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Creation, Life and Beauty,

undone by death and wrongdoing,

regained by Gods surprising victory,

The Books of the Bible

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ln the nu yeurs o hs e und mnstry, n the eury AD 60's, the uposte leter vus u
euder o the church n Rome. lrom there he contnued to encouruge und chuenge
beevers n other purts o the empre. leter eurned thut the communtes o }esus-
oovers n the Romun provnces o lontus, Cuutu, Cuppudocu, Asu und thynu
(u ocuted n vhut s nov 1urkey) vere experencng persecuton. He vrote to urge
them to remun uthu to }esus und to ve gody ves, to shov ther opponents thut
they vere reuy bumeess.
leter shures ntroductory greetngs und then he vrtes un extended bessng to
Cod. }esus' resurrecton hus brought the beevers nto un nhertunce kept in heaven
or them. leter tes them ths s the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ
is revealed at his coming, vhen Cod v reunte heuven und eurth. loovng ths
proound stutement o Chrstun hope, leter's etter hus three mun sectons:
: He rst tes hs reuders to be holy in all you do. He remnds them thut us
Centes, they once ved n gnorunce (they ddn't knov the vuys o Cod). ut
they're nov u holy nation, purt o Cod's ovn peope, cued to u nev vuy o e.
leter here uses unguuge und muges druvn rom the descrpton o Cod's peope
n the lrst 1estument. 1hs nev e, leter nssts, s to be ved out speccuy n
ther communtyn ther reutonshps vth one unother.
: leter then descrbes one eect o ths vuy o e: t v mpress those vho
voud uccuse und persecute them vthout ust cuuse. Live such good lives among
the pagans, he vrtes, that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see
your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Cnce ugun leter teuches
thut ths must be ucheved pructcuy, n the vord o humun reutonshps.
: lnuy, leter comes drecty to hs purpose or vrtng. He ucknovedges thut
hs reuders ure suerng or ther uth, but he expuns thut ths s ony to be
expected: do no| be sutpt|sed a| |he |ety otdea| |ha| has come on you |o |es|
you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1he Messuh hmse
suered, und ther eov beevers throughout the vord ure undergong the sume
knd o suerngs, so they shoud beur up putenty und uthuy. leter cun even
te them to reoce inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that
you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
leter's etter vus devered by Sus, u mun vho uso vorked vth the uposte luu
(see pp. 8083). leter ntroduces Sus n the etter und expuns thut he heped vrte
t. As Sus vsted euch o the communtes ths etter vus uddressed to, he brought the
messuge thut he und leter recognzed vus needed: oovers o }esus ure vutng or
the duy Cod v vst them, und even n the uce o suerng they cun ve n u vuy
thut shovs thut they beong to Cod.
| 1 P E T E R |
e ter, an apos tle of Jesus Christ,
To Gods elect, ex iles scat tered through out the prov inc es of Pon tus, Ga la-
tia, Cap pa do cia, Asia and Bi thyn ia, who have been cho sen ac cord ing to the
fore knowl edge of God the Fa ther, through the sanc ti fy ing work of the Spir it,
to be obe di ent to Jesus Christ and sprin kled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abun dance.
raise be to the God and Fa ther of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great
mer cy he has giv en us new birth into a liv ing hope through the res-
ur rec tion of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an in her i tance that can
nev er per ish, spoil or fade. This in her i tance is kept in heav en for you, who
through faith are shield ed by Gods pow er un til the com ing of the sal va tion
that is ready to be re vealed in the last time. In all this you great ly re joice,
though now for a lit tle while you may have had to suf fer grief in all kinds of
tri als. These have come so that the proven gen u ine ness of your faith of
great er worth than gold, which per ish es even though re fined by fire may
re sult in praise, glo ry and hon or when Jesus Christ is re vealed. Though you
have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now,
you be lieve in him and are filled with an in ex press ible and glo ri ous joy, for
you are re ceiv ing the end re sult of your faith, the sal va tion of your souls.
Con cern ing this sal va tion, the proph ets, who spoke of the grace that
was to come to you, searched in tent ly and with the great est care, try ing to
find out the time and cir cum stanc es to which the Spir it of Christ in them
was point ing when he pre dict ed the suf fer ings of the Mes si ah and the glo-
ries that would fol low. It was re vealed to them that they were not serv ing
them selves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told
you by those who have preached the gos pel to you by the Holy Spir it sent
from heav en. Even an gels long to look into these things.
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354 | 1 Peter

There fore, with minds that are alert and ful ly so ber, set your hope on the
grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is re vealed at his com ing. As
obe di ent chil dren, do not con form to the evil de sires you had when you
lived in ig no rance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you
do; for it is writ ten: Be holy, be cause I am holy.
Since you call on a Fa ther who judg es each per sons work im par tial ly,
live out your time as for eign ers here in rev er ent fear. For you know that it
was not with per ish able things such as sil ver or gold that you were re deemed
from the emp ty way of life hand ed down to you from your an ces tors, but
with the pre cious blood of Christ, a lamb with out blem ish or de fect. He was
cho sen be fore the cre a tion of the world, but was re vealed in these last times
for your sake. Through him you be lieve in God, who raised him from the
dead and glo ri fied him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
Now that you have pu ri fied your selves by obey ing the truth so that you
have sin cere love for each oth er, love one an oth er deep ly, from the heart.
For you have been born again, not of per ish able seed, but of im per ish able,
through the liv ing and en dur ing word of God. For,
All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.
And this is the word that was preached to you.
There fore, rid your selves of all mal ice and all de ceit, hy poc ri sy, envy,
and slan der of ev ery kind. Like new born ba bies, crave pure spir i tu al milk,
so that by it you may grow up in your sal va tion, now that you have tast ed
that the Lord is good.
As you come to him, the liv ing Stone re ject ed by hu mans but cho sen by
God and pre cious to him you also, like liv ing stones, are be ing built into a
spir i tu al house to be a holy priest hood, of fer ing spir i tu al sac ri fic es ac cept-
able to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scrip ture it says:
See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.
Now to you who be lieve, this stone is pre cious. But to those who do not be-
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1 Peter | 355
The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,
A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.
They stum ble be cause they dis obey the mes sage which is also what they
were des tined for.
But you are a cho sen peo ple, a roy al priest hood, a holy na tion, Gods
spe cial pos ses sion, that you may de clare the prais es of him who called you
out of dark ness into his won der ful light. Once you were not a peo ple, but
now you are the peo ple of God; once you had not re ceived mer cy, but now
you have re ceived mer cy.
Dear friends, I urge you, as for eign ers and ex iles, to ab stain from sin ful
de sires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the
pa gans that, though they ac cuse you of do ing wrong, they may see your
good deeds and glo ri fy God on the day he vis its us.
Sub mit your selves for the Lords sake to ev ery hu man au thor i ty: wheth-
er to the em per or, as the su preme au thor i ty, or to gov er nors, who are sent
by him to pun ish those who do wrong and to com mend those who do right.
For it is Gods will that by do ing good you should si lence the ig no rant talk of
fool ish peo ple. Live as free peo ple, but do not use your free dom as a cov er-
up for evil; live as Gods slaves. Show prop er re spect to ev ery one, love the
fam ily of be liev ers, fear God, hon or the em per or.
Slaves, in rev er ent fear of God sub mit your selves to your mas ters, not
only to those who are good and con sid er ate, but also to those who are
harsh. For it is com mend able if some one bears up un der the pain of un just
suf fer ing be cause they are con scious of God. But how is it to your cred it if
you re ceive a beat ing for do ing wrong and en dure it? But if you suf fer for
do ing good and you en dure it, this is com mend able be fore God. To this you
were called, be cause Christ suf fered for you, leav ing you an ex am ple, that
you should fol low in his steps.
He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.
When they hurled their in sults at him, he did not re tal i ate; when he suf-
fered, he made no threats. In stead, he en trust ed him self to him who judg-
es just ly. He him self bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we
might die to sins and live for righ teous ness; by his wounds you have been
healed. For you were like sheep go ing astray, but now you have re turned
to the Shep herd and Over seer of your souls.
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356 | 1 Peter

Wives, in the same way sub mit your selves to your own hus bands so
that, if any of them do not be lieve the word, they may be won over with out
words by the be hav ior of their wives, when they see the pu ri ty and rev er-
ence of your lives. Your beau ty should not come from out ward adorn ment,
such as elab o rate hair styles and the wear ing of gold jew el ry or fine clothes.
Rath er, it should be that of your in ner self, the un fad ing beau ty of a gen tle
and qui et spir it, which is of great worth in Gods sight. For this is the way
the holy wom en of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn them-
selves. They sub mit ted them selves to their own hus bands, like Sar ah, who
obeyed Abra ham and called him her lord. You are her daugh ters if you do
what is right and do not give way to fear.
Hus bands, in the same way be con sid er ate as you live with your wives,
and treat them with re spect as the weak er part ner and as heirs with you of
the gra cious gift of life, so that noth ing will hin der your prayers.
Fi nal ly, all of you, be like-mind ed, be sym pa thet ic, love one an oth er,
be com pas sion ate and hum ble. Do not re pay evil with evil or in sult with
in sult. On the con trary, re pay evil with bless ing, be cause to this you were
called so that you may in her it a bless ing. For,
Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
Who is go ing to harm you if you are ea ger to do good? But even if you
should suf fer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats;
do not be fright ened. But in your hearts re vere Christ as Lord. Al ways be
pre pared to give an an swer to ev ery one who asks you to give the rea son for
the hope that you have. But do this with gen tle ness and re spect, keep ing a
clear con science, so that those who speak ma li cious ly against your good
be hav ior in Christ may be ashamed of their slan der. For it is bet ter, if it is
Gods will, to suf fer for do ing good than for do ing evil. For Christ also suf-
fered once for sins, the righ teous for the un righ teous, to bring you to God.
He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spir it. After be ing
made alive, he went and made proc la ma tion to the im pris oned spir its
to those who were dis obe di ent long ago when God wait ed pa tient ly in the
days of Noah while the ark was be ing built. In it only a few peo ple, eight
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1 Peter | 357
in all, were saved through wa ter, and this wa ter sym bol iz es bap tism that
now saves you also not the re mov al of dirt from the body but the pledge
of a clear con science to ward God. It saves you by the res ur rec tion of Jesus
Christ, who has gone into heav en and is at Gods right hand with an gels,
au thor i ties and pow ers in sub mis sion to him.
There fore, since Christ suf fered in his body, arm your selves also with the
same at ti tude, be cause who ever suf fers in the body is done with sin. As a
re sult, they do not live the rest of their earth ly lives for evil hu man de sires,
but rath er for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past
do ing what pa gans choose to do liv ing in de bauch ery, lust, drunk en ness,
or gies, ca rous ing and de test able idol a try. They are sur prised that you do
not join them in their reck less, wild liv ing, and they heap abuse on you. But
they will have to give ac count to him who is ready to judge the liv ing and
the dead. For this is the rea son the gos pel was preached even to those who
are now dead, so that they might be judged ac cord ing to hu man stan dards
in re gard to the body, but live ac cord ing to God in re gard to the spir it.
The end of all things is near. There fore be alert and of so ber mind so
that you may pray. Above all, love each oth er deep ly, be cause love cov ers
over a mul ti tude of sins. Of fer hos pi tal i ty to one an oth er with out grum bling.
Each of you should use what ev er gift you have re ceived to serve oth ers, as
faith ful stew ards of Gods grace in its var i ous forms. If any one speaks, they
should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If any one serves,
they should do so with the strength God pro vides, so that in all things God
may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glo ry and the pow er for
ever and ever. Amen.
Dear friends, do not be sur prised at the fi ery or deal that has come on you to
test you, as though some thing strange were hap pen ing to you. But re joice
in as much as you par tic i pate in the suf fer ings of Christ, so that you may
be over joyed when his glo ry is re vealed. If you are in sult ed be cause of the
name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spir it of glo ry and of God rests on
you. If you suf fer, it should not be as a mur der er or thief or any oth er kind
of crim i nal, or even as a med dler. How ev er, if you suf fer as a Chris tian, do
not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for
judg ment to be gin with Gods house hold; and if it be gins with us, what will
the out come be for those who do not obey the gos pel of God? And,
If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?
So then, those who suf fer ac cord ing to Gods will should com mit them-
selves to their faith ful Cre a tor and con tin ue to do good.
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358 | 1 Peter

To the el ders among you, I ap peal as a fel low el der and a wit ness of Christs
suf fer ings who also will share in the glo ry to be re vealed: Be shep herds of
Gods flock that is un der your care, watch ing over them not be cause you
must, but be cause you are will ing, as God wants you to be; not pur su ing
dis hon est gain, but ea ger to serve; not lord ing it over those en trust ed to you,
but be ing ex am ples to the flock. And when the Chief Shep herd ap pears, you
will re ceive the crown of glo ry that will nev er fade away.
In the same way, you who are youn ger, sub mit your selves to your el-
ders. All of you, clothe your selves with hu mil i ty to ward one an oth er, be-
God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.
Hum ble your selves, there fore, un der Gods mighty hand, that he may lift
you up in due time. Cast all your anx i ety on him be cause he cares for you.
Be alert and of so ber mind. Your en e my the dev il prowls around like a roar-
ing lion look ing for some one to de vour. Re sist him, stand ing firm in the
faith, be cause you know that the fam ily of be liev ers through out the world
is un der go ing the same kind of suf fer ings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eter nal glo ry in Christ,
af ter you have suf fered a lit tle while, will him self re store you and make you
strong, firm and stead fast. To him be the pow er for ever and ever. Amen.
ith the help of Si las, whom I re gard as a faith ful broth er, I have writ-
ten to you brief ly, en cour ag ing you and tes ti fy ing that this is the true
grace of God. Stand fast in it.
She who is in Bab ylon, cho sen to geth er with you, sends you her greet-
ings, and so does my son Mark. Greet one an oth er with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
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