What does 1 Peter 1 mean?
Chapter Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
1 Peter 1:1–2 introduces the letter, identifying both writer and audience. The message is from the apostle whom Jesus named ''Peter,'' formerly named Simon. He writes to the Christians scattered and persecuted for their faith across several regions. Peter here refers to these believers as ''elect,'' meaning those specially chosen by God.
1 Peter 1:3–12 is one of the most loved passages in all of Scripture. It begins as a blessing to God, but also describes how incredibly He has blessed us in Christ. Because Jesus has risen from the dead, our hope is not a wish—it is as alive as He is. Our inheritance as God’s children is eternal, full of glory, and secured forever. Even in our suffering, we have every reason to rejoice. The mystery of God’s plan has been revealed to us in Christ. We are being saved!
1 Peter 1:13–25 describes how Christians—those God has caused to be born again—should live now. We must mentally engage in setting all of our hope in God’s future grace for us. We must choose to act as those who are God’s own people, rejecting the evil desires that drove our actions before we knew better. Our choices matter. Our God placed a high value on our lives, paying for them with the blood of Christ. Since God has made us able, we must now strive to earnestly give love to each other.
Chapter Summary:
Peter, the apostle of Jesus, writes a letter to Christians facing persecution to comfort them with the truth of who they are in Christ—children of God with every reason to rejoice in their salvation and future glory in eternity. Next, he urges them to live like the holy ones of God they already are by obeying God now, loving each other earnestly, and placing all of their hope in the endless life to come.
Chapter Context:
This beautiful, profound, and challenging first chapter of 1 Peter lays the foundation for the rest of Peter’s letter. In spite of whatever suffering we may face, God Himself has already shown us great mercy in Christ by including us in His family! Jesus is our living hope. Our future is secure and endless and perfect. As the children of God we have every reason to rejoice, even in this present darkness. Peter then calls us to prepare ourselves to live as the holy people God has made us to be.
Book Summary:
Some 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus, Christians are facing greater persecution for their faith. How should they respond? How should we respond to suffering today? The apostle Peter writes this letter both to comfort believers and to encourage them to stay strong. He urges them to put all their hope in their perfect future with Christ, and to obey and trust Him in the present, even in their suffering. Christ suffered greatly; now the Christ-followers have the opportunity to follow Him even in this, showing His grace and power in their hopefulness, obedience, and faith.
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