Peter’s letter has a flow to it that the chapter breaks somewhat obscure. From praise and thanksgiving over the glorious joy of their salvation, Peter moved into God’s call that believers live holy lives, to be a holy people as God is holy.
He was already writing to those who lived throughout what is called the Diaspora—those of Jewish descent whose ancestors had been taken captive and exiled to live outside of Israel.
Now, Israel was no more, and the area where God had given their forebears their ancient inheritance was now called Palestine and folded into the Roman Empire. True, place names persisted. There was Jerusalem on Mount Zion, surrounded by Judah, now called Judea. There was Samaria to the north, and Galilee past that. But the truth was, there was no Israel for the Diaspora to return to.
But Peter spiritualized their exiled state by pointing out the world itself was only their temporary home. So, because they really were exiles living among those who were not their people, and not believers, they were to live honorably that the world might glorify God.
Peter then gave practical ways to live out that call to holiness and being honorable.
- Be built up into a spiritual house, and be the spiritual priesthood as well.
- Abstain from worldly desires.
- Honor everyone, and particularly honor earthly authorities, as well as willingly cooperate with them.
- Love the brothers and sisters in Christ, from the heart.
- Peter likened the lot of the enslaved with Jesus when he was crucified. They were to follow Christ’s example in accepting authority and enduring suffering, whether they deserved it or not
- Now, Peter would address how to live honorably for those married to nonChristians