These verses link the unveiling of Jesus Christ with our future and all that the Father is working out. Verse 3 recalls to us our status as children of God, reminding us that our hope lies in the resurrection from the dead, when we will be composed of spirit, able to inherit the Kingdom (see I Corinthians 15:50). God Himself safeguards this perfect inheritance, which can never be diminished, for all those who are regenerated and endure to the end.
Verse 5 reminds us that our salvation will be revealed "in the last time." This gives us reason for great rejoicing, even though various trials may grieve us. Those trials are necessary, Peter tells us in verse 7, so that the genuineness of our faith—the tried and proven character of our faith—may be found when Jesus Christ is unveiled to the entire world (cf. Luke 18:8).
Verse 8 points out the contrast that, at this time, we do not see Him with our eyes because He is still veiled, hidden from the world. His revelation has not yet occurred. Even though we cannot see Him now, we still love Him and can still rejoice because we know that the Father will soon send Him back to this earth. Then, every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7).
Verse 13 summarizes what we should be doing as a result of this understanding. We need to brace ourselves mentally, and think, plan, and act seriously and circumspectly, setting our hope wholly on the divine favor that the revelation of Jesus Christ will bring to us. For concurrent with the apocalypsis of Christ is the salvation of the saints, both living and dead.
David C. Grabbe
What Is the Book of Revelation?
This was written in about AD 65, and Peter is having to remind people who they are. We have to be reminded of this because we are a very special people to God. Peter focuses in on the term "election," which is the very ground of consolation or encouragement because it means that God knows us. What kind of a gift is that? We are not a faceless blob to Him. He knows us personally and is watching over our lives!
The word election means "those sought out." God sought us out! Thus believing, understanding, and taking action on this truth is a major part of our hope, that is, that we are indeed special and known by God.
Peter also uses the term "foreknowledge," which intensifies "election." When the two of them are taken together in this context, it indicates that God not only foresaw us, but that He caused our relationship to occur because we would have never found Him on our own. To this, the apostle then adds "sanctification." In this case, it means, not merely set apart, but dedicated for obedience, which Peter mentions. This suggests that God knows us, not merely because He wants to save us, but because He wants us to obey Him.
Taken together, these three terms indicate that we have been given a tremendous gift that not many people on earth have received. It is a humbling responsibility because every gift carries with it the responsibility to make proper use of it in service to God's purpose.
What Peter is dealing with in this first chapter is why we can have hope: because we are elected by God. He sought us out purposely to make us acquainted with Him. The Father is the Author of an act of mercy by which we are given a sure hope of being brought into our inheritance. We should be conscious of this without being maudlin or self-righteous.
Peter writes that we have been begotten to a "living hope." It is a living hope because Christ is alive, and in God's behalf, He will absolutely carry out His God-given responsibility to us to bring us into His Kingdom.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Trumpets Is a Day of Hope