Suffering and Salvation – 1 Peter 1:3-5

PersecutionIt is possible the original readers of 1 Peter wondered about the status of their salvation. They knew God had promised the Jewish people a return from the exile, a return to the “promised land” and a righteous and just king to rule over them in a time of prosperity. Yet the Jewish people remain in exile, Rome rules over them with an iron fist and the political circumstances of the early 60s would seem to indicate that some sort of war between Rome and Jerusalem was inevitable.

The original readers believed Jesus was in fact the messiah and that his death and resurrection had inaugurated a new age. They were awaiting the return of the Messiah to establish his kingdom in Jerusalem. But instead of a glorious return of the Messiah, the original readers of this letter were suffering oppression and persecution as a result of their faith in Jesus as Messiah. It is unlikely this was the sort of systematic persecution by Rome that would later be the case, but it was no less shocking given the hope they have in Jesus.

Does the persecution mean that they have not inherited salvation? Have they put their faith in Jesus in vain? Peter’s point in these opening verses is that the believer in Jesus has a new status (they are born again into God’s family) and that their inheritance is kept for them by God himself. In fact, by its very nature, their inheritance is unable to fade or become worthless.

In response to these fears, Peter first describes salvation as “an unfading inheritance” (1:3-5).  Peter is writing to Jewish Christians who are in fact suffering for their faith, so in this introductory prayer he introduces the main themes of the letter. The Christian will suffer in this age, but that suffering is not an indication of punishment. In fact, genuine salvation is completely secure because it is kept by God himself.

Second, Peter says we are born again into “a living hope.”  While “born again” is a common way to describe Christians in the contemporary church, Peter is the only writer in the New Testament to use the verb ἀναγεννάω to refer to the spiritual experience of the believer, although the concept appears in 2 Cor 5, for example, and is implied in several adoption passages (we are children of God, etc.).

All of this language refers to the Holy Spirit’s regeneration of the believer. Peter says here that we have “a great salvation” not simply because we get to go to heaven someday, but because we have been fundamentally changed through the power of the Spirit of God and the resurrection of Jesus.  Ernest Best points out that this should not be reduced to a metaphor. It is not the case that believer’s experience is “like being born again.” We are in fact born again (Best, 1 Peter, 75).

Third, this regeneration to new life is through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is somewhat surprising that he does not say through the blood of Jesus, or the Cross. Peter’s focus is on the coming of the new covenant in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; since he lives, we also can have life.  Peter described the hope we have on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus and the regeneration of the spirit as an inheritance.  This is a very biblical way to describe salvation. In the Hebrew Bible, Israel was redeemed from their slavery in Egypt and brought to the “promised land.” That land was their inheritance, promised to Abraham in Gen 12. In the New Testament Paul describes our salvation as an inheritance (1 Cor 6:9, 15:50, Col 3:24, Titus 3:7; cf., Heb 1:14).

In our increasingly post-Christian America, it is possible some more conservative evangelicals may have the same questions as Peter’s original readers. When is Jesus going to return and judge those people! How should this description of our salvation in 1 Peter change the way we look at the changing role of Christianity in contemporary culture?

39 thoughts on “Suffering and Salvation – 1 Peter 1:3-5

  1. I do not feel that Christians today think like 1 Peter teaches, especially in areas of us being truly changed by the Spirit of God, and that God holds our inheritance. Because he holds it no matter what happens to us in this life, and sufferings are not a punishment, we should greet the trials that come to us as we live separate from society. They are to be expected since we are now living as children of God which means we are made new, unlike the world we live in that has not surrendered to God. 1 Peter 1: 7 says that the trials come to prove our genuineness in our faith. Our culture today is based on being comfortable, and suffering is unwelcome to the point of alleviating it in whatever manner we can. We also doubt our ability to conquer sinful patterns because we do not believe in the power of the Holy Spirit in us, which means that we have God on our side and his power to tap into. Jobes says that believers should view these things in light of, “Although believers share in suffering by following the example of Christ, they also share in the sure victory of the one who has gone ahead of them and should therefore be encouraged to persevere in faithfulness.

  2. “In our increasingly post-Christian America, it is possible some more conservative evangelicals may have the same questions as Peter’s original readers. When is Jesus going to return and judge those people! How should this description of our salvation in 1 Peter change the way we look at the changing role of Christianity in contemporary culture?”

    You bring up a great point. I believe we have the opportunity to see more true conversions as Christianity leaves the center square. Christianity spread the best under persecution.

    As Americans we now live in a mission field which is much different than a Christian nation. Because we live in a mission field it is better. It is a better opportunity to bear real Kingdom Eternal Fruit.

    We face this opportunity with the type of assurance you illustrated from the mouth of The Apostle Peter.

  3. I think that today some of the conservative Christians spend so much time judging others on their own time that they neglect to remember that Jesus and God are truly the only people who can judge anyone especially based on their salvation. As Peter describes salvation and in our post-Christian society we need to hang on to the truths that Jesus has said and others have written on throughout the Bible. As Peter says our salvation is an “unfading inheritance” and we should do well to remember that is a valid statement. Our salvation is an inheritance and once we accept it that it cannot be taken away. It is from God and it is a gift, an inheritance as Peter says. Peter uses different word choice than others who write on these topics, however we should look at the way he writes from his point of view but we can use these even today. Peter speaks on the resurrection and of salvation as not changing and today I feel that we should spend more time looking at how Christianity is changing through Peter’s eyes. Even as the Christian role in society changes, truly God and Jesus do not. They are and they always will be and they haven’t changed although the Christianity in society continually seems to have a smaller and smaller presence, but salvation truly doesn’t nor does the way you attain it. Peter writes on truths that are even still valid today and we should look at it from that point of view.

  4. We need to realize that Christianity is not about judging others for the actions that they have done or the attitudes that they might have towards fellow believers, but rather the Christian religion is about accepting those who are different from us and allowing God to use us as an avenue to change the culture around us. If we focus on the wrathful judgment that God will bring to the people who displease him, just as the Westboro Baptist Church does, than we are losing out on a significant aspect of God’s personality, that of forgiveness and mercy. Christians do not need to worry about the evil aspects of this degrading world, for this world is perishable and will be cleansed away when its time has come, but should instead focus on the eternal unfading treasure that our acceptance into God’s family has given us. When we focus on this unfading treasure, the evils and tribulations that come with living in this world lose much of their significance. The presidential race matters little to me in the end, because whoever wins the presidency has little impact on my eternal salvation. Given this I would still want to be an agent of God’s will in this world, bringing change and light to the stagnant and darkness, but I know that the outcomes of the world’s decisions do will not diminish my reward in heaven.

  5. I tend to agree with those who have posted above, we like to sit in judgment of our fellow Christians and non-Christians alike. I think that for many believers in this day and age, the issue of salvation is only skin deep merely stopping at the “I’m not going to hell” level and goes no further. According to Peter there should be an evident and core deep change in the believer because the believer has been born again into a new state of being through the transformative power of Jesus. I am a firm believer that persecution is a very real side effect of Christianity, simply because Jesus said it will happen to us because it happened to Him and if we follow Him we should expect the same. The Bible never promises that the Christian life will be easy, but rather that we should expect persecution.

  6. Maybe I’m not understanding the question correctly, but I don’t think the role of Christianity is changing, but maybe the application and context in which its being lived. If our country and culture is moving further and further away from christian values and a christian world view, Christians are going to look more like the believers that peter was writing too. Our hope and belief in the Gospel is going to need to be strong. Our joy is going to have to come from the fact that this world is temporary and we will one day be with our Lord in Heaven forever. The hope that the Gospel gives that is talked about in the Bible will be so much more real. I think we as 21st century Christians living in America cant even begin to understand to think of the salvation through Jesus as our only hope, and all we have to fall back on. We need to work in order to have that mentality.

  7. I suppose I am not sure how to compare our current Post-Christian America with that of Peter’s original readers. They were facing major oppression, like you have mentioned in this blog post, “Rome rules over them with an iron fist.” In America, the most oppression that we see has to do with the Starbucks red cup or maybe a dirty look from someone who does not agree with us. We have not really faced the oppression that Peter’s original readers have. Some conservative Christian’s may be eager for Jesus to come back and judge people, but those same Christian’s probably have not tried to show Christ’s love to those people either. I understand that Peter’s original readers would have been eager, because they most likely lived in fear, but today we have it easy. We are comfortable. When the time comes that we do start to receive this kind of oppression, we should look to what Peter has said. We should stand strong in our faith through the circumstances.
    -McKenzie McCord-

    • McKenzie,

      Post-Christain America is absolutely different from back then because we have it way easier than the people described in 1 Peter as you stated. And it is definitely hard to compare considering they we were oppressed and we were not. This is a tough question to answer because it is just causing me to ask more questions. Honestly, I think rather than the role of Christianity changing it is adapting to the times of today. Everything is changing or adapting in America and it has been apparent the last couple of years. We have been more accepting I feel like but there still people in this country that try to oppress others. We must stick with what Peter has written and put all of our trust in God. Jobes states in her book that, ““In the context of post-Christian America, our task is to preach the gospel and to proclaim the truths of God’s Word” (Jobes, 331). This right here shows that we need to stand up for our faith and our selves in this post-Christian America.

    • McKenzie,

      You are absolutely correct and I’d agree with when you said we have it way easier than what the people did back when the book of 1 Peter was written. We have like you described it, have gotten way too comfortable in the sense of living in a world that is “easy”. I also really liked it when you said that we as humans and children of Christ need to stand strong in our faith through some tough circumstances. In Philippians 1:27 NIV, it says that, ” Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” Basically, the first word that comes to mind for me is trust. Wen need to be more trusting in Christ that even though the really tough times in life that he is in control.

      -Chris

  8. I can understand why the Jewish people who first read 1st Peter were extremely ready for Jesus to return. They were being ruled over in a brutal manner by Rome. They were suffering and wanted to be rescued. Like Jobes explains in the text, “the early Roman period saw extensive expansion of the roman empire to lands that then needed to be integrated culturally and administratively under Roman governance. (Pg. 281). Therefore, the Roman government was trying to control the expanding grounds with a lot of force. Today in America we are fortunate enough to not be ruled over “with an iron fist.” However, there is still suffering of many. People never understand why they or a loved one receive cancer, why a loved one dies, school shootings, natural disasters, etc. All of this is still suffering. God never tells His believers they will not suffer here on earth. Of course, we are not in a getting ruled over harshly by Rome, but there are trials in which are difficult to overcome. I believe that Christians now can be judgmental of other Christians or non-Christians. It is not our place to judge. We must share God’s word with others. Our salvation will not change. We will still suffer in the world today and hard times will come but this is not a punishment that God has given us. In the end we are saved through salvation.

  9. This is such an encouraging passage in 1 Peter. Amongst all the suffering and persecution Peter speaks so boldly with such hope. The resurrection of Jesus brings hope and security of their new birth and the fact that they too will be resurrected just as Jesus was. The readers can be confident because of their inheritance that is eternal. The readers can persevere because of the knowledge and security that they are shielded through their faith and by God’s power. Today in our age we are also given this hope. Christians are saved through Jesus’s death and resurrection, giving us a great hope. We ought not to worry about when Jesus will come and judge “those people” (Philip Long). We need to be strong in our faith, persevering, and have great hope, because of our new birth and inheritance. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1Peter 3:15). Our hope will show others our faith and confidence.

  10. Throughout time we have always been clouded by earthly possessions and things we can achieve and claim. In 1 Peter, the first few verses remind us believers that our true claim is in Heaven, when we are finally united with our heavenly father. 1 Peter speaks about status when the author speaks about “you” in 1 Peter 1:4. The status is that of the person that acknowledges God the Father (Jobes, 302). It is also chosen through the works of the Holy Spirit as Jobes claims. This inheritance clearly has a specific “people” that it fits and is provided too. The only inheritance that we should be concerned with is in heaven. Yet it seems to today we are consumed with materialism, always looking for new ways to obtain and consume in our flesh. The author is reminding us, encouraging us, to remember that our reward for believing, for pursuing, for acknowledging God and letting the Holy Spirit work through us. It is clear that 1 Peter 1:3-5 is meant to encourage the believers to endure the world, and live for the inheritance that our heavenly father provides for us.

  11. What the Christians worry about in the opening of 1 Peter is not too different from what Christians worry about in the modern age. They are insecure in their faith and they expected the world to be a little better after coming to Christ, not worse. Why are bad things happening to me if God is in control? Am I being punished for my former way of life? Maybe for those early Christians they started to doubt if Jesus was who he said he was. If we were to stop reading after verse 5, we would miss a whole lot of important details that would give us clarity into the purpose of suffering. At the end of the section, in verse 9, it says, “…obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Our salvation is not temporal, and it is not earthly. It is meant to be eternal and with heavenly rewards. Peter says it is “kept in heaven for you”. To look at trials as punishments would be to miss the opportunity for praise and glory that we can give to God, like we see in verse 7. Jesus, in his ministry, never said our lives would be easy if we followed him, a few times he personally asks people to give up everything to follow him. We aren’t meant to be the same person after salvation. We are reborn (v. 3). We have a new identity and new life in Christ that should cause us to be transformed in the way we live our lives (Jobes, 330).

  12. I think it would be safe to say that most Christians ask the same questions that Long (2018) poses: Does persecution mean that salvation is not valid/inherited? Is our faith in vain? We often feel that unless things are safe and good, that we are doing something wrong. The Jewish people were in exile awaiting the promised Messiah, they continually were expressing the pains and sorrows for waiting for God to establish his kingdom in Jerusalem.. Their emotional suffering is on an entirely different level than modern Christians can comprehend because we have always had the “living hope” that Christ ensures for his followers. “(Peter) had come to realize that through rejection, suffering, and execution, Jesus was fulfilling the messianic role of God’s Suffering Servant that centuries before had been prophesied by Isaiah (Isa. 52:13 – 53:12)” (Jobes 350). The challenge that Jewish readers, and modern Christians, had was to shift their focus from their human experiences and timetable and to remember God’s promise of restoration and renewal. As we all know, it is not easy or pleasant to experience suffering or turmoil without any obvious or tangible schedule of hope. Clinging to the real promise of hope is relevant to all believers, but our human feelings and temporary understanding/reflection on our situations cloud and hinder our trust in God.

  13. It is very easy for us to get our expectations, wants, and desires mixed up with our faith and what God’s plan is. People tend to think that once they become Christians or become saved their lives will change and become perfect as if there were no problems in the world, but life is often very different than this. As you have mentioned, the Christians who were the original readers of 1 Peter were experiencing tremendous persecution and their lives were anything but comfortable. It was nothing like they would have thought it would be and nothing like many people today think it’s like. Regardless of our status as believers, the world was still and is still corrupted by sin. Therefore, pain and suffering are a part of life. Especially in the times of 1 Peter, Christians did not live a cushy life. In some ways perhaps, their lives were worse than non-believers of the time.
    The difference is that they and we have a hope for an unfading and eternal inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-5). Being born again may not change our physical situation on earth. We may not automatically receive tons of money and picture-perfect lives, but we are changed spiritually in a radical way. We are born again with the ability to have salvation. This has been given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit through the death and resurrection of Christ. We will suffer, but this inevitable suffering is independent of our salvation.

  14. I think this passage of 1 Peter 1:3-5 is an incredibly encouraging passage, and I think this is one of those passages that answer the sometimes common question of Christianity that asks: “If you had to pick one verse to summarize faith and salvation, what would it be?” I think this verse is a potential candidate as a sufficient answer to this question. This verse is incredibly encouraging to the eyes and ears of believers from all generations, and this is because verse four of the passage clearly states that the inheritance that correlates with salvation can not and will not go away. Peter claims that this inheritance of salvation is waiting in heaven for believers in Christ.

    To me, it is completely reasonable that the original readers of 1 Peter questioned the status and longevity of their salvation inheritance. If you think about it, Christians in today’s society question this often. One of my family members recently sent me a book that is titled: “Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know You Are Saved.” Though I have not fully completed the book, I plan to. However, I know that J.D. Greear discusses the idea that he once struggled with understanding the status of his salvation, and he learned that many people struggle with what is called the “lack of assurance” epidemic (Greear, 2018, p. n.d.). Greear (2018) decided to write this book because he understood that others around him shared these same thoughts and worries that are centered around a lack of assurance about their faith and salvation (p. n.d.). This highlights the fact that many people share the same thoughts and worries of the original readers of 1 Peter. Though our reasons as to why we feel this lack of assurance may vary from persecution, our own sins, etc., it is a common worry amongst Christian believers, so the original readers of 1 Peter are not out of line with this worry.

    However, the original readers of 1 Peter would have been pleased to learn that Christianity and one’s faith walk is full of ups and downs. The severe persecution that they faced was just another example of these downs in the ups and downs. Walking in faith is not all flowers and roses. We will be challenged, tested, and perhaps persecuted. Yesterday, March 8th, 2020, I attended church at Berkeley Hills Church in Grand Rapids. My uncle, Dan Kregel, gave a message, and a key aspect of his message was that when we abide in Jesus Christ, pruning will occur (2019). Pruning is another example of Christians being tested and worked on in order to offer the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians. When we are tested, or in the case of the readers of 1 Peter, when we are persecuted, it is an opportunity for God to prune us and mold us. It does not mean that we are losing our inheritance of salvation and eternal life with the Lord in heaven.

    Though Christians will not lose their inheritance of salvation, it does not provide them with a pass to act however they would like. Christians are still called to live out a life that honors Christ. This should be the result of a Christian’s life, for this passage indicates that life in Christ involves Christians undergoing “a new birth into a living hope.” Though this does not take away the sinful nature of Christians, this regeneration should also affect how we live and act as Christians.

    Greear, J. D. (2018). Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group.

  15. The second section, on being born again, stood out to me because I recently heard a discussion/teaching on this.
    I found it interesting that the Peter is the only one who uses this particular verbiage. It is something that I would like to further research.

    I also appreciate the reminder that being born again is not a metaphor. But we are indeed born again, to a new life – or as the blog says, fundamentally changed.
    This has radical implications for the church today. And only the church as a whole, but for me individually as well.

  16. As the question at the end of this article asks how the book of Peter change should how we view Christianity in today’s culture. As mentioned in this article there were three main points throughout Peter’s book that really stood out and spoke about salvation. I think that as Christians today and looking forward to the coming of Jesus again we need to take and live out these three points as in the way God has instructed us too. We are called to go out and make disciples and in that teach them about salvation. I think that this article did a real nice job in which we see the ways in which we are saved. From having an unfading inheritance and born again into living hope and finally the regeneration of new hope through Jesus. I think that as Christians we need to be able to live this out and show this to everyone that we see. Because this gift isn’t just for us but it’s for all and that’s what Jesus came to do. He came to show love and he called us to love. Reflecting on the question I think that we have to change the mindset we have now and make it more about others than what the church can do to help people. To take responsibility and live out what God has called us too.

  17. The return of the Messiah is a hot topic in Christian culture. Most Christians have had a conversation about the return of the Messiah because it is an essential part of our faith. We await his return because we await everlasting life. We await restoration. Specifically, we await restoration from this sinful world. The idea that salvation will give us prosperity in this life is ridiculous. Our salvation in this life does not change our external circumstances unless we change them ourselves. In fact, we are warned about the suffering that comes with the Christian life (Matt 10:38, Phil 3:10, 2 Cor 1:5). Granted, the audience of 1 Peter probably does not have access to these books and letters yet. This fear of not having salvation due to their current suffering may be a doctrine issue; one that they may have been taught or conceived themselves due to lack of teaching. This particular type of health and wealth Gospel teaching is fairly common in Christianity because to humans, coming from a very worldly secular mind-set, it makes sense. No matter what culture you live in most would look at suffering as loss of something or lack of something. This human way of looking at salvation, however, is broken. Peter writes that the salvation or “inheritance” that we receive is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:4). After we receive salvation nothing we can do can take that away. Nothing can separate us from this love (Rom 8:38-39).
    As for the increasingly post-Christian America, while this fear may be the same for many, the principle still applies. To write to your comment, “When is Jesus going to return and judge those people!” I would challenge that thought by saying that our focus should not be on God’s judgment of others. Our focus should be on glorifying him no matter how others live their lives, treat Christians, or treat you and me. The Scriptures are clear about the fact that we will deal with suffering on this side of the grave as supported above, but by the grace of God, he keeps our salvation safe no matter what happens on this side of the grave (1 Peter 1:5).

  18. For a while now, most Christians have suffered in their faith, which is in Jesus Christ from the adversaries around them. Even today, there’s an increase of persecutions towards Christians in geographical places of high volume of violence and murder. Most people claimed to be Christians with their own interpretations of what is to live such as limitations of relationship with the living God and still think they will fully benefit the promise of inheritance with Christ. Some, struggle to define the origin of their beliefs who Christ is and who they are in him. Much of the suffering comes with the anticipation of wanting judgment towards the adversaries who brought persecution based on their faith in God, a high cost of price to pay. The return of the Messiah, brings much of complexities of fully understanding the age, the time, season, urgency, and signs of his coming. Who say, we have the position to complain such justice is needed to judge those who come against us? Why would we have to suffered for our faith? Is this mainly physical or spiritual suffering, or both? In Jobes she stated, “Christ’s church is called as it has been in every time and place to be a winsome witness to the gospel (267).” In 1 Peter 3:14 says even when we suffer for what is right, we are considered blessed and not to be fearful of any threats or be frightened. In our salvation, we should see this an eternal life gift that we have access to the one who gave it to us at the Calvary cross, Jesus, to want and desire to do his will in being a walking testimony and witness of such light that is found in us. As we continue to live in the dark times of this material world, we should have the compassion of the heart to want and desire to bring others towards the great promise and life that is found in Jesus. Much of the truth lays within the souls of those who are complete aligned spirit, soul, and body in God’s divine plan in our history time.

  19. I do not think that the role of Christianity has changed but more like the world we are living in has changed. Because of the world-changing around us it means that how we explain Christianity to the world around us might look slightly different then it did 100 years ago but it is still the same message that Jesus had throughout his ministry here on earth. Understanding where the world is morally and spiritually helps us to better understand how to evangelize to the world. This does not mean that we change the message but that we explain the message in a way that the world can understand. For example, the way you explain something to someone in the American culture would be totally different than how you would explain it to someone in a Latino culture. Peter’s audience was going through extreme persecution for their faith to the point where they were dying for their faith. Sharing their faith in the world around them was getting them killed. Here in America, we do not have to worry about that and yet we care so much that people are going to think we are weird so we do not take the opportunities that God places in front of us. With the Coronavirus going around right now people are really fearful of their lives and the lives of their loved ones. We need to lean on Jesus as if he is our only hope because he is our only hope. So when we evangelize we need to communicate that as believers in Jesus Christ our only hope is in him and nothing else.

  20. Peter’s audience struggled with things some Christians struggle with today. They felt that God may have left them, that he had turned his back and abandoned them. WIth all the things we see in the world today, and the suffering of believers around the world, it is not hard to imagine feeling that way. But Peter tries to give a word of encouragement to his fellow believers. He tells them that suffering is going to happen, and that is part of what it means to be a Christian, that things will not always be good, but our hope is in something greater, Jesus.
    Peter argues that every believer in the promise of Christ will be persecuted for that belief, and they will suffer. Much of this comes from the way believers are called to act, which stands in contrast to the world in some aspects. It is at these points believers will stand out, and by being outside of the norms of society, people will try to discourage them from being different. Jobes also points out that Peter refers to a suffering “for doing the right thing than to sin” (Jobes, 342). Jobes says that by giving into sin, we are choosing to avoid suffering, but when we stand in righteousness, we suffer, but we are doing as God calls us to do.

  21. Peter’s audience is different then the current audience that reads 1 Peter. Regardless of that the struggle is real and the same, there is persecution, suffering and pain. There always will be those things in our world, due to the fact that we live in a fallen world. We will have to be able to bear through the pain that life throws at us, and become stronger in our faith. That is what suffering does, it makes us stronger than we were before. I feel like as we go through our christian walk, we tend to sugar cake things and we say things “life is so great and there is so much freedom”. Which to a certain extent there is, yet I think we exaggerate that. A life with Christ, is a life of suffering and we need to remember that. When we choose to pick up our cross and live in righteousness, there will be suffering and pain. When we decide to live in like the world has taught us to live, then we think life is fine without pain and suffering. Yet, the pain and suffering will come at a later date and the pleasure that we had before would be gone.

  22. I don’t believe that persecution meant that original believers had vainly put faith in Christ. Even though they experienced persecution, if they truly believed in the Lord Jesus, then they maintained salvation. In 1 Peter 1:4 it tells us that our salvation is imperishable, “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” Just like back then, it happens often today where we question why we go through our trials and struggles, and just ask, when will Jesus be back. There are so many people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ that are going through persecution and trials in life. So for two thousand years we have been asking the same question. What are we supposed to do now? Well first, according to 1 Peter, we should know that no matter what we go through, as long as we believe in Christ, we will have salvation in heaven for eternity. Second, 1 Peter tells us that we are “born again” into this new hope. So again, no matter what we go through, including persecution, if we put our faith in him we will have salvation since we have inherited it through Christ’s death and resurrection. The third point that 1 Peter is trying to make is that it’s important that we try to stay holy as believers. We are “called to be holy.” So yes, even though our society is transitioning into a more secular one, the bible still calls us to be holy and act in a way that brings honor and glory to the father.

  23. I don’t believe that persecution meant that original believers had vainly put faith in Christ. Even though they experienced persecution, if they truly believed in the Lord Jesus, then they maintained salvation. In 1 Peter 1:4 it tells us that our salvation is imperishable, “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” Just like back then, it happens often today where we question why we go through our trials and struggles, and just ask, when will Jesus be back. There are so many people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ that are going through persecution and trials in life. So for two thousand years we have been asking the same question. What are we supposed to do now? Well first, according to 1 Peter, we should know that no matter what we go through, as long as we believe in Christ, we will have salvation in heaven for eternity. Second, 1 Peter tells us that we are “born again” into this new hope. So again, no matter what we go through, including persecution, if we put our faith in him we will have salvation since we have inherited it through Christ’s death and resurrection. The third point that 1 Peter is trying to make is that it’s important that we try to stay holy as believers. We are “called to be holy.” So yes, even though our society is transitioning into a more secular one, the bible still calls us to be holy and act in a way that brings honor and glory to the father.

  24. Christian nowaday has the has the privilege of great comfort and less persecetion in within the societies, and less alienations compares to Christians in first century era. Christian sets of beliefs were considered as hatred towards humanity, societies norm, politics and priorities because Christian views of norm, moral system, ethical code of law and social engagement were vastly differences to that of Greco-Roman culture. In facts, since Greco-Roman cultures hold a polytheism worldview, being a Christian doesn’t provoke the authority, but the particular, and the exclusive claim that there is no God, but Jesus alone, as the only way was the major outrage for the societies and authorities. Yes, Christian particularism still the major root of outrage for non-believers especially in the western society where pluralism is Tha major worldview. As a Christian, I think its crucial to have a honorable l conduct that based on God will and purpose, and following the example of Christ by denying and following his footsteps. The ultimate reality will soon come and its important for every Christian to re-examine their identity in Christ. Is Christ really the cornorstone to which we build our foundation? Being born in living hope should grant us the motivation and the encouragement to finished the races even in the midst of suffering. Persecution and suffering are inevitable, its apart of the Christian journey.

  25. In our modern christianity today, I believe that most people understand that Jesus is the Messiah, and that we don’t hold the belief that Jesus is supposed to overthrow our rulers, unlike many who believed in the first centuries. I don’t know anyone who is waiting for Jesus to come again and overthrow the evil reign of our American Government, Instead most of us Christians are waiting for Jesus to come rapture us and then to establish his earthly kingdom. Now I do believe that America is getting closer and closer to becoming a lawfully antiChristian nation, in which it will be illegal to publicly worship God, or in the least that Christians will be persecuted by the government. While this may seem like something that could never happen and may seem like an overreaction, there was a law a few years ago that was proposed in California that would prohibit the Bible, so these times may be more realistic than people realize. However I believe that our modern American Christianity is in need of a good persecution. As Peter says in 1 Peter 1:6-7, our suffering is testing our faith and proving it to be more valuable than gold. Without anything to test our faith, many people have a very lukewarm faith. If there was a government led persecution of Christians, we would see millions of people renouncing their faith because now their lives may be threatened, but when there is no risk to believing in Jesus then many people can claim to be Christian, without having to make any real commitment.

  26. I sometimes think that Christians do not think of 1 Peter’s teaching. I think most Christians judge people whether they are Christians or not. Christians we accept Christ for our salvation and learn what is right and wrong in the Bible. We have the tendency to judge others right away. There are few Christians that will not judge because that is not their place, and it is God’s place to do that. Christians should set a good example of loving others, not judging. 1 Peter 4:8, tells us that above all that we have to keep loving others. When the person becomes a Christian, he or she is going to struggle during those trials. No one said it was going to be easy when you become a Christian. When Peter said about being born again, we will have spiritual experience meaning the Holy Spirit of those who believe. We get tested for our faith. God wants us to have faith and hope in Him because he is the one who created us to see what has in store for us. The main focus from Peter is the coming in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and regeneration of our spirit. We do not know when Jesus is coming. People or some Christians may predict that Jesus is coming because of what is going on with the world, but it is not the right moment. Also, we have to learn to be patient with God and continue with our faith and focus on God.

  27. Because our modern post-Christian America is looking more and more like that of pagan first century Rome, Peter’s teachings on how live a faithful Christian life in opposition of the world around them is so relevant for us today (Jobes, 268). I don’t know if the description of salvation in 1 Peter would necessarily change the way we look at Christianity in contemporary culture, but rather bring assurance and stability to our roles within the changing culture. Jobes says, “The Christian is a foreigner in a society whose values are based on other philosophies”, (288). No matter the time, century, or place, as a genuine follower of Jesus, you will probably be the foreigner at some point in some place. This salvation spoken about in verse 5 will be reveled in the future, and until then, God will protect them (the original readers) and us (contemporary believers) by their faith and through Hid power (ESVSB, 2405). It is interesting to read about what was going on in 1 Peter because is it so similar to what Believers experience today, which in and of itself is a whole wide range from persecution in countries where Christianity is illegal, to being controversial in the West.

  28. I think that a huge part in this article that sticks out to me is about how Peter describes salvation as an unfading inheritance. I believe it is huge to understand that suffering is not always meant to be a punishment. I think this ties in well with the whole meaning of 1 Peter 1:3-5. A big point that Jobes throws out is how Peter came to realize what the resurrection was really for. The resurrection of Jesus was not an attack at the Romans, it was how God would be giving those who believe in Him a new birth (670). This ties into the changing role of Christianity in a developing contemporary world because even though we all stray in some way and fall short, we are all forgiven and given a new birth through his resurrection. This look at salvation changes the whole view of today’s Christians because of what the verse 1 Peter 1:7 states which talks about how our trials come to prove our faith. This is much different from how society views the world today. Nobody likes anything hard; nobody likes to be in pain or suffering. People want to feel safe and comfortable so more often than not people will stray towards what brings comfort and safety rather than realizing that comfort and safety can and needs to be found in Christ alone.

  29. We see that in the early church their suffering was a lot harsher than ours is today. Today everyone has their own take on what suffering is and most people suffer in different ways. I feel that as we grow in our Christian faith, we see that our country is falling farther away from Christ which makes it hard for us to express that faith since we are losing the amount of people that believe and have the same faith that we learn and express. We have grown into a country that is getting farther from the Christian faith every day with stuff that is happening and things that others have different views of. We believe that the suffering we face can be watched over by Jesus Christ and we may have moral support for everything that we go through. We seek to find the Lord during tough times which is said to be a safe place for us as believers. Our culture in America has changed in the past couple of years as others looking at Christians as the religion of false teachings. I believe we are losing more fellow Christians than ever before and I feel that a reason for this is because those who experience suffering refrain from asking the Lord for help which causes them to then feel like the Lord is failing them.

  30. God tells us that the world will hate Chrsitians because the world hates Christ. I think that as Chrisitians, we should expect hate, prejudice, persecution, or trials due to our faith. Salvation does not guarantee an easy life. It actually promises that this world might be harder for us because we are now visitors to this earth that is not our home. It gets easy for us as humans to focus on all the bad in our lives and in our world. It causes us to wonder how a good God would let these things happen and if God is really coming back for us. However, all through the Bible God continually reassures His people and gives us hope. This passage in Peter is only one example of many which tries to encourage people and help them hold on to hope. The entire Bible also serves as a record for us to look back on and see how God worked in others lives and how he was continually faithful to all of His people. The Bible was given so that we can see a recorded account of God’s actions and the way he always kept His word and His promises to people. We are also told that God never changes, and so if He was honest and trustworthy in the past we can have full confidence that He will continue being honest and trustworthy in the future with us. This assurity and promises from God can help us hold onto the hope that God gives us.

  31. I think so much of the modern struggle with suffering comes from the ‘prosperity gospel’ that is too often preached. The prosperity gospel is popular because it preaches what people want to hear. It tells people that if they believe and follow Jesus, they will be blessed. Their business will succeed, they will get a better job, things will stop going wrong for them. But this is not the case and in fact, Jesus promises his followers that they will face persecutions and sufferings as he did. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus says those who are persecuted for his sake are blessed. In John 15, he explains that the world will us because of him and persecute us because of him. We should expect to suffer in this world, especially if we are followers of Jesus. Persecution does not mean that we have not inherited salvation, it is almost more of a sign that we have. I love how Jobes explains that we really have Peter to thank for the imagery of Jesus as the suffering servant, based on his interpretation of Isaiah 53. While some of the other New Testament writers allude to this idea, Peter is truly the one to develop it. And as Christians, we too will be suffering servants of God. We all want justice when we are treated unjustly, no one enjoys suffering (though it is possible to find joy in the midst of suffering), and we often want God to just swoop in and make it all right. Usually in this dream, we forget that God will judge all, not just those who oppress us. We will also be judged. Which gives more meaning to those who are suffer for doing good – because they will receive their reward when judgment comes. Jesus was the ultimate suffering servant, however, as Christians we should expect that we will also suffer. And suffering is not a sign that we have lost our salvation.

  32. The original readers of the book of 1 Peter were aware of God’s promise to the Jewish people that they would return to the promise land and leave the time of exile. They also believed in the fact that Jesus was the true Messiah and that they were saved through his death and resurrection. Unfortunately, the original readers of this book were still suffering oppression and persecution due to their faith being put in Jesus Christ. Peter attempts to comfort these people who were wondering about their status in salvation by reassuring them that they have gained a new status in God’s family by being believers. Peter uses three different statements to address the fears that these original readers had expressed. Peter explained how salvation is an unfading inheritance, how we are born again into a “living hope,” and how this new life is through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
    The blog post above mentions how the Jewish people remained in exile, even though they had this promise from God to return to the promise land. To me, I believe this relates to modern day Christians who are eager for the return of Jesus, whether that be in the way of just pure excitement to meet Jesus’ face to face, or that be because they want the sinful people in the world to receive their judgement. Waiting for the return of Jesus takes patience because He will return in His perfect timing, which might not even be in our lifetime. The way that Peter explains our salvation in the way that suffering is not a punishment is important to keep in mind in today’s modern day Christianity as well.

  33. One interesting aspect that I noticed about 1 Peter is that the Christian’s suffering is to be expected and might even be evidence of the Christian faith. Having a view where the more spiritual you are the less struggles you will have is not compatible with what Jesus taught (John 9:1-3). The Psalms speak about what it feels like when the wicked seem to prosper (73:3). From these verses and others, we can conclude that suffering plagues both the righteous and the unrighteous regardless. The modern Christian must understand this because it informs our view of our Christian walk. For example, just because something bad happened to us it does not mean that we were somehow unspiritual. In fact, it may be that suffering is evidence of the Christian faith. Jobes talks about how the audience for this letter were likely facing local persecution (like slander) and not government persecution (279). They were suffering because in their attempt to live holy lives, they were being talked about badly by those who did not understand (Jobes, 286). Jobes says that when you live in a place that does not care about your faith “choosing not to sin… will inevitably lead to suffering at times” (286). Thanks to 1 Peter, Christians can take heart that their suffering does not mean they are doing bad spiritually, but they can instead “rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 4:13).

  34. Although suffering has been foretold by Peter and therefore becomes an expectation of the Christian life, suffering and its’ identification looks different in our society. Additionally, it is beneficial that when we share the gospel, we communicate the idea that accepting the invitation to follow Christ will be accompanied by some degree of suffering. Still, this suffering is for a cause and comes with a great reward, we must only endure. Suffering on earth is endured only on earth in light of our eternity. When we view suffering as a unique chance to glorify God while on Earth, we can receive not only new motivation, but also perspective. I praise God that our suffering our pain, is seen by a comforting and empathizing savior who was both tempted and tried. Jobes also brings up an idea of specific suffering, persecution (279). Persecution is not absent amidst our 21st century American society. But I can confidently make the claim that those persecuted in America most often do not understand the persecution in 1 Peter. This type of persecution is more equivalent to the persecution one might endure in Iraq or Asia. It is violent, it is vast, and it is unrelenting. No matter what label our suffering has, it is not in vain. In the beatitudes we learn that those who are persecuted are blessed. We can take confidence that we are seen and blessed for every suffering, therefore take each trial in joy! While it is much easier than said, accompanied by 1 Peter’s revelation of Christ suffering paralleled to his children’s, a whole new understanding may be provided on the existence of suffering.

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