faith we find that we do not belong to the world. The closer we grow in a relationship with Jesus the more we realize we are different and Jesus' ways are different. Abraham considered himself a stranger in the land promised him. (Hebrews 11:9) All of God's elect that are listed in Hebrews 11 admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. (Hebrews 11:13)

* "scattered" -Like tree pollen or dandelion seeds are scattered into the wind, so God's people are scattered around the world. We are not many compared to the people of the world. We are scattered so that we may be witnesses to the whole world of the righteousness that comes from faith in Jesus.

* You should not be discouraged and feel so alone in the world. Jesus is with us. God's people should regularly join together in worship services, prayer meetings, and fellowship.

* 1 Peter 1:17 "Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear."

>How did we become God's elect? (2a)

* 1 Peter 1:2a "who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood"

* "who have been chosen" -God chooses us; we did not chose him of our own will, knowledge, and/or ability. He sought us out first; we did not seek him first. He found us first; we did not find him first. He called to us and we discovered his voice. (Romans 5:8, 10:20)

* "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" -God planned everything found in the Bible before he created everything as stated in Genesis 1:1. This includes our justification and salvation. This includes giving Adam and Eve a free will. This included permitting their fall. This included a salvation plan through Jesus Christ. This included the creation of you and me and our salvation through Jesus. God planned you and he loves you. God's plan for you is not complete. God has great plans for you, far better than you can imagine. God's plan in good, righteous and true though we do not at this time fully know it. Do not God's plan for good for you.

* Peter said on Pentecost, "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him." (Acts 2:22-24)

* Foreknowledge in God is that which He Himself purposes to bring to pass. In this way, then, the whole order of events from the least detail unto the greatest operates under the determining decree of God so as to take place according to His sovereign purpose. By so much, divine foreknowledge is closely related to foreordination. Likewise, foreknowledge in God should be distinguished from omniscience (knowing everything that is possible to know) in that the latter is extended sufficiently to embrace all things past, present, and future, while foreknowledge anticipates only the future events. (Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer)

covered by Jesus blood

>How and why are we sanctified?

* "through the sanctifying work of the Spirit" -The Greek word here for sanctifying is "hagiazo". It is translated by several different English words including: holy, consecrate, hallow, sanctify, and dedicate. The Holy Spirit cleans us, sanctifies us. Jesus says his word cleans us too. (John 13:10, 15:3, 17:17-19) Jesus' sanctification comes to us through his blood which we read about in his word. (Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 9:14, 22; and 1 John 1:3) The Holy Spirit's sanctification is coming to us right now. The Holy Spirit sanctification work is separate and yet a continuation of Jesus' sanctifying work. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the world converts us as a new creation, a baby in Christ, and begins to work in our lives to bring us up to the place of maturity. There have been and still are many who came to a saving knowledge of Jesus and yet have never matured as Christians because they do not follow the leading and work of the Holy Spirit. Sadly many in my generation who never matured and fallen away; they do not study the Bible, attend a local congregation, and do not witness about their Lord. They are like the seeds that Jesus said let the worries and deceitfulness of wealth keep them from producing any fruit.

* The Holy Spirit is a Being dwelling in another mode of existence. He has not weight, nor measure, nor size, nor any color, nor extension in space, but He nevertheless exists as surely as you exist. The Holy Spirit has will and intelligence and feeling and knowledge and sympathy and ability to love and see and think and hear and speak and desire the same as any person has. (The Tozer Quotable II: More Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)

* "for obedience to Jesus Christ" -We are cleaned for a purpose. We are not sanctified for sanctification sake. We are made pure that we may obey Jesus.

* "sprinkling by his blood" -Jesus' blood poured out as an atonement for our sins. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice because he alone is of the seed of God. His blood alone in the entire human race is and was pure. As Paul says he is the second (last) Adam. (1 Cor. 15:22, 45) Leviticus 17:11-12a states, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." Hebrews 9:22b states, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

* In his book, The Chemistry of the Blood, M. R. DeHann, M.D. explains the origin of blood: “The blood which flows in an unborn babe's arteries and veins is not derived from the mother but is produced within the body of the fetus It is only after the sperm has entered the ovum and a fetus begins to develop that blood appears. As a very simple illustration of this, think of the egg of a hen. An non-fertilized egg is simply an ovum on a much larger scale than the human ovum. You may incubate this non-fertilized hen's egg, but it will never develop. It will dry up completely but no chick will result. But let that egg be fertilized by the introduction of the male sperm and incubation will bring to light the presence of life in an embryo. After a few hours it visibly develops. In a little while red streaks occur, denoting the presence of blood According to scientists from the time of conception to the time of birth not ONE SINGLE DROP OF BLOOD ever passes from mother to child. The mother contributes no blood at all.” Jesus' pure blood was not conveyed by his mother, the daughter of sinful Adam. Rather, it was conveyed by the pure seed of his Heavenly Father!

* Centrioles are supplied by the father's sperm. A centriole is the center of a centrosome and is a minute protoplasmic body. Plasma is the fluid part of blood and protoplasm is organized living matter, the fluid complex of the living nucleus that is often designated the physical basis of life. The basis of life is in the father’'s protoplasmic seed: a seed made of fluid and plasma – water and blood. Jesus came by just such a seed. John tells us there is “one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ (1 John 5:6) John also tells us that when Jesus died he saw the blood and water come out of Jesus side separately, thus marking his death. (Source, In Search of Israel by Batya Wootten.)

* Through his act of love Jesus' bride was cleansed of sin by his pure blood. (Rom. 4:25) Thus, Jesus was able to establish the lost love relationship with his bride. God and anyone in the human race who wants it can have a relationship again. As a symbol of this, when Jesus died on the cross, the curtain that separated the most holy of holies from the place where priests could stand in the temple in Jerusalem was torn in two. (Matt. 27:51) The curtain was the symbol of sin separating God from his people. With Jesus' death for his bride, sin was removed and thus no longer would Jesus be separated from his bride. (Col. 1:19-21)

* Jesus' blood was pure. The fetus' blood comes from the father alone. No blood comes from the mother at all. So when Jesus shed his blood on the cross it was unique pure sinless blood. For more on this read the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspired.

* As the old hymn by Elisha A. Hoffman goes, "Are you washed in the blood, In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"

>Where can we obtain grace and peace? (2b)

* 1 Peter 1:2b "Grace and peace be yours in abundance."

* "Grace" -Grace means unmerited divine assistance. Grace stems from God's love to the undeserving. Grace is divine protection and sanctification bestowed freely on people who accept God's Son, Jesus as Savior and Lord. Grace provides for the salvation of sinful man because all the demands of holiness needs to be satisfied. For God so loved the world that he provided a way for man to be saved, Jesus Christ. This is in sharp contract to the misconception that God so loved the world that he saved the world. The first is assistance that requires us to make a decision.

* "peace" -Peace of God is a soul at rest and united with him.

* Although these words were commonly used in the greetings of secular letters, the words that John follows these up with show that he intended a spiritual dimension.

* Jesus promised his disciples peace. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

* Peter writes this as a definite statement. It is not a prayer or wish. Grace, mercy and peace lives in Christians forever.

>What does verses 1 and 2 personally mean to you?

* God displayed his personal love to me in all this. He made a plan for me and has not nor never will give up on his plan for me.

* The more trials, tribulations, and grief I go through the more the Holy Spirit moves my heart. I walk in the valley of the shadow of death and yet I have his comforting presence reminding me I have a place in Christ, kept in heaven. The Holy Spirit is keeping upright so I can keep walking through the dark valley I am in. I will fall, not to get back up. He lifts me us and strengthens my feeble legs so that I keep walking. He preserves me so that I will make the destination the Father had prepared for me.

II. A Living Hope (1:3-12)

>2. To whom did Peter give praise?

* 1 Peter 1:3 "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,"

* "Praise be" -Praise is an outward expression from the inward condition of sincere admiration and strong affection. Praise toward God is a result of his grace, mercy, and peace. Praise is tribute, compliment, honoring, and commending. Praising God is the same as magnification, exaltation, and glorification. Praise and worship go hand-in-hand and they are more than singing songs and raising up your hands. The Greek word here is never used to praise man, only God in the Bible. The KJV translates the Greek word here as "blessed" in the old meaning and also uses "blessed" for another Greek word used in the sermon of the mount.

* "God and Father" -The triune God. When Jesus left heaven, came to earth, and took the form of man his Father was God, not Joseph. Mary was a virgin. Jesus is God's son and God is Jesus' father. Jesus called God his father, a statement that many religious leaders considered blaspheme. (Matthew 26:63-65) Paul quoted a first century hymn writing, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:6-11)

* "of our Lord Jesus Christ" -Is Jesus your Lord? Is he your Christ? Has he saved you? If not what are you waiting for? You better act now because you don't know when you will die.

* Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

* Any act of service can be praise to God.

* He died for us, but ever since the hour of resurrection, He has been the mighty Jesus, the mighty Christ, the mighty Lord! Power does not lie with a babe in the manger. Power does not lie with a man nailed and helpless on a cross. Power lies with the man on that cross who gave His life, who went into the grave and who arose and came out on the third day, then to ascend to the right hand of the Father. That is where power lies. (The Tozer Quotable II: More Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)

>Why was Peter so full of praise?

* "In his great mercy" -Mercy is action more generously and compassionately toward someone than they expect. Mercy is kind and forgiving to the needy. Mercy provides for the needs of sinful man, but not the salvation of sinful man for that is grace. Mercy covers misery.

* "he has given us new birth" -Jesus taught Nicodemus that we must be born again. (John 3:3) This is spiritual birth. The KJV translated the Greek word here as "begotten". Since Adam all humans except Jesus was born with a dying and dead spirit. He told him that the Holy Spirit gives birth to our dead spirit. (John 3:5) And so our spirit has new birth. Jesus also told him and us that the new spiritual life is made possible because Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead. (John 3:14-15)

* "he has given us new birth into a living hope" -So what happens when a person has a new young spirit? We have a living hope. We have a positive hope. We know that God has good plans for our future. Billy Graham was asked, "Do you have hope for the future?" (or something like that). His answer was, "I have great hope for the future." Why do Christians has great hope for the future? Because Jesus rose from the dead and we know that those who believe in him will raise when he comes again to establish his kingdom.

* John 1:12-13 "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."

* "living hope" -Our hope in Jesus is living in the aspect that it cannot die. Just like death had no hold on Jesus, so our hope is alive and cannot die. Romans 6:9 states, "For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him."

* "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" -Jesus' resurrection from the dead is the greatest event in human history. Because he rose from the dead we have hope that he will raise us from the dead.

* The true church has it's hope in a risen Lord and thus we will not die. Jesus promised us, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:3-4)

>What awaits God's elect after resurrection? (4; John 14:2-3)

* 1 Peter 1:4 "and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you,"

* John 14:2-3 "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.'

* "into an inheritance" -In order for there to be an inheritance someone needs to die. Because Jesus died we have an inheritance.

* "that can never perish, spoil or fade" -Everything that has been created so far either perishes, spoils, or fades. The scientific law of entropy states that all matter and energy in the universe has a tendency to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity; that is they have an inevitable and steady deterioration. The new spirit that Jesus creates is thus not part of this universe and our inheritance is also not part of this universe. Our place of inheritance is more than within a boundary on this earth, our inheritance is in Christ himself. Our inheritance is eternal. (Hebrews 9:15) God promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the promised land. This will be fulfilled during the one thousand reign of Christ. However, because God will create a new heavens and a new earth, the inheritance Peter speaks of here is more than a place within the land of Israel during the one thousand year reign of Christ. The inheritance in Christ will last forever, and the earth, including the land of Palestine will not.

* "kept in heaven for you" -The eternal inheritance in Christ is kept in heaven right now. Not only is it kept there, but God guards it. Our inheritance is not in this world, it is kept and guarded in heaven. The Jewish Christians who originally received this did not live in the promises land, the land of inheritance. The inheritance their forefathers received they lost. Yet, here Peter says that they do have an inheritance and it is kept in heaven.

* Psalm 16:5-6 "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."

* Colossians 1:12 "giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."

* Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

* Proverbs 28:10 "He who leads the upright along an evil path will fall into his own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance."

* Ephesians 1:13-14 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

Roman Soldier

>3. How and why are we be shielded?

* 1 Peter 1:5 "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."

* "who through faith are shielded by God's power" -Peter and Paul (Ephesians 6:16) both consider a shield, an article of the Christian life used in the spiritual battle. Roman soldiers were the dominate army for nearly one thousand years and was very well known all throughout the area that the gospel had been preached. A shield protects a soldier from enemy spears, swords, arrows, and rock. (See drawing to the right of a Roman soldier fully equipped with standard weapons.) The faith we have in Jesus protects us from our spiritual enemy that tells us among other things Jesus does not love us and our inheritance is not eternal if we even have an inheritance. Peter makes it clear that the shielding is not our doing, but God's doing through our faith in him.

* Ephesians 6:13-18 "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

>What salvation is still to come?

* "until the coming of the salvation" -Jesus death saved us from sin and the law. Jesus' resurrection saves us from death and gives us hope. So what saving is coming? When Jesus comes again he will save us from the kingdoms of the world and our enemy the devil will be thrown in hell and we will receive a new glorious resurrection body. One thousand years after that he will make a new heavens and earth.

* "that is ready to be revealed in the last time" -The salvations to come is ready to be revealed, but its time has not been right. In order for something to be revealed, it needs to be hidden. And so our new resurrection body's glory is hidden. Romans 8:19 says that all creation is waiting for the sons of God to be revealed.

* "last time" -Peter used the Greek words "eschatos kairos" here. "Kairos" has the meaning of a set (fixed) time, occasion, and/or season. "Eschatos" narrows the time period to the end time. With other New Testament writers, Peter viewed the whole period beginning with Christ's first coming (more precisely his ascension) to his second as the last days. (Acts 2:17, 2 Timothy 3:1, Hebrews 1:2, 1 Peter 1:20) They understood this to be the "last" of the days because neither former prophecy nor new revelation concerning the history of salvation indicated the coming of another era before the return of Christ. The word "last" in "last days," "last times" and "last hour" also expresses a sense of urgency and imminence. I as a Christian am to be alert, waiting for the return of Christ. (Matthew 25:1-3) Last day also refers back to the six days of creation and the one day of rest. We are now at the last hour of the sixth day. The next day, the Sabbath rest, starts when Jesus comes again.

* The Old Testament prophets often spoke of "The day of the Lord" as the time when God reveals His sovereignty over human powers and human existence. For example "The day of the Lord" is the dominant theme of Joel. Besides Joel six other Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 13:6,9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Malachi 4:5; perhaps Zechariah 14:1 too) uses the term "the day of the Lord". Sometimes the prophets of Israel and Judah abbreviated it to "that day". It was familiar to their audience, a term by which the audience expected light and salvation (Amos 5:18), but the prophets painted it as a day of darkness and judgment (Isaiah 2:10-22; 13:6,9; Joel 1:15; 2:1-11,31; 3:14-15; Amos 5:20; Zephaniah 1:7-8,14-18; Malachi 4:5). The Old Testament language of the day of the Lord is aimed at warning sinners among God's people of the danger of trusting in traditional religion without commitment to God and to His way of life. It is language that could be aimed at judging Israel or that could be used to promise deliverance from evil enemies (Isaiah 13:6,9; Ezekiel 30:3; Obadiah 15). The day of the Lord is thus a point in time in which God displays His sovereign initiative to reveal His control of history, of time, of His people, and of all people.

* The apostles Peter and Paul also used the term "day of the Lord" (in place of "Lord" they also put "God" and "Lord Jesus"). (Acts 2:20; and 1 Corinthians 1:8, 5:5; and 2 Corinthians 1:14; and 1 Thessalonians 5:2; and 2 Thessalonians 2:2; and 2 Peter 3:10-12)

* The apostles used the terms "last times" and "last days" referring to the whole period introduced by Jesus' first coming. (John 11:24; Jude 1:17-18; Acts 15:16-18; Hebrews 9:36; and 2 Peter 3:3) These days are last in comparison to Old Testament days, which were preliminary and preparatory. (Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26) Also, the Christian era is the time of the beginnings of prophetic fulfillment. (1 Corinthians 10:11) The "days" can be interpreted as "ages" (Matthew 12:39, 13:39-40, 49, 24:3, 28:20; Ephesians 1:21, 2:7; and 1 Timothy 6:19; Titus 2:12; Jude 1:25) (periods of time) that reflect the six days of creation with the seventh day as a day of rest. Indeed the apostles very clearly call the one thousand year reign of Jesus as "the Lord's Sabbath" and "the day of rest". (Hebrews 4:1-11, 6:5; Revelation 14:13) Jesus himself invited us to his day of rest (Matthew 11:19; Luke 18:30, 20:34-36) and to work now and rest in the future (John 9:4). Since this is the time just before the Sabbath rest, then we are in the sixth day, the time when man and woman (Adam and Eve) were created. The Lord God Almighty is called the "King of the ages". (Revelation 15:3)

* Blackstone wrote in his book Jesus is Coming “The division of time into sevens, or weeks, permeates the Scriptures. A fundamental enactment of the Mosaic Law was the keeping of the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8). This was based upon God’'s great rest day in Genesis 2. Upon this is founded not only the week of days, but also the week of weeks leading to Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-16); the week of months, with the Atonement and seven days feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (Lev. 23:27-28); the week of years, ending with the Sabbatical year (Lev. 25:4); and the week of weeks of years, ending with the seventh Sabbatical year, and followed by the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-12).” He continues with more and quotes 2 Peter 3:8 then continues, “…so we also have the great week of Millenniums. Six thousand-year days of labor and then the Millennium, or blessed seventh thousand-year of rest.” He is not the first to see the significance.

* For more on this time period read the manuscript "The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires" found on this site.

>As we wait for it, what is the reality of living in this world?

* 1 Peter 1:6 "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials."

* "In this you greatly rejoice" -Those who have put there faith in Jesus rejoice when we think about what is to come. Jesus' second coming will usher in a new age that is in so many ways better than this age.

* "though now for a little while" -The little while here is compared to the one thousand years of Jesus' reign and then after that eternity in the new heavens and new earth.

* "you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials" -Jesus and the apostles taught that Christians are not exempt from suffering and grief. Many have heard the gospel and accept it with joy. They rejoice over the forgiveness of sin and the coming kingdom. However, many wrongly believe that they will be free from grief and sorrows. They falsely believe that Christians are to be blessed with all kinds of riches and pleasure. Jesus never said these things. See the parable of the sower. (Luke 8:4-15) Such people are bewildered when hardships and trials come. They fall away and/or form a false religion.

* "trials" -The Greek word here is "peirasmos". The KJV translates this as temptations. It has in its meaning "a proofing experiment by experiencing evil". Matthew and Luke use its root word, "peirazo" when writing of Jesus' temptations by the devil in the desert at the beginning of his ministry. (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:2)

refining gold

* The Bible often speaks of trials, troubles, and grief as a refining process. See a picture to the right of gold being refined by fire, a common analogy of God's work of refining of our faith. Sinful habits and nature is the bad things in our being that God refines out of us. Disciplining children is another analogy used.

* Ever since Jesus ascended Christians have been persecuted by people of the world; both from Jews and Gentiles. Sometimes individuals were persecuted. Sometimes several in one congregation. Up until the time of this writing the greatest persecution against Christians started in Jerusalem when Stephen was stoned by zealot Jews. (Acts 6:8, 7:57) Saul, who became Paul lead the persecutions (Acts 8:1-3) until he meet the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:31) Like that one, the persecutions were often of short term. When this letter was written the persecution against Christians increased greatly with Nero, the Roman Emperor. He burned Rome and blamed Christians for starting it. In various places all over the Roman empire selfish and corrupt politicians used the opportunity started by Nero to further their selfish plans and wills. The Christians Peter was writing to were in one of these areas. Letters between Nero and the governor of Bithynia still exist where they discussed the subject. The governor asked Nero if it was ok to arrest, jail, and kill Christians. Nero replied saying the governor could do whatever he wanted to do with the Christians in his territory. The persecution spread to the surrounding Roman provinces. When Peter heard about this he wrote this letter to encourage the Christians in the area. During Nero's persecution Paul was imprisoned and Peter was martyred in Rome.

* When we experience trials and grief after we accept Jesus' call we are tempted to look at others lives and say, "What about them? Why do I have to go through this and they seem to have it so good?" Peter did this when the risen Lord talked with him on a Sea of Galilee beach. Jesus told him that he would suffer for the gospel to the point of death. (John 21:19) When Peter heard this he turned to see John and asked Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" (John 21:21) Jesus answered, "What is that to you?" We should not compare ourselves to others when we go through trials and grief. The Lord is not impressed with, "Why me Lord?" "Why do they have it so good?" and "What about that person?" All of us including me do this. J. Vernon McGee in his introduction to 1 Peter does this by stating, "I am not impressed by professors in theological seminaries... They don't know the problems of a pastorate... what it is really to suffer for Christ." When Billy Graham went on one of this first crusades to the U.S.S.R. he traveled with a pastor/priest from one of the congregations there. At every stop and at every moment a reporter would come up to Billy Graham and ask him all kinds of challenging questions. Non-stop Billy and the Russian priest/pastor were verbally assaulted in this way in every town and city they entered. After several days of this the Russian pastor/priest turned to Billy and stated, "Mr. Graham when I heard you were coming to the Soviet Union to preach in our cities I was very sceptical and judgemental. I thought, 'What does this rich American and popular evangelist have to say to suffering Russians? What does he know about trials and griefs?' That is what I thought before traveling with you. Now however my opinion has changed. In these few days I see the grief and suffering and persecution you experience. You do not grief and suffer as we do, but you do suffer for Christ, perhaps more than we do." Like this priest/pastor we should take Jesus word to heart, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3) The verse perhaps is not an exact match to the point I'm making here. But the spirit is the same; when we experience trials and grief we should not wish we were someone else's life, we should not compare our life of faith with others.

>Why does God allow his elect to undergo suffering? (7)

* 1 Peter 1:7 "These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

* "your faith" -Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

* "may be proved genuine" -Since God knows all things to whom is our faith proved genuine? Our faith is proved genuine to ourselves, other people, and angels. When Jesus comes again he will judge each Christians faith based on how we endured the trials and grief in this life.

Everyone is tested. Adam and Eve were the first to be tested. How? They were tested when God told them to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Abraham was tested several times. He was tested when he was told to go to a country and land that he did not know. Job was tested several times; first with the lost of his property, then the death of his children, and finally with painful sores on his body. Israel was tested when they were lead into the desert which had little water and food. All of God's people are tested. We should not be surprised when we are tested through trials, suffering, and grief.

faith and gold on scales

* The Bible often speaks of trials, troubles, and grief as a refining process. See a picture to the right of gold being refined by fire, a common analogy of God's work of refining of our faith. Sinful habits and nature is the bad things in our being that God refines out of us. Disciplining children is another analogy used.

* The most famous source of information about Christian persecution is "Fox's Book of Martyr". It is a work of Protestant history and martyrology by John Foxe, first published in English in 1563 A.D. by John Day. It includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. The sequence of the work, initially in five books, covered first early Christian martyrs, a brief history of the medieval church, including the Inquisitions, and a history of the Wycliffe (Lollard) movement. It then dealt with the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, during which the dispute with Rome had led to the separation of the English Church from papal authority and the issuance of the Book of Common Prayer. The final book treated the reign of Queen Mary and the Marian Persecutions.

* Nowhere in the Bible does God tell us that our faith is proved and refined through the good life. God does not mature us through giving us all kinds of material possession. Do you want to be praised when you stand before Jesus as he sits on his Bema seat? Then don't pray for gold, silver, and money. Rather, pray for strength to continue the work he has planned for you especially when you are experiencing all kinds of obstacles and persecution.

>What is suffering compared to?

* "of greater worth than gold" -Gold has always been the highest price mineral in human history because of its appearance, workability, and durability compare to other precious metals.

* "which perishes even though refined by fire" -How does gold perish? Like the rest of creation because of man's sin it is cursed and will not last. All of creation is in a state of decay. More than that all of creation will be destroyed and a new heavens and earth will be created.

* When God is refining your faith don't hold onto the dross. God wants to get rid of the dross and he will. If you hold onto the dross, he will do what all metallurgists do, run you through the fire again and again until all the dross comes out. Don't hold onto the dross.

>4. How are God's elect described in verses 8 and 9?

* 1 Peter 1:8-9 "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 goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

* Peter here defines some of the items we have faith in and about.

* "you have not seen him" -Peter saw Jesus. However, the Christians he wrote to did not. Yet, they believed in him.

* "you love him" -Love for God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ is the greatest we can do. In a parable Jesus gave the reason why people are rejected at judgment. He will say, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matthew 7:23)

* "you believe in him" -Believe has two parts "be" and "lieve". "Be" implies continuation, not just one time. "Lieve" comes from life and implies active in mind, heart, soul, and action. It could be written, "To continually act on what is accepted as true."

* "are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy" -Though they were being persecuted.

* John 20:28-29 "Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

* Most Christians are not joyful persons because they are not holy persons, and they are not holy persons because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit, and they are not filled with the Holy Spirit because they are not separated persons. The Spirit cannot fill whom He cannot separate, and whom He cannot fill, He cannot make holy, and whom He cannot make holy, He cannot make happy! (The Tozer Quotable II: More Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)

>What continuous act is happening by faith?

* "you are receiving" -Continually action. Salvation from sin, death, the sinful nature, the evil worldly leadership, and the cursed world is being fulfilled overtime.

* "the goal of your faith" -We believe in Jesus knowing there is an final goal. Anyone with reason tell us that it is good to have goals. For a Christian the goal is to worship God and enjoy him forever in paradise.

* "the salvation of your souls" -Souls here is more than the physical body. Soul is our emotion, heart, and will. It is the essence of us that exists when the body dies.

* To many who put faith in Jesus do not realize or accept that our salvation is a continually process that involves suffering and grief. Jesus said that we are not above him. We will endure suffering as he did. The apostles told us that we are a part of the body of Christ. Therefore, we suffer as his body did then. Our suffering is complete when we leave this world and/or it is changed.

>5. What kind of Bible students were the prophets? (10)

* 1 Peter 1:10 "Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care"

* "Concerning this salvation"

* "the prophets" -A prophet was/is a messenger between God and people. A prophet was given the gift and work of the Holy Spirit just as all Christians now have. Enoch, the first to be called a prophet was one before the flood. (Genesis 5:18-24; Luke 3:37; Hebrews 11:5; Jude 1:14-15) The Patriarchs, Moses, and Joshua were prophets as were others before Israel entered the promised land. By the time of Samuel a school of prophets had begun in Israel for the Lord God had chosen Israel to be a blessing to all the other nations. Israel could have relayed God's messages that came through the prophets to other nations. Only a few prophets had their dreams, oracles, and visions written down and passed down to us, ending up in the Bible. Some of the duties of a prophet can be seen in today's ministers, pastors, Bible teachers, and evangelists.

* "who spoke of the grace that was to come to you"

* "searched intently and with the greatest care" -The prophets mentioned in the Old Testament had the gift of the Holy Spirit just as we do. Yet, this did not mean that they did not study the Bible. They did very much so.

Studying a Dead Sea Scroll

* The picture to the right is a scholar studying one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 at Khirbet Qumran in the West Bank. Most were written before the time of Jesus (408 B.C. to 318 A.D.). They were found in caves about a mile inland from the north-west shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name. The texts are of great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the earliest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism.

>Who and what was the subject of thier Bible study? (11)

* 1 Peter 1:11 "trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow."

* "trying to find out the time" -Today many have predicted the timing of Jesus' second coming. This is nothing new. However, there are some differences between the prophets and apostles, and modern day predicting. First and foremost is that so far all the modern day predictors have been wrong about the date of Jesus' second coming. Thus they have shown themselves to be not receiving insight from the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 24:23-27) Second, the modern day predictor has done so to gain converts and thus power and money. Third, they want to know the timing for the wrong reasons.

The prophets wanted to know when God was going to fulfill what he was revealing to them. Even the apostles asked Jesus when he was going to establish his kingdom. Only a few prophets understood the timing of certain events. None of them knew all the dates, not even the Son of God. (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7) For example Daniel realized from Jeremiah when the Jews would leave Babylon and return to the promised land. However, when he was told about the great war at the end of the age we are in he was confused and did not understand. (Daniel 12:8)

* "and circumstances" -God had revealed how he was going to bring about salvation to the prophets, but only in bits and pieces to each one over hundreds and thousands of years. So they studied the scriptures to learn more about how God was going to save them and us.

* "to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing" -The Spirit of Christ is the same as the Holy Spirit. He is called the Spirit of Christ because Jesus sent him and ministered through him.

* "when he" -The Spirit of Christ.

* "when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow" -The fullness of the gospel is declared through the Holy Spirit. He predicted Jesus sufferings and resurrection through the prophet's words and writings. He foretold Jesus, the prophet-king reigns forever in glory. He told us of the kingdom God that is being established in us and when he comes again, on the earth.

>What can we learn from them about how to study the Bible?

* Do you study the Bible "intently and with the greatest care" as the prophets did? God revealed a lot to the prophets. What he revealed to them they sometimes did not understand. (Daniel 8:27, 12:8) This did not keep them from trying to understand. They continued to study the Bible. (Daniel 9:2)

>6. Who were the prophets serving and what does this tell us about Scriptures? (12a)

* 1 Peter 1:12a "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."

* "It was revealed to them" -The Holy Spirit means of revelation is not precisely described in the Bible. It usually just says, "The word of the Lord came to..." (1 Samuel 15:10; and 2 Samuel 7:4, 24:11; and 1 Kings 16:1, 7, 17:2, 8, 18:1, 19:9, 21:17, 28; and 2 Kings 20:4, etc.)

* "that they were not serving themselves but you" -The Lord God chose to reveal his word hundreds, even thousands of years before they were fulfilled. Those who God used to tell us realized that their words would be more important to us. How? So that when they are fulfilled we would recognize that Jesus is the Messiah.

* "when they spoke of the things that have now been told you" -The apostles echoed the words of the prophets and Jesus.

* Peter wrote in his second letter, "For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:21) The Holy Spirit that moved the prophets of the Old Testament now dwells within all believers of Jesus. Jesus taught, "All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:25-26) This does not mean that every believer today is a prophet for the Spirit gives different gifts to different people. (Romans 12:4-8)

* Romans 10:18 "But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

>How is the truth of the gospel found in Scriptures given to people?

* "by those who have preached the gospel to you" -The apostles were the first to preach the gospel. Gospel in Greek means good news. Jesus told us that all of his people would preach the good news.

* "by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven" -When the gospel is preached the Holy Spirit works in people's heart to change them. The preachers of the good news do not change hearts. Without the work of the Holy Spirit in people's heart all the best words and most elegant preaching will do nothing.

* Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel to all the world. (Mark 16:15) Every one who claims Jesus as their Savior and Lord is to preach the good news. When we preach the gospel we must first pray that the Holy Spirit moves people's heart.

* Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. (The Tozer Quotable II: More Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge.)

>Who else besides the prophets and ourselves long to understand the workings of God? (12b)

* 1 Peter 1:12b "Even angels long to look into these things."

* So much emphasis today concerning angels is as them as ministering spirits sent to those who are going to be saved. Thus, the focus is on us. The fact that they are ministering spirits for the saved is true. However, an important fact about them seems all but forgotten. What they want to know and understand is the work of God.

* Angels have been the subject of many books and conversations throughout history. The Bible from beginning to end contains visitation and ministries of angels. There are fallen (evil) rebellious angles and the angels of the Lord. All Biblical references show the Lord's angels as servants, only doing the work of the Lord with no recognition and worship. The focus of any servant is not the servant, but the Lord of the servant. (Col. 2:18; Rev. 22:8-9)

III. Do Not Conform to Evil Desires (1:13-2:3)

>7. Considering what God has planned for his elect, what three things are we to do according to verse 13?

* 1 Peter 1:13 "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed."

* "Therefore" -Peter is moving onto concluding points. What follows is a long series of exhortations (actually imperatives) that end at 5:11.

* "prepare your minds for action" -A call to alertness. In the language of the first century this phrase meant that the reader should literally gather up his long, flowing garments and be ready for physical action.

* "be self-controlled" -Sober.

* "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed" -Look forward to the end.

* Men wore long robes and would tuck them into their belt, gird up their loins,” so they could move more freely and quickly. Although the image also occurs elsewhere in the Old Testament, here Peter may specifically allude to the Passover (Exodus 12:11): once God’s people had been redeemed by the blood of the lamb (1 Peter 1:19), they were to be ready to follow God forth until he had brought them safely into their inheritance (cf. 1 Peter 1:4), the Promised Land. Thus they were to be dressed and ready to flee. “Sobriety” in ancient usage meant not only literal abstinence from drink but also behaving as a non-intoxicated person should, hence with dignified self-control. (Bible Background Commentary - The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament)

Jesus' second coming

>When will Jesus be revealed?

* "when Jesus Christ is revealed" -Jesus wil be revealed to the earth when he comes again. His coming will be plain for everyone to see. Peter writes of the revealing five (or six) times in this letter. (1:5, 7, 13, 20, 4:13, 5:1)

* Revelation 1:7 "Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen."

* Matthew 26:63b-64 "The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

* Mark 14:61b-62 "Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

* Calvin wrote, "What he adds, 'At the revelation of Jesus Christ', may be explained in two ways: that the doctrine of the Gospel reveals Christ to us; and that, as we see him as yet only through a mirror and enigmatically, a full revelation is deferred to the last day. The first meaning is approved by Erasmus, nor do I reject it. The second seems, however, to be more suitable to the passage. For the object of Peter was to call us away beyond the world; for this purpose the fittest thing was the recollection of Christ's coming. For when we direct our eyes to this event, this world becomes crucified to us, and we to the world. Besides, according to this meaning, Peter used the expression shortly before. Nor is it a new thing for the apostles to employ the (Greek) preposition (to mean 'at'). Thus, then, I explain the passage, — “You have no need to make a long journey that you may attain the grace of God; for God anticipates you; inasmuch as he brings it to you.” But as the fruition of it will not be until Christ appears from heaven, in whom is hid the salvation of the godly, there is need, in the meantime, of hope; for the grace of Christ is now offered to us in vain, except we patiently wait until the coming of Christ." (Calvin's Commentaries)

* The Man who died on the cross died in weakness. The Bible is plain in telling us this. But He arose in power. If we forget or deny the truth and glory of His resurrection and the fact that He is seated at the right hand of God, we lose all the significance of the meaning of Christianity! (The Tozer Quotable II: More Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)

>How is being holy defined in verses 14-16?

* 1 Peter 1:14-16 "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."

* "As obedient children" -John starts out his gospel by telling us that we are born of God not by anything man has done. He is speaking of our spiritual birth. Therefore, we are God's children. I have two children and I am a child of my deceased parents. Human children don't always obey their parents. In fact when they do we are surprised and have a sense of pride because they disobey more than they obey. At times when they obey with actions in there hearts human children rebel. I remember once when I was an early teen my father told me to help clean the basement. I didn't want to do it, not because I had something to do. I did not. Rather, I was just to lazy. I did as he told, but all the time I was rebelling in my heart. The rebellious heart in me grew to the point that when we finished I said a disrespectful word to my father. This caused me to meet the backhand of my father. God's children should be submissive, respectful, and obedient to our heavenly father..

* "do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance" -What Peter calls "evil desires" here (and "evil human desires" in 4:2) is elsewhere called "earthly nature" (Colossians 3:5) and "sinful nature" (Romans 7:5, 18, 25, 8:3-13, 13:4; and 1 Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 5:13, 16-17, 19, 24, 6:8, etc.) When we are saved the sinful nature remains. Children of God are to resist the evil desires that come from our sinful nature as long as we are in the flesh. God gives us the Holy Spirit who in turn gives us power to overcome the sinful nature. This is a spiritual battle we are to engage in.

* "be holy in all you do" -No matter what we do or where we are we are to do God's will; we are to follow Jesus' example.

* "Be holy, because I am holy." -Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:7

* In the New Testament, we have a Greek word about God being holy. "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). I notice that the definition of that Greek word is "Awful [full of awe] Thing." Now think of that. The "Awful Thing" that's one meaning of the word holy, the Holy One! (Tozer, The Attributes of God – Volume 1: A Journey into the Father's Heart)

>8. What is reverent fear? (17)

* 1 Peter 1:17 "Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear."

* "Since you call on a Father" -Prayer

* "live your lives as strangers here" -Do not sin as people of the world do. Do not live for selfish reasons.

* "in reverent fear" -Jesus said it best, "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." (Luke 12:4-5)

>Why should we live in reverent fear?

The Bema Seat at Corinth

* See a picture of the Bema Seat at Corinth to the right.

* Romans 14:9-12 "For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."

* "judges each man's work impartially" -Everyone that has ever lived or will live will be judged by Jesus. This includes Christians. Peter writes these words to Christians.

* Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement in the seventh month foreshadows Jesus coming as judge. "Yom" means "day" in Hebrew. When the first English translators came upon the word "kippur" they discovered there was no English equivalent. So they created the word “atonement” by joining “at”, one, and “met”. The Day of Atonement marks the time when Jesus' bride and those who made it through the seven years of wrath will be gathered before Jesus' throne in Jerusalem at the great banquet feast of the Lamb. There will be great celebration and joy for several days.

Kippur comes from a root Hebrew word that means "to cover or hide"; a secondary meaning is "to obliterate (sin)" and hence "to expiate". There is a link to the Hebrew word "kapporet" meaning the mercy seat. 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10 tell us that believers will be brought into examination before the Son of God, the King and their Bridegroom. The New Testament uses the Greek word Bema for this judgment seat. Bema means a raised platform which had a seat on it. Sale-Harrison wrote in the book The Judgment Seat of Christ, “In the Grecian games in Athens, the old arena contained a raised platform on which the president or umpire of the arena sat. From here he rewarded all the contestants; and here he rewarded all winners. It was never used as a judicial bench.” Paul used the Athens' games as an example of his goal to gain a prize and a crown. (1 Cor. 9:24-27, and 2 Tim. 2:5, 4:6-8, Phil. 4:1, and 1 Th. 2:19)

Thus, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is when each of Jesus’ loved ones meets him face-to-face. We will see him with our own eyes and he will judge our deeds done in this life. As we approach his radiant glory, glory of staggering proportions, his light will burn away all that is not pleasing. As we approach him all that will be left in us is the good deeds we did in this life.

The Day of Atonement is described by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Cor. 3:11-15)

What does gold, silver and costly stones represent? What will survive? Later in his first letter to the Corinthians Paul tells us, “And now these remain faith, hope and love.” (1 Cor. 13:13a) When Jesus loved ones come before their King and Bridegroom his glory will burn away all that was not done with faith, hope, and love. All that will remain is what was done with faith in Jesus, hope in his kingdom, and love for him and others. This day marks the day when Jesus will give rewards to his bride according to what they did during their first lives. (Rev. 22:12, 5:10, 4:2, 1:5-6, and 2 Cor. 5:10, and 1 Cor. 6:2, Dan. 7:22, 12:1-13, Luke 19:11-27, Matt. 25:14-30, Jam. 1:12, 1 Pet. 5:4, etc.)

* The above is taken from "The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires" found on this web site.

Redeemed by the blood of Jesus

>How did we become God's elect? (18-20; John 1:29)

* 1 Peter 1:18-20 "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 forefathers, 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."

* John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

* "redeemed" -Redeemed means to recover ownership of by paying a specific agreed amount. Israel, Greece and Rome had laws of redemption in Zechariah's day. The term "redeemed" applied to the legal transaction that took place when a slave was purchased from his slavery into freedom. The Lord commanded the Israelites to redeem their first-born son and livestock. (Exodus 13:11-13) God redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 24:17-18; and 2 Samuel 7:23)

* "from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers"

* "with the precious blood of Christ" -See verse 2 above.

* "a lamb without blemish or defect" -Jesus is the Lamb of God. (John 1)

* "He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake." -Peter repeats what he has already stated. God established a plan before he created the world.

>How does this further clarify why we should live in reverent fear?

* Our purification was no easy thing for God since if was offering his only son.

>9. How does Jesus draw men to God? (21)

* 1 Peter 1:21 "Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."

* "glorified him" -Jesus is already glorified. After the last supper Jesus prayed, "Father, the time has come, Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you... And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (John 17:1, 5)

* "your faith and hope are in God"

>What does it mean that after God raised Jesus from the dead God glorified him? (Matt. 17:2; John 17:1, 5; Rev. 1:12-18)

* Matthew 17:2 "There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light."

* John 17:1 "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 'Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you."

* John 17:5 "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."

* Revelation 1:12-18 "I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lamp stands, and among the lamp stands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."

>10. What is the word of God compared to in verses 22-25?

* 1 Peter 1:22-25 "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, 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 men 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 stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you."

* "you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth" -Not that we are saved by works. Rather, when we are cleansed of our dirty sins we can remain pure by obeying Jesus' word.

* "not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God"

* "the word of the Lord stands forever."

>How does the word planted in us spring forth love?

* "sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart"

>What are some ways to practically love? (2:1)

* 1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind."

* "malice"

* "deceit"

* "hypocrisy"

* "envy"

* "slander"

An infant drinking mile

>What is spiritual milk? (2:2-3; Heb. 5:11-14)

* 1 Peter 2:2-3 "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."

* Hebrews 5:11-14 "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

* "Like newborn babies

* "crave pure spiritual milk"

* "may grow up in your salvation"

* "now that you have tasted that the Lord is good"


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