The apostle Peter wrote two letters, which we know as 1 Peter and 2 Peter, to the Christians who had been scattered abroad from Jerusalem because of persecution throughout the country. In Peter’s first letter he wrote to encourage them saying,
…be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;… (1 Peter 1:13)1
We’re to be sober, calm and collected in our spirit,2 and to completely rest all of our hope — all of our joyful, confident expectation of good in our future — upon one thing and one thing only: GRACE, the unmerited favor of God given to us through Jesus Christ.
As you read this verse, it might seem that the scripture is telling us that this grace will be brought in the future, but the verb sometimes translated “to be brought” isn’t in the future tense in the original Greek manuscript. The verb tense is the present passive participle,3 which means it should be literally worded “is being brought to you.”
• Present means it’s happening now.
• Passive means you’re the recipient.
• Participle tells you how it’s happening — on-going — grace is BEING brought!
The word “revelation” is the Greek word “apokalypsis.”4 In Greek dictionaries it is defined as the “unveiling of something hidden, so that it may be seen for what it is.”5 An unveiling of what? Or WHO? JESUS CHRIST!
Let’s look at this verse in Young’s Literal translation of the Bible:
Wherefore having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, hope perfectly upon the grace that is being brought to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13, Young’s Literal Translation)6
Grace IS BEING brought to us NOW IN the unveiling of Jesus! Every time we turn your eyes upon Jesus, we experience His grace.
(from pages 33-35 of Unveiling Jesus)
Unveiling Jesus, by Tricia Gunn, is a verse by verse study of the pure gospel of grace. It’s an amazing journey of love, identity, and freedom in Christ.
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1Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.
2G3525 (nēphō), Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, website: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G3525&t=KJV, accessed 5-17-14
3G5342 (pherō), Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G1722&t=KJV http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=1Pe&c=1&t=KJV&ss=1#s=t_conc_1152013, accessed 5-17-14
4 apokalypsis, Holman Quick Source Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, TN, 2005, p. 19
5 revelation, “I. The Idea of Revelation,” The New Bible Dictionary, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1975
6 Another small translation distinction is the use of the word “at” in the phase “at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” This word is the Greek word “en”8 and means “in” in English. Again, the word “at” would indicate something happening in the future.