The opening thoughts of First Peter show us that our Christian lives are to bring glory to God which is accomplished by yielding to His process of salvation for us. This will mean having to submit to times of suffering.
The following chart shows us the process of salvation we must yield to in order to glorify God by the magnifying of Christ in the midst of our suffering...
We will be going through each step seen in this picture in this lesson. But first let us look at Peter's two initial verses of introduction...
1 Peter 1:1 - Peter ('petra' meaning 'a stone' as opposed to 'petros' meaning a 'rock') has developed into a 'stone' - an unshakable witness for Christ. He calls himself, in all humilty, an Apostle who is one sent forth by Jesus to proclaim His name even in the midst of suffering.
He writes to those he calls 'pilgrims' (Greek 'parepidemos' = 'an alien alongside, a resident foreigner') - he views himeself and the persecuted Christians he writes to as pilgrims or sojourners. Their home is not on earth but it is a future heavenly place prepared for them if they remain faithful in sufferings.
Read this Story about Eusebius (Early Church father) which shows how this perspective on life can be demonstrated.
We must also consider ourselves as such, not clinging onto this worldly existence as our home, but looking for a better home as the heroes of faith also did (See Hebrews 11:13-16).
The Christians he wrote to had been scattered ('diaspora') to the regions now known as Turkey (See the map of the time of First Peter. This term 'diaspora' has a deep meaning of suffering for the Jew but with the promise of an eventual returning to the homeland.
Peter 1:2 - This verse gives a summary of verses 3-12 which we will
look at. Look again at
The Three Steps Of Salvation Diagram and see how each step is outlines in this verse.
We are 'elect'(chosen) by God because of His Foreknowledge (He knew beforehand the state of our hearts). We were chosen for the process of sanctification (being made holy) which is by the spirit as a result of our obedience (the word as used here for obedience means 'listening under' which speaks of submission to the will of God).
The way we are sanctified is always by His grace, through the sprinkling of His blood (See Hebrews 10:22 and 12:24) - His redemptive work is the only foundation (first step) on which to build our lives and step forward into His will.
"Grace to you and peace be multiplied" - Peter had experiened the amazing Grace of God (unmerited favour) and prayed for the Christians to whom he wrote that they too would experience it. His Grace is mentioned ten times in this letter (See 1 Peter 1:2, 1:10,1:13,2:19,2:20,3:7,4:10,5:5,5:10,5:12 and in each case see what Peter says about God's Grace).
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