1. 1 Peter 1:1-2 (ESV) 1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
RAF: Our election and sanctification are not things done in a vacuum, or unattached to anything else. There is a purpose behind them. Here, the stated purpose is for “obedience to Jesus Christ.” Obedience – not to the Law, not to an external code, but to Christ Himself. A personal obedience. An obedience born of love rather than mere duty.
2. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV) 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
RAF: Our being born again is not the end, but the beginning. We are born TO – a living hope. Hope beyond this life, and stretching into the full eternity of the next. He has made us into new creatures that we might be inheritors of what He has stored up for us. Things which:
a. Are IMPERISHABLE – Can NEVER die or end.
b. Are UNDEFILED – Are possessed of absolutely no corruption whatever – nothing which makes them less than absolutely perfect in every way.
c. UNFADING – Are perennially fresh and new. Never losing their luster and shine.
Now THAT, is worth living for!
3. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV) 6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
RAF: Now trials themselves are indeed grievous – even though in Christ, they yield much, rich fruit. Christians do not live as though trials are not painful. We live authentically. They DO grieve us. But not like they grieve those who have no sense of the goodness of God in them and behind them.
And note that the tested genuineness of our faith may not seem to be more precious than gold to us – but it is to our God. He values above all to be believed and trusted by His own. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. With faith, it is impossible to displease Him. The intimacy of love requires trust. We can and will only know Him to the degree that we absolutely believe Him, and trust Him. Oh Lord – increase our faith. Increase MY – faith!
4. 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV) 13Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
RAF: “Therefore” – in other words, since verses 1-12 are true, we learn that: One cannot live well in this life, unless they are living with their eye fixed upon the next. If we are not living FOR the return of Christ, then we will never be ready to act properly given the stresses and concerns of this present age, nor will we be sober-minded in the face of all that confronts us. This comes only from having this future perspective rooted firmly in us. The song writer was correct when he wrote:
This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
The question is then – are we living for eternity now? Or just for today?