Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 348

Bible text(s)

1From Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ —

To God's chosen people who live as refugees scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood.

May grace and peace be yours in full measure.

A Living Hope

3Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, 4and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away. 5They are for you, who through faith are kept safe by God's power for the salvation which is ready to be revealed at the end of time.

6Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. 7Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honour on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express, 9because you are receiving the salvation of your souls, which is the purpose of your faith in him.

10It was concerning this salvation that the prophets made careful search and investigation, and they prophesied about this gift which God would give you. 11They tried to find out when the time would be and how it would come. This was the time to which Christ's Spirit in them was pointing, in predicting the sufferings that Christ would have to endure and the glory that would follow. 12God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about those things which you have now heard from the messengers who announced the Good News by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things which even the angels would like to understand.

A Call to Holy Living

13So then, have your minds ready for action. Keep alert and set your hope completely on the blessing which will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant. 15Instead, be holy in all that you do, just as God who called you is holy. 16The scripture says, “Be holy because I am holy.”

17You call him Father, when you pray to God, who judges all people by the same standard, according to what each one has done; so then, spend the rest of your lives here on earth in reverence for him. 18For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; 19it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. 20He had been chosen by God before the creation of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God.

22Now that by your obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves and have come to have a sincere love for your fellow-believers, love one another earnestly with all your heart. 23For through the living and eternal word of God you have been born again as the children of a parent who is immortal, not mortal. 24As the scripture says:

“All human beings are like grass,

and all their glory is like wild flowers.

The grass withers, and the flowers fall,

25but the word of the Lord remains for ever.”

This word is the Good News that was proclaimed to you.

The Living Stone and the Holy Nation

1Rid yourselves, then, of all evil; no more lying or hypocrisy or jealousy or insulting language. 2Be like newborn babies, always thirsty for the pure spiritual milk, so that by drinking it you may grow up and be saved. 3As the scripture says, “You have found out for yourselves how kind the Lord is.”

4Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable. 5Come as living stones, and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple, where you will serve as holy priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. 6For the scripture says:

“I chose a valuable stone,

which I am placing as the cornerstone in Zion;

and whoever believes in him will never be disappointed.”

7This stone is of great value for you that believe; but for those who do not believe:

“The stone which the builders rejected as worthless

turned out to be the most important of all.”

8And another scripture says:

“This is the stone that will make people stumble,

the rock that will make them fall.”

They stumbled because they did not believe in the word; such was God's will for them.

9But you are the chosen race, the King's priests, the holy nation, God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvellous light. 10At one time you were not God's people, but now you are his people; at one time you did not know God's mercy, but now you have received his mercy.

Slaves of God

11I appeal to you, my friends, as strangers and refugees in this world! Do not give in to bodily passions, which are always at war against the soul. 12Your conduct among the heathen should be so good that when they accuse you of being evildoers, they will have to recognize your good deeds and so praise God on the Day of his coming.

13For the sake of the Lord submit to every human authority: to the Emperor, who is the supreme authority, 14and to the governors, who have been appointed by him to punish the evildoers and to praise those who do good. 15For God wants you to silence the ignorant talk of foolish people by the good things you do. 16Live as free people; do not, however, use your freedom to cover up any evil, but live as God's slaves. 17Respect everyone, love your fellow-believers, honour God, and respect the Emperor.

The Example of Christ's Suffering

18You servants must submit to your masters and show them complete respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19God will bless you for this, if you endure the pain of undeserved suffering because you are conscious of his will. 20For what credit is there if you endure the beatings you deserve for having done wrong? But if you endure suffering even when you have done right, God will bless you for it. 21It was to this that God called you, for Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips. 23When he was insulted, he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous Judge. 24Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed. 25You were like sheep that had lost their way, but now you have been brought back to follow the Shepherd and Keeper of your souls.

Wives and Husbands

1In the same way you wives must submit to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe God's word, your conduct will win them over to believe. It will not be necessary for you to say a word, 2because they will see how pure and reverent your conduct is. 3You should not use outward aids to make yourselves beautiful, such as the way you do your hair, or the jewellery you put on, or the dresses you wear. 4Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God's sight. 5For the devout women of the past who placed their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful by submitting to their husbands. 6Sarah was like that; she obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are now her daughters if you do good and are not afraid of anything.

7In the same way you husbands must live with your wives with the proper understanding that they are weaker than you. Treat them with respect, because they also will receive, together with you, God's gift of life. Do this so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.

Suffering for Doing Right

8To conclude: you must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another as brothers and sisters, and be kind and humble with one another. 9Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you. 10As the scripture says:

“Whoever wants to enjoy life

and wishes to see good times,

must keep from speaking evil

and stop telling lies.

11They must turn away from evil and do good;

they must strive for peace with all their heart.

12For the Lord watches over the righteous

and listens to their prayers;

but he opposes those who do evil.”

13Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, how happy you are! Do not be afraid of anyone, and do not worry. 15But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honour him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, 16but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will be ashamed of what they say. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if this should be God's will, than for doing evil. 18For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually, 19and in his spiritual existence he went and preached to the imprisoned spirits. 20These were the spirits of those who had not obeyed God when he waited patiently during the days that Noah was building his boat. The few people in the boat — eight in all — were saved by the water, 21which was a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you. It is not the washing away of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone to heaven and is at the right-hand side of God, ruling over all angels and heavenly authorities and powers.

Changed Lives

1Since Christ suffered physically, you too must strengthen yourselves with the same way of thinking that he had; because whoever suffers physically is no longer involved with sin. 2From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God's will and not by human desires. 3You have spent enough time in the past doing what the heathen like to do. Your lives were spent in indecency, lust, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and the disgusting worship of idols. 4And now the heathen are surprised when you do not join them in the same wild and reckless living, and so they insult you. 5But they will have to give an account of themselves to God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6That is why the Good News was preached also to the dead, to those who had been judged in their physical existence as everyone is judged; it was preached to them so that in their spiritual existence they may live as God lives.

Good Managers of God's Gifts

7The end of all things is near. You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray. 8Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. 9Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. 11Whoever preaches must preach God's messages; whoever serves must serve with the strength that God gives, so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Suffering as a Christian

12My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening to you. 13Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed. 14Happy are you if you are insulted because you are Christ's followers; this means that the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15If any of you suffer, it must not be because you are a murderer or a thief or a criminal or a meddler in other people's affairs. 16However, if you suffer because you are a Christian, don't be ashamed of it, but thank God that you bear Christ's name.

17The time has come for judgement to begin, and God's own people are the first to be judged. If it starts with us, how will it end with those who do not believe the Good News from God? 18As the scripture says:

“It is difficult for good people to be saved;

what, then, will become of godless sinners?”

19So then, those who suffer because it is God's will for them, should by their good actions trust themselves completely to their Creator, who always keeps his promise.

1 Peter 1:1-4:19GNBOpen in Bible reader
Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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