THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER
Simple Studies in the Scriptures
Student’s Study Guide
Dr. Stanford E. Murrell
The First Epistle of Peter
God the Holy Spirit
Written c. AD 66
churches of Asia Minor - present-day Turkey,
with their largely Jewish, but also Gentile membership
verses: 1 Peter 4:12-13
“ Beloved, think it not strange
concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing
happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings;
that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding
1 PETER 1
1 Peter, an
apostle [lit. one sent] of Jesus Christ, to the strangers [pilgrims]
scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1:1 Peter. The author designates himself by the name that
Jesus gave him (Matt. 4:18; John 1:42) for his steadfastness in the sphere of
1:1 scattered throughout. Paul had evangelized many of
these areas; other areas comprising modern Turkey had churches that were
started by the Jews who were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and heard
Peter's sermon (Acts 2:9-11).
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the
Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of
the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1:2 elect. The doctrine of
election is designed to teach that salvation is not a random act of chance but
a divine undertaking of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The force of the word elect cannot and should not be minimized. From the sea of
fallen humanity God in His great mercy has chosen or elected some to salvation.
This choice or election was not and is not dependent upon human merit or
ability but upon free grace.
1:2 foreknowledge. God does
not look down the corridors of time to determine which way the volition of a
person will go when presented with the gospel and on the basis of that elect
the person to salvation. Such an understanding of foreknowledge makes God
irrelevant. God certainly foreknows all matters of men. However the word is
used here in another sense. Matthew Henry explains. “Foreknowledge sometimes
signifies counsel, appointment, and approbation [approval]. Acts 2:23, Him
being delivered by the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God. The death of Christ was
not only foreseen, but fore-ordained, as v. 20. Take it thus here; so the sense
is, elect according to the counsel, ordination, and free grace of God.”
1:2 Father…Spirit…Jesus Christ.
The Divine Order
Salvation of the
1:2 Through sanctification. A holy life is
well worth living for it is the will of God and beyond that a life once spent
is irrevocable. Adoniram Judson realized this truth and wrote the following.
“A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through
eternity.…The same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone
forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit forever.…Each day
will not only be a witness of our conduct, but will affect our everlasting
destiny.…How shall we then wish to see each day marked with usefulness…! It is
too late to mend the days that are past. The future is in our power. Let us,
then, each morning, resolve to send the day into eternity in such a garb as we
shall wish it to wear forever. And at night let us reflect that one more day is
irrevocably gone, indelibly marked” (E. Judson, The Life of Adoniram Judson,
Anson, Randolph & Company, 1883, pp. 13-15).
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto
a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1:3 begotten us. While the death of Christ was sufficient
for all it is efficient for the elect. The abundant mercy that begets spiritual
life in “us” is limited to the elect of God.
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and
undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1:4 inheritance. The concept of a Christian
inheritance has reference to the gifts of divine grace and mercy, which will be
given the believer because of the death of Christ. Specifically, the Christian
is to receive the following—and much more.
· Eternal life
· A dwelling place in heaven
· A body suited for the
1 Corinthians 15: 40
· A body suited for the
1 Corinthians 15: 23
Four Characteristics of
the Christian’s Inheritance
It is incorruptible which means it cannot perish.
It is undefiled which means it can not be spoiled.
It will never fade away.
It is reserved in heaven.
5 Who are kept by the power of God through
faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1:5 kept by the power of God.
Biblical Reasons to Believe in the Eternal
Security of the Believer
The promise of God the Father. Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,
them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he
justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but
delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all
things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that
justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather,
that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh
intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or
sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are
accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more
than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things
present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
The promise of God the Son. John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life;
and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
The pledge of God the Holy Spirit.
1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel
of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with
that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until
the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for
a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more
precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be
found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1:7 trial of your faith. At the second advent of
Jesus, praise and honor and glory await those who suffer for the sake of
righteousness according to gospel terms. The praise will come as the Lord says,
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). Honor and
glory will come when the Lord continues to say, “I will make thee ruler over
many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:21,23).
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom,
though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy
unspeakable and full of glory:
1:8 ye love. It is possible to love Christ though
the believer has not yet seen Him in the flesh. Loving Christ is more than
loving an idea or a memory. It is loving a living person. To love the name of
Jesus is to love Him as the resurrected Savior.
“There is a Name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear,
The sweetest Name on earth.
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
O how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!”
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the
salvation of your souls.
1:9 the end of faith. The grand objective of living
out the ethics of the Christian faith is to bring glory to God through gospel
obedience and the salvation of the soul.
10 Of which salvation the prophets have
inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should
come unto you.
1:10 salvation. Some think it hard that there
should be nothing for them but ruin if they will not believe in Jesus Christ;
but if you will think for a minute you will see that it is just and reasonable.
I suppose there is no way for a man to keep his strength up except by eating.
If you were to say, “I will not eat again, I despise such animalism,”
you might go to Madeira, or travel in all lands (supposing you lived long
enough!), but you would most certainly find that no climate and no exercise
would avail to keep you alive if you refused food. Would you then complain, “It
is a hard thing that I should die because I do not believe in eating?” It
is not an unjust thing that if you are so foolish as not to eat, you must die.
It is precisely so with believing. “Believe, and thou are saved.” If
thou wilt not believe, it is no hard thing that thou shouldst be lost. It would
be strange indeed if it were not to be the case. (Charles H. Spurgeon)
1: 10 grace unto you. While the common
grace of God is extended to all in that God makes the sun to shine on the just
and the unjust alike (Matt. 5:45), saving grace is reserved unto “you”
the elect of God. O the wonder of it all!
“O the wonder of it all,
The wonder of it all,
Just to think that God loves
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the
Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand
the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1:11 the Spirit of Christ which was in them. No one
in any generation has been saved, sanctified or sustained apart from the
permanent indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 “Now if any man
have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto
themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported
unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost
sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
1:12 it was revealed. One of the great questions
that theologians wrestle with is how much of the gospel the Old Testament
saints knew. The evidence seems to be they knew more than some will give them
1:12 the angels desire. The Scriptures do not
indicate a way of salvation has been prepared for the angels. Jesus did teach
hell was prepared for the devil and his followers (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:9). The
interest of angels into the gospel appears to have captivated their interest.
13 Wherefore gird [bind] up the loins
[procreative powers] of your mind, be sober [watch], and hope [have confidence]
to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of
1:13 wherefore. This transitional word explains why
believers should not be discouraged but remain serious about living out the
ethics of the Christian faith with hope. Grace will be brought to those who are
faithful at the revelation or Second Advent of Christ. Dr. R. G. Lee preached a
sermon over one thousand times called Pay Day, Some Day. While the main
part of the message speaks to the lost the title of the sermon applies in a
positive way to the Christian. There is a pay day, some day. On that special
day the believer will be able to say, “It has been worth it all.”
“Ofttimes the day seems long,
Our trials hard to bear;
We’re tempted to complain,
To murmur and despair.
But Christ will soon appear
To catch His bride away;
All tears forever over,
In God’s eternal day.
It will be worth it all when we see Jesus;
Life’s trials will seem so small
when we see Christ.
One glimpse of His dear face
all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race
we see Christ.
Sometimes the sky looks dark
With not a ray of light;
We’re tossed and driven on,
No human help in sight.
But there’s one in heaven
Who knows our deepest care;
Let Jesus solve your problem
Just go to Him in prayer.
Life’s days will soon be o’er,
All storms forever past;
We’ll cross the great divide
To glory safe at last.
We’ll share the joys of heav’n,
A harp, a home, a crown;
The tempter will be banished,
We’ll lay our burden down.”
Esther K. Rusthoi
14 As obedient children, not fashioning
yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1:14 lusts. There are many passions in the heart,
some of which move a professing Christian to act in opposition to the known
will of God. The believer is instructed to mortify or put inappropriate lust
patterns to death (Col. 3:5). Those who fail to do so will soon discover how
controlling inordinate passions can be bringing secret shame, abiding guilt and
self-loathing. A hypocritical life is fashioned in order to protect and provide
opportunity for the expression of a particular lust.
15 But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [life];
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1:16 be ye holy. There are many gospel motives for
holiness not the least of which is that God Himself is holy. “Holiness does
not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded
austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills”
(John Brown, nineteenth-century Scottish theologian).
Never to be forgotten are the memorable words
written by Robert Murray McCheyne to the Rev. Dan Edwards on 2 October 1840
after his ordination as a missionary to the Jews: “I trust you will have a
pleasant and profitable time in Germany. I know you will apply hard to German;
but do not forget the culture of the inner man, —I mean of the heart. How
diligently the cavalry officer keeps his sabre clean and sharp; every stain he
rubs off with the greatest care. Remember you are God’s sword, —His instrument,
—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according
to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not
great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister
is an awful weapon in the hand of God.”
if [since] ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth
according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in
1:17 fear. Fear is a natural feeling of terror when
danger is present. Fear can be good or bad. A healthy fear tempers the soul,
which is why children are to be taught to fear and respect their parents (Lev
19:3), wives are to fear and respect their husbands (Eph 5:33), and slaves or servants
are to respect their masters (Eph 6:5).
The foundational cause for a healthy
expression of fear is rooted in reverence awe and respect for God. "The
fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov 1:7) as well as "the
beginning of wisdom" (Prov 16:16).
An unhealthy and harmful fear is that sense
of terror or dread that immobilizes the soul and clouds rational judgment. God
dos not want His children to be burdened with this unhealthy and harmful
expression of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of
fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. For this reason the
commandment comes to the Christian not to fear any person for no man can do
ultimate harm to the believer.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able
to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and
body in hell.
Philippians 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is
to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of
While the Christian is not to fear anyone but
to trust in God it is interesting and instructive to learn that, from a divine
understanding of the nature of the human heart, it is the wicked that fear the
righteous. The wicked may boast and swagger and pretend to be in charge but
deep in their hearts they fear the righteous.
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous
are bold as a lion.
Matthew 14:5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the
multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
Because the wicked fear the righteous they
act in a deceitful manner and make every attempt to hide their sins (2 Sam. 11;
Matt. 28:4-15). The wicked have every cause to be terror strickened at the
thought of a righteous God taking vengeance upon evil for this He has promised
to do. 2 Thess 1:7 And to you [Christians] who are troubled rest with us,
when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In
flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
While the unbeliever fears the righteous and
shall know the terror of the Lord such fear does not often lead to gospel
repentance. Rather, a greater attempt is made to hide from God (Gen
6:15-17) or worse, to deny His existence and His claim on a person's life (Ps
14:1; Rom 1:18-28).
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not
redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain
[empty] conversation [manner of life] received by tradition from your
1:18 ye know. There is no presumptuous in believing and
trusting what God has given permission to believe and trust. There is a know so
salvation. An elderly man said to Dr. H.A. Ironside, “I will not go on
unless I know I’m saved, or else know it’s hopeless to seek to be sure of it. I
want a definite witness, something I can’t be mistaken about!” Ironside replied, “Suppose you had a
vision of an angel who told you your sins were forgiven. Would that be enough
to rest on?” “Yes, I think it would. An
angel should be right.” Ironside
continued, “But suppose on your deathbed Satan came and said, ‘I was that
angel, transformed to deceive you.’ What would you say?” The man was speechless. Ironside then told
him that God has given us something more dependable than the voice of an angel.
He has given His Son, who died for our sins, and He has testified in His own
Word that if we trust Him all our sins are gone. Ironside read I John 5:13, “You
may know that you have eternal life.” Then he said, “Is that not enough
to rest on? It is a letter from heaven expressly to you.” God’s Spirit used
that to bring assurance to the man’s heart.
1:18 redeemed. To purchase or buy back. Jesus Christ came
into the slave market of sin to purchase or buy back with His precious bloods
those who are the heirs of salvation.
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a
lamb without blemish and without spot:
1:19 precious blood. The price Jesus paid for
our redemption was terrible indeed. When we think of the extreme suffering He
endured to purchase our freedom from sin’s penalty, our hearts should overflow
with love for Him. Leslie B. Flynn told a story that illustrates this truth.
An orphaned boy was living
with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to
get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for
help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back
down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.
Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to
determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the
town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen
to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on
the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from
his pockets, revealing severe scars on them.
As the crowd gasped, the boy
cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands
had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his
arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently
walked away, leaving the boy and his
rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.
Many voices are calling for our
attention. Among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has
rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences. To Him belongs our love and
devotion” (Our Daily Bread, December 26).
20 Who verily was foreordained before the
foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1:20 before the foundation of the world.
Question. “What is the ordo salutis (Latin, the
order of salvation)?”
Answer. “The ordo salutis is the theological
doctrine that deals with the logical sequencing of the benefits of Salvation
worked by Christ which are applied to us by the Spirit.”
Question. “Is the order of salvation important to
Answer. “It is.”
“In the degree to which the force of the
original Reformation idea slackened, change came about with respect to it in
the tradition emanating from [John] Calvin and from [Martin] Luther. Questions
about the order of salvation (ordo salutis) came increasingly to receive
attention in preference to questions about the history of salvation (historia
salutis). While in [Martin] Luther and [John] Calvin all the emphasis fell on
the redemptive event that took place with
death and resurrection, later, under the influence of pietism, mysticism
and moralism the emphasis shifted to the process of
individual appropriation of the salvation given in Christ and to its mystical
and moral effect in the life of the believer."
Question. “Was this change in emphasis harmful?
Answer. “Yes, and for the this reason.”
“If one focuses not on Christ and His work
but on personal application then the believer becomes turned in on himself
instead of turned out from Himself towards Jesus Christ. This way of looking at
the ordo salutis has given rise to an overly subjective spirituality. Christ is
lost sight of in my efforts to analyze my own spirtual condition.”
Question. “What is the order of salvation?”
Answer. “The order of salvation, foreordained before
the foundation of the world is as follows.”
The death of Christ
The gospel call
The inward call
Regeneration by the Holy Spirit
Conversion (faith and repentance)
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also
did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the
firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he
also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified,
them he also glorified.
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised
him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in
God. God the Father is to the ultimate object of faith and hope. All
that Jesus ever did and said was designed to direct the hearts of individuals
to the Father.
Luke 11:2 “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed
be thy name.”
Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
An Image of God
We like to think that we
develop our image of God from the Bible and teachings of the church, not from
our relationships—some of which have been painful. It’s easier if our God image
is simply based on learning and believing the right things. Yet, intensive
studies on the development of peoples’ images
of God show that it is not so simple.
One psychologist found that this spiritual
development of the God image is more of an emotional process than an
intellectual one. She brings out the importance of family and other
relationships to the development of what she calls one’s “private God.”
She says that, “No child arrives at the ‘house of God’ without his pet God
under his arm.” And for some of us the “pet God” we have tied on a
leash to our hearts is not very nice, nor is it biblically accurate. This is
because our negative images of God are often rooted in our emotional hurts and
destructive patterns of relating to people that we carry with us from our past.
Imagine a little girl of
seven who has known only rejection and abuse from her father whom she loves
dearly. At Sunday School she is taught that God is her heavenly Father. What is
her perception of Him going to be? Based on her experience with her natural
father, she will see God as an unstable, rejecting, abusing person she cannot
trust. Consider just a few ways in which your image of your father possibly may
have affected your perception of God, which in turn affects your self-image.
If your father was distant,
impersonal and uncaring, and he wouldn’t intervene for you, you may see God as
having the same characteristics. As a result, you feel that you are unworthy of
God’s intervention in your life. You find it difficult to draw close to God
because you see Him as disinterested in your need and wants.
If your father was a pushy
man who was inconsiderate of you, or who violated and used you, you may see God
in the same way. You probably feel
cheap or worthless in God’s eyes, and perhaps
feel that you deserve to be taken
advantage of by others. You may feel that God
will force you—not ask you—to do things you don’t want to do.
If your father was like a
drill sergeant, demanding more and more from you with no expression of
satisfaction, or burning with anger with no tolerance for mistakes, you may
have cast God in his image. You likely feel that God will not accept you unless
you meet His demands, which seem unattainable. This perception may have driven
you to become a perfectionist.
If your father was a
weakling, and you couldn’t depend on him to help you or defend you, your image
of God may be that of a weakling. You may feel that you are unworthy of God’s
comfort and support, or that He is unable to help you.
If your father was overly
critical and constantly came down hard on you, or if he didn’t believe in you
or your capabilities and discouraged you from trying, you may perceive God in
the same way. You don’t feel as if you’re worth God’s respect or trust. You may
even see yourself as a continual failure, deserving all the criticism you
In contrast to the negative
perceptions many women have about God, let me give you several positive
character qualities of a father. Notice how these qualities, if they existed in
your father, have positively influenced your perception of God.
If your father was patient,
you are more likely to see God as patient and available for you. You feel that
you are worth God’s time and concern. You feel important to God and that He is
personally involved in every aspect of your life.
If your father was kind, you
probably see God acting kindly and graciously on your behalf. You feel that you
God’s help and intervention. You feel God’s
love for you deeply and you’re convinced that He wants to relate to you
If your father was a giving
man, you may perceive God as someone who gives to you and supports you. You
feel that you are worth God’s support and encouragement. You believe that God
will give you what is best for you, and you respond by giving of yourself to
If your father accepted you,
you tend to see God accepting you regardless of what you do. God doesn’t dump
on you or reject you when you struggle, but understands and encourages you. You
are able to accept yourself even when you blow it or don’t perform up to your
If your father protected
you, you probably perceive God as your protector in life. You feel that you are
worthy of being under His care and you rest in His security.
Always Daddy’s Girl by H. Norman Wright, 1989,
Regal Books, pp. 193-195.
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying
the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned [sincere] love of the brethren, see
that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1:22 purified your souls. “The main work
of a Christian lies in the right management of his heart and mind” (Matthew
1:22 unfeigned love. The characteristics of biblical love
that is without hypocrisy and is sincere may be found in 1 Corinthians 13.
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but
of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
1:23 incorruptible. Salvation is never based on the
corruptible physical seed which implants only a sin nature and death into the
soul. Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Salvation
is united with an incorruptible spiritual seed called the Word of God
which lives and abides forever as it germinates in the soul to produce a new
birth. Lives are changed by the Word of God.
When evangelist John Wesley (1703-1791) was
returning home from a service one night, he was robbed. The thief, however,
found his victim to have only a little money and some Christian literature. As
the bandit was leaving, Wesley called out, “Stop! I have something more to
give you.” The surprised robber paused. “My friend,” said Wesley, “you
may live to regret this sort of life. If you ever do, here’s something to
remember: ‘The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin!’“ The thief
hurried away, and Wesley prayed that his words might bear fruit. Years later,
Wesley was greeting people after a Sunday service when he was approached by a
stranger. What a surprise to learn that this visitor, now a believer in Christ
as a successful businessman, was the one who had robbed him years before!
“I owe it all to you,” said the transformed man. “Oh
no, my friend,” Wesley exclaimed, “not to me, but to the precious blood
of Christ that cleanses us from all sin!” (Our Daily Bread, October 1, 1994)
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all
the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower
thereof falleth away:
1:24 The grass
“So little time
to say the things
You’d really like
Before you even
find the words
The time has
So little time to
do the things
You feel you want
So treasure like
the purest gold
The time God’s
So little time to
dream your dreams
For youth has
passed is prime
And all too soon
-- so little time.”
July 7, 1992
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for
ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
1:25 endureth forever. All that God has promised,
all that the Scriptures predict will come to pass. There is a sure word
of prophecy and so the Christian embraces the Bible as the wonderful book it is
even the word of the Lord.
“Last eve I paused before a blacksmith’s door
and heard the anvil ring
the vesper chime.
And looking in,
I saw old hammers on the floor,
Worn by the beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had,”
said I, “To wear and batter
all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he,
then with a twinkle in his eyes,
“The anvil wears the hammers
And so I thought,
the anvil of God’s Word,
For ages skeptic blows
Yet though the noise
of falling blows was heard
The anvil is unharmed
—the hammers gone!”
“The word of the Lord endureth for ever.”
Questions and Answers on 1 Peter 1
1. What is the purpose of the
doctrine of election?
2. In what sense is the word “foreknowledge”
used in 1 Peter 1:2.
3. What is the triune function
4. What is the grand objective
of every believer’s life?
5. What gospel motive is given
in 1 Peter 1: 16 to stimulate a life of holiness?
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again
unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an
inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in
heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time.
Reflection and Application
1. Why is the doctrine of
election so emotionally controversial? Should it be taught and stressed in the
church? Why or why not?
2. Are you a religious
hypocrite, if the truth were told? Are there secret or known lusts you claim to
wrestle with but also so you never change nor crucify?
3. Do you love Jesus? What
evidence is there this is true? When was the last time you told Jesus you loved
4. Do you know how you were
redeemed according to gospel terms? Ask God for an opportunity to share your
testimony with someone within the next five days.
5. If your understanding of the
order of salvation differs from what is presented, explain and defend that
Doctrine of Suffering
There are many reasons why
believers suffer mentally and physically. The following list is given to help
the hearts of God’s people evaluate themselves when a meaning for tribulation
is sought. Not all pain and suffering is meant to punish though some is. Much
suffering is designed to correct character, guide the heart or teach the
lessons of life God would have known. This means it is safe to say that some
pain and suffering could be avoided. You will find this taught in 1 Corinthians
“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” But if and when we are
judged there is another principle to keep in mind. Every form of discipline and
every cursing is designed by God to be a source of blessing. This concept is
found in 1 Corinthians 11:32 and Romans 8:28. “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should
not be condemned with the world….And we know that all things work together for
good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his
purpose.” Therefore consider the following reasons why Christians suffer.
1. Christians suffer when they engage in a frantic search for happiness in
an inappropriate way.
The book of Ecclesiastes establishes this principle
through the life of Solomon. Solomon engaged in a frantic search for happiness
and then concluded in sorrow “all is
vanity and a vexation of spirit” (Eccl. 1:14). Many have said this before
and it still remains true. Happiness is not found in money, sex, drugs, fame,
fortune or total freedom. Young people often believe that if they could only be
free from parental control or counsel they would be happy. And so the moment
comes when they throw off all restraints and there is a sense of euphoria. They
are free. But not really for without the Lord ““all is vanity and a vexation of spirit”. To rebellious young
people I have this to say. Do not be surprised when the little blue bird of
happiness flies away. You will only be happy when you obey your parents in acts
of righteousness, for this is the will of the Lord.
Christians suffer from a
1 Timothy 1:5-6 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure
heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some
having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling.
A conscience is God’s gift
to the heart. Without a moral compass the end result is a Michael Jackson, a
Mondona, a Sadam Hussein. A gash in the conscience can disfigure the soul
forever. A good conscience is the looking glass of heaven. A sanctified
conscience is the holy whisper of God in the soul. Thank God for suffering from a violated
conscience for it is possible for the conscience to be first violated, then
silenced and then seared so that it is no long sensitive to any form of moral
restraint. In Galatians 2:14, when Paul
came and rebuked Peter about the way the Gentiles were being treated, the
conscience of Peter was smitten. He suffered from a guilty conscience and then
changed his behavior to express grace.
Christians suffer from the
suppression of sin in the self-consciousness of the soul.
When inappropriate attitude
and actions are engaged in and then justified ecclesiastical judgment is a real
possibility. The apostle Paul delivered Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan
for physical and mental abuse to teach them to learn not to blaspheme. The
story is told in 1 Timothy 1.
1 Timothy 1:19-20 Holding
faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have
made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered
unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
God wants His children to keep the truth in a
holy vessel and with a pure conscience.
1 Timothy 3:9 Holding the
mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
A man called once and asked
me about women preachers. I told him I did not believe that women are
authorized to be pastors over God’s people. He agreed—and then confessed in was
in a church that allowed women preachers. In fact, the associate pastor was a
minister, and also the wife of the pastor. Some years ago I went to a Bible
college in Manhattan, Kansas. I did not agree with the official position of the
college on baptism. The school taught baptism regeneration. By Scripture and by reason I do not believe
in it. Nevertheless, I suppressed the truth until it became sin in my soul. My
conscience was defiled until I left that situation and I claimed the provision
of 1 John 1: 9.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our
sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
Christians suffer because
the Word of God is rejected.
Ephesians 4:17-19 This I say
therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other
Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding
darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in
them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have
given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with
When the Word of God is rejected the Lord will
allow individuals to engage in acts of “uncleanness
with greediness” [i.e,“eagerness”]—and then the nightmare of pain and
suffering really begins.
In 2 Kings 17:13-14 the prophet of God explains why
there was going to be war with the nation of Assyria and Israel is going to
lose the contest.
“Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against
Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your
evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law
which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the
prophets. 14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks,
like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.”
Few things in life alarm me more than to find someone who is about to
reject the Word of God for the
traditions of men or for a system of believe that is logically contrary to
sound Scriptural teaching.
As a pastor I know something of Paul’s heart when he
wrote the church in Galatians 4:19 saying, “My
little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in
When I conduct a public ceremony beyond the Church such as a wedding or
a funeral it is not uncommon to see in the audience individuals who have
rejected the Word of God. It is my practice to use public occasions to
warn and encourage individuals to listen to the voice of God and not reject His
Christians suffer and
inflict emotional and physical pain on others when particular acts of sin are
not isolated and mortified or put to death.
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be
Constant expressions of anger are a terrible burden
to bear for self and for others.
Individuals who are angry for whatever reason become
bitter and then vindictive.
The mental attitude sins of the soul bring nothing
but division and distress for self and for others. And it is all so
A man called yesterday. He is going through a
divorce and the papers have arrived in the mail. What is he to do? Years and
years of marital conflict is now in the public arena and the courts. And he is
angry. Had this couple come to me months
or weeks ago I could have helped them.
But particular acts of sin were not isolated and put to death and now
there is pain and suffering for themselves and many others—just as the Bible
6. Christians suffer when divinely established authority is rejected
reflected in the story of Dathan and Abiram as recorded (Num
16:1-35; Deut. 11:6; Psalm 106:17).
Dathan whose name means “strong” was a chief of the tribe of Reuben who, along with Korah
and others tried to overthrow Moses and Aaron. The earth swallowed up him and
his conspirators and their households. While not all revolts against
established authority have such a dramatic ending this event has been recorded
to remind people that God takes seriously subtle and open assaults upon the
name and character of leaders on any level.
Children are not to revolt against their parents or to speak evil of
them. Christian citizens are encouraged not to revolt against their leaders or
to speak evil of them. And of course
pastor are always pleased – and astonished – when people listen to their
counsel and follow it in the will of the Lord.
Christians suffer pain and
sorrow by marrying the wrong person.
Ezekiel 16:1-3 Again the
word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know
her abominations, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth
and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy
mother an Hittite [i.e., people married outside a covenant relationship].
One of the controversies God had with His covenant people is that they
chose sensual pleasure and marital happiness over Him when they married people
outside the covenant relationship. When Christian people are unequally yoked by
marrying a person of no faith or a person of a radically different faith there
will be only heartache and sorrow. The temptation comes to think that a person
can be easily converted to a particular way of thinking. That is not true. The
temptation comes to think that doctrine is not important. That is not true for
false doctrine can lead to eternal judgment. Historically the Church is
surrounded by “a noble army, men and
boys, the matron and the maid,” who “climbed
the steep ascent to heaven”, “mid peril, toil, and pain.” Shall Bible
doctrine be dismissed or downplayed today through ignorance or for personal
pleasure? God forbid. Some women spend more time in selecting their wedding
gown than they do in selecting a husband. It is far better to wait upon the
Lord or be single if such is God’s will than to marry the wrong person. The sea
of matrimony is filled with hardships unless there is doctrinal harmony in the
home for only then can a woman hope to find a man who will love her as Christ
loved the Church.
Christians suffer because
they are interrelated to others in the body of Christ who hurt.
1 Corinthians 12:26 And
whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be
honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
There are several great
metaphors of the Church in the New
Testament and each one illustrates the essential unity of believers to one
another and to Christ. Romans 14:7 explains. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
One of the reasons why I
believe a formal church membership is healthy is because it helps to
crystallize this concept.
Each person who joins can
say in essence, “I am not on the outside
looking in. I am committed to a particular expression of the body of Christ.
There is an essential spiritual unity that I recognize and partake of.”
When someone shares their
pain and suffering Christians do not dismiss them, roll their eyes in
exasperation at their stories or wish they would go away. Christians enter into
suffering with others in the body of Christ to some extent so that their
burdens are lifted. Galatians 6:2 say “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so
fulfill the law of Christ.” It is easy to talk about the law of love. It
is harder to fulfill it. And so Christians suffer because of association with
filled with sorrow and care,
Hearts are lonely and drear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.
Cast your care
on Jesus today,
Leave your worry and fear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.
the Saviour can see,
Ev'ry heartache and tear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary
Jesus is very near.
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.”
Christians suffer from
Proverbs 3:11-12 My son,
despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12
For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he
While this is the type of suffering most
Christians fear the most, it is not to be despised for it is a sigh of God’s
One question that arises is how to tell the difference between
suffering and pain, which is part of life, and what is a direct result of God’s
judgment. There is a very simple answer. It may not please everyone but I would
suggest that the Holy Spirit will reveal to the heart whether or not pain and
suffering in the life is the direct result of God’s divine displeasure.
Moses knew that he could not go into the land of promise because he
struck the rock, which was a type of Christ.
Saul knew that the kingdom was taken from him because he did not finish
the task God assigned to him.
David knew that his child died because of his inappropriate
relationship with Bathsheba.
The list is long of those who knew why God was judging them. However,
it must be kept in mind that God does not judge every transgression or to the
same degree for He is full of mercy and long suffering.
God has been pleased to hide many of your sins if the truth were told
and for good reason. Who could stand under total public revelation? No one.
To remember this truth is to understand that among the attributes of
God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliance than
justice. Therefore, when the Lord does move in judgment and tells you for what
reason He is doing so, do not despise His corrections. He loves you.
10. Christians suffer as part of
the angelic conflict.
Job 2:3-7 And the LORD said
unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in
the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth
evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against
him, to destroy him without cause. 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said,
Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put
forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee
to thy face. 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but
save his life. 7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote
Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
Because of the constraints
of time your attention is drawn to the story of Job as outlined in the opening
chapters. The angels are interested and involved in the affairs of men for a
variety of reasons. And so men are caught up in an angelic conflict.
Remember how Jesus told
Peter that Satan wanted him in particular. “But
I have prayed for you Peter.” Christ prays for His own. Meanwhile, the
angelic conflict continues. Some Christians like Paul will be buffed by Satan.
Others, like Daniel will
have the answer to their prayers delayed.
Satan has the ability to induce sickness and sorrow. And he has the
ability to stir up trouble in the body of Christ by unleashing evil spirits of
jealousy, gossip, bitterness, anger, and hatred. Therefore Christian, test the
spirits. Test the emotion in your heart lest you be subject to demonic
suggestion as Ananias. Acts 5:3 “But
Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy
Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?”
11. Suffering is designed to demonstrate the power
and grace of God.
John 9:2-3 And his disciples
asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was
born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents:
but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
With this point we come full circle for the grace of God will be
revealed in all that is done in the lives of individuals be it evil or be it
If upon examination of the heart it is discovered there is no cause and
effect relationship between sin and the suffering then look for the glory of
God to be revealed.
Paul discovered this principle in his life for after he prayed and
asked the Lord to take away his affliction the apostle was told, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my
strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory
in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
John Wesley said of the early Methodists, “We die well.” Mr. Wesley could say that only because he had taught
his people well to submit to the Father in all matters of life. Christians can
live well, they can withstood pain well by God’s sufficient grace and they can
die well with an eye to the glory that is yet to come. And so we shall. Amen.
12. Some suffering is designed to cause the
believer to learn the value of the Word and will of God.
Ps 119:67 Before I was
afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Psalms 119:71 It is good for
me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
13. Christians suffer in order
to have patience produced in the life.
James 1:2-6 My brethren,
count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the
trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect
work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack
wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth
not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.
For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
14. Christians suffer from bad
political decisions of rulers. Jesus predicted a period of great tribulation
for the nation of Israel. In the summer of AD 66 Jewish leaders encouraged a
revolt against Rome. Soldiers marched against the city. Many Christians were
caught up in this national calamity.
Matt 24:14-22 And this
gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all
nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When ye therefore shall see the
abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy
place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea
flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to
take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field
return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and
to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in
the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation,
such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever
shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh
be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
15. Christians suffer when their
own standards of morality are violated.
2 Tim 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall
come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural
affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of
those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more
than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power
thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into
houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers
lusts, 7 Ever
learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
16. Christians suffer from the
ravages of war.
Matthew 24:6-7 And ye shall
hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these
things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise
against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and
pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (cf. Deut. 21; 24).
17. Christians suffer by not
knowing or not remembering the promises of God.
John 20:9-12 For as yet they
knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the
disciples went away again unto their own home. 11 But Mary stood without at the
sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher.
18. Christians suffer in the
process of dying as a result of the fall.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by
one-man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon
all men, for that all have sinned.
19. Christians suffer when the
Lord’s Supper is taken in an inappropriate manner.
1 Corinthians 11:29-31 For
he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to
himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this cause many are weak and
sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should
not be judged.
20. Christians suffer because
they exercise their spiritual gift.
2 Corinthians 11:24-30 Of
the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten
with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I
have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils
of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in
perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in
perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings
often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care
of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I
burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern
21. Christians suffer due to
Acts 8:1-2 And Saul was consenting
unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the
church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout
the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men
carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
22. Christians suffer because
they love Christ more than family or friends.
Matt 10:36 And a man's foes
shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more
than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is
not worthy of me.
23. Christians may suffer in
order to be kept from more sin.
Matthew 5:29 And if thy
right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is
profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy
whole body should be cast into hell.
24. Christians suffer in order
to empathize with others.
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one
another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
25. Christians suffer in order
to preserve the life of others.
Genesis 45:5 [And Joseph
said unto his brethren] Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with
yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve
26. Christians suffer to
demonstrate the theological truth that God is the sovereign Ruler of the
universe and can dispose of it as He pleases.
Exodus 4:11 And the LORD
said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or
the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the LORD?
27. Christian can give thanks to
God for the privilege of suffering.
Acts 5:41 And they [the
apostles] departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were
counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
28. Christians are to thank God
even in their sickness and sufferings if not for their sickness and sufferings.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In
every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning
29. But the time might come when
thanksgiving can come for the sickness and pain and sufferings of life.
Psalms 119:67 Before I was
afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Romans 5:3 And not only so,
but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.
30. No suffering and no sickness
can come into the life of the believe apart from the sovereign will of God for
He works all things after the counsel of His own will.
Exodus 4:11And the LORD said
unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the
seeing, or the blind? Have not I the LORD?
Ephesians 1:11 In whom also
we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose
of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
31. God ordained the following
people to suffer and or to be sick.
God ordained that Adam and Eve suffer sorrow in childbirth and death. Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will
greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring
forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over
thee. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
God willed that Job suffer satanically induced sickness in order to
test his faithfulness. Job 2:4-8 And Satan
answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he
give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his
flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6 And the LORD said unto Satan,
Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. 7 So went Satan forth from the
presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot
unto his crown. 8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he
sat down among the ashes.
God ordained that a man be born blind and suffer many years in life in
order to demonstrate the power of His Son. John
9:2-5 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or
his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned,
nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I
must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh,
when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the
God ordained that Jacob should be touched in his thigh so that he
limped for many years in life in order to learn to lean upon the Lord. Genesis 32:25-32 And when he saw that he
prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow
of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let
me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou
bless me. 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And
he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince
hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked
him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it
that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called
the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is
preserved. 31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted
upon his thigh. 32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which
shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he
touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.
Christ ordained that His disciples be beaten and hurt knowing that
disease and sickness would accompany these ordeals.
God ordained that Paul should be sick and to suffer in order to humble
him and demonstrate His own divine faithfulness. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure
through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the
flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above
measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from
me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is
made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take
pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in
distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
God ordained that New Testament
Christians suffer in time. Acts 9:16 For
I will shew him [Saul of Tarsus] how great things he must suffer for my name's
sake. Acts 14:22 [Paul went about] Confirming the souls of the disciples, and
exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much
tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those
things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into
prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou
faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
32. In light of the place of
pain and suffering in the plan of God what should be said in response to the
Word of Faith movement that instructs its people to disbelieve or down play
their sickness and sufferings in order to magnify faith with a view towards
First, our brothers and sisters must be challenged not to verbalize a
non-truth in the name of spiritual truth thereby denying objective reality.
Words become a mockery in the mouth of someone dying of cancer who declares he
is healed in the name of Jesus. Words become a mockery in the mouth of someone
who denies I have no need of glasses while putting them on to read the Bible. Such dualistic thinking is not healthy and
breeds spiritual pride at its worse; non-sensible thoughts at its best.
Second, our brothers and sisters must be invited to return to the Bible to see that God is sovereign over
sickness and suffering not by its removal but by what He can accomplish in
weakened vessels. The paradox of the Christian message is not that God uses the
healthy and the wealthy but he uses the sick of this world to accomplish His
purposes. Isa 45:7 I form the light, and
create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
1 Cor 1:27-2:1 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound
the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the
things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are
despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought
things that are:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him
are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness,
and sanctification, and redemption:31 That, according as it is written, He that
glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Third, our brothers and sisters must be taught to consider the whole
counsel of God in a given passage for spiritual balance and to avoid entering
into heresy, which is extreme error.
1. The first mention of grace
in the Bible is found in Genesis 6:8 where we read "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
2. As used in the Old
Testament, grace is often used in the sense of special favor being held based
upon a high estimation of someone by another person. Joseph, for example, found grace in the eyes
of an officer of Pharaoh the captain of the guard. Ruth found grace in the
presence of Boaz.
Genesis 39:4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him:
and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his
Ruth 2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,
and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest
take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?
3. In the divine economy grace
is what God is freely able to do and indeed what He does do for those for whom
Christ has died. Mercy, the compassion
of God, and love, the motive of God, unite when expressed to manifest grace,
which is undeserved favor.
4. The grace of God rules out
human merit for salvation.
Romans 3:24 Being justified
freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace
are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
5. Grace perfects forever the
salvation of the elect in the sight of God.
6. Grace bestows Christ's merit
and Christ's forever.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Romans 8:1 There is
therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not
after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Colossians 2:9-10 For in him
dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him,
which is the head of all principality and power:
7. Grace removes any obligation
to gain merit with God by legal duties.
Romans 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made
void, and the promise made of none effect:
Romans 6:14-15 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not
under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not
under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
8. Once man was in Adam but now
he is in a state of saving grace, baptized into Christ, dead unto sin but alive
Romans 6:1-10 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that
grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any
longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus
Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by
baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory
of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have
been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the
likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified
with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should
not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead
with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ
being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth
Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein
we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
9. Saving grace is a free gift
Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if
through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the
gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs
according to the hope of eternal life.
10. Grace can
abound or be diminished.
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.
But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
11. There is
the reign or ruling principle of grace under the New Testament economy.
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.
But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
12. Grace can be abused.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace
13. The election to salvation is
based upon the principle of grace.
Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant
according to the election of grace.
14. Paul never ceased to marvel
that he was the object of God's redeeming grace.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man
that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;
but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is
given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of
Romans 15:15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly
unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is
given to me of God,
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his
grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more
abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my
mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
15. What we have received from
God should be desired for.
1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father,
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and
from the Lord Jesus Christ.
16. In times of personal
tribulation God's grace is sufficient.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for
thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I
rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
17. It is possible to fall from
the sphere of grace if dependency is made upon salvation by good works or if
there is excessive sin in the life.
Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you
are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of
old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God
into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
18. Praise should be offered to
God for His great grace.
Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath
made us accepted in the beloved.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all
wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
19. Gracious words should
characterize the speech of a Christian.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt,
that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
20. There is a throne of grace
before which the Christian is to pray.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
21. More grace is given to the
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth
the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
22. Christians are to grow in
the sphere of grace.
· 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in
grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be
glory both now and for ever. Amen.
1:20 foreordained. Concerning the order of
salvation, “Regeneration, faith, conversion, renewal, and the like, often [in the
Bible] do not point to successive steps in the way of salvation but rather
summarize in a single word the entire change which takes place in a man"
(Herman Bavinck). "When we speak of
an ordo salutis [order of salvation], we do not forget that the work of
applying the grace of God to the individual sinner is a unitary process, but
simply stress the fact that various movements can be distinguished in the
process, that the work of the application of redemption proceeds in a definite
and reasonable order, that God does not impart the fullness of his salvation to
the sinner in a single act..." (Louis Berkhof)
1 PETER 2
1 Wherefore laying aside
all malice [depravity], and all guile [deceit], and hypocrisies, and envies,
and all evil speakings,
2:1 laying aside. As a person takes off dirty clothing
so the believer is to take off or lay aside spiritual clothing soiled by
depraved acts of making trouble for others, deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy and
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow
thereby [by it]:
2:2. the word. An appetite for the Word of God must
be cultivated in order to be desired.
Five Ways to Cultivate a
Desire for the Word
Have a pure conscience that is undefiled by secret sin. When a person
is living in secret or open sin fellowship with the Lord ceases and holy
matters are not desired.
Spend time meditating on the Word. Make a holy commitment to do this
and honor that commitment. Promise the Lord by saying, “I will meditate in
thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (Ps 119:15).
Remember the promise of blessing for those who mediate on the Word. Joshua
1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt
meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all
that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then
thou shalt have good success.
Pray and ask the Lord to be taught spiritual truths from the Word. Ps
25:4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Speak to others about the spiritual truths the Lord has shown you. Mal
3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD
hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for
them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
3 If so be [because] ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious
2:3 gracious. The graciousness of God in giving His Word
and the kindness He has shown to the believer should be a good motive to desire
to know more of the Word. The heart naturally loves those who have shown them
Despite his busy schedule
during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln often visited the hospitals to cheer the
wounded. On one occasion he saw a young fellow who was near death. “Is there
anything I can do for you?” asked the compassionate President. “Please
write a letter to my mother,” came the reply. Unrecognized by the soldier,
the Chief Executive sat down and wrote as the youth told him what to say.
The letter read, “My
Dearest Mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty, and I won’t recover.
Don’t sorrow too much for me. May God bless you and Father. Kiss Mary and John
The young man was too weak
to go on, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and then added this postscript: “Written
for your son by Abraham Lincoln.”
Asking to see the note, the
soldier was astonished to discover who had shown him such kindness.
“Are you really our
he asked. “Yes,” was the quiet answer. “Now, is there anything else I
can do?” The lad feebly replied,
“Will you please hold my
hand? I think it would help to see me through to the end.”
The tall, gaunt man granted
his request, offering warm words of encouragement until death stole in with the
Oh Christian, would you not
want to ask in prayer, “Jesus, are you really my Savior? Would you please
hold my hand and lead me though this dark night of the soul when tempted to
sin? Would you stay with me to the end?”
“Take my life,
and let it be
Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in ceaseless
Take my hands,
and let them move at the
of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them
and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice,
and let me sing
always, only, for
Take my lips, and
let them be
messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
and use every power
as Thou shalt
Take my will, and make it
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine
it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord,
I pour at Thy feet its
Take myself, and I will be
only, all for Thee.”
Frances R. Havergal
4 To whom coming, as
unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
2:4 To whom coming. When a person comes to Christ in
faith He comes to the most interesting and unique person.
Christ is a Living Stone though an outcast of society
Christ was chosen of God
Christ is precious
“Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light:
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.
When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord, linger near,
When my life is almost gone,
Hear my cry, hear my call,
Hold my hand lest I fall:
When the darkness appears
And the night draws near,
And the day is past and gone,
At the river I stand,
Guide my feet, hold my hand:
Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand.”
Thomas A. Dorsey
The Story Behind the Song
Mr. Dorsey wrote this song
in Chicago, Illinois, after his wife Nettie died while giving birth to a
child who also died shortly thereafter. Dorsey sang the song for his
friend, Gospel singer Theodore Frye, and Frye’s choir sang it the next Sunday
at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy
priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus
2:5 lively stones. Once the Lord dwelt in a physical
structure of beautiful but dead and decaying material. Now He dwells in a
spiritual house. Every Christian can say, “My heart is Christ’s home. I am
to function as a believer priest in a holy manner in order to offer up
spiritual but acceptable sacrifices to God.”
Offering Prayers. Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a
golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer
it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the
Expressing Praise and Adoration.
5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne
and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten
thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of
thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to
receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and
blessing. 13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under
the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I
saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth
upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Giving thanks. Psalm 105:1 O give thanks unto the LORD.
Witnessing. Ps 105:1 “make known his deeds among the people.”
Singing unto the Lord spiritual song. Psalm 105:2 Sing unto him, sing psalms
unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
Remembering. Psalm 105: 5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the
judgments of his mouth;
Talking often about the Lord. Mal 3:16- Then they that feared the LORD
spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of
written before him for them that feared the LORD,
and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of
hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man
spareth his own son that serveth him.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in
Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall
not be confounded [ashamed].
2:6 elect. The concept of Christ being “chosen of
God” (1 Pet. 2:4) and the elect One is set forth against the decision of
divine mercy to save sinners by allowing a substitute savior.
Though a noble individual might have
volunteered to die for others, none would be found worthy to be a suitable
savior “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Thus, all are in need of a savior.
Though an angel confirmed in righteousness
might have volunteered to die for mortals such an offer would be without merit
for angels differ from men
Certainly no animal would be a suitable
sacrifice “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats
should take away sins” (Heb 10:4).
Finally, in His infinite wisdom the Father
choose a course of action and decreed His begotten Son could be the One to
accomplish the grand goal of redeeming souls from the slave market of sin. And
so the Son was chosen by God to come into the world, not as an animal, not as
an angel, but as the
God-man, perfectly suited to mediate between God and
man for He would be both. Jesus is Immanuel, “God with us.”
“Immanuel, we sing Thy
Thou Prince of Life,
Thou Fount of Grace,
With all Thy saints,
Thee, Lord, we sing;
Praise, honor, thanks,
to Thee we bring.
E’er since the world began
How many a heart hath longed for Thee!
And Thou, O long expected guest,
Hast come at last to make us blest!
Now art Thou here:
we know Thee now:
In lowly manger liest Thou:
A Child, yet makest all things great;
Poor, yet the earth Thy robe of state.
Now fearlessly I come to
From sin and grief
O set me free!
Turn wrath away,
dread death destroy,
And turn my sorrow into joy.
Thou art my Head,
my Lord divine:
I am Thy member, wholly Thine;
And by Thy Spirit’s gracious power
Will seek to serve Thee evermore.”
Paul Gerhardt, 1653
2:6 confounded. The apostle Paul wrote, “I am not
ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to
keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim 1:12).
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them
which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made
the head of the corner,
“I know not why God’s
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But I know Whom I have
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not how this saving
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
I know not how the Spirit
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
I know not what of good or
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
I know not when my Lord may
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.”
Daniel Whittle, 1883
2:8 disobedient. “There are two kinds of
people: those who say to God ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says,
‘All right then, have it your way’ ” (C. S. Lewis).
2:7 head of the corner. The importance of the first or
foundational block in a building is well known. The importance of Christ is
foundational in the plan of redemption for “Neither is there salvation in
any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby
we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them
which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were
appointed [assigned, placed].
2:8 a stone of stumbling.
Five Reasons why Christ is
The natural birth brings souls into the world physically alive but
spiritually death. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,
and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
The cares of time consume all thoughts and energy. Jesus said “the cares
of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things
entering in, choke the
word, and it
becometh unfruitful” (Mark 4:19).
The Evil One comes to distract and blind the heart from spiritual
either appealing to a lust pattern or by giving false hope through religion.
Those who are consumed with lust know they are worthy of judgment but they do
not care. Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit
such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in
them that do them.” Those who are self-righteous do not believe they must
be born again.
God the Father has administered divine judgment. Matt 13:15 For this people's
heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they
have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with
their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted,
and I should heal them.
The desire to have one’s own way.
speaks of those who are disobedient. The lordship of Christ leaves no room for
disobedience. Elisabeth Elliot told the story of her brother Thomas Howard. Their
mother let him play with paper bags
he’d saved if he put them away afterwards.
One day she walked into the kitchen to find
them strewn all over the floor. Tom was out at the piano with his father
singing hymns. When confronted, he protested, “But Mom, I want to sing.”
His father stated, “It’s no good singing God’s
praise if you’re disobedient.”
2:8 they were appointed. The Doctrine of Divine Appointment remains a
great mystery but the Scriptures indicate in the plan of God souls are
appointed to eternal life or eternal judgment.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same
purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my
name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on
whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Mark 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but
woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man
[Judas Iscariot] if he had never been born.
Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of
old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God
into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, based upon the acceptance or
rejection of the gospel there is an appointed to hell.
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which
after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was
cast into the lake of fire.
In civilized societies laws have been passed
appointing those disobedient to the government to pay fines, be incarcerated or
even face death. God is not unfair or unjust in appointing those who disregard
His moral law and plan of salvation.
9 But ye are a
chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar [purchased]
people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of
darkness into his marvellous light:
2:9 Be ye. In contrast to those who have been
appointed to be offended at Christ are those individuals who make up a chosen
[spiritual] generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar or
blood bought people.
If a person were to ask, “How did I come
to be chosen and made a member of a blood bought people?” the divine
response is found in Ephesians 2:8. “For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
Without this biblical perspective a person
might be tempted to answer differently and say,
“One day I made a decision for Christ and was
Or a person might respond, “I was born in
a Christian country and had Christian parents and so grew up as a Christian.”
Again, a person might argue and say, “I
was baptized and thus I was made a Christian and a member of the church.”
someone else might answer, “I have lived a good life since my youth and
believe my good works shall save me.”
If the ground of one’s salvation remains a
reliance upon decisional regeneration, family heritage, free will, water
baptism, church membership or good works then there is no room for grace for in
some way the soul has found a way to merit the righteousness of God. But what
saith the Scripture?
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not
of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith
to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
I plead with you do not put your trust, your
confidence or your weight upon any of these broken reeds. Put your trust in
From his early boyhood, John
Paton wanted to be a missionary. Before studying theology and medicine, Paton
served for ten years as a Glasgow City Missionary. After graduation, he was
ordained and set sail for the New Hebrides as a Presbyterian missionary. Three
months after arriving on the island of Tanna, Paton’s young wife died, followed
by their five-week-old son. For three more years, Paton labored alone among the
hostile islanders, ignoring their threats, seeking to make Christ known to
them, before escaping with his life. Later, he returned and spent fifteen years
on another island.
Paton was working one day in
his home on the translation of John’s Gospel—puzzling over John’s favorite
expression pisteuo eis, to “believe in” or to “trust in”
Jesus Christ, a phrase which occurs first in John 1:12.
“How can I translate it?” Paton wondered. The
islanders were cannibals; nobody trusted anybody else. There was no word for “trust”
in their language. His native servant came in.
“What am I doing?” Paton asked him. “Sitting
at your desk,” the man replied. Paton then raised both feet off the floor
and sat back on his chair.
“What am I doing now?” In reply, Paton’s servant
used a verb which means “to lean your whole weight upon.” That’s the
phrase Paton used throughout John’s Gospel to translate to “believe in.”
2:9 called you. There is a universal call to
salvation as per Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And
whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
This divine call is a genuine offer of the
gospel to all without distinction. But the question is not is the gospel
sincerely and universally offered, it is. The question is this, “Who will
avail themselves of the divine provision and drink of the living waters?” To that inquiry there can only be one
conclusion. In addition to the universal call of the gospel there is a secret
effectual call which is heard by those whom the Father has given to the Son and
are designated His “sheep.” Jesus put the matter this way. John 10:27
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give
unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man
pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than
all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my
Father are one.”
Have not all men been given
to the Son? Jesus plainly taught, “No.” John 10:24 “Then came the
Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt?
If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and
ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of
me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.”
When the Jews who questioned
Christ heard Jesus say He and the Father were one the Jews were angry and
sought to kill Christ. John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to
Abandoning the matter of the
call to salvation the Jews wanted to argue a secondary religious matter leading
to murder and a feeling of doing “God’s work.”
Such is the same reaction
today. Individuals would rather argue over secondary doctrinal issues than fall
down before Christ and plead for forgiveness and mercy. In this matter the
doctrine of the divine call is confirmed.
Even when told plainly of
their eternal danger and status the heart of the unbeliever is so hard it does
not comprehend or care. Yet it remains religious and self-righteous even to the
point of committing murder in the name of defending the honor of God. John
10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father;
for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For
a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being
a man, makest thyself God.
The question comes, “Have
you heard the voice of the Shepherd calling your name?” “Has God hath called
you personally out of darkness into his marvellous light?” If not why not come to Jesus now, at this very
moment. Why not pray and on bended knees say,
“Lord Jesus, I have heard
the gospel. I realize no decision of mine, no baptism, no church membership, no
good work, no religious heritage can save me. Only Jesus can save and right now
I trust Him and Him alone as my Lord and Savior. Father, forgive me for my sin.
I have heard the voice of Jesus calling to me saying, ‘Come unto me and I will
give thee rest.’ Now I come. Thank you for calling me out of darkness into the
marvelous light of the gospel. Amen.”
“While we pray and while we
While you see your soul’s deep need,
While our Father calls you home,
Will you not, my brother, come?
Why not now? Why not now?
Why not come to Jesus now?
Why not now? Why not now?
Why not come to Jesus now?
You have wandered far away;
Do not risk another day;
Do not turn from God your face,
But today accept His grace.
In the world you’ve failed
Aught of peace for troubled mind;
Come to Christ, on Him believe,
Peace and joy you shall receive.
Come to Christ, confession
Come to Christ, and pardon take;
Trust in Him from day to day,
He will keep you all the way.”
Daniel W. Whittle, 1891
10 Which in time past were not a
people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but
now have obtained mercy.
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as
strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
2:11 fleshly lusts. With a pastor’s heart Peter
speaks to the church as “dearly beloved”. Though saved every soul is
still in need of sanctification. The apostle pleads for God’s people to abstain
from fleshly lusts because they war against the soul.
War Against the Soul
Fleshly desires war against the soul by multiplying and growing like a
mightily conquering army. Sensual desires unite with Pride, Covetousness, Greed, Willfulness,
and Evil Communication to grieve the Holy Spirit, subdue any expression of true
spirituality and eventually harden the heart to any form of divine rebuke
resulting in the sin unto death. 1
Cor 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep
Fleshly desires war against the soul by suggesting invisible spiritual
treaties which prove to be deceitful and eventually bind the will to enslave it
with a sense of helplessness. The main provisions of these unholy alliances of
the soul with the flesh is a promise the will shall prevail against God
followed by pleasure. The pattern established in the Garden of Eden with Eve
has not changed. Despite the known will of God “when the woman saw that the
tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be
desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave
also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6).
Because sin enslaves the soul Christ must come to
set the captives free (Luke 4:18).
Fleshly desires war against the soul by demanding to be served as lord
and master. The attempt is to dethrone Christ. Those who have only a form
of godliness but no vital spiritual power will yield their bodies as
instruments of unrighteousness with predictable results. Some will “creep
into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers
lusts “2 Tim 3:6). Others will be “ever learning, and never able to come
to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Those who are losing the war
against the soul will be marked with some or all of the following
Lovers of their own selves
Disobedient to parents
Without natural affection
Despisers of those that are good
Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God
12 Having your conversation [manner of life]
honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers,
they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the
day of visitation.
2:12 glorify God. Once more Peter contrasts evil with good
in order to exhort the church to good works while providing two strong gospel
motives for a life of holiness.
Gospel motive one. Those who speak evil or in an injurious manner against the Christian
will have no legitimate basis for their accusation when a holy life is lived. Isa
54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue
that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the
heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith
Gospel motive two. A good life can lead to the conversion of someone. It was the teaching
of Christ to love all and to pray for those who lashed out to hurt. A passive
response to evil is not natural to the flesh for the law of the spiritual jungle
is “eye for eye” and “tooth for tooth.” Only by having the love of God shed abroad in
the heart can there be any hope of a proper gospel response and effective
witnessing leading to the conversion of the sinner. Jude 22 And of some have
compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out
of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
13 Submit [obey] yourselves to every ordinance of
man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are
sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do
15 For so is the will of God, that with well
doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
2:15 the will of God. The laws of a federal, state or local government
may be harsh and unreasonable but when civil authorities are submitted to with
a sweet spirit in the name of Jesus the soul is well pleasing to the Lord. The
poet Cowper said, "Behind a frowning providence He hides a shining
16 As free, and not using your liberty
for a cloke of maliciousness [badness], but as the servants of God.
2:13-16 submit. The relationship between the
believer and the state is basically one of submission. There is precedent in
the scriptures for civil disobedience when the law of God has been violated.
When forbidden to preach the name of Christ at the sake of being punished Peter
let it be known he planned to do what was right and suffer the consequences.
Acts 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the
council: and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, Did not we straitly command
you that ye should not teach in this
name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and
intend to bring this man's blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles
answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
In the name of conscience and for the sake of
Christ the believer must never use political liberties and Christ freedoms for
a cloke of maliciousness.
It is possible for the gospel to be abused
which is why many restrictions and prohibitions are given to the church not
only for consideration but for implementation as servants of God and also to
silence the voice of foolish individuals who oppose the gospel. Sometimes
Christians are their own worse enemies for they want to provoke needlessly or
remain willfully stubborn or unwisely obstinate.
17 Honour all men. Love the
brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
2:18 fear God. The fear of God is something
that must be taught.
2 Kings 17:28 Then one of the priests whom they [the Assyrians] had
carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they
should fear the LORD.
Psalms 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the
fear of the LORD.
Six Ways to Show God is Feared
God is feared when it is remembered He is able to destroy both body and soul.
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after
he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
God is feared when there is an rational and emotional response to
natural elements and animals divinely directed.
Ex 14:31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the
Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his
1 Sam 12:18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder
and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
2 Kings 17:25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there,
that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which
slew some of them.
God is feared when the threats of men fade before knowledge of the
divine will and the heart knows it is better to obey God than to violate His
know will. 1 Kings 18:3 And [King] Ahab called
Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD
greatly: 4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the
prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets,
and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) John
Witherspoon wrote, "It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from
the fear of man."
God is feared when the absence of His presence is threatened to be
his great sin with Bathsheba king David pleaded with God saying, “take
not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11).
God is feared when a particular temptation is fled knowing it will
offend the Lord. When Joseph was tempted to
sexual immorality he asked Potiphar’s wife, “how then can I do this great
wickedness, and sin against God?” Gen
God is feared when He is spoken of to others with reverence and awe. Mal 3:16 Then they that
feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard
it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the
LORD, and that thought upon his name.
18 Servants, be subject to your masters
with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward
2:18 servants be subject. The relationship between
labor and management can be strained if laborers are exploited and just
compensation is not given for work done.
Realizing injustices will be generated the gospel
instructs Christians to bear patiently these reproaches in order to receive the
praise of God.
19 For this is thankworthy, if a man
for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20 For what glory is it, if, when ye
be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do
well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is
acceptable with God.
2:19-12 For what glory is it. The apostle clearly
teaches that what is acceptable and pleasing to God is when a verbal or
physical injustice has been borne by the Christian endures grief and wrongful
suffering without seeing revenge or an audience to vent to. While the Christian
suffers wrongfully the believer must be careful not to inflict wrong on others.
“As I watched them tear a building down
A gang of men in a busy town
With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the side wall fell
I asked the foreman,
“Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire
wanted to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,
Just common labor is all I need.”
“I can easily wreck in a day or two,
What builders have taken years to do.”
And I thought to myself,
as I went my way
Which of these roles have I
tried to play?
Am I a builder who works
Measuring life by rule and square?
Am I shaping my work
to a well-made plan
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks
Content with the labor of tearing down?
“O Lord let my life and my labors be
That which will build for eternity!”
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his
2:21 Christ also suffered. The way Christ
accepted suffering as part of the will of the Father is for our example. The
Father has many lessons to teach the Christian some of which can only be
learned through the process of suffering. "God whispers to us in our
pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His
megaphone to rouse a deaf world" (C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain).
2:21 follow his steps. For those who do not think God
wants Christians to suffer, this passage alone should silence that concept.
There is a place for pain and suffering in the will of God over which He is
sovereign and directs it for His own good purposes.
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not
again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him
that judgeth righteously:
2:22-23 reviled not again. One of the most difficult
courses of actions in the face of unjust criticism is to remain silent. The
natural tendency is to defend, explain and justify. The gospel command is to
decline to return the rhetorical rhetoric in kind, and make no threats but
commit the matter to the Father who will judge righteously. If any type of
retributive justice is in order God has taken that responsibility upon Himself.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath:
for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Rom
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own
body on the tree, that we, being dead to
sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
2:24 bare our sins. During the time of the Old
Testament economy on the Day of Atonement a goat was brought to the high
priest. The sins of the nation were confessed over the goat and the animal was
taken away by an escort into the desert. (Lev 16:10,21). The person who
released the goat was to wash his clothes and bathe afterwards (Lev 16:26). The
“Scapegoat” (Azazel) was meant to represent the Messiah who would come
to bear the sins of His people.
Leviticus 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot
for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat…10 And the priest shall put
on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and
take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the
altar, and he shall put them beside the altar…26 The priest that offereth it
for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the
tabernacle of the congregation.
Another goat also present on the Day of
Atonement was sacrificed as a part of the sin offering (Lev 16:9). Jesus was
the perfect sacrifice for sinners as He carried far far away the sins of the
2:24 dead to sin. In the divine economy the moment a
person is given eternal life and lives in the sight of God is the moment a
death to sin takes place. While positionally, in the sight of God the believer
has died in Christ, experientially the mortification of sins through the Spirit
continues (Rom. 8:13; Col 3:5).
“Take time to be holy,
speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always,
and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children,
those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing
His blessing to seek.
Take time to be
the world rushes
Spend much time in secret,
with Jesus alone.
By looking to
like Him thou
Thy friends in thy conduct
Take time to be holy,
let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him,
In joy or in sorrow,
still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus,
still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy,
be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive
beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit
to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted
for service above.”
William D. Longstaff, 1882
Ultimate death to sin and
its harmful expressions will come in the glorification of the soul either
through a departure of this life to be in the presence of the Lord or when
Jesus comes the second time and individuals are transformed in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye.
Rom 8:30 “and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
2: 24 By whose stripes ye are healed. The
death of Christ is the ultimate foundation for all healing spiritual, physical
and material. Because of Christ souls are healed of the plague of all plagues,
sin. Because of Christ the heart can hope for a resurrected body. Because of
Christ the universe will one day cease to groan for there will be a new heaven
and a new earth. Christ has come with “healing in His wings “(Mal. 4:2).
“Heal us, Emmanuel, here we
We wait to feel Thy touch;
Deep wounded souls to Thee repair,
And Savior, we are such.
Our faith is feeble, we
We faintly trust Thy Word;
But wilt Thou pity us the less?
Be that far from Thee, Lord!
Remember him who
With trembling for relief
“Lord, I believe,”
with tears he cried;
“O help my unbelief!”
She, too, who touched Thee
in the press
And healing virtue stole,
“Daughter, go in peace;
Thy faith has made thee whole.”
Concealed amid the gathering
She would have shunned Thy view;
And if her faith was firm and strong,
Had strong misgivings too.
Like her, with hopes and
fears we come
To touch Thee if we may;
O send us not despairing home;
Send none unhealed away.”
William Cowper, 1779
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are
now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Questions and Answers on 1 Peter 2
1. List five ways to cultivate
a desire for the Word of God.
2. Provide seven acceptable
spiritual sacrifices to God.
3. State five reasons why
Christ is a stumbling.
4. Explain the Doctrine of
5. List the eighteen
characteristics of those who are losing the war against the soul.
2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a
peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called
you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Personal Reflection and Application
1. If Jesus is precious to you
write a song of at least five lines to any gospel tune you know expressing
2. Reflect on the last time you
were spoken against unjustly. How did you respond to that suffering? How are
you now responding to it?
3. While there are many motives
that compel a person to act in a certain way, write down the strongest gospel
motive that affects your course of conduct in living out the ethics of the
Christian life. Is it fear of God? Is it a fear of retaliation? Is it love?
4. What fleshly lusts are
warring against you soul? Is there someone you can be accountable to?
5. Do you believe that God does
not want individuals to suffer mentally, physically or emotionally? If the
answer is no than answer this question. “Why is Christ said to be an example
Student’s Supplemental Material
Doctrine of the
of the Believer
1. Every person born of God is
born into royalty. The believer is in Christ who is King of kings and Lord of
lords. Jesus is of the lineage of David according to the flesh; He is very God
of very God according to the spirit.
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only
wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which
according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
2. All that Christ is and all
that Christ has the believer is and shares. Christ is a priest and so is the
believer. Christ is a king and those who love Him shall rule and reign with
Rev 1:5-6 …Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his
own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him
be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests
of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
3. The royal reign of Christ
and His priestly function is a present reality.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power
is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Heb 6:20 …Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of
4. The Christian has the right
and the responsibility to function in the royal priesthood of the New
Testament era. The prerogatives of the priesthood are best done in the
In holy boldness the believer is to draw near the throne of grace in
10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the
blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us,
through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we
may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
In sincere humility and repentance the believer is to confess all known
sin in order to be cleansed. 1 John 1:9 If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.
The believer is to apply the blood of Christ to His conscience. Heb 9:14 How much more
shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself
without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living
· The believer is to perfect
holiness in the fear God. 2 Cor 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us
cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting
holiness in the fear of God. To fear God is to dread putting a frown upon
His face. To fear God is to tremble in remembrance of His awesome majesty for
He holds in His power life and death. To fear God is to honor Him so highly
that the heart does not want to sin lest it be a reproach against His holy
The believer is to offer praises and thanksgiving along with personal
4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
The believer is to express adoration to God the Father and God the Son
in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the beauty of holiness. 1 Tim 1:17 Now unto the
King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for
ever and ever. Amen.
The believer is to intercede on behalf of others. 1 Thess 5:25 Brethren,
pray for us. 2 Thess 3:1-2 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the
Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that
we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not
faith. Heb 13:18 18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all
things willing to live honestly.
5. As priestly functions
characterize the New Testament era believer so do kingly functions. The
kingly functions of every believer priest are best done in the following
The believer is to render righteous judgments in spiritual matters. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 Do
ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be
judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not
that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?
The believer is to execute church discipline. Matthew 18:15-19
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault
between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy
brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more,
that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he
neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a
publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be
bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in
heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as
touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father
which is in heaven.
The believer is to show royal benevolence by exercising excessive
Matt 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my
brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? 22 Jesus saith
unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times
The believer is to bestow bounty on other generously. 2 Cor 9:7 Every man
according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of
necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all
things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the
words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to
The believer is to protect and safeguard the Word of God. Jude 1: 3 Beloved, when I gave all
diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to
write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints.
The believer is to protect and safeguard the future of the Church. 2 Tim 2:2 And the
things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to
faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
The believer is to be stately and dignified in speech and behavior. Heb 13:5 5 Let your
conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye
have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6. The concept of Christians
being kings and priest unto God must not be thought of in fleshly earthly terms
but heavenly spiritual ones for the dignity of each office is determined not by
outward ceremony but by inward integrity.
7. In recent years much shame
and reproach has been manifested by members of the household of Queen Elizabeth
II. The private conduct of family members has brought great public shame and
embarrassment. There is nothing truly noble about course conduct. And so the
Christian has the true nobility of soul and character in as far it the heart
8. In order to avoid bring shame
and dishonor to the name of Christ, in order to function in a courtly manner
that reflects the King of kings and Lord of lords, in order to function in a
worthy manner in a holy priestly office the Christian must remember who he or
she is and to whom he or she belongs.
9. To think of one’s self in
terms of royalty and in terms of priestly conduct the Christian is not under
self-delusions of grandeur. The God of the universe has decreed that such
exalted terminology and concepts be applied to the Church.
Years ago, an Archbishop of Canterbury was
rushing to catch a train in London. In his haste, he accidentally jumped on the
wrong passenger car and found himself on a car full of inmates from a mental
hospital. They were all dressed in mental hospital clothing. Just as the train pulled out of the station,
an orderly came in and began to count the inmates, "1-2-3-4."
when suddenly he saw this distinguished looking gentleman there wearing a
business suit and a clerical collar and he said: "Who are you?"
The answer came back: "I am the Archbishop of Canterbury!" And
the orderly said: "5-6-7-8."
The world may not know who Christians are. The world may mock when the
Church proclaims to exercise a royal priesthood. But it is the gospel truth and
so must be embraced for behavior follows belief as form follows functions.
2:8 they were appointed. If
objections are raised against the Doctrine of Divine Appointment and comments
are made that it is not fair that God should appoint individuals to be offended
by Christ, let the spiritual leader rejoice for the same objections were
anticipated in the teaching of the apostle Paul.
Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth
he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art
thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed
it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of
the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured
with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that
he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he
had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews
only, but also of the Gentiles?
Writing to Erasmus
the German Reformer Martin Luther commented that it takes more grace and more
faith to love God as He is revealed than as the heart wants Him to be.
While the secret
counsel remains hidden, what is revealed is to be acted upon in gospel
obedience so that all are without excuse and none without hope. Deut 29:29 The secret things belong unto
the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our
children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Doctrine of the Fear of
of the Lord can be instilled as an act of the sovereign will of God
· as a motive for service. 1 Samuel 11:7 And
he [Elijah] took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them
throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying,
Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done
unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out
with one consent.
· as a form of divine
2 Chronicles 14:14 And they [the armies of Judah] smote all the cities
round about Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came upon them [the enemies of
Israel]: and they [the Hebrews] spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding
much spoil in them.
· as a form of divine
2 Chronicles 17:10 And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms
of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against
2. The fear of the Lord is
commanded to be found in the heart of those who profess to know Him.
· 2 Chronicles 19:7 Wherefore
now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no
iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
2 Chronicles 19:9 And he [Jehoshaphat] charged them [the people of
Israel], saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with
a perfect heart.
3. The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom.
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good
understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is
wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the
knowledge of the holy is understanding.
4. The Fear of the Lord is
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and
arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart
from the snares of death.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and
before honour is humility.
5. The fear of the Lord is
Psalms 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the
judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
6. Great mercy and grace is
extended to those who fear the Lord.
A longer life. Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years
of the wicked shall be shortened.
A better quality of life. Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to
life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with
A stronger faith. Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong
confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Material prosperity. Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the
LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Better understanding of spiritual realities. Isaiah 11:3 And shall make
him [the Messiah] of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall
not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his
Grace under pressure. Isaiah 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be
the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is
Social stability. Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all
Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of
the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
7. The soul that possesses
little of this world’s good but much of the fear of the Lord is far better off
than a rich person with much silver and gold.
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great
treasure and trouble therewith.
8. The fear of the Lord
produces holiness of life.
Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of
the LORD men depart from evil.
9. The Scriptures warn the
believer never to stop fearing the Lord.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the
fear of the LORD all the day long.
10. Fear of God was a mark of
Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit
of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of
knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
1 PETRE 3
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection
to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the
word be won by the conversation of the wives;
3:1 likewise. Turning his thoughts to the unjust
suffering of many Christian women, Peter patterns their experience after
Christ. The exhortation is given to be loving and obedient with the purpose of
winning a lost husband to Christ. The power and price of a virtuous woman is
immense (Prov. 31:10). .
2 While they behold your chaste [clean, pure]
conversation [manner of life] coupled with fear.
3:2 chaste conversation. All women as all men need
to be redeemed by God’s sovereign grace and the regenerating work of the Holy
Spirit. That grace can transform any woman no matter how desperately they have
sinned is reflected in the life of Bathsheba for it was she who is behind the
words of Proverbs 31. “The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his
mother taught him.” If Lemuel is another name for king Solomon then his
mother was Bathsheba. Solomon merely recorded what a great lady of grace taught
No woman is beyond the reach of redeeming
grace for no woman sinned to any greater degree than Bathsheba. She who
betrayed her husband, conceived a child in sin, agreed to cover up the crime
though it cost the life of her husband
through murder, became a trophy of infinite mercy
and a contributor to the Word of God.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning
of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
3:3 Whose adorning. A literal and absolute
prohibition against fixing the hair in an attractive manner, dressing well or
wearing jewelry is not in view. Rather, emphasis is placed on the internal
riches of the heart.
4 But let it be the hidden man of the
heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and
quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy
women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto
their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him
lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with
any amazement [alarm].
3:6 whose daughters ye are. It is instructive how
often in Scripture the Lord looks beyond a person’s faults to honor
their faith. Though Sarah sought a promised child in an inappropriate manner
the time came when her faith flourished and was rewarded.
Heb 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive
seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged
him faithful who had promised.
Peter would have Christian women emulate the faith
of Sarah and her relationship with Abraham insofar as it conformed to gospel
Christian Characteristics of a
Daughter of Sarah
A daughter of Sarah will manifest a meek spirit
A daughter of Sarah will cultivate a quiet spirit
A daughter of Sarah will esteem and honor the husband
A daughter of Sarah will do well to all
A daughter of Sarah will not be afraid
These virtues are of great value to God.
7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according
to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as
being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
3:7 according to knowledge. As Christian women have
gospel duties and holy goals to seek after so men have an important
responsibility. Men are to know their wives and respect what they know.
Whenever anyone takes the time to know what is going on in the life of someone
else it is deeply appreciated.
Mamie Adams always went to a
branch post office in her town because the postal employees there were
friendly. She went there to buy stamps just before Christmas one year and the
lines were particularly long. Someone pointed out that there was no need to
wait on line because there was a stamp machine in the lobby. “I know,”
said Mamie, ‘but the machine won’t ask me about my arthritis.”
3:7 be not hindered. If there is no marital
harmony in the home, the prayer life will be affected. More likely, it will be
8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having
compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful [sympathetic], be courteous:
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for
railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that
ye should inherit a blessing.
10 For he that will love life, and see good
days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no
guile [with deceit]:
11 Let him eschew [avoid] evil [injurious],
and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue [pursue] it.
Twelve Ways to Help
in the Church
Seek to be one mind and let that mind be the mind of Christ
Love the members of the royal family of grace
Express common courtesies
Do not render evil for evil
Do not render railing for railing
Bless those who are mean spirited and hurtful
Speak nothing in a deceitful manner
Avoid anything that is injurious to someone else or self
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over
the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of
the Lord is against them that do evil.
3:19-12 eyes of the Lord. Gospel motives are stated in
a positive and negative way.
Seven Positive Gospel Motives
for Living Righteously
There is doctrinal understanding that a life of righteousness is a
natural part of the divine call to salvation.
There is a blessing to receive for righteous living not the least of
which is to hear the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant:
thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt 25:21).
There will be a joy in living.
More good days will be experienced than bad days.
The Lord is watching.
Prayers will be answered.
A Negative Motive
for Living Righteously
The face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be
followers of that which is good?
3:13 harm you. The answer to this rhetorical
question is, “Lord, no one can harm me if I follow that which is good. This is your promise and I believe it.”
Isa 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and
every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This
is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.
Sheltered in the Arms of God
”I feel the touch of hands
so kind and tender.
They're leading me in paths
that I must trod.
I'll have no fear
for Jesus walks
For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.
So let the storms rage high,
The dark clouds rise,
They won't worry me;
For I'm sheltered safe
within the arms of God.
He walks with me,
And naught of earth shall
For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.
Soon I shall hear the call
from heaven's portals
Come home my child,
It's the last
mile you must trod
I'll fall asleep
And I’ll wake in God's new heaven
Sheltered safe within the arms of God.
So let the storms rage high,
The dark clouds rise,
They won't worry me;
For I'm sheltered
within the arms of God.
He walks with me,
And naught of earth shall
For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.”
”For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.”
14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness'
sake, happy [blest] are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither
3:14 happy are ye. According to Peter the believer
who suffers for the sake of righteousness is blessed or fortunate. While this
sounds strange Peter teaches what he has been taught.
Jesus said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate
you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach
you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. 23 Rejoice ye
in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for
in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23).
Four Blessing Associated
with Suffering for the Sake
It is better to be persecuted than the one doing the persecuting.
The believer gets to be like Jesus, as prayer has been made to that
end. Phil 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and
the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
When suffering takes place for the sake of righteousness the reward in
heaven increases. “behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:23).
There is identification with the prophets of old. “for in the like
manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:23).
3:14 be not afraid…neither be troubled. By hiding
God’s Word in the heart, fear will be dispelled and calmness of soul will be
maintained so the heart is not troubled.
Psalms 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust;
I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Psalms 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do
Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I
will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Jesus, lover of my soul,
to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none,
my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! Leave me not alone,
still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.
Wilt Thou not regard my call?
Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—Lo!
on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand!
While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,
and behold, I live.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name,
I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am;
art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
to all eternity.
Charles Wesley, 1740
The Story behind the Song
Mrs. Mary Hoover, of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania,
whose grandmother was the heroine of the story, has related to her pastor
this family tradition: Charles Wesley was preaching in the fields of the
parish of Killyleagh, County Down, Ireland, when he was attacked by men
who did not approve of his doctrines.
He sought refuge in a house located on
what was known as the Island Barn Farm. The farmer’s wife, Jane Lowrie
Moore, told him to hide in the milkhouse, down in the garden. Soon the mob
came and demanded the fugitive.
She tried to quiet them by offering them
refreshments. Going down to the milkhouse, she directed Mr. Wesley to get
through the rear window and hide under the hedge, by which ran a little
brook. In that hiding-place, with the cries of his pursuers all about him,
he wrote this immortal hymn
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh
you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
3:15 sanctify the Lord God.
“Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With all Thy quick’ning powers;
Kindle a flame of sacred love
In these cold hearts of ours.
Look how we grovel here below,
Fond of these trifling toys;
Our souls can neither fly nor go
To reach eternal joys.
In vain we tune our formal songs,
In vain we strive to rise;
Hosannas languish on our tongues,
And our devotion dies.
Dear Lord! And shall we ever live
At this poor dying rate?
Our love so faint, so cold to Thee,
And Thine to us so great!
Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With all Thy quick’ning powers;
Come, shed abroad the Savior’s love
And that shall kindle ours.”
Isaac Watts, 1707
3:15 give an answer. It has been said that a pastor
should be ready to “preach, pray or perish on a moment’s notice.” Peter
said that all Christians should be prepared to give a word of testimony
concerning their faith. The best testimony is that which does not argue but
says in humility and utter astonishment, “Come, see a man, which told me all
things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29).
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they
speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse
your good conversation [manner of life] in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of
God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
3:17 the will of God. It is the will of God that
some Christians suffer for well doing in order to test the soul, in order for
others to follow a godly example of endurance and in order to exercise divine
sovereignty. Any attempt to find an ultimate cause for a given situation must
eventually come to rest in the sovereignty of God who worketh all things after
the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11).
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for
sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to
death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
3: 18. bring us. The death of Christ was with
purpose and definition. Christ died to secure the salvation of souls, not to
merely make souls savable. He accomplished a definite redemption, which is now
being applied to the lives of those who will be made alive by the same Holy
Spirit that brought Christ back from the sphere of the dead. Eph 2:1 And you
hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
“Deep in the everlasting
The great mysterious purpose
Of choosing some from lost
Whose sins the Lamb should
Them, loved with an eternal
To grace and glory He
Gave them a throne which
And chose them both to means
In these He was resolved to
The riches of His goodness
These He accepts for Jesus’
And views them
righteous in His Son.
No goodness God foresaw in His,
But what His grace decreed
No comeliness in them there
Which they did not from Him
Faith and repentance He
On such as He designs to
From Him their soul’s
And He shall all their glory
19 By which also he went and preached unto the
spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the
longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,
wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
3:19-20 the spirits in prison. There is an
interesting but speculative teaching that advocates Jesus went and made a
victorious proclamation to souls in hell following His death at Calvary. A
better understanding is that Christ, by the Holy Spirit, once offered the
gospel of redeeming grace to another generation though few souls were saved. A
parallel is found between the ministry of the church in the first century and
the labors of Noah. Great faith does not always produce great results.
21 The like figure whereunto even
baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the
flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of
3:21 baptism doth also now save us. Peter is not teaching
a doctrine of baptism regeneration for he is careful to define the term baptism
in a metaphorical sense. Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God.
The only way a person can have a good conscience toward God is to be identified
with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. The Holy Spirit comes to
effect regeneration and identifies or baptizes the soul into the body of
With that being said it can be
noted, as Matthew Henry does, “the sacrament of [water] baptism, rightly
received, is a means and a pledge of salvation. “Baptism now saveth us”. God is
pleased to convey his blessings to us in and by his ordinances” (Acts 2:38;
22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right
hand of God; angels and authorities [magistrates] and powers [miracles] being
made subject unto him.
3:22 gone into heaven. The
ascension of Christ to heaven is one of the great doctrines of the Christian
faith though it is surrounded by mystery. The location of heaven cannot be
located with the human eye instruments for the universe is too vast and too
complex. Nevertheless, there is a Man in heaven today, the God-Man, who sits on
the throne of majesty where angels and authorities and forces are made subject
Questions and Answers on 1 Peter 3
1. What are the characteristics
of a spiritual daughter of Sarah?
2. State twelve ways to help
have harmony in the home and church.
3. What are seven gospel
motives for living righteously
4. List four blessings
associated with suffering.
5. Who are the “us” that
will be brought to salvation?
1 Peter 3 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for
sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to
death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Personal Reflection and Application
being a daughter of Sarah and dwelling with a woman according to knowledge
excessive idealism or practical commandments? Explain.
you learned to be happy or blessed due to suffering for righteousness sake?
What are you doing to adjust to the gospel teaching?
you believe Jesus went to hell following His death at Calvary and preached to
the demons and or the imprisoned spirits of those present since the days of
Noah? Why or why not?
you ever met someone who believed you had to be baptized in order to be saved?
What is a biblical response to such a belief?
is the best way to give an answer for the hope that is within the heart
concerning Christ and the Christian faith? Do you believe specialized training
is need to witness to the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Jew or the
Skeptic? Why or why not?
3: 21 baptism doth also now save
water baptism is needed for salvation than the teaching of the Catholic Church
is correct and there was and is no need for the Protestant Reformation. Sola fide (by faith alone), is at the
heart of the Reformed Doctrine of
Justification. Romans 1:17 For therein is the
righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just
shall live by faith.
water baptism is needed for salvation then Catholic Dogma of works plus faith
resulting in salvation is correct, and passages such as Ephesians 2:8-9 is
overthrown. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
water baptism is needed for salvation then the Law need never have been
abolished for a new set of laws have replaced and Christ can no longer say, “It
is finished”. Some more must yet be
water baptism is needed for salvation then the great parallel emphasizing faith
is made void. John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the
wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
baptism is necessary for salvation then the misguided practice of the early
church whereby individuals delayed being baptized until near death is
justified. But what does the Bible say about baptism? It exhorts an immediate
obedient response to the gospel. Baptism is to be done sooner rather than
Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they
came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth
hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip
said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and
said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto
him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took
them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he
and all his, straightway.
water baptism is needed for salvation than another foundation is laid on which
faith rests. 1 Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is
laid, which is Jesus Christ.
water baptism is needed for salvation then a good work has been added to the
atoning work of Christ and the heart is left to wonder and worry about other
good works to be enacted in order to be saved.
The end result will be nothing but fear and despair for who can merit
the merits of Christ?
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept
under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might
be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under
a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
water baptism is essential for salvation then the importance of the Spirit
baptism is reduced.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been
baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all
baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or
free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1 PETER 4
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for
us in the flesh [His human nature], arm [equip] yourselves likewise with the
same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh [corrupt nature] hath ceased
4:1 ceased from sin. As death brings an end
to human sinning so the believer’s identification with the death of Christ is
designed to put to death the motions of sin in the soul. Cessation of sin comes
when the mind of the Lord is exercised. Cessation of sin comes by self-denial
and mortification of the flesh.
“I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow'r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,"
And somehow Jesus came and bro't
To me the victory.
I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I'll sing up there The song of victory.”
2 That he [the believer] no
longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of
men, but to the will of God.
4:2 no longer live. One of the grand goals of
salvation is to move individuals from living for self centered passions to
living to please God.
3 For the time past of our
life may suffice [satisfy] us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles,
when we walked [traveled] in lasciviousness [moral filth], lusts [desires],
excess of wine, revellings [carousals], banquetings, and abominable [unlawful]
idolatries [image worship]:
4:3 when we walked.
Characteristics of the Unconverted
Lasciviousness which is moral filth
Lusts referring to passionate desires
Excess of wine or drunkenness
Revellings manifested in carousals
Banquetings by being a party animal
Abominable idolatries which includes the unlawful worship of
4 Wherein they think it
strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot
[debauchery], speaking evil of you:
4:4 ye run not. “Those that are once
really converted will not return to their former course of life, though ever so
much tempted by the frowns or flatteries of others to do so. Neither persuasion
nor reproach will prevail with them to be or to do as they were wont to do”
5 Who shall give account to
him [Christ] that is ready to judge the quick [living] and the dead.
4: 4 give an account. “The malignant world
shall in a little time give an account to the great God of all their evil
speeches against his people, Jude 14-15. They will soon be called to a sad
account for all their curses, their foolish jests, their slanders and
falsehoods, uttered against the faithful people of God” (Matthew Henry).
6 For for this cause was the
gospel preached also to them that are [spiritually] dead, that they might be
judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
4:6 but live. A great mystery is how the
gospel is preached to dead men for every unbeliever is physically alive but
spiritual dead. The natural man has no strength to receive the gospel nor is
there any inclination to please God. Nevertheless, like Christ speaking to
Lazarus in the grave, the gospel calls forth to souls in the spiritual sphere
of the dead. And they hear and live in new gospel obedience according to the
will of God.
“Thee is a period known to God
When all His sheep, redeem’d by blood
Shall leave the hateful ways of sin,
Turn to the fold and enter in.
At peace with hell, with God at war,
In sin’s dark maze they wander far,
Indulge their lust, and still go on,
As far from God as sheep can run.
But see how Heaven’s indulgent care
Attends their wanderings here and there:
Still near at hand, where’er they stray,
With pricking thorns to hedge the way.
Glory to God, they ne’er shall rove
Beyond the limits of His love:
Fenced with Jehovah’s shalls and wills,
Firm as the everlasting hills.
Th’appointed time rolls on apace,
Not to propose but call by grace;
To change the heart, renew the will,
And turn their feet to Zion’s hill.”
· The mortification of sins and living to God
are the expected results of the gospel preached and received.
God will eventually call to account all those who have had the gospel
preached to them to determine whether or not it has been received in vain or to
It does not matter how others may judge the believer it a life is lived
for the glory of God by means of the Holy Spirit.
7 But the end of all things
is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
4:7 at hand. The idea of an imminent return of Christ
must give way to the concept of an impending return. The difference is one of
raising expectations beyond a reasonable point. Since 1830 the imminent return
has been widely proclaimed so that each generation has believed it is the
terminal generation. I have some simple words to Dispensational brethren who
have high expectations that Christ will come in their lifetime. “Prepare to
die.” I also have some simple words to anyone living in a careless manner
morally and spiritually. “Don’t die.”
The balance to the doctrine of the second coming of Christ is to
remember the following.
One day Jesus Christ shall return to earth the
second time for all that believe (Heb. 9:28).
Of that day and hour no one knows. Therefore,
any appeals to signs of the time is meaningless. An evil and adulterous
generation seeks after signs (Matt. 12:39).
When Jesus comes the world will know He has
arrived for His return will be no secret silent coming (1 Thess 4:16).
Because no one know the day or hour or year or
generation in which Christ will return every believe is to live in a sober and
watchful manner accompanied by much prayer.
8 And above all things have
fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of
4:8 shall cover. While love has covered sin
it has never cover-upped sin. The atonement provided by Jesus is a covering for
sin but the death of Christ made sure no sin would ever be covered up. Christ
drank fully the dreaded cup of divine fury against evil by His substitutionary
death. Now his love must be shed abroad in the heart of the redeemed.
Jesus, Thy boundless love to me
No thought can reach, no tongue declare;
Unite my thankful heart with Thee
And reign without a rival there.
To Thee alone, dear Lord, I live;
Myself to Thee, dear Lord, I give.
O, grant that nothing in my soul
May dwell but Thy pure love alone!
Oh, may Thy love possess me whole,
My joy, my treasure, and my crown!
All coldness from my heart remove;
My every act, word, thought, be love.
O love, how cheering is thy ray!
All pain before thy presence flies;
Care, anguish, sorrow, melt away
Wherever thy healing beams arise.
O Jesus, nothing may I see,
Nothing desire or seek, but Thee!
“This love unwearied I pursue
And dauntlessly to Thee aspire.
Oh, may Thy love my hope renew
Burn in my soul like heavenly fire!
And day and night be all my care
To guard this sacred treasure there.
My Savior, Thou Thy love to me
In shame, in want, in pain, hast showed;
For me, on the accursed tree,
Thou pourest forth Thy guiltless blood;
Thy wounds upon my heart impress,
Nor aught shall the loved stamp efface.
More hard than marble is my heart,
And foul with sins of deepest stain;
But Thou the mighty Savior art,
Nor flowed thy cleansing blood in vain;
Ah soften, melt this rock, and may
Thy blood wash all these stains away!
O that I, as a little child,
May follow Thee, and never rest
Till sweetly Thou hast breathed Thy mild
And lowly mind into my breast!
Nor ever may we parted be,
Till I become as one with Thee.
Still let Thy love point out my way;
How wondrous things Thy love hath wrought!
Still lead me, lest I go astray;
Direct my word, inspire my thought;
And if I fall, soon may I hear
Thy voice, and know that love is near.
In suffering be Thy love my peace,
In weakness be Thy love my power;
And when the storms of life shall cease,
Jesus, in that important hour,
In death as life be Thou my guide,
And save me, Who for me hast died.”
Translated from German to English
9 Use hospitality one to
another without grudging.
4:9 hospitality. Generosity is to
characterize the Christian. Freely individuals have received, free believers
must give, and with a sweet spirit.
“Some folks make you feel at home.
Others make you wish you were.”
Arnold H. Glasow
“Treat your guest as a guest for two days; on
the third day, give him a hoe.”
10 As every man hath
received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good
stewards of the manifold grace of God.
4:10 the gift. At the moment of salvation God
the Father determines what function a believer shall have in the body of
Christ. 1 Cor 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in
the body, as it hath pleased him. God the Holy Spirit assigns a spiritual
gift suitable for that function. 1 Cor 12:8 For to one is given by the
Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.
11 If any man speak, let him
speak as the oracles [utterances] of God; if any man minister, let him
do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be
glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.
4:11 that God. The purpose for each spiritual
gift is to minister to the church while glorifying God the Father, God the Son
and God the Holy Spirit.
12 Beloved, think it not
strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange
thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as
ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be
revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for
the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God
resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is
15 But let none of you
suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a
busybody in other men's matters.
4:15 none of you suffer. Sometimes
individuals suffer as a consequences of their own sin.
The murderer must not say they killed in the name of God. Militant and
murdering anti-abortion activists and others of like mind and activity find no
divine blessing upon their criminal conduct.
Finding ways to take from others without due process of law, political,
judicial or by robbery will find no divine blessing even if the objective has a
A person who plots evil or injurious behavior against others in the
church or outside the assembly will find no divine favor upon their schemes.
A person who hears only one side of a discussion and takes action
without a fair and balanced investigation will find no divine blessing upon
their unethical conduct.
If an individual is arrested
for murder or attempted murder, if a person is apprehended or exposed as a
thief, if a person plots injurious behavior and then finds his own fortunes
reversed, if a person discovers too late they have said
and acted in a hasty manner to their own
shame suffer the consequences of their actions they must not believe they are
suffering for the cause of righteousness.
That is not the case.
16 Yet if any man suffer
as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
4:16 not be ashamed.
“I’m not ashamed to own my
Or to defend His cause,
Maintain the honor of His
The glory of His cross.
Jesus, my Lord! I know His
His name is all my trust;
Nor will He put my soul to
Or let my hope be lost.
Firm as His throne His
And He can well secure
What I ‘ve committed to His
Till the decisive hour.
Then will He own my
Before His Father’s face,
And in the New Jerusalem,
Appoint my soul its place.”
17 For the time is come
that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at
us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
4:16-17 as a Christian. As there is a just
suffering for those who murder, steal, plot and interfere in matters that do
not concern them so there is unjust suffering for the cause of Christ. When
such suffering comes, and come it will (John 13:16) the believe is to remember
Do not be ashamed.
Give glory to God
Remember that God is purifying His people
Remember that judgment must begin in the house of God
Remember how difficult it is to be saved
Remember those who do not obey the gospel shall not go unnoticed,
unchallenged or unaccounted for
Remember to commit the soul to God
18 And if the righteous
scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
4:18 scarcely be saved. Salvation is rare and
difficult. Matt 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go
in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth
unto life, and few there be that find it.
Several famous people were
asked what they felt was the saddest word in the English language. Here’s what
some of them said.
· Poet T. S. Eliot: “The
saddest word in the English language is, of course, ‘saddest.’”
· Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein
· Writer John Dos Passos quoted
John Keats: “Forlorn! the very word is like a bell.”
· Psychiatrist Karl Menninger: “Unloved.”
· Statesman Bernard M. Baruch: “Hopeless.”
President Harry Truman quoted John Greenleaf Whittier: “For of all
sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”
Alexandra Tolstoi: “The saddest word in all languages, which has
brought the world to its present condition, is ‘atheism.’”
When all of these words and
concepts are united they present the state of a soul “...without Christ,
being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants
of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12).
19 Wherefore let them that
suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him
in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
5:19 a faithful Creator. To the agnostic God
is a joke. It is said that the French unbeliever Voltaire tipped his hat as a
funeral procession went by. A friend said, "I didn't know you
acknowledged God." Voltaire replied, "We nod, but we don't
speak." To the atheist God is non-existent though this plunges the
soul into dark despair.
The Plight of the Atheist
"Man has never been the same since
God died. He has taken it very hard. Why, you'd think it was only yesterday,
the way he takes it. Not that he says much, but he laughs much louder than he
used to. And he can't bear to be left alone even for a minute and he can't sit
Edna St. Vincent Millay
To the Believer God is a
Creator and a Constant
“They who seek the throne of grace
Find that throne in every
If we live a life of prayer,
God is present everywhere.
In our sickness and our
In our want, or in our
If we look to God in prayer,
God is present everywhere.
When our earthly comforts
When the woes of life
‘Tis the time for earnest
God is present everywhere.
Then, my soul, in every
To thy Father come, and
He will answer every prayer:
God is present everywhere.”
Questions and Answers on 1 Peter 4
1. How can a believer cease
2. What is the grand goal of
3. List three natural
consequences of salvation.
4. In what four areas must the
believer not be found suffering for?
5. List seven truths the
believer is to remember.
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be
ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1 Peter 1: 17 For the time is come that judgment
must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end
be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Personal Reflection and Application
1. How many, if any, of the
characteristics of the unconverted do you find in your own life? Is there a
serious attempt to mortify or put to death these lingering characteristics? Why
or why not?
2. If you knew you would die
sometimes today are you prepared to give an account of your soul to God? What would
you need to change? What would you need to confess? What not do those things
3. When was the last time you
praised the Lord and ascribed to Him honor and glory, dominion and power? If you have no done that lately, bow your
head now and just praise the Lord.
4. Have you suffered the
consequences of soul murder, taking something that was not yours, seeking to
hurt someone out of anger or getting involved in a matter that was of no
concern to you? What penalty did you pay?
5. What word do you think is
the saddest in all the world? I think it would be the word “addicted.”
What think ye?
1 PETER 5
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a
witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that
shall be revealed:
elders. Since the passing of the apostles the highest ruling authority in the
local assemble are elders, not deacons and not auxiliary boards. The usurpation
of pastoral authority has brought shame and division to the body of Christ and
broken the biblical pattern. The Lord has a right to organize the church as He
sees fit and He has decreed that pastors have ultimate oversight and shall rule
the assembly according to gracious gospel terms.
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof,
not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready
feed the flock. God has called individuals to feed, not fleece the flock which
means that no pastor has a right to be in the ministry for financial profit or
to lord it over God’s people. Pastoral accountability comes from the biblical
pattern of having a plurality of elders in leadership position.
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being
ensamples to the flock.
5:3 being ensamples.
Ten Basic Statements
The foundation of ministry is character.
nature of ministry is service.
3. The motive for ministry is
4. The measure of ministry is
5. The authority of ministry is
6. The purpose of ministry is
the glory of God.
7. The tools of ministry are
the Word and prayer.
8. The privilege of ministry is
9. The power of ministry is the
10. The model for ministry is
Warren and David Wiersbe,
Making Sense of the Ministry
The Perfect Pastor
After hundreds of years the perfect pastor’s been found. He is the
church elder who’ll please everyone.
He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down.
He condemns sin, but never steps on anybody’s toes.
He works from 8 in the morning to 10 at night, doing everything from
preaching sermons to sweeping.
He makes $400 per week, gives $100 a week to the church, drives a late
model car, buys lots of books, wears fine clothes, and has a nice family.
He always stands ready to contribute to every other good cause, too,
and to help panhandlers who drop by the church on their way to somewhere.
He is 36 years old, and has been preaching 40 years.
He is tall on the short side, heavy-set in a thin sort of way, and
He has eyes of blue or brown, (to fit the occasion) and wears his hair
parted in the middle - left side, dark and straight, right side, brown and
He has a burning desire to work with the youth, and spends all his time
with the senior citizens.
He smiles all the time while keeping a straight face, because he has a
keen sense of humor that finds him seriously dedicated.
He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time
evangelizing non-members, and is always found in his study if he is needed.
Unfortunately he burnt himself out and died at the age of 32.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of
glory that fadeth not away.
a crown of glory.
The Crown of Incorruption 1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which
run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may
obtain. And every man that striveth for
the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible
crown; but we an incorruptible.
The Crown of Righteousness 2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me
a 'Crown of righteousness', which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me
at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his
The Crown of Life James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he
is tried, he shall receive the 'Crown of life,' which the Lord hath promised to
them that love him.
The Crown of Rejoicing 1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or
joy, or 'Crown of rejoicing?' Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus
Christ at his coming?
The Crown of Glory 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall
receive a 'Crown of glory' that fadeth not away.
The Crown of Gold Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty
seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in
white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of
you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God
resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
humility. “Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other
people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom
from thinking about yourself one way or the other at all” (William Temple,
“Christ in His Church”).
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand
of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
A truly humble man is hard to find, yet God delights to honor such selfless
Booker T. Washington, the renowned black educator, was an outstanding
example of this truth. Shortly after he took over the presidency of Tuskegee
Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town when he
was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by
sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for
her. Because he had no pressing business at the moment, Professor Washington
smiled, rolled up
sleeves, and proceeded to do the humble chore she had requested. When he was
finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace.
A little girl recognized him and later revealed his identity to the
lady. The next morning the embarrassed woman went to see Mr. Washington in his
office at the Institute and apologized profusely. “It’s perfectly all right,
Madam,” he replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor.
Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend.” She shook his
hand warmly and assured him that his meek and gracious attitude had endeared
him and his work to her heart.
Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading some
wealthy acquaintances to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the
Tuskegee Institute (Our Daily Bread).
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
5:7 He careth for you.
“Does Jesus care
when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press,
and the cares distress
And the way grows weary and long?
Oh yes, He cares, I know He
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
Does Jesus care when my way
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades
into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care
when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care
when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches
till it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him?
Does He see?”
Oh yes, He cares, I know He
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
Frank E. Graeff
The Story Behind the Song
Frank Graeff went through some very difficult
trials. The period before writing this song was one of great despondency,
doubt and physical pain. When he turned to God’s Word, 1 Peter 5:7 gave wonderful
comfort: “He cares for you.” After meditating on that truth, Mr.
Graeff wrote these verses with the faith affirming
chorus, “O yes, He
8 Be sober [discreet], be vigilant [on guard]; because your adversary
the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour
5:8 the devil. The devil is a real person and not just an
evil force. “That there is a devil is a thing doubted by none but such as
are under the influence of the Devil” (Cotton Mather). The main objective of the devil is to devour
souls, which he does in many ways including addictions. Addiction is
characterized by an obsessive indulgence of any substance or thought. Some
people are swallowed up by the lust for power in that they must have their own
way in any given situation. Others are swallowed up by coveting money or
indulging in sensual pleasure by way of pornography. Still others are swallowed
up with food, drugs or alcohol.
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions
are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
resist. Resistance to the devil is to take place in the sphere of faith. This
means that no confidence is to be place in the flesh to conquer sin in the soul.
Rom 8:13 “if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory
by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,
stablish, strengthen, settle you.