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Encouragement for Suffering Christians

From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.

To God’s chosen people who are away from their homes. You are scattered all around Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. God the Father planned long ago to choose you by making you his holy people. Making you holy is the Spirit’s work. God wanted you to obey him and to be made clean by the blood of the death of Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be yours more and more.

A Living Hope

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has great mercy, and because of his mercy he gave us a new life. He gave us a living hope because Jesus Christ rose from death. Now we hope for the blessings God has for his children. These blessings are kept for you in heaven. They cannot be destroyed or be spoiled or lose their beauty. God’s power protects you through your faith, and it keeps you safe until your salvation comes. That salvation is ready to be given to you at the end of time. This makes you very happy. But now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold. Gold can be proved to be pure by fire, but gold can be destroyed. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes again. You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. You are filled with a joy that cannot be explained. And that joy is full of glory. Your faith has a goal, to save your souls. And you are receiving that goal—your salvation.

10 The prophets searched carefully and tried to learn about this salvation. They spoke about the grace that was coming to you. 11 The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets. And the Spirit was telling about the sufferings that would happen to Christ and about the glory that would come after those sufferings. The prophets tried to learn about what the Spirit was showing them. They tried to learn when those things would happen and what the world would be like at that time. 12 It was shown to them that their service was not for themselves. It was for you. They were serving you when they told about the truths you have now heard. The men who preached the Good News to you told you those things. They did it with the help of the Holy Spirit that was sent from heaven. These are truths that even the angels want very much to know about.

A Call to Holy Living

13 So prepare your minds for service and have self-control. All your hope should be for the gift of grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ comes again. 14 In the past you did not understand, so you did the evil things you wanted. But now you are children of God who obey. So do not live as you lived in the past. 15 But be holy in all that you do, just as God is holy. God is the One who called you. 16 It is written in the Scriptures: “You must be holy, because I am holy.”[a]

17 You pray to God and call him Father. And this Father judges each man’s work equally. So while you are here on earth, you should live with respect for God. 18 You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way. You got that way of living from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, but not with something that ruins like gold or silver. 19 You were bought with the precious blood of the death of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb. 20 Christ was chosen before the world was made. But he was shown to the world in these last times for you. 21 You believe in God through Christ. God raised Christ from death and gave him glory. So your faith and your hope are in God.

22 Now you have made yourselves pure by obeying the truth. Now you can have true love for your brothers. So love each other deeply with all your heart. 23 You have been born again. This new life did not come from something that dies, but from something that cannot die. You were born again through God’s living message that continues forever. 24 The Scripture says,

“All people are like the grass.
    And all their strength is like the flowers of the field.
The grass dies and the flowers fall.
25 But the word of the Lord will live forever.” Isaiah 40:6-8

And this is the word that was preached to you.

Footnotes

  1. 1:16 “You must be . . . holy.” Quotation from Leviticus 11:45; 19:2; 20:7.

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