We begin our study of 1 Peter. Peter was writing in an area of modern Turkey, or back then was called Asia Minor. This letter was not written specifically to a single person, but to a group of people. Peter did not write this letter thinking we would be talking about it 2000 years later, but it was a way of confirming faith and to discuss those theological areas important to that group of people. We will see that Peter speaks of suffering 2o different times, but his underlining theme is that of hope. And he will point those in suffering to hope in Jesus.
Peter was accepted in many areas as the lead apostle. He wasn’t challenged like Paul, but was recognized by the people of the land. But we do see that he Peter struggled against those who fought against Christians. He was jailed and ultimately executed for his beliefs.
Peter refers to himself as an apostle of Jesus. Peter was given direct instruction from Jesus to go out and spread the good news. He is addressing Christians in various lands. These people were scattered mostly because of the persecution they suffered. He confirms to them that they have been chosen, or elected, by God to be in right relationship. This was a choosing based on some performance or in some position, but because he loves us.
When Peter speaks of the sprinkling of blood, he is referencing the areas of the old testament that proclaims the grace of God and the physical symbolism in the sacrifice. At this point, the readers might expect Peter to jump into the “what to do” areas. But he instead begins to talk about “who we are”.
1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (ESV)