1:2 1 Elect according to the a foreknowledge of God the Father, through b sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
(1) Peter purposing to speak of the duties of a Christian life, reasons first of the principles and beginnings of all Christian actions, rising far higher than nature, and carrying us also far above the same. For he shows that we who are otherwise by nature sinners, were through the free mercy of God the Father first chosen from everlasting: then according to that everlasting decree. We were by a certain second creation made his sons in Christ his only begotten, by whose Spirit we are inwardly changed and by whose blood we are also reconciled. To the end, that as Christ himself rose again from the dead, we also might be received into that same heavenly and everlasting glory. 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a c lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(a) Or, according to the purpose of God, who never alters nor changes the same.
(b) That being set apart from the rest of this wicked world, through the working of the Holy Spirit, they should be consecrated to God; ( Ephesians 1:5 )
(c) Everlasting hope. 1:5 2 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the d last time.
(2) Now he shows by what way we come to that glory, that is, through all types of afflictions. Wherein nonetheless faith maketh us so secure, that we are not overcome with sorrow. But through the beholding of God himself (who otherwise is invisible) with the eyes of faith, we are made unspeakably joyful. Because all such things, as they are but for a time, so are they not applied unto us to destroy us, but as it were by fire to purge us, and to make us perfect that at length we may obtain salvation. 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the e appearing of Jesus Christ:
(d) This is that time which Daniel calls the time of the end, when the great restoring of all things shall be, which all creation looks for; ( Romans 8:19 )
(e) He speaks of the second coming of Christ. 1:10 3 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] unto you:
(3) He makes a difference between true faith, that is to say, that faith which only has an eye to the doctrine of the prophets and apostles, and false faith. Afterward he makes two degrees of one and the same faith, according to the manner of the various revelations, when as in deed it is but one only faith. Thirdly, he says that the preaching of the apostles is the fulfilling of the preaching of the prophets, although the latter end of it be as yet looked for by the very angels. 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost f sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
(f) He alludes to the prophecy of Joel, which was exhibited upon the day of Pentecost, in the Apostles, as it were in the first fruits of the Holy Spirit, which this same prophecy Peter declares; ( Acts 2:6 ) 1:13 4 Wherefore g gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and 5 hope h to the end for the grace 6 that is to be brought unto you 7 at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
(4) He goes from faith to hope, which is indeed a companion that cannot be separated from faith. He uses an argument taken by comparison: We should not be wearied in looking for so excellent a thing, which the very angels wait for with great desire. 1:14 8 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
(g) This is a borrowed speech, taken from common use among them: for since they wore long garments, they could not travel unless they girded up themselves: and hence it is that Christ said, Let your loins be girded up. (5) He sets forth very briefly, what manner of hope ours ought to be, that is, continual, until we enjoy the thing we hope for: then, what we have to hope for, that is, grace (that is, free salvation) revealed to us in the gospel, and not that, that men do rather and fondly promise to themselves.
(h) Soundly and sincerely. (6) An argument to stir up our minds, seeing that God does not wait until we seek him, but causes so great a benefit to be brought even unto us. (7) He sets out the end of faith, lest any man should promise himself, either sooner or latter, that full salvation, that is, the latter coming of Christ. In addition warns that that which we are now, is not yet revealed.
(8) He passes from faith and hope, to the fruits of them both, which are understood in the name of obedience. It consists in two things, in renouncing our lusts, and living godly: which lusts have their beginning in that blindness in which all men are born: but holiness proceeds that the father and the children may be of one disposition. 1:16 9 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
(9) He shows that sanctification does necessarily follow adoption. 1:17 10 And if ye i call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every mans work, pass the time of your sojourning [here] in fear:
(10) As before he distinguished true faith and hope from false, so does he now obedience, setting the quick and sharp sight of God, against an outward mask, and earnest reverence against vain severity.
(i) If you will be called the sons of that father.
(11) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;
1:20 12 Who verily was foreordained before the k foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
(11) An exhortation, in which he sets forth the excellency and greatness of the benefit of God the Father in sanctifying us by the death of his own Son. And he partly sets the purifyings of the law against the thing itself, that is, against the blood of Christ, and partly also mens traditions, which he condemns as utterly vain and superstitious, be they never so old and ancient.
1:22 13 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:
(12) The taking away of an objection: what was done to the world, before Christ was sent into the world? was there no holiness before, and was there no Church? The apostle answers, that Christ was ordained and appointed to redeem and deliver mankind, before mankind was: much less was there any Church without him before his coming in the flesh: yet we are happiest about the rest, to whom Christ was exhibited indeed, in this that he having suffered and overcome death for us, does now most effectually work in us by the power of his Spirit, to create in us faith, hope, and charity.
(k) From everlasting.
1:24 14 For all l flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
(13) He commends the practice of obedience, that is, charity: earnestly repeating again, that he speaks not of any common charity, and such as proceeds from that our corrupt nature, but of that whose beginning is the Spirit of God, which purifies our souls through the word laid hold on by faith, and engenders also in us a spiritual and everlasting life, as God himself is most pure and truly living.
1:25 15 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
(14) A reason why we need this heavenly birth, that is, because men, though their glory may not be great, are by nature void of all true and sound goodness.
(l) The word, "flesh", shows the weakness of our nature, which is chiefly to be considered in the flesh itself.
(15) Again lest any man should seek that spiritual force and virtue in feigned imaginations, the apostle calls us back to the word of God: teaching us furthermore, that there is no other word of the Lord to be looked for than this that is preached, in which we must trust alone.