1 Peter 1:1-5


The date of the first epistle of Peter is not very clear and remains obscure. We do know that Peter was martyred in 67 A.D. so this would definitely place the writing before then. As to whom he wrote this epistle to some believe it was the actual city of Babylon on the Euphrates river but some believe that it was written to the Roman Christians because in 64 A.D. Nero burnt Rome and then blamed the Christians. It was then that Rome started a pogrom against the Christians. In Luke 22:32, the Lord gave Peter his assignment and that was to strengthen the brethren. (Luke 22:32 KJV) But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. This epistle does not only speak to the early Christians who faced the horrible persecutions but it also has spoken to all Christians across the ages and continues to speak to the Christians as we see persecution against Christians mounting daily. Throughout this commentary I will be using the personal names of people but we must always keep in mind that the Bible is God’s Word and He is the author. He chose to work through human hands in bringing the Bible, so by using the human names I am not reducing the Bible to a human book.
1 Pet 1:1 (KJB)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
Strangers - Also translated “sojourners” - pilgrims in Hebrews 11:13
In the salutation, Peter is affirming the fact that he is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and not a self-appointed apostle. He addresses this letter to the vast company of Christians which today would be considered the area of Turkey. This letter no doubt made wide circulation in that area. It is definitely addressed to the Christians because we are called “strangers”.” (Heb 11:13 KJV) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Heb 13:14 KJV) For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
1 Pet 1:2 (KJB)
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Elect - Chosen beforehand
Foreknowledge - To have knowledge beforehand
Sanctification - Setting one apart
Sprinkling - Used in a ceremonial sense as the sprinkling of blood on the Old Testament sacrifices - Hebrews 12:24
Multiplied - Increase, grow, or spread
Here Peter is telling us that the Christians are elect or chosen beforehand by the foreknowledge of God. God already knew before the foundation of the world who He was going to choose for salvation. When a person’s time to become saved came, the Holy Spirit would indwell them and they would become instantly sanctified or set apart from the world and for the Work of God. This sanctification would cause a true believer to become obedient to the Word of God and the ceremonial sprinkling means that they were cleansed from their sins which would give them the ability to serve the Lord in true purity of spirit. Peter goes on to desire grace and peace upon them. Both Gentile and Jewish believers would respond to this as the Gentiles would respond to Grace and the Jew would respond to Peace (Shalom). Peter was praying that the Grace and Peace would continue to grow in their lives as they face persecution. One can tell how close they are walking with the Lord when facing persecution. If a person is scared, they are not walking closely. If a person is calm and resting in the Lord, they are walking closer.
1 Pet 1:3 (KJB)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Abundant - Great, much or many
Begotten us again - Produce or beget again
Lively - Living
Peter now begins to give the reason for the hope which can keep a Christian in a time of persecution. He speaks of the great mercy of God which He had on the Christian. The greatest mercy of all is salvation full and free. He then goes on to say that we are born or beget again unto the living hope which is found in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Christians are facing death, the greatest comfort they have is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and the Bible teaches that every true believer will also be resurrected unto eternal life, never to face persecution or pain again. This passage gives a double hope for the believer, first we are born again unto salvation but Peter takes it farther and states we are also born again unto the resurrection for all eternity.
1 Pet 1:4 (KJB)
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Inheritance - Possession
Incorruptible - Imperishable or immortal
Undefiled - Pure or unsullied
Fadeth - Fadeless or not able to wither away
Reserved - Kept or held in reserve
Peter now goes on to state the nature of the inheritance which the true believer will experience for eternity. Unlike the corruption we see in our bodies and the transitory nature of this life, the heavenly inheritance will never be able to see any type of corruption. Corruption causes the death of anything but because the inheritance is incorruptible, it is imperishable. The heavenly inheritance is also undefiled which means it shall remain pure throughout eternity because nothing unclean will ever enter heaven. The heavenly inheritance is also eternal in nature and can never fade away as things in this life fade. Peter also assures that no matter when a Christian dies, their inheritance has been reserved for them and when they go home to be with the Lord, that place will be waiting for them.
1 Pet 1:5 (KJB)
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Kept - Protected or Guarded
Ready - Prepared
To be revealed - Uncover or disclose
Last - Final, farthest or extreme end
Time - A fixed time or season
The Bible here teaches us that the true believer is kept by the power of God, that is, God’s power protects and guards the believer. We may lose our physical life in this world but that is the extent the enemy can affect us as our souls are guarded by the power of God. The believer is guarded by the power of God which is though faith and that faith is of the Lord Jesus Christ and the faith of Christ leads us unto salvation which is already prepared for the believer. Remember what the Lord Jesus stated in John 14:2. (John 14:2 KJV) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. The place where Christ went to prepare the place for the believer was the cross at Calvary where He died for the Elect of God. Now this salvation was ready to be revealed. The last days commenced from the time of the cross to the last day when Christ will return to rapture the believers and judge the unbelievers. So in Biblical time, we see that the end was already in sight. The consummation of the salvation of the believer will be completed on the very last day of human existence. We see that the word “last” carries with it the meaning of the extreme last day. The word “time” tells us that the end will come at a fixed time and not after a long string of prophetic events. It will come on the last day in one frightful moment.