1 Peter 1
God has given us a new life because of Christ
1 This letter is from me, Peter. I am an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to you, God's own people that he has chosen. You are now living in many different places, in the regions called Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. You are living in these foreign places as strangers. 2 God, the Father, already decided that you should be his people. God's Spirit has made you special people who would obey Jesus Christ. God chose you so that Jesus Christ's blood would make you really clean.
1:1Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia were all parts of the country that we now call Turkey. There was too much trouble for the Christians to live safely in their own land.
1:2Jesus died as a sacrifice so that God would forgive us for our sins. The blood of his sacrifice makes us clean. Our sins do not make us dirty any more because God has forgiven us.
I pray that God will help you and give you peace in your minds more and more.
3 We praise God, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is very kind to us, so that he has given us new life. This is possible because God raised Jesus Christ to new life after his death. Now, as we live, we are sure that we will receive good things from God. 4 We wait to receive all the good things that he has prepared for us. Nobody can ever destroy those things. Nothing can spoil them. They will never become old or less beautiful. God is keeping those things in heaven for you. 5 God is using his great power to keep you safe, because you trust him. He will continue to keep you safe until the last day, when Christ will return. Then you will know that God has saved you completely from sin and from death.
6 All this causes you to be very happy, even when you have troubles. For a short time now, different kinds of troubles may make you sad. 7 The purpose of these troubles is to show whether you really trust God. When you believe in Jesus, that is more valuable even than gold. People put gold into a hot fire to see if it is really good. And even gold will come to an end one day. But if you continue to trust God in your troubles, he will be very happy. On the day when Jesus Christ returns and appears to everyone, God will praise you. He will say that you have done well. That will be great!
8 You have never seen Jesus, but still you love him. You do not see him now, but you believe in him. As a result, you are very happy. There are no words to describe how happy you are. 9 You are happy now because God is saving you from sin. You believe in Jesus, and you know that God saves you because of that.
1:9God tells us that Jesus died to save us from our sin. If we believe in Jesus, sin no longer has power over us. Also, God will not punish us for our sins because he has punished Jesus instead, on the cross.
10 A long time ago, God's prophets spoke about this. They said that God would be very kind to you, his people. They studied carefully to learn how God would save people. 11 They wanted to know when God's special Messiah would come and who he would be. Christ's Spirit showed those prophets that the Messiah would receive much trouble and pain. After that, God would show how great the Messiah is. 12 God showed his prophets that his messages about these things were not really to help them. Instead, God sent his message to the prophets to help you. That message is the good news about Jesus Christ which you have now heard. God sent his Holy Spirit from heaven to help people to tell the good news to you. Even the angels would like to understand more about these things.
Christians should do what is good
13 So now, prepare your minds, so that you are ready to live in a good way. Think clearly about how God helps you. Always remember that God will be very kind to you when Jesus Christ comes again. 14 Obey God, like good children who obey their father. Before you knew the true message about Christ, you very much wanted to do bad things. But now you should not agree to live in that bad way. 15 God has chosen you to be his own people. He is completely good. So, you must be completely good too, in the way that you live. 16 In the Bible God says this: ‘You must be completely good, because I am completely good.’
1:16In the book of Leviticus, God says five times that we should be completely good, like him. See Leviticus 11:44, 45; 19:2; 20:7, 26.
17 God knows what each person has done, and he judges each one for those things. He is always fair when he decides about people. He is never kinder to one person than he is to another person. When you pray to God, you call him ‘Father’. So then, always respect him, while you live as strangers here in the world. 18 Your ancestors lived in a way that did not make them really happy. That is the way that you learned to live as well. But now God has saved you from that way of life. You know that he has bought you for himself. He did not buy you with things that do not continue for ever, like silver or gold. 19 Instead, he bought you with the very valuable blood of Christ, who died as a sacrifice for our sins. He died like a lamb that is completely good and has nothing wrong with it.
1:19‘blood of Christ’ means his death as a sacrifice on the cross. Christ was completely good. He never did anything wrong. He died on our behalf. He did much more than any dead animal could ever do. He took away all the wrong things that anyone has ever done.
1:19Many years ago, God told Israel's people to kill lambs and other animals and to offer them to him as gifts. The animals should have nothing wrong with their bodies. Those gifts to God showed that the people were sorry because of the wrong things that they had done. They offered animals to God so that he would choose not to remember those wrong things. So then he would not punish them.
20 Before the world began, God had already chosen Christ. But now, during these last days of the world, God has shown Christ to people. God did that so that he could help you. 21 Yes, it is because of Christ that you now believe in God. God raised Christ, so that he became alive again after his death. He did that to show everyone that Christ is great. That is why you believe in God. You trust him that he will do good things for you.
22 You have obeyed God's true message. As a result, you have become clean inside, and now you can really love other believers. So, continue to love each other very well, with honest thoughts. 23 You now have a new life! It is not like a human life that quickly comes to an end. It is a new life that will never spoil. You received it because you believed God's message. That message continues for ever and it does not change. 24 The Bible says:
‘All people are like grass.
They may seem beautiful for a short time,
like flowers that grow in the fields.
But grass soon becomes dry and it dies.
Flowers soon fall to the ground.
25 But the Lord God's message will continue for ever.’
That message is the good news about Jesus Christ, which people have taught you.