Exile is defined as “expulsion from one’s native land by authoritative decree.” Another source defines an exile as “a person banished from his or her native land.” In the Apostle Peter’s first epistle, he identifies followers of Christ as “exiles,” a people called by God to live in a foreign world, living in a very different way from those around them. Peter calls his readers to live with Gospel hope, even in the midst of trial and suffering, which will most assuredly come.
In fact, Peter shows us that persevering through suffering is a part of what it means to be an exile in this world. As we study this letter together, you will clearly see God’s amazing sovereignty at work. You will be reminded to endure trial and suffering as part of the “exiled” life of a believer. You will be encouraged to live in this world with powerful Gospel hope. You will be encouraged to live holy lives in this sin-stained world, and to submit to hardship, and what it produces.
We will see that hardship and holiness actually work together to accomplish God’s purposes. One day, when these temporary hardships are over, Christ Jesus will return to avenge our persecution and to vindicate us from suffering. This is the Gospel hope we have as exiles, living in a hostile land!