Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3
January 18, 2009
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
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.
1901 ASV Translation:
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
- I. The Issue of This Introduction on the Authorial Side [It Boils Down To "Transformation" (see the notes of the previous study)<001>].
- II. The Issue(s) of the Introduction on the "Recipient" Side.
- A. Peter calls them "elect sojourners of the Diaspora". [The Focus is Upon the Fundamentals of Transformation (heavenly citizenship by election and subject to trouble as the "dispersed")].
- B. He identifies their geographical locations.
- C. That he identified his location as "Babylon" in 5:13 indicates that this letter was written in the last decade of his life while he was in Rome (according to the Ryrie Study Bible notes on 1 Peter). This pretty much eliminates the notion that he was writing to "Jewish" believers as "the apostle to the Jews" as the churches in this region of the world were not predominantly "Jewish", nor was the time frame conducive to a "Jews-only" readership. There is a question as to why the letter went to this geographical area, but that may well be answered by the focus of Revelation 2-3 as an indicator that Christianity had it largest presence here.
- D. He focuses upon the relationship of his readers to the Triune God (Father, Spirit, Son).
- 1. "According to the foreknowledge of God the Father".
- 2. In sanctification of the Spirit.
- a. If Peter's focus is, as we have argued, upon his readers' status as "sojourners" (translated "strangers" by the AV) rather than the qualifier, "elect", then not only did he put their current status into the realm of the Father's "foreknowledge", but he also is addressing it with his reference to the Spirit.
- b. The key issue is Peter's perception of "sanctification".
- 1) This is not an issue that we can investigate by the use of the word he used in this text because it is only used by him this one time.
- 2) There is this hint, however: the verbal form of this word is used by Peter in one other text (3:15). In that place he insists that his readers "sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts" (NASB) so that they may be able to respond properly to those who would attempt to force them to turn away from a faithful walk. In this exhortation is this implication: "sanctify" means "to isolate Christ" from all of the "other" issues of the "heart" so that He, as "Lord", has no competition from those other things when it comes to decision-making in light of the suffering that legitimate decisions might bring to pass.
- 3) Thus, it seems that Peter's grasp of "sanctification" is that event/process by which a person is more and more "isolated" from competing heart-issues so that a "sanctified walk" is the result.
- c. Next is the issue of how Peter conceived of his readers' response to his words about their connection with the Holy Spirit.
- 1) It seems clear that he thought that a consideration of the "Father's" knowledge of their situation before it ever got to be what it is would be an encouragement.
- 2) Thus, along those same lines, he seems to think that a consideration of the "Spirit's" work of "isolating" them from the evil that is an integral aspect of the citizens of this world will be of some encouragement.
- a) If this be so, the entire effort of the book makes a great deal of sense. This book was written to explain the link between suffering and glory as a function of "true grace". If, in fact, the preparation of "many sons unto glory" is the task of the Spirit, and "suffering" is a key component of that preparation, then Peter's readers would be greatly encouraged if they were to see that reality with some clarity: we do not suffer in vain; we are under the dominion of the Spirit of God as He works the Father's will into genuine historical reality. Just as the Son was "delivered" by the "foreknowledge" of God (Acts 2:23), but He was "quickened" afterwards by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18), so we are "delivered" into our circumstances by that same foreknowledge and "quickened" in the process by the Spirit for the purposes of our "citizenship" in the glory that is to come.
- b) This means two fundamental things: first, that our citizenship is real and a highly focused factor of God's dealings with us; and, second, that our sufferings are not to be dealt with as matters to be avoided as those whose "isolation" is more unto hedonism than unto godliness. If "pleasure in the flesh" is "sanctified as Lord in our hearts", our behavior in the face of the threat of suffering will be one thing, but if our "citizenship in the heavens" is "sanctified" in our hearts by the Spirit and we know that our sufferings will push us in that direction, our behavior will be an altogether other thing.
- 3. Unto submission and a sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.