1 Peter (Part 3):How Themes in Part 1 Co-relate to Part 2

Short paragraph on each category in Part 1 based on Part 2.

Peter presents a strong case of them in understanding who they are in Jesus. Terms such as being chosen v.1, set apart v.2, show mercy, having new birth (v.23 as well) and a living hope v.3, haring an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading v.4 where God protects it v.5 and being ransomed v.18 all points to a wonderful picture that anchors their faith in what they have in Jesus. Peter reshapes their identity by pointing them to what God has done for them in Jesus. This in turn will be the basis on which Peter will draw out how their living should be. Peter here deals with stating a strong soteriological understanding that will have a purpose to navigate how it is for them to live.

According to the way Peter puts it in his letter here salvation is a future event. Peter states that inheritance (1:5), the salvation of the soul (1:9) and receiving boundless joy (4:3) are blessings received in the future. He used such terms as “revealed in the last time” (1:5), “receiving the end result of your faith” (1:9) and “when his glory is revealed” (4:13) all hold to an indication that salvation is received in its fullness at the coming of Christ. It could be that Peter addressed this in order to anchor the faith of his readers so that they remain steadfast in their trials. A future filled with hope awaits, their way of life is not lived in vain but awaits the fullness of their salvation at the end. Peter exhorts them to keep on living their life of faith reminding them that it is not finished until Christ returns and this is when their salvation will be realized fully.

Predominantly, some of terms found in 1 Peter 2:4-10 such as being a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession comes from Exodus 19:5-6. These terms were central to Israel in understanding that they were the elect of God. Peter wrote to his readers to remind them of who they were, the elect of God using language equivalent to language of Israel. Knowing that they were the elect with them the understanding that in the midst of their trials they had a foundation and trust to hold onto. It became their foundation for ethic as well.

The suffering and persecution they faced was not something out of the ordinary for a Christian but Peter tells them that there will be consequences of following Jesus even on the onset of doing good. Their sufferings have eschatological dimensions in which sees hope, vindication and commendation at the coming of Christ in 1:6-7. Their suffering for doing good is commendable to God and that it shows their relational connection (4:14). This could also be a way of missions as well, where the non-believers might be won over by their life example in the midst of their suffering. Jesus sets for them an example to follow in suffering and this becomes a pattern in which they follow. Implicitly, it also becomes a source of encouragement in that Jesus also suffered like them. After all in the end God is the judge of how one lives (3:9-12, 4:5) and so their life should follow the pattern based on who God is (1:16) and the example he laid out for them in Jesus to follow.

Christian behaviour of loving one another, considerate, being like-minded or submissive all fall out of a response of what God had done for them (mainly seen in 1:1-12). Since they were already persecuted from their society or maybe even their families, the community of believers now has become their family and Peter’s exhortation’s for them in how they live together becomes all the more important. An implication of how they behave and relate to one another can also be seen in the form of witness. Their unity in their belief and life will be a witness to those outside the church.

Christians living among their pagan neighbours were to exemplify God’s character and nature (1:16).This is basically in how they relate and in what Christians shun from their old practices. It is through this example that they will eventually communicate the message of their faith by how they live. This will open up conversations on what they believe but in relating this Christians are called to share their faith with respect. The terms that Peter applied to the believers to whom he wrote reminded them of who they were and in whom they belonged to. This would become their anchor of hope and encouragement in the pagan society where they were socially marginalized. It gave them a sense of belonging. It also reminded them that although they were living in the midst of society, they were also foreigners and exiles. They belonged to God, in a way that their way of life and how they live are governed by him and not the social norms of the world they were living in. Their identity gave them an ethics of how to live.

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