From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To God's chosen people who are temporary residents [in the world] and are scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
God the Father knew you long ago and chose you to live holy lives with the Spirit's help so that you are obedient to Jesus Christ and are sprinkled with his blood. May good will and peace fill your lives!
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! God has given us a new birth because of his great mercy. We have been born into a new life that has a confidence which is alive because Jesus Christ has come back to life.
We have been born into a new life which has an inheritance that can't be destroyed or corrupted and can't fade away. That inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
since you are guarded by God's power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end of time.
You are extremely happy about these things, even though you have to suffer different kinds of trouble for a little while now.
The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again.
Although you have never seen Christ, you love him. You don't see him now, but you believe in him. You are extremely happy with joy and praise that can hardly be expressed in words
as you obtain the salvation that is the goal of your faith.
The prophets carefully researched and investigated this salvation. Long ago they spoke about God's kindness that would come to you.
So they tried to find out what time or situation the Spirit of Christ kept referring to whenever he predicted Christ's sufferings and the glory that would follow.
God revealed to the prophets that the things they had spoken were not for their own benefit but for yours. What the prophets had spoken, the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven, has now made known to you by those who spread the Good News among you. These are things that even the angels want to look into.
Therefore, your minds must be clear and ready for action. Place your confidence completely in what God's kindness will bring you when Jesus Christ appears again.
Because you are children who obey God, don't live the kind of lives you once lived. Once you lived to satisfy your desires because you didn't know any better.
But because the God who called you is holy you must be holy in every aspect of your life.
Scripture says, "Be holy, because I am holy."
So if you call God your Father, live your time as temporary residents on earth in fear. He is the God who judges all people by what they have done, and he doesn't play favorites.
Realize that you weren't set free from the worthless life handed down to you from your ancestors by a payment of silver or gold which can be destroyed.
Rather, the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ, the lamb with no defects or imperfections.
He is the lamb who was known long ago before the world existed, but for your good he became publicly known in the last period of time.
Through him you believe in God who brought Christ back to life and gave him glory. So your faith and confidence are in God.
Love each other with a warm love that comes from the heart. After all, you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth. As a result you have a sincere love for each other.
You have been born again, not from a seed that can be destroyed, but through God's everlasting word that can't be destroyed. That's why [Scripture says],
"All people are like grass, and all their beauty is like a flower of the field. The grass dries up and the flower drops off,
but the word of the Lord lasts forever." This word is the Good News that was told to you.