Notes on 1 Peter 1:4 (part 2)

Apostle_Peter_Georgian_mosaicεἰς κληρονομίαν ἄφθαρτον καὶ ἀμίαντον καὶ ἀμάραντον, τετηρημένην ἐν οὐρανοῖς εἰς ὑμᾶς


into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, that is kept in heaven for you,

Some Theological Notes:

  1. Theologically, this verse fits well with the mention of a living hope in 1 Peter 1:3. Hope is directed toward what will be and one of the things that will be is an inheritance.
  2. Ramsey Michaels takes a closer look at the three adjectives that modify “inheritance.” He claims that “imperishable” has to do with “freedom from death and decay,” “undefiled” has to do with “freedom from uncleanness or moral impurity,” and “unfading” has to do with “freedom from the ravages of time” (1 Peter, 21).
  3. Peter is describing an inheritance that is consistent with John’s description of the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is the eternal city of the new creation and the inheritance of believers (Rev. 21:7). It is free from all that is unholy and unclean (21:27). Unlike earthly treasures, it does not decay.
  4. Jesus’ teaching on treasures in heaven provides another interesting parallel to Peter’s words here. Treasures in heaven are safe from the decaying work of the moth and of rust (Matt. 6:19-20), that is, they are imperishable and unfading.
  5. “Kept in heaven for you.” An inheritance that is kept in heaven is a treasure like the treasures in heaven that Jesus promises. Such treasure is safe from the thief who could steal them (Matt. 6:19-20).
  6. “For you.” Peter personalizes the inheritance. It is “for you.” The addition of “for you” stresses the beneficiaries of the inheritance. It also leads into the next verse, which will further describe “you.”
  7. Encouragement. 1 Peter 1:4 continues the presentation of 1 Peter 1:1-3, where one finds point after point that provides encouragement to believers.

Coming Up: Notes on 1 Peter 1:5

Note on sources: On 1 Peter 1:4, see the commentary by Michaels that is referred to above.
Ramsey Michaels, 1 Peter.

Ramsey Michaels, 1 Peter, Word Biblical Commentary

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