1 Peter 1
The Gospel the Foreordained Purpose of God.
The Glorious Hope in Christ.
It a Strength in Trial.
The Prophets Looking Forward Earnestly to Its Revelation.
Even the Angels Desiring to Look into the Mystery.
A Godly Life Becometh Those Who Have Such a Hope.
1, 2. Peter, an apostle. The first letter of Peter opens as do
the other apostolic letters. Peter claims no superiority. The New
Testament knows nothing of his succession to Christ as the first of the
To the elect sojourners (Revision). He does not address Jews
generally but Jewish Christians primarily, though in portions of the
letter he seems to embrace Gentile Christians also.
Dispersion. The Jewish race outside of Judea.
In Pontus. The letter is directed to the churches in five
provinces of the Roman empire which Paul had evangelized, all lying in
a group south of the Euxine Sea and east of the Caspian. See map of
2. According to the foreknowledge of God. Their election and
salvation was in accordance with God's predetermined purpose to save
men through the gospel, and hence, according to foreknowledge.
In sanctification of the spirit. The means by which they become
elect are pointed out. They were separated from the world by the
gospel, the word of the Spirit, a sanctification which signifies "a
setting apart to holy uses." They were thus separated
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. In
obeying this they were "baptized into the death of Christ"
and their sins were pardoned. The sanctification in this case precedes
obedience and pardon.
3-5. Blessed be the God. The ground of special thanksgiving is
that the Father, out of his overflowing mercy,
hath begotten us. Has caused us to be born again as his
Unto a lively hope. As children we have a glorious hope of
eternal life through
the resurrection of Jesus.
4. To an inheritance. The hope is not merely of eternal
existence, but we become heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ.
An inheritance incorruptible. It can never decay.
Undefiled. It is sinless and eternal.
5. Who are kept by the power of God. The inheritance is reserved
for those who are kept safe by God's power, through faith, so that they
endure to the end.
6-9. Wherein. In this glorious hope you rejoice.
Though now for a season. This implies that a persecution was in
progress, or threatened.
Manifold temptations. Trials which put faith and patience to the
7. That the trial of your faith. These persecutions try their
faith as gold is tried by the fire, and the faith that stands the test,
more precious than gold, will bear fruit
unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing. "The present
afflictions work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
8. Whom. Jesus Christ.
Ye love. Though not having seen Christ, they knew him by faith.
Ye rejoice. Because they believe upon him whom they have not
seen they are filled with the unspeakable joy of a glorious hope.
9. The end of your faith. The object of the gospel, "the faith,"
and of their faith was salvation.
10-12. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired. This
passage implies that the prophets used words and symbols, at the
dictation of the Spirit, of which they did not comprehend the full
meaning. They spoke of Christ and salvation, and then diligently
inquired what the Spirit of Christ in them did signify by these
11. When it testified . . . the sufferings. They spoke
of the sufferings of Christ (see
Isaiah, chapter 53)
but could not understand these predictions any better than the Jews of
Christ's time. See
Luke 24:25, 26.
12. Unto whom it was revealed. The prophets were, however,
taught that the subject matter of their predictions related to a future
time, not to their own.
They did minister the things. The things which were fulfilled by
preached . . . unto you. Paul and his companions, who
preached under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Which things the angels desire to look into. The profound
mysteries of the gospel were subjects of earnest inquiry to the angels,
an indication that like the prophets they could not understand until
the mystery was revealed.
13-16. Gird up the loins of your mind. A figure drawn from the
custom of girding the loins when about to start on a journey. So the
Christian must prepare himself as on a journey.
Be sober. Let
there be sobriety of spirit.
Hope to the end. Never let the glow of your hope cease until the
great consummation, when Christ comes.
14. As obedient children. An invariable characteristic of all
Christians. The divisions between God's children and the children of
this world turns on obedience to God.
Not fashioning yourselves. The spirit of obedience would cause
them to turn away from their former sinful life when in
ignorance of the gospel.
15. But as he which hath called you. God the Father, to whom the
calling is assigned in the Scriptures. Obedient children will seek to
please and to be like their father. Our Father is holy, and the
duty rests upon us of seeking holy lives.
16. Because it is written.
Lev. 11:44, and 19:2.
We must not only submit to God's commands but seek to imitate his
17-21. If ye call on the Father. In prayer and worship. All call
upon him who pray.
Who without respect of persons. He judges us and all men
according to the deeds, not station or race. Hence, those who seek his
blessings and promises should show a reverential fear. That is the
first reason given for being "holy."
Of your sojourning. The whole life is a period of sojourning on
18. Ye were not redeemed. Gold or earthly wealth could never
have wrought our redemption.
From your vain conversation. Vain and profitless manner of life.
Handed down from your fathers. This was true of Jewish
Christians, but still more true of the heathen who had been
19. But with the precious blood. The New Testament writers with
one accord refer to Christ as "the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin
of the world." See
Eph. 1:4; 5:27; Col. 1:22; Heb. 9:14.
20. Who verily was foreordained. See
Christ was the center of God's plans of salvation from the beginning.
But was manifest. Though Christ was God's plan from the
beginning he was only manifested
in these last times. In that period, the end of the Jewish age
and near the end of the temple and of the Jewish nation.
For you. Christ was manifested for the sake of his people, who
have become his people by faith.
21. That your faith and hope might be in God. Faith, with Peter
as well as Paul, is essential to salvation. The salvation is of God,
not of ourselves, and is made ours by faith.
22-25. Seeing ye have purified your souls. The Greek verb
rendered "purified," occurs seven times in the New Testament. In four
Acts 21:24, 26; and 24:18,
it refers to ceremonial purification. In the other three it refers to
moral purification; the cleansing of the life from its sins. That seems
to be the sense here. It refers not only to the forgiveness of sins
but to the pure life that should follow. This purification is obtained
in obeying the truth. That is, by obedience to the gospel.
Through the Spirit. The Spirit is inseparable from the gospel.
The gospel dispensation is that of the Spirit. See
Acts 15:8, 9.
Unto unfeigned love of the brethren. The Spirit of Christ in our
hearts is the spirit of brotherly love.
See that ye love. How can one profess to follow Christ unless he
loves those for whom Christ died?
With a pure heart. With a sincere heart.
23. Being born again. At conversion. See
Not of corruptible seed. A birth always implies a moving cause.
In this birth the new life is planted by
incorruptible seed, even
by the word of God. See also
Acts 10:36, and James 1:18.
The gospel preached and lodged in the heart, "the power of God to
is the power that moves the soul to a new life.
Which liveth. God's word is living and eternal. It has life in
it and hence communicates life. See
24. All flesh is as grass
God's word lives forever, but the flesh is as evanescent as the grass.
The fleshly life, like the grass, is soon felled by death, but a birth
from the living and eternal word is a birth to eternal life.
25. The word of the Lord endureth forever. Like its author it is
eternal and never loses its power.
This is the word. That word was the gospel, the very gospel
preached to them by Paul and his fellow ministers.