1 Peter 1 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
1 1-2 Peter, messenger of Jesus Christ, sends this letter to the exiles of the dispersed tribes (in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia), whom God the Father knew and chose long ago to be made holy by his Spirit, that they might obey Jesus Christ and be cleansed by his blood: may you know more and more of God’s grace and peace.
Your faith is being tested, but your future is magnificent
3-5 Thank God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that in his great mercy we men have been born again into a life full of hope, through Christ’s rising again from the dead! You can now hope for a perfect inheritance beyond the reach of change and decay, “reserved” in Heaven for you. And in the meantime you are guarded by the power of God operating through your faith, till you enter fully into the salvation which is all ready for the d?nouement of the last day.
6-9 This means tremendous joy to you, I know, even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold, and gold, as you know, even though it is ultimately perishable, must be purified by fire. This proving of your faith is planned to bring you praise and honour and glory in the day when Jesus Christ reveals himself. And though you have never seen him, yet I know that you love him. At present you trust him without being able to see him, and even now he brings you a joy that words cannot express and which has in it a hint of the glories of Heaven; and all the time you are receiving the result of your faith in him—the salvation of your own souls.
10-12 The prophets of old did their utmost to discover and obtain this salvation. They did not find it, but they prophesied of this grace that has now come to you. They tried hard to discover to what time and to what sort of circumstances the Spirit of Christ working in them was referring. For he foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow them. It was then made clear to them that they were dealing with matters not meant for themselves, but for you. It is these very matters which have been made plain to you by those who preached the Gospel to you by the same Spirit sent from Heaven—and these are facts to command the interest of the very angels!
Consider soberly what God has done for you
13-16 So brace up your minds, and, as men who know what they are doing, rest the full weight of your hopes on the grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ reveals himself. Live as obedient children before God. Don’t let your character be moulded by the desires of your ignorant days, but be holy in every department of your lives, for the one who has called you is himself holy. The scripture says: ‘Be holy, for I am holy’.
17-21 If you pray to a Father who judges men by their actions without the slightest favouritism, then you should spend the time of your stay here on earth with reverent fear. For you must realise all the time that you have been “ransomed” from the futile way of living passed on to you by your fathers’ traditions, not with some money payment of transient value, but by the costly shedding of blood. The price was in fact the life-blood of Christ, the unblemished and unstained lamb of sacrifice. It is true that God chose him to fulfil this part before the world was founded, but it was for your benefit that he was revealed in these last days—for you who found your faith in God through Christ. And God raised him from the dead and gave him unimaginable splendour, so that all your faith and hope might be centred in God.
Let your life match your high calling
22-25a Now that you have, by obeying the truth, made your souls clean enough for a genuine love of your fellows, see that you do love each other, fervently and from the heart. For you are the sons of God now; the live, permanent Word of the living God has given you his own indestructible heredity. It is true that: ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures for ever’.
25b The Word referred to, as far as you are concerned, is the message of the Gospel that was preached to you.