Thank you for joining us as we go through 1 Peter😊 Just a couple of comments for those of you who are new to this:
- Don’t just accept our word, or anyone’s word, for things relating to Scripture. Acts 17v11. It’s your responsibility to search the Scriptures to find truth, and to discard what you can’t find written in it.
- With that said…no translations are 100% accurate. Our study will be based on the NKJV predominantly, but every now and then I might write down a more literal translation of the text – keeping it as close to the original Greek text as possible -so that we can get a clearer and more accurate understanding of the verse. A site that is really helpful in helping you to study the Bible is https://biblehub.com . The Hebrew/Greek to English (or vice versa) translate tool (found on google) can also be very helpful.
We begin this study by going through the first two verses of chapter 1 (1 Peter 1:1-2). Even though it is only two verses be warned ….it is chunky!
The world is changing. We are in the midst of a transition. When things become more intense, and we begin to experience persecution for walking in faithfulness, how are we going to respond? Are we going to walk in a way that truly honours G-d? This book teaches us how the profession of our faith can be accompanied by righteous behaviour, by an obedience that truly testifies that our faith is not in ourselves, or in anyone else, other than in our L-rd and Saviour – Messiah Yeshua.
v1: Peter: Peter identifies himself as the author of this book.
- Apostle: Peter was a disciple. Nothing had changed. Although he was still a disciple, he identified himself as an apostle – one who had been sent forth with a call upon his life (Matt 28:18-20). This term, ‘apostle’, reveals to us that Peter recognized and submitted to G-d’s authority and L-rdship over his life. When we recognise G-d’s authority over us, and we experience the anointing of the Holy Spirit, G-d provides us with all that we need for ‘life and G-dliness’ (2 Peter 1:3)
- Pilgrims/Sojourners: A pilgrim is simply ‘one who is on a journey’. Pilgrims realize that this earth is not their home. They realise that where they are presently is not their final destination – they are heading to a new, eternal, home (Heb 11:13-16).
- Dispersion or Diaspora: There was a major difference between Peter and Paul. Paul was appointed as an apostle to the nations/Gentiles (Rom 11:13, Gal 1:16, Eph 3:8 etc). Peter, on the other hand, was uniquely called to Israel, to the sons of Jacob (Gal 2:7-8). When Peter spoke of those who were ‘of the diaspora’, he was speaking to Jews who were experiencing exile.
- Asia: Referring to Asia Minor (The Asian portion of Turkey today).
- Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia: These places, although not far from Israel, were not in Israel – which means that these people were in exile. However, because G-d is in the ‘business’ of bringing about restoration, in the fullest sense, these exiled people (like us today) should have had a righteous expectation – a hope in the promises of G-d to restore them and bring about change in their lives. Hoping in the promises of G-d alters our behaviour. Having hope (through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit – Rom 15:13) gives us the strength to persevere and to endure all things. We know that, in the end, hope is not going to disappoint (Rom 5:5). Hope brings about a joy that cannot be expressed (Rom 12:12).
v2: Elect or chosen: Peter tells us who he wrote this letter to. All people who enter into a new covenant relationship with the living G-d (a Kingdom covenant) are called “chosen” a.k.a. all believers.
- Foreknowledge: G-d is omniscient. This means that He knows all things…and He knows them perfectly [for example: He knew, from before creation, what our choices were going to be – whether we were going to choose life or death. He did not create us “pre-programmed” to choose one or the other. He gave us free will to decide for ourselves (Deut 30:19). His desire was that all would choose life so that none would perish (2 Peter 3:9).]
Not only is our G-d omniscient but He is also sovereign or omnipotent (He has unlimited power and authority). If He wanted to, He could stop anything painful from happening in our lives. However, as we shall see, there is a purpose behind suffering.
Note: G-d can prepare us to go through suffering. He can also provide us with everything we need to endure it…endure it to the end [Matt 24:13 – Yeshua is not talking here about enduring through suffering in order to gain eternal life. We do not gain eternal life through enduring suffering, but only through believing in and confessing Yeshua as L-rd (Rom 10:9-10) Salvation, in this verse, is referring to experiencing victory, i.e. being rescued from suffering).
- Father: There are two primary ways to think of a father:
- A provider
- One who loves his children and is responsible for them.
- Sanctification of the Spirit: There are some intense times coming. G-d is aware of them and is going to allow them for a purpose – for our sanctification. The word ‘sanctification’ (in Hebrew and in Greek) is rooted in the concept of holiness. In this epistle, Peter is writing to believers. Believers are declared ‘holy’ the instant they believe (1 Cor 6:11, Col 1:21-22). This ‘sanctification of the Spirit’ is not referring to being declared holy. It is speaking about how the Holy Spirit enables us to behave in a holy way once we are saved (Titus 2:11-14). As believers, G-d pays great attention to our behaviour (not as a means of salvation, but as a fruit of it). He works in our lives, through the sanctification of our behaviour, to bring about obedience. Sanctification is always related to the purposes of G-d. G-d has saved us so that we can serve Him.
- Sanctification…for obedience: Sanctification brings about obedience (1 Peter 1:15-16).
- Sprinkling of the blood: We see a paradigm of this in the book of Exodus. Before the people left Egypt, before they were allowed to worship at the mountain, they had to experience redemption (Exodus 12). Moses also sprinkled blood on the various vessels, before they were used in the tabernacle, as a way of preparing them for service (Ex 24:8, Heb 9:18-22). When the Bible speaks about the sprinkling of blood (and here we are talking about the redemptive blood of the very Son of G-d) it is telling us that this is the necessary and preliminary step before our worship of, and service to, G-d can begin. Only the redemptive blood of Messiah Yeshua prepares us to worship and serve G-d. Without His blood we are not prepared for worship, we are not prepared for service and nor are we able to do what G-d has called us to do.
- Grace: We all need G-d’s grace in our lives. Grace teaches us how to live lives ‘worthy of the calling that we have received’ (Titus 2:11-14, Eph 4:1-7).
- Peace: We also all need that ‘peace that passes all understanding’ (Phil 4:7). Peace guards our hearts and minds. When we are in the midst of difficulty, through G-d’s provision of peace, we are fully and perfectly prepared to endure whatever G-d sees fit for us to endure. When we endure for His Name’s sake then He is glorified. Glorifying His Name should be the motivating factor in our lives.