Chapter 1

Greetings: 1 Peter 1:1, 2. 
Peter begins his letter by calling himself an apostle of Jesus Christ. Peter was called and commissioned by Christ.  Peter knew that he was chosen to be an apostle by the grace of God. He calls himself a bond slave of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1).  Peter was totally committed to serve Christ and never sought any celebrity status.. His Jewish name was Simon.  Cephas was his Aramaic name.  His Greek name, Peter was given by Jesus Christ which means a stone (John 1:42).  Peter did not become a disciple of Christ in his first meeting with Jesus (John 1:42). When Jesus invited Peter he left everything and followed Him (Luke 5:11).  He was a slow learner of faith (Matthew 14:31).  At times he acted impulsively and was fearful (John 18:10, 25).  Peter was privileged to see the glory of Christ on the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17).   Also Peter was enlightened to testify Jesus as the  "Son of the living God "(John 6:69). Jesus knew how weak Peter was and prayed for him that his faith may not fail (Luke 22:31, 32).  Being a Jew it was difficult for Peter to believe that Christ should suffer and die (Matthew 16:23).  It took Peter many years to understand that Christ had to suffer and enter the glory (1 Peter 4:12, 13).  Peter failed many times yet he repented and was restored by Christ (John 21:15-17).  He understood that love will cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Failure does not disqualify anyone from serving the Lord, if he is willing to repent of his sin.  Our God is the God of second chance.  Christian life is a series of new beginnings (Philippians 3:13, 14).  Peter refers to Trinity in his greeting (1:2). The believers are included in the foreknowledge of God when it comes to their salvation (Acts 2:23; Romans 8:29).  They are sanctified by the Holy Spirit or set apart for God's use.  They are also cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.  In our salvations all three persons in the Godhead are involved. Holiness and suffering are vitally connected (Romans 5:3-4).  Christians are blessed with grace and peace.

Our Heavenly Inheritance: 1 Peter 1:3-5.  
Peter desires that Christians should be thankful for their salvation. Salvation is entirely of God’s initiative.  He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the only Savior.  We have been begotten by the Holy Spirit.  Mercy is the compassion shown to the miserable. We were dead in sin and trespasses. God saved us not because of the good works we have done but of His mercy (Ephesians 2:4; Titus 3: 4, 5). We are born again to a living hope (1:3).  Our inheritance is in heaven. We live in a world where people have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).  Our hope is the confident expectation built upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:18). It is not wishful thinking (1:3).  Christians look beyond present circumstances with a living hope in Christ.  This is a spiritual inheritance which we have not earned but received.  This inheritance is in the person of Jesus Christ and to be like Him. This is reserved in heaven and kept by the power of God.  It is imperishable, without pollution and unfading.  Being born again, we are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed on the last day.  It is a military term for garrison that provides protection. This also speaks of the finished work of Christ on Calvary. The last day corresponds to the second coming of Christ. Christians are saved from the penalty of sin, now they are being saved from the power of sin and one day they will be saved from the presence of sin.  The blessings we experience in our salvation today are only a foretaste of the glorious blessings we will enjoy in heaven (1 Corinthians 2:9).  Peter reminds believers of their future hope so that they  may not be discouraged in their suffering.  They may find strength knowing that they are forgiven and eternally secured in Christ.  Our eternal security gives us strength to face suffering in this world with confidence in Christ.

Why God permits Trials and Sufferings: 1 Peter 1:6-9.
God wants Christians to rejoice in their salvation even though they have to endure many trials. God has never promised us an easy life, rather promised to be with us in our sufferings.  The goal of salvation is to transform us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29-30). Christians can rejoice in suffering because our suffering is momentary and it is the steppingstone to everlasting glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). Suffering is designed to prove the true nature of our faith. Trials should not be wasted though it is painful. But later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11).  When we suffer for Christ and his righteousness, we become partakers of Christ’s suffering. Someone has said "A faith that is not tested cannot be trusted".  We love Christ and rejoice with inexpressible joy because we are kept by the power of God for the future glory. One day we will be with Christ and be like Him in glory (Romans 8:28-29).  No one is exempted from suffering and it is a fact of life in this fallen world. In our sufferings, God has promised us His presence and grace (2 Corinthians 12:9). Though believers do not see Christ, we love and rejoice in Him.  Trials are inevitable and useful in Christian life (John 16:33; Philippians 1:29).  It helps us to humble ourselves before God and develop intimacy with Him (2 Corinthians 12:7, 8).  Suffering helps us to live with heavenly perspective. It reveals that our faith in Christ is precious than gold that perishes. It will bring much praise and glory when Christ returns.  Love and joy, characterize Christian life. The believers find strength in their suffering knowing that they are forgiven and their salvation is secured forever. 
Salvation Revealed: 1 Peter 1:10-12. 
Peter explains the wonder of salvation we possess.  Salvation is a gift of God and it cannot be earned by good works but only be received by faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  It is more than the deliverance from sin and its consequences.  Salvation from  A to Z is a gift of God. The Old Testament prophets did not know a great deal about the coming Savior. They searched and inquired in whom the Messianic prophecies  will be fulfilled and when it would happen. These prophecies are found in every page of the Bible (Luke 24:25-27). The whole Bible is the unfolding story of Jesus Christ and the gospel (2 Timothy 2:8).  Someone has said “Christ is predicated in the Old Testament, revealed in the Gospels, preached in the book of Acts, explained in the Letters and anticipated in the book of Revelation”. They prophesied about Christ’s suffering and the coming glory. In Christ all these prophecies are fulfilled. This is the good news proclaimed to us by the apostles. What a privilege to live in such a time angels are eagerly watching these things happen (1:12). Although  the Old Testament prophets and angels did not understand the details of this great salvation, by grace we have been privileged to entered into it through faith. The Old Testament prophecies about Christ also proves the unity of the Scriptures, the Old Testament and the New Testament (2 Timothy 3:15). The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament was to point forward to Jesus Christ. And the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is to proclaim Christ to the end of the earth through Christians. The Old Testament is sufficient to lead a sinner into salvation (2 Timothy 3:15). How thankful we must be for the whole Bible! The salvation was not an afterthought but a divine plan of God made before the world began. 

A Call to Holy Living: 1 Peter 1:13-17. 
Peter now calls believers to holy living.  Being saved by grace we should live with our hope fixed upon the coming of Christ. Salvation is in Christ alone, by grace alone and through faith alone. We cannot add anything to salvation. It is a life transforming work of God (Romans 12:1, 2). Peter exhorts us to be sober minded and look forward to the salvation that will come to us when Christ is revealed to the world  (1:13). This grace will be revealed before the world at the second coming of Christ.  Meanwhile we must live like obedient children of God and do not slip back to our old ways of living to satisfy our own lustful desires.  Without holiness no one can see God. Holiness is not something we earn but what God has already done for us in Christ Jesus 

(1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 10:14).  Christ’s atoning death is the basis of all our spiritual blessings. Our greatest joy is that our sins have been fully paid on the cross and we have been saved from sin. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). Believers  should meditate on Christ’s suffering to stir their hearts to love him and live a holy life. Since we are the children of God, we should be holy in all our conduct. Holiness has both positive and negative sides. We must not follow our former sinful lust but imitate Christ in our daily lives.  

Basis for Holy Living: 1 Peter 1:18-25. 
Christians must live in reverential fear towards God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). This is the healthy and wholesome fear that respects God as our heavenly Father. It is the most essential aspect in Christian living. There is a negative kind of fear that causes people to live in dread. It is difficult to imagine anything worse than to live every day in fear. Only when we take God at His Word, we do live with confidence in Christ.  Christ is our peace and He alone is our security.  Jesus said, “Do not be afraid” (John 14:1).  We are redeemed by the blood of Christ from sin to live a holy life.  We don’t earn our redemption but receive by faith in the finished work of Christ (Ephesians 1:7).  We are ransomed by the imperishable blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18). God the Father planned our redemption before the foundation of the world. Christ has revealed and procured it in these last days through His death on the cross (1 Peter 1:20).   His blood is far greater in value than silver and gold. The wonder of redemption is that God pursues us with this salvation which He planned in the eternity past. Christ purchased it by His death and the Holy Spirit applies it to all those who truth in Christ. It is our privilege to trust and obey the risen Savior who loved us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).  Hearing the gospel will not save anyone but believing in Christ.  Obeying Christ is the proof of our salvation. The born again believers will love each other intensely with pure heart. It is the proof of our salvation. The living Word is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses to impart the new life in us.  Only God’s Word endures forever and everything else is temporary. Grass withers and flowers fade but God’s Word lasts forever (Isaiah 40:8). Our emotions and feelings will change but God’s Word never changes (Matthew 5:18). So the key to Christian living is the obedience of the written Word of God apostles preached (1 Peter 1:25).