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1 Peter chapter 1

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What does 1 Peter chapter 1 mean?

The apostle Peter, one of the original 12 disciples chosen and trained by Jesus during His time on earth, begins a letter to Christians scattered by persecution. He writes to encourage them, starting by emphasizing exactly who they are as Christians and how God has blessed them in Christ.

First, through their faith in Christ, God has caused them to be born again to a living hope. Because Jesus is raised from the dead, Peter asserts, their hope in Jesus is not a wish—it is as alive as He is. Their inheritance as God's children is eternal, full of glory, and secured forever. God Himself is guarding them!

Even in their suffering, which is all too real and causes sadness, Christians benefit. Our faith grows stronger, and our faith is worth more than gold. Our faith will bring great glory when Jesus is revealed. In fact, Peter says Christians have every reason to rejoice. The mystery of God's plan, withheld for centuries from both prophets and angels, has been revealed to us in Christ.

Clearly, though, we are not home, yet. Peter next addresses the question of how God's secure children should live now, between this moment and the day we are united with our Father—especially in a season of suffering and persecution.

First, we must see ourselves as holy (or "set apart") people with a special purpose. We will live in the world, but we must live as foreigners, as people preparing to go home. We must mentally engage in setting all of our hope in God's future grace for us. We should choose to act as those who are God's own people, rejecting the evil desires that once drove our actions before we knew better.

Our choices in life matter. God placed a high value on our lives, paying for them with the blood of Christ. What we inherited from our human ancestors was a meaningless existence. We lived in futility. What God gave us, instead, is true purpose. In Christ, our lives have meaning and our choices have significant consequences.

One of the choices we are now free to make is to work hard to give pure love to other Christians. It's a big part of our purpose and one way God intends for us to spend our brief lives on this side of eternity.

Our time here is brief, but our lives will go on for all eternity in Christ. He is the word of the Lord, and the word of the Lord, Peter writes, remains forever. That's the good news that was preached to Peter's readers, and which they believed.
What is the Gospel?
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