“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…” 1 Peter 1:1
It Peter, an eyewitness of the suffering and resurrection of Jesus, addresses this letter of encouragement to the “elect exiles of the Dispersion”. This is important as we begin our journey through the book of 1 Peter. The original audience is important as it gives us a foundational understanding of who Peter is writing to and why he is writing.
The “elect exiles” are Christians; those whom have placed their faith in Jesus and His sacrificial work on the cross. The elect are children of God who are citizens of heaven. The elect are exiles; people who belong in heaven but live now as exiles in a foreign land. And this foreign land is hostile toward God and the way He calls believers to live.
Peter is writing to the elect, you and me, to encourage us as we wait for Jesus to return. Peter wants us to live lives distinct from our culture. Peter is reminding us that this land is not our home. We are called to live different than the world around us. We are called to live holy lives that model the ways of Jesus.
As believers, we face the daily temptation to love the things of this world, and to walk in the ways of this world. Today, allow the word of God to reset your heart so that you don’t live for this world—but live for Jesus in this world.
Dear Jesus, thank you for saving me and giving me the hope of salvation. Thank you for making me a citizen of heaven. As I wait for that promise, help me to be faithful to live under your rule and reign. Amen.