1 Peter 1, A Living Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus reaches for a follower with their hand stretched out towards him.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

1 Peter 1:1-2, NIV

In this chapter summary, we will discuss the significance of this chapter and what it means for us today. 

Key Takeaways on 1 Peter 1

  • 1 Peter 1 praises God for giving believers new birth and living hope through Christ’s resurrection. This hope withstands any trial.
  • Jesus’ sacrifice redeems us from sin. His precious blood purchases our salvation, not perishable silver or gold.
  • Through obeying the enduring word of God, we purify ourselves to have sincere love for each other. Our new birth in Christ is imperishable.
  • As children of God, we are called to be holy as He is holy, resisting past evil desires. Our inheritance in heaven is shielded by God’s power.
  • Christ empowers us to rejoice despite grief from trials that test genuine faith. These prove faith is precious like refined gold.
  • All human glory fades like grass, but God’s word endures forever. We must set our hope on the grace Jesus brings at His coming.
  • 1 Peter 1 establishes Jesus as our flawless redeemer and the source of unwavering hope. His resurrection secures our eternal future.

How would you caption the chapter?

 A Living Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 1.

What are the contents?

The book of Peter is a letter written by the Apostle Peter to the Christians of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, collectively known as Asia Minor. In this letter, and specifically the first chapter, Peter addresses the various trials and tribulations that Christians were facing at the time. He begins by praising God for their salvation, which was made possible through Jesus Christ. He then goes on to encourage them to remain steadfast in their faith, despite the difficult circumstances they were facing.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:3-7, NIV

After reminding them of the hope that they have in Christ, Peter urges these Christians to be obedient children, to resist the evil desires they once had before finding the Lord and ultimately “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:13-16, NIV

As the chapter comes to a close, the Apostle of Jesus Christ emphasizes two primary things:

  • It is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that we are redeemed from our empty way of life, not through material items or other perishable things and it is through Him that we believe in God.
  • By obeying the truth, we are purified and born again through the living and enduring word of God. We must take this purification and use it to love one another deeply.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 Peter 1:18-23, NIV

This chapter is a powerful reminder of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. No matter what trials and tribulations we face in this life, we can take comfort in knowing that we have a Savior who loves us and died for us. It also emphasizes that the relationship we have with God is a relationship between a child and their father, notably explained as a “reverent fear.”

Who are the important figures?

The most important figure in this chapter is undoubtedly Jesus Christ. It is through him that we are given a living hope, and it is his example that we are called to follow. 

Other important figures include the author, Peter, and the recipients of this letter, who are the Christians living in Asia Minor. These Christians effectively serve as the audience, it is through them that we learn the lessons written here by the Apostle of Jesus Christ. Though they may be of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, this letter, and by extension the Holy Bible, is just as important to us today as it was to them.

Which verse best represents, or stands out, in the chapter?

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.

1 Peter 1:22-25, NIV

Any keywords or phrases you may or may not understand.

  • “the grass withers and the flowers fall”
  • “reverent fear”
  • “obedient children”

Cross-reference the chapter against others, are there any other passages connecting to this chapter?

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:7-11, NIV

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8, NIV

How is Jesus Christ involved or tied to this chapter?

In 1 Peter 1, Jesus is presented as the living hope for Christians. He is the one who died and rose again, and through him we have forgiveness and new life. Christ is also our example to follow, as he suffered for doing good and still kept a pure heart. Because of all that Christ has done for us in sacrificing his precious blood, we are called by our heavenly Father to live holy and blameless lives.

A man holds his son at the beach as they watch the sunset.

What are the central themes and lessons?

  • Hope: We find Hope in Jesus, and it is through him that we can face suffering with joy. We are called to always be ready to share the hope that we have in Christ, so that others may come to know him as well.
  • Suffering: There is no greater suffering than Christ’s suffering. The Holy Bible constantly reminds us of the precious blood sacrificed on the Cross and this chapter is no different. Through God’s power and great mercy, the resurrection of Jesus Christ provides us with gracious salvation and eternal life.
  • Love: Love is an essential part of the Christian life, both for our fellow believers and for those who do not yet know Christ. We must always remember our reverent fear and the parental relationship we have with God. We should greatly rejoice at the sincere love He has shown us and be unwavering so that our faith remains strong.

How can you apply what you’ve learned to your own life?

We must not forget that our Lord has shown us great mercy and that we are God’s obedient children. 

This chapter serves as a reminder that God raised Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins so that we may have eternal life with Him in heaven. We must keep a pure heart, regardless of the struggles we face just as Jesus did, and resist the evil temptations of our past life. As we close, let us give all the glory to Him as we revisit His word:

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.

1 Peter 1:24-25, NIV


What is 1 Peter 1 about?

1 Peter 1 describes the living hope believers have in Christ’s resurrection, the imperishable inheritance waiting in heaven, and the trials that test genuine faith.

What is the main theme of 1 Peter 1?

The main themes are living hope in Jesus, His role as redeemer, standing firm in trials, purification through obeying God’s word, and being holy as obedient children.

What does 1 Peter 1 say about suffering?

It says suffering grief through trials tests and refines faith. But believers can rejoice despite trials because of the hope they have in Christ’s resurrection.

What is the living hope in 1 Peter 1?

The living hope is salvation and eternal life made possible by Jesus’ resurrection. This hope remains steadfast through any circumstance for believers.

What inheritance is Peter talking about in 1 Peter 1?

The imperishable inheritance is the treasure being kept in heaven for believers. It cannot decay unlike earthly treasures like gold or silver.

How does 1 Peter 1 describe Jesus?

It describes Jesus as flawless and precious, chosen by God, raised from death, and the only source of eternal redemption through His blood.

What does it mean to be born again in 1 Peter 1?

Being born again means purified from sin and made spiritually new through believing in the living, enduring word of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.

How should Christians respond to trials according to 1 Peter 1?

They should rejoice and praise God because trials prove the genuineness of their faith which is refined like gold. Trials cannot overcome the hope found in Christ.

What is the overall message of 1 Peter 1?

The overall message is to find indestructible hope in Jesus amidst trials, remain holy, love deeply, and trust God’s eternal word over temporary earthly pleasures.

What are the key verses in 1 Peter 1?

Key verses include 1:3-5 on the living hope from Jesus’ resurrection, 1:6-7 on rejoicing through trials, 1:18-19 on redemption by Christ’s blood, and 1:22-25 on being born again through God’s enduring word.

For more on the book of 1 Peter, please reference our articles here.

This article references verses written from the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible.