1 Greetings from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
To God’s chosen people who are away from their homes—people scattered all over the areas of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
2 God planned long ago to choose you and to make you his holy people, which is the Spirit’s work. God wanted you to obey him and to be made clean by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
I pray that you will enjoy more and more of God’s grace and peace.
A Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has great mercy, and because of his mercy he gave us a new life. This new life brings us a living hope through Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death.
4 Now we wait to receive the blessings God has for his children. These blessings are kept for you in heaven. They cannot be ruined or be destroyed or lose their beauty.
5 God’s power protects you through your faith, and it keeps you safe until your salvation comes. That salvation is ready to be given to you at the end of time.
6 I know the thought of that is exciting, even if you must suffer through different kinds of troubles for a short time now.
7 These troubles test your faith and prove that it is pure. And such faith is worth more than gold. Gold can be proved to be pure by fire, but gold will ruin. When your faith is proven to be pure, the result will be praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes.
8 You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You can’t see him now, but you believe in him. You are filled with a wonderful and heavenly joy that cannot be explained.
9 Your faith has a goal, and you are reaching that goal—your salvation.
10 The prophets studied carefully and tried to learn about this salvation. They spoke about the grace that was coming to you.
11 The Spirit of Christ was in those prophets. And the Spirit was telling about the sufferings that would happen to Christ and about the glory that would come after those sufferings. The prophets tried to learn about what the Spirit was showing them—when it would happen and what the world would be like at that time.
12 It was made clear to them that their service was not for themselves. They were serving you when they told about the things you have now heard. You heard them from those who told you the Good News with the help of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even the angels would like very much to know more about these things you were told.
A Call to Holy Living
13 So prepare your minds for service. With complete self-control put all your hope in the grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ comes.
14 In the past you did not have the understanding you have now, so you did the evil things you wanted to do. But now you are children of God, so you should obey him and not live the way you did before.
15 Be holy in everything you do, just as God is holy. He is the one who chose you.
16 In the Scriptures God says, “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17 You pray to God and call him Father, but he will judge everyone the same way—by what they do. So while you are visiting here on earth, you should live with respect for God.
18 You know that in the past the way you were living was useless. It was a way of life you learned from those who lived before you. But you were saved from that way of living. You were bought, but not with things that ruin like gold or silver.
19 You were bought with the precious blood of Christ’s death. He was a pure and perfect sacrificial Lamb.
20 Christ was chosen before the world was made, but he was shown to the world in these last times for you.
21 You believe in God through Christ. God is the one who raised him from death and gave honor to him. So your faith and your hope are in God.
22 You have made yourselves pure by obeying the truth. Now you can have true love for your brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply—with all your heart.
23 You have been born again. This new life did not come from something that dies. It came from something that cannot die. You were born again through God’s life-giving message that lasts forever.
24 The Scriptures say,
“Our lives are like the grass of spring,
and any glory we enjoy is like the beauty of a wildflower.
The grass dries up and dies,
and the flower falls to the ground.
25 But the word of the Lord lasts forever.” Isaiah 40:6-8
And that word is the Good News that was told to you.