As we conclude chapter 1 of 1 Peter we have Peter speaking of the Word of God. It was the incorruptible seed, by which we were “born again” and “purified” (read more here). Peter’s description of the word of God is that unlike men, the word remains forever. It is not corruptible, but rather incorruptible. He then concludes by saying the Word of which he speaks is the Gospel that was preached to the audience.
This gospel was preached to this group of Christians, if my hypothesis is right, when they were gathered for the Feast of Pentecost in Acts 2 (read about my theory here). However, it is interesting to see how Peter has interwoven the gospel in Chapter 1 of this book as well. Let’s look at what components of the gospel are seen in chapter 1.
It was part of God’s plan from the Beginning
1:2 speaks of our election being foreknown by God. The point is God before this world was created had a plan for the redemption of mankind. The gospel was not some plan God put in place because of the Sin of Adam and Eve. Rather, the gospel was planned far in advance of the Creation of the World.
The prophets spoke of it
In 1:10-13 we have the text referring to the prophets prophesying concerning the Christ. They spoke of his suffering and exaltation. Thus the prophets worked on our behalf prophesying that the Messiah would come and suffer, but His suffering would eventually lead to exultation. This is at the heart of the gospel. Our Savior-King suffered at the hands of wicked men and was put to death on a cross. However, he has been exalted through His resurrection and ascension. This is the basic message of the gospel.
We needed to be redeemed
Peter speaks of our redemption (1:18). This implies the need for us to be redeemed. The reason we need God to send a Messiah to be our Savior-King (Messiah) is because of our own sinfulness.
The Gospel is About Jesus
The plan that God foreknew before time was made manifest in Jesus (1:20). Just like Paul, Peter sees the gospel as being about Jesus. It is what Jesus has done. He is the one who suffered and was exalted. He was the price paid for our redemption. Jesus became our sin-offering, our lamb without blemish.
Blessings are Received Through Obedience
The blessings of the gospel (our redemption) are received through obedience. Our obedience is not the gospel itself, but rather our response to the message of the gospel. When we realize that we need to be redeemed and that our redemption has been procured by Jesus, who was promised by the prophets and chosen by God before the foundation of the world, then our response is to obey the truth presented.
Peter ends chapter 1 by saying that the Gospel had been preached. He is most likely referring to the time they heard the gospel preached from him in Jerusalem. Peter, though, has also given a skeleton outline of the gospel in chapter 1. He has shown God’s plan was before the foundation of the world. He has shown the prophets spoke of this plan. He has shown our need for redemption. He has shown Jesus as the price to be paid for redemption. Finally, he has shown our response to the gospel, namely obedience.