Wednesday, July 5, 2023

1 Peter Part 1

This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on June 25th 2023  by Colin D Cruz. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here.



1PETER 1:1-2

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.


V1. Peter an Apostle of Jesus Christ

In the ancient Roman world, letters started with the writer signing the letter or stating who the letter was from. You then had the salutation, the person to whom it’s being addressed, and then the intent of the letter.

Peter is writing this letter 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus around 60 AD.


THE WRITER - Let’s look at the credentials of this writer.

Peter is one of the first disciples Jesus called to himself. He is most mentioned in all the gospels. Some fun facts about him.

·       He was the most rebuked by Jesus and the only one to dare to rebuke Jesus.

·       He made the boldest confession of all (you are the Christ) and the greatest denial of all (I tell you I don’t know the man)

·       He was the most publicly praised by Jesus and told off in the harshest way (get behind me, Satan)

·       He denied Jesus 3 times and was affirmed by Jesus 3 times.

·       He was one of the 3 that Jesus took on some unique trips viz Mt of Transfiguration.

·       He was one of the first to run away from Jesus when he was arrested and one of the first disciples who ran to the empty tomb.

·       He was absent at the crucifixion but was one of the first to whom Jesus appeared.

So, you see how much importance you give to a letter is based on who is writing it. Today we get many spam emails promising all kinds of things. But when you get a letter with O.I.G.S (On Indian Government Service) you take its content seriously.


One of the rules of interpretation of scripture is to ask the question: what did this mean to the original readers and then ask how can we apply it today?

Apostle or Ambassador, Baptism or immersion, Grace or patronage.



 Unlike Paul’s letters which are addressed to specific churches because of specific issues Peter’s two letters are general letters of teaching, encouragement, and warnings for believers from an entire region; in this case, it is the provinces of Pontus- N.E Turkey, Galatia – Central Turkey, Cappadocia -Turkey, Asia, and Bithynia.


Who are these Elect? They are the ones who have put their faith in Jesus. Elect implies chosen. Peter’s reason for writing was to encourage the believers who are persecuted and scattered away from their homes. He is reminding them of their special position and calling.

Stranger/exiles/foreigners/pilgrims”: depending on which translation you are reading. This is another word Peter repeats in his letters. He keeps reminding the believers that they are not of this world.

 STRANGERS -We do not belong to this world or its systems or values. Peter is making a point because he does not want their eyes to be fixed on their present trials. He was giving them perspective. Isn’t this true for us today? There are so many terrible things going on everywhere and we can lose heart. Or we can be so influenced by the lifestyle around us that we merge into it and lose our distinctness. This is a great challenge today – there is a battle for purity and holiness.

In another place in v17 live out your time as foreigners/strangers here in reverent fear. 

Chp 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

V2a who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,

These are not (and we) a random group of people. Peter is reminding them of who they are. They have been chosen in Christ before the foundations of the World were laid (Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love). Salvation starts and is sustained by an all-knowing, all-powerful God. Therefore, we must be eternally grateful for our salvation.

Your election is special because unless the Father draws you, you cannot come to God. (John 6:44, Luke 10:20, Matt 24:22) Jesus spoke of the elect.

Also, in the verse, we see the trinity on display i.e., foreknowledge of the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and obedience to Jesus Christ.

V2b – By the sanctifying work of the Spirit.

This refers to all that the Spirit produces in salvation: faith, repentance, regeneration, and adoption. This sanctifying work cleanses, purifies and sets us apart. Unless the Holy Spirit does His sanctifying work, you cannot be convicted of sin and righteousness.

 THE PURPOSE V2c- To be obedient to Jesus.

Peter states the reason for our election. Our obedience to Jesus is paramount and must be the by-product of our Salvation. Matt 28:18-20 “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded”. All the Epistles are written to encourage believers to obey. Jesus ends his sermon on the mount with “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord.” (Matt 7:21)

So let us not treat our election lightly. It is not fire- insurance but we have been saved for a purpose.

V2c Sprinkled by His blood!!  

We have been saved by the Father’s foreknowledge and the sacrifice of Jesus: washed clean/sanctified. Peter is reminding his readers that their election has come at a huge cost i.e. the Savior’s death. It was only 30 years ago that the event of the crucifixion took place. Our memories can fade if they are events that we have not personally witnessed by knowing this second hand. Also, by then people were questioning the crucifixion and resurrection.

It is also an old phrase from the OT where the altar was sprinkled with blood (Ex 24:3-8, Rom 1:5, Heb 9:18-23, 12:24) and then Moses sprinkled the blood on the people. The blood sprinkled on the altar represented God’s agreement to reveal His law and the blood sprinkled on the people signified their consent to obey. This is powerful.

In the New Covenant – Jesus sprinkles his blood as a covenant of redemption and forgiveness and our response is to obey His Word. (Act 5:31-32)

V2d Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

 These were common salutations in the Greco-Roman world.  Grace or Charis was a common Roman greeting like “Salam” or “Namaste”.

We have misunderstood the word Grace to mean, anything goes, God understands, we need to overlook people’s faults, and we can ‘nod and wink’ at sin!

What did Grace or Charis mean?

 Charis/Grace in those times meant receiving favour from a higher to a lesser-a powerful relationship between a giver of gifts and the recipients of those gifts.  Today the word patronage could have negative connotations like favouritism. In the Roman world, it was understood as a relationship between a patron and a client where the patron gave the client something usually money to the amount that they could never repay but they entered an agreement and relationship “based on mutual trust and loyalty. The new client “was expected to show respect and gratitude to the patron, to render certain services to him . . . and to support his political, economic and social activities” ” (Paul Sampley, editor, Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook, Vol. 2, 2016, p. 206). So, becoming a client in the Roman world was not a light commitment. The client was supposed to show gratitude. The Patron protected the client.

But this takes on a new meaning for the Christian.

Charis served New Testament authors as a model for God’s mercy through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which also comes with covenantal obligations. When Paul sought to explain the Christian’s new relationship with God, then, one of the ways he did so was in terms of the ancient system of patronage—something everyone understood.(Richards and O’Brien )Paul and Peter use this as a part of their greetings to mean that God is our divine patron giving us undeserved forgiveness, favour, and the amazing gift of eternal life! They use the word Grace when explaining what Jesus has done on the Cross for us. They take common day words and weave them into their gospel so people can make sense of what they are saying. Patronage had its own vocabulary. Words we usually consider particularly Christian terms—grace and faith—were common parlance. So, there is an expectation that Jesus also has of us. Just as the client demonstrated ‘pistis” i.e faithful loyalty we are required to live in obedience to His word, that we are faithful and loyal to Him. (Rom12:1) Faith (pistis) without works is dead (Jam 2:17)

As time went on, by the 5th Cent AD a number of Christian scholars began to teach that grace is something given freely without expecting anything in return. However, “free grace” is not what Paul intended. Paul profoundly understood that “by grace [charis] you are saved through faith [pistis] . . . it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8, ESV).

Peace – was the common Jewish greeting – Shalom which means wholeness in every way. My guess is being aware that these letters would be read by both Gentile and Jewish converts the Apostles adopted this dual style of greeting.


What are the key thoughts I want to leave you with?

You are chosen by God, brought in a new covenant that requires you to live in obedience, you are strangers on the planet who can live because of the Holy Spirit’s work in you.  Much grace and peace and been given to you.

How should I live? – where am I compromising with the world? What do I need to set right to keep being faithful to my patron- Jesus?

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto  

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