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Asbury Bible Commentary – A. The Prophetic Word Fulfilled by Jesus (1:12–21)
A. The Prophetic Word Fulfilled by Jesus (1:12–21)

The issue of authority has always been of concern to the Christian community. How do we attest the claims of those who would speak for God? From the very beginning Christians have understood that God's final revelation of truth came in his Son, Jesus, whose life and teachings were interpreted by the earliest apostolic followers (see, e.g., Lk 1:1-4). This apostolic interpretation and application of the truth revealed in Jesus became the rule against which all other teachings were measured. Peter reminds his readers of this rule and uses it as a basis for encouraging their growth in grace.

The apostolic teaching about Christ and the Christian life is not a human fabrication but a divine revelation that fulfills the prophetic Scriptures (the OT). Peter was among those who heard God's affirmation of Jesus as his unique Son. That initial affirmation, later validated by Christ's resurrection, verifies that the prophetic promises of Scripture find their fulfillment in Christ. Thus all of God's promises become effective and actual in the life of those who follow Christ. Conversely, none of God's promises come to fulfillment for those who do not follow Christ. Therefore, Peter urges, pay attention to (and live in) the way of life God has revealed in Christ. That way provides the only light there is in a dark world, and they must heed that light diligently until the dawn of Christ's final coming.

In this way, Peter affirms that the prophetic word of Scripture finds its fulfillment in Christ. Only through their continuing life in Christ can Christians find the fulfillment God's Word promises and thus grow in grace. Their eventual entrance into the eternal kingdom (1:14), therefore, depends on their adherence to the apostolic understanding of Christian life.