3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy having regenerated us to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
The first chapter of 1 Peter is extremely pastoral. If there is anything the sheep in our time desperately need in great measure it is spirit-led shepherds (pastors) who are bound to the Word of God who obey Him in the pastoring of their flocks as our Lord commands. It is tragic that so many of those the world sees in our time that claim to be Christian leaders do not in any way shape or form meet that criteria….
No, instead they are celebrities or they are apostates or heretics on the way to being apostates. God has his church, ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia), and he will continue to build it and no power can destroy it (Matthew 16:18), however, we are warned throughout the New Testament that wolves in sheep’s clothing, false teachers and prophets would come in to the church and lead many astray. This has continued until this day.
The passage I translated above, 1 Peter 1:3-5, should be a joyous one for the believer. It is for me. However, over the decades of me teaching and writing and ministering I have yet to present the facts of this passage without ‘offending’ someone. In my translation I used the words plain meanings rather than the normal, easier flowing words in those hard points on contention. If we take the plain meaning of text and do not try to bend it to fit into man-made doctrines or our denomination’s list of beliefs, et cetera then we are allowing the Word of God to speak to our hearts as it is intended. When we do this then we become living sacrifices in the hands of God and He, in return, transforms us through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). My brethren, this is how we hear what God has to say.