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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

1 Peter 1

Verses 1-12


The character of salvation (1:1-12)

Peter’s readers are ‘God’s scattered people’, an expression that Peter uses with a wide meaning. In relation to their place of local residence, they are God’s people scattered throughout northern Asia Minor. But in relation to heaven, they are God’s people scattered in a foreign land. Their true homeland is heaven, and the foreign land is the world. They really belong to God. He chose them and cleansed them, with the aim that they be holy and obedient (1:1-2).
Through the death and resurrection of Christ, God gives believers new life and promises them eternal blessings. He also protects this life for them. They can therefore be assured that when the day of inheritance arrives at Christ’s return, they will enjoy the promised blessings and so experience salvation in its fulness (3-5).
This assurance gives Christians joy amid the trials of the present life. Trials produce endurance, and endurance proves that faith is genuine (6-7). As faith grows stronger and joy increases, so their love for Christ is enriched. They experience in advance the greater fellowship that they will have with Christ when their salvation reaches its fulfilment at his return (8-9).
Old Testament prophets, who by God’s Spirit foretold this salvation, tried unsuccessfully to find out when it would come about and who the great Messiah-Saviour would be. God showed them that their prophecies would be understood by a future generation. When Christ died and rose again, other messengers of God, guided by the same eternal Spirit, saw the real meaning of their prophecies and then taught others (10-12).

Verses 13-25

Fruits of salvation (1:13-2:3)

Now that Christians have received such a great salvation, they should discipline their thoughts and behaviour so that they will always be ready for the return of Jesus Christ (13). They should think and act not according to their former habits, but according to the ways of God. They should pattern their character not on the people of the sinful society around them, but on the holy God (14-16).
As Christians reverence God as their Father and Judge, they will want to be more holy in their daily lives (17). Their appreciation of what Christ has done for them will also make them want to be more holy; for his death, and nothing else, can set people free from the worthless manner of life passed down from one generation to the next (18-19). God planned salvation from eternity, and brought it to reality through the death of Christ. He showed it to be perfect by raising Christ from death, and sinners prove that it works when they put their trust in him (20-21).
Believers can show that they have received cleansing and been given new life, by acting with sincere love towards each other (22). This new life comes through accepting the gospel, and because the gospel is God’s word, not man’s, the new life is permanent. Things born of human origins die, but things born of God do not (23-25).
Since believers are to exercise love towards each other, they must remove from their lives all attitudes and actions that hinder love. They were born into this new life through the Word of God, and the only way to grow is through feeding on that same Word (2:1-3).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Peter 1". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". 2005.