Greetings and prayer
1From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
To God's people who are scattered like foreigners in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
2God the Father decided to choose you as his people, and his Spirit has made you holy. You have obeyed Jesus Christ and are sprinkled with his blood.#1.2 sprinkled with his blood: According to Exodus 24.3–8 the people of Israel were sprinkled with the blood of cows to show they would keep their agreement with God. Peter says that it is the blood of Jesus that seals the agreement between God and his people. See Hebrews 9.18–21.
I pray that God will be kind to you and will keep on giving you peace!
A real reason for hope
3Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, he has given us new life and a hope that lives on. 4God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear.
5You have faith in God, whose power will protect you until the last day.#1.5 the last day: When God will judge all people. Then he will save you, just as he has always planned to do. 6On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while. 7Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honour and glory when Jesus Christ returns.
8You have never seen Jesus, and you don't see him now. But still you love him and have faith in him, and no words can tell how glad and happy 9you are to be saved. That's why you have faith.
10Some prophets told how kind God would be to you, and they searched hard to find out more about the way you would be saved. 11The Spirit of Christ was in them and was telling them how Christ would suffer and would then be given great honour. So they searched to find out exactly who Christ would be and when this would happen. 12But they were told that they were serving you and not themselves. They preached to you by the power of the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven. And their message was only for you, even though angels would like to know more about it.
Living as God's holy people
13Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears. 14Behave like obedient children. Don't let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be. 15Always live as God's holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy. 16#Lev 11.4445Lev 19.2That's why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.”
17You say that God is your Father, but God doesn't have favourites! He judges all people by what they do. So you must honour God while you live as strangers here on earth. 18You were rescued#1.18 rescued: The Greek word often, though not always, means payment of a price to free a slave or prisoner. from the useless way of life that you learnt from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don't last for ever. 19You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb. 20Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days. 21And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honoured him in a glorious way. That's why you have put your faith and hope in God.
22You obeyed the truth,#1.22 You obeyed the truth: Some manuscripts add “by the power of the Spirit”. and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart. 23Do this because God has given you new birth by his message that lives on for ever. 24#Isa 40.6–8 (LXX)The Scriptures say,
“Humans wither like grass,
and their glory fades
like wild flowers.
Grass dries up,
and flowers fall
to the ground.
25But what the Lord has said
will stand for ever.”
Our good news to you is what the Lord has said.