1 Peter - Free Bible Commentary in easy English (2023)

More Precious Than Gold

An EasyEnglish Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on the firstletter of Peter


Helen Pocock

This commentary has been through Advanced TheologicalChecking.

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

The writer

Peter wrote this letter. He was one of the 12 *apostles. His namewas Simon, but Jesus changed it to Peter (John 1:42). ‘Peter’ means ‘a rock’ or‘a stone’. In *New Testament times many people could speak and read the *Greeklanguage. Peter wrote this letter in the *Greek language. This meant that thegood news about Jesus could spread easily.

A man called Silas (sometimes the Bible calls him Silvanus)helped Peter to write the letter (see 5:12). In those days, some men wereexpert writers. They helped people to write their letters in the proper way.Peter wrote this letter about 30 years after Jesus returned to heaven.

The people who received this letter

In the first verse, Peter lists 5 countries. Most of these are inthe country that we now call Turkey. On the day of *Pentecost (Acts 2) peoplefrom three of these countries were visiting the city of Jerusalem. Some ofthese people may have become Christians there. Perhaps they went home andstarted new churches. Peter wrote to *Jews and Gentiles who became Christians.Gentiles are people who are not *Jews. They did not believe in the true God.Peter gave the letter to someone who travelled to the main churches in theseareas. This person read the letter aloud to the Christians. Then people copiedit and sent it to all the smaller churches near to them.

Why he wrote this letter

Peter wants to encourage Christians who are suffering for Christ.Although Christians might suffer in this life, they will not suffer for ever.This world is not their real home. Heaven is their real home. One day they willlive with God in heaven and share God’s *glory.

Peter also wants his readers to understand the *grace of God. Hewants every Christian to know what God has done for them. He wants them tolearn more about God.

This letter is very practical. When a person becomes a Christianhis life changes. (‘his’ here refers to both men and women, not just to men.)Peter tells his readers how to live a good Christian life. Peter was with Jesusfor about three years. He saw all that Jesus did. He heard all that Jesus said.Peter is writing to encourage Christians to live like Jesus.


I am Peter, an *apostle of Jesus Christ. I send this letter to you whoare Christians in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. You areliving in these places as foreigners. v2 It was God’s purpose to chooseyou to belong to him. The Holy Spirit has made you holy, because Jesus Christhas made you clean from *sin by his blood. May God give you more and more ofhis *grace and peace.

Verse 1

In those days people used to start letters with a greeting. Thisletter therefore starts with a greeting. The greeting tells us who is writingthe letter. It also tells us who will read the letter.

I am Peter, an *apostle of Jesus Christ’. Peter was oneof the 12 *apostles whom Jesus chose to be with him (Mark 3:14). Jesus chosethem to be special leaders. They taught people about Jesus’ life and words.Therefore, Peter’s letter comes with the authority of God.

Peter is writing to Christians. He says that they are likeforeigners. He means that wherever they live in this world, that place is nottheir true home. Heaven is the true home of Christians (Philippians 3:20).

Acts 2:1-13 gives an account of the day of *Pentecost in the cityof Jerusalem. *Jews had gone there from many different countries. Theseincluded Pontus, Cappadocia and Asia. So, some of the people to whom Peter iswriting may have been there and heard him *preach about Jesus.

Verse 2

This verse mentions all three members of the Trinity. The Trinitymeans that there is one God who is three persons. The three are God the Father,God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. We cannot understand theTrinity. However, it is very important to know that Christians *worship oneGod, not three different Gods.

· God the Father chooses people. God knows more thanthe facts about each man or woman. He knows about each of us in a personal way.God is a loving Father in heaven. God chose his people before he created theworld (Ephesians 1:4).

· God the Holy Spirit works in these people. He makesthem holy, so that they obey Jesus. To be ‘holy’ means to belong to God and tobe like him.

· God the Son (Jesus) died on the cross, so that hecould forgive all *sins.

‘By Jesus’ blood’ refers to Jesus’ death on the cross. In the*Old Testament, the priest splashed blood on people when they promised to obeyGod. The blood came from a special animal that the priest *sacrificed (Exodus24:3-8). Jesus died as a *sacrifice to make each person clean from *sin. People*sin when they do things against God or other people. When a person becomes aChristian, God forgives all his or her past *sins. But Christians do not alwaysobey God. They need to ask God to forgive them every day.

*Grace is the help and protection that God gives to his people.*Grace is a gift from God. We do not deserve it and cannot earn it. God gives*grace because he is generous. The *grace of God comes through Jesus.

‘Peace’. In the *Hebrew language this word is ‘shalom’. It is atraditional *blessing in the *Old Testament (Numbers 6:24-26), and among*Jewish people today. Peace is not just the opposite of war or noise. It is tohave God’s gift of a quiet heart. This involves every part of our life andrelationships. No one can have true peace without *grace.

Christians have already received *grace and peace. But Peterprays that they may know God’s *grace and peace more and more.

We have a certain and lively *hope

*Praise the God and Father of our *Lord Jesus Christ! Because God hasgreat *mercy, he has given us new life. Now we have a sure *hope that livesbecause he raised Jesus from death. v4 As a result we shall receive an*inheritance which nothing can destroy. It will not spoil, or lose its beauty.God keeps it safe in heaven for you. v5 God’s power always protects usbecause we trust him. We shall receive our complete *salvation at the end oftime when Jesus returns. v6 You are full of joy about this. But for atime you are suffering various kinds of difficulties and troubles. v7God allows these difficulties to come to prove that your *faith in him isgenuine. *Faith in God is far more valuable than even gold. You can destroygold. You test gold by fire to make it pure. Your genuine *faith will bring *praiseand *glory and honour to Jesus when he comes again. v8 You have not seenJesus, but you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. Youare full of great joy. No words can say how happy you are. It is joy full of*glory. v9 The purpose of your *faith in Jesus is to receive *salvation.

Verse 3

Peter thought about all that God has done for people throughJesus. Then he *praised God. The more that people understand what a wonderful*salvation God has planned for them, the more they will love him. Then theywill realise how great and good he is.

‘*Lord Jesus Christ’ is the full title of Jesus. ‘*Lord’ meansthat he has complete authority. He is head over everything. ‘Jesus’ ishis human name. The name Jesus means ‘God is the one who saves’. Jesus savespeople from their *sins (Matthew 1:21). ‘Christ’ is the *Greek word for the*Hebrew word *Messiah, which means ‘the one whom God has anointed’. To ‘anoint’means to mark a person with oil. It is a sign. It shows that God has chosenthat person for some special service. In the *Old Testament they anointed kings(1 Samuel 16:13) and *prophets (1 Kings 19:16) and priests (Exodus 28:1) withoil. God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). Jesus is King overall kings (Revelation 17:14). He is the great chief Priest (Hebrews 7-8). He isGod’s great *Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15; Luke 13:33; Acts 3:22).

Many of Peter’s readers were suffering because they wereChristians. So he reminds them of the reasons why they should *praise God. Godhas shown them great *mercy. Before they knew God, they lived a bad life. Theydeserved punishment. God shows *mercy when he forgives bad people instead ofpunishing them. Then he brings them into his family. He does this because heloves them very much.

When God gives people new life, they come alive in theirspirit. They become members of God’s family. They are Christians. Sometimes theBible calls this process ‘the new birth’. In John 3:1-21 Jesus explained thisto a man whose name was Nicodemus.

To have *hope in God is to expect all that God has promised toChristians for the future. We cannot guess what God will do. We have to trusthim. This *hope is a living *hope because God raised Jesus from death.Christians believe that God will raise them from death too.

Verse 4

An *inheritance is what becomes yours by law after the death ofthe present owner. It is usually land or property. In the *Old Testament, the*inheritance often refers to the country of Canaan. God gave Canaan to the*Jews who were the people whom he chose (Numbers 26:54-56; Joshua 11:23). Inthe *New Testament, *inheritance means all that people receive from God as hischildren, because of what Jesus has done for them. This includes *eternal lifenow (John 5:24) and a new body when Jesus comes again (1 Corinthians 15:35-44).God will also give rewards to Christians in heaven (Matthew 5:12; 1 Corinthians3:8; Revelation 22:12). But we do not know what these rewards will be.Christians receive just a small part of God’s promises in this life. They willreceive his promises completely in heaven. Christians go to heaven when theydie. If Jesus returns while they are still living in this world, he will takethem straight to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). God gives the Holy Spirit toeach Christian. This proves that he will keep his promise (Ephesians 1:14).

The Christian’s *inheritance is not like anything in this world.Peter described it in three ways.

(1) It will never wear out or get old. Nothing can destroy it.

(2) It will not spoil or go bad. *Sin cannot affect it.

(3) It will not lose its beauty. It is not like metal that stopsshining. Nor is it like a light that goes out.

God keeps this *inheritance safe in heaven. God does this foreach person who believes his promises.

Verse 5

‘Protects’ is a military word that has two meanings. It means toguard from attack and to prevent escape. Peter wants to encourage Christianswho are suffering for being Christians. God’s power guards their spirits. Asthey trust in God, his power makes them strong. Then they will not run awayfrom being a Christian. All Christians must continue to trust God until Jesuscomes again. This is when they will receive their complete *salvation (the*inheritance in verse 4).

Peter and the other *apostles saw Jesus go back to heaven (Acts1:9-11). They heard the *angels say that Jesus would return. They also heardJesus teach about this (Matthew 16:27). No one knows when it will happen.Therefore, Christians must be ready. They should live good lives as they waitfor that important day (1 Thessalonians 4:14-5:11).

Verse 6

When Christians understand what Peter wrote in verses 3-5, itmakes them very happy. They have joy deep in their spirits. But Christians maysuffer troubles in their lives. These troubles make them sad for a littlewhile. But they will not be sad for ever.

Verse 7

It is easy to be a Christian when life is favourable. ButChristians often have troubles in their lives. God uses these troubles to maketheir *faith in God strong and pure. To have *faith in God means totrust in God and in Jesus Christ his Son. James 1:2-4 says that troubles helppeople to grow up as strong Christians. So they should have joy even when theyhave troubles.

In this world gold is very valuable. When someone has *faith inGod, this is much more valuable to God than gold. Gold is a metal. It shineseven when it is not pure. If you mix gold with other metals, it still lookslike pure gold. If you melt gold in a pot in a hot fire, you can find outwhether the gold really is pure. As it gets hotter, any other metals or bits ofdirt rise to the surface. Then someone can remove them. Peter said thattroubles in a person’s life are like this fire. When people have troubles, theysee the bad behaviour that hides inside themselves. They should stop their badbehaviour and trust God. If they do this, then their *faith in God is genuine.

‘Your genuine *faith will bring *praise, *glory and honour toJesus when he comes again’. This means that both Jesus and the person withgenuine *faith will receive *praise, *glory and honour. We shall not understandsome of God’s purposes in this life. God will *reveal them only at the finaljudgement.

Verse 8

Peter had been in the company of Jesus for three years. But Peteris writing to people who have never seen Jesus. They love Jesus without seeinghim. To ‘believe in’ Jesus means to trust and obey him, although we cannot seehim. It means more than believing facts about him. People who believe in Jesushave joy in their spirits. This joy comes from God. No one can explain it inwords because it is too wonderful.

Verse 9

We understand *salvation in three ways: in the past, in thepresent, and in the future.

· *Salvation in the past, when people first becomeChristians (verse 3).

· *Salvation in the present, as they learn to trustGod each day and to receive his help (the first part of verse 5).

· *Salvation in the future, when they will receiveall of God’s promises in heaven (verses 4-5).

v10 Long ago the*prophets of God spoke about the *salvation that God has now given to you. Theysearched deeply to learn about God’s *grace. v11 They were trying tofind out when and how it would come. The Spirit of Christ (that is, the*Messiah) was in them. The Spirit told them that Christ (*Messiah)would suffer and die. But afterwards, when Christ rose from death, *glorieswould follow. v12 The *prophets inquired about these things. The Spiritof Christ (*Messiah) showed them that this was for your benefit, not fortheir own. People brought you the good news about Jesus. They have now told youthe same things as the *prophets said. They have told you about Jesus. And theHoly Spirit from heaven helped them. Even *angels greatly desire to understandmore about these things.

Verses 10-12

These *prophets of God lived before the birth of Jesus Christ.The ‘Spirit of Christ’ is another name for Christ or *Messiah or the Spirit ofGod. (In Romans 8:9-10 Paul, too, uses all these names to mean the same). The*prophets brought messages from God to the people. The messages are in the *OldTestament. For example, Isaiah 53 is about the *Messiah (Christ) and how hewould suffer. The *prophets wanted to know about whom they wrote. They couldnot understand all the things that God told them. They did not know when thesethings would happen. They wanted to find out more. The message in verse 11 isabout the *glories that would follow when Christ rose from death. This shouldencourage all Christians who suffer. All that the *prophets spoke about Jesuscame true. Therefore, Christians can trust the Bible.

Verse 12 says that even *angels do not understand everythingabout God’s plans. They are eager to learn more.

Live holy lives

God has prepared this wonderful *salvation for you. So now, you mustconcentrate on how God wants you to live as Christians. Put all your *hope inGod’s goodness, when Jesus comes back to earth again.

v14 Obey God, because you are now his children.Before you knew Christ, you wanted to do evil things. You did those evil thingsbecause you did not know any better.

v15 God has calledyou to know him and to serve him. And God is holy. Therefore, you too must beholy in everything that you do. v16 This is what God commands in theBible:

‘Be holy because I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:44, 45; 19:2;20:7, 26).

v17 You pray to God as your Father. But remember thathe deals with everybody in the same fair way. So, while you are living here onearth, honour God in all that you do.

v18 Remember that the life that you lived in the pastwas of no worth to God. Your parents, and the people who lived before you,taught you to live in that way. Now God has bought you and freed you from thatway of life. He did not buy you with silver or gold, which people can destroy. v19Instead God bought you with the precious blood of Christ. Christ was like aperfect lamb (young sheep) that the *Jews *sacrificed.

(Video) One Hour. One Book: 1 Peter

v20 God chose Christ before the world began. ButChrist came into the world in these last days for your benefit. v21Through Christ you believed in God who raised Christ from death. God gaveChrist *glory. So, you believe and trust God that he will do what he haspromised.

v22 You have obeyed the truth and made your livespure. Now you can have a sincere love for all Christians. So, love each otherdeeply from your spirit. v23 Now you have new birth. This new birth didnot come from something that dies. It comes from a seed that cannot die. Theseed is alive. It is the permanent word from God. v24 The Bible says

‘All people are like grass.
All their *glory is only likeflowers that grow in the field.
Grass dies and flowers fall off.

v25 But the word of the Lord lives for always’(Isaiah 40:6-8).
And this word is the good news about Jesus that you have heard.

Verse 13

In verses 3-6, Peter has been teaching his readers what*salvation means. He wants them to understand what God has done for themthrough Jesus. But to know these things only in their mind is not enough. Whatpeople believe will always affect the way that they live. So how shouldChristians live their lives? In verses 13-16, Peter writes very clearly. Hetells his readers how God wants them to behave as Christians.

Christians must prepare their minds, so that they can obey God.People’s minds are important. What they think about affects the way that theybehave. (Look at Romans12:1-2; Ephesians4:22-24;2Corinthians10:3-5.) They must have a clear mind about how to liveas Christians. To have a clear mind means that they must not be like a personwho gets drunk. People get drunk when they drink too much beer or wine. Thatconfuses their minds. They are not ready to act as they should. They cannotcontrol themselves in the proper way.

When Jesus returns he will give great *blessings. To *hope meansto expect something that God has promised.

Verses 14-16

Children often look like their parents and behave like them.Christians are now children of God, because God is their Father in heaven. Godis holy. God wants his children to be like him. They must have his character intheir lives. To be holy means to be completely separate from all *sin and evil.It also means to belong to God alone. God commands Christians to be holy. TheHoly Spirit makes them holy (verse 2). This does not mean that Christians canlive their lives completely without *sin. This will only happen in heaven. Butwith God’s help they must now try hard to avoid all *sin and evil in every partof their lives.

Many times in this letter, Peter tells his readers what the Biblesays. These verses are from the part of the Bible that we call the *OldTestament. Men wrote down all of the *Old Testament before the birth of Jesus.Like all *Jewish boys, Peter had to learn and remember many *Old Testamentverses. This command to be holy is very important. God says it five times inthe book of Leviticus (see 11:44; 11:45; 19:2; 20:7; 20:26).

Verse 17

Christians can pray to God as their Father. But he does not dealwith other people in a different way. He does not judge people by what theirfaces look like. Instead, God judges all people by his standard of what is goodand evil. God sees how every person lives. To fear God does not mean to beafraid of him. It means that Christians should respect and obey God because heis great and holy. Peter again reminds Christians that they are strangers inthis world. Their true home is in heaven.

Verses 18-19

Peter then compares their past and present lives. In the past,they did not know how to live for God (see verse 14). People taught them wrongthings. Nobody in their society knew the right way to live.

‘God has bought you’. Sometimes a person pays money so that aslave or a person in prison can have freedom. God paid so that people can havefreedom from their life of *sin and death. He did not pay with money, but withthe precious blood of his only Son, Jesus. Leviticus 17:14 says that the lifeof an animal is in its blood. So, the ‘precious blood of Christ’ refers to hisdeath on the cross. To be ‘precious’ means to have great value and honour.Romans 6:23 says, ‘The wages of *sin is death’. Jesus died to forgive *sins.Christians will now live for ever and their spirit will never die.

Long ago the *Jews were slaves in the country of Egypt. When theking of Egypt refused to let them go, God punished some of the people of Egypt.He sent an *angel to kill them. God told the *Jews to kill a lamb (young sheep)and put its blood on their doors. When the *angel saw the blood, he did notkill anyone in that house. The blood saved the *Jews from death. The lamb hadto be perfect and have nothing wrong with its body. You can read about this inExodus 12. Jesus lived a perfect life and never did anything wrong. So, when hedied on the cross, he was like a perfect lamb.

Verse 20

People choose to do what is evil. Before God made the world, heknew that this would happen. So he made the plan of how Christ would savepeople from their evil lives. God ‘chose’ Christ. The word ‘chose’ is the sameword as in verse 2. ‘In these last days’ refers to the time since Christ cameto earth. We live in the last days now.

Verse 21

Jesus says that the only way that a person can come to God theFather is through Jesus Christ his Son (John 14:6). People of many differentreligions say that they believe in God. If they do not believe in Jesus, thenthey are not Christians. They do not have *eternal life with God. Jesus rosefrom death and came alive again. Later, he returned to heaven and received*glory from God (Philippians 2:6-11; Ephesians 1:20-21). Christians have a sure*hope in God because they know that he always keeps his promises.

Verse 22

Every day, Christians must obey the truth. This will make theirlife pure. Psalm 119:9 says, ‘How can a young man live a pure life? When helives the way that God’s word tells us’. The Bible is God’s word. The Bible istruth.

As Christians become purer in their lives, they will have adeeper love for each other. They will not have evil thoughts and feelings aboutother Christians. To have sincere love means they really care about otherpeople. They mean what they say. People are not sincere when they just pretendto love other people.

‘Have a sincere love for all Christians’. The *Greek word for‘love’ in this sentence describes the love that brothers and sisters have foreach other in a family. All Christians are members of one very big family. Godis their Father. We have Christian brothers and sisters who live in everycountry of the world.

‘So continue to love each other deeply from your heart’. Thisword ‘love’ comes from another *Greek word that describes the pure love of God.This love always gives more than it takes. Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians13. Christians should love each other in the same way that God loves them. Tolove deeply means that love is strong.

Verses 23-25

The ‘word of the *Lord’ (God) can refer to the Bible. It alsomeans the good news that God saves people from *sin through Jesus Christ. Whenpeople hear or read this good news, it is like a seed that God plants in theirlives. Seeds grow into plants. However, plants die. But the seed of God’s wordwill never die. It gives a person new birth into God’s family.

Verses 24-25 come from Isaiah 40:6-8. All people, even greatpeople, will die. Their physical body will die, just as grass and flowers die.But God’s words will live for ever. When people accept the word of the *Lord,their spirit will live for ever.

v1 Therefore stop all evil behaviour. Do not cheatpeople. Do not pretend to be better than you are. Do not be jealous. Stopsaying bad things about other people. v2 When babies are young, theyneed milk. It makes them grow strong. In the same way, you must desire pure*spiritual milk. It helps you grow up in your *salvation. v3 You do thisbecause you have tasted that the *Lord is kind.

Verse 1

This verse continues from chapter 1:22. A person who loves otherpeople will want to help them and say good things about them. The words thatpeople use show what their spirit is like. Jesus said this in Matthew 12:33-37.All the behaviour in this verse is evil. ‘Stop’ means remove it from your life.Peter lists 5 evil things that Christians should remove from their lives.

Verses 2-3

Peter now describes the word of God as ‘pure *spiritual milk’.*Spiritual means linked to a person’s spirit and not to his or herphysical body. A Christian should want God’s word as much as a baby wants milk.Milk makes a baby grow big and strong. A Christian should be eager to read andlisten to God’s word. This will help them to become mature. Verse 3 comes fromPsalm 34:8. ‘Tasted’ means discovered by experience. Christians realise howkind God is. This makes them hungry in their spirit and they want to know Godmore and more.

The Stone that is living

You come to Jesus. He is the Stone that is living. The people of thisworld did not want Jesus, but God chose him as precious. v5 YouChristians are like stones that are living. God is building you into a*spiritual house, a holy place. You will be holy priests there who offer*spiritual *sacrifices to God. God will accept these *sacrifices through JesusChrist.

v6 The Bible saysthis about God’s Son Jesus:
‘Look, I am laying a stone in Zion.
I chose this precious*cornerstone.
He will not disappoint anyonewho trusts in him’ (Isaiah 28:16).

v7 This stone(Jesus) is worth very much to you who believe in him. Some people do notbelieve in him. The Bible says about them:
‘The builders did not acceptthis stone. But it has become the *cornerstone’ (Ps 118:22).

v8 In anotherplace the Bible says about Jesus that he is
‘a stone that makes people trip,
a rock that makes people fall’(Isaiah 8:14).
People trip and fall because they do not accept God’s message. God said thatthis would happen to them.

v9 You are the people whom God chose to be royalpriests. You form a holy nation. You belong to God. God has called you out ofdarkness into his wonderful light. God wants you to tell everyone about thegreat things that he has done. v10 Once you were not people who belongedto God. Now you are his people. Once you did not know his *mercy, but now youdo.

Verses 4-10

Peter refers back to the *Old Testament. King Solomon built atemple in the city of Jerusalem about 950 years before the birth of Jesus (BC)(1 Kings 6-8). The temple was a special building where the *Jews went to*praise God. But an army from the country of Babylon destroyed the temple in587BC (2 Chronicles 36:19). Some *Jews built it again about 70 yearslater (Ezra 3-6).

When they built the temple, they first had to prepare the ground.They cleared the area. Then they made it flat and level. They built the templewith very big stones. The *cornerstone was the first stone that they put inplace. The *cornerstone is the most important stone in a building. It is a verybig, square stone, which has very straight sides. The builders put it at onecorner of the building. Then they built the walls in a straight line from the*cornerstone. They also built straight up on top of it. The building was thenthe right shape. The walls were straight. They did not lean or fall down.

In the temple, the priests offered *sacrifices to God. To make a*sacrifice they killed a special animal and burnt it on an *altar. Then theyasked God to forgive the people. This was like a picture of what Jesus would doon the cross. People do not need to kill animals as a *sacrifice now. Jesus wasthe perfect *sacrifice. He forgave all *sins when he died. Now, people can turnto Jesus and tell him that they have *sinned. Then Jesus forgives them.

Verse 4

‘You come’ means to come and *worship Jesus (Hebrews 4:10). Petercalled Jesus ‘the Stone that is living’. Christians do not *worship someone whois dead. Most people did not believe or trust Jesus, but God chose Jesus. Theword ‘precious’ means that God gave Jesus great honour. In verses 6-8 there arethree *Old Testament verses about a stone and a *cornerstone. Peter explainsthat those verses refer to Jesus.

Verse 5

Peter now says that Christians are like ‘stones that are living’.Jesus makes people alive in their spirit. God lives in Christians. He does notlive in a physical building (1 Corinthians 6:19). When the builders made thetemple, they built the walls with stones. God now builds a *spiritual house. Hebuilds it with people. Here *spiritual means linked to God’s Spirit, not to aphysical building. This *spiritual house is the church. When people becomeChristians, they become part of the church. God is holy, so he wants to live inholy people (see chapter 1:15-16).

Christians are also ‘holy priests’. The Jewish priests were theonly people who could go into the temple. They worshipped God and prayed tohim. They sacrificed animals to God so that he would forgive sins. They went toGod on behalf of other people. Now Jesus has died on the cross to forgive sins.We do not need to sacrifice animals any more. Everyone can come to God throughJesus. ‘*Spiritual *sacrifices’ are what Christians offer to God. This showsGod that they love him. In the *New Testament there are 4 ways by whichChristians offer *sacrifices to God:

(1) They give their whole life to God (Romans 12:1).

(2) They *praise and thank God (Hebrews 13:15).

(3) They do good work and share what they have with other people(Hebrews 13:16).

(4) They support people who explain the good news about Jesus(Philippians 4:18).

Verses 6-8

These three verses are *Old Testament *prophecies about Jesus. A*prophecy is a message from God. Sometimes it describes what is going tohappen. These verses *prophesied that God would send Jesus. But the *Jews wouldrefuse to accept him. This happened. They did not accept Jesus asthe Christ (*Messiah).

‘Zion’ is the name of the hill where the *Jews built the temple.Zion is also another name for Jerusalem. God wanted all the *Jews to believe inJesus. He wanted them to be part of the church. In Matthew 21:42-45 Jesus saysthat the ‘builders’ were the *Jewish leaders. They did not accept Jesus, sothey are not part of his church. Jesus is the *cornerstone. He is the head ofthe church. A physical *cornerstone shows how straight a building should be. Inthe same way, Jesus shows what the church should be like. He shows howChristians should behave.

‘He will not disappoint anyone who believes in him’. Christiansshould never be ashamed to say that they trust in Jesus. They know howwonderful he is. Jesus is precious to God (verse 5) and he is precious toChristians.

Many people who believe in God do not accept Jesus. But onlyJesus gives *eternal life. People who choose not to follow Jesus will not bepart of his *spiritual house. They ‘trip’ and ‘fall’ when they refuse toreceive Jesus. This means that they will not receive *eternal life. They will notgo to heaven. People like that continue to do what is wrong. They ‘do notaccept God’s message’. God knew that this would happen before he sent Jesus tothis world.

Verse 9

In the *Old Testament, God chose the *Jews to be his specialpeople. In Exodus 19:5-6, God says that all the *Jews who obeyed his laws wouldbe his ‘royal priests’. And they would form a ‘holy nation’. Most of them didnot obey God. Now God has chosen everyone who trusts Jesus to form that specialnation (1 Peter 1:2). Jesus is their king. They belong to God, because Jesushas bought them at the price of his death (1:18-19). God wants Christians totell other people about him. Then those other people may become Christians too.

‘Darkness’ describes the time when people do not know about God.It also refers to *Satan and his works. People who come into God’s ‘wonderfullight’ understand about God, because they know Jesus. Jesus said, ‘I am thelight of the world’ (John 8:12).

Verse 10

Peter compares what people were like before and after theyaccepted Jesus. The words of this verse come from Hosea 2:23 (Paul gives afuller explanation in Romans 9:22-26). The *prophet Hosea had two children. Godcalled Hosea’s daughter ‘Lo-Ruhamah’, which means ‘no *mercy’. God calledHosea’s son ‘Lo-Ammi’, which means ‘not my people’ (Hosea 1:6-9). When peopleaccept Jesus, they receive God’s *mercy. Then they become ‘his people’, thepeople who belong to him. In the *Old Testament, God promised many good thingsto the *Jews. In verses 4-10, Peter says that God has now given these goodthings to the church.

In 1 Peter 1:1-2:10 Peter has been teaching about *salvation;what Jesus has done for people. Now he writes in a more practical way about howto live as a Christian.

Live good lives

Dear Christian friends, you are like foreigners who do not belong tothis world. I urge you not to give in to evil desires that fight against yourspirit.

v12 Live very good lives among people who are notChristians. Sometimes they will wrongly accuse you. They will say that you dobad things. But let them see your good behaviour. Then they will have to givehonour to God when he comes to judge the world.

Verse 11

Peter calls his readers ‘dear Christian friends’. He wants themto know that he loves them deeply. He reminds them again that their real homeis not in this world (1 Peter 1:1). ‘I urge you’ is a very strong phrase. Peterwants them to stop doing the evil things that they used to do (1 Peter 1:14).They have to fight against evil desires inside them. Galatians 5:13-25 explainsabout this fight. Christians become strong in their spirit as they fightagainst such desires. The Holy Spirit will help them to become holy (chapter1:2).

(Video) Overview: 1 Peter

Verse 12

Christians should live good lives wherever they go. ‘See yourgood behaviour’ describes how people watch Christians. People thinkabout how Christians behave. They do this for a long time, perhaps for manymonths or years. Sometimes people may wrongly accuse Christians of doingbad things. Or they may say bad things about them. Christians must alwaysbehave well, so that God will receive honour.

‘When he comes to visit’. The Bible often refers to a visit byGod. God ‘visits’ when he comes to comfort or deliver (Genesis 50:24), or topunish (Exodus 32:34). His final visit will be on the day of judgement. On thatday, even people who have not obeyed God will have to agree that he was right(Revelation 11:13).

Obey rulers and leaders

You must respect and obey everyone who has authority over other peoplein this world. This pleases God. A king is ruler over all his own people. v14But obey other leaders, too, because God has appointed them. Their job is topunish people who do what is wrong. They also *praise people who do what isright. v15 God wants you to do what is right. If you do this, foolishpeople will stop saying wrong things about you. v16 Live as free people.But do not use your freedom as an excuse for wicked behaviour. Instead, live asthose who are serving God. v17 Respect all people. Show special love toChristians. In everything, give honour to God. Respect the king.

Verses 13-15

Romans 13:1-2 says that all authority comes from God. So, ifChristians do not obey their leaders, they are not obeying God. When Peter andPaul were writing their letters, there was a bad emperor (ruler). His name wasNero. He ruled over many countries. He was an evil and severe man. Later hekilled many Christians. Usually Christians should respect and obey even badleaders, because that is what God wants. However, people should not obey a rulerwho tells them to do something evil (Acts 4:19; 5:27-29). You must also obeyyour leaders. A ruler appoints leaders to punish criminals and to *praise goodcitizens. God wants you to do what is right. Foolish people do not understandwhat God wants. Your good behaviour will make foolish people become silent. In1 Timothy 2:1-4 Paul says that Christians should pray for kings and allleaders.

Verse 16

Jesus has set Christians free from the power of *sin. But thisdoes not mean that that they can now do anything they like. They must obey Godand do what is right. But it does mean that *sin is no longer their boss. *Sincan still tempt them to do what is wrong. But they can refuse to *sin andchoose to do what is right. Christians are servants who belong to God. Paulexplains this in more detail in Romans 6.

Verse 17

When God created the world, he made people to be like him(Genesis 1:26). In John 3:16 Jesus says that God loves everyone in the world.This is why Christians must respect all people. The emperor Nero wanted allpeople to *worship him. Many people were afraid of him. Peter told his readersto respect rulers, but not to *worship them like God. *Worship is for Godalone.

Servants and masters

Servants, you must obey your masters and respect them. You must do thiswhether your master is good and kind or bad and unkind. v19 A personmight have to suffer when it is not fair. Keep loyal to God. This pleases him. v20If you do wrong things, you deserve punishment. There is no reason to *praiseyou, if you suffer the pain of this punishment. But if you suffer when you dogood things, you should keep quiet. Then God will bless you.

v21 This is howyou ought to behave because Christ suffered for you. He is a model for you tocopy. v22 ‘He (*Messiah) did not *sin. He did not say anythingwrong’(Isaiah 53:9).
v23 When people insulted Christ he did not insult them back. When hesuffered, he did not say bad things to them. Christ trusted God to judge whatwas right. v24 Christ carried our *sins in his body when he died on thecross. He did this, so that we can be dead to *sin. Now we can live a*righteous life. He accepted our punishment and he has healed us.

v25 You were like sheep that had lost their way. Nowyou have come back to the *Shepherd and he takes care of you.

Verses 18-24

A servant is someone who works for someone else. This otherperson pays the servants for their work. These verses are for all people whowork for an employer. Christians should behave better than other people,because they belong to Jesus.

Verse 18

When someone behaves badly to another person, it is natural to bebad in return. Christians have to be different, even if it is hard. In Matthew5:44-47 Jesus tells those who follow him to love their enemies. Christianstrust God because they know that he will judge all people in a fair way(chapter 1:17).

Verses 19-20

God does not make people suffer. It is wrong to punish someonewho does what is right. Sometimes it is unfair when Christians suffer. Yet, Godwants them to trust him. God blesses those who obey him.

Verse 21

Jesus did nothing wrong, yet he suffered. ‘A model for you tocopy’ describes the way that a person learned to write. He copied the teacher’swriting. Christians learn how to behave when they copy what Jesus did.

Verse 22

This is another *Old Testament *prophecy about Jesus

Verse 23

This is how Jesus behaved (Matthew 27:13-14). Christians mustfollow his example.

Verses 24-25

These verses use words from Isaiah 53:5-6, where they are a*prophecy about Jesus Christ. Verse 24 is a simple way to explain *salvation.*Sin is everything that people have done wrong against God or other people.Romans 6:23 says that the punishment for *sin is death. People deserve to die,because they have *sinned. Jesus himself never *sinned. Jesus carried the *sinsof every person, when he died on the cross. Jesus accepted the punishment forthese *sins. Jesus died instead of us. When anyone confesses that he or she has*sinned, Jesus forgives them. He makes them new. Their spirit was dead, but nowit is alive. They will live for ever. Now they can go on to live a holy life.Jesus can heal a person’s body and give life to their spirit.

‘You were like sheep that had lost their way’. Sheep wander overhills and fields. They are looking for grass to eat. Sheep often get lost andthe *shepherd has to search for them. Before people become Christians, they arelike sheep that are lost. They do not know how to live a good life. When people‘come back to the *Shepherd’, it means that they are now going to follow JesusChrist. He cares for them, because he is the good *shepherd (see John10:14-15).

Wives and husbands

You wives must respect and obey your own husbands. Some husbands do notobey God’s word. When they see your good behaviour, they will want to know God.This will happen, even if you have not spoken to them about God. v2 Theywill see that your lives are pure and full of respect. v3 Do not try tomake yourself look beautiful only on the outside. People do this by specialhair styles, by gold, or by expensive clothes. v4 Your beauty must comefrom the inside. This beauty comes from a gentle and quiet spirit. It willnever wear out. God says that it is very precious. v5 The holy women wholived a long time ago trusted in God. They made themselves beautiful in theirspirits. They respected and obeyed their own husbands. v6 Sarah obeyedher husband Abraham. She called him her master. You women should do what isright. Do not be afraid of anything. Then you will be daughters of Sarah. v7You husbands must live with your own wife in a way that shows that youunderstand her. Your wife has a weaker body than you have. You must honour her,because God has given both of you his gift of life. If you do this, it will notbe so difficult for you to pray together.

Marriage is very important to God. He created marriage. You canread about this at the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis 2:20-25. God decidedthat a husband is the head. His wife should respect and obey him. A husband hasmore responsibility than his wife has. This does not mean that men are moreimportant than women are. God loves everyone, but he does not give all peoplethe same work to do. When Peter wrote this letter, it was unusual for a wife tohave a different religion from her husband. Some women had become Christians,but their husbands had not. Peter had to explain how a Christian wife shouldbehave in that situation.

Verses 1-2

A Christian wife must live a holy life (1 Peter 1:15). She shouldrespect and obey her husband, even if he still does not obey God. But sometimesher husband may tell her to do something that is a *sin. This is the only timethat she must not obey him. A husband will see that his wife behaves betterbecause she is a Christian. One day he will want to know God too, but it maytake a long time. She should pray for her husband. She herself should live aholy life and trust God.

Verses 3-4

A woman can make herself beautiful on the outside. This is notwrong. However, a Christian woman should be beautiful in her spirit too. A‘gentle spirit’ means that she does not insist that she is always right. Shedoes not make other people do what she wants to do. She does not argue orfight. A ‘quiet spirit’ means that she is peaceful in her spirit. Then shehelps other people to feel peaceful too. This is what is important to God. 1Samuel 16:7 says that people decide what other people are like by what theylook like on the outside. But God looks at their spirit. Beautiful clothes willwear out. The good things in the spirit of a person will never wear out.

Verses 5-6

What Peter wrote in verses 1-4 is not new. It is true for allwomen in every country at all times. Abraham and Sarah lived nearly 2000 yearsbefore Peter wrote this letter. You can read about them in Genesis chapters11-25. Sarah was a holy woman, because she trusted God. She did what was right.‘She called him master’ means that she respected Abraham as her husband. ‘YouChristian women are daughters of Sarah’. This means that all women who trustGod are part of the same *spiritual family of God. Women who obey God will notbe afraid of anything.

Verse 7

The way that a husband behaves is also very important. Everyhusband should learn how to care for his wife. A man has a stronger body, sothat he can protect his wife. He must not think that it is bad that she isweaker. God decided to make men and women different. But they will receive anequal *inheritance from God (Galatians 3:27-29). ‘Gift of life’ refers to theirnew *spiritual life. A husband should honour and respect his wife, because sheis precious. If a husband behaves badly towards his wife, he does not obey God.It is difficult for people to pray together when they have *sin in their lives.

There is more teaching about husbands and wives in Ephesians5:21-33.

Suffering for doing good

Here is something else. You must all agree and sympathise with oneanother. Love each other because you are all members of the Christian family.Be kind and humble.

v9 You must not do evil things to a person who doesevil things to you. Do not insult people who insult you. Instead, you mustbless them. This is what God wants you to do. In that way you will receive his*blessing.

v10-12 The Biblesays:
‘If you want to enjoy life andhave good days,
then do not say evil things. Donot tell lies.

Do not do what is evil. Do what is good.
Look for peace and go after it.

The *Lord cares for everyone who obeys him. He listens totheir prayers.
But the *Lord opposes everyonewho does evil’ (Psalm 34:12-16).
v13 Who will hurt you, if you always want to do good things?

v14 However, youmay suffer even when you do what is right. But God will bless you. The Biblesays, ‘Do not be afraid and do not worry’ (Isaiah 8:12).
v15 Honour Christ in your heart as *Lord. People may ask you to explainthe *hope that you have. Always be ready to answer them. Answer them in agentle way and with respect. v16 Keep your conscience innocent.Sometimes people will say bad things about you, because you live a goodChristian life. But they will feel shame. v17 It is better for you tosuffer for doing right things than for doing wrong things. God may allow thisto happen.

v18 Christ suffered and died once. It was for alltime. He was not guilty of *sins. However, he died for everyone who is guiltyof *sin. Christ did this to bring you back to God. People killed his body, butthe Holy Spirit made him alive again.

v19 In the Spirit, Christ went and *preached to thespirits in prison. v20 A long time ago, they had refused to obey God.God was kind and waited while Noah built a big boat. Only 8 people did not diewhen God flooded the earth. God kept them safe as they came through the water.

v21 That water shows you what *baptism is like. Itsaves you. It does not save you because it washes dirt from your body. It savesyou because God forgives you. Now you come to God with a clean conscience. Itsaves you because Jesus Christ rose from death. v22 He has gone intoheaven now and is at the right hand of God. Even *angels, who have greatauthority and power, obey him.

Verse 8

Members of a family sometimes argue and fight. This can happeneven in a Christian family. God does not want this. People argue because theyare selfish and proud. Sometimes they do not love each other. Christians mustlearn to agree and not to argue. Humble people care more about other peoplethan they care about themselves. They are kind and do not fight.

Verse 9

It is quite easy to behave well when people are kind. When peoplebehave badly towards another person, that person’s natural reaction is to bebad in return. This is not what Jesus did (see chapter 2:23). Whatever otherpeople say, a Christian should always reply with good words. God only blessespeople when they do what is right.

Verses 10-12

To ‘enjoy life and have good days’ does not mean that Christianscan live without troubles in their lives. It means that God will care for them,if they live the right way. They should be careful what they say. SometimesChristians say evil things and tell lies. This causes trouble. Instead, they mustdo and say things that encourage peace. Then God will listen to their prayersand help them. If they live the wrong way, then God will oppose them. Theirlives will not be happy.

Verses 13-14

When people do what is right, they usually receive *praise (1 Peter2:14). Christians should always do what is right. This is important, even ifthey suffer for it. Christians are not to be afraid of anything. Nothing cantake away the Christian’s *blessings. God cares for everyone who does what isright.

Verse 15

Christ is *Lord of all circumstances. He has all authority. Thepeople who do bad things to Christians are not in control. Christians shouldalways trust Christ. Other people will notice this. They may ask you about this‘*hope’ that you say you have. Sure *hope in Jesus Christ is what makesChristians different from other people. You can tell them that Jesus Christdied to forgive our *sins. Christians who suffer can explain about their*inheritance in heaven (1 Peter 1:2-5). Christians should be kind and patientas they answer, because only God can change a person’s outlook.

Verse 16

‘Conscience’ is the part of people that feels guilty when they dowrong things. If people obey God, their conscience will be innocent. Christiansshould not worry when people oppose them. One day God will give these people aguilty conscience, because they have spoken what is wrong.

Verse 17

God sometimes allows even good people to suffer. They mustcontinue to trust God. This will show that they have a genuine *faith in God(chapter 1:7). Suffering is the right punishment only when a person does evil.

Verse 18

This is another verse that explains the good news about Jesus ina very simple way. God is holy. *Sin separates people from God. The punishmentfor *sin is death (Romans 6:23). Jesus died to forgive *sins. Jesus himself didnot *sin. But he died to take away the *sins of other people. Men killed hisbody, but he did not stay dead. He rose from death and God made him alive with*spiritual life. Now people can have a relationship with God again.

Verses 19-21

The story about Noah and the flood is in Genesis 6:11-9:17. Noahwas a *righteous man, but the rest of the people at that time were wicked. Goddecided to destroy the wicked people. He told Noah to build a big boat. He waspatient while Noah took many years to build it. Then God flooded the world andall the wicked people drowned. God kept 8 people safe in the boat until theflood was over. These 8 people were Noah and his wife, their three sons andtheir wives.

Verses 19-20

(Video) 1 Peter Introduction Free Bible Commentary With Pastor Teacher, Dr Bob Utley

In his second letter, Peter says that Noah was a *preacher ofright behaviour (2 Peter 2:5). The Holy Spirit spoke through Noah. He warnedthe people to stop their wicked behaviour. But they would not obey God, so theydied in the flood. When Christ rose from death, he went and *preached to thespirits in prison. The ‘prison’ refers to the place of dead people.

Verse 21

*Baptism does not make someone a Christian. Their *faith in JesusChrist does. But *baptism is a sign of what has happened. The water is like theflood that washed away all the evil in the days of Noah. The boat is like*salvation that saves people from death. A Christian comes out of the *baptismwater and begins a new life. When people put their trust in Jesus, God forgivestheir *sins. That takes away their bad conscience. Because Jesus rose fromdeath, he gives *eternal life to those who trust him.

Verse 22

God lives in heaven. God is a spirit. He does not have a body.Jesus is now ‘at the right hand of God’. This means that Jesus has the samepower and authority as God. Even powerful *angels with great authorityare under his control.

Living for God

Christ suffered while he was in his human body. Each one of youChristians must be ready to suffer as he did. If you suffer as a Christian itshows that you do not want to *sin any more. v2 You will do what Godwants for the rest of your life on earth. v3 In the past you spentenough time doing evil things. Then you were behaving in the same way as peoplewho are not Christians. You followed your evil desires. You took part in wrongacts of sex. You drank too much alcohol. You went to noisy parties and ate anddrank too much. You had fights. You even *worshipped *idols. v4 Now yousurprise your former friends because you refuse to behave the same way as theydo. So now they curse you. v5 But they will have to answer to God. Hejudges the people who are alive and those who have died. v6 This is whythe good news of Jesus has reached people who are now dead. After God judgesthem for what they have done in this life, their spirits will live with God.

Verses 1-2

Peter now continues what he started to say in chapter 3:18.Christ is the model. He lived to do what God wanted. Christians must do thesame, even if they suffer for it as Jesus did (chapter 2:21-23). They willchange the way they think and feel too. When people suffer as Christians, itshows how much they love God. They want to obey God and do what is right. Theydo not want to *sin any more. Romans 6:6-7 says that, when people becomeChristians, Jesus frees them from the power of *sin. They must make use of thispower not to *sin and do what is right.

Verse 3

Peter is writing this letter to *Jews and Gentiles who havebecome Christians. ‘Gentile’ is the name that the *Jews gave to anyone who wasnot a *Jew. The Gentiles did not know about the only real God, nor his laws inthe *Old Testament. Instead, they *worshipped many false gods. As a result,they lived evil lives. An ‘idol’ is a piece of stone or wood that peoplebelieve is their god. But an idol can also be anything that a person loves morethan they love God.

Verse 4

When people become Christians, their lives change. This happensbecause the Spirit of Jesus is now in them. They give up their evil behaviour.Now they *worship God, who is the Father of Jesus Christ. People who are notChristians cannot understand why their former companions have completelychanged. In John 3:19-21, Jesus says that people who do what is evil hate thelight. Christians now have the light of Jesus in their lives. Other people mayhate and insult them because of this.

Verse 5

Peter’s readers knew that Jesus would return. They expected thisto happen before they died. But many people had already died. It does notmatter whether people are dead or alive when Jesus returns. That is when Godwill judge what every person has said and done.

Verse 6

In the beginning, God created Adam. Adam *sinned. God judgedAdam’s *sin and punished Adam with death (Genesis chapters 2-3). All people diebecause of Adam’s *sin (Romans 5:12). But Jesus came to this world. Godpunished Jesus for people’s *sins. Every person’s physical body still dies. ButGod gives *eternal life to people who believe and trust Jesus (John 3:16). Thisgood news is for everyone. God saves people from the result of *sin because ofwhat Jesus has done.

The time is near when all things will end. Have a clear mind. Keepyourself under control so that you can pray. v8 It is most importantthat you continue to love one another deeply. Love hides many *sins. v9Be ready to welcome one another into your homes. Do not be unwilling to dothis. v10 God has given each person a gift. Use this gift to serve otherpeople. When you use God’s various gifts in this way, you will be like his goodservants. v11 If you have a gift to speak, use it to *preach God’smessage. If you have a gift to help other people, do it with the strength thatGod gives. Do everything in a way that brings honour to God through JesusChrist. *Glory and power belong to him always. *Amen.

Verse 7

Peter writes, ‘The time is near when all things will end’. Hewrote these words almost 2000 years ago. We do not know when the end will come.But one day it will. It may happen while we ourselves are still alive. So wemust always be ready. All Christians should think clearly about their dailybehaviour. They should live in the way that God wants. This will help theirprayers. Then they will be ready to meet Jesus when he comes back.

Verse 8

This kind of deep love is God’s kind of love (see chapter 1:22).It is more than just good feelings that last only for a time. Christians shouldcontinue to love one another deeply, even when it is difficult. ‘Love hidesmany *sins’ (Proverbs 10:12). Christians should not tell everyone when peopledo something wrong. However, Christians should not excuse people when they*sin. Nor should they think that any *sin does not matter. Instead, Christiansshould be ready to forgive other people and to help them to do what is right.

Verse 9

One way that Christians can show their love is to invite peopleinto their homes. It may involve hard work. But they should be happy to helpother people and should not complain. They should do this even if the Christianis a stranger. He may have travelled from a different place. Remember that Godis the Father of all Christians. All Christians belong to the same family.

Verses 10-11

God has made everyone able to do something. This is your ‘gift’.Often God gives people more than one gift. There are various gifts. The *Greekword for ‘various’ means ‘of many colours’. Together, God desires the gifts toproduce a beautiful pattern.

Christians should not be selfish, because God wants them to helpeach other. They must not expect the leaders of a church to do all the work.Paul taught more about this in Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12.

Peter mentions two sorts of gifts. There are gifts where peoplespeak. Also, there are gifts where people serve in a practical way. Some peopleare able to teach and *preach. Some can *prophesy or speak wise words. However,all these words must be about the truth that comes from God. Other people can dopractical things to help. God gives them the strength to do this work. No oneshould be proud. People should depend on God. Then everyone will *praise Godfor what he does. Peter ends these verses with *praise to God. ‘*Amen’ means ‘Iagree’.

Suffering as a Christian

Dear Christian friends, do not be surprised when painful troubles cometo test you. Do not think that something strange is happening to you. v13Instead, be happy when you suffer as Christ did. Then when he comes again inhis *glory, you will be full of joy.

v14 People may curse you because you are a Christian.But God will bless you. The Spirit of *glory and of God is with you. v15If you suffer, it must not be because you have murdered someone. It should notbe because you are a thief, a criminal or someone who makes trouble in otherpeople’s lives. v16 If you suffer because you are a Christian, do not beashamed. *Praise God that you are a Christian.

v17 The time has come for judgement to begin. Godwill judge first the people who belong to him. God will judge even usChristians. We do not know what bad things will happen to the people who do notobey the good news from God.

v18 The Biblesays,
‘It is difficult for even a*righteous person to have *salvation. What will happen to the wicked person andthe *sinner?’ (Proverbs 11:31)
v19 If God allows you to suffer although you are a Christian, continueto trust him. God created the world and he is loyal. So, continue to do what isright.

Verse 12

‘Dear Christian friends’. Peter loves and cares about the peopleto whom he is writing. Again, he says that Christians should not be surprisedwhen they have painful troubles. The *Greek word for ‘painful’ means ‘burning’.Painful troubles are like the fire that tests the gold of *faith (see chapter1:7). Difficulties are an opportunity for a Christian to show real trust inGod.

Verse 13

When people suffer because they are Christians, they can havejoy. They know what will happen in the future. They suffer as Christ did whenhe was in the world. When he returns, they will have a share in his *glory.Then they will be full of joy.

Verse 14

God blesses Christians when people curse them. Peter calls theHoly Spirit ‘the Spirit of *glory and of God’. All Christians have the HolySpirit in their lives. When Jesus returns, all Christians will have a share ofGod’s *glory. But those who suffer because they are Christians have specialhelp from the Holy Spirit now.

Verse 15

Christians know that it is wrong to murder or to steal. These areamong the 10 commands that God gave to Moses (Exodus 20). It is also wrong to‘make trouble in other people’s lives’. That means being too interested insomeone’s personal affairs.

Verse 16

Not everyone will suffer as a Christian. If you do, that is noreason to be ashamed. Philippians 2:9-11 says that, in the end, everyone willhave to agree that Jesus Christ is *Lord. Christians can thank God now thatJesus Christ died to forgive their *sins and to give them new life. They arehappy to know that he is their *Lord.

Verses 17-18

‘Judgement’ is the act of judging. God will judge people by hisstandards of what is right and wrong. Then he will reward or punish eachperson. It is not easy to live a Christian life. God wants Christians to bepure. He allows them to have troubles. These troubles test their trust in Godand make it more pure. But many people do not trust Jesus or obey him. Theirlives are full of what is bad. They are wicked people. If they do not acceptJesus, it will be awful for them when God comes to judge them. God will notforgive them. In Matthew 18:9 Jesus says they will go to ‘the fire of hell’.This describes their terrible fate.

Verse 19

Christians cannot always understand what God allows to happen.However, they must continue to trust him and to do what is right. God createdthe whole world and everything and everybody in it. So he has very great power.God is ‘loyal’. This means that he will use his power to care for all who puttheir trust in him. He will never fail them. He will always do what is good forthem.

Elders and young men

So, I want to encourage the elders among you. I also am an elder. Iactually saw Christ when he suffered. When he shows his *glory to us, I shalltake part in it. v2 Take care of the people that God gives you to lead.Do this in the same way that a *shepherd cares for his sheep. Do it because youwant to please God. Do not do it because you must. Do this work because youwant to serve. Do not do it for the money. v3 Do not try to rule overthe people that you are responsible for. Instead, show them how to live by thegood way that you live. v4 Christ is the Chief *Shepherd who will comeback again. When he comes you will receive a crown of *glory. This crown willnever lose its beauty.

v5 All the younger people should respect and obeytheir leaders. All of you should be humble with one another. The Bible says:‘God opposes proud people. But he gives *grace to those who are humble’(Proverbs 3:34). v6 Be humble under the strong hand of God. When theright time comes, he will lift you up.

v7 Give all your worries to God, because he caresabout you.

v8 Be ready for action and be careful to keep watch.The devil is your enemy. He is like a lion. A lion walks about and looks forsomeone to eat. v9 Oppose him and be strong in your *faith. Rememberthat Christians in all parts of the world suffer as you do.

v10 God is the God of all *grace. He called you totake part in the *glory of Christ. This *glory will never end. So when you havesuffered for a short time, God will put things right. He will make you strongand firm, so that you will not fall. v11 God always has the power.*Amen.

Verse 1

‘Elders’ are the leaders of local churches. It does not mean thatthey are very old people. They have much experience as Christians and are wiseand mature. In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 there is a list of the qualitiesthat an elder should have. Peter was an elder. He had experience of all thethings that he writes about. He wants to encourage other elders and to helpthem to do their work better. Peter was one of the 12 *apostles, so he saweverything that happened to Jesus. At first, he was afraid to suffer when thesoldiers arrested Jesus. He even said that he did not know Jesus (Luke22:54-62). Later he was much bolder. *Jewish priests put him into prisonbecause he continued to teach about Jesus (Acts 5:17-42). We know from otherearly writers that Peter died as a Christian. He knew that he would take partin the *glory when Jesus comes back. He had already seen some of the *glory ofJesus when he was on a mountain with him (Matthew 17:1-13).

Verse 2

In several places, the Bible says that God is a *shepherd. Itsays that God’s people are sheep. This describes how God cares for people.Psalm 23 describes this well. A *shepherd leads his sheep. They follow himbecause they trust him. They recognise his voice when he calls them. He makessure that the sheep have enough to eat. He searches for any sheep that getlost. If they are hurt or sick, he helps them to get well again. The *shepherdprotects his sheep from wild animals that want to kill them.

An elder leads the church as a *shepherd leads the sheep. Theelders should care for the people that they lead. Elders feed people when theyteach them what the Bible says. Some people turn away from God. The elders canhelp them to come back to God again. Elders can also pray for sick people andask God to heal them (James 5:14). They must help to protect Christians fromthe devil when he attacks them.

It is not easy to be an elder. People must be sure that God wantsthem to do this work. They should be willing to do it. If someone tries to makethem do it, that is wrong. A good elder really wants to serve other people. Hewants to help them to know God better.

1 Timothy 5:17-18 says that they deserve pay for the work thatthey do. But it is wrong to do the work just to get money.

Verse 3

Some elders become proud and think that they are the boss. Theyare severe with people. They make rules for people to obey. Jesus was not likethat. The way that he lived is a model for all Christians to follow.

Verse 4

Jesus is the Chief *Shepherd. All elders are under his authority.Elders will get rewards when Jesus returns. People in the country of Greeceused to love athletics. They put a ‘crown’ on the winner’s head. They made thecrown from a circle of leaves. But the leaves died and the crown did not lastvery long. God will reward elders for what they do. They will receive a crownof *glory from Christ as their reward. This will last for ever and will nevervanish.

Verse 5

‘Younger people’ may mean those who are younger in age. Or it maymean people who have not been Christians for very long. Remember that God givesauthority. Younger people should respect and obey their leaders. This pleasesGod. ‘Be humble’ is a special *Greek word. It describes how a slave put a clothround his body before he served his master. Jesus did this when he washed thefeet of his *apostles (John 13:4-15). No one should be proud. The leaders whohave authority should not be proud.

‘God is against proud people’. Proud people think that they arebetter and more important than other people. Jesus told a story about peoplewho wanted other people to honour them (see Luke 14:7-11). Humble Christiansserve other people. They trust God. They tell people what God has done forthem. They give God honour. So, God reaches out and is kind to humble people.He gives them all that they need.

Verse 6

‘The strong hand of God’ is picture language for the power anddiscipline of God. Christians must accept all that God allows to happen tothem. One day God will lift them up and give them honour. He will decide whenit is the right time. No one knows when this will happen. It may not be untilChrist returns.

Verse 7

(Video) 1 Peter 1:13-17 sermon by Dr. Bob Utley

‘Give all your worries to God’. Christians do this when they tellGod what worries them. Then they must trust that God will give them what theyneed in every situation. Jesus teaches about this in Matthew 6:25-34. Many ofPeter’s readers may have worried about suffering as Christians. God loves andcares for Christians, even when he allows them to suffer.

Verses 8-9

Christians cannot be lazy when they have given their worries toGod. The devil always looks for people to attack. Christians must be ready foraction. ‘The devil is your enemy’ because he opposes Christians. He wants themto fail. A lion is a fierce animal that kills and eats other animals. It caneven attack and eat people. A lion usually looks for weaker animals, becausethey are easier to catch. It attacks them when they do not expect it. The devilbehaves like this, so Christians must be ready for him. He does not eat theirbody, but he wants to kill their spirit. He accuses them and makes other peopleaccuse them too. However, Christians must fight the devil and not give in tohim. Another name for the devil is ‘Satan’. Christians must trust God and bestrong. Peter wants to encourage his readers. He tells them that they are notthe only people who suffer. Many other Christians suffer too. Often it can helppeople if they know this.

Verses 10-11

All *grace comes from God. God wants Christians to take part inthe *glory of Christ. The attacks of the devil will not last for ever.Christians will not suffer for ever, but the *glory of Christ will never end.God will stop their suffering and put things right. They do not know when thiswill happen. It may be in this life. It may be when they die and go to livewith God. The devil wants Christians to fail, but God helps them to be strong.

Final greeting

Silas has helped me to write this short letter to you. He is a loyalChristian brother.

I want to encourage you and tellyou about the true *grace of God. Stand firm in this *grace.

v13 God has also chosen the church in the city ofBabylon. They want to send a greeting to you and so does my son Mark. v14Greet each other with the kiss of Christian love. I pray for God’s peace forall of you who are Christians.

Verse 12

Silas was a leader with Peter in the church at Jerusalem (Acts15:22). ‘Christian brother’ means another member of the Christian family. Peterwrote this letter for two reasons. He wanted to encourage the Christians whowere suffering. He also wanted to tell them more about the *grace of God.Christians will trust God more when they realise how much he loves them. Theywill not turn from God.

Verse 13

Babylon was the name of an ancient city. About 600 years earlier,the king of Babylon attacked the *Jews and carried them away to Babylon (seeexplanation of 2:4-10). The *Jews never forgot how they suffered in a foreignland. Christians in the church at Rome were now suffering too. So they used‘Babylon’ as their secret name for Rome. Peter probably visited Rome. He mayhave written this letter in Rome. The church there wanted to send theirgreetings to other Christians who were suffering.

Mark is John Mark in Acts 12:12, 25. Peter probably calls him ‘myson’ because Peter helped him to become a Christian. Mark was not Peter’s realson.

Verse 14

Christians used to greet each other with a kiss. Peter wants themto continue this friendly greeting. Peter sends a greeting of peace to theChristians at the end of his letter. This is how he began his letter, inchapter 1:2. Because of Christ, Christians can know God’s gift of peace intheir lives, even in difficult times.

altar ~ a table (usually stone) where Jewish priestsburned animals as a sacrifice to God [see Jews/Jewish; sacrifice].

Amen ~ a word that means we agree, or it is true, or letit be so.

angel ~ a servant of God who brings messages from heaven.

apostle ~ one of the 12 men whom Jesus chose to teachabout him.

baptism, baptise ~ to put a person into water, or putwater on a person, to show that they belong to Jesus Christ.

blessing ~ good things that God does for us.

cornerstone ~ a special stone that controls the design ofa building and holds it together.

eternal life ~ life of a new quality for those who believein Jesus. This new life is to be with Jesus for ever.

faith ~ trust in God and in Jesus his Son.

glory ~ all that makes God beautiful and great.

grace ~ a gift from God that we do not deserve and cannever earn.

Greek ~ the original language of the New Testament [seeNew Testament].

Hebrew ~ the language of the Jews and of the Old Testament[see Jews; Old Testament].

hope ~ to expect something that God has promised.

idol ~ a piece of stone or wood that people believe istheir god.

inheritance ~ a legal gift of property after the owner’sdeath.

Jews/Jewish ~ people who were born from Abraham, Isaac andJacob and their children.

Lord ~ a name we call God or Jesus when we do what theysay.

mercy ~ when God forgives bad people and does not punishthem; God’s love and goodness; to be kind to someone who does wrong to showthat we love them.

Messiah ~ God’s special servant; the name God chose forJesus Christ; God promised the Jews that the Messiah would save them. But theydid not believe that Jesus was the Messiah; Christ is the Greek word for theHebrew word Messiah [see Jews; Greek; Hebrew].

New Testament ~ the last part of the Bible, which thewriters wrote after the life of Jesus on earth. It is about Jesus’ works andthe things he taught and about the church [see church].

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible; the holythings that the writers wrote before Jesus’ birth.

Pentecost ~ the time each year when the Jews thank God forthe harvest [see Jews].

praise ~ when we say good things about God or about aperson.

preach ~ to tell and explain to people the good news aboutJesus Christ.

prophecy ~ words that God gives a prophet to say [seeprophet].

prophesy ~ speak a prophecy.

prophet ~ person who says what God wants; he can sometimessay what will happen in the future (prophesy).

reveal ~ to show us something that was a secret.

righteous ~ being right with God.

sacrifice ~ to ask God to forgive sins by killing aspecial animal and burning it on an altar [see altar; sin].

salvation ~ when God saves a person from the results oftheir sin [see sin].

Satan ~ a name of the chief evil spirit.

shepherd ~ a person who looks after sheep.

sin ~ all that people do wrong against God or otherpeople; the evil that is in us.

spiritual ~ to do with a person’s spirit, not theirphysical body; to do with God’s Spirit or heaven, not this earth.

worship ~ to show honour to God and to tell him that welove him very much.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary ~ IVP

The New Bible Commentary ~ IVP

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (on CD Rom)

Wayne Grudem ~ 1 Peter ~ Tyndale New Testament Commentaries

The New Bible Dictionary ~ IVP

W.E. Vine ~ Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon

Alan Richardson ~ A Theological Word Book of the Bible

Collins Cobuild English Dictionary

The NIV Study Bible

For the computer ~ Logos Bible Software 2.1

© 1999-2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

December 2001

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.bible


What is the main message of 1 Peter? ›

1 Peter is a powerful letter written to persecuted Gentile Christians, reminding them that they are chosen by God and have a future hope in Jesus. Peter offers hope to persecuted Christians and guides them with practical instruction on following Jesus.

What is the meaning of 1st Peter chapter 1? ›

The apostle Peter writes this letter both to comfort believers and to encourage them to stay strong. He urges them to put all their hope in their perfect future with Christ, and to obey and trust Him in the present, even in their suffering.

What does it mean in 1st Peter? ›

First Peter focuses on the importance of believers bearing up under unjust suffering yet continuing to live well (1 Peter 2:20). In this way, 1 Peter might be called the Job of the New Testament, providing encouragement for the true believer to continue on in the way that Jesus has laid out for all His followers.

What did Peter tell his readers on suffering or enduring? ›

Arm Yourselves Likewise with the Same Mind” In speaking about Christ's suffering, Peter taught his readers that they should arm themselves with the same attitude He had and be ready to suffer as well.

What kinds of suffering does 1 Peter talk about? ›

It is easy to identify suffering in our own lives and in our society. Medical diagnoses lead to physical suffering, lost jobs and poverty lead to economical suffering, prejudice leads to social and emotional suffering. Jesus promises that those who follow him will experience suffering.

What does First Peter teach us about the church? ›

1 Peter 5. The elders of the Church are to watch over the flock with the same care as the chief Shepherd. The righteous will receive a crown of glory. Peter encouraged Saints to cast all their care upon the Lord and to be strengthened by His grace so they could remain steadfast in the faith.

Who is Peter speaking to in 1st Peter? ›

1 Peter is addressed to the "elect resident aliens" scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The five areas listed in 1:1 as the geographical location of the first readers were Roman provinces in Asia Minor.

Why does Peter call God Father and judge? ›

We are saved; we are secure. But this is not a Father who smiles and nods approvingly at every choice we make. He judges our conduct impartially and individually. In other words, He judges our actions with absolute fairness and with complete understanding of each of us specifically.

Who is talking in 1 Peter? ›

The opening line of 1 Peter identifies it as a letter from “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those chosen, living as exiles dispersed abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…” (1:1, CSB).

Why was it important that St Peter received this message from God first? ›

Why was it important that St. Peter received this message from god first? Because he was already a leader of the church. He was the first Pope and therefore he could use his teaching authority to to bring the other apostles an understanding of the mission to the gentiles.

What did Peter preach in his first speech? ›

This led to his first speech on the day of Pentecost. Peter told his hearers that it was unlikely that they would be drunk at the third hour of the day, that is, 9.00am. He made references to the Old Testament to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah.

What was Peter's vision and what did it mean? ›

The vision Peter saw in Acts 10 was a type of prophetic revelation, exposing God's will for the body of Christ from that time onward. It was not a prophecy in the form of an utterance, like those of Israel's prophets.

Who did Peter make his final denial to? ›

While the first denial is made to a maid as in Mark and Matthew, Peter's denial at that time is that he does not know Jesus, which is the last denial in the other two versions (see Luke 22:57).

What did Peter feel when he denied Jesus? ›

Following the arrest of Jesus, Peter denied knowing him three times, but after the third denial, he heard the rooster crow and recalled the prediction as Jesus turned to look at him. Peter then began to cry bitterly.

What was Peter doing with a sword? ›

It is claimed to be the sword with which the Apostle Peter cut off the right ear of the high priest's servant at the time of Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane. The sword is wide-tipped, similar in shape to a dussack or machete.

What is God's purpose in suffering? ›

Suffering as a Tool of Sanctification

Suffering causes our focus to turn inward, to face those parts of ourselves we might otherwise ignore. God can use suffering then to develop us into better people: the people who can love and enjoy Him forever (Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4).

What is the author worried about in 1 Peter? ›

1 Peter. The First Letter of Peter, addressed to persecuted Christians living in five regions of Asia Minor, exhorts the readers to emulate the suffering Christ in their distress, remembering that after his Passion and death Jesus rose from the dead and is now in glory.

What hardships did Peter face? ›

The stories of Peter's mistakes often are in the forefront: when he lost faith and sank when walking on water toward Jesus in Matthew 14:22-33; and when Peter denies knowing Christ three times in John 18:15-27. Yet the high points of Peter's leadership also are known.

Why is Peter so important to the church? ›

Peter was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Roman Catholic tradition holds that Jesus established St. Peter as the first pope (Matthew 16:18). Jesus also gave him “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19), which is why he is often depicted at the gates of heaven in art and popular culture.

What did Jesus mean when he said he would build his church on Peter? ›

The rock upon which Jesus would build his church could refer to Peter, since Jesus changed Peter's name to "petros" meaning "rock." This would make Peter the foundation of the church.

Why did Peter fall into the water? ›

14:28–29.) Peter left the boat and, like Jesus, walked on the water. But when Peter's attention was diverted from his Master to the buffeting winds around him, his faith began to weaken, and he began to sink helplessly into the water. He cried out, appealing to Jesus for help.

Why did Jesus chose Peter as a leader? ›

Peter was always the first on the list of apostles. Always present in pivotal moments and was always one who would speak up with questions and comments about what unfolded around Him. At some level, Peter must have had the ability to influence others and lead. This characteristic may have been why Jesus called him.

What is the theology of Peter? ›

The faith of the writer of I Peter is that God has come in Jesus Christ in order to give meaning and direction to the lives of the Christians who suffer. Through Jesus Christ, the blameless and stainless lamb, the Holy One has become the Revealer (1:13, 19).

Why did Jesus call Simon as Peter? ›

Simon became one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Jesus changed his name to Peter which means “rock”. Jesus said that one day he would give Peter a very special job. Peter promised to always be there for Jesus.

What Peter means? ›

Peter is a common masculine given name. It is derived from Greek Πέτρος, Petros (an invented, masculine form of Greek petra, the word for "rock" or "stone"), which itself was a translation of Aramaic Kefa ("stone, rock"), the new name Jesus gave to apostle Simon Bar-Jona. An Old English variant is Piers.

What were Peter's strengths and weaknesses? ›

  • Headstrong/speaking before thinking (Mark 8:32-33, Mark 9:5) – Peter often spoke before he thought. ...
  • Weak in the flesh (though strong with the Spirit) (Mark 14:37-42, 14:66-72) – Peter had a strong Spirit and was committed to Christ. ...
  • Inconsistency – As Peter was growing in the Lord he was inconsistent.

What are the virtues of Peter? ›

Peter includes some virtues from other New Testament lists, but there are also a handful of unique items to this list.
  • Faith with virtue. ...
  • Virtue with knowledge. ...
  • Knowledge with self-control. ...
  • Self-control with steadfastness. ...
  • Steadfastness with godliness. ...
  • Godliness with brotherly affection. ...
  • Brotherly affection with love.
19 Mar 2018

What 3 ways did Peter deny? ›

First denial: A girl at the door to the courtyard (John 18:17). Second denial: A servant girl, by the fire in the courtyard (Matthew 26:69, Mark 14:66, Luke 22:56). Third denial: A man by the fire in the courtyard (Luke 22:58).

How do we deny Jesus like Peter? ›

Like Peter, we also try to “keep you from the cross,”—that is, we deny the necessity, sufficiency, and wonder of your death for us at Calvary.

What does a rooster symbolize in the Bible? ›

In Christian tradition, the rooster is the symbol of Christ, like the eagle and the lamb, particularly emphasizing the solar symbolism, light and resurrection. As Christ, the rooster announces the light that follows the night.

What can we learn from Peter's denial? ›

According to Hebrews 12:15 there is only one failure you need to fear ... “Be careful that no one fails to receive the grace of God.” When you and I fail, we need to repent and confess our failure ... then receive the amazing grace of God and be restored ... then go and let God's grace flow through us to others.

Did Peter repent after he denied Jesus? ›

Peter was faithful unto death, by repenting him of his sins. and Peter went out, and wept bitterly; so Peter repented with a faithful repentance. Then Peter said unto them, 'Repent and be baptised every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, ​and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost.

What was the reason why Peter denied Jesus? ›

It's commonly held that Peter denied Jesus out of abject fear. Like the other disciples, he had heard Jesus' explanation of His coming death and yet reacted as one using trauma coping mechanisms.

Why does Peter have a knife? ›

Peter's Dagger or Knife

In keeping with New Testament accounts of the actual Last Supper and events afterward, Peter's holding a knife (at the table) is thought to symbolize his attack, several hours later, on an enslaved man in the party that arrested Christ.

Why did Peter have a knife? ›

In the storyline, Peter has the knife because he knows danger is coming and he is prepared for it. He is trying to warn Mary/John about that danger, and she is listening calmly. He deliberately made a hand that was positioned at Judas' back.

What did Jesus mean when he said to buy a sword? ›

Formerly, when the Disciples had gone out, on mission, they had not lacked anything. Now they would need a purse, a bag and even a sword. The saying is heavily ironical, for Jesus knew that now He would have to face universal opposition and be put to death.

Why did Peter wrote 1 Peter 1? ›

He wrote to strengthen and encourage the Saints in the “trial of [their] faith” (1 Peter 1:7) and to prepare them for a future “fiery trial” (1 Peter 4:12). Peter's message also taught them how to respond to persecution (see 1 Peter 2:19–23; 3:14–15; 4:13).

What is the meaning of 1 Peter 1 3? ›

What does 1 Peter 1:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑] Peter shows us an appropriate response to God's great mercy to us: praise. Specifically, he blesses God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is one being, in three persons.

What does eye single to my glory mean? ›

As long as the natural eyes are unimpaired, men can see and be guided by the light of day; and as long as the spiritual eyes are single to the glory of God—that is, as long as they are undimmed by sin and are focused solely on righteousness—men can view and understand the things of the Spirit.”

What did God mean when he said he made man in his image? ›

The term has its roots in Genesis 1:27, wherein "God created man in his own image. . ." This scriptural passage does not mean that God is in human form, but rather, that humans are in the image of God in their moral, spiritual, and intellectual nature.

Who is the ungodly man? ›

An Ungodly Man is one that is Graceless who has no spiritual Life in him, and therefore unregenerated, not partaking of the Divine Na|ture.


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