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Chapter 1

1 Peter 1:1

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

In this first verse, Peter tells the readers who he is. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ. What is an apostle? An apostle is a person who had a special and very personal encounter with Jesus. A good definition of an apostle is: one who is sent on a mission by the Lord. Apostles have special power and speak with an authority given by God. I believe that there are apostles in the churches today; men and women who are ordained by God to fill this office in our local assemblies. We know that the disciples were witnesses of the resurrected Christ and were called apostles. Paul also had a personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Some say that Paul was the greatest of the apostles, for he surely had a special mission from the Lord, to preach salvation to the Gentiles.

Peter’s life of following Jesus must have been glorious. To think that he was witness to the miracles that Jesus preformed; the healing of the sick, the raising of the dead, feeding the thousands of people with five loaves and two fishes, all these things Peter saw with his own eyes. Peter has his own victories and failures, such as walking on the water to go to Jesus then sinking and crying out to Jesus for help. This was a failure, but victory was still his as he walked back to the ship with Jesus. Then there was the outpour-ing of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost; is it any wonder that Peter became one of the foundation stones upon which the church was built? Peter, I am sure, was determined to overcome his failure and to rise above his denial of Jesus. This he did with trust and faith in Jesus.

Luke 22:31-34

31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

Here in Luke 22, Jesus instructs Peter, after he is converted, to strengthen the brethren. To me this part of the verse, “when thou are converted,” is speaking of Peter after his denial of Christ three times then going out and bitterly praying and repenting of his failure before God.

John 21:15-17

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

In John 21, Jesus asks three times “lovest thou me.” Peter replies, “Lord you know that I love you.” The first time Jesus said “feed my lambs,” the second and third times Jesus said “feed my sheep.” This was a message of what Peter was to do. After Peter repented of his failures, his life was changed.

He then came back and pulled the other disciples together to encourage them, to be the leaders that Jesus intended for them to be. The apostles were the messengers of the gospel, the founders of the Christian Church. They were sent and anointed of God. God used them to spread the word of God with signs following. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. They worked miracles through faith in God.

John 14:12-14

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

The Word tells us in John 14, that Jesus said that “He that believeth on me,” shall do great works, greater even than Jesus did. That we, as the born-again children of God, can ask in the name of Jesus for God to move, to heal, work miracles, to have His will in hearts and lives, and according to the Word of God that Jesus will do it all for the glory of God and His kingdom.

This is what Jesus taught His disciples and all of the apostles. This same message transitions from the time of Christ through the ages to this present day. The message is just as power-ful now as then, the meaning, the same. We have the right to ask of Christ, believing, standing on our most holy faith, and Jesus is bound by His holy word to meet the need, as long as it brings glory and honor to God the Father. Did you know that the only unfinished book in the Bible is the book of Acts? Because the acts of the Apostles, all true Christian believers, and the acts of the church are still going on around the world. Just as the church and true believers in Christ were persecuted in the beginning so are they being persecuted and martyred today.

Encyclopedia of Christian Martyrs states:

"Persecution of Christians is more wide spread in this century than it was in the time of the Roman Empire, and the church cannot ignore the problem. More than an estimated 160,000 believers were martyred in 1996 alone.”

An example of this is Graham Staines and his sons who were burned to death by Hindu extremists in 1999.

Peter knew what manner of death he would face. Jesus told him. Jesus also told him to strengthen the brethren, to preach the word, to lead men and women to the foot of the cross where they would find their heart’s desire: peace in their troubled souls, peace in the time of trouble, peace when the storms of life are raging, peace, perfect peace in Jesus. Who was Peter? He was a steadfast rock, unshakeable, unmovable in Christ Jesus. He was the glue that helped hold the new-found church together. He was the voice of reason, when there was none. He was the voice of rebuke when needed, the voice of hope and encouragement, he was the rock.

As Peter begins this letter he addresses it to the strangers that were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Peter as he begins to write stresses that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ. This means he is called of the Lord and that he speaks for the Lord here on earth. As Peter speaks of strangers, he is not just speaking of displaced people from their homeland. Then as today, when we speak of ourselves as pilgrims and strangers, we are confessing that this world is not our home, that our home is in heaven where Jesus, our Lord, has prepared a place for us. We have become sojourners in this world. When we gave our hearts and lives to Jesus our savior, we became citizens of the kingdom of heaven.

John 14:1-3

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 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.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

The Word tells us that Jesus has a place prepared for us, that where He is there we might be also. We, as the blood-bought, redeemed children of God are the blessed Bride of Christ. To the true believer death is not the end of life, it is just the beginning of life. As one person related to me, death is just exhaling in this world to inhale in the presence of Jesus and God the Father, to live for-ever. Another example we use is to close our eyes in death here to open them in the presence of God. No one wants to die, but to the Christian there is no fear of death. To die is to go home.

1 Peter 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.

Verse two begins with: Elect according to the foreknowl-edge of God the Father. Who are these elect that Peter is speaking about? These elect, are those believers that, when the Spirit of the Lord dealt with their hearts and brought conviction, they repented of their sins and asked for forgiveness, that they might be saved. We have all heard people say, “when I decided to serve God;” the truth of the matter is God chose us, His Spirit came to us, made us to know that we were sinners, lost and undone. Then and only then did we make the decision to serve God or to walk away. I have heard many people say, “God chooses who will go to heaven and who will go to hell.” This statement is utterly false. God’s desire is that none should perish but that all should have everlasting life. God does not decide who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. We make that decision ourselves by our choices, by the way we choose to live and act and the things that we do. If we do not go to heaven, we cannot blame God. The responsibility lies squarely at our door. We can be lost and undone without God or, we can, by repenting and accepting Jesus as our savior, become the elect of God. (This is the elect that Peter was writing to, then and today.) As we read the words of Peter, they are just as important to us today as the day they were written. As born-again believers, we are the elect. As Peter was writing to encourage and uplift these fellow Christians, the message is just as important for us.

Another very important part of this verse deals with a message that the church as a whole will not teach or preach on today. That message is sanctification. What is sanctification?

Webster’s New World College Dictionary states:

"to make holy, to set apart as holy; consecrate, make free from sin; purity"

The scripture states “through sanctification of the Spirit,” after we are saved, there begins an active work of the Holy Ghost. This work of the Holy Ghost is progressive all throughout our Christian lives. Now I would like to bring out that sanctification works in two different ways in our lives. One. there is a biblical sanctification; this is where each and every one of us must line up our lives to what the Word says, on how we are to live, what we can do and what we can’t do. An example is thou shalt not bear false witness (or lie), thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain, thou shalt not covet, and these are examples of how we are to bring our lives in line with God’s Word. This is biblical sanctification. Then as we draw closer and closer to God, God begins to bring about a personal sanctification into our lives. This personal sanctification is just between you and God. It is where God talks to you, ask you to give up something or do something to see if you are willing to be obedient.

1 Samuel 15:22

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

In 1 Samuel 15:22, we see that to obey is better than sacrifice. We are tested of God to see if we will be obedient. I am convinced that there is a permissive will of God and then there is a perfect will of God for those who will be one hundred percent obedient and sold out for God. Most Christians live in the permis-sive will of God, but there are those who will sell out to God and be obedient in everything God wants them to do. How sanctified do you want to be?

God will let us draw just as close to Him as we want to be. The apostles, the Christian martyrs, the persecuted Christians are examples of those who, through Holy Ghost sanctification, stood the tests and trials of living for God. Are we that close to God? If the Lord tarries we may surly be put to the test. Come quickly Lord Jesus. Peter told these early Christians to be obedient.

Then Peter speaks of the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Why? To the Jews the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifice was all-important. Peter is saying something that the Christian Jews would readily understand. We who are Gentiles understand the blood as it is brought out in communion.

1 Corinthians 11:23-30

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

To quote from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible:

They were elected also to the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. They were designed by God’s decree to be sanctified by the spirit, and to be purified by the merit and blood of Christ. Here is a manifest allusion to the typical sprinkling of blood under the law, which language these Jewish converts understood very well. The blood of the sacrifices must not only be shed but sprinkled, to denote that the benefits designed thereby are applied and imputed to the offerers.

The Word speaks to us today and tells us there can be no remission of sin without the shedding of the blood, thus Jesus became the final sacrifice for our sins. There is forgiveness through the blood of Jesus.

Hebrews 9:22-28

22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

What we do with the blood of Jesus is up to us. To some the blood of Jesus means nothing, the gospel means nothing; there is no place for the gospel or for Jesus in their lives. However, to others the gospel is the Words of Life, the blood of Jesus that was shed to bring us back into communion with God. Jesus has become our savior and it’s all through the blood. Thank God, He loved us when we were unlovable, and redeemed us when we were unre-deemable through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.

As Peter closes the last few words of verse two, he speaks a blessing upon those to whom he is writing. He asks for grace and peace to be multiplied unto them through the riches of God’s love. There is a blessing that is sometimes used which I like. We used it in the church that I was saved in; the church body spoke it over anniversaries:

Numbers 6:24-26

24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

1 Peter 1:3-4

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,

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

As Peter begins this third verse, he starts by giving praise and glory to God the Father, the Father of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. We know that a Messiah, or savior was promised to us after Adam and Eve fell in the garden. The mercy of God has always been to His creation. Sometimes it may not seem so when we look at God destroying the world by a flood or raining fire and brimstone down on the cities of the plains. However, in each case God granted mercy to those who deserved it. It is plain that the human race does not learn from past mistakes. We continue to provoke God by giving ourselves, as a whole, over to worldly pleasure, to sin. I know that there are those who do not accept the statement that God is merciful; they look at all the tragedies that take place in the world and blame God. In storms, sometimes thou-sands die, and they blame God. If God was a just God, He would not let this happen. The Word tells us that we are responsible for our soul’s condition.

God allows things to happen to Christians and sinners alike. The difference is that a child of God knows where they will spend eternity, in the presence of a loving God. No one really wants to die, but to a child of God we know that we are going to a better place, safe in the arms of God and His Dear Son. For you see we are not as one that hath no hope. Our faith and hope is in Christ. God hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection from the dead of His Dear Son.

Hebrews 6:18-19

18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

We read here that we can be assured, that we can anchor our souls both sure and steadfast through faith in God. For without hope, we would be of all men most miserable. Our faith springs forth hope, a hope that the world scene will get better; a hope that tomorrow will be better than today; a hope, a faith, a belief in God and His Son that we will live forever in the presence of God in a place that we call Heaven. We must keep that faith, that hope alive. The best way for the devil to win in this battle is for God’s people to give up and to have no hope. Whatever our future is, we must maintain our hope in God. It’s the only thing that makes life bear-able.

Verse four tells us what we are having faith and hope for an inheritance. What kind of inheritance? For a home that is prepared for us in Heaven.

John 14:1-4

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 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.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Jesus tells us in John 14:1-4 that He has gone to prepare a place for us, that He will come again and receive us unto Himself, that wherever He is there we will be also. This is the hope of the church; this is our hope. We are only waiting for Jesus to come back and get us. As one person said, “I am just waiting on my ride.” If thinking about our Lord’s return does not stir your heart, then you need to go back and do your first works over again.

We are so blessed; just think, there is a place, Heaven, that is reserved for us. Our heavenly home is undefiled, incorruptible, and it will last forever. Again, it is reserved for us; no one else can take it. It has our name on it; it is set apart just for you and me. When we take long trips, we call ahead and reserve a room, a place to stay. When we get to our destination, a room is ready and waiting for us to go in. It’s the same with Heaven. Jesus has prepared for us a place, and it is reserved, meaning no one can move in and call it theirs.

It is our inheritance as born-again children of God. In this life, we may inherit possessions but they will fade away or we die and leave them to someone else. However, in Heaven our inheritance does not fade away. It is eternal; it will last forever, just as we will live forever in the presence of God. What will our new home be like? We know very little about our heavenly home. But, what is there to know? Revelation tells us a little, but what does it matter? We will be with Jesus and isn’t that our goal, to be with the Lord?

1 Peter 1:5

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

The fifth verse begins with “Who are kept by the power of God through faith.” The child of God, we know, is kept by God’s power, as long as we strive to serve God. God keeps us by His power. There are many today who believe in eternal security, that once you are saved, you cannot be lost, that God’s power keeps you secure. I am not one who believes this doctrine; I can find no such doctrine in the Word of God. However, many try to use this verse to prove their point of eternal security. If we take scriptures out of context, we can prove anything we want, but we must look at the whole picture and not pick and choose what we want ... 

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