New International Reader's Version

1 Peter 1

1I, Peter, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am sending this letter to you, God’s chosen people. You are people who have had to wander in the world. You are scattered all over the areas of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. You have been chosen in keeping with what God the Father had planned. That happened through the Spirit’s work to make you pure and holy. God chose you so that you might obey Jesus Christ. God wanted you to be in a covenant relationship with him. He established this relationship by the blood of Christ.

May more and more grace and peace be given to you.

Peter Praises God for a Living Hope

Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us a new birth and a living hope. This hope is living because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He has given us new birth so that we might share in what belongs to him. This is a gift that can never be destroyed. It can never spoil or even fade away. It is kept in heaven for you. Through faith you are kept safe by God’s power. Your salvation is going to be completed. It is ready to be shown to you in the last days. Because you know all this, you have great joy. You have joy even though you may have had to suffer for a little while. You may have had to suffer sadness in all kinds of trouble. Your troubles have come in order to prove that your faith is real. Your faith is worth more than gold. That’s because gold can pass away even when fire has made it pure. Your faith is meant to bring praise, honor and glory to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ returns. Even though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not see him now, you believe in him. You are filled with a glorious joy that can’t be put into words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls. This salvation is the final result of your faith.

10 The prophets searched very hard and with great care to find out about this salvation. They spoke about the grace that was going to come to you. 11 They wanted to find out when and how this salvation would come. The Spirit of Christ in them was telling them about the sufferings of the Messiah. These were his sufferings that were going to come. The Spirit of Christ was also telling them about the glory that would follow. 12 It was made known to the prophets that they were not serving themselves. Instead, they were serving you when they spoke about the things that you have now heard. Those who have preached the good news to you have told you these things. They have done it with the help of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Be Holy

13 So be watchful, and control yourselves completely. In this way, put your hope in the grace that lies ahead. This grace will be brought to you when Jesus Christ returns. 14 You should obey your Father. You shouldn’t give in to evil desires. They controlled your life when you didn’t know any better. 15 The God who chose you is holy. So you should be holy in all that you do. 16 It is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44,45; 19:2)

17 You call on a Father who judges each person’s work without favoring one over another. So live as outsiders during your time here. Live with the highest respect for God. 18 You were set free from an empty way of life. This way of life was handed down to you by your own people of long ago. You know that you were not bought with things that can pass away, like silver or gold. 19 Instead, you were bought with the priceless blood of Christ. He is a perfect lamb. He doesn’t have any flaws at all. 20 He was chosen before God created the world. But he came into the world for your sake in these last days. 21 Because of what Christ has done, you believe in God. It was God who raised him from the dead. And it was God who gave him glory. So your faith and hope are in God.

22 You have made yourselves pure by obeying the truth. So you have an honest and true love for each other. So love one another deeply, from your hearts. 23 You have been born again by means of the living word of God. His word lasts forever. You were not born again from a seed that will die. You were born from a seed that can’t die. 24 It is written,

“All people are like grass.
    All their glory is like the flowers in the field.
The grass dries up. The flowers fall to the ground.
25     But the word of the Lord lasts forever.” (Isaiah 40:6–8)

And this is the word that was preached to you.

The Message

1 Peter 1

11-2 I, Peter, am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah, writing to exiles scattered to the four winds. Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!

A New Life

3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

6-7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

8-9 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.

10-12 The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when. All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled. Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!

A Future in God

13-16 So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

17 You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.

18-21 Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

22-25 Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said,

The old life is a grass life,
    its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers;
Grass dries up, flowers droop,
    God’s Word goes on and on forever.

This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.