1 Peter 1


Peter addresses his letter to the ‘pilgrims of the dispersion,’ 1 Peter 1:1, those Christians who were scattered and living in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, which are provinces in what is now called Turkey.

He reminds the Christians in Asia Minor of the persecution they experienced, 1 Peter 1:6, and he tells them that more persecution is on its way, 1 Peter 4:12-19. However, whilst all this persecution is taking place, he encourages them to remain faithful, 1 Peter 1:13 / 1 Peter 4:16 / 1 Peter 5:8-9.

He also reminds them of their duties and the blessings they have because they are God’s elect, 1 Peter 1:2 and he reminds them that they are God’s special people, 1 Peter 2:9.


Now there is no doubt about the apostle Peter being the writer of this letter because he tells us himself, 1 Peter 1:1, and he reminds us that he was a witness of Christ’s sufferings, 1 Peter 5:1.

This is the same Peter whose brother’s name was Andrew, John 1:35-42, both of who were fishermen, John 1:40-42. Peter was married, Matthew 8:14-15 / Mark 1:30, and later became an elder of the church, which also implies he had children, 1 Peter 5:1 / 1 Peter 5:13 / Titus 1:6.


Most commentators say that Peter wrote this letter around 63-64 A.D.


Salutation. 1 Peter 1:1-2
The method and nature of salvation. 1 Peter 1:3-12
A demand for holiness. 1 Peter 1:13-2:3
A description of the people of God. 1 Peter 2:4-10
The Christian witness in the world. 1 Peter 2:11-3:12
Submission to the governing powers. 1 Peter 2:13-17
Subjection to masters in imitation of Christ’s example. 1 Peter 2:18-25
Relationships between wives and husbands. 1 Peter 3:1-7
Compassion and forgiveness among all Christians. 1 Peter 3:8-12
Appeals and promises to the persecuted. 1 Peter 3:13-4:19
Assurance for faithful servants. 1 Peter 5:1-9
Praises to God and greetings to the church. 1 Peter 5:10-14

The Text

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are pilgrims of the dispersion.” 1 Peter 1:1

Peter introduces himself as an apostle of Christ, one who was sent out directly by Christ to preach the Gospel, one who met the qualifications to become an apostle, Acts 1:21-22.

Throughout the New Testament, there are various phrases used to describe those people of God who make up the Lord’s church.

Individually, they are referred to as disciples, saints, believers, priests, Christians, etc and collectively, they are called the church, the church of God, churches of Christ, the body of Christ, the temple of God, the family of God, etc. Each of these terms describes various relationships maintained by those who are Christians.

Peter addresses them as ‘the elect who are pilgrims of the dispersion’. The word dispersion simply means scattered and the word pilgrim means, someone who is living in one place for a while but that place isn’t their real home, Hebrews 11:13.

Peter is basically telling us that the Christian life really is but a journey. Our journey began when we first became Christians, ending only when we reach our true destination. This life is not an unending journey, Hebrews 9:27, this life is not the end within itself. Our journey as Christians is only temporally based here on earth until we get to our final destination.

Our lives as Christians here on Earth may be the end of our journey here on Earth but it’s not the end of our lives. It’s not the end of our lives but the beginning of eternity in our true home.

And whilst we’re on this journey, we become like our spiritual father, Abraham, Hebrews 11:8-10. The Hebrew writer is saying if we live like this world is not our home, then God is not going to be ashamed to be called our God, Hebrews 11:13-16.

Jesus says we may well be in this world but we are not of this world, John 15:18-19 / John 17:15-16. But as we know with all blessings come responsibility, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 / 1 Peter 2:11-12 / 1 Peter 4:3-4 / 1 John 2:15-17.

The world needs examples of Christ-likeness but the reason they need an example is so that by our example we can point them to what they really need most of all, a Saviour. And we need to live here on earth like we’re waiting for our Saviour to return, Philippians 3:20-21 / Colossians 3:1-4.

“You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood. May grace and peace be yours in full measure”. 1 Peter 1:2

Some translations use the word elect, but the word elect simply means chosen and it’s the same word that Peter uses in 1 Peter 2:9-10.

All Christians are a part of God’s predetermined plan but just because He predetermined it doesn’t mean that we don’t have a choice to say, ‘no thanks God’, we have a choice.

But this plan was already arranged even before the Earth began, Ephesians 1:4-5. So the plan was in place before the world began and God chose us so that we would be holy and without blame and to make us His children through adoption. And as His children, we say, ‘thank you’, God says, ‘it’s my pleasure.’

If God has done all those wonderful things for us by choosing us then surely common sense tells us that He chose us for a purpose. God says we were chosen to live a life of good deeds, Ephesians 2:10. That was His goal for you since the beginning of time.

And so not only are we special enough for God to choose us, were special enough to be chosen to be holy. Peter says that we become God’s chosen people through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.

Some translations use the word ‘sanctification’ which means ‘set apart’. And this is the process by which we are ‘set apart’ for God’s purpose and is accomplished by the Holy Spirit, 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

The Holy Spirit sanctifies us simply through the Word of God, which we call the Bible, John 16:12-13. The Spirit says that He would reveal the Word to the apostles, John 17:17. The Spirit says that through this revealed Word, we are ‘sanctified’, that is, set apart.

In other words, when people obey the Word of God which has been revealed by the Holy Spirit, they become ‘chosen to salvation’. The Holy Spirit’s work is the Divine side of conversion, as the Spirit has revealed the Word and convicted men of sin through it.

That’s what He does but in return He wants something. This is what we might call our side of the deal, the human side of conversion, and that is, simply to believe the Word of God, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.

If we believe the Bible and believe we have been ‘set apart’ by belief in the truth. If we take the Holy Spirit at His word and truly believe that we are God’s chosen people who are now a part of His eternal plan, Romans 5:6.

He chose, saved us and set us apart to do good works, and yet we still struggle with the concept of obedience, Ephesians 2:10. We cannot and do not earn salvation by doing good deeds but we do our good deeds because we already have salvation in Christ Jesus, Titus 2:11-14.

Notice how many times Peter refers to obedience in his letter. In 1 Peter 1:14-16 he reminds us that as obedient children of God, we are to be holy.

In 1 Peter 2:13-16, he reminds us to be obedient and submit to civil authorities, that we might silence the ignorance of foolish men. In 1 Peter 2:18, he reminds servants to be obedient to their masters.

In 1 Peter 3:1, he reminds the wives to be obedient to their husbands. In 1 Peter 4:17, he reminds us that there are grave consequences to those who are not obedient to the Gospel of God. In 1 Peter 5:11, he reminds the younger people to be obedient to their elders.

In other words, if we want to stay in the household of God and enjoy the privileges which come from God then we need to be obedient to His word.

As Christians, we enjoy the forgiveness of our sins, or as Peter says, we enjoy being ‘purified by his blood of Jesus Christ.’ We are truly blessed as His children and if that’s not enough of a reason to feel privileged and blessed and Peter tells us about two other privileges, grace and peace.

“Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope.” 1 Peter 1:3

Peter praised God and told us why our hope is a living hope, he says our hope is a living hope because God is merciful. Peter says our hope is not based on ourselves, Romans 3:23, our hope doesn’t lay on our own perfection or righteousness. Our hope is a living hope because our hope is based on God’s mercy, 1 John 1:8-10.

The basis for our hope doesn’t lay in our abilities, our hope is a living hope because it totally relies on the abundance of God’s mercy, Romans 5:6-8 / Acts 2:36-38 / 1 John 1:9.

Peter says that we have a living hope because Jesus is alive. The resurrection of Jesus is absolutely crucial to our hope. Paul says, if Christ is not risen from the dead, then the apostles were liars, and our faith is vain, it’s a waste of time, we have no hope, 1 Corinthians 15:17.

Paul says, if Christ is not risen from the dead, we are still held guilty for our sins, and we haven’t been forgiven, 1 Corinthians 15:14-15. Paul says, if Christ is not risen from the dead, then those who have died as Christians have perished, they are lost, 1 Corinthians 15:18.

And finally, Paul says, if Christ has not risen from the dead, then we do not have a living hope, instead we are to be pitied by others, 1 Corinthians 15:19. But praise God, Jesus did rise from the dead and it’s through Jesus’ resurrection that we have been born again to a living hope, John 11:25 / 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.

It’s totally by the abundant mercy of God, and upon the basis of Jesus’ own resurrection, that we have been born again into a living hope.

But there’s one more reason why our hope is a living hope, our hope goes beyond the grave.

“And so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away. Through faith you are being protected by God’s power for a salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end of time.” 1 Peter 1:4-5

Peter says our hope is a living hope because of the nature of our inheritance. If our inheritance is a good one, built on God’s Word then our hope is strong and living. But if our inheritance is a poor one, built on man’s own words, then our hope is weak, or dead.

Peter says our inheritance is unique because it’s incorruptible. The only thing which will go on forever are the souls of the people around us. He says, unlike the present heavens and earth in which we now live, and which will one day be destroyed, the new heaven will go on forever, 2 Peter 3:10-13.

Not only that, but our inheritance is undefiled. The world in which we live now is defiled and it’s defiled by us because of our sin. But John says that our hope is a living hope because where Christians are going to spend eternity in a place where those who are defiled and impure will not be allowed in, Revelation 21:27.

Not only is our inheritance unique because it’s incorruptible and undefiled but it’s also eternal. Our inheritance won’t rust, it won’t blemish, it won’t decay, and it won’t fade away. Peter says it is reserved in heaven and we need to know that no one, not even Satan himself can steal that from us.

Not only is our inheritance safely guarded in heaven, but we too as Christians are kept safe. Peter says that Christians are kept for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. The word ‘kept’ is an interesting word, it’s used in the military sense.

It means to guard, protect by a military guard, either to prevent hostile invasion or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight.

Peter is saying while our inheritance is being kept guarded in heaven under the watchful eye of God, we as Christians are also being guarded by God’s protecting care for it.

Notice that our inheritance, our very salvation being kept in heaven involves two things.

Peter says first of all our inheritance and salvation are kept by the power of God. Now, what does that mean? It means we have a God who understands investment, we have a God who knows the market.

His investment was sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for us. His market was you and I and everyone who is willing to admit they are sinners. In other words, what Peter is saying is, that God’s power equals God’s help, after all, God knows we are sinners and He knows we have temptations.

God knows how to deliver people from temptation, 1 Corinthians 10:13 / 2 Peter 2:9 / Ephesians 6:10-13. So God’s part of the deal is that He will guard our inheritance and keep our salvation, but we have a part to play too, our inheritance and our salvation need faith.

We cannot expect God to guard our inheritance and our salvation if we don’t treasure them ourselves. We cannot expect God to keep them safe in heaven if we are just going to live our lives however we please. We need to live and walk by faith because if we don’t then our inheritance and salvation will be lost, Hebrews 11:6 / Revelation 2:10.

There is no such thing as ‘once saved always saved’ in the Bible, you can fall from grace, and you can give up your inheritance and your salvation, Hebrews 3:12-13 / Hebrews 3:14-4:3. So the key is faith, the key to ensuring that we receive our inheritance and our salvation in heaven is faithfulness to God and His word to the very end.

The Christian hope is a living hope because God is merciful. The Christian hope is a living hope because Jesus is alive. The Christian hope is a living hope because of the nature of our inheritance. The Christian hope is a living hope because we are safely guarded.

And if that doesn’t bring joy into our lives I don’t know what will. We a hope that isn’t dead but very much alive and active both in heaven and in our lives, 1 Peter 3:15.

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

In what do we greatly rejoice? Peter says there are past things which are worth rejoicing in. In 1 Peter 1:2, he says we have been ‘set apart’ by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Peter 1:2, he says we have been ‘sprinkled’ with the blood of Jesus Christ. In 1 Peter 1:3, he says we have been ‘born again’ to a living hope.

Not only are there past things worth rejoicing in there are also present things which are worth rejoicing in. In 1 Peter 1:2 he says we are God’s ‘elect’ people. He says in 1 Peter 1:5, that we are ‘kept’ by the power of God through faith.

Not only are there past things worth rejoicing in and present things which are worth rejoicing in but there are also future things which are worth rejoicing in. In 1 Peter 1:4, he says, we have an ‘inheritance’ reserved for us in heaven.

In 1 Peter 1:5 and 1 Peter 1:9, he says we look forward to the ‘salvation’ which will be revealed in the last time. All these blessings, past, present and future should serve us well as the basis for the inexpressible joy we should have as Christians.

And because of those blessings that we can ‘greatly rejoice’ in any situation, we may find ourselves in. No matter what degree of suffering we may experience in our lives, in Christ there is a joy to match it.

And when the time of trials and testing comes our way, we shouldn’t be asking ourselves what on earth is going on? We should know that being a Christian means you’re going to get it tougher than most other people, 1 Peter 4:12-13.

Everyone in life suffers to some degree or another but if we’re suffering because of our faith in Christ, it’s then we should rejoice in Christ. Why? Because we’re sharing in Christ’s sufferings but because God is doing a work on us.

God is working on us to make you look more like His Son Jesus, but for that to happen we need to allow Him to do that. Trails are good for us because they help get rid of all the ungodly things in our lives.

Any trial or suffering we go through in life when looked at through the lens of eternity is but a moment. Paul says our troubles compared to the glory we shall receive in the future are small and temporary. What matters most are the things we can’t see, the things which last forever, 2 Corinthians 4:17.

Our Potter is a perfect Creator, Jeremiah 18:2-4, any mistakes or flaws in the moulding process of our Christian lives are of our own doing.

These ‘flaws’ occur when we refuse to allow Christ to mould us into the image He has designed for us, the image of Christ-likeness. Just knowing what trials in our lives can produce, makes it possible for us to rejoice in those trials, James 1:2-4.

In other words suffering, trials and troubles all have a purpose, they are there to help us grow in our faith and to help us look more like Jesus, Romans 5:1-3. The word ‘various’, which Peter uses, includes all kinds, it includes those trials which come as a result of living for Christ.

So we are to expect some sort of trials because we’re Christians but we need to know that because he uses the word ‘various’, this means we can also rejoice in the everyday afflictions of life, Matthew 5:10-12. We can still rejoice even amid such trials, then surely you have a joy which is ‘inexpressible and full of glory’.

The biblical principle is that we are to look beyond any problem, suffering, and confusion of this time and look to the future reward. We can live with present problems because of their temporal nature, Romans 8:18.

“You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. Because you are receiving the salvation of your souls, which is the purpose of your faith in him”. 1 Peter 1:8-9

Do we love Jesus? Peter asks. He says if we want to truly rejoice in our sufferings we first must love Jesus even though we haven’t ever seen Him. If we are to rejoice anywhere, we are to rejoice in Jesus our Lord because it’s Jesus who is our ultimate source for being able to rejoice in all things, Philippians 4:4.

God, Himself has promised us that we can rejoice no matter what life throws at us because Jesus has promised to be with us, John 14:23. We have never seen Jesus, we’ve never had the privilege of sitting at His feet or touching His scarred hands. But can we who have never seen Jesus, love Him? Yes, we can. How can we come to love Someone we have not seen?

Peter says simply through studying His Word. When we study the Old Testament we see that many prophecies were telling us that Jesus was coming. When we read the Gospels they tell us about His life, teachings, compassion, suffering, death, and glorious resurrection.

When we read the Book of Acts, we see that it’s action-packed with events concerning Jesus working together with His church. When we read the letters we learn of the many blessings which can be found in Christ, we read about His ministry as High Priest pleading on our behalf. When we read the Book of Revelation, we see the glorious victory to be won by the Lamb and His followers.

So not only are we to love Him as we read about Him but we also need to believe in Him. When the Bible uses the word ‘believe’, it’s never used in the passive sense, it’s always used in terms of doing something with it. The word ‘believe’ involves the key element of faith itself, which is ‘trust’, Acts 16:31.

What a blessing that joy is and it’s a blessing that can stand the test of time if we continue to believe. A blessing that can sustain us till we reach the end goal of our faith which is salvation.

Most people are Christians because they don’t want to go to hell, they want to go to heaven. People are Christians because they want to go to heaven because they want to receive the salvation of their souls.

“It was concerning this salvation that the prophets made careful search and investigation, and they prophesied about this gift which God would give you. They tried to find out when the time would be and how it would come. This was the time to which Christ’s Spirit in them was pointing, in predicting the sufferings that Christ would have to endure and the glory that would follow. God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things which even the angels would like to understand.” 1 Peter 1:10-12

Peter says that we as Christians have been served by the prophets. He says when the prophets prophesied, they were often intrigued by what they revealed. But how were they intrigued? The prophets were inspired or moved by the Holy Spirit, and not by their own will, 2 Peter 1:21.

In other words, even though they spoke the very words God told them to say, they didn’t fully understand the meaning behind those words sometimes, Daniel 7:28 / Daniel 8:26-27.

Daniel was confused because he didn’t fully understand what God was telling him, but as time went on he soon discovered he wasn’t serving himself but for us even today as Christians, Daniel 12:8-9.

Peter is telling us that Christians have been served by people such as Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. These men and many others spent their lives, and in many cases, even gave their lives, in service to you and me, they were willing to die to bring us the Gospel, Hebrews 11:36-38.

Not only did the prophets serve us, but we were also served by the Holy Spirit. In what way does the Holy Spirit serve us? It was the Holy Spirit who inspired the prophets to proclaim things to come. It was the Holy Spirit who inspired David and Isaiah to foretell the sufferings of Christ in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to proclaim the glories to follow. He moved them to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Psalm 16:9-11.

The Holy Spirit moved them to proclaim His ascension and coronation, Daniel 7:13-14. And it was the Holy Spirit who inspired the apostles to reveal the Gospel.

Through His ministry of inspiration and revelation in the lives of the prophets and apostles, we have been served by the Holy Spirit. And it’s because of His work, we have today the completed revelation of God’s Word in our hands, the Bible, 1 Peter 1:2.

So we have the prophets who served us and the Holy Spirit who served us but there is another group of people who have served us, ‘those who preached the good news’.

Who ‘those who preached the good news to you’? Those people who preached the good news were the apostles of Jesus Christ, and so, Peter is reminding us that the apostles also served us. After all, they were the ones who were commissioned to preach the Gospel in the first place, Mark 16:15-16.

And make no mistake about it when they were given this great commission from Jesus, they saw themselves as servants to those very people they were preaching to. They didn’t see themselves as super-apostles, they saw themselves as servants, who had different roles to play but were always equal, 1 Corinthians 3:5-7.

Just like the apostles who were working together to serve us when they preached the Gospel, we too should be working together to serve everyone we preach the Gospel to. Because in a very real way, the apostles understood that they were serving as servants of Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:1 / 2 Corinthians 4:5.

In other words, Peter is reminding us that we as Christians have been served by men. Men like Peter, James, John, and Paul gave their lives for our sake, to convince the world that our faith in their testimony is not speculative, but that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead, 2 Corinthians 11:24-29.

So the prophets served us, the Holy Spirit served us, the apostles served us but there’s another group of people who have served us. Peter reminds us that we have been served by angels. In what way did the angels serve us?

In two ways, firstly they served us in the things they prophesied by the prophets. Remember it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Daniel and revealed to him about our glorious future salvation, Daniel 8:9.

Secondly, the angels served us in the things they proclaimed by the apostles through the Gospel. It was the angel Gabriel again who appeared to Zacharias and Mary to reveal to them about our ultimate salvation, Luke 1:11-19.

However, just like the prophets, angels were also in the dark concerning the details of coming salvation, Hebrews 1:13-14. In other words, just like the prophets, just like the Holy Spirit, just like the apostles, the angels understood that they weren’t serving themselves but they were serving us.

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep a clear head, and set your hope completely on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13

Notice that Peter uses the word, ‘therefore,’ this is important because what he’s about to say is based upon everything we’ve already looked at.

Because of all those blessings, because this world is not our home, because we’re privileged but responsible, because we have a living hope, because of our joy and glory because we have so many people serving us. Because of all that, Peter wants to encourage us, even more, to think about the hope we have as Christian.

He basically wants us to tune up our focus on the hope we have as Christians. Our faith enables us to look over and above every trouble, to God, who is our help.

And what Peter is saying is never lose sight of that, set our hope perfectly, unchangeably, without doubt, and keep looking towards Jesus. He’s trying to encourage the saints to make their hope, a hope which is complete, strong, and not wavering.

Peter is saying, we need to develop our faith because it’s essential if we want to live a life full of joy so that we can be victorious in Christ Jesus, Revelation 3:14-16. He wants to encourage us to fine-tune our faith in order to make it stronger.

Peter says to focus on ‘grace’, that unmerited favour that we will receive when Jesus comes again. That same grace he alluded to when he spoke about our inheritance kept in heaven for us, 1 Peter 1:4.

That same grace he alluded to when he spoke about our salvation which is ready to be revealed in the last time, 1 Peter 1:5. That same grace he alluded to when he spoke about our praise, honour and glory which we shall receive at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 1:7. That same grace he alluded to when he spoke about the salvation of our souls, 1 Peter 1:9.

Some translations use the words, ‘girding up the loins of your mind’. What does that mean? The words ‘gird up’ is an oriental expression, it refers to the act of gathering up around the waist the long, loose robes worn by those in the east.

In other words, Peter is saying we must put out of the mind everything and anything that would impede the free action of the mind in connection with developing our hope. We need to put out of the mind such things as worry, fear, or obsession with material possessions.

We need to remove anything and everything that is not helping us to have a strong hope in the coming of our Lord, Luke 8:14 / Luke 21:34-35. Instead of filling our minds with thoughts of food or drink or clothes, we should fill our minds with hope, with heavenly things, Colossians 3:1-2.

Not only does Peter want us to gird up our minds, but he also says if we want to develop and fine-tune our hope, then be sober. The word ‘sober’ means ‘to be calm and collected in spirit, to be pleasant, cool, careful’. It is the state of mind in which a person is self-controlled and able to see things without the distortion caused by worry or fear.

Worry and fear cause us to forget our future hope in Christ Jesus. Worry and fear cause us to abandon the ship of which Jesus Christ is the captain. And so for us to develop and fine-tune our hope we need to be calm and serious about what we’re doing, Luke 21:36.

We cannot develop and fine-tune a strong hope if we are so ‘weak-minded’ that we allow things to divert us away from our true calling. And what is our calling? To journey through this life as strangers in a strange land, but with a hope that is resting fully upon the grace, we will receive when Christ comes again.

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former lusts.” 1 Peter 1:14

Peter says don’t conform to former lusts. Although the KJV uses the word ‘fashion’ other translations use the word ‘conform’ which is an interesting word, it basically means to conform oneself to another’s pattern.

When Peter uses the phrase ‘former lusts’ he is referring to those evil desires and behaviour in which we once engaged, and in which the world continues to engage.

Peter is telling us don’t act like we once did, or like those still in the world. Do not adopt their sinful habits, mannerisms, dress, and speech, which we did before we became Christians. We need to remember that Christians are not to be ‘conformists’, but true ‘non-conformists’, or as the Bible calls us ‘transformists’, Romans 12:1-2.

The problem with ‘conformists’ is that they simply imitate others, sometimes claiming to do so only outwardly but the ‘transformists’ are those who have undergone a true change on the ‘inside’. The ‘true transformists’ are those who manifest the difference on the ‘outside’.

Peter is telling us if we are claiming to be obedient children of God, then we need to live like it, we need to dress like it, we need to speak like we’re children of God, 1 John 2:15-17.

“Instead, be holy in all that you do, just as God who called you is holy. The scripture says, “Be holy because I am holy.” “You call him Father, when you pray to God, who judges all people by the same standard, according to what each one has done; so then, spend the rest of your lives here on earth in reverence for him.” 1 Peter 1:15-17

Peter says as obedient children of God we need to be holy. The word ‘holy’ is closely related to the words ‘sanctify’ and ‘sanctification’, which carry with them the idea of being set apart. In other words to be holy means to be set apart or dedicated to God.

Why is holiness important? The God who has called us through His Gospel is a holy God. He Himself is ‘set apart’ from sin and wickedness and His very nature demands a similar holiness on our part.

We cannot expect people to know that our God is a holy God if our life isn’t reflecting His holiness, Hebrews 12:14. Holiness is important because our God is a holy God but holiness is also important because Jesus died for that very purpose, Ephesians 5:25-27.

Notice that Peter says, ‘be holy in ALL that you do’. In other words, holiness is not an option, it’s a command. Holiness is not something we put on when it’s convenient, like on Sundays. Our whole lives, our daily lives, our speech every single moment of every single day we’re supposed to be set apart in service to the Lord, Romans 12:1.

We must understand that God is our Father but also one with all authority to punish His children. Jesus understood this principle, Matthew 10:28. The apostle Paul understood this principle, Philippians 2:12, and Peter himself understood this principle.

He says first of all we should fear our heavenly Father because He is the one who is going to judge us. We need to know that God is not partial when it comes to judgement. He will judge us individually and personally according to what we have done.

In other words, there are not going to be any special favours, no one will escape His discerning eye. And the second reason we should fear our heavenly Father is because of what it cost to redeem us.

“For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. He had been chosen by God before the creation of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God”. 1 Peter 1:18-21

To forgive is to accept within ourselves the consequences of the sins of others. It means to accept the pain, the problems and the burden that comes when someone sins against us. Forgiveness is neither easy nor a frequent gift.

What did God give for our forgiveness? Peter says it wasn’t money or anything of wealth or value in worldly terms. He gave His Son, Jesus took upon Himself the burden of our sins. We were not redeemed from our sins with silver or gold but only by the precious blood of Christ.

Peter says Jesus is the One who was without blemish and without spot. He was the one who was foreordained to die for our sins before the world began, He was the one who came to this earth for our sakes and He is the one by whom our faith and hope are in God.

And Christians need to know that any child of God, who doesn’t conduct themselves in a manner appreciative of the price paid for his sins, can expect a fate worse than death if they don’t repent.

If we truly claim to be God’s children we mustn’t conform ourselves to former lusts, Hebrews 10:26-31. We are to be holy in all our conduct and we are to conduct ourselves in fear. Paul said much the same thing when he was writing to the church at Corinth, 2 Corinthians 7:1.

Holiness is given by the redeeming grace of God. Forgiveness is given by the precious blood of Christ. And as Christians, we can be strengthened by the power of His Spirit to live the sort of lives pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For through the living and eternal word of God you have been born again as the children of a parent who is immortal, not mortal. For “All human life is like grass, and all its glory is like a flower in the grass. The grass dries up and the flower drops off, but the word of the Lord lasts forever.” Now this word is the good news that was announced to you.” 1 Peter 1:22-25

Peter says, if we truly want to continue in the blessings which come from being God’s children then we need to ‘love one another deeply, from the heart’.

In other words, if we truly claim to love Jesus, we need to love others as He loves us, John 13:33-35 / 2 Corinthians 3:2. This is not an optional extra, Jesus says it’s a command and the reason we are commanded to love one another is to convince the world that we are truly His disciples.

Showing the world this deep love for one another is also a demonstration of our spiritual life. Becoming a Christian means we moved from one place and entered another. Spiritually we were dead, cut off from God because of our sins but now we’re alive spiritually in Christ, Ephesians 2:1-5 / 1 John 3:14.

Showing the world this deep love for one another also demonstrates our relationship with God. We love because God loves and whatever our heavenly Father does, we too should be in the habit of doing, 1 John 4:7. John says if we fail to love as God loves us then we leave each other and the people in the world with the impression that we really aren’t true Christians, 1 John 4:8.

Some translations use the words, ‘fervent love’ and it might help if we can understand what the word ‘fervent’ means. It’s the same word that is used in reference to praying earnestly in Acts 12:5. The word ‘fervent’ means ‘constant’ or ‘earnest.’ So what Peter is telling us is that we are to demonstrate the type of love that is constant and earnest.

But not only is it to be constant and earnest, but Peter also reminds us that our love for each other needs to be sincere. Some translations use the word, ‘unfeigned’ and other translations use the word ‘sincere’. The Greek word literally means ‘not hypocritical.’

This is important because Peter is telling us that this is not some kind of show, this is not some kind of performance we put on for each other whenever we meet together. This love needs to come from the heart, Romans 12:9 / 1 John 3:17.

And finally for us to love each other fervently we also need to keep our love pure. This means that our love for each other must always be kept in the context of moral purity, Ephesians 5:2-3. In other words under no circumstances is our love to be a cover for sexual immorality.

Loving someone with the pure love of the Lord doesn’t agree with anything which is impure. Pure, sincere, fervent love is a love that imitates Christ’s love, a sacrificial love.

Is it possible to truly love like Christ? Peter says it is possible because our souls have been purified. Peter says it is possible because we have obeyed the truth.

And because we have obeyed the truth we have been forgiven. So we are forgiven at our baptism, Acts 2:38, and as we continue to obey the truth, we are taught over and over again that we need to be pure, Ephesians 4:20-24.

Loving one another with the love of the Lord is possible because we’ve been born again by the incorruptible Word of God. Sometimes we run across scoffers, people who sneer at divine revelation, who say that they cannot feel much enthusiasm about the Bible. But we need to remember that the Bible is not on trial. Whether people believe it or not, it is the Word of God, which lives and remains forever as Peter tells us.

It’s through the Word of God that we come to know what true love really is because it’s the Word of God that tells us of the love of Jesus, 1 John 3:16. It’s the Word of God that tells us of the love of God, 1 John 4:9-10.

In other words, we can have this sincere, deep love for one another because we have been purified and understand the need for a sincere, pure love of the brethren. We can have this love because the love of Jesus and God motivates us, Ephesians 3:17-19 / 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 / 1 Peter 4:8.

Peter says God’s Word is wonderful because of its nature. He says God’s Word is wonderful because it is not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible. He says God’s Word is wonderful because it lives and abides forever and he says God’s word is wonderful because it is the Word of the Lord that endures forever.

In a world where things are passing away all the time, things that are here today and gone tomorrow, Peter says God’s Word isn’t like that. When we look back in time and see the efforts of people who try and rid the world of the Word of God, we shouldn’t be surprised that they failed.

People come and people go, people make claims which never come to fruition, hence why Peter quotes from Isaiah 40:6-8. The Bible is wonderful because it stands the test of time and will forever stand the test of time.

But the Word of God isn’t just indestructible, it’s also very powerful, powerful enough to change people’s lives or in the words of Peter, it causes people to be born again.

There is a law of science known as the Law of Biogenesis which states that ‘life produces life’, and because the Word of God is what it is, it too is able to produce spiritual life.

Not only is God’s Word living, but it’s also active, Hebrews 4:12. God’s Word is alive and active and it reaches the very parts of our being that only God can reach. What the Hebrew writer is telling us is that it’s only God’s Word that can tell us how to remove sin from our lives.

When a person receives the Word of God and obeys it, he or she is truly brought to life again, John 6:63 / James 1:18. The Word of God actually purifies the soul, that word ‘purify’ basically means to get rid of all impurities. How does the Word of God do that?

Simply through obedience, in other words, because the truth contains the Gospel when the truth is believed and obeyed, the result is the forgiveness of sins by the blood of Christ, John 17:17.

Go To 1 Peter 2


"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."