Peter’s audience was made up of those who, for various reasons, including their allegiance to Christ, were living lives as exiles. Their standing in society was at the bottom of the ladder. Yet Peter’s clear exhortation to them is that they are actually people of great privilege. They have been foreloved by God, caused to be born again into His family, and endowed with all of the rights and privileges that come with it. Their inheritance is everlasting, and even the adversity they face comes with the opportunity to recognize the genuineness of their faith.
Given all of this, what is to be their response? The question is the same for us today. Given all we are and have in Christ, how then should we live? Peter begins a lengthy answer that takes up the rest of the letter, but first he gives a powerful summary. We are to be holy.
But just what is meant by holiness? And what makes it possible? To these important questions Peter gives some simple yet profound answers.