1:1 Peter, an apostle [means “one who is sent”] of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers [refers to an alien residing in a foreign land] in the world, scattered throughout [the recipients (both Jews and Gentiles) of the letter lived in the five provinces of he Roman Empire in what is now northern Turkey; Jews from these provinces heard Peter preach on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9-10)] Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
1:2 who have been chosen [elect; shows God’s initiative in all matters of salvation] according to the foreknowledge [means our salvation was not an afterthought on God’s part] of God the Father [the One who planned salvation before the beginning], through the sanctifying [to set apart or dedicate someone or something to God’s use] work of the Spirit, for obedience [the act of responding in faith to the gospel; characterizes the life of a believer] to Jesus Christ [the One who shed His blood] and sprinkling by his blood [expression possibly comes from the sprinkling of the blood on the ark of the covenant on the Day of Atonement (cf. Lev. 16) or from the red heifer ceremony of Num. 19]: Grace [God’s undeserved favor; God’s initiative in reaching out to undeserving sinners] and peace [the wholeness resulting from salvation; there is no peace without grace first] be yours in abundance [God has an inexhaustible supply of grace and peace].
1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy [means God has not given us what our rebellion against Him does deserve] he has given us new birth [cf. Jesus and Nicodemus (Jn. 3:1-21)] into a living hope [underscores the future orientation of believers’ lives in Christ; to live in the present with eyes on eternity; cf. Peter’s use of the word “hope” in 1:3,13,21; 3:5,15] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead [the central reality of our faith; in the resurrection, God vindicated Jesus as His Son (Rom. 1:4)],
1:4 and into an inheritance [means “a possession”] that can never perish [stated positively: perpetual], spoil [stated positively: pure] or fade [stated positively: permanent]—kept in heaven for you [for believers],
1:5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time [at the return of Christ].
1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while [a short time in comparison with their eternal salvation (1:5) and reward (1:4)] you may have had to suffer grief [to be distressed] in all kinds [various or “many colored”] of trials [included persecution].
1:7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth [genuine faith will not perish when tested thus making it more valuable than gold] than gold, which perishes even though refined [tested] by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed [second coming].
1:8 Though you have not seen [cf. Jn. 20:29] him, you love [Gr. “agapao” or love in its highest form] him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe [Gr. “pisteuo” is the verb form of the noun translated “faith” in 1:9] in him and are filled with an inexpressible [nobody can fully explain it] and glorious joy [the opposite of the distress or sorrow caused by various trials],
1:9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls [in NT refers to the entire person: body, mind, and spirit].
1:10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets [Isaiah (9:2-7; 11:1-9; 53:1-12), Joel (2:28-32), and Micah (4:1-5) foretold God’s coming salvation and grace], who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,
1:11 trying to find out the time [when their prophecies (concerning the Messiah) would be fulfilled] and circumstances [concerning the Messiah’s coming] to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
1:12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves [i.e., the people of their own time] but you [recipients of Peter’s letter were privileged to experience what the prophets did not live to see (the fulfillment of the prophetic vision of Messiah)], when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those [including Peter] who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels [have not experienced the kind of salvation from sin that saved humans have experienced] long to look into these things [how God’s plan of salvation is being accomplished].
1:13 Therefore [word indicates that what follows flows from what preceded (1:1-12); marks transition from declaration of truth (1:1-12) to exhortation to action], prepare your minds [“gird up the loins of your mind” as men who wore long robes gathered them up in order to run or to work] for action; be self-controlled [sober, serious, fully-rational]; set your hope [“a living hope” (1:3)] fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed [second coming; God’s ultimate deliverance in eternity].
1:14 As obedient children [believers must behave in the way their Heavenly Father asks them to], do not conform [Gr. “suschematizo” means to fashion or conform (cf. Rom. 12:2)] to the evil desires [Gr. “epithumia” often refers to sexual lusts or passions and also to other worldly desires such as greed for material things; any desire for satisfaction apart from God; former pagan practices; former moral laxity] you had when you lived in ignorance [of God and His Word; cf. “empty way of life” in 1:18].
1:15 But [word signals change between former pagan lives and present Christian lives] just as he who called you is holy [utterly set apart from sin], so be holy [set apart for God’s service; to conform our lives to God’s standards and character; the plural of the word “holy” is “saints”] in all you do;
1:16 for it is written [cf. Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7]: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1:17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,
1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
1:20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
1:21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth [obeying the gospel command to repent and receive Christ as Lord by faith] so that you have sincere [Gr. “anupokritos” which means “not hypocritical”] love [Gr. “agapao”] for your brothers [Gr. “philadelphia”], love one another [fellow believers (members of God’s family)] deeply, from the heart.
1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed [as of an earthly father whose seed gives temporal (or perishable) life], but of imperishable [as of our Heavenly Father whose seed (used metaphorically) gives eternal (or imperishable) life], through the living and enduring word of God [His Word is the standard for all our faith and practice].
1:24 For [or “for it is written” as in 1:16; cf. Isa. 40:6-8], “All men are like grass [cf. Ps. 103:15-16], and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,
1:25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached [as the gospel] to you.