Well, yes, we are separated from those Christians by a couple of thousand years, but we may forget that very few of them had personal contact with Jesus during his ministry. Peter was writing to people who had not eaten a meal with Jesus, or had a conversation with him, or even met him.
He said, "Even though you haven't seen him and don't see him now, you believe in him."
And this belief is bringing them great benefit, indescribable and glorious joy.
The outcome of their faith is the salvation of their souls.
But what he meant by the word "soul" is not exactly how we how come to define it.
The Greek word, psyche, translated as soul means self, human being, or one's inmost being. The soul is not just a part of the person, it is the person.
Despite how we often misunderstand what Peter is giving them assurance of, he is not restricting the benefits to a ticket to heaven after they die. He's saying, "You are receiving the outcome of your faith now."