Ready to live with God
An EasyEnglish Version with Notes (1200 word vocabulary) of the First Letter of Peter (1 Peter)
Words in boxes are comments on the text.
This translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.
A word list at the end explains words with a star * by them.
v1 This letter is from me, Peter. Jesus Christ sent me to be a special worker and teacher on his behalf. I am writing to you, God’s people, who are living in many different places. You are living in places in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. You are living there as strangers because you are away from your true home. God has chosen you to be his people. v2 A long, long time ago, God, the Father, had already decided that you should be his people. By his Spirit, God has made you his own, separate people so that you would obey Jesus Christ. He made you his people so that Jesus Christ’s blood could make you really clean inside yourselves.
I want you to know more and more how very kind God is to you. And I pray that he will cause you to be without trouble inside yourselves more and more.
v3 We should thank God, who is the Father of our *Lord Jesus Christ! We should say how very great he is! God is so very kind that he has caused us to be born again. He has given us a new life. This is possible because God raised Jesus Christ. God raised Jesus so that he became alive again after his death. And because of this new life, we continue to hope certainly for good things. We are sure that we will live with God always. v4 Also, we wait to receive all the good things that God has prepared for his children. Nobody can ever destroy those things. They will never become dirty. They will never become old or less beautiful. God is keeping those good things in *heaven for you. v5 God is powerful and he is keeping you safe. He is keeping you safe because you believe him. He will keep you safe until the last day, when Christ will return. Then everyone will see that God has prepared to save you completely.
v6 These things which God has done make you very happy. But now, for a short time, different kinds of troubles and difficulties may make you sad. v7 The purpose of these troubles is to show certainly whether you really believe God. It is very, very important that you continue to believe him. People put gold into a fire to make it completely clean. The fire burns everything that is not gold. So the fire shows certainly what is gold. But gold belongs only to this world, so it will come to an end. When you believe God, that is worth much more even than gold. If you continue to believe God, he will be very happy because of you. As a result, he will say very good things about you on the day when Jesus Christ comes again. And you will show everyone how very great God is.
v8 You have never seen Jesus, but still you love him. You do not see him now, but you believe him. And so, you are very, very happy. There are no words to describe how happy you are. v9 You are happy now because you are sure. You are believing God. And God will give to you that which you hope for. He will save you from all the troubles and pain that you have now. You are sure about that.
v10 Many years ago, the prophets (people who told God’s messages) spoke about this. They spoke about how God would be so very kind to you. They wanted to know about how God would save people. They studied carefully. And they asked many questions because they wanted to understand about it. v11 Christ’s Spirit was in those prophets and he was showing them about future events. The Spirit was showing them that Christ must have much trouble and pain. Then, after that trouble, great and good things would happen to him. The prophets were trying to discover when and how all these things would happen. v12 God showed the prophets that his messages about these things were not for themselves, but for you. Now you know the good news about Jesus Christ. God’s Spirit, that he has sent from *heaven, has helped people to tell the good news to you. Even the *angels want very much to understand about these things.
v13 So, because of everything that God has done on your behalf, you must be ready to obey him. Get your mind ready to obey. Think seriously and clearly. Always continue to hope completely for the good things that you will receive from God. You will receive those things when Jesus Christ comes again. v14 Always obey God, like good children who obey their father. Before you knew Christ, you wanted to do bad things. Do not let yourselves do those bad things any more. Do not let them rule you. v15 God, who has chosen you to be his people, is completely good. So, whatever things you do, you must be completely good also. v16 The Bible says: ‘Be completely good, because I (God) am completely good.’
v17 When you pray to God, you call him Father. God decides about every person because of what that person has done. God decides what should happen to every person. And God is always fair when he decides about people. He is never kinder to one person than he is to another person. So always obey God, your Father, while you live as strangers here on earth. Always remember how great and powerful God is. v18 Your parents and the people who lived before you taught you to do certain things. Those things were worth nothing to God. But now God has saved you from doing things like that. You know that he has bought you for himself. He did not buy you with things like silver (a valuable metal) or gold, which will come to an end. v19 Instead, he bought you with Christ’s own blood, which is worth very, very much to God. Christ was like a lamb (young sheep) that had nothing wrong with it.
v20 Before God made the world, he had chosen Christ already. God had decided already that Christ would save us. But now, during these last days, God has shown Christ to the world so that he could help you. v21 It is because of Christ that you believe God. God raised Christ, so that he became alive again after his death. Then, God showed how very great and powerful Christ is. That is why you believe God. You are sure about him. He will do what he has promised. You are sure about that.
v22 You have made yourselves really good and clean because you have obeyed God’s true message. As a result, now you can really love other Christians, who are like brothers and sisters to you. So, continue to love each other very much. Love each other as much as you can. v23 God’s message causes people to become alive. It will continue always and it will never change. You have been born again, into a new life, because of that message. It is not your human parents who caused you to be born into this new life. They must die. But it is God himself who has caused you to be born again. And he can never die. v24 The Bible says:
‘All people are like grass.
Everything that is good or beautiful about people is only like the flowers in the fields.
The grass becomes dry and it dies.
Flowers fall off after a short time.
v25 But the message that the *Lord has spoken will continue always.’
That message is the good news, which people have taught you.
v1 So, you must refuse to do bad things. Always say only things that are true and right. Do not say one thing when really you mean something else. Do not want other people’s things so much that you stop being kind to those people. Do not say bad things about people. v2 Instead, you should want always to know God more and more. New babies always want their mothers’ milk, which makes them grow strong. Like them, you should want the true milk, which comes from God. Always want very much to know more about God’s message. That message is like good food that will make you strong in your *spirits. It will make you stronger and stronger, so that God will save you completely. v3 Already, you have begun to know how good the *Lord is. So, you should want to know him more and more.
v4 So come to the *Lord Jesus. He is like a big stone that a builder uses to build a house. He is ‘the stone that is alive’. People decided that he was worth nothing to them. So they refused him. But God chose him. To God, Jesus is like a stone that is worth very, very much. v5 You yourselves also are like stones that are alive, because of Jesus Christ. God is using you, like stones, to build his *spiritual house. He has chosen you to work there as his priests (special servants who offer *sacrifices). As priests you will offer *spiritual *sacrifices to God. And God will be happy with what you offer him, because of Jesus Christ.
v6 In the Bible, God says this:
‘Look, I have chosen a stone that is worth very, very much.
I have chosen this valuable stone as the most important stone,
for the corner of my house.
And I am putting that stone in *Zion.
Any person who believes him will never be ashamed.
That person will never be sorry that they believed him.’
v7 This stone is worth very, very much to you who believe. But the Bible says this about the people who do not believe him:
‘The stone that the builders refused has become the most important stone.
It has become the stone at the corner of the house.’
v8 The Bible says this also:
‘This is a stone that will cause people to knock their feet against it so that they fall.
It is a rock that will make them fall down.’
The reason why it causes people to fall is this. They fall because they refuse to obey God’s message. A long, long time ago, God decided that this would happen to them.
v9 But you are the people that God has chosen. You are a group of priests who are servants of God, the King. You are God’s own special people, who obey only him. You belong to God. He has taken you out of the dark and he has brought you into his great light. He has chosen you so that you can tell people how great he is. v10 In past times, you were not God’s people. But now you are God’s people. In past times, you did not know how very kind God is. But now you know how very kind he is.
v11 My friends, that I love, you live as strangers in this world. You are like visitors, who are staying in this world only for a short time. So I ask you strongly not to do those bad things that your bodies may want to do. Keep away from things like that, because they are like enemies to you. They fight against what is good for you. They stop you from doing good things. v12 You are living among people who do not know God. So be careful that you do good and right things always. Sometimes these people may say that you do bad things. But you should continue to do good things. And then they will see that you are good. So, on the day when God visits us, they may thank God because of you. And they will say how great God is.
v13 Obey all people who have authority in this world. Obey them, because that will make the *Lord happy. Obey the king, who rules everyone. v14 Also obey those officers of the government that the king has chosen to rule you. They *punish people who do wrong things. And they say good words about people who do right things. v15 God wants you to do what is right. Then you will stop silly people, who do not know anything, from saying bad things about you. v16 You are people who are free. But do not think, because of that, that you have the chance to do bad things. Do not think that God will excuse you for bad things. Instead, do those things that God’s servants should do. v17 Always do what is right and proper to all people. Love all those people who are like brothers and sisters to you. They are like your brothers and sisters because, like you, they believe Christ. Always remember how great and powerful God is. Always remember to obey the king.
v18 You servants must obey your masters. You must always remember that they are important. You must obey not only masters who are good and kind. You must obey also masters who are cruel and not fair. v19 Sometimes a person may have trouble and pain when he has done nothing wrong. But if that person really wants to obey God, he should continue to be patient and brave. That is a good thing and it will make God happy. v20 If you do something wrong, then people ought to *punish you. They might hit you. And you might be patient when they hit you. But that is no reason why anyone should say good things about you. But you may have trouble and pain because you have done good things. If you are patient during that trouble, then God will be happy about you. v21 God has chosen that you should be patient like this. Christ had trouble and pain on your behalf. And he is the person that you should copy. So you should do the same kind of things as Christ did. v22 The Bible says this:
‘He never did anything that was wrong.
He never said anything that was not true.’
v23 People said bad things about Christ, but he did not say bad things back to them. People did bad things to him and they caused him trouble and pain. But he never said that he would do bad things to them. Instead, Christ continued to believe that God would help him. God always decides only what is right and fair. v24 Christ himself took away all the wrong things that we have done. He took them in his own body to the cross. He did this so that we should not continue to do wrong things. So we can be like people who are dead to wrong things. We are dead to them because those things do not rule us any more. Instead, now we can do the right things that God wants us to do. People hurt Christ’s body, but, because of that, you have become well. v25 Before, you were like sheep that were going the wrong way. But now you have returned to Christ, your *Shepherd, who keeps all of you safe.
v1 You wives, each of you also should obey your own husband. There may be some husbands who do not believe God’s message. But if their wives obey them, those husbands may turn to God. They may decide to believe God, even if their wives have said nothing to them about God’s message. v2 Those husbands will see that you wives do only good things. They will see that you really obey God.
v3 Do not be trying always to make your bodies beautiful. You do not need to prepare your hair in an expensive way. You do not need to wear gold or expensive clothes. v4 Instead, be beautiful because of what you are really like inside yourselves, in your *spirits. Be patient and quiet, and do not become angry easily. Do not want to show everyone how important you are. Then you will never stop being beautiful. If you are beautiful in your *spirits like this, it is worth very much to God. v5 This was how, many years ago, good women made themselves beautiful. They believed God. God would do what he had promised. They believed that. And so, because they were God’s servants, they obeyed their own husbands. v6 They did the same as Sarah. She obeyed her husband, Abraham, and she called him, ‘My master’. You wives also should do what is right. You should not let anything make you afraid. Then you will be like true daughters of Sarah.
v7 Also, each of you husbands must live properly with your own wife. You should understand properly what she needs. She is not as strong as you are. So, you should remember that and you should be kind to her. Remember that God has promised the same thing to both her and you together. He has promised that you will live with him always. So, you must be kind to your wife. And then nothing will stop God from answering what you pray.
v8 Now I want to say this to you. All of you should agree with each other so that you do not argue. You should try to understand how other people are feeling. Love each other as brothers and sisters, because all of you belong to Christ. Be kind to each other. Do not want to be more important than anyone else. v9 If people do bad things to you, you must not do anything bad to them. If people say bad things against you, you must not say bad things back to them. Instead, you should pray that God will be good to those people. This is what God wants you to do. He has chosen you yourselves because he wants to be good to you. v10 The Bible says this:
‘If a person wants to enjoy his life and to have good days,
he must be careful not to say bad things.
And he must stop saying things that are not true.
v11 He must stop doing what is bad.
Instead, he must do what is good.
He must try very much always to be friendly with people.
He must try always not to argue with them or to cause trouble.
v12 Because the *Lord is watching over those people who obey him.
All the time, he is listening to what those people pray.
But the *Lord turns away from people who do bad things.’
v13 If you are trying always to do good things, then nobody can really hurt you. v14 People may cause you trouble and pain, even when you do right things. But God will be good to you. So, do not let anyone make you afraid. v15 Instead, always remember that only Christ is your *Lord. And always let him rule you, deep inside yourselves. People may ask you to explain why you hope certainly for good things because of Christ. Always be ready to answer anyone who asks you that. v16 Be kind and polite when you answer them. You know the difference between what is right or wrong. So, always do what is right. Then the people who say bad things about you Christians will be ashamed. They will see that you do good things. You do the good things that Christ’s people should do. So, they will be ashamed.
v17 Sometimes God may let you have trouble and pain even when you have done good things. But that is better than to have trouble and pain because you have done bad things. v18 Even Christ himself, who never did anything wrong, died on our behalf. He died to take away all the wrong things that we have done. He died once, for all time. He died to bring you to God. People killed his body, but God’s Spirit made him alive again.
v19 Then, as a *spirit, he went to the *spirits who were in prison. And he told his great news to them. v20 A long time ago, those *spirits had refused to obey God. God waited patiently for them at that time when Noah was building that big boat. But only a few people, only 8 people, went into that boat so that God could save them. God saved them when they went through the water. v21 That water is like a picture of *baptism, which now saves you also. *Baptism does not mean that the water washes dirt off a person’s body. It means that a person has decided always to obey God. God has made that person really good and clean inside. And so that person is choosing always to do what is right. *Baptism saves you because Jesus Christ rose, to become alive again after his death. v22 Jesus has gone into *heaven now and he is sitting at God’s right side. He rules over *angels and over all other *spirits that have authority or power.
v1 Christ had trouble and pain while he lived in his body. So, you should think like he thought. You should be ready to have trouble and pain while you live in your bodies too. If you think like that, you will make yourselves strong. Anyone who has had trouble and pain in his body has stopped wanting to do wrong things. v2 As a result, that person will obey God during all the time that he continues to live in his body. He will not want to do the bad things that people often want to do. He will not let those bad things rule him. Instead, that person will do what God wants him to do.
v3 The people who do not know God want to do bad things. And, in past times, you did those bad things too. But now you have wasted enough time doing those bad things. You did wrong things that people should not do. The things that your bodies wanted to do ruled you. You had sex with people who were not your wife or your husband. You were drunks. You went to many bad parties and you drank too much alcohol. Also, you *worshipped false gods, which is something that God hates.
v4 The people who do not know God continue to do many, very wrong things. But now, you do not want to do wrong things any more as they do. So, those people are very surprised because of you, and they say bad things about you. v5 But those people will have to explain to God what they have done. He is ready to decide what should happen to every person. He will decide about all people, whether they are alive or dead. v6 This is why even the dead people heard the good news about Christ. Their bodies had to die, as all people must die. But they heard the good news so that their *spirits could live. Their *spirits could live as God wants them to live.
v7 The end of all things is near. So, think seriously and clearly. And rule yourselves properly so that you can pray. v8 Continue to love each other very much. This is more important than anything else. If you love people, then you will always want to be kind to them. You will always be ready to forgive (choose to forget) any wrong things that they have done. v9 Always be happy when other Christians visit your homes. Say ‘welcome’ to them and be kind to them.
v10 God has been good to each of you in different ways. He has given a gift to each of you, so that you are able to do certain things well. So, each of you should use your gift so that you can help other people. Then you will be God’s good servants because you will be using his gifts properly. v11 If you have a gift as a speaker, speak only God’s messages. If you have a gift to help other people, let God make you strong to help them. Do everything so that people will thank God. They should say how great and good God is because of Jesus Christ. He will have all authority and power always. And everyone should always say how great he is! This is true!
v12 My friends, that I love, do not be surprised by trouble and pain. People are causing you bad trouble and pain. But these things are happening to show whether you really believe God. So, do not think that something strange is happening to you. v13 Instead, be happy that you have trouble and pain, like Christ. So then, you will also be very, very happy when Christ comes again. You will be happy when he comes to show everyone how very great and powerful he is. v14 People may say bad things about you because you are Christ’s. But God will be good to you when that happens. It means that God’s Spirit is with you. God’s Spirit, who is so great and powerful, remains upon you.
v15 But if you do wrong things, then people ought to *punish you. They ought to cause you trouble and pain. So, be careful that none of you receives trouble and pain because of wrong things. You must not kill anyone. You must not rob anyone. You must not want to know more than you should know about other people’s lives. None of you should ever have to receive trouble and pain because you have done those things. v16 But if you have trouble and pain because you are a Christian, do not be ashamed. Instead, thank God that people call you by Christ’s name.
v17 The time has come that God should begin to decide about people. He will decide what should happen to them. And he will decide first about the people who belong to him. God will decide even about us, who are his own people. Then he will decide about the people who do not obey his good news. So, very bad things must happen to those people in the end. v18 The Bible says:
‘Even good people have many difficulties
before God finishes saving them.
So, think about the bad people who do not obey God.
Very bad things must happen to those people!’
v19 So then, people may cause you trouble and pain because God chooses that. But you should continue to believe God, who made you. God always does what he has promised. So, continue to believe that he will be good to you. And continue to do what is good.
v1 Now I want to say something strongly to the elders (leaders) who belong to your group. I say this because I am an elder also. I saw the trouble and pain that people caused Christ. And, like you, I will live always with Christ, who is so very great and powerful. When he comes again, everyone will see how great he is. I say this strongly to you. v2 Watch over the group of God’s people that God has given to you. Be like a *shepherd to them. Do this work because you want to do it. That is how God wants you to be. Do not do it just because you have to do it. Do not do this work because you want to receive money. Instead, do it because you want to help people.
v3 Do not try to rule over those people that God has given to you. Instead, do good things yourselves, so that they can copy you. Show them the right things that they should do. v4 As a result, Christ, who is the *Shepherd of all of us, will give a gift to you. He will give that gift to you when he comes again. He will give you a beautiful crown that will never become old or less beautiful.
v5 You younger men also must obey the elders (leaders). And all of you people must be ready to be like servants to each other. Because the Bible says:
‘Some people think that they are better and more important than other people.
They think that they are always right.
God is an enemy to people who think like that.
But he is good to people who do not want to be very important.
He is good to people who are ready to be like servants to other people.’
v6 God is very powerful and strong to help you. So, be his servants, and let him rule you. Then he will cause you to be great and important at the right time. v7 Tell God about all the things that make you sad or afraid or angry. Give your thoughts about those things to him and let them remain with him. Do this, because you matter to him.
v8 Think seriously and watch carefully. Be ready, because your enemy, the *Devil, walks about like a lion (a big wild animal). He is like a lion that makes loud noises. He is looking for someone that he can eat. v9 Refuse to obey the *Devil. Instead, be strong against him because you choose to believe God strongly. Remember that, all over the world, Christians like you are having the same kind of troubles and pain.
v10 You will have trouble and pain for a short time. But after that, God, who is so completely kind, will make everything right. God has caused you to be united to Christ, so that you will live with him always. You will live with him in the beautiful place where he lives. And God will make you completely as you should be. He will make you strong, so that nothing can ever stop you believing him. v11 God will rule always! This is true.
v12 Silas, who is like our brother, has helped me to write this short letter to you. I know that he continues to believe Christ. And he continues to be Christ’s good servant. I have written because I want you to be brave and strong. And I want you to know certainly that God has really been good to us. So, always remember how good God is. And then you will continue to be strong. v13 God has chosen the Christians who are in Babylon city, as he has chosen you. They say ‘hello’ to you. Mark, who is like my son, says ‘hello’ also. v14 When you meet, kiss each other as Christian friends.
I pray on behalf of all of you who are united to Christ. I pray that God will cause you to be without trouble inside yourselves.
AD ~ AD 50 means the year that was 50 years after Jesus came, and so on.
angel ~ *spirit being (person). Good angels come from God’s home above the earth. They are God’s servants and they bring messages from God to people. Bad angels are servants of God’s enemy.
baptism ~ Baptism is when they put a believer into water. (Or sometimes they put water on the believer.) That shows everyone that the person believes Christ.
Devil ~ the devil is the leader and the worst of the bad *angels. He is the worst enemy of God. He is also called Satan.
heaven ~ the place beyond the earth where God and Jesus Christ live.
Lord ~ master. Another name for God. It means that he is greater than everyone else.
punish ~ to hurt someone, or to cause trouble for them, because they have done bad things.
sacrifice ~ a special gift to thank God, or to show that Israel’s people were sorry. They were sorry about the wrong things that they had done.
shepherd ~ someone who feeds sheep and keeps them safe.
spirit ~ a being (person) that is always alive, even without a body. A person’s spirit is the part of them that will always be alive. It will be alive even after their body is dead. There are good spirits, like God’s Spirit and his *angels. And there are bad spirits, like Satan (God’s enemy) and his *angels.
spiritual ~ of the spirit.
worship ~ to be a servant to someone or something, and to love them or to love it.
Zion ~ another name for Jerusalem city; this could be either the Jerusalem on earth or the Jerusalem in *heaven.
Daniel C. Arichea and Eugene A. Nida ~ A Translator’s Handbook on the First Letter from Peter ~ United Bible Societies
A. Marshall ~ The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament
New Bible Commentary ~ IVP
Various Bible versions
©1997-2004, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).
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