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I Peter Chapter 1

Memory verses for this week:  Prov 13:9  The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. 

Introduction:  We begin a new study this week on the book of I Peter.  Peter of course was one of the apostles, and was the brother of Andrew.   Their father’s name was Jonah.  From the references in one of my study guides, it stated that the book was written in approximately AD 63-64.  Peter identifies his location at the time of writing as Babylon (1 Pet. 5:13).   The approximate date for the writing of 1 Peter would then be a.d. 63 or 64, during the reign of Nero, under whose hand Peter eventually suffered martyrdom as Jesus had prophesied (cf. John 21:18, 19).  [1]


I.  The Greeting 

1 Pet 1:1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

1 Pet 1:2  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.

Peter is writing to the strangers scattered through out Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.   These were all saved children of God and were elected according to the foreknowledge of God.   Predestination and election are two of the most difficult doctrines to comprehend and to get a proper handle on.   We have people who want to limit God and his capacity to know and save, and then we have others who want to go to extremes and say that man has nothing to do with salvation.  The whole plan of human redemption was laid out according to God’s foreknowledge.  How were these people elected??  Peter said it was through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

2 Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

2 Th 2:14  Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus died for all mankind, but only those who accept Christ are saved.   I thought J. Vernon McGee’s comments on verse 2 were good.

We must recognize that our God is a sovereign God and that this little universe is His. He created it. I don’t know why He created it as He did, but since He is absolutely omniscient (knowing everything), and since He is omnipotent (having all power), and since He is sovereign, I conclude that He can do anything He wants to do that is consistent with His character.

He has a right to plan for the future. Apparently He did some planning. We call those plans the decrees that God had in His mind in the very beginning. That is to say, He had a plan that He was going to follow. He decreed to create the universe, and He did it. He never asked you or me about it. In fact, He has never asked me whether I wanted to be in existence. He could have left me out altogether. And He could have left you out, but He didn’t! Thank God, He thought of you and me.

Also there was the decree to permit the fall of man. This, I think, took a great deal of planning on God’s part, knowing that when He created the free moral agent called man, he would fall when given a free choice. Mankind chose to disobey God, but God had made arrangements for it. He had the decree to elect some to salvation, and He had the decree that He would send a Savior into the world. He certainly did that. He made a decree that He would save those who came to Him, the elect. You can call them anything you wish, but the people who turned to Christ for salvation are the elect. You may say, “Well, He didn’t choose everybody.” I don’t find that in Scripture. The Lord Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). His invitation to “whosoever will” is, “Come unto me” (see Matt 11:28). It is a legitimate invitation to everyone, but there must be a response, and the response is your responsibility and my responsibility.

Peter really gets deep when he says, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” You see, God is moving according to His plan. There must have been an infinite number of plans before Him, but He chose this one. Why? Because He knew it was the best possible plan, and little man is in no position to challenge His choice. He is the Creator and we are only creatures. You and I didn’t even determine the time we would be born, or the family into which we would come, or our height, or the color of our eyes, or our IQ. Whatever we are today is by the grace of God. He is the one who determined all of those things for us. They are all a part of His great plan. [2]

Verse 2 talks of the trinity.  The Foreknowledge of God the Father, the Sanctification of the Spirit, and the Blood of Jesus Christ.   We who are saved have a special hope, a hope based upon God’s foreknowledge.  Our hope is made effective through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. You and I can’t know what tomorrow holds until we get there, but God is not limited by time.  He looks down from heaven and can see the beginning of time that he set and the end where He set the bounds.

Rom 9:19  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

Rom 9:20  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Rom 9:21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Rom 9:22  What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Rom 9:23  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Rom 9:24  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Our responsibility to obey the gospel.   When we do that, we have redemption through His blood.  There is nothing in us that causes God to save us… it is our obedience to His plan.

1 Peter 1:18-19   Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 

II.  The Trials of the Child of God

1 Pet 1:3  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,

1 Pet 1:4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Who has given us this hope?  It is of course Jesus Christ.   All of us were aliens at one time of the commonwealth of God, and were without hope in this old world.  God has begotten us unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Thank the Lord we as Christians have a ‘living hope.’

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

The object of our hope is defined as being an inheritance in verse 4.  This inheritance is one that is sure, one that will not fade away.    If you grow flowers in the summertime, you know how they can look so pretty one day, and then a hot spell will come and they will really fade away.   Our inheritance is not like flowers… it is sure, eternal, and steadfast.  We have it awaiting us in heaven.

1 Pet 1:5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Pet 1:6  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

1 Pet 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The ones who await this inheritance are kept by the power of God through faith.   It speaks  of how our faith is sometimes tried, even as by fire, but it reveals the true sincerity of our salvation, and we will be found unto praise and honour and glory when Christ returns.    We are kept by Jesus Christ, certainly not powerful in ourselves.   Remember how Paul put it to young Timothy.  I know in whom I have believed, and have total confidence that HE is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.   We don’t keep ourselves.

2 Tim 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

1 Pet 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1 Pet 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Even though these Peter is writing to had not seen Christ with their human eye, they loved him.   That is how we believe and trust in God.   By the eye of faith we see him.   Remember the definition of faith we read back in our study of Hebrews.

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

1 Pet 1:10  Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

1 Pet 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

1 Pet 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Notice how many times salvation is referenced here from verses 9 – 12.  Of this salvation, the prophets of ancient times spoke and wrote.   And they wrote as the Holy Spirit directed concerning “the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.”  These prophets did not know the exact time these things were to be fulfilled, but just as we look for the soon return of Christ, those men and women of old had faith that God would bring the Messiah into the world.   Many Jews today are looking for the Messiah to come and they pray daily that God will send Him.   The unfortunate thing is that their eyes are blinded to the fact that He has already come the first time.   Verse 12 says that these things revealed were known to be future events, and not things for themselves during their day.  It also mentions that even the angels desire to look into the things the prophets were preaching about.    Angels are in heaven, but they do not totally understand salvation, since it was not prepared for them, only for fallen man.

III.  Redemption and the New Birth

1 Pet 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1 Pet 1:14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

1 Pet 1:15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1 Pet 1:16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1 Pet 1:17  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

The words ‘gird up the loins of your mind’ has reference to bringing every thought into subjection to the revealed will of God.  In Galatians, Paul made mention of how we need to have our loins girded about with truth.

Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Adam Clark in his commentary said this about verse 14.

1 Peter 1:14

Not fashioning yourselves—As the offices of certain persons are known by the garb or livery they wear, so are transgressors: where we see the world’s livery we see the world’s servants; they fashion or habit themselves according to their lusts, and we may guess that they have a worldly mind by their conformity to worldly fashions.

You and I should be different from the world.  We know the fashions of this world fade away, but Jesus is eternal.   We are commanded to be holy, and no one can be holy without first knowing Christ as Lord and Savior.

1 Cor 7:31  And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

1 Pet 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1 Pet 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Silver and gold speak of two of the most cherished elements here on earth.   It says we have been redeemed by something much greater than silver and gold.   We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.

1 Pet 1:20  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1 Pet 1:21  Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world to become the sacrifice that would take away sin.   We studied in Hebrews about the old testament sacrifices and all the animals that were put to death to atone for sin.  But the blood of those animals could not take away one sin.   God ordained that Jesus Christ would go to Calvary, die there on that old tree, and pay the penalty of sin.   Those old testament sacrifices never took away sin, but they pointed to the One who would take away sin.    As verse 19 put it: ‘a lamb without blemish or spot.’  Jesus led the perfect life, and was guilty of no sin.  He died in our place that we might go free.

1 Pet 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

1 Pet 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

1 Pet 1:24  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

1 Pet 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

A person must hear the Word of God to be saved.  God chose the foolishness of preaching to be the method that the gospel would be spread.   A person must hear the word of God to be saved, and they have to come to God with faith.

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Rom 10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


1 Cor 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 Cor 1:22  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

1 Cor 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1 Cor 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Cor 1:25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

No one will call upon God unless someone preaches the Gospel.  All of us have a responsibility to go forth and proclaim the truth and tell others about Jesus Christ.   Material things pass away, but the Word of God endures forever.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343. 

Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 

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