Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ: To God's own people scattered over the earth, who are living as foreigners in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Roman Asia, and Bithynia,
chosen in accordance with the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, with a view to their obedience and to their being sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May more and more grace and peace be granted to you.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His great mercy has begotten us anew to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance imperishable, undefiled and unfading, which has been reserved in Heaven for you,
whom God in His power is guarding through faith for a salvation that even now stands ready for unveiling at the End of the Age.
Rejoice triumphantly in the prospect of this, even if now, for a short time, you are compelled to sorrow amid various trials.
The sorrow comes in order that the testing of your faith--being more precious than that of gold, which perishes and yet is proved by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the re-appearing of Jesus Christ.
Him you love, though your eyes have never looked on Him. In Him, though at present you cannot see Him, you nevertheless trust, and triumph with a joy which is unspeakable and is crowned with glory,
while you are securing as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
There were Prophets who earnestly inquired about that salvation, and closely searched into it--even those who spoke beforehand of the grace which was to come to you.
They were eager to know the time which the Spirit of Christ within them kept indicating, or the characteristics of that time, when they solemnly made known beforehand the sufferings that were to come upon Christ and the glories which would follow.
To them it was revealed that they were serving not themselves but you, when they foretold the very things which have now been openly declared to you by those who, having been taught by the Holy Spirit which had been sent from Heaven, brought you the Good News. Angels long to stoop and look into these things.
Therefore gird up your minds and fix your hopes calmly and unfalteringly upon the boon that is soon to be yours, at the re-appearing of Jesus Christ.
And, since you delight in obedience, do not shape your lives by the cravings which used to dominate you in the time of your ignorance,
but--in imitation of the holy One who has called you--you also must be holy in all your habits of life.
Because it stands written, 'You are to be holy, because I am holy.'
And if you address as your Father Him who judges impartially in accordance with each man's actions, then spend in fear the time of your stay here on earth,
knowing, as you do, that it was not with a ransom of perishable wealth, such as silver or gold, that you were set free from your frivolous habits of life which had been handed down to you from your forefathers,
but with the precious blood of Christ--as of an unblemished and spotless lamb.
He was pre-destined indeed to this work, even before the creation of the world, but has been plainly manifested in these last days for the sake of you who, through Him,
are faithful to God, who raised Him from among the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are resting upon God.
Now that, through your obedience to the truth, you have purified your souls for cherishing sincere brotherly love, you must love another heartily and fervently.
For you have been begotten again by God's ever-living and enduring word from a germ not of perishable, but of imperishable life.
'All mankind resemble the herbage, and all their beauty is like its flowers. The herbage dries up, and its flowers drop off;
But the word of the Lord remains for ever.' And that means the Message which has been proclaimed among you in the Good News.