1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
[Peter, an apostle] Simon Peter, called also Cephas; he was a fisherman, son of Jonah, brother of Andrew, born at Bethsaida, and one of the first disciples of our Lord.
[The strangers scattered throughout] Jews who had believed the Gospel in the different countries here specified, and converted Gentiles also. Though the word strangers may refer to all truly religious people, see Hebrews 11:13, the inscription may have a special reference to those who were driven by persecution to seek refuge in those foreign provinces.
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
[Elect according to the foreknowledge of God] When two athletic teams, one mighty and one not so, compete, the outcome is often called a "Foregone conclusion", but they still play the game. God, with infinite knowledge, already knows the ultimate spiritual status of every one of us, yet he permits us to live our lives and make our own choices. Peter is writing to those who already have and to those who will in the future choose to yield their will to God, allowing themselves to be redeemed from sin by the blood of Christ. Notice how the word, "Whosoever", is used by Christ himself in John 3:15-16.
[Through the sanctification of the Spirit] Sanctification is to be
set apart for a special purpose. One of the tasks of the Holy Spirit is to
make people aware of Christ and call them to become obedient to Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
[Hath begotten us again] Jesus made it clear that there are two births; natural and spiritual. The second is the one which produces eternal life. John 3:3-7.
The resurrection of Christ from the dead. It is the Gospel alone that gives certain hope of eternal life; and the ground upon which this hope rests is the resurrection of Christ himself. The certainty of the resurrection is the great seal of the Gospel. See John 2:18-22, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
[Inheritance] Called an inheritance because it belongs to the children of God. Romans 8:14-17.
[Incorruptable, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away] Sin caused a great change in the earth. Though it is sometimes difficult for us to understand, death, passing from this present life, was introduced by God as a kindness to us. Genesis 3:16-24, Matthew 6:19-20.
[Reserved in heaven for you] Such a place is not to be expected on earth. John 14:1-3.
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
[Who are kept] Who are defended as in a fortress or castle. The term which is translated "kept" carries a military meaning, as under military guard.
[By the power of God] No greater power exists in the universe. God created the universe and even our arch enemy Satan. The created is ever subject to the creator. Peter was speaking from experience. Luke 22:31.
[Ready to be revealed...] Referring to our inheritance. To an inheritance...reserved in heaven...ready to be revealed...(Verses 4 & 5).
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are
in heaviness through manifold temptations:
Continue reading Jesus' prayer for his disciples in John 17:13-24.
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
[Whom having not seen, ye love] Those (and we) to whom Peter is writing are the ones whom Jesus referred to in his prayer as "Those who shall believe".
10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently,
who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
[Of which salvation the prophets have inquired] The incarnation and suffering of Jesus Christ, and the redemption procured by him for all mankind, were made known in a general way by the prophets, but they did not know the time when these things were to take place nor did they understand the Satan-generated hostility he would face. See Matthew 2:1-18.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
[That not to themselves, but unto us they did minister] We may presume that, in a great variety of cases, the prophets did not understand the meaning of their own predictions. They had a general view of God's designs, but of the particular circumstances connected with those great events they seem to have known little. God reserved the explanation of the particulars to the time when such prophecies were fulfilled. See Luke 24:44-48 and Acts 11:1-8.
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
[Gird up your loins] The allusion here is to the long robes of the day which, when the wearers were about to perform active service, were tucked into the girdle so as not to trip the wearer. Keep your mind clear so that it does not trip you up. Measure the popular beliefs of the day against the straightedge of God's Word.
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
[Not fashioning yourselves] As the office of a particular person is known by the clothing he or she wears, or affiliation is identified by a certain behavior, do not let your dress or behavior identify you with the enemies of Christ. Romans 12:2.
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of
Be ye Holy] Not by affecting some outlandish, attention getting mode of dress or behavior but by avoiding sin. God is holy and he commands us to be holy. Leviticus 19:2.
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
[And if ye call on the Father] Seeing ye involk the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father through Christ, and profess to be obedient children and sojourners here below for only a short time, see that ye maintain a godly reverence for this Father, walking in obedience to him.
[Who without respect of persons] God, being infinitely righteous, is infinitely impartial. His judgements are absolutely just.
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things,
as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from
To redeem signifies to procure life for a captive, liberty for a slave, by paying a price, and the precious blood of Christ is here stated as the price by which the souls of both Jews and Gentiles were redeemed. It is the price which God's infinite righteousness required.
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was
manifest in these last times for you,
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
[Ye have purified your souls] By believing in Christ through the influence and teaching of the Holy Spirit. Giving proof of that conversion by true love of your Christian brothers and sisters.
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
[Being born again] For being born of Abraham's seed is not enough. The incorruptible seed is the Word of God, which shall never change any more than the source from which it proceeds.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of
grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
This is a quote from Isaiah 40:6-8. Most of us can testify from our own experience that the things of this world are only temporary. The wisdom of this world changes from generation to generation. The only trustworth information upon which to base our life and faith is the unchanging word of God.
Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from Amazon.com
This page updated 02/12/2007Copyright (C) 1999,2003,2006,2007 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved