Summary of passage: Peter, Jesus’ disciple, writes to God’s elect, strangers in the world who are scattered throughout the known Western world. In God’s great mercy He has given us (Christians) new birth into a living hope through Jesus’ resurrection and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade through faith. We greatly rejoice in our future resurrection even if now we are suffering trials. These trials test our faith so it may be proved genuine and will honor God. Even though we do not see God, we believe in Him and rejoice in our salvation.
The Old Testament prophets searched intently to discover when Christ would come and they knew they were speaking to the future generations to come. Even the angels were eager for God’s plan to be carried out.
3) God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen by God and sanctified by Jesus’ blood.
Peter is writing to all Christians but specifically to the Gentiles who are scattered throughout the world. Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia are all places mentioned in Acts where Christianity first spread. This letter from Peter will be carried to these places for all Christians to read. Some may be suffering (verse 6), which would make sense since this first part is all about how suffering strengthens faith and glorifies God.
4) New birth into a living hope and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade (eternal life in heaven). God sends us trials so that our faith may be proved genuine and bring God praise, glory, and honor. We rejoice in our salvation, which is the goal of our faith, and brings us inexpressible and glorious joy.
5) Personal Question. My answer: I am so completely frustrated with the slow pace of my novel and since I know it belongs to God, I guess I’m frustrated with Him in a round-about way. I am so impatient and such a poor manager of my time that I know God is trying to grow me in these two areas. And growth is never easy.
Conclusions: Our faith isn’t tested because God doesn’t know the depth of it (of course He does–He knows everything). Our faith is tested because we don’t know the depth of it and God wants to show us just how much we believe in Him. For if your life is smooth, how will you know if you have faith? By mere words? God says that’s not enough. He tests us to prove our faith and to strengthen it, to purify it like gold is to fire, and to glorify Him. For as we know, it’s all about Him!
Map of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia: http://www.bible-history.com/maps/Map-Asia-in-Roman-Times.jpg