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Establishing Theological Truth: 1 Peter 1:1-2

Theological Truth

In this post, we will cover 1 Peter 1:1-2. Peter begins with a greeting, addresses his audience, and then proceeds into some excellent theological truth. Just in this short greeting he covers theological concepts such as election, the foreknowledge of God, sanctification, and Jesus’ redemption.

Verse 1: The Purpose for Writing

Peter begins with his name and who he is. He states that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ to establish his authority on the subject. The apostles were a unique group of Christians whom Jesus appointed to build the church (Ephesians 2:20). God used them to teach doctrine and instruct the church on how to live (Acts 2:42). So Peter will be teaching Christ centered doctrine. Peter next addressed the elect in the dispersion. The elect are Christians. They are the church. Therefore Peter is speaking to us. What is the dispersion you may ask? The dispersion can refer to the scattering of the Jewish people (James 1:1). “But here, without the article [That is the definite article], it is used in a non-technical sense referring to spiritual pilgrims, aliens to the earth, whether Jews or Gentiles (cf. 1 Peter 1:172:11), i.e., the church.”[1] Peter is talking to those who are in “Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”

Verse 2: The Truth of the Bible

Peter continues on to say about how the elect are according to God the Father’s foreknowledge. God knows all things (Psalm 139:1-6). Peter also includes in God’s foreknowledge the salvation of the Christian (Ephesians 1:4-5112:8-10). Next Peter addresses the role of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is an important part of the Christian life. The Greek word (hagiasmos) has to do with being holy, or set apart. So it is by the Holy Spirit we are able to live holy. Next Peter says sanctification is for our obedience to Jesus and by His death. The point of sanctification is to follow Jesus’ commandments so that we might grow like Him. Peter mentions Jesus’ atonement because by it we are able to follow Jesus’ words. Peter ends this verse with a blessing for grace and peace to be multiplied. Hence, in both of these verses, theological truth is portrayed.

Now what?

Various application can be made through beginning with these theological truths. Since we are looking at how to prepare for persecution, we should take comfort in God’s sovereignty. As was previously established, God knows all things, He sees all things, and God is perfectly aware of what we might go through. He is not sitting up in Heaven and surprised when persecution comes. Right now in the good Ole’ US of A, we are not really being persecuted. Some of us may be called names or ridiculed, but compared to overseas we have it easy. Some of our brothers and sisters are getting their heads lobbed off by the Religion of Peace (i.e. Islam). But Christian, take comfort that God knows all things and He has not forgotten us even is this increasingly hostile culture.

So we looked at the beginning of 1 Peter in this post. Next post we’ll look at 1 Peter 1 :3-5.

[1] MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible, NKJV. Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997.