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Christ in All of Scripture – 1 Peter 1:3–9

1 Peter 1:3-9

"Blessed 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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so 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. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

In this letter, Peter primarily approaches two difficult subjects: holiness and suffering. Peter would agree with Paul that holiness and suffering are vitally connected (see Rom. 5:3–4). He knows that the holy will suffer and that the holy will be made more holy as they share in Christ’s suffering (1 Pet. 1:7; Phil. 3:10). "But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed," Peter will later write (1 Pet. 4:13).

To take his readers into the commands of holiness and the demands of hardship, however, he must first take them to the sovereign power and assurance necessary for both. This power is found only in the gospel. Consider how Peter exults in the gospel in this opening paragraph to the letter. We are "born again to a living hope" (1 Peter 1:3), "to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading," that is "kept in heaven" for us (1 Peter 1:4). This assurance of our enduring hope is important for believers to remember so that we neither despair of God’s commands to obedience (which as sinners we will struggle with) nor despair of God’s allowing of suffering (which as frail people we may break under). Instead, we are empowered to obey, knowing that we are forgiven for all eternity; and we are encouraged to hope in God through hardship, knowing that our souls are infinitely secure.

This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible.

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