1 Peter 1 (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) (Peoples New Testament Notes) 1Peter1:1-9 The apostle blesses God for his special benefits through Christ. 1 Peter 1:1 MSG I, Peter, am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah, writing to exiles scattered to the four winds. Not one is missing, not one forgotten.
The first letter of Peter opens as do the other apostolic letters. Peter claims no superiority. “ writing to exiles” He does not address Jews generally but Jewish Christians primarily, though in portions of the letter he seems to embrace Gentile Christians also.
“ scattered to the four winds” The Jewish race outside of Judea. The letter is directed to the churches in five provinces of the Roman empire which Paul had evangelized, all lying in a group south of the Euxine Sea and east of the Caspian.
1 Peter 1:1 CEV From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To God's people who are scattered like foreigners in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
2 God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!
“ God the Father has his eye on each of you,” Their election and salvation was in accordance with God's predetermined purpose to save men through the gospel, and hence, according to foreknowledge.
“ has determined by the work of the Spirit,” The means by which they become elect are pointed out. They were separated from the world by the gospel, the word of the Spirit, a sanctification which signifies "a setting apart to holy uses."
They were thus separated “ obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus.” In obeying this they were "baptized into the death of Christ" and their sins were pardoned. The sanctification in this case precedes obedience and pardon.
Romans 6:1 MSG So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? 2 I should hope not! If we've left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? 3 Or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism.
When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace--a new life in a new land! That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. 4 When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.
“ May everything good from God be yours!” “ 3 What a God we have!” The ground of special thanksgiving is that the Father, out of his overflowing mercy, “ we've been given a brand-new life.” Has caused us to be born again as his children.
“ and have everything to live for,” As children we have a glorious hope of eternal life through the resurrection of Jesus. “ 4 including a future in heaven--and the future starts now!” The hope is not merely of eternal existence, but we become heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ.
“ 5 God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.” The inheritance is reserved for those who are kept safe by God's power, through faith, so that they endure to the end. “ The Day is coming when you'll have it all--life healed and whole.”
“ 6 I know how great this makes you feel,” In this glorious hope you rejoice. “ even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime.” This implies that a persecution was in progress, or threatened. Trials which put faith and patience to the test.
“ 7 Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.” These persecutions try their faith as gold is tried by the fire, and the faith that stands the test,
“ When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” The present afflictions work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
“ 8 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don't see him, yet you trust him.” Though not having seen Christ, they knew him by faith. “ with laughter and singing.” Because they believe upon him whom they have not seen they are filled with the unspeakable joy of a glorious hope.
“ 9 Because you kept on believing, you'll get what you're looking forward to: total salvation.” The object of the gospel, "the faith," and of their faith was salvation.
1Peter 1:10-12 Salvation by Christ foretold in ancient prophecy. 1 Peter 1:10 MSG The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing.
This passage implies that the prophets used words and symbols, at the dictation of the Spirit, of which they did not comprehend the full meaning. They spoke of Christ and salvation, and then diligently inquired what the Spirit of Christ in them did signify by these words.
“ 11 The Messiah's Spirit let them in on some of it--that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when.” They spoke of the sufferings of Christ (see Isaiah, 53 ) but could not understand these predictions any better than the Jews of Christ's time.
See Luke 24:25 MSG Then he said to them, "So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can't you simply believe all that the prophets said? 26 Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?"
“ 12 All they were told was that they were serving you,” The prophets were, however, taught that the subject matter of their predictions related to a future time, not to their own.
“ the Message of those prophecies fulfilled” The things which were fulfilled by the gospel “ you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves--through the Holy Spirit” Paul and his companions, who preached under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
“ Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!” The profound mysteries of the gospel were subjects of earnest inquiry to the angels, an indication that like the prophets they could not understand until the mystery was revealed.
1Peter 1:13-16 All are exhorted to holy conversation. 1 Peter 1:13 MSG So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, A figure drawn from the custom of girding the loins when about to start on a journey. So the Christian must prepare himself as on a journey.
“ be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives.” Let there be sobriety of spirit. “ 14 Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then; you do now.” Never let the glow of your hope cease until the great consummation, when Christ comes.
“ 15 As obedient children,” An invariable characteristic of all Christians. The divisions between God's children and the children of this world turns on obedience to God.
“ let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.” The spirit of obedience would cause them to turn away from their former sinful life when in ignorance of the gospel.
“ 16 God said, ‘I am holy; you be holy.” God the Father, to whom the calling is assigned in the Scriptures. Obedient children will seek to please and to be like their father.
“ Our Father is holy, and the duty rests upon us of seeking holy lives.” We must not only submit to God's commands but seek to imitate his holiness.
1Peter 1:17-25 Such as is suitable to their principles, privileges, and obligations. “ 1 Peter 1:17 MSG You call out to God for help and he helps” In prayer and worship. All call upon him who pray.
“ he's a good Father that way.” He judges us and all men according to the deeds, not station or race. Hence, those who seek his blessings and promises should show a reverential fear. That is the first reason given for being "holy."
“ But don't forget, he's also a responsible Father, and won't let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.” The whole life is a period of sojourning on the earth.
“ 18 It cost God plenty” Gold or earthly wealth could never have wrought our redemption. “ to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in.” Vain and profitless manner of life.
This was true of Jewish Christians, but still more true of the heathen who had been converted.
“ 19 He paid with Christ's sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb.” The New Testament writers with one accord refer to Christ as "the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world."
20 And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately--at the end of the ages--become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you.
See John 1:29 MSG The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, 30 “Here he is, God's Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I've been talking about, 'the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.'
Christ was the center of God's plans of salvation from the beginning.
“ 21 It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified,” Though Christ was God's plan from the beginning he was only manifested in these last times.
“ that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.” Faith, with Peter as well as Paul, is essential to salvation. The salvation is of God, not of ourselves, and is made ours by faith.
“ 22 Now that you've cleaned up your lives.” The Greek verb rendered " cleaned ," occurs seven times in the New Testament. In four of these, John 11:55 ; Act 21:24 , Act 21:26 ; and Act 24:18 , it refers to ceremonial purification.
In the other three it refers to moral purification; the cleansing of the life from its sins. That seems to be the sense here. It refers not only to the forgiveness of sins but to the pure life that should follow.
This purification is obtained “ by following the truth,” That is, by obedience to the gospel. “ love one another as if your lives depended on it.” The Spirit of Christ in our hearts is the spirit of brotherly love. How can one profess to follow Christ unless he loves those for whom Christ died?
“ 23 Your new life is not like your old life.” At conversion. See John 3:1-6 MSG There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. 2 Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it."
3 Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to--to God's kingdom." 4 "How can anyone," said Nicodemus, "be born who has already been born and grown up? You can't re-enter your mother's womb and be born again. What are you saying with this 'born-from-above' talk?"
5 Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation--the 'wind hovering over the water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life--it's not possible to enter God's kingdom.
6 When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch--the Spirit--and becomes a living spirit.
“ Your old birth came from mortal sperm;” A birth always implies a moving cause. In this “ your new birth comes from God's living Word.” See also: Act 10:36 , and James 1:18 MSG He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.
The gospel preached and lodged in the heart, "the power of God to salvation" Romans 1:16 MSG It's news I'm most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God's powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! is the power that moves the soul to a new life.
God's word is living and eternal. It has life in it and hence communicates life. Hebrews 4:12 MSG God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.
“ 24 That’s why the prophet said, The old life is a grass life, Just think: a life conceived by God himself! its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers; Grass dries up, flowers droop, This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.” God's word lives forever, but the flesh is as evanescent as the grass.
The fleshly life, like the grass, is soon felled by death, but a birth from the living and eternal word is a birth to eternal life.
“ 25 God's Word goes on and on forever.” Like its author it is eternal and never loses its power. “ This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.” That word was the gospel, the very gospel preached to them by Paul and his fellow ministers.