No one giving close attention to the reading of 1 Peter 1 can miss the apostle’s obvious discussion of salvation. Four points regarding the salvation that is available through Christ can be made from this chapter.
The reservation of salvation (1:1-9). Christians are the elect of God, and Peter, points to the inheritance in heaven that is incorruptible, undefiled, and does not fade away. That inheritance is reserved in heaven for those who through the power of God are kept through faith unto salvation. Even though we face fiery trials, heaven will result in unspeakable joy and glory.
The revelation of salvation (1:10-12). The prophets of the Old Testament inquired into the salvation that would be revealed in the Gospel. Although they did not live in the time when the mystery of God would be fully revealed, the great prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Joel had glimpses into the salvation and the kingdom into which the subjects of salvation would be ushered into from the power of the darkness and bondage of sin. That salvation, Peter tells us is “now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you” (1:12).
The regulation of salvation (1:13-17). The salvation that is available to all men requires sobriety, obedience, not fashioning ourselves according to the former lusts, and holiness. It requires those things because one day we will all stand before the judgment bar of God where we all, without respect of persons, will be judged according to our works. Consequently, Peter writes: “pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1:17b).
The restoration of salvation (1:18-25). God made man pure and free from sin, but all men beginning with the very first one, Adam, has sinned. The only exception to that was Jesus Christ. The bad news is that sin separates man from God. The good news is that Christ shed His perfect blood to redeem men from sin. That blood washes away sin and purifies the soul when one obeys the truth out of a pure heart. Peter refers to this in the same manner that Jesus did with Nicodemus. It is being “born again.” The saved are born again by the Word of God. Everything in this world will have its end. Just as the grass withers and the flowers fade, the heavens will pass away with a great noise, the earth will be burned up, even down to the very elements, that will melt with fervent heat (2 Pet. 3:10). Men are born, they live, and they die. Those things which we see, such as furniture made from the most enduring woods, and even gold which fire actually purifies, will be destroyed. The material world is not eternal. The Word of God by which, through obedience, we obtain the salvation which the prophets of old inquired into, and that Jesus brought into reality, will never pass away. Peter was there when the Lord Himself stated that His words would not pass away (Mat. 24:35).
Thus, Peter writes about the reservation, the revelation, the regulation, and the restoration of salvation in this opening chapter of his first epistle. Peter will return somewhat to the subject of salvation in the third chapter, verse 21, of this epistle where he points out the proper place that baptism holds in God’s plan to save man. Considering the redemption by Christ’s blood and purifying of the soul through obedience, 1 Peter 3:21 makes it plain that the obedience involves baptism, of which the apostle says, “doth also now save us.”
Salvation in Christ is available to all. Let us tell others of that salvation, relating to them the Gospel that has been reported, and that will save men as long as this world stands!