An Overview for Overcomers

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1 Peter 1:1-2

This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the lands of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God the Father chose you long ago, and the Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ and are cleansed by his blood.

May you have more and more of God’s special favor and wonderful peace.

Historical Setting

  1. First Peter is addressed to Christians living in “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1:1) – places in the northern and western parts of Asia Minor (modern Turkey).
  2. The readers appear to have been Gentiles (1:14,18; 2:10; 4:3), although they probably had not been evangelized by Peter himself (1:12). The letter was obviously written to believers undergoing trials and persecutions, to give them courage in the face of their adversities (5:10).
  3. Since it makes no mention of its audience, 2 Peter was probably intended for a general readership. Its primary purpose was to combat false teachers. These false teachers also must have been critical of the delay in Christ’s return. To this challenge the author devoted the entire third chapter.

 

Theological Contribution.

  1. First Peter was written by one who sensed the triumphant outcome of God’s purpose for the world (1:4). The triumph of the future depends in no way on what we have done but on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because God has raised Jesus from the dead, God is deserving of praise; for “His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope” (1:3).
  2. The unshakableness of our hope in Jesus Christ, which awaits us in heaven, resounds like a clap of thunder throughout this epistle. Because Christ has been raised from the dead, His suffering and death have meaning.
  3. The believer can gain courage in present adversity by looking to the example of Christ in His suffering. We have a sure hope for the future because of Christ’s resurrection. This truly is a “living hope,” for it is one we can live by, even in the midst of “various trials” (1:6).
  4. If 1 Peter is an epistle of hope, the accent falls not on wishful thinking, but on present help. No biblical writer shows the connection between faith and conduct in a clearer manner than does Peter. “Conduct,” in fact, is a key word in this epistle (1:15,17-18; 2:12; 3:1-2,16). For Peter, practice is not simply the most important thing; it is the only thing.

 

Peter’s stress on behavior, however, is not an appeal to some vague sense of “moral goodness” in people. The conduct Peter describes is the result of a life reclaimed by the perfect power of Jesus Christ.

  • Christ has redeemed believers (1:18-19);
  • Christ upholds and guides them (1:8; 2:25); and Christ will reward them (5:4).
  • Christ is both the model and goal of the redeemed life. Consequently, believers may move forward on the pilgrim way, confident that the end will rise up to meet them with joy and salvation (2:11; 4:13-14).[1]
  • Peters Greeting

 

I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the lands of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bithynia.

Note:

  1. We see here that Peter has a heart for the church and a heart to communicate God’s truth to them.
  2. As a disciple he knows the importance of making disciples.
  3. In his love for the church he wants to see her encouraged in difficult times.

Application:

  • We too as disciples need to be focused on making disciples
  • As followers of Jesus Christ our focus must be on worshipping God, and making disciples
  • We too should have a love for one another and a passion for reaching others with the good news of Jesus Christ
  1. Peters Good News

2 God the Father chose you long ago, and the Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ and are cleansed by his blood.

May you have more and more of God’s special favor and wonderful peace.

Here we discover that what Peter wants to convey to the church is the good news that Christ has given to him.

  1. He reminds us that God has chosen us, above those that has rejected him.[Long ago] We were selected by God and called by God to be in His family.[This is good news]
  2. He reminds us that God has made us Holy. This Holiness is not by our works but by our regeneration. Holiness is the work of God in our lives, through the power of the Holy Spirit. [This is not talking about behavior, but rather about the work of God to transform you from being separated from God and now being brought back into a right relationship with God.]
  3. He reminds us here that is was through obedience to God that we were cleansed by His blood.[His blood washes us from unrighteousness] His sacrificial death, was the OFFERING that produced the blood that was shed to redeem us from sin. Peter is reminding the Gentile church of how they got saved and what God did to free us from bondage.

[1] Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers

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