1 Peter

12: A Flock Who Stands Firm

July 17, 2022 • Sean Higgins • 1 Peter 5

# Introduction We started Peter's epistle almost ten months ago to the day. I taught the opening verses, I also get the last chapter (and I took us on a brief trip into Hades in 3:18-22). These final paragraphs are a call to *humility that wrecks self-importance and stress and Satan*. This sort of staunch humility only comes by grace. In fact the whole letter has been about the true grace of God (see verse 12), and our God is the God of all grace. We'll see four sections, which don't follow the paragraph divisions in the ESV. Here are four graces for a flock who will stand firm, and they are more connected than a quick reading would surface. # Grace through Shepherds (verses 1-4) The last part of the letter is filled with exhortations and encouragements. The first exhortations are aimed at those called to oversee the flock on behalf of the Chief Shepherd. > So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:1–4, ESV) The Christian life is hard enough already, with the fiery trial (4:12) and insults from aggravated pagans (4:3-4) who don't understand the good you're doing (4:16, 19). Adding to all that jerk shepherds would be injury to insults. So Peter has a word for the elders. The title in these verses is **elders** (Πρεσβυτέρους, so presbyters), though shepherds and overseers are represented in verb form. The elders are pastors are bishops (from the noun ἐπίσκοπος); in the New Testament they all apply to the same group. There are two offices in the church: elders and deacons, though again elders have additional labels, and for that matter, as ministers they are related to deaconing. The elders belong with local churches (note “the flock…that is among you), and they come in groups (note the plural). Rather than set himself above the elders as a fore-elder, Peter relates himself to them as a **fellow-elder**. He exhorts them as one with similar responsibilities, not as having responsibilities *over* them. (There is no Pope Peter, even though he was an apostle.) Maybe most significant is that he refers to himself as **witness** (μάρτυς) **of the sufferings of Christ**, which, as these first century elders would have known, connected Peter to his thrice *denial* of Christ. But he saw the suffering, and he had a word for those charged to shepherd the suffering. The verb **shepherd** (also a person, and the shepherd person is *pastor* in Latin) refers to responsibilities for feeding, protecting, leading, caring. Also, this responsibility is a stewardship, because they are **the flock of God** (see also Acts 20:28). To **exercise oversight** relates to *bishops*, a word we don't use in our branch of the body, which is an English word derived from ἐπισκοπέω, an “above-looking,” though we do use "overseer." The title Supervisor might have too much business baggage to be beneficial in a church context. Motive matters for elders. First, the work should not require being bossed, **not under compulsion**; when you work for a boss you usually only work up to what the boss wants. It's the lowest level of motivation, just doing what you’re told can be an excuse for laziness. Reluctance, let alone resistance, is ruled out. Let it be done **willingly**, with a whole-heart, like it’s your idea not someone else’s (see “aspires/desires” in 1 Timothy 3:1). Second, the work should also not be for money, **not for shameful gain**. It doesn't mean that the worker shouldn’t earn a wage (1 Corinthians 9:9-11; 1 Timothy 5:17-18), it means that mercenary ministry is about what the shepherd gets for himself not the flock. **Eagerly** means interested in the sheep not just the income. To be examples of *greed* for “fylthy lucre” (Tyndale) is to be a bad example. Peter puts repetition weight on *want* with the words "willingly/“voluntarily and "eagerly.” Likewise, the third motivation, not being bossy pants, **not domineering**, not control freak kings (see Matthew 20:25-27). Set an example. Be a model, not a sub-par master. Pull don’t push. Shepherds lead they don’t drive (Hiebert). **Those in your charge** are the ones “allotted” (NASB) to a shepherd’s responsibility by God. He ordains a field with fences, a flock with faces. The reward is that the **Chief Shepherd** will be pleased and give an **unfading crown of glory**. This is the only use of the description (ἀρχιποίμενος) in Scripture. Jesus is the Arch Shepherd, the Shepherd of shepherds, the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep. We are *under*shepherds, and humble shepherds are a grace to the sheep. So many shepherds have not been humble, and whether or not they have been anxious, their pride has a systemic effect on the anxiety of the sheep. # Grace for the Humble (verses 5-7) There are two aspects here, a horizontal humility and a vertical humility. First is our attitude toward one another. > Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5, ESV) The **younger** are not younger pastors (as we might think about a youth pastor coming under a senior pastor), this is the younger in age and the **elders** in context would be those in the office, but it could certainly extend to those who are older in age. The young are most likely to think they know better, most likely to resist any sort of constraint. Peter says, **submit** (NIV), a theme he already wrote much about in chapters 2 and 3. The main command applies to **all of you**, regardless of age or office. **Cloth yourselves with humility**. Like a slave puts on an apron to work, wrap yourselves in humility. The reason comes from Proverbs 3:34. God sets His face against the proud; God does battle against the boastful. Grace doesn't make a man proud, grace stays away from the proud. > Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6–7, ESV) Verses 6 and 7 are one sentence, even though a few English translations (i.e., NIV, NRSV) try to make verse 7 its own imperative. The importance and comfort in verse 7 starts with getting in the right position before God. Humility and anxiety are inversely proportionate; more of one necessarily means less of the oather. Pride and it’s ugly step-sister self-pity are the fountain of chronic anxiety. Grace is the fountain of *peace*. Pains, memories, threats, feelings, crooked bosses, disobedient husbands, problems, considered in one blend of an **anxiety** cocktail of whatever nature and flavor and duration. We might even be anxious thinking that the Lord should praise us for all our service (think Martha, Luke 10:41, and Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:28). Stop holding the burden, **casting all** the worry. Transfer the concern. Like men threw their cloaks on a horse (same Greek verb in Luke 19:35), load your burden on the Lord. Casting *all* the worry, considered as one singular; cf plural "anxious thoughts" in Psalm 94:19. The command, again, is to be **humble under the mighty hand of God**. It's not a hand that crushes, but it is a hand of power. And again, the *way* to be humble in this text is to throw all your cares before Him because He cares for you. You cannot care for yourself better than God cares for you. And *you cannot make God care for you more than He does.* God is not taking a nap or a journey. He is sovereign, He is attentive, He is affectionate. His sent the Son of His love to show His love. He knows the path of low to exalted (Philippians 2). He knows suffering and burden. He knows His sheep. He raises them “in due time” (NIV). # Grace for Sufferers (verses 8-11) Verses 8-11 belong together, but there are a few parts. > Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9, ESV) When we are in full dependence on God we are not done, we are in the right position to *fight*. Anxiety can consume a man like alcohol; depression can be as distracting and destructive as drunkenness. So be sober. Take off the ball gown of angst and gird up the loins of your mind (see 1 Peter 1:13). Don’t worry, be watchful. Peter hadn’t been watchful in Gethsemane. There is an **adversary**, not just an enemy but an *accusing* enemy, and he is restless (he **prowls around**) and ruthless (**seeking…to devour**). He is**roaring** - ὠρυόμενος - from ὠρύομαι, probably onomatopoetic (see also Psalm 22:13). Resist him. We’re exhorted to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18) and idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14) and youthful passions (2 Timothy 2:22, but nowhere are Christians told to run from the devil (Hiebert). Fight him with faith and the *devil will flee* (James 4:7). Fight him as a community. You are not alone, your suffering is not unique, even if it is particularly heavy (see 1 Peter 1:6). We are part of a company of sufferers, “the **brotherhood**” (one word in Greek: ἀδελφότητι). “We have a contest in common with all the children of God” (Calvin). > And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10) There is no narrow definition of suffering, and there is no definitive limit on **a little while** (compare with 1 Peter 1:6). But compared to **eternal glory**, the suffering is not long. Look to **the God of all grace**. What a perfect and uninventible truth; what man would be audacious enough to dream up such grace apart from God’s own revelation of Himself? That He chose us at all, that He guards us every minute, that He purposes glory and inheritance for us, this is all grace all the way up. The final four: restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish. > To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:11, ESV) A doxology breaks out. The God of all grace is the God of sovereignty, κράτος = might, rule. The God who promises eternal glory will be there to sustain it. # Grace for Christian Readers (verses 12-14) Here are Peter’s personal goodbyes. > By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. Silvanus is likely the amanuensis, the one who wrote most of the letter as Peter spoke it. The author’s summary of what he had written was that this letter was about **the true grace of God**. And the final thing to do with the grace is, “in it **stand**.” The **she…at Babylon** is a church, not a woman, and John Calvin's bent against the Pope notwithstanding, I've got no problem taking Babylon as a nickname for Rome which would have resonated among those who knew the story of Israel’s exile. Mark is Peter's son in the faith. > Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ. (1 Peter 5:12–14, ESV) The kiss of love, or holy kiss, was already a typical greeting. It didn't last many centuries longer. Hard to believe any group with teenage girls could hold on to it. # Conclusion Why did the elders pick 1 Peter? We also are elect exiles built as living stones on the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ, chosen as a people for His own possession. So taste that the Lord is good (2:2-3), refuse the passions of the flesh (2:11), follow in His steps (2:21), bless that you may obtain a blessing (3:9), love one another earnestly (4:8), rejoice by faith with joy that is inexpressible and full of glory (1:8-9). Keep doing good provocatively. Let their be no embarrassment about your faith in your suffering. Be the kind of humble that wrecks self-importance and stress and Satan’s attacks. Among a people of almost innumerable pathologies and anxiety, stand out as you stand firm under the mighty hand of the God of all grace.

11: All the More Gladly

June 12, 2022 • Jim Martin • 1 Peter 4:12–19

10: Anticipating Conduct

May 15, 2022 • Ryan Hall • 1 Peter 4:1–11

9: The Good Life

May 1, 2022 • Jonathan Sarr • 1 Peter 3:8–17

8: A Good Apology

April 3, 2022 • Sean Higgins • 1 Peter 3:18–22

# Introduction Last summer when we agreed to cover 1 Peter during our Sunday evening sermon series I made recommendations to the other pastors on paragraphs we each should preach. I assigned myself this section, 1 Peter 3:18-22, for…fun. If you're keeping note, you remember that Dave taught last and covered 3:1-7. Jonathan has a message already for verses 8 and following, but he had an opportunity to be gone tonight, so we swapped evenings, not passages. My title, though, and the reason for this paragraph, hinge on a part we’ve temporarily skipped. When we are suffering, and when we show a sort of hopefulness that causes others to ask about it, we want to be ready with a good apology. The word in 3:15, typically translated as “defense" or "reason" is ἀπολογία (*apologia*). Apology here means not admitting that we were wrong or saying that we're sorry, but explaining the foundation for why our hope is real. We’re to have our case prepared. There is actually plenty of basis before 3:15, and yet there is a "for" or "because" in verse 18 that sets up clear comfort for suffering Christians. There are, as we'll see, some significant questions and competing interpretations that keep everything from being equally clear. But these verses contain some glorious, and hope case-making, truths. > For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. (1 Peter 3:18–22, ESV) # Christ Vivified (verse 18) **Christ also suffered**, connects with Christian suffering in verse 13 and 17. It’s not that Christians suffered first, but rather that Christian suffering isn’t without precedence. In chapter 2 Peter said that Christ left us an “example,” an underwriting (ὑπογραμμὸν), that we should follow in His steps. This is where WWJD got its origin, with [the fictional story by Charles Sheldon]http://(https://www.amazon.com/his-steps-charles-m-sheldon/dp/1453832866). But Christ’s suffering is more than merely a pattern which we should imitate, it is also for our propitiation. His unique suffering was **once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous**. We have hope in whatever parts of our suffering that are similar to His because of His suffering that was something we could never do. His was a *substitution* which the “for” or “instead of” emphasizes. > “He was pierced for our transgressions; > He was crushed for out iniquities; > upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, > and with his wounds we are healed.” > (Isaiah 53:5-6, from which Peter quotes in 1 Peter 2:24, and see also Isaiah 53:11-12) We also have hope because of the purpose of our justification: **that He might bring us to God**. This is my favorite reminder of Christ's work; He turns rebels into brothers, hostile enemies into companions and allies. Redemption is unto *reconciliation*, forgiveness unto *fellowship*, propitiation unto *peace* in His presence. Our sin offended His holy standard and it separated us from Him. The Son suffered to save and bring back the wandering sheep (1 Peter 2:25); He leads *you* to the Father (see Ephesians 2:18). The end of verse 18 begins the challenging part, ** being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit**. He really died; He had a physical body that the Roman soldiers beat and nailed to a cross. In the flesh, as a man, He suffered. On one hand they killed Him, then on the other hand God made Him alive (μὲν...δὲ). He was vivified, from Latin *vivere*, “to live,” so enlivened. But in what way? The word πνεῦμα (*pneuma*) is never capitalized in Greek, context always determines whether it is the Holy Spirit or the spirit of a person, the intangible, non-flesh animating part. If it is the Holy Spirit (as represented in the KJV, NIV) then all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned in this verse as working for our salvation. Paul explicitly connects the Holy Spirit who dwells in us as the Spirit “who raised Jesus from the dead” (Romans 8:11). If it is the Holy Spirit, the phrase really isn't parallel; having been put to death *in the realm/sphere* of the flesh and being vivified *by the agent* of the Spirit. (Though see a possible similar use in 1 Timothy 3:16, ἐν σαρκί...ἐν πνεύματι, body and Spirit.) If it is "spirit" (as in the Geneva Bible, NASB, ESV), then why emphasize that? The resurrection is about His body, which was dead and buried but now alive (which is also our hope). After He said, “It is finished,” Jesus “bowed his head and gave up His spirit” (John 19:30). So this is when He got it back? The Greek word here is *not* the typical word for resurrection (which we find in verse 21), but a form of ζωοποιέω, meaning “to be caused to live, to be vivified.” Is this a time *between* His bodily death and bodily resurrection, when Jesus was disembodied but made alive again in His spirit, or is it another way to refer to His resurrection? Jesus did tell the thief on the cross beside Him that he would be with him *today* in paradise (Luke 23:43), which means that He did not suffer in hell from Friday to Sunday. The questions spill into the next section. # Christ Vindicated (verses 19-20) In the (Spirit/spirit), Jesus went (somewhere) and preached (something) to an audience (of spirits). > in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, (1 Peter 3:19–20a, ESV) Who are the "spirits in prison”? What is the "prison" and where is it? When did this proclaiming occur? What did Jesus proclaim? Why is this so important? What is it doing here? Peter seems to expect that his readers know all of this; his lack of additional details suggests that he’s reminding them not revealing new info. We have less confidence. > Luther wrote, “A wonderful text is this, and a more obscure passage perhaps than any other in the New Testament, so that I do not know for a certainty just what Peter means. (quoted by Schreiner) **In which…having gone He preached** picks up with the last word in verse 17, so “in the Spirit/spirit” Jesus traveled somewhere. It seems that this was the next thing after having been made alive. Vivification/resurrection led to this proclamation. The original word order is, “in which also to the in prison spirits having gone He preached,” with an emphasis on the spirits. When the plural **spirits** is used in the New Testament it is not about men, but angels, and usually fallen angels. And the only **prison** for spirits we're told about is a place for the disobedient spirits (namely Satan in Revelation 20:7) whom Jude perhaps describes in confinement. > And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day (Jude 1:6, ESV) Right after that Jude mentions Sodom and Gomorrah and “likewise” sexual immorality (Jude 1:7). Peter also refers to this angelic disobedience and detention. > For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2:4–5, ESV) Yet some commentators (such as Calvin) assert that this **prison** in 1 Peter 3:19 is figurative for those imprisoned in ignorance or sin or even those bound under the law. So to him, spirits is men, regardless of what the word usually refers to. But what connection does that have to Christ “having gone preached”? Verse 19 sounds like a *message*, not an extended ministry (Heibert). And how does that relate to **in the days of Noah**? We do know that it was particularly sinful, which resulted in God wiping out almost all humanity. Some (such as Augustine) see the “spirits” as the spirits of men, but the *now* disembodied spirits of the men who died in the flood, but the proclamation was through Christ’s Spirit *in Noah *preaching to them (compare with 2 Peter 2:5). In 1995 I was taking a Greek class which worked through 1 Peter, and in my final project, an outline commentary on the book, I took the Noah as preacher interpretation. My professor wrote, "You can be wrong if you want to." Ha. I have changed my mind, mostly because *every* prophet preached righteousness through Christ's Spirit (see 1 Peter 1:11), not just Noah. Plus the order presented in verses 18 to 19 makes the preaching *post* Christ being vivified; it’s not the pre-incarnate Christ. In addition to that, the part that stands out in Noah's day is the demonic activity, which also sets us up for verse 22. It would fit the interpretation that the "sons of God" in Genesis 6 were demons, or at least that men were demon-possessed (MacArthur), and especially in their sexual immorality (Jude 1:6). They were “spirits” who **did not obey…in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared**. The spirits are pre-flood evil-doers. **God’s patience waited**, but not indefinitely. This relates to Christ announcing His triumph. > He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:15, ESV) > he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20b–21 ESV) In His preaching Christ wasn’t offering them a second chance, this isn’t a gospel message; there is “no missionary work in hell” (Lenski). It is a message of His victory. This relates to our hope. The comfort is that a culture dominated by evil, full of depravity, and even rife with demons doesn’t win. The great powers against Christ heard Christ proclaim His victory. # Christ Victorious (verses 21-22) Peter follows the flood waters of judgment with waters of baptism. It **corresponds** (ἀντίτυπον) to or “symbolizes” (NIV) the ark, but it's not the water, the analogy is to Christ. As the waters of judgment brought death, so we are buried in death when baptized, and we only “survive” because we are in Christ. Peter is not teaching baptismal regeneration. The water isn't magic, the cleansing isn’t via ceremony. The external isn't the point, but the **appeal to God for a good conscience**. Our salvation is **through the resurrection of Jesus Christ**, and the elect are born again by faith into hope (1:3). Now He's ascended, our Lord ever more. All the angels, whatever their hierarchy, **authorities and powers**, have been made subject to Christ, and this is *especially true* of the *fallen* angels. He is **at the right hand of God**, a position of honor and authority. There is not one thumb’s-width in the entire domain of *all* existence over which Christ does not rule as Lord. His enemies are being made His footstool (see Psalm 110:1). # Conclusion For my final answers tonight, I’ll go with spirit instead of Spirit, and that being made alive refers to His bodily resurrection rather than a time of His disembodiment when darkness covered the earth for three hours during His crucifixion, that the spirits in prison are the fallen angels who sought to corrupt the human race while Noah built the ark and now are imprisoned, that the resurrected Christ proclaimed His triumph over them, that we are being delivered through our union with Christ and will be brought to God by Christ, and that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. This provides a good apology for our hope: Christ is alive. Christ has atoned for our sin. Christ announced His victory. Christ has ascended to His throne. He knows what it means to suffer for doing good, according to God's will (verse 17), and look at what His suffering brought.

7: Likewise Wives and Husbands

March 6, 2022 • David Light • 1 Peter 3:1–7

"Likewise wives subject yourselves to your husbands" or "Likewise husbands show honor to your wife as the weaker vessel"

6: Following His Steps in the Workplace

February 6, 2022 • Ryan Hall • 1 Peter 2:18–25

5: Proclaiming His Excellences in All You Do

December 5, 2021 • Jim Martin • 1 Peter 2:11–17

4: Living Stones

November 7, 2021 • Jonathan Sarr • 1 Peter 2:4–10

3: Love One Another

October 17, 2021 • David Light • 1 Peter 1:22–25, 1 Peter 2:1–3

2: The Assurance of Our Hope

October 3, 2021 • Jim Martin • 1 Peter 1:10–21

1: Immortal Exiles

September 19, 2021 • Sean Higgins • 1 Peter 1:1–9

# Introduction One question that we've thrown around recently is if our church is prepared for more suffering. There are different kinds of suffering, and who's to say what kinds may or may not be around the corner (even as was true for Peter’s readers). The Lord knows, the Lord wills. There is a sense in which you never really know if you're prepared until you're in the midst of the trouble and, according to the Bible, some troubles are the means to increasing our ability to handle them. But whether or not *we* are prepared, 1 Peter is written with an expectation that you can do some things to get ready. 1 Peter is about suffering, as a Christian and even for doing good as a Christian. It is less about personal suffering, as in, from sickness or injury or depression, though it has application for all kinds of griefs (see verse 6). It is more about relational suffering, we could call it social suffering, with insults (4:14) and slander (4:4) from others. It is about suffering that might happen when a woman is married to a disobedient husband (3:1-6), suffering under a crooked boss (2:18-25), suffering under ignorant (if not malicious) government (2:13-17), and suffering in a culture that is non-Christian (2:11; 4:3-4). 1 Peter was written to Christians in such a hostile environment, and it has application for much of what we see around us now. The three main themes of 1 Peter are suffering, submission, and salvation, but in the reverse order. Peter thought there were things Christians could do to prepare for suffering, and he thought so directly and by argument. That's why the first chapter and a half are about our salvation, because when we understand what our God-given faith is for, we will be less surprised at the fiery trial that's upon us (4:12). Faith is given by God, and in another way it is made by fire. The Peter who wrote the letter is the apostle Peter. He watched his Lord suffer, up close. He tried to avoid suffering one memorable time by denying that he knew the Lord. By the time he wrote this letter he had already spent time in prison for preaching. He wrote to the **elect exiles** throughout a **dispersion**, perhaps better *not* capitalized as a proper noun. These were “scattered” Christians in the area of modern day Turkey. Though he was the apostle entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised (Galatians 2:7-8), the description of his readers in 1 Peter seem to be more Gentile, even if mixed. That Peter refers to “the futile ways inherited from your forefathers” (1:18) indicated that most of his readers were Gentiles. They had once *not* been a people, but are *now* God’s people (2:10). The provinces of **Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia** were diverse demographically, though all of them were part of the Roman Empire at this point. The order in which the areas are listed probably designates the order in which the courier (Silvanus, see 5:12) would carry the letter to the readers. Evidence is lacking for an official government policy against Christians. Though Nero’s persecution around A.D. 64 was clearly targeted at Christians, it’s not clear that martyrdom was expected by Christians before that, even if the culture was unfavorable or belligerent against Christians. So Peter calls them **exiles**, not because they weren’t living at home. It is more than a geographical condition, it is a spiritual one. We’re living away from our native country; our citizenship is dual-nature (earth and heaven per Philippians 3:20), resident aliens. This world is not the Christian's home. We are “aliens and strangers” (1 Peter 2:11: NASB), “foreigners” (NIV), “pilgrims” (KJV). I do think that this is *true*, and it does *not* have to make a man a *dualist* if he also pays attention to his responsibilities as an exile, which is more than mere evangelism. God wants His people to (here) live by faith. The way to prepare for submitting how God wants us to submit is by following in the steps of Jesus who left us an example (2:21). The way to prepare for suffering how God wants us to suffer is by trusting Him as the faithful Creator (4:19). We are to gird up our mental loins with faith (1:13). Faith, birthed (1:22) and grown (2:2) and finished (5:10), is the point of Peter's letter, and here in his introduction. Peter identifies himself and his readers as exiles, those who are **elect**, chosen by God. They are Christians, by the various work of the Father, Son, and Spirit, for sake of obedience. They’ve been washed by **sprinkling with his blood**. In verse 3 he blesses God. > Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. This is salvation, but the word **salvation** here is used for a *future* salvation. Salvation needs to be defined; it is ambiguous in that it has a number of meanings. Being born again is salvation, living by faith is salvation, and also getting to this eternal inheritance is salvation. The *end* part is what Peter refers to, though the whole story is one that the prophets wrote about and the angels give attention to (verses 10-12). This is also God's sovereign salvation. It is salvation by God's initiative and God's power and God's purpose. It has come to us with the nickname Calvinism (notice at least the doctrines of election, calling, and perseverance in these verses), and it is a great buttress against the battering rams of suffering. As a child does not choose its parents or its date of birth, so Christians are **caused to be born again** by the Father. This new life is a life of **living hope**, which overlaps with *faith*. The way this life came about is **through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead**. We saw that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection (Romans 1:4), and here all those who are born again as sons of God come through the resurrection. He gives life, He gives hope, and that living hope looks to an **eternal inheritance**. We may be exiles, but we are *immortal* exiles, and there's more to say about the end of our salvation still to come. But God promises to us what we cannot fully grasp even by faith, an ** imperishable, undefiled, and unfading** glory that He shares with His children. For now He keeps us. We **are being guarded by faith**. Faith is His gift, faith is our guard. Salvation is by faith, and the Father, Son, and Spirit's work is not to save us without faith, but to give and sustain and prove that faith. That’s why perseverance of the exiled saints is such a fitting doctrine. There are two things that result from this celebration of guaranteed salvation. First, we rejoice in the truth of our faith from God. Second, we're ready for the testing of our faith by God. > In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Remember how the Ephesians had abandoned their first love (Revelation 2:4)? I sometimes think about getting back to my first comfort. 1 Peter 1:6 gave me great comfort at a time of great grief. I was broken, physically, with a fracture of my vertebrae and having had surgery to insert rods to hold things together. This verse was like a rod to hold my head up with living hope. (It was also the text for my sermon on the first livestream only service, March 22, 2020.) I shared Charles Spurgeon's sermon in the FB group a couple days ago (“The Christian’s Heaviness and Rejoicing”), and it is worth [reading] or [listening] to in its entirety. But let the KJV highlight some comfort. > Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (KJV) **Greatly rejoice**. There is no little bit of comfort. The ESV’s “rejoice” is not enough for this word (ἀγαλλιᾶσθε). It’s like saying exult means not leaping up in elation but merely a seventh grade school picture smile, when you’re too cool for joy. This is exceeding joy, to be *over*joyed. **for a season**. It is only a short time, the phrase means a “little now” (ὀλίγον ἄρτι). Four thousand weeks (77 years) is long when compared to the weekend (48 hours), it is not long at all when compared to the *unending* inheritance. We are in the period of rain, but the sun will have its way. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5). **if need be**. *Everything* that happens is only what God determines; in His omniscient great mercy He does what is necessary. The Father knows your frame (Psalm 103:14), the Father knows what you need (Matthew 6:32). The Father has chosen you for faith, and for glory, and he knows what’s needful for your faith to get it to glory. **you are in heaviness**. It is not easy. And they are *light*, as well as momentary, compared to the eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). But for now it is deep sadness, sorrow, depression. It is not just that you are having troubles; many men laugh easily by faith. This is a heartache, a grief, a darkness. > Why are you cast down (bowed down/depressed), O my soul, > and why are you in turmoil (disquieted) within me? > (Psalm 43:5a) > A man’s spirit will endure sickness, > but a crushed spirit who can bear? > (Proverbs 18:14) Here’s what Spurgeon said: > your spirits are taken away from you; you are made to weep; you cannot bear your pain; you are brought to the very dust of death, and wish that you might die. Your faith itself seems as if it would fail you. That is the thing for which there is a needs be. **manifold trials**. For as many colors as there were in Joseph's coat, so there will be as many different tones and tints in your trials. The life-cycle of a bruise is not so well outlined, but varies in shape and shade. Maybe it’s one after another, maybe it’s a perfect cocktail of trouble. It is standard for faith to be tested, but the tests are not standardized. The Lord has a diversified battery of tests. **Wherein** or "in this". When your head is bowed under the burdens, look up *by faith*. Memorize this verse. It will, itself, trigger you to remember at least the gist of the "this" (in verses 3-5 at least) but hold onto it like a ballast in the waves. Exult in your merciful Father, His risen Son, their preserving of your inheritance, their power to hold on to you (see also John 10:29). There is *purpose* in your problems, there is a *needs be*, and oh, what gold God is making of your faith. > so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. It was not my idea that muscles get stronger by being torn, or that gold becomes purer through heat, or that faith gets faith-ier through trials. But these are beyond hypothesis. They are observable, they have been tested, they are reproducible. They are also unhidden, made manifest in God's Word (Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4). According to verse 7 God will get our faith where it needs to be: *proven and purified and precious and praiseworthy*. Verse 8 *pictures* what faith looks like in all of it. > Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, The life of faith is a life of: love and joy+. The life of faith, beloved, is *personal*, as in, loving Jesus and believing in Him and living in hope for His revelation, His return, His vindication, His honor. For now we have His Word, He is present in His Word, but He is three-dimensional. Our love and joy are often two-dimensional, no thicker than ink scratched on a piece of paper. I know. This is not to say that there is no heaviness. Peter actually just said there would be. But for exiles who are immortal, the heaviness won't be. Heaviness is bound. One of the reasons that others ask about the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15) is not that we don't have heaviness, but that we are also rejoicing in Jesus. Verse 9 shows us the end, faith *perfected*. > obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. There is a termination point for faith. Faith is not immortal, though believers are. Faith will become sight (1 Corinthians 13:12), and that *sight* will be faith completed, faith perfected. While we live by faith we are not finally saved, even though we have been saved and are being saved. While we live by faith our faith is being made provocative, and praiseworthy. # Conclusion If all we want is mud-pie faith, we will get mud-pie joy. But if we have golden faith we will know glory-joy. How do you prepare for suffering? You live by faith. Thomas Watson, _A Godly Man’s Picture_: > "Faith is the vital artery of the soul: 'The just shall live by his faith' (Habakkuk 2:4). ... Faith is the mother of hope; first we believe the promise, then we hope for it. ... If the sinews are cut, the body is lame; if this sinew of faith is cut, hope is lame. Faith is the ground of patience; he who believes that God is his God, and that all providences work for his good, patiently yields himself to the will of God." (28-29) Let’s get the second half of Psalm 43:5. > Why are you cast down, O my soul, > and why are you in turmoil within me? > Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, > my salvation and my God. > (Psalm 43:5)