Reading through the Bible together
In his salutation, Peter addresses Christians outside of Palestine as “pilgrims” or “strangers,” with the implication that this earth is only temporary while heaven is the permanent home of those faithful to Jesus. Our faithfulness is achieved through the power of God, who grants us a “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead“(vv. 3-5).
I’ve been inside the dark, damp Mamertine prison in Rome, where Peter may have been incarcerated while writing this letter. Peter understood trial, misfortune, and persecution! In the context of his own suffering, he reminds his readers that trials produce a stronger quality of faith, just as gold is tested and refined by fire.
Peter’s readers had probably not seen Jesus with their physical eyes, but they could nonetheless experience a spiritual union with Him. We, too, can look forward to God’s reward at His appearing. The hope of the church then and now remains the soon return of Jesus Christ. The unfolding of the plan of salvation remains a topic of high interest even among the angels (v.12)!
After establishing the reason for holy living (Christ, His resurrection and second coming), Peter continues with practical counsel for daily life. In a world clamoring for sensual indulgence, the apostle’s appeals to be careful what enters the mind are more relevant than ever. As we obey the truth through the Spirit, we will also learn to love one another with a pure heart (v.22).
Cindy Tutsch, DMin
Associate Director (Retired) Ellen G. White Estate