Written to Strangers, 1 Pet 1:1-9

Peter wrote to “strangers” in Asia.  Paul couldn’t go there [Acts 16:6-7] but Peter did.  Some of these people might have heard Peter preach in Acts 2.  See Acts 2:9. He calls them “strangers” because when we get saved, we are “a peculiar people,” [1 Pet 2:9], “which were not a people, but are now the people of God,” [1 Pet 2:10].  We are, therefore, “strangers and pilgrims,” [1 Pet 2:11] on the earth.  We have an inheritance “reserved in heaven,” [1 Pet 1:4] which the rest of the world doesn’t have.  And our old friends think we’re “strange,” [1 Pet 4:3-4] for not running in sin with them any longer.

He wrote to them about our:

Foreknown election – 1 Pet 1:2 – We are elect.  We are “a chosen generation,” [1 Pet 2:9].  We are elect according to the foreknowledge of God.  Foreknowledge is not predestination.  God knew that Saul would attack David in Keilah and that the men of Keilah would deliver him up. So, David left town and neither thing happened [1 Sam 23:1-13].  God made the decision before on “how” we would be elect, not “who” would be elect.  Our election has to do with our reign with Jesus in his millennial kingdom.  A presidential candidate who is elected to office in November is called president-elect until his or her inauguration in January.  Likewise, we are elect.  Whereas only the presidential candidate with sufficient electoral college votes is elected, all who trust in Jesus Christ are elect.  We are elect through three things: sanctification of the Spirit [1 Cor 6:11], obedience [Rom 1:5; Rom 16:26], and sprinkling of the blood of Christ [Heb 12:24; Col 1:14].  You are elect when you obey the gospel and are sanctified by the Spirit and washed in the blood of Jesus.  

Lively hope – 1 Pet 1:3 – He hath begotten us again.  This is the new birth [Jn 3:3 1 Pet 1:23].  These folks were born again.  Paul refers to Onesimus [Phile 10] and the saved Corinthians as “begotten,” [1 Cor 4:15] which means they were “born again.”  So, the new birth is not Jewish, exclusively.  “Unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  Therefore, our bodies will live again.  Paul refers to this as being “saved by hope,” [Rom 8:23-25]. 

Heavenly inheritance – 1 Pet 1:4 – This is the inheritance all saints “in Christ” are predestined to receive in heaven [Eph 1:11].  Our mansions are part of this inheritance.  There is also an inheritance rewarded or lost after the judgment seat of Christ [Col 3:23-25].  Peter gives four characteristics of our inheritance.  It is incorruptible [Matt 6:19-20] like our glorified bodies [1 Cor 15:50-55] and like the incorruptible word of God [1 Pet 1:23].  It is undefiled like our Saviour [Heb 7:26]; it has never been defiled by sin; and It “fadeth not away” because it is eternal, like the word of God [1 Pet 1:24-25].  It is “reserved in heaven.”  So, we don’t get this until after the rapture. 

Eternal security – 1 Pet 1:5 – We are “kept by the power of God.”  We are eternally secure.  He is able [2 Tim 1:12] to keep us [Jude 24] because we are in his hand [Jn 10:28-29] as a part of his body [Eph 5:30-32].  “Through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  There is so much about our salvation that we believe by faith that will be “revealed” to us when we see Jesus.  Our glorified bodies will be revealed in 1 Jn 3:1-3, for instance.

Fiery trials – 1 Pet 1:6-7 – through manifold temptations.  Manifold temptations are diverse and various; there are many different kinds of temptations.  These are trials [1 Pet 4:12].  These trials Prov 17:3 try your faith like Abraham’s faith was tried [Heb 11:1719].  The trials are “hot” like the refining of gold.  When you survive them, you come forth as gold [Job 23:10].  The honour and glory are given to the saints who survive the trials [Rom 2:7, 10], just like the martyrs in the tribulation receive the crown of life, when they survive their trials [Rev 2:10].  At the “appearing of Jesus Christ” is the rapture [Titus 2:13].

Unspeakable joy – 1 Pet 1:8-9 – Ye greatly rejoice [1 Pet 1:6]. Salvation should cause you great joy.  1 Thes 5:16 rejoice evermore.  The fruit of the Spirit is joy.  We are to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory [1 Pet 2:8].  We have this joy even though we “are in heaviness.”  The end of your faith is the salvation of your soul which you receive when you believe on Jesus Christ [compare 1 Pet 2:8 with 1 Pet 2:9, “believing… receiving].

Conclusion: you are going to go through manifold temptations and fiery trials while here on earth.  So, remember your lively hope, your heavenly inheritance, and your eternal security so that you can pass the time of your sojourning in unspeakable joy.