Peter the apostle writes to a bunch of churches in Asia Minor, which is modern-day Turkey. And the first sentence in this letter is simply “shockingly glorious”.
Peter declares himself to be an apostle of a man who was hated and killed by the Jewish authorities. Peter’s introduction is a testimony of what the Spirit of Christ can do to the heart of a believer. What happened to Peter on the day of Pentecost is exactly what is spoken of in the book of 2 Timothy 1v7: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power.”
It is “shockingly glorious” because Peter was not always as bold as he was in writing the first sentence of his first letter.
Before the day of Pentecost, Peter was a fearful man, and it is seen in Matthew 26v75. Peter denied Christ because he feared death. He told Jesus: “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” ( Matthew 26v35). Push came to shove and Peter chose to deny Christ.
The picture of Peter after receiving the Holy Spirit, is the opposite of what is seen in Matthew 26v69-75. Look at what is said of Peter and John in Acts 4v13: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John. . . they were astonished.”
Peter was considered bold, but the credit goes to God alone. Shockingly glorious is the transformation that takes place in the life of a believer when he is in Christ. By God’s Spirit we no longer have to be ashamed of being disciples of Jesus. We can now openly declare that we are disciples of Christ, like Peter did, because “you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear”- Romans 8v15.