corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.09.18
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Peter 1

 

 

Verse 1

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Peter - Greek of Cephas, man of rock.

An apostle of Jesus Christ. 'He who preaches otherwise than as a messenger of Christ, is not to be heard: if he preach as such, then it is all one as if Christ spake in thy presence' (Luther).

To the strangers scattered , [ parepideemois (Greek #3927) disaporas (Greek #1290)] - 'sojourners of the dispersion:' only in John 7:35 and James 1:1; Septuagint; Psalms 147:2, "the outcasts of Israel:" the designation particular to the Jews dispersed throughout the world ever since the Babylonian captivity. These he, as apostle of the circumcision, primarily addresses, but not in the temporal sense only: their temporal condition is a shadow of their spiritual calling to be strangers and pilgrims on each, looking for the heavenly Jerusalem as their home (Hebrews 11:8-10). So the Gentile Christians are included secondarily, as having the same high calling. 1 Peter 1:14; 1 Peter 2:10; 1 Peter 4:3, plainly refer to Christian Gentiles (cf. 1 Peter 1:17). Christians, if they rightly consider their calling, must never settle here, but feel themselves travelers. As the Jews in their dispersion diffused through the nations the knowledge of the one God, preparatory to Christ's first advent, so Christians, by their dispersion among the unconverted, diffuse the knowledge of Christ, preparatory to His second advent. "The children of God scattered abroad" constitute one whole in Christ, who "gathers them together in one," now partially and in spirit, hereafter perfectly and visibly. "Elect" (Greek order) comes before "strangers:" elect, in relation to heaven; strangers, in relation to earth.

The election is that of individuals to eternal life by God's sovereign grace, as the sequel shows. While each is certified of his own election by the Spirit, he receives no assurance concerning others; nor are we to be too inquisitive (John 21:21-22). Peter numbers them among the elect, as they carried the appearance of being regenerated. He calls the whole Church by the designation belonging only to the better portion (Calvin). The election to hearing, and that to eternal life, are distinct. Realization of our election is a strong motive to holiness. The minister invites all; in the elect alone the preaching takes effect. Since the chief fruit of exhortations redounds to them, Peter at the outset addresses them. Steiger translate, To 'the elect pilgrims who form the dispersion in Pontus,' etc. The order of the provinces is that in which they would be viewed by one writing from the East from Babylon (1 Peter 5:13); from northeast southwards to Galatia, southeast to Cappadocia, then Asia, and back to Bithynia, west of Pontus. Contrast the order, Acts 2:9. He now was ministering to those same peoples as he preached to on Pentecost: "Parthians, Medes, Elamites, dwellers in Mesopotamia and Judea" - i:e., the Jews now subject to the Parthians, whose capital was Babylon, where he laboured in person; "dwellers in Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia," the Asiatic dispersion derived from Babylon, whom he ministers to by letter.


Verse 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.

Foreknowledge - foreordaining love (1 Peter 1:20) inseparable from God's foreknowledge, the origin from which, and pattern according to which, election takes place. Acts 2:23, and Romans 11:2, prove "foreknowledge" to be foreordination. God's foreknowledge is not the perception of any ground of action out of Himself; still, in it liberty is comprehended, and all absolute constraint debarred (Anselm in Steiger). For so the Son of God was 'foreknown' (Greek for "foreordained," 1 Peter 1:20) to be the sacrificial Lamb; not without His will, but His will resting in the will of the Father. This includes self-conscious action-nay, even cheerful acquiescence. The Scriptural "know" includes approval and acknowledging as one's own. The Hebrew marks the oneness of loving and choosing by having one word for both [ baachar (Hebrew #977)] [Septuagint, hairetizoo]. Peter descends from God's eternal 'election,' through the new birth, to believers' "sanctification," that from this he may again raise them through consideration of their new birth to a 'living hope' of the heavenly "inheritance" (Heidegger). The divine three are introduced in their respective functions in redemption.

Through - Greek, 'in:' the element in which we are elected. 'Election' realizes itself 'IN' their sanctification. Believers are "sanctified through the offering of Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). 'Thou must believe that thou art holy; not, however, through thine own piety, but through the blood of Christ' (Luther). The true sanctification of the Spirit is to obey the Gospel, to trust in Christ (Bullinger).

Sanctification - the Spirit's setting apart of the saint as consecrated to God. The execution of God's choice (Galatians 1:4). God the Father gives us salvation by gratuitous election: the Son earns it by His bloodshedding: the Holy Spirit applies the Son's merits to the soul by the Gospel word (Calvin). Compare Numbers 6:24-26, the Old Testament triune blessing.

Unto obedience - the end aimed at by God as respects us, the obedience which consists in, and that which flows from, faith: "obeying the truth through the Spirit" (1 Peter 1:22; Romans 1:5).

Sprinkling ... Not justification through the atonement once for all, which is expressed in the previous clauses, but (as the order proves) the daily sprinkling by Christ's blood, cleansing from all sin, which is the privilege of one already justified and "walking in the light" (1 John 1:7; John 13:10).

Grace - the source of "peace."

Be multiplied - (Daniel 4:1.) 'Ye have peace and grace, but still not in perfection: ye must go on increasing until the old Adam be dead' (Luther).


Verse 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, He begins, like Paul, in opening his letters, with giving thanks to God for the great salvation: he looks forward:

(1) into the future (1 Peter 1:3-9);

(2) backward into the past (1 Peter 1:10-12) (Alford).

Blessed - absolutely, His blessedness being self-derived, and our blessing Him being only an ascription to Him of what is His own. [ Eulogeetos (Greek #2128) in the New Testament is restricted to God; eulogeemenos (Greek #2127) (blessed with blessing from the outside) is said of man, and even of the Messiah as man (Matthew 21:9; Matthew 25:34 : cf. John 12:13; Luke 1:28; Luke 1:42); baarak (Hebrew #1288), literally, to kneel.] To bless any, without reference to God as the original source of blessing, is idolatry (Psalms 103:22; Revelation 5:12).

Father. This whole letter agrees with the Lord's prayer: "Father," 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:14; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Peter 2:2; "our," 1 Peter 1:4, end; "in heaven," 1 Peter 1:4; "hallowed be thy name," 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Peter 3:15; "thy kingdom come," 1 Peter 2:9; "thy will be done," 1 Peter 2:15; 1 Peter 3:17; 1 Peter 4:2; 1 Peter 4:19; "daily bread," 1 Peter 5:7; "forgiveness of sins," 1 Peter 4:8; "temptation," 1 Peter 4:12; "deliverance," 1 Peter 4:18 (Bengel): cf. 1 Peter 3:7; 1 Peter 4:7, for allusions to prayer.

Abundant , [ polu (Greek #4183)] - 'much.' That God's "mercy" should reach us guilty enemies, proves its fullness. "Mercy" met our misery, "grace" our guilt.

Begotten us again - of the Spirit by the Word (1 Peter 1:23); children of wrath, naturally dead in sins.

Unto - so that we have.

Lively , [ zoosan (Greek #2198)] - 'living.' It has in itself, gives, and looks for, life (DeWette). Living is a favourite expression of Peter (1 Peter 1:23; 1 Peter 2:4-5). He delights in contemplating life overcoming death. Faith and love follow hope (1 Peter 1:8; 1 Peter 1:21-22). "(Unto) a lively hope" is explained by "(to) an inheritance incorruptible ... fadeth not away," and "(unto) salvation ... ready to be revealed in the last time." Join [ elpida (Greek #1680) zoosan (Greek #2198) di' (Greek #1223) anastaseoos (Greek #386)] 'unto a hope living (possessing vitality) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.' Faith, the subjective means of the soul's spiritual resurrection, is worked by the same power whereby Christ was raised (Eph. 19:20 ). Baptism is an objective means (1 Peter 3:21). Its moral fruit is a new life. The connection of our sonship with the resurrection appears in Luke 20:36; Acts 13:33. Christ's resurrection is:

(1) the efficient cause of ours (1 Corinthians 15:22);

(2) the exemplary Cause: all the saints shall rise after the similitude of His resurrection (Philippians 3:21).

Our "hope" is, Christ rising ordained the power, and is the pattern of the believer's resurrection. The soul, born again from nature into grace, is also born again unto the life of glory. Matthew 19:28, "The regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory;" the resurrection of our bodies is a coming out of the womb of the earth, a nativity into an immortal life (Dr. Pearson). Our private adoption is now (Galatians 4:6); our public, at the coming resurrection. The four causes of salvation are:

(1) the primary, God's mercy; (2) the proximate, Christ's death and resurrection;

(3) the formal, our regeneration;

(4) the final, our eternal bliss.

John is the disciple of love; Paul, of faith; Peter, of hope. Hence, Peter, most of all the apostles, urges the resurrection of Christ: an undesigned coincidence between the history and the letter (cf. 'Introduction'), so a proof of genuineness. Christ's resurrection was the occasion of his own restoration by Christ after his fall (Mark 16:7).


Verse 4

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

To an inheritance - the object of "hope" (1 Peter 1:3); therefore not a dead, but a 'living' hope. The inheritance is the believer's already by title, being actually assigned; the entrance on its possession is future, a hoped-for certainty. Being "begotten again" as a "son," he is an "heir," as earthly fathers beget children to inherit their goods. The inheritance is "salvation" (1 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 1:9); "the grace to be brought at the revelation of Christ" (1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 5:4).

Incorruptible - not having the germs of death. Negations of the imperfections here are the chief means of conveying to us a conception of the things which "have not entered into the heart of man," our faculties now being inadequate to comprehend them. Peter, impulsive and susceptible of outward impressions, was more likely to feel painfully the deep-seated corruption lurking under the loveliest of earthly things, and dooming them to speedy decay.

Undefiled - not stained as earthly goods by sin, either in acquiring or using them; unsusceptible of stain. 'The rich man is either dishonest himself, or the heir of a dishonest man' (Jerome). Even Israel's inheritance was defiled by sin. Defilement intrudes on our holy things now; whereas God's service ought to be undefiled.

That fadeth not away. Contrast 1 Peter 1:24. Even the delicate bloom of the heavenly inheritance continues unfading. 'In substance incorruptible; in purity undefiled; in beauty unfading' (Alford).

Reserved - kept up (Colossians 1:5; 2 Timothy 4:8); perfect [ teteereemeneen (Greek #5083)], an abiding state; 'which has been and is reserved.' The inheritance is beyond risk, out of Satan's reach, though we for whom it is reserved are still amidst dangers. If we are believers, we too (1 Peter 1:5), as well as the inheritance, are "kept" (John 17:12).

In heaven - Greek, 'in the heavens,' where it can neither be destroyed nor plundered. Peter remembers Jesus' sermon on the mount (Matthew 6:20). Though now laid up in heaven, it shall hereafter be on earth also.

For you. It is secure not only in itself from misfortune but also from alienation; no other can receive it in For you. It is secure not only in itself from misfortune, but also from alienation; no other can receive it in your stead. He had said US (1 Peter 1:3), he now turns to the elect, to encourage them. 'Aleph (') A C, Vulgate, "you;" B, 'us.'


Verse 5

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Kept , [ frouroumenous (Greek #5432)] - 'who are being guarded.' He answers the objection, Of what use is it that salvation is "reserved" for us in heaven, as in a secure haven, when we are tossed in the world as on a troubled sea, amidst a thousand wrecks? (Calvin). As the inheritance is "kept" (1 Peter 1:4) safely "in heaven," so must we be 'guarded' in the world to be sure of reaching it. This defines the "you," 1 Peter 1:4. The inheritance belongs only to those who "endure unto the end," 'guarded' "IN [ en (Greek #1722)] the power of God through faith." Contrast Luke 8:13. 'It is God's guarding power which saves us from our enemies. It is His long-suffering which saves us from ourselves' (Bengel). Jude; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 4:7, "keep" froureesei , "guard," as here. This guarding is effected by God's "power," the efficient cause; "through faith," on man's part, the effective means. The believer lives spiritually in God, in virtue of His power; and God lives in him. "In marks that the cause is inherent in God, working organically through them with living influence, so that the means exist also in the cause. The power of God which guards the believer is no force working upon him from without with mechanical necessity, but God's spiritual power in which he lives, and with whose spirit he is clothed (1 Chronicles 12:18; Haggai 1:13). It comes down on, then dwells in, him, even as he is in it (Steiger). None is being guarded by the power of God unto salvation, if not walking by faith. Neither speculative knowledge nor works of seeming charity avail, severed from faith: through faith salvation is both received and kept.

Unto salvation - the end of the new birth; not merely accomplished for us in title by Christ, and made over to us on believing, but manifested, and finally completed (Hebrews 9:28).

Ready to be revealed - when Christ shall be revealed. The preparations have been long going on: "all things are now ready:" salvation is accomplished and only waits the Lord's time to be manifested: He "is ready to judge" (1 Peter 4:5).

Last time - closing the day of grace: the day of judgment, redemption, restitution of all things, and perdition of the ungodly.


Verse 6

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

Wherein - in which salvation. Greatly rejoice , [ agalliasthe (Greek #21)] - 'exult with joy.' Salvation is realized by faith (1 Peter 1:9), as so actually present as to cause exulting joy in spite of afflictions.

For a season , [ oligon (Greek #3641)] - 'for a little.'

If need be - `since (God sees) it is needed' for His glory and our salvation. God sends affliction on His people only where there is need (Job 5:6). One need not lay a cross on himself, but only "take up" that which God imposes ("his cross"). 2 Timothy 3:12 is not to be pressed too far. Not every believer, nor every sinner, is afflicted. Some falsely think that notwithstanding our forgiveness in Christ, an expiation of sin by suffering is still needed.

Ye are in heaviness , [ lupeethentes (Greek #3076)] - 'ye were grieved.' The 'grieved' is past; the 'exulting joy' present: because the realized joy of coming salvation makes present grief seem a thing of the past. At the first shock ye were grieved, but now by anticipation ye rejoice.

Through - `IN:' the element in which the grief has place.

Manifold - of various kinds (1 Peter 4:12-13).

Temptations - `trials' testing faith.


Verse 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:

Aim of the "temptations."

Trial , [ dokimion (Greek #1383)] - testing. That your faith so proved 'may be found (aorist, heurethee (Greek #2147): once for all, as the result of being proved) unto (eventuating in) praise,' to be bestowed by the Judge.

Than of gold - rather 'than gold.'

Though , [ de (Greek #1161)] - 'which perisheth, YET is tried with fire.' If gold, though perishing (1 Peter 1:18), is yet tried with fire, to remove dross and test genuineness, how much more does your faith, which shall never perish, need to pass through a fiery trial to remove defects, and test its genuineness and preciousness?

Glory. "Honour" is not so strong as "glory." "Praise" is in words: "honour" in deeds; honorary reward.

Appearing - as in 1 Peter 1:13, "revelation of Jesus." Then shall take place also the revelation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19), "manifestation" [ apokalupsin (Greek #602)], "revelation" (1 John 3:2, Greek, 'manifested).


Verse 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:

Having not seen, ye love - in other cases knowledge of the person produces love. They are more "blessed that have not seen, yet have believed," than they who believed because they saw (John 20:29). On Peter's love to Jesus, cf. John 21:15-17. Though the apostles had seen, they now ceased to know Him after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16).

In whom - connected with "believing:" the result is, "ye rejoice."

Now - in the present state, contrasted with the future, when believers "shall see His face."

Unspeakable - (1 Corinthians 2:9.)

Full of glory , [ dedoxasmenee (Greek #1392)] - 'glorified.' A joy already encompassed with glory. The "glory" is partly in possession, through the presence of "the Lord of glory" in the soul; partly in assured anticipation. 'The Christian's joy accompanies love to Jesus: its ground is faith; it is not therefore either self-seeking or self-sufficient' (Steiger).


Verse 9

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Receiving (in sure anticipation) the end of your faith - i:e., its crowning consummation, finally-completed "salvation" (Peter confirms Paul's teaching, justification by faith); also receiving now the title, and the first fruits. In 1 Peter 1:10, "salvation" is represented as already present, whereas "the prophets" had it not so. It must, therefore, in this verse refer to present. Deliverance from wrath: believers even now "receive salvation," though its full "revelation" is future.

Of your souls. The immortal soul was lost, so "salvation" primarily concerns it; the body shall share in redemption hereafter; the believer's soul is saved already.


Verse 10

Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

The magnitude of this "salvation" is proved by the earnestness with which "prophets," and even "angels," searched into it. From the beginning of the world it has been testified to by the Holy Spirit.

Prophets - "(the) prophets" generally (including the Old Testament inspired authors).

Enquired , [ exezeeteesan (Greek #1567)] - perseveringly. Much more is manifested to us than by diligent inquiry the prophets attained. Still, it is not said they searched after, but 'concerning [ peri (Greek #4012)] it. They were already certain of redemption coming. They did not see, but desired to see, the same Christ whom we fully see in spirit. 'As Simeon was anxiously desiring, and found peace only when he saw Christ, so the Old Testament saints only saw Christ hidden, and as it were absent-not in power and grace, but not yet manifested in the flesh' (Calvin). The prophets, as private individuals, had to reflect on the far-reaching sense of their own prophecies. Their words, in their public function, were not so much their own as the Spirit's, speaking by and in them: thus Caiaphas, John 11:49-52 - a testimony to verbal inspiration. The words of the inspired authors are God's, expressing the mind of the Spirit; the writers themselves searched into the words, to fathom the precious meaning, even as believing readers did. "Searched" [ exeerauneesan (Greek #1830)] implies they had determinate marks to go by.

The grace (that should come) unto you - that of the New Testament; an earnest of "the grace" of perfected "salvation" 'to be brought at the (second) revelation of Christ.' Old Testament believers also possessed the grace of God; but it was as children in their nonage, so as to be like servants; we enjoy the full privilege of adult sons.


Verse 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.

What , [ eis (Greek #1519) tina (Greek #5100)] - 'in reference to what;' the time absolutely; what was to be the era of Messiah's coming.

What manner of time - what features should characterize the thee of His coming. "Or" implies that some prophets, when not permitted to discover the exact time, searched into its characteristics. [ Kairon (Greek #2540): "time," season, the fit epoch in God's purposes.]

Spirit of Christ ... in them - (Acts 16:7; in 'Aleph (') A B D E, 'the Spirit of Jesus:' Revelation 19:10.) So Justin Martyr, 'Jesus was He who communed with Moses, Abraham, and the patriarchs.' Clemens Alexandrinus calls Him 'the Prophet of prophet, and Lord of all the prophetic spirit.'

Did signify [ edeelou (Greek #1213)] 'did intimate ' Did signify , [ edeelou (Greek #1213)] - 'did intimate.'

Of , [ ta (Greek #3588) eis (Greek #1519) Christon (Greek #5547) patheemata (Greek #3804)] - 'the sufferings appointed unto,' or foretold, in regard to Christ, the anointed Mediator, whose sufferings are the price of our "salvation" (1 Peter 1:9-10); the channel of "the grace that should come unto you."

The glory , [ doxas (Greek #1391)] - 'glories,' namely, of His resurrection, His ascension, His coming kingdom, the consequence of the sufferings.

That should follow , [ meta (Greek #3326) tauta (Greek #5023)] - 'after these sufferings' (1 Peter 3:18-22; 1 Peter 5:1). Since "the Spirit of Christ" is the Spirit of God, Christ is God. Because the Son of God was to become our Christ, He manifested Himself, and the Father through Him, in the Old Testament, and by the Holy Spirit eternally proceeding from the Father and Himself, spake in the prophets.


Verse 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.

Not only was the future revealed to them, but also that these revelations were given them mainly, not for themselves, but for our good. This only quickened them in testifying in the Spirit for the partial good of believers of their own generation, and for the full benefit of believers in Gospel times. (Contrast Revelation 22:10.) This was "revealed" to them, lest they should be disheartened in not discovering, with all their inquiry and search, the full particulars of the coming "salvation." To Daniel (Daniel 9:25-26) the "time" was revealed. Our immense privileges, thus brought forth by contrast with theirs (notwithstanding that they had the great honour of Christ's Spirit speaking in them), is an incentive to grater earnestness than even they manifested, (1 Peter 1:13, etc.)

Us. [So B but 'Aleph (') A C, Vulgate, read "you," as in 1 Peter 1:10.] We, Christian, may understand the prophecies, by the Spirit's aid, in their important part-namely, so far as they have been already fulfilled.

With (in) the Holy Spirit sent down - on Pentecost [So 'Aleph (') C but A B, Vulgate, Hilary, omit en (Greek #1722) - i:e., 'in,' then translate 'by.'] The evangelists, speaking by the Holy Spirit, were infallible witnesses. "The Spirit of Christ" was in the prophets also (1 Peter 1:11), but not manifestly, as in the Christian Church's first preachers, "SENT down from heaven." How favoured are we in being ministered to, as to "salvation," by prophets and apostles, these now announcing the same things actually fulfilled which those foretold!

Which things - `the things now reported unto you' by the evangelistic preachers: 'Christ's sufferings and the glory that should follow' (1 Peter 1:11-12).

Angels - higher than the prophets (1 Peter 1:10). Angels have not, any more than ourselves, INTUITIVE knowledge of redemption. To look into , [ parakupsai (Greek #3879)] - to bend over, so as to look deeply into and see to the bottom (note, James 1:25). As the cherubim bent down to the mercy-seat, the emblem of redemption, in the holiest, so the angels, intently gaze, desiring to fathom the depths of 'the great mystery of godliness: God manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels' (1 Timothy 3:16). Their 'ministry for the heirs of salvation makes them wish to penetrate this mystery, as reflecting such glory on the love, justice, wisdom, and power of their and our Lord. They can know it only through the manifestation in the Church, as they personally have no direct share in it. 'Angels have only the contrast between good and evil, without conversion from sin to righteousness: witnessing such conversion in the Church, they long to penetrate the knowledge of the means whereby it is brought about' (Hofman in Alford).


Verse 13

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Wherefore. Seeing that the prophets ministered unto you in these high Gospel privileges which they did not themselves, though 'searching,' fully share in, and seeing that even angels "desire to look into" them, how earnest and watchful you ought to be!

Gird up the loins. Christ's own words (Luke 12:35): an image from the Israelites eating the Passover with the loose outer robe girded up about the waist with a girdle, as for a journey. Workmen, pilgrims, runners, wrestlers, warriors (all types of the Christian), so gird themselves up, both to prevent the garment impeding motion, and to brace up the body for action. The believer is to have his mind collected, and always ready for Christ's coming. Sobriety - i:e., self-restraint, lest one be overcome by the allurements of the world and sense, and enduring waiting hope for Christ's revelation, are the true 'girding up the loins of the mind.'

To the end , [ teleios (Greek #5046)] - 'perfectly,' so that there be nothing deficient in your hope; no casting away of confidence. Still, there is an allusion to the "end" (1 Peter 1:9). Hope so perfectly as to reach the end [ telos (Greek #5056)] of your faith and hope-namely, 'the grace that is being brought unto you in [ feromeneen (Greek #5342) en (Greek #1722)] the revelation of Christ.' As grace shall then be perfected, so do you hope perfectly (1 Peter 1:3). Christ's two appearances are but different stages of the ONE great revelation, comprising the New Testament from beginning to end.


Verse 14

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

From sobriety of spirit and endurance of hope, he passes to obedience, holiness, and reverential fear.

As - their present character as "born again'' (1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:23). As - their present character as "born again'' (1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:23).

Obedient , [Greek, 'children of obedience'] - of whom obedience is the characteristic, as a child is of the same nature as the father. (Contrast Ephesians 5:6 : cf. 1 Peter 1:17.) Having the obedience of faith (1 Peter 1:22) and practice (1 Peter 1:16; 1 Peter 1:18). 'Faith is the highest obedience, because discharged to the highest command' (Luther).

Fashioning , [ suscheematizomenoi (Greek #4964)] - fashion [ scheema (Greek #4976)] is fleeting, and on the surface. The 'form' [ morphee (Greek #3444)] or conformation in the New Testament, is something deeper and more essential.

The former lusts in - characteristic of your state of ignorance of God: true of Jews and Gentiles. The sanctification is first described negatively (1 Peter 1:14, putting off the old man, even in outward fashion, as well as in inward conformation), then positively (1 Peter 1:15, putting on the new man: cf. Ephesians 4:22; Ephesians 4:24). "Lusts" flow from original birth-sin (inherited from Adam, who by self-willed desire brought sin into the world), the lust which, ever since man has been alienated from God, seeks to fill up with earthly things the emptiness of his being. The manifold forms which the mother-lust assumes are lusts. In the new man of the regenerate, which constitutes his truest self, 'sin' no longer exists; but in the flesh, or old man, it does (1 John 3:9). Hence, arises the conflict through life, wherein the new man in the main prevails, and at last completely. But the natural man knows only the combat of his lusts with one another, or with the law, without power to conquer them.


Verse 15

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

[ Kata (Greek #2596) ton (Greek #3588) kalesanta (Greek #2564)] 'But (rather) after the pattern of Him who hath called you (whose characteristic is that He is) holy, be [become: geneetheete (Greek #1096)] yourselves also holy.' God is our model. God's calling is a frequently-urged motive. 'Let the acts of the offspring indicate likeness to the Father' (Augustine).

Conversation , [ anastrofee (Greek #391)] - deportment, course of life: distinct from, but reflecting, one's internal nature. Christians are holy unto God by consecration; they must be so also in outward walk and behaviour.


Verse 16

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Scripture is the source of all authority in questions of doctrine and practice.

Be ye holy; for I am It is ME you have to do with Ye are mine We are too prone to have respect unto men Be ye holy; for I am. It is ME you have to do with. Ye are mine. We are too prone to have respect unto men (Calvin). Since I am the fountain of holiness, being holy in my essence, be ye zealous to partake of holiness, that ye may be as I am (Didymus). The creature is holy only in so far as it is sanctified by God. God, in giving the command, is willing to give also the power to obey, through the sanctifying Spirit (1 Peter 1:2).


Verse 17

And if 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 fear:

If - i:e., 'seeing that ye call on;' for all the regenerate pray as children of God, "Our Father," etc.

The Father , [ Patera (Greek #3962) epikaleisthe (Greek #1941) ton (Greek #3588) ... krinonta (Greek #2919)] - 'call upon as Father Him who without acceptance of persons (Acts 10:34, not accepting the Jew above the Gentile; 2 Chronicles 19:7, a judge not biassed by respect of persons) judgeth,' etc. The Father judgeth by His Son, His Representative, exercising His delegated authority (John 5:22). This marks the unity of the Trinity.

Work. Each man's work is one whole, whether good or bad. The particular works of each are manifestations of his general life-work, whether it be of faith and love, whereby alone we please God and escape condemnation.

Pass , [ anastrafeete (Greek #390)] - 'conduct yourselves during.'

Sojourning. The state of the Jews in their dispersion typifies the sojourner-like state of believers in this world, away from our fatherland.

Fear - reverential, not slavish. He who is your Father is also your Judge: this may well inspire reverential fear. Theophylact, A double fear is mentioned:

(1) elementary, causing one to become serious;

(2) perfective, the motive by which Peter urges them as sons of God to be obedient.

Fear is not opposed to assurance, but to carnal security: producing vigilant caution lest we offend God and backslide. 'Fear and hope flow from the same fountain: fear prevents our falling away from hope' (Bengel). Though love has no fear IN it, yet our present imperfect love needs fear to go ALONG WITH it as a subordinate principle. This fear drowns all other fears. The believer fears God, so has none else to fear. Not to fear God is the greatest baseness. The martyrs' more than human courage flowed from this.


Verse 18

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

Another motive to reverential fear (1 Peter 1:17) of displeasing God-the consideration of the costly price of our redemption from sin. It is we who are bought by the blood of Christ, not heaven: heaven is the "inheritance" (1 Peter 1:4) given to us as sons, by the promise of God.

Redeemed. Gold and silver being corruptible themselves, and so of little value, can free no one from spiritual and bodily corruption. Contrast 1 Peter 1:19, Christ' "precious blood." The Israelites were ransomed with half a shekel each, which went toward purchasing the lamb for the daily sacrifice (Exodus 30:12-16 : cf. Numbers 3:44-51). But the Lamb who redeems the spiritual Israelites does so 'without money or price' (Isaiah 55:1). Devoted by sin to God's justice, the church of the first-born is redeemed from sin and the curse with Christ's precious blood. In Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14; Revelation 5:9, the idea is that of substitution, the giving of one for another by way of ransom or equivalent. Man is 'sold under sin' as a slave; shut up under condemnation. The ransom was, therefore, paid to the righteously incensed Judge, and accepted as a vicarious satisfaction for our sin, inasmuch as it was His own love, as well as righteousness, which appointed it. An Israelite sold as a bond-servant for debt might be redeemed by one of his brethren. Since, therefore, we could not redeem ourselves, Christ assumed our nature to become our Brother, and so our God or Redeemer. Holiness is the natural fruit of redemption "from our vain conversation;" for He by whom we are redeemed is also He for whom we are redeemed. 'Without the righteous abolition of the curse, either there could be found no deliverance, or the grace and righteousness of God must have come in collision' (Steiger); but now Christ having borne the curse of our sin, frees from it those who are made God's children by His Spirit.

Corruptible. Compare 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:23.

Silver and (or) gold. Compare Peter's own words, Acts 3:6 : an undesigned coincidence.

Vain - self-deceiving, promising good which it does not perform. (Compare the pagan, Acts 14:15; Romans 1:21; Ephesians 4:17; human philosophers, 1 Corinthians 3:20; the disobedient Jews, Jeremiah 4:14.)

Conversation - course of life. To know our sin we must know its cost.

Received by tradition from your fathers. 'Human piety is a vain blasphemy, the greatest sin that man can commit' (Luther). There is only one Father to be imitated (1 Peter 1:17 : cf. Matthew 23:9).


Verse 19

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Precious - of inestimable value. Greek order, 'With precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish (in itself) and without spot (contracted from others), [even the blood] of Christ.' Though very man, He remained pure in Himself ("without blemish"), and uninfected by any impression of sin from without ("without spot"), which would have unfitted Him for being our atoning Redeemer: so the Passover lamb; so too, the Church, the Bride, by union with Him. As Israel's redemption from Egypt required the blood of the paschal lamb, so our redemption from the curse required the blood of Christ; "foreordained." (1 Peter 1:20) from eternity, as the Passover lamb was taken up on the tenth day of the month.


Verse 20

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

God's eternal foreordination of Christ's redeeming sacrifice, and completion of it in these last times for us, are an additional obligation to our maintaining a holy walk. Peter's language in the history corresponds (Acts 2:23), "foreknowledge:" here, literally, "foreknown:" an undesigned coincidence and mark of genuineness. Redemption was no after-thought remedy of an unforeseen evil. God's foreordaining of the Redeemer refutes the slander that, on the Christian theory, there are 4,000 years of nothing but an incensed God. God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

Manifest - in the fullness of the time. He existed from eternity before.

In these last times (1 Corinthians 10:11). This last dispensation, made up of "times" marked by great changes, still retaining a general unity, stretches from Christ's ascension to His coming to judgment.


Verse 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.

By (through) him. Compare "the faith which is by Him" (Acts 3:16); His Spirit, obtained for us in His resurrection and ascension, enabling us to believe. This excludes all who do not 'by Him believe in God,' and includes all that do. To believe IN [ eis (Greek #1519) Theon (Greek #2316)] God expresses internal trust: 'going INTO, and cleaving to Him, incorporated into His members. By this faith the ungodly is justified; thenceforth faith itself begins to work by love' (P. Lombard). To believe ON [ epi (Greek #1909) Theon (Greek #2316), or Theoo (Greek #2316), or dative] God expresses confidence, reposing ON God. "Faith IN [ en (Greek #1722)] His blood" (Romans 3:25) implies that His blood Is the element IN winch faith has its abiding place. Compare Acts 20:21, "Repentance toward [ eis (Greek #1519), turning toward and going into] God and faith toward [ eis (Greek #1519), 'into'] Christ:" where, as there is but one article to both, "repentance" and "faith" are joined as one truth. Where repentance is, there faith is. When one knows God the Father, then he must know the Son by whom alone we come to the Father: the only living way to God is through Christ's sacrifice.

That raised him - the ground of "believing:"

(1) because by it God declared His acceptance of Him as our righteous substitute; (1) because by it God declared His acceptance of Him as our righteous substitute;

(2) by it and His glorification He received power, namely, the Holy Spirit, to impart to His elect "faith:" the same power enabling us to believe as raised Him from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20).

Our faith must not only be IN, but BY and THROUGH Christ. 'Since in Christ's resurrection our salvation is grounded, there "faith" and "hope" find their stay' (Calvin).

That your faith and hope might be [or, so that-are: hooste (G5620) ... einai (G1510)] in God - the object and the effect of God's raising Christ: an indirect exhortation. Your faith flows from His resurrection; your hope from God's having 'given Him glory' (cf. 1 Peter 1:11). So Peter, in Acts 2:32-33; Acts 5:31; Acts 10:40, makes Christ's being raised by God the foundation of faith. Apart from Christ we could have only feared, not believed and hoped in, God. Compare 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:7-9; 1 Peter 1:13, on hope with faith; love is introduced, 1 Peter 1:22. Faith and hope in Christ, so far from drawing from, draws to, God: for He is God: otherwise by believing in Him we should incur the curse (Jeremiah 17:5).


Verse 22

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Purified [ heegnikotes (G48): made chaste] ... in obeying the truth - `in your (the) obedience of (i:e., to) the truth' (the Gospel way of salvation); i:e., in your believing. Faith purifies the heart by implanting the only pure motive, love to God (Acts 15:9; Romans 1:5).

Through the Spirit. Omitted in 'Aleph (') A B C. The Holy Spirit bestows the obedience of faith (1 Peter 1:2; 1 Corinthians 12:3).

Unto - with a view to: the proper result of faith. 'For what end must we lead a pure life? That we may thereby be saved? No: but that we may serve our neighbour' (Luther).

Unfeigned - (1 Peter 2:1-2.)

Love of the brethren - i:e., Christians; distinct from common love. 'The Christian loves primarily those in Christ; secondarily, all who might be in Christ-namely, all men, as Christ died for all, and as he hopes that they, too, may become Christian brethren' (Steiger). Bengel: here, as in 2 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 1:7, 'brotherly love' is preceded by the purifying graces, "faith, knowledge, godliness," etc. Love to the brethren evidences our regeneration and justification.

Love one another. When the purifying by faith into love of the brethren has formed the habit, the act follows, so that "love" is at once habit and act.

With a pure heart. So 'Aleph ('). But A B read, '(love) from the heart.' Fervently , [ ektenoos (Greek #1619)] - 'intensely:' with all powers on the stretch (1 Peter 4:8; Acts 26:7).


Verse 23

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Christian brotherhood flows from new birth of an imperishable seed, God's abiding word; the consideration urged to lead us to brotherly love. As natural relationship begets natural affection, so spiritual relationship spiritual, and therefore abiding love, even as the seed from which it springs is abiding, not transitory, as earthly things.

Of ... of ... by. "The word of God" is not the material of the spiritual new birth, but its mean. By means of the word the man receives the incorruptible seed, the Holy Spirit, and so becomes "born again:" John 3:3-5, "Born of water and the Spirit," where, there being but one Greek article to the two nouns, the close connection of the sign and the grace signified is implied. The word is the remote and anterior instrument; baptism, the proximate and sacramental instrument. The word is the instrument in relation to the individual; baptism, in relation to the Church (James 1:18). We are born again of the Spirit, yet not without means, but by the word of God. The word is not the begetting principle, but that by which it works: the vehicle of the germinating power (Alford).

Which liveth and abideth forever. The Bible is a living organism, not a haphazard collection of fragments: its parts have a mutual relation and a special function, subordinate to the design of the whole. It is because the Spirit of God accompanies it that the word carries the germ of life. They who are born again live and abide forever, in contrast to those who sow to the flesh (Galatians 6:8). 'The Gospel bears incorruptible fruits, not dead works, because it is itself incorruptible' (Bengel). The word is an eternal power. For though the speech vanishes, there remains the kernel, the truth comprehended in the voice. This sinks into the heart, and is living-yea, is God Himself. So God to Moses, Exodus 4:12, "I will be with thy mouth" (Luther). 'The gospel shall never cease, though its ministry shall' (Calov). The abiding resurrection-glory is connected with our regeneration by the Spirit. Regeneration, beginning with renewing man's soul at the resurrection, passes on to the body, then to the world of nature.


Verse 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:

Scripture proof that the word of God lives forever, in contrast to man's frailty. If ye were born again of flesh, corruptible seed, ye must perish again as grass; but now that from which you derive life remains eternally, and so will render you eternal. Flesh - man's earthly nature.

Of man. A B C, Vulgate, read 'of it' (i:e., of the flesh); 'Aleph ('), 'of him.' "The glory" - i:e., the wisdom, strength, riches, learning, honour, beauty, art, virtue, and righteousness of the NATURAL man ("flesh") - all are transitory (John 3:6); not OF MAN absolutely; for the glory of man, in his true ideal realized in the believer, is eternal.

Withereth , [aorist: exeeranthee (Greek #3583)] - i:e., is withered as a thing of the past. So [ exepesen (Greek #1601)] 'fell away' - i:e., is fallen away: it no sooner is, than it is gone.

Thereof. Omitted in A B 'Aleph ('). "The grass" is the flesh: "the flower," its glory.


Verse 25

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The word ... is (rather, was) preached [ euangelisthen (G2097)] unto you. (See Psalms 119:89.) That is eternal which is born of incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:24); but ye have received this, namely, the word (1 Peter 1:25); therefore ye are born for eternity, and so are bound to live for eternity (1 Peter 1:22-23). Ye have not far to look for the word; it is the Gospel glad tidings which was preached to you by our brother Paul. See 'Introduction,' showing Peter addresses some of the same churches as Paul wrote to.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Peter 1:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-peter-1.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology