There is so much in these verses that I will not be able to touch on them all. My desire is to show you why we love Him so, and why we have a living hope!
Peter writes this epistle in really the first major outbreak of persecution from a very mentally disturb Emperor Nero. Evidently he was seeking scapegoats to divert the public’s attention and suspicion that he had started the great fire that left Rome in ruins.
Nero went as far as encasing the Christians in wax and burning them at the stake to light his gardens. So Peter wrote to those who were suffering under Nero, words of encouragement and comfort.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
8 and though you have not seen Him (past tense), you love Him, and though you do not see Him now (present tense), but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls1 Peter 1:1-9 [Emphasis Mine}
It says in verse 8, you have not seen Him (past tense), you love Him, and though you do not see Him now (present tense), but believe in Him. It reminds me of the words of Jesus Himself in John 20 to Thomas.
Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”John 20:29 [Emphasis Mine]
Peter is writing this letter to people who have not seen Christ as he did. But because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, even though they don’t see Him they love Him!
Why is that, why do they (we) love Jesus so?
It says, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ,
- We are chosen. Chosen is eklektos from verb eklego which in middle voice eklegomai means select or pick out for one’s self which is derived from ek =out + lego =call, it means literally the “called out ones” or “chosen out ones”. Jesus told His disciples “You did not choose Me but I chose you” John 15:16. Jesus said in John 6:44 No one can come to Me, unless the Father Who sent Me draws him.
- According to the foreknowledge of God. Foreknowledge prognosis from verb proginosko from pro = before + ginosko = to know, it literally means to know in advance or beforehand Ephesians 1:4. Now there are some who believe foreknowledge is God going through the corridors of history to see if we will except Him, then going back in time and choosing us. If that is the case, what do you do with Acts 2:23…this Man (Jesus), delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge (prognosis) of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. So did God go through the corridors of history to see if Jesus would do His will. I don’t think so!
- By the sanctifying work of the Spirit, Sanctifying hagiasmos from hagiazo = sanctify from hagios = holy, set apart, consecration, purification, the effect of consecration, sanctification of heart and life. It all begins by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. What does the Spirit produce?
- Faith- Ephesians 2:8
- Repentance- Acts 11:15-17, 18
- Regeneration- Titus 3:5
Then Peter writes in verse 3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, We have just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is alive. This says that we, according to His (God’s) great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He’s Alive and we were raised with Him. We have gone from death to life. Ephesians 2:4-6 and we are a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17. Paul said, And I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20
and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls1 Peter 1:8-9
Why do we have a living hope?
God chose us and caused us to be born again, born from above, He placed His sanctifying Spirit in us to set us apart for Himself.
So though we have never seen Jesus our Lord and Savior we love Him, though we don’t even see Him now, we believe in Him. We greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
What’s the reason for this inexpressible joy?
We are obtaining, komizomenoi = presently receiving, root word komizō, means to receive what is deserved. What is deserved for our personal relationship with Christ?
The present outcome of our faith, namely the salvation of our souls.
There is no reason for a believer in Jesus Christ to have no hope or to lose our joy.
We are obtaining the outcome of our faith…
…the salvation of our souls!
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul
…and that’s a beautiful thing!