Two sentences offer a ringing recitation of the saving acts of God through Jesus Christ, employing the now-classic language of “new birth,” “living hope,” “resurrection,” “the power of God,” “through faith,” “salvation,” and “the last day”–for all of which we “rejoice.”
All of the passage’s powerful theological terms are part of the letter’s opening statement of thanks and praise for what God the Father of our Lord JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More Christ has done for our salvationSalvation can mean saved from something (deliverance) or for something (redemption). Paul preached that salvation comes through the death of Christ on the cross which redeemed sinners from death and for a grace-filled life. More (now and in eternity). The letter seeks to make clear that everything for our salvation has been done by God and that we are the beneficiaries. Nearly all of the actions of God appear in the past tense, indicating that they have been accomplished and are firmly established, except for the final fulfillment of salvation at the end of time (which is ready to be revealed). The knowledge of this causes rejoicing, even when there is sorrow and suffering along the way, which proves that our faith in this God is genuine. This passage ranks with John 1:1-14, John 3:16, and Romans 8:38-39 as one of the greatest biblical expressions of the Christian message.