1 Peter 1:1-2; 5:12-14 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. Peter is writing as “an apostle of Jesus Christ.” What do you know about the role of the apostles? Note John 13:16,20 and John 14:26 (printed below)

I tell you the truth, a servant is not greater than his master; neither is a messenger (literally, an apostle) greater than the one who sent him…(20) I tell you the truth, whoever receives anyone whom I send is receiving me; and whoever receives me is receiving the one who sent me. (John 13:16,20)

…the Counselor whom the Father will send in my name—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you all things and remind you of everything that I said to you. (John 14:26)

An apostle was personally commissioned by Christ to be His ambassador, His spokesman; one through whom Christ Himself speaks (note John 13:16,20). The apostles were anointed with the Holy Spirit to communicate the Word of God (note John 14:26).

2. How does Peter identify the Christian in verse one (printed below?)

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have been chosen by God and who are refugees of the Dispersion, residing in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (1 Peter 1:1)

Peter identifies Christians as those “who have been chosen by God.” By way of illustration: When a nation has an election, they choose a man to serve in public office; that man does not merely claim the office on his own initiative, he is given that position by those who have elected him. Likewise, the Scriptures teach that God redeems those whom He has sovereignly chosen to save out of the fallen race of humanity, and those whom He has elected He brings to Christ—in the matter of salvation, as in everything else, it is God who has the first and the last word.

3. What do you think Peter means when he describes these Christian people as being “refugees?”

The Greek word translated “refugees” has the meaning, “temporary resident;” literally, it means “someone beside the public assembly” as opposed to one who is a citizen and member of the assembly. Note: Peter is writing to Jewish and Gentile Christians who were residents of what is present day Turkey, many of whom were no doubt born there—yet he identifies them as “refugees,” “spiritual sojourners,” “temporary residents.” We tend to develop deep ties to this present world, especially to the place of our birth or longtime residence. But Peter is reminding us that as Christians we need to develop a different perspective: we must view ourselves as sojourners and even as “spiritual refugees” in this present world (note Philippians 3:20)

4. What have the various Persons of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) done to secure the Christian’s salvation? See verse 2 (printed below)

…those who have been chosen by God…(2) chosen in accordance with the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit for obedience, that is, by the sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (1 Peter 1:2)

As a Christian, you were chosen “in accordance with the foreknowledge of God the Father.” “Foreknowledge” is not only referring to God’s intellectual knowledge as to whom He intended to redeem, it is also referring to the fatherly love that moved Him to redeem us (Ephesians 1:4b-5). The Christian has been “set apart by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit for obedience.” The Holy Spirit causes us to come to Christ, surrendering ourselves unto God for a life of obedience. The Christian has been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. That is to say, we have received the forgiveness of our sins by virtue of Christ’s atoning sacrifice upon the cross of Calvary.

5. Why has Peter written this epistle? See 1 Peter 5:12 (printed below)

By Silvanus, the faithful brother (so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. (1 Peter 5:12)

In the closing verses of this epistle the apostle Peter speaks in more specific terms as to why he has written to these Christians. Peter’s intention is to give these Christians further assurance and confirmation that what the apostles have communicated to the churches is “the true grace of God.” In other words, here is true spiritual life and blessing that cannot be found any place else (note John 6:67-69). Furthermore, Peter is writing in order to exhort them to “stand firm” in the Lord Jesus and in grace (the spiritual life) He ministers.