1 PETER: DIVISION I

HOW TO BE SECURE THROUGH SUFFERING: KNOW THAT YOU ARE SAVED, 1:1-12

Front Matter Book Intro

Detailed Outline Index

A. Know that You Are the Chosen of God, 1:1-2

(1:1-2) Introduction: Peter is writing to people who were hurting and suffering, people who were being ridiculed and persecuted because they lived for Jesus Christ. Throughout the Roman Empire believers had been attacked and were being savagely persecuted so much so that they had been forced to flee for their lives. They had been forced to leave everything behind: homes, property, estates, businesses, jobs, money, church, friends, and fellow believers. Believers had apparently taken their families and what belongings they could carry and fled for their lives. Peter is writing to five Roman provinces where most of the believers had apparently tried to hide and find safety. But note how the church is continuing on as an underground church.

Imagine the fear, uncertainty, and insecurity; the wandering about and the searching for a safe place and for a way to earn a living. In some cases, the believers did not even know where their next meal would come from. The church and its dear believers were fleeing for their lives. All the feelings that attack human emotions when a person is being hunted down for brutal slaughter were attacking these believers: fear, concern, restlessness, sleeplessness, anxiety, stress, uncertainty, insecurity, and a pounding heart at the slightest shadow or noise.

The believers desperately needed strong encouragement. But how? How do you shore up and strengthen a person who is suffering and hurting so much? How can a person be secure through suffering and persecution? There is one way and only one way: he must know that he is saved and be absolutely sure that he is under the care and love of God. This is the discussion of the first section of First Peter. It clearly tells us how to be secure through suffering. Our security is this: knowing that we are saved, that we belong to God and are looked after by God.

The first thing to know about our salvation is this: know that you are the chosen of God.

1. They are believers who are only strangers or pilgrims scattered over the earth (v.1).

2. They are people elected by God (v.2).

3. They are people set apart to God and covered by the blood of Christ (v.2).

4. They are people who obey God (v.2).

5. They are people who experience grace and peace (v.2).

1. (1:1) Believers Chosen, The: the chosen are believers, believers who are only strangers scattered over the earth. This is the descriptive picture being painted in 1 Peter 1:1. Believers are only strangers (parepidēmois PWS: 3788) on earth. The word means pilgrim, sojourner, visitor, or exile. The idea is that of a person visiting a place for a while, but he is not a permanent resident. Believers are citizens of heaven; their home is in heaven with God, not on earth with the rulers of this world. The rulers and people of this earth may persecute believers, but believers are here on earth only temporarily only as strangers, pilgrims, sojourners, and exiles. This is significant; it means two things:

1. It means that where we live on this earth does not matter all that much. No matter where we live, it is not our permanent home. Our home is in heaven. We may be forced to leave our homes and countries because of trouble and persecution we may be poor and suffer great hardship in this life, but it is only for a brief time. We are only strangers and pilgrims on earth. We shall soon be called to go home to go to our permanent home in heaven and be there forever and ever. And there shall be no hunger or poverty or suffering or hardship in heaven.

2. It means that we should keep our eyes and minds...

focused upon heaven as our permanent home.

focused upon how short life is.

focused upon how uncertain, insecure, and short-term all things upon earth really are.

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13).

"For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come" (Hebrews 13:14).

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11).

"And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage" (Genesis 47:9).

"For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding" (1 Chron. 29:15).

"Hear my prayer, O lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were" (Psalm 39:12).

"I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me" (Psalm 119:19).

2. (1:2) Election Foreknowledge God: the chosen are elected by God. They are actually called the elect, a people who had been elected or chosen by God. This means a most wonderful thing. It means that believers have the highest position in all the world, the position of being God's own holy and beloved children (cp. Col. 3:12).

Believers have been elected to be holy. The word "holy" (hagiasmō PWS: 3368) means separated or set apart. God called believers out of the world and away from the old life it offered, the old life of sin and death. He called believers to be separated and set apart unto Himself and the new life He offers, the new life of righteousness and eternity.

Believers have been elected to be the beloved of God. God has called believers to turn away from the old life that showed hatred toward God, the old life that rejected, rebelled, ignored, denied, and was constantly cursing in the face of God. God has called believers to be the beloved of God, the persons who receive His love in Christ Jesus and who allow Him to shower His love upon them.

If God loves believers this much, enough to actually choose and elect them to be His very own holy and beloved people, then God will look after and take care of them. No matter how ridiculed, abused, and persecuted no matter how poor, hungry, troubled, and distressed no matter how great the hardship, God will meet the need of the dear believer, the one whom He has elected to be His own. (See note, Chosen 2 Thes. 2:13 for more discussion. Remember that the Thessalonian believers were suffering trouble and persecution even as these believers were. The truths of election and predestination were used by both Paul and Peter to encourage believers when they were suffering great trouble and hardship. These are wonderful truths to encourage us when we have to face the great trials of this world.)

Note one other point: how believers are elected. They are elected by the foreknowledge of God. What does this mean? Foreknowledge can mean two things.

First, foreknowledge means that God sees the future. No matter how far a person looks into the future, God has already seen it. God knows...

exactly what will happen, every single event and consequence.

exactly what could happen (but will not), every single possibility and its consequences.

Foreknowledge means that God knows exactly what all men will do, every single act and consequence. God has one supreme overall view of all things all things past, present, and future. But note: in this meaning foreknowledge does not determine anything; it only faces and forecasts what shall be. It is somewhat like an astronomer who can foresee the exact position and size of the moon on the first day of the month. He knows the future because He foresees the events that will take place with the moon between now and then. God has one supreme panoramic view of all things past, present, and future.

Second, foreknowledge means to foreordain, determine, appoint, and predestine. This is definitely the meaning in Acts 2:23:

"Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."

God did not just foresee the death of Christ, He foreordained it. Peter himself makes this point:

"[Christ] who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" (1 Peter 1:20).

The foreknowledge of God is a most wonderful truth for the believer. God is in total control. He not only can foresee all events, He can foreordain and control them work them all out for good. Just imagine! Every single event on earth is worked out for good by God. He works the events out for His people. No matter how much trouble and hardship we suffer, no matter how little we may understand, God knows and will work it all out for our good. Why? Because we are His elect, His holy and beloved people. The chosen of God are those who are elected according to the foreknowledge of God: elected because He foresaw them and ordained them to be His holy and beloved people. (See Deeper Study #1, Foreknowledge 1 Peter 1:2 for more discussion and verses.)

DEEPER STUDY #1 (1:2) Foreknowledge

3. (1:2) Sanctification Holy Spirit, Work: the chosen are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and covered by the blood of Christ. What does this mean? It means that a person cannot be saved anytime he wants and any way he wants. It means that a person cannot just choose some religion and some particular time of life to come to God. Two things are absolutely necessary for a person to be saved and to receive eternal life.

1. First, a person must be sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God (see Deeper Study #1, Sanctification 1 Peter 1:15-16 for more discussion). To be sanctified means to be set apart unto God; to be made holy, pure and righteous unto God. Before a person can come to God, he must be attracted and pulled to God convicted that he should turn to God. He must be convicted that he needs the forgiveness and acceptance of God. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. And this is the reason a man must turn to God when he feels the conviction of sin and his great need for God. This conviction is the Holy Spirit working within him, struggling to set the man's life apart unto God to save him and to give him eternal life. The Holy Spirit wants every one of us to be God's; to be set apart unto God, living holy, righteous, and pure lives; and He wants us living with God forever and ever throughout all eternity. But remember what is stated above: a person cannot just turn to God by himself, by following some earthly religion or some earthly way to God. The only way a person can turn to God and be acceptable to God is by the Holy Spirit. The person must respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit draws and convicts him: he must be sanctified, set apart unto God to live a holy, righteous, and pure life.

Thought 1. This stresses the utter necessity of responding to the Spirit of God when we feel Him working within our hearts. All of us have sensed Him convicting us and we have delayed making a decision. Remember what happened? His conviction left us. He spoke to us, convicted and pulled us to make the decision, but we pushed it aside and said, "Later." And He left us. The conviction and desire to make the decision was soon gone. The point is forceful: we must respond and respond immediately when the Spirit of God works within us. We must make the decision...

to be set apart unto God for salvation and eternal life.

to be set apart unto God to live a life that is totally different from the life we have been living, a life that is more holy, righteous, and pure.

Note the end or purpose of sanctification: that we might be obedient to God. The one thing God wants is the same thing that any good father wants: obedient children. God wants us to love, fellowship, and commune with Him day by day and to follow His instructions. God knows and understands life, for He created life. Therefore, He wants the very best for all of us. This is the reason He has done so much to save us. His whole purpose the very end toward which He has done all is to lead us to a life of obedience. Obeying God is the only way we can know a full and complete life. Therefore, obedience is the purpose and end of sanctification.

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30).

"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor. 7:1).

"That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word" (Ephes. 5:26).

"If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (2 Tim. 2:21).

"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).

"Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name" (Hebrews 13:12-15).

"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" (1 Peter 1:2).

"Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16).

"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:11-14).

2. Second, a person must be sprinkled or covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. What does this mean? It means to be justified by His blood.

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:9; see note, Justification Romans 5:1 for more discussion).

We have broken the law of God. We have neglected God, ignored God, cursed God, rebelled against God, and rejected God. We have chosen to live like we want, to do our own thing, and we have refused to live like God says. Therefore, we stand before the law of God guilty. As with all law, we must bear...

the penalty of the law

the judgment of the law

the condemnation of the law

the punishment of the law

the wrath of the law

We stand before the wrath of God His law, His justice and there is no escape. We have broken the law of God; therefore, the penalty has to be paid. But this is the glorious gospel: Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for us. He has stepped forth and offered His life as a substitute and sacrifice for us. He has borne the judgment and condemnation of our transgression. How could He do this? Because He was the Son of God and He lived a perfect and sinless life when He was upon earth. He stood before God as the Perfect and Ideal Man, as the Ideal Righteousness that could cover all men. Consequently, when He died on the cross, His death was the perfect and ideal sacrifice for sins. His blood the blood He shed for us was the perfect and ideal sacrifice for transgressions. Therefore, His blood can cover us and all of our transgressions.

This is the way we are saved and the way we receive eternal life; this is the way we are made acceptable to God: by being sprinkled or covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ covers all our transgressions and makes us guiltless before God perfect and acceptable to Him.

This is the chosen of God a people chosen to come to God by being sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ, God's dear Son.

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:9).

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14).

"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; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18-19).

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

"Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Rev. 1:5).

DEEPER STUDY #2 (1:2) Jesus' Blood Death

4. (1:2) Obedience Chosen, The: the chosen are the people who obey God. The only kind of faith that really saves a person is the kind of faith that is obedient, that diligently seeks God. Believing faith is obedient faith. A person who really believes in Christ, who really trusts the blood of Christ to cover his transgressions, obeys Christ. This is exactly what Scripture says.

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:9).

Now, note the verse: the very end or purpose of sanctification is that we might be obedient to God. The one thing God wants is obedience obedient children the very same thing that any good father wants. God wants us to follow His Word and its instructions. Why? Because God knows and understands life. God created and made life; therefore, He knows exactly how life has to be lived in order to get the most out of it. God is God and He is a God of love; consequently He wants the very best for us. This is the reason He has done so much to save us; this is the reason He has given us His Word and its instructions. His whole purpose the very end toward which He has done all is to lead us to a life of obedience. Obeying God is the only way we can know a full and complete life.

Thought 1. This means a most significant thing: the persons who are truly chosen by God are those who are obeying God. It does not matter what a person may be professing; it does not matter to which church or religion a person may belong. What matters is obedience: is the person obeying God? Is he truthfully believing and trusting, surrendering and casting his life upon the Lord Jesus Christ and His blood to cleanse him from all transgressions?

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).

"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth [obeys]" (Romans 10:3-4).

"Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14).

"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:9).

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment" (1 John 3:23).

"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. 22:14).

5. (1:2) Grace Peace Chosen, The: the chosen are people who experience grace and peace.

1. Grace (charis PWS: 1775) means the undeserved favor and blessings of God. (See notes Romans 4:16; Deeper Study #1 1 Cor. 1:4; Deeper Study #1 Titus 2:11-15.) The word undeserved is the key to understanding grace. Man does not deserve God's favor; he cannot earn God's approval and blessings. God is too high and man is too low for man to deserve anything from God. Man is imperfect and God is perfect; therefore, man cannot expect anything from God. (See Deeper Study #1, Justification Galatians 2:15-16 for more discussion.) Man has reacted against God too much. Man has...

rejected God

rebelled against God

ignored God

neglected God

cursed God

sinned against God

disobeyed God

denied God

questioned God

Man deserves nothing from God except judgment, condemnation, and punishment. But God is love perfect and absolute love. Therefore, God makes it possible for man to experience His grace, in particular the favor and blessing of salvation which is in His Son, Jesus Christ. (See Deeper Study #1, Grace 1 Cor. 1:4 for more discussion.)

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9).

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace" (Ephes. 1:7).

"That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephes. 2:7).

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

"And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 1:14).

2. Peace (eirēnē) means to be bound, joined, and weaved together. It means to be assured, confident, and secure in the love and care of God. It means to have a sense, a consciousness, a knowledge that God will...

provide

guide

strengthen

sustain

deliver

encourage

save

give life, real life

both now and forever

A person can experience true peace only as he comes to know Jesus Christ. Only Christ can bring peace to the human heart, the kind of peace that brings deliverance and assurance to the human soul.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

"These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

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

"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6).

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord only makest me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8).