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1 Peter 1:3-9 – A Statement of the Gospel in All of Its Breadth and Depth

Summary

Two sentences offer a ringing recitation of the saving acts of God through Jesus Christ, employing the classic language of "new birth," "living hope," "resurrection," "the power of God," "through faith," "salvation," and "the last day"--for all of which we "rejoice."

Analysis

All of the passage's powerful theological terms are part of the letter's opening statement of thanks and praise for what God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has done for our salvation (now and in eternity). It is clear that everything for our salvation has been done by God and that we are the beneficiaries. Nearly all of the actions of God appear in the past tense, indicating that they have been accomplished and are firmly established, except for the final fulfillment of salvation at the end of time (which is ready to be revealed). The knowledge of this causes rejoicing, even when there is sorrow and suffering along the way, which proves that our faith in this God is genuine. This passage ranks with John 1:1-14, John 3:16, and Romans 8:38-39 as one of the greatest biblical expressions of the Christian message.

1 Peter 1:3-9

A Living Hope

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice,* even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Although you have not seen* him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

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10 February 2011

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