Peter introduced himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ in His first epistle. The phrase “of Jesus Christ” is not attached to any other New Testament office. The New Testament does not mention teachers of Jesus Christ, nor prophets of Jesus Christ, nor evangelists of Jesus Christ.
Peter was not merely an apostle, but he was the leader of the apostolic group. Peter was an important and influential man in the early church. Peter’s name is mentioned in the gospels more than anyone except the name of Jesus. No one speaks in the gospels as often as Peter did, and Jesus spoke more to Peter than to any other individual.
Peter did not explain or justify his apostleship and did not add a phrase like “by the will of God” as Paul did on some occasions (1 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, and more). Unlike Paul, Peter’s apostolic status was never questioned.
1st Peter is a powerful letter written to persecuted Gentile Christians, reminding them that they are chosen by God and have a future hope in Jesus. He wrote this letter to a group of Christians scattered throughout the northern areas of Asia Minor, where he may have previously preached the gospel.
The apostle Peter writes this letter both to comfort believers and to encourage them to stay strong. He urges them to put all their hope in their perfect future with Christ and to obey and trust Him in the present, even in their suffering.
Peter wrote to Christian Gentiles (1 Peter 1:18, 2:10, and 4:3). He called them “those who reside as aliens.” He called them this because he saw the Christians of his day as sprinkled throughout the world as the Jewish people in the Dispersion after the fall of Jerusalem when the Babylonians conquered Judah.
Peter named specific areas (Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia) where Christianity had extended in the first several decades after the beginning of the church. These places were probably the route that the original courier of Peter’s letter followed in distributing the letter. This was not written to any one congregation but intentionally written to all Christians.
Peter describes his intended readers, including us believers, as:
- The Elect according to the foreknowledge: This means simply that they are chosen by God in a particular and unique sense,
- “According to the foreknowledge of God” describes the nature of their election. God’s choosing is not random or uninformed. But, is an aspect of His omniscience. This foreknowledge includes prior knowledge of our responses to the gospels but is not solely dependent on it. Election is not election at all if it is only a cause-and-effect arrangement basing God’s choice only on man’s choosing.
- An essential result of election is sanctification and obedience. Election does not just deal with going to heaven or hell. Peter reminds us that it also touches earth. A claim to be among the elect is doubtful if there is no evidence of sanctification and obedience.
- Since all the elect fall short of perfect sanctification and obedience, there is cleansing from sin provided for them through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.
The sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ on us accomplishes the same things. First, a covenant is formed, then we are ordained as priests to Him, and finally, we are cleansed from our corruption and sin. Each of these is ours through the work of Jesus on the cross.
Peter’s effortless way of combining the work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our salvation displays the New Testament approach to the Trinity. The Trinity is not detailed as a specific doctrine in the Bible, but it is woven into the fabric of the New Testament.
Jesus has a Father, but not in the sense of being higher than He or the One who gave Him existence. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have existed together throughout eternity and each is equally God. Father and Son are terms used to describe the relationship between these first two members of the Trinity.
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In conclusion, consider what the Daily Bread email message sent on 12/12/2022 says,
1st Peter 1:1, 2 – Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
1st Peter is a powerful letter written to a group of persecuted Gentile Christians scattered throughout the northern areas of Asia Minor to persecuted Gentile Christians. He reminded them that they are chosen by God and have a future hope in Jesus.
Peter’s effortless way of combining the work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our salvation displays the New Testament approach to the Trinity. The trinity is not detailed as a specific doctrine in the Bible, but it is woven into the fabric of the New Testament. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have existed together throughout eternity and each is equally God. Father and Son are terms used to describe the relationship between these first two members of the Trinity.
Grace and peace from the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit may be yours.
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