But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9, NET
More has been written about Peter than any other disciple, and yet 1 and 2 Peter receive little attention when compared to the four Gospels and Paul’s epistles. But there is much to enlist our attention in these letters to the early Christian believers in Asia Minor.
These short letters come to us from the very earliest days of Christianity, and they are authored by one of Jesus’ closest confidants who had been a leader in the early Christian movement from its very beginnings. They are addressed to concrete situations of first-century Christians, people who are very distant from modern readers in culture, language, and circumstances.
Peter reveals that the special relationship God initiated with the descendants of Abraham meant something. It meant that we are a separate and holy nation; that Christians live their life according to high moral values; that they live a life of love for others; that they should be like a fire on a cold night, drawing others into its warmth; and that Christians are tasked with the responsibility of sharing with others the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
For Peter, the Christians he writes to should be living as those who are ransomed and sanctified. He encourages that, even though they live in difficult times and perilous circumstances, they have a glorious hope. One might sum up the content of his letters as practical advice to Christians living in a time of uncertainty—even in the twenty-first century.