FIRST PETER CHAPTER ONE
Outline Ė Chapter One
  1. Greeting (vv.1,2)
  2. In Praise of God (vv.3-5)
    1. For Phase One Hope (v.3)
    2. For Phase Three Inheritance (v.4)
    3. For Eternal Security (v.5)
  3. When Christians Suffer (vv.6-9)
    1. It is Brief (v.6)
    2. It is a Proving Ground (v.7)
    3. It Stimulates Occupation with Christ (v.8)
    4. It Enhances Phase Three (v.9)
  4. The Prophetic Inquiry and the Present Age of Grace (vv.10-12)
    1. Their Diligence (v.10)
    2. Their Dilemma (v.11)
    3. Their Insight (v.12)
  5. Call to a New Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi (vv.13-25)
    1. In Holiness (vv.13-16)
    2. In Fear (vv.17-21)
    3. In Love (vv.22-25)
Greeting (vv.1,2)

VERSE 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ (Pe,troj [n.m.s.] avpo,stoloj [nom.m.s.] VIhsou/ Cristou/ [gen.m.s.]),

to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen (parepidh,moij [adj.m.p., parepidemos, temporary resident, resident alien; 3X: Heb.11:13; 1Pet.2:11] diaspora/j [gen.f.s., from diaspora; "scattered throughout"; {of Jews or Christians}; 3X: Jn.7:35; Jam.1:1] Po,ntou [gen.m.s., Pontos] Galati,aj [gen.f.s., Galatia] Kappadoki,aj [gen.f.s., Kappadokia] VAsi,aj [gen.f.s., Asia] kai. Biquni,aj [conj. + gen.f.s., Bithunia] evklektoi/j [adj.dat.m.p., eklektos, chosen, elect; 24X {of Christ and believers}])

ANALYSIS: VERSE 1

  1. The apostle Peter wrote this letter from Rome around 63AD.
  2. Note the cryptic reference to the city of Rome in 5:13 ("Babylon").
  3. Babylon, in Mesopotamia, was mostly deserted at this time.
  4. This letter was written late in the apostleís life, probably shortly before Neroís persecutions of 64AD.
  5. Peter was in Rome during the last decade of his life (60ís AD), as was the apostle Paul.
  6. Both Peter and Paul were martyred by the Roman emperor, Nero, at about the same time (66AD).
  7. The main objection to the Petrine authorship of this letter is that the Greek is too sophisticated for an unschooled fisherman.
  8. Two considerations undermine this contention.
  9. The meager use of particles and prepositions and the excessive use of relative clauses show the authorís limitations.
  10. Also consider the supposition that Silvanus (Silas of the Book of Acts) may have been more than a secretary in the ordinary sense (cf. 1Pet.5:12).
  11. Though Peter claims to have written the letter, he says so "through" (the help of?) Silvanus.
  12. Such language suggests more than just mere dictation.
  13. Silas helped shape the language of the Apostolic Decree of Acts 15 (note the Greek of Acts.15:23, where the word "sent" is actually the aorist part. Grafw, grapho, to write, compose).
  14. He was with Paul on his second missionary journey and was in some sense responsible for the Thessalonian letters (Paul uses the first person plural very liberally in those letters).
  15. Likely the thoughts of Peter were pressed into the mold of the language of Silvanus, at least to a considerable degree.
  16. Among the so-called General epistles none has been more widely used during the history of the church than First Peter.
  17. It is not a general epistle in the sense that it was sent to the entire church, but it was intended for a larger audience than the majority of the NT epistles, which were usually written to a single congregation or individual.
  18. First Peter most nearly resembles Galatians, but its recipients belonged to a much wider geographical area.
  19. Eusebius (father of church history) placed it among the undisputed books.
  20. The first witness to it comes from 2Pet.3:1.
  21. "Peter" was the Greek equivalent of Cephas ("rock"), the nickname Jesus had conferred upon Simon (Jn.1:42).
  22. He identifies himself as "an apostle (no def. art.) of Jesus Christ" without any elaboration (cp. 1Cor.1:1; Col.1:1; Ti.1:1; 2Pet.1:1).
  23. Peterís authority to teach and exhort believers "scattered" throughout the whole of Asia Minor is based on his status as "an apostle of Jesus Christ" (1Pet.5:12).
  24. He was one of the original twelve men so designated by the Lord during His public ministry.
  25. Paul replaced Judas on the roster of apostles.
  26. Their authority to minister to multiple congregations was unique to the apostolic age.
  27. Peter received this authority from "Jesus Christ" when Jesus appointed the twelve (Mk.3:13-19).
  28. Throughout the Church Age false apostles have emerged (2Cor.11:13; Rev.2:2).
  29. Peter leaves his readers aware of the unique personal authority of an apostle.
  30. This letter is addressed "to those who reside as aliens, scatteredÖ", or "to temporary residents of dispersion throughoutÖ".
  31. These were of course Christians who, like Israel, were scattered throughout the world.
  32. These congregations were made up predominately of Gentiles with the usual smattering of Jewish converts.
  33. It is plainly stated that they were engaged in typically Gentile or pagan STA practices (4:3), including idolatry, which fact precludes an exclusive Jewish readership.
  34. Moreover, they are differentiated from the chosen people of Israel on the ground that they were formerly not a people but are now the people of God, and were formerly without mercy but have now received it (2:10).
  35. Finally, Peter uses his Greek name rather than his Aramaic name, Cephas (1:1).
  36. True, Peter was the apostle of the circumcision (Gal.2:7), but his activity among Gentiles is amply attested (Gal.2:12; Acts.10:34-48; 15:7-11).
  37. What was Peterís relationship to his readers?
  38. There is no compelling evidence that this pastoral letter is based on his own labors among them.
  39. On the contrary, he seems to disassociate himself from their evangelization (cf. 1:12).
  40. Moreover, there is a complete absence of reference of any kind of personal experience with these believers.
  41. He does not once mention any previous visit or contact.
  42. These Christians lived in the Roman provinces that covered the major part of Asia Minor, the portion north of the Taurus Mountains (modern Turkey).
  43. Since Paul labored in this general region, the question is naturally raised as to whether First Peter was circulated among at least some of the converts he evangelized.
  44. This possibility concerns those in Galatia and Asia.
  45. As far as Galatia is concerned, Peterís letter may have been intended for believers in North Galatia, where Paul had little or no contact (cf. Acts.16:6,7).
  46. However, since Paulís work in Ephesus (within the province of Asia) resulted in the spread of the gospel throughout the province of Asia (not to be confused with Asia Minor; cf. Acts.19:10), some of the readers of this letter may have been inducted into the faith by Paul or his associates.
  47. To this extent Peter may have entered into the labors of the apostle to the Gentiles.
  48. But is it possible that the bearer of First Peter may have avoided contact with areas where Paul labored.
  49. We know nothing of Peterís movements as compared to Paulís.
  50. Peter uses three terms to describe his audience in v.1.
  51. The first in the Greek text occurs last in the English translation ("who are chosen").
  52. The dative of address of the adjective elektoj means "elect", or "chosen".
  53. First and foremost, they are the special people of God, chosen before the foundation of the world to eternal salvation (Eph.1:4; cp. 1Pet.1:20).
  54. The ground for our eternal election to salvation is seen in the prepositional clause opening v.2.
  55. Next they are described as "those who reside as aliens".
  56. This adjective (parepidhmoj) occurs 3X: Heb.11:13; 1Pet.1:1; 2:11.
  57. It normally refers to anyone who is a resident in a foreign land.
  58. The patriarchs who lived in Canaan were resident aliens (Heb.11:13).
  59. While these Christians were bona fide citizens of the Roman provinces in view, they were in a spiritual sense "aliens".
  60. Like people who are merely passing through a country with no intention of permanent residence, so believers are bound, wherever they reside, to be transitory sojourners yearning for their "up-country".
  61. "Home" for us cannot be identified with any place on earth, but only with the new and heavenly order which God brings in.
  62. For parallel ideas, see Eph.2:19, Phil.3:20, and Heb.11:13-16.
  63. We pass our Ph2 time on earth, but belong as citizens to heaven.
  64. Hence, we should conduct ourselves as worthy ambassadors of our new homeland.
  65. As we shall see, the Christians living in these provinces of the Roman Empire were suffering in a hostile society.
  66. This is what occasioned the letter.
  67. Breaking as they did from their pagan antecedents, they were viewed with suspicion, resentment, and general hostility.
  68. Peter wrote to encourage them in the face of growing persecution.
  69. The third term "scattered", used to describe the status quo in the Greco-Roman world, is the gen.f.s. noun meaning "dispersion", without the article.
  70. The Greek noun is diaspora (i.e. "Dispersion"), a technical term among Greek-speaking Jews (there is no exact equivalent in the Hebrew Bible) for members of their race dwelling outside Palestine in Gentile lands (cf. Jn.7:35).
  71. A translation of the two dative adjectives followed by the genitive singular noun (evklektoi/j parepidh,moij diaspora/j) could be: "to a chosen people, living as resident aliens of a dispersion throughoutÖ"
  72. This noun also occurs in Jam.1:1 of the Jewish Christian Diaspora, which is the same as the Gentile Diaspora.
  73. It is of interest to note that the recipients of the epistle of James were believing Jews living in the Land!
  74. Peterís choice of terms to describe these Gentile Christians all have as their background the O.T. designation and experience of the people of Israel.
  75. Israel is Godís chosen/elect people (e.g., 1Chr.16:13; Pss.105:6; 106:5; 135:4; Isa.65:9,15,23).
  76. Their election from eternity past and their subsequent incorporation into the POG made them "aliens".
  77. The addressees are "aliens" not by race, natural birth, or circumstances, but because divine election has estranged them.
  78. In this letter Peter appeals to them as "aliens and strangers" (2:11) to attain more fully in practice that estrangement from "fleshly lusts", which is the mark of their new citizenship.
  79. The first term points to the indispensable basis of Christian identity and the second to its inevitable social expression.
  80. And so, they are not quite at home in the places where they live.
  81. Spiritual growth heightens this sense within our hearts.
  82. Even if believers are comfortable with their surroundings, they are still "aliens".
  83. Like the Jews of the dispersion, we are a minority among unbelievers.
  84. In a sense our experience is similar to that of Israel.
  85. Diaspora is used twelve times in the LXX of the scattered Israelites among the Gentile nations as a divine judgment.
  86. Believers of the Church Age are a diaspora waiting for their final gathering at the Rapture.
  87. In the meantime we are a brotherhood separated by geography.
  88. The place from which Peter writes his diaspora letter (mystical "Babylon") is not home, but is itself a place of exile, and therefore part of the same worldwide diaspora to which his readers belong.
  89. All that distinguishes the authorís own situation from that of his readers is geography.
  90. The five districts listed were Roman provinces comprising all of Asia Minor north of the Taurus mountain range.
  91. The order in which Peter lists them is curious in that Pontus, with which the list begins, and Bithynia, with which it ends, had been considered a single province since about 64BC.
  92. The most plausible explanation is that the sequence represents the projected route of the messenger who delivered the letter.
  93. The messenger would travel by ship from the Mediterranean and Agean seas through the Hellespont (Dardanelles) and the Bosporus straits to the Black Sea.
  94. His entry to Asia Minor would be at one of the Black Sea ports in Pontus.
  95. From there he would strike into the interior of Asia Minor to Galatia then possibly as far east as Caesarea in Cappadocia, back again into Galatia by the westward trade route through Iconium and Pisidian Antioch, to the cities of provincial Asia mentioned in Rev.2-3, and finally north into Pontus-Bithynia once more, sailing from perhaps Nicomedia or Chalcedon.
VERSE 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father (kata. pro,gnwsin [prep. w/acc.f.s., prognosis, foreknowledge] qeou/ patro,j [gen.m.s., theos, + gen.m.s., pater]), by the sanctifying work of the Spirit (evn a`giasmw/| [prep.w/instr.m.s., hagiasmos, sanctification] pneu,matoj [gen.nt.s., pneuma, spirit]), that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood (eivj u`pakoh.n [prep.w/acc.f.s. u`pakoh,, obedience; "upon obedience to"] kai. r`antismo.n [conj. + acc.m.s., hrantismos, sprinkling] ai[matoj VIhsou/ Cristou [gen.nt.s., haima, blood, + gen.m.s., Iesous Christos; translation: "and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ"]):

May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure (ca,rij (n.f.s., charis, grace] u`mi/n [pro.dat.p., su, you] kai. eivrh,nh [conj. + acc.f.s., eirene, peace] plhqunqei,h [aor.pass.opt.3.f.s., plythuno, increase, grow]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 2

  1. The long, loosely constructed sentence starting in the previous verse continues to the end of v.2.
  2. This verse features three prepositional phrases reciting how the recipients came to be Godís chosen/elect people.
  3. The first phrase (kata. pro,gnwsin) is to be connected with "who are chosen" (evklektoi/j).
  4. Believers are the chosen/elect of God based on "foreknowledge".
  5. This noun is from the verb proginw,skw, to know before hand or know in advance.
  6. The verb occurs in 2Pet.3:17 in a non-technical sense of knowing information in advance that can protect believers from doctrinal error.
  7. The verb also occurs in v.20 regarding the person of Christ, who was "foreknown before the foundation of the world".
  8. The verb occurs in Rom.8:29 in the same doctrinal context as here, where it precedes "predestined".
  9. Finally, the verb occurs in Rom.11:2 of Israelís election to salvation.
  10. The noun only occurs here and in Acts.2:23, in Peterís message on the day of Pentecost in reference to Christís death.
  11. Believersí election or predestination is based on what God knew from eternity past.
  12. God foreknew all who would come to saving faith based on the attribute of Omniscience.
  13. God desires that all be saved (1Tim.2:4; Ezek.18:23,32; 2Pet.3:9; cp. 1Tim.4:10; Ti.2:11).
  14. Those He foreknew, He predestined/elected to salvation (Rom.8:29).
  15. Foreknowledge and predestination occurred in eternity past.
  16. Foreknowledge is Godís eternal prescience with respect to the free will of each person.
  17. God predestined some to salvation based on His foreknowledge, and not upon His inscrutable wisdom as espoused by Calvinism.
  18. Otherwise God would be a respecter of persons.
  19. To be just, God had to provide salvation for all and allow each person the freedom to believe or not.
  20. Foreknowledge answers the question regarding those who never heard the gospel and perished.
  21. God is obligated to get the gospel to all who He foreknew would believe.
  22. Foreknowledge is associated with God the Father, who is the Planner.
  23. The second prepositional phrase features the work of God the Holy Spirit.
  24. The phrase "by the sanctifying work of the Spirit", or "the sanctification of the Spirit", refers to the doctrine of positional sanctification.
  25. The noun a`giasmo,j (hagismos) is from the root, which means "holy".
  26. The genitive is a subjective genitive indicating the sanctification performed by the Spirit.
  27. Paul expresses the same thought in 2Thess.2:13 using the same preposition (en).
  28. The "sanctifying work of the Spirit" is the baptism of the HS, whereby the one who believes is entered into union with Christ (cf. 1Cor.12:12-13).
  29. The HS joins all who believe to the body of Christ, or the Church universal.
  30. We call this positional sanctification.
  31. It occurs at the moment of saving faith (among other works of saving grace).
  32. Expressions such as "in Christ" and "in Him" specify this reality.
  33. The designation "saints" is based on this concept.
  34. The elect that God foreknew He set apart to Himself via positional sanctification.
  35. The cognate verb a`gia,zw (hagiazo) is used in 1Cor.6:11 in reference to the blessings of the salvation adjustment (along with "washed" and "justified").
  36. The third prepositional clause is introduced by the preposition eis.
  37. It occurs with the accusative of the nouns u`pakoh, (hupakoe) and r`antismo.n (hrantismon), translated like infinitives.
  38. Translation: "according to (the) foreknowledge of God (the) Father by the sanctification of (the) Spirit upon obedience and upon sprinkling of (the) blood of Jesus Christ".
  39. The preposition eis modifies both accusative feminine singular nouns.
  40. This preposition occurs with the accusative case and means: into, to; at, on, upon, by, near; among; against; concerning.
  41. The word "upon" renders good sense and does not violate doctrine.
  42. The notion of result would violate BD.
  43. In other words, they were not set apart and then the actions specified by these two verbal nouns followed.
  44. Actually, in sequence of occurrence, their obedience to the message of salvation came first, followed instantly by sanctification and sprinkling of blood.
  45. This noun is used of the obedience associated with the command to believe in Christ (Rom.1:5; 6:16,17; 10:16; 15:18; 16:26; cp. Acts.6:7; 2Thess.1:8; Heb.5:9).
  46. Obedience is used of the willing acceptance of the gospel under what is referred to as calling.
  47. The last item Peter associates with their eternal election to salvation has to do with the blood of Jesus Christ.
  48. This final phrase deals with the work of Christ on the Cross as it pertains to the salvation adjustment.
  49. "Sprinkling with the blood" recalls the Jewish ritual where animal blood was applied to persons and objects under the Law.
  50. The close association between obedience and sprinkling points to the ratification of the old covenant mentioned in Ex.24:3-8 (cp. Heb.9:19,21).
  51. Moses sprinkled the entire nation with blood to signify their qualification to serve God as His priest nation.
  52. This ritual had typological significance.
  53. It pointed to the death of Christ and the benefit it brings to those who are obedient.
  54. Apart from the blood of the covenant there would have been no forgiveness.
  55. Christís blood does not refer to His literal blood, but rather refers to His judgment on the Cross for the sins of the world.
  56. Those who believe in Him are granted forgiveness of all pre-salvation sins.
  57. Animal blood represents the judgment Christ experienced when He bore sins.
  58. When a person believes in Christ they are forgiven their past sins.
  59. As with rebound the salvation adjustment cleanses the individual from all his/her sins.
  60. God is free to do all the things related to the salvation adjustment based on the blood of Christ.
  61. The blood of the O.T. sacrifices, going all the way back to Adam and Abel. was but a shadow of the reality, which is Jesus Christ dying for sins.
  62. To be sprinkled with Jesusí blood was to be cleansed, or forgiven, from oneís former life.
  63. So "the sprinkled blood" is strictly a figurative expression or analogy to the real thing (Heb.12:24).
  64. There is no external sprinkling, as there is no physical blood applied when a person is saved.
  65. God cleanses and forgives the one who is obedient to the command to believe based on Christís sacrificial death.
  66. There is a Ph2 sprinkling associated with the Rebound adjustment (Heb.10:22).
  67. Peterís choice of images confirms the impression that he writes to communities of Gentiles as if they were some strange new kind of Jew.
  68. The words "grace and peace" were ubiquitous in first-century Christian greetings (besides all the Pauline epistles and Revelation; cf. 2Pet.; 2Jn; "mercy" replaces "grace" in Jude).
  69. Grace epitomized for him all that believers receive from God from the moment of their salvation forward into Ph3.
  70. Peace refers to both inner tranquility (even in the face of adversity) as well as the external benefits that come to those who are in a right relationship with God.
  71. Inner peace is multiplied where there is intake and application of BD (Jn.16:33).
  72. Jesus promised this peace to His followers (Jn.14:27).
  73. Peace in the Hebrew greetings (shalom) covered all blessings, both spiritual and material, that came to those who were positive.
  74. Peter expresses a wish when he uses the optative mood of the verb plethuno.
  75. Grace and peace are multiplied in our lives when we conform ourselves to the directive will of God.
  76. Grace and peace were theirs under the ordeal of persecution that had come upon these Christian communities (4:12).


In Praise of God (vv.3-5)
For Phase 1 Hope (v.3)

VERSE 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Euvloghto.j [adj.n.m.s., eulogetos, blessed, praised] o` qeo.j kai. path.r [n.m.s. + conj. + n.m.s.] tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n VIhsou/ Cristou/ [gen.m.s., kurios, lord, + pro.gen.1.p.p., ego, + gen.m.s., Iesous Christos]), who according to His great mercy (o` kata. to. polu. auvtou/ e;leoj [def.art.n.m.s., "who", + prep.w/acc.def.art.n.m.s., "who", + adj.acc.nt.s., polus, many, "great", + pro.gen.3.s., autos, + acc.nt.s., eleos, mercy]) has caused us to be born again (avnagennh,saj [aor.act.pt.n.m.s., avnagenna,w,,, anagennao, to be born again; cp. 1Pet.1:23] h`ma/j [pro.acc.m.p., ego]) to a living hope (eivj evlpi,da zw/san [prep.w/acc.f.s., elpis, hope w/pres.act.pt.acc.f.s., zao, live]) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (diV avnasta,sewj [prep.w/gen.f.s., avna,stasij, anastasis, resurrection] VIhsou/ Cristou/ [gen.m.s., Iesous Christos] evk nekrw/n [prep.w/adj.ab.m.p., nekros, dead]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 3

  1. In the letters of Paul, the epistolary greeting is customarily followed either by thanksgiving to God (with euvcariste,w: Rom.1:8; 1Cor.1:4; Phil.1:3; Col.1:3; Philm.4; 1Thess.1:2; 2Thess.1:3), or by an ascription of praise or blessing to God (with euvloghto.j: 2Cor.1:3; Eph.1:3).
  2. First Peter follows the second of Paulís styles, agreeing word for word with the formula Paul uses to introduce his statement of blessing: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (v.3; cp. 2Cor.1:3; Eph.1:3).
  3. The euvloghto.j expression is not a blessing addressed to God as a prayer but a declaration or confession that God is worthy of praise.
  4. The effect of such a declaration is to praise God as if it were actually directed toward Him.
  5. This declarative form of praise is derived largely from the LXX (e.g., euvloghto.j ku,rioj ov qeo,j [[[[12X], or simply euvloghto.j ku,rioj [11X], or euvloghto.j ov qeo.j [13X]).
  6. Because the title kurios ("Lord") is so frequently transferred in the N.T. to Jesus Christ, euvloghto.j o` qeo.j becomes the characteristic N.T. form for blessing God.
  7. What is distinctive about the Pauline-Petrine blessing is that it is directed to God in relation to "our Lord Jesus Christ".
  8. God is no longer defined in relation to heroes of faith out of the remote past ("the Lord God of Shem"), or in relation to His deliverance of Israel (Gen.14:27; "the Lord God of our fathers", Ezra.7:27), but in relation to Christ.
  9. Instead of taking God as the known point of departure and designating Jesus in relation to Him (i.e., as Son of God), the formula takes Jesus as its reference point.
  10. The "GodÖof our Lord Jesus Christ" (cf. Eph.1:17) is the God whom Jesus worshipped and who raised Him from the dead.
  11. He is also Father of Christ; together the two designations preserve the recollection that Jesus, in the incarnation, announced the gospel of God and claimed God as His Father (cf. Mk.1:15, and esp. Jn.20:17).
  12. The ancient Jewish formula has been adapted (in 2 Corinthians and Ephesians as well as First Peter) to Gentile communities who have come to know Christ first, and through Him the God of the Jews (cf. v.21).
  13. So primitive Christianity adapted the ancient Hebrew idiom "Blessed be God/Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel".
  14. For "our Lord", compare the invocation Maranatha ("Our Lord come") in 1Cor.15:22, which indicates that the phrase must have established itself among groups which still used Aramaic.
  15. "Jesus is Lord" was probably the earliest Christian confession (cf. Acts.8:16; 19:5; Rom.10:9; 1Cor.12:3; 2Cor.4:5; Phil.2:11).
  16. It is unlikely that this ascription was used in Jesusí lifetime; it came to be ascribed to Him as the risen and ascended Savior.
  17. Kurios was the customary LXX rendering of the divine name (Yahweh).
  18. The ease with which NT writers apply O.T. texts containing "Lord" to Jesus is proof of their recognition of His status.
  19. The addition of "our" underlies the special, personal bond between believers and their Lord.
  20. The reason for this outburst of hymnlike praise is found in the long Greek sentence of vv.3-5.
  21. The LXX blessing with euvloghto,j ("Blessed be") is most often followed by a relative pronoun (o[j), although occasionally by an o[ti clause, or (as here) by a participle ("whoÖhas caused us to be born again").
  22. The verb avnagenna,w (anagennao) is found in the N.T. only here and in 1:23, and not at all in the LXX.
  23. It is the equivalent of gennhqh/| (aor.pass.subj.3.m.s. genna,w,, gennao, be born) a;nwqen (adv., anothen, from above or again) of Jn.3:3 and gennhqh/nai (aor.pass.infin., gennao) a;nwqen (adv.).
  24. Whether rendered "born again" or "born from above", it refers to the new birth (doctrine of regeneration).
  25. The divine initiative comes from God the Father; the Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration (cf. Jn.3:5-8).
  26. This is how God the Father becomes Father to those who are born again.
  27. Just as the individual becomes a member of a human family, so the one who believes in God the Son becomes a permanent member of the family of God.
  28. It was an act of mercy (kata. to. polu. auvtou/ e;leoj) that God became the Father to those who were formerly estranged from Him.
  29. The provision of salvation is an act of "great mercy" considering the Gentile separation from God (Acts.14:16; 17:30).
  30. The experience of the mercy of God is common to all believers, whether (like the recipients) they were once destitute of mercy (2:10), or whether (like Peter and other Jewish Christians) they had not taken advantage of their special calling.
  31. Gentile humanity had long thumbed their noses at God, while the Jews had abandoned their heritage.
  32. Those who came to saving faith were the objects of "His great mercy".
  33. What united Jew and Gentile in Christ was a fresh display of Godís mercy.
  34. This display came at a propitious moment in the Angelic Conflict.
  35. It came at a time when the numbers of positive Gentiles in the world escalated as compared to pre-Christian times.
  36. Jewish interest remained low, a trend that has continued throughout the Church Age.
  37. God showed no distinction between the two groups in spite of their respective acts of hostility.
  38. Paul supplies a glimpse into the grace brought to Jew and Gentile, in spite of their respective shortcomings, in Eph.2:1-3.
  39. It is "God being rich in mercy" who incorporates Jew and Gentile into His family in this special and privileged dispensation.
  40. What Jews had long been taught - that He was "merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal-love and faithfulness" (Ex.34:6) - was dramatically affirmed with the proclamation of the gospel from apostolic times onward.
  41. Paul comes close to Peterís formulation of the concepts of mercy and regeneration in Ti.3:5,6: "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior".
  42. Here Godís mercy (grace in action) is contrasted with works done in righteousness in order to make the point that, except for "grace" (Ti.2:11), "kindness (Ti.3:4), and "generosity" (Ti.3:4), mankind would be doomed.
  43. That the new birth (salvation) is oriented towards the future is seen in the phrase "to a living hope".
  44. Peter intends a contrast between the hopelessness of false religion (cf. Eph.2:2).
  45. The WOG has nothing good to say about false doctrine.
  46. The new birth, which is wrought in us by a "living God", provides us with the status of children of God.
  47. Our hope is alive (i.e., it is valid, it will not be disappointed, cf. Rom.5:2).
  48. Hope in God is the hallmark of reborn people, who are spiritually alive, possessing eternal life within.
  49. Our hope is that we will live on forever, overcoming death and the grave.
  50. "Hope" (like faith) can refer either to an anticipation (even a certainty) of good things to come or to the content of that anticipation.
  51. The "living hope" of which Peter speaks is better understood in the second, objective sense.
  52. So the "living hope" refers to all that God has for those who are born again.
  53. "Hope" refers to those things that those who are born again will enjoy in Ph3.
  54. Only those who are born again will enter the eternal kingdom of God (cf. Jn.3:3,5).
  55. The life to which we are born is eternal life (Jn.3:15,16).
  56. This is our birthright, granted only to those who believe in God the Son (Jn.1:12).
  57. Our hope for a future of blessing beyond the grave is based on the resurrection of Christ.
  58. The prepositional phrase "through (dia,) the resurrection of Jesus Christ" is to be linked to the immediately preceding "living hope".
  59. The resurrection of Christ validates His work on the Cross.
  60. It is the seal (proof) that He was who He said He was, and proof that God was working in Him and through Him to bring about the salvation of the world.
  61. Being sons of the living God through Jesus Christ His Son, we are assured of future immortality in a resurrection body.
  62. The soul is saved at the SAJG and the body is redeemed at the Rapture.
  63. As goes Christ, so go those who are His at His coming.
  64. The last phrase of this verse, "from (evk) the dead", refers to Jesusí resurrection as being "out from among" those who had previously died.
  65. Christ is the only person who, to date, has a resurrection body.
  66. That is why He is called "the first fruits of those who are asleep" (1Cor.15:20).
For Phase 3 Inheritance (v.4)

VERSE 4 to obtain an inheritance (eivj klhronomi,an [prep.w/acc.f.s. klhronomi,a,, kleronmia, inheritance]) which is imperishable (a;fqarton [adj.acc.f.s., a;fqartoj, aphthartos, imperishable, immortal]) and undefiled (kai. avmi,anton [conj. + adj.acc.f.s., avmi,antoj, amiantos, undefiled, unstained; 4X: Heb.7:26; 13:4; Jam.1:27; 1Pet.1:4]) and will not fade away (kai. avma,ranton [conj. + adj.acc.f.s., avma,rantoj, amarantos, hapax, unfading]), reserved in heaven for you (tethrhme,nhn [pf.pass.pt.acc.f.s., thre,w, tereo, keep, guard, protect] evn ouvranoi/j [prep. + loc.m.p., ouvrano,j, ouranos, heaven] eivj u`ma/j [prep. + pro.acc.m.p., su, you]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 4

  1. The praise of God now focuses on the content of the hope, describing it as "an inheritance".
  2. This fits well with the concept of the new birth, since children are heirs by the right of birth.
  3. As Godís children, we are His heirs (Rom.8:17; Ti.3:7).
  4. All born-again believers inherit the blessing of eternal life.
  5. "Inheritance" refers to the blessings of Ph3.
  6. They include the basic package: namely, immortality in a resurrection body like Christís.
  7. For believers of the present dispensation the inheritance includes membership in the Royal Family, irrespective of racial classification (Eph.3:6).
  8. There was a distinction regarding inheritance in the previous dispensation.
  9. There is also the prospect of SG3 (rewards and the crown/prize).
  10. Peter uses three adjectives to describe our Ph3 blessings.
  11. Each of these adjectives, in its own way, drives home the point that the inheritance of which Peter speaks is an eternal one (Heb.9:15).
  12. Under no circumstances whatsoever can our eternal inheritance be forfeited once we are in possession of it.
  13. Failure to make and hold the maturity adjustment diminishes the extent of it in the lives of those who reject BD in Ph2.
  14. Phase 3 inheritance is totally unlike ordinary human possessions, which is the point of Peterís three alpha-prefixed adjectives.
  15. "Imperishable" (a;fqartoj) means freedom from decay and death.
  16. For example, the resurrection body is not subject to the ills that beset our natural bodies (1Cor.15:52).
  17. The wreath (crown) is called "imperishable" in 1Cor.9:25.
  18. The second adjective, "undefiled" (avmi,antoj),points to the fact that Ph3 inheritance cannot be undermined by sin.
  19. Temporal inheritance is often squandered or lost as a result of STA activity.
  20. That this word is associated with the STA, see Heb.7:26, 13:4, and Jam.1:27.
  21. The third adjective, "will not fade away" (avma,rantoj,,, unfading), comes from the verb maraino, to dry up.
  22. The verb is used of the glory of the rich, which quickly or in due time fades away like grass and flowers.(Jam.1:11).
  23. Phase 3 inheritance is not transitory, as is the case with all forms of temporal wealth.
  24. Phase 3 inheritance cannot die, be forfeited, or fall prey to the ravages of time.
  25. It does not depend upon the social or economic standing of the one who desires it (Jam.2:5).
  26. Finally, in this verse Peter tells us that such surpassing blessing is in a safe place.
  27. It is "reserved in heaven" for those who are heirs of eternal life.
  28. The verb "reserved" means protected or guarded.
  29. Heaven is Godís special dwelling place and is the realm from which the special blessings of Ph3 will be revealed at the decisive moment.
  30. Jesus taught the same principle when He affirmed the reality of SG3 (Mt.5:12; 6:19,20; Lk.12:33).
  31. So Ph3 inheritance is preserved and hidden with God until the return of Christ (cf. Rev.22:12).
  32. So the perfect passive participle (thre,w) points directly to the action of God in preserving Ph3 inheritance for His elect people "in heaven".
For Eternal Security (v.5)

VERSE 5 who are protected by the power of God (tou.j [def.art.acc.m.p. {goes with the participle}; "who"] evn duna,mei [prep.w/instr.f.s., dunamis, power] qeou/ [gen.m.s., theos] frouroume,nouj [pres.pass.pt.acc.m.p., froure,w, phroureo, protect, hold prisoner, keep in protective custody; 4X: 2Cor.11:32; Gal.3:23; Phil.4:7]) through faith for a salvation (dia. pi,stewj [prep.w/gen.f.s., pi,stij, pistis, faith {active sense}] eivj swthri,an[prep.w/acc.f.s., swthri,a, soteria, salvation, deliverance {e.g., the Rapture}]) ready (e`toi,mhn [adj.acc.f.s., e[toimoj, hetoimos, ready]) to be revealed (avpokalufqh/nai [aor.pass.infin., avpokalu,ptw, apokalupto, reveal]) in the last time (evn kairw/| evsca,tw| [prep.w/loc.m.s., kairo,j, kairos, time, w/adj.loc.m.s., e;scatoj, eschatos, last]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 5

  1. God not only preserves our eternal inheritance, but He does something equally important for the heirs residing down here as "aliens".
  2. If the inheritance is being diligently guarded, so are those who are predestined to receive it.
  3. This is the gist of this verse.
  4. "Who" refers to all that qualify for inheritance.
  5. The verb "are protected" is a military term used of a fortress defended by a garrison.
  6. The verb is a present tense of continuous action with a passive voice (believers receive the blessing of eternal security) of the participle froure,w.
  7. It corresponds to the perfect participle "reserved" of the previous verse.
  8. Again, the former deals with the inheritance hidden in heaven, while the one here refers to the eternal security of the soul.
  9. At the point of salvation the immortal soul is saved (Mt.16:26).
  10. Peter assures the readers that they are safe in God no matter their difficulties in dispersion among their persecutors.
  11. The ravages of time and circumstances cannot touch the "real you" - the soul (Mt.l0:28).
  12. In terms of eternal destiny the soul is kept safe "by the power of God".
  13. Again, the soul cannot be harmed, only the body, which will be raised according to the promise of God.
  14. That which puts the individual soul in the safe zone is expressed by the prepositional phrase "through faith".
  15. "Through faith" refers to saving faith (e.g., Rom.3:22; Gal.2:16; Eph.2:8; Phil.3:9; 2Tim.3:15).
  16. When a person believes in Christ he/she is, from that moment forward and forever, saved by the power of God.
  17. Staying saved does not require continued faith in God (2Tim.2:13).
  18. It only requires a one-time act of faith towards the object of faith, Jesus Christ (parable of the mustard seed; Lk.13:19ff).
  19. So it is the "power of God" that protects us, contingent upon our "faith" in Christ.
  20. Finally, we "are protectedÖfor a deliverance ready to be revealed in the last time".
  21. The "deliverance" in view is the resurrection of the body at the Rapture.
  22. The soul is safe throughout Ph2 and preserved in heaven, awaiting its reunion with the glorified body.
  23. The body, unlike the soul, is subject to the ravages of time and circumstances, but it too will be redeemed and made forever safe when Christ returns for the Church (Rom.8:23; Eph.1:14).
  24. The goal of the soulís preservation is the special deliverance which comes "in the last time".
  25. Believers in heaven wait for this blessed event, as do those who are on earth.
  26. In review: Believers "are being protected by the power of God through faith (manís responsibility) for a deliverance (goal) ready (Ďin the wingsí, so to speak) to be revealed (present but not yet visible) in the last time (Rapture generation)".
  27. This verse is an excellent proof text for eternal security.
  28. Romans 8:35-39 affirms the same promise, keying off of the attribute of love (here, Omnipotence is featured).
  29. God is to be praised for the great things He has done for us, and will do for us, to bring us into our eternal inheritance.
When Christians Suffer (vv.6-9)
It is Brief, but Necessary (v.6)

VERSE 6 In this you greatly rejoice (evn w-| avgallia/sqe [prep.w/rel.pro.loc.m.s., o[j, hos, "In this" or "In which" {the antecedent is the deliverance revealed in the last time} + pres.mid.ind.2.m.p., avgallia,w, agalliao, be extremely joyful; cp. Jn.8:56; 1Pet.1:8; 4:13]), even though now for a little while (ovli,gon a;rti [adj.adv., oligos, only for a little while, + adv., arti, now]), if necessary (eiv de,onÎevsti.nÐ [part., if, + pres.act.pt.n.nt.s., dei, be necessary, + some MSS. have pres.act.ind.3.m.s. of eimi, resulting in a first class condition: "if it is necessary and it is"]), you have been distressed (luphqe,ntej [aor.pass.pt.n.m.2.m.p., lupe,w, lupeo, pass., be sad, sorrowful, grieve; cf. 1Thess.4:13; "distressed"]) by various trials (evn poiki,loij peirasmoi/j [prep.w/adj.instr.m.p., poiki,loj, poikilos, various, diverse, + instr.m.p., peirasmo,j, peirasmos, testing; temptation; cf. Gal.4:14; 1Pet.4:12; 2Pet.2:9]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 6

  1. The hope, the inheritance, and the deliverance all belong to the future.
  2. The hope is "alive/living" by virtue of Christís victory over death; the inheritance is in heaven, untouched by anything that belongs to the temporal realm; the deliverance is "ready", in Godís hand, but still invisible to human eyes as it waits to be revealed.
  3. There is a triumphalism here, but it is of the future.
  4. Nothing Peter says to this point addresses a realistic assessment of the present circumstances of himself and his readers.
  5. He has not yet begun to make that assessment, but his earlier reference to them as being "aliens in a dispersion" knocks on the door.
  6. To the reality of their present circumstances in regards to suffering for their beliefs, Peter now directs our attention.
  7. Verses 6-9 constitute his third long sentence.
  8. "In this" (evn w-| -) refers back in a general way to the content of praise in vv.3-5.
  9. "You greatly rejoice" is a present middle indicative second person plural of the verb avgallia,w (agalliao,to exult).
  10. The present tense supports the observation of point 8.
  11. Peter writes to believers who had already been indoctrinated with respect to their "living hope".
  12. He understood intuitively that the understanding of these things brings great joy to the souls of positive believers.
  13. He also recognized that +H was not overturned by the trials of the CWL.
  14. Jesus taught his followers to rejoice when they were the victims of persecution (Mt.5:12).
  15. The basis for rejoicing when bad things happen is grounded in the prospect of SG3.
  16. Taking the verb "greatly rejoice" as a present indicative versus a future (as some do who say that "In this" has as its antecedent "in the last time") is consistent with the unequivocal use of the same verbal construction in v.8, where it is linked with love of Christ in time.
  17. The expression "even though now for a little while" draws attention to the relative brevity of suffering in comparison to "eternal glory" (cp. 5:10).
  18. He is not saying that their Ph2 suffering is about over or of brief temporal duration.
  19. He is saying that the present ordeals are insignificant as compared to their future of no suffering in Ph3.
  20. This same thought is seen in Rom.8:18 and 2Cor.4:17 ("momentary light affliction", as over against the "eternal weight of glory").
  21. "If necessary" (eiv de,on), whether eimi is expressed or understood, should be read as a first class condition affirming what is actually the case.
  22. The idea is not "if need be", but "since it is necessary".
  23. The suffering is no mere contingency, but has already begun, and is a potentially positive experience for those who apply BD.
  24. The participle is from the impersonal irregular verb dei, meaning "be necessary".
  25. Peterís language recalls Jesusí warning that certain unpleasant things "must take place but the end is not yet" (Mk.13:7), or Paulís reminder to the churches of Galatia that "we must (dei/) through many sufferings enter the kingdom of God" (Acts.14:22).
  26. Even the sufferings of Jesus Himself were viewed as a divine necessity (cf. dei in Mk.8:13 and parallels Lk.17:25; 24:7,26; Jn.3:14; 12:34; Acts.3:21; 17:3).
  27. This letter is primarily designed to instruct and encourage the Royal Family scattered throughout northern Asia Minor with respect to their present ordeal of persecution.
  28. Suffering, and persecution in particular, is inevitable and indispensable and inescapable for those who desire to live in accordance with the godliness code, considering the prevalence of negative volition in the world.
  29. We should not expect to avoid the unpleasant experience that Jesus faced (Jn.15:20).
  30. Those who faithfully suffer for the cause of truth are assured that they will reign with Christ in the most illustrious fashion (Rom.8:17; 2Cor.1:5; Phil.3:10; 1Pet.4:13).
  31. Peter has been fully apprised of the fact that these believers had been targets of social antagonism for some time, as seen in the aorist passive participle of lupeo, which means "to be distressed" or "saddened" (cp. noun lupe).
  32. The manner in which they were treated brought them soulish distress.
  33. This assault upon the soul came into their lives "by various (or diverse) trials (or testing)".
  34. Society resented their separation from pagan practices and mores.
  35. Society at large retaliated with a variety of hurtful responses.
  36. To feel the pain of reprisal is not a sin per se.
  37. However, it is important that believers view such things from a Scriptural perspective.
  38. When we have the divine viewpoint expressed in Scripture before us, we can actually have inner peace and +H (cf. Jam.1:2, where "various" is used with "trials").
  39. Christians who suffer for adherence to BD will experience mental distress as well as joy (cf. Acts.5:41).
  40. However, we should not experience shock and surprise (1Pet.4:12).
  41. Also, they need to be apprised of the fact that they are not alone (1Pet.5:9).
  42. Peter uses general terms such as "the things" and "various trials" to encompass a whole range of troubles.
  43. The readers can fill in the specifics.
It is a Proving Ground (v.7)

VERSE 7 that the proof (i[na to. doki,mion [conj., that, + def.art.n.nt.s. + n.nt.s., dokimon, testing; "proof"; 2X: Jam.1:3]) of your faith (u`mw/n th/j pi,stewj [pro.gen.2.p., su, + def.art.w/gen.f.s., pistis, faith {content}]), being more precious than gold (polutimo,teron crusi,ou [compar.adj.n.nt.s., polutimoteron, costly, expensive; "precious", + gen.nt.s., crusi,on, chrusion, gold]) which is perishable (tou/ avpollume,nou [def.art.w/pres.mid.pt.gen.nt.s., avpo,llumi, apollumi, perish, be lost]), even though tested (de. dokimazome,nou [conj./subor., but even, + pres.pass.pt.gen.nt.s., dokima,zw, dokimazo, test, examine; cf. n., dokimon, above]) by fire, (dia. puro.j [prep.w/abl.nt.s., pur, fire]), may be found to result in praise and glory and honor (eu`reqh/| [aor.pass.subj.3.s., eu`ri,skw, heurisko, find] eivj e;painon [prep./acc.m.s., e;painoj, epainos, praise, commendation] kai. do,xan [conj. + acc.f.s., do,xa, doxza, glory] kai. timh.n [conj. + acc.f.s., timh,, time, honor]) at the revelation of Jesus Christ (evn avpokalu,yei VIhsou/ Cristou/\[prep.w/dat.f.s., avpoka,luyij, apokalupsis, revelation {of an event: Rom.2:5; 8:19; 1Cor.1:7; 2Thess.1:7; 1Pet.1:13; 4:13; or of insight: Rom.15:25; 1Cor.14:6,26; 2Cor.12:1,7; Gal.1:12; 2:2; Eph.1:17; 3:3; Rev.1:1} + gen.m.s., Iesous Christos]);

ANALYSIS: VERSE 7

  1. The long clause continued by hina (i[na) points to the divine purpose and outcome of the readersí experience of suffering.
  2. The hina clause expresses result.
  3. The phrase to. doki,mion u`mw/n th/j pi,stewj (to dokimon humon tes pisteos) also occurs in Jam.1:3.
  4. There the divine purpose, according to James, is that the testing of faith produces patience in those who faithfully endure.
  5. The noun dokimon ("proof") signifies "to test for approval".
  6. What is tested is the character of their positive volition.
  7. The function of the hina clause ("so that") is to assert that their positive volition is proved genuine by a process of testing, and to affirm the ultimate outcome for those who are so tested.
  8. Peter introduces the metaphor of gold to illustrate the phrase "the proof of your faith".
  9. Peter uses the metaphor to make two distinct points.
  10. First, genuine positive volition ("faith") is more precious to God than gold because gold is perishable.
  11. Second, gold nevertheless has something in common with "faith", in that it is "tested by fire" (cf. Ps.66:10).
  12. Gold is mentioned many times in Scripture (432X).
  13. It is first mentioned in Gen.2:11,12 and at the very end of the Bible (Rev.21:15,18,21).
  14. Gold, of all the precious metals, is a symbol of deity in the Bible.
  15. Why has man ever valued gold so highly?
  16. Gold is highly prized because it is warmly beautiful.
  17. It is enduring, for it never rusts away (a multitude of gold ornaments in excellent condition from the oldest civilizations exists in the museums of the world).
  18. It retains its beauty.
  19. Of the common acids, only a mixture of concentrated nitric and hydrochloric acids will dissolve it.
  20. Strong acid alone will have no effect on it.
  21. Pliny ("the Elder", 23-79AD; Pliny assembled and preserved a vast and invaluable mass of ancient scientific writing; he died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius while on a ship; his curiosity got his ship too close!) mentions gold as the only metal unharmed by fire.
  22. In fact, Pliny said each time it went through fire it came out purer than before.
  23. Gold is prized because it is so adaptable to shaping.
  24. It can be melted without harm; it can be hammered to thin leaves, being extremely malleable.
  25. It may easily be alloyed with other metals, improving the degree of hardness while still retaining its beauty (gold occurs naturally alloyed with silver).
  26. Finally, gold has been valued because of its scarcity.
  27. Even though the circumstances are exceptional, Scripture affirms that gold "is perishable" (cf. 1:18; Jam.5:3).
  28. The end product of our testing by fire (SG3) is not subject to loss.
  29. The verb "may be found" (aor.pass.subj., eu`ri,skw, heurisko, to find, discover) indicates potential.
  30. There is no guarantee that believers under testing will remain faithful to God.
  31. Hence, the use of the mood of contingency (subjunctive).
  32. The fact is amply recorded in the Bible that some will deny the faith when tested in the fires of adversity and persecution (cf. Mk.4:5,6,16,17).
  33. But for those who endure to the end (of Ph2) there is "praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ".
  34. The preposition eivj (eis) with the accusative of the three descriptive nouns indicates result.
  35. Those believers who remain faithful to the end are the ones that will be crowned by God with adulation at Christís coming (Rapture).
  36. By honoring God under testing, believers will be honored by God.
  37. These three terms inevitably suggest the notion of reward, specifically reward at the Bema Seat.
  38. SG3, along with the crown, awaits all who are tested and endure in Ph2.
  39. Those who deny the Lord, making peace with negative volition, will be denied reward (Mt.10:33; 2Tim.2:12,13).
  40. At the Bema Seat faith (cp. "the righteous will live by faith" of Hab.2:4) gives way to vindication, and "praise, glory, and honor" is the way Peter expresses the scene at the awards ceremony (cp. Rom.2:7, "glory and honor and immortality").
  41. "Glory" will come to all believers in varying degrees.
  42. "Praise" will come upon those who finished their course with honor, but censure will come to those who fall short.
  43. "Honor" will come to those who honored God, but for the rest there will be a moment of shame (cf. 1Jn.2:28).
  44. Believers, like Peter who failed a particular test, can right themselves and go on to attain eternal distinction (denial of Christ).
  45. This is a part of what he calls at the end of this letter, "the true grace of God" (5:12).
  46. God will make ,and must make, a distinction between those who are faithful under adversity and persecution and those who deny Him.
  47. "Revelation" is one of the synonyms for the Rapture (cf. 1Cor.1:7; 1Pet.1:13; 4:13).
It Stimulates Occupation with Christ (v.8)

VERSE 8 and though you have not seen Him (o]n ouvk ivdo,ntej [rel.pro.acc.m.s., hos, who {antecedent is JC}; "and although", + neg. + aor.act.pt.n.p., ei=don, eidon, from o`ra,w, horao, see; {with the neg. negates an actual experience}]), you love Him (avgapa/te [pres.act.ind.2.p., agapao, love]), and though you do not see Him now (eivj o]n [ prep.w/rel.pro.acc.m.s., hos, "concerning whom"] a;rti mh. o`rw/ntej [adv., arti, now, at the present moment, + neg. + pres.act.pt.n.m.p. from horao, see]), but believe in Him (pisteu,ontej de [pres.act.pt.n.m.p., pisteuo, believe, + conj./adversative]), you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (.avgallia/sqe [pres.mid.ind.2.p., avgallia,w, agalliao, be extremely joyful] cara/| avneklalh,tw| [instr.f.s., chara, joy, + adj.instr.f.s., avnekla,lhtoj, aneklaletos, that which cannot be expressed; "joy inexpressible"] kai. dedoxasme,nh| [conj. + pf.pass.pt.instr.f.s., doxa,zw, doxazo, be glorious {pass.}; "full of glory"]),

It Enhances Ph3 (v.9)

VERSE 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls (komizo,menoi [pres.midd.pt.n.m.p., komi,zw, komizo, purchase; obtain {midd}] to. te,loj th/j pi,stewj Îu`mw/nÐ [def.art.w/acc.nt.s., telos, end, outcome, + def.art.w/abl.f.s., pistis, faith, + pro.gen.p., su] swthri,an yucw/n [acc.f.s., soteria, salvation, deliverance, + gen.f.p., psuche, soul]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 8,9

  1. If the term "revealed" implies that Jesus Christ is now invisible, the relative clause that follows ("and though" or "whom having not seen") makes this explicit.
  2. Peterís focus has been on the experience of his readers, and so he continues in the second person: "you have not seen him".
  3. Four times he uses the second person plural to catalogue their present experience as it pertains to Jesus Christ ("you have not seen"; "you love Him"; "you do not see Him now"; "you greatly rejoice").
  4. As this verse stands, it hints at a contrast between Peterís own experience as an eye-witness and that of the Asian Christians, whose knowledge of Jesus came through face-to-face teaching (cf. 2Pet.1:16,17; cp. 1Jn.1:1,2).
  5. While many in the apostolic age had had direct personal contact with the Lord both before and after His resurrection, the majority of believers of the first, and all of later, generations had no visual experience of the Savior.
  6. We see indications in the NT that those who had not seen Christ in the flesh were at no disadvantage (Jn.20:29).
  7. We should reject all claims on the part of individuals who affirm that they have seen Jesus.
  8. Paul tells us that Christ is on display in the third heaven and no mortal sees him (1Tim.6:16).
  9. Down here, we "walk by faith, and not by sight" (2Cor.5:7).
  10. When a believer dies he sees the Lord for the first time (2Cor.5:6,8,9).
  11. Peter develops the paradox of their experience of demonstrating their love for someone they had never laid eyes on.
  12. Normally we love those we have seen, but not so in this case.
  13. So he moves on to explain how this paradox works.
  14. He knows from reports that have come to him that the Asian Christians love the Lord.
  15. The proof was their steadfastness to BD under persecution.
  16. "You love Him" is a declarative indicative (mood of reality).
  17. In the OT the supreme commandment is to love the Lord God (Deut.6:5).
  18. It was realized in the lives of those who kept the commandments of the Law (Deut.6:1,2).
  19. The commandment to love Jesus becomes prominent in the Gospel of John (Jn.14:15).
  20. Again, the command is linked to hearing and doing the will of God (Jn.14:21,23; 15:10).
  21. Keeping the royal imperatives is proof positive of oneís love for Christ.
  22. When Peter sent this letter the recipients were demonstrating their love for the Lord.
  23. They had not caved in under the severe persecutions and afflictions that beset them.
  24. Their fidelity to the Lord, despite their never having seen Him, was manifest in the way they were handling their testing.
  25. Twice in this verse Peter uses the participle o`ra,w (horao, see) with the negative to emphasize the fact that they had remained faithful apart from any spectacular inducements to motivate them.
  26. In the first instance he refers to their past (aorist participle) and in the second he focuses on the present moment (present participle).
  27. The present participle ("do not see Him") is reinforced with the adverb "now".
  28. These believers were not privy to any special sightings or visions to encourage their faithfulness.
  29. They neither required, nor had, any "crutches" to keep their spirits high.
  30. They simply continued to put their faith and trust in the Lord and His promises.
  31. "Though not seeing Him" with the eyes of the flesh, "but believing in Him" (present part. of pisteuo, to believe), they pressed on, occupied with the Lord and the prospect of vindication.
  32. The effect of this verse is to encourage and commend them for their steadfastness apart from any visual stimuli (past or present).
  33. They, like subsequent generations, did it based on the positive volition and doctrine in their souls.
  34. The era of miracles and temporary gifts was largely phased out by the time Peter wrote them.
  35. Because they relied strictly on faith and not sight ("but believing in Him" = pres.act.pt.), they had the wonderful exhilaration of soul that is the experience of those who suffer persecution who are adjusted to the truth of BD.
  36. This verse contains two present indicatives: " you love Him" and "you greatly rejoice" (avgallia,w, agalliao, be extremely joyful).
  37. Their faith in the promises and teachings of BD in the face of extreme adversity resulted in moments of exhilaration.
  38. Jesus enjoined His disciples to have this kind of joy in the face of persecution (Mt.5:12 "be glad" is agalliao).
  39. Peter uses this verb 3X in connection with +H under persecution (1Pet.1:6,8; 4:13).
  40. The stimuli for +H and super +H is BD in the soul (cp. Lk.1:47; 10:21; Jn.5:35; 8:56).
  41. By any ordinary assessment their joy should belong to the future, when they receive their SG3 vindication in the presence of the Lord at His coming.
  42. But here the joy is for the present cushioning of the plight of their sufferings.
  43. This is one of the phenomenons of the Christian life, contradicting the normal experience of men.
  44. One of the dynamics of the Spirit-filled life is extreme happiness even under the severest onslaught of the enemy.
  45. The Christian hope is what enables us to gladly bear up under adversity (cp. Heb.10:32-36).
  46. Peter employs two terms to describe the surpassing quality of the joy he knows they are experiencing ("with joy inexpressible and full of glory").
  47. +H under these conditions cannot be expressed in words, hence the adjective avnekla,lhtoj (aneklaletos; 1X).
  48. The second descriptive adjective, "full of glory" (pf.pass.pt.dat.f.s., doxa,zw,, doxazo, glorify; be glorious), could be simply translated "glorious".
  49. The experience of complete adjustment to the realities of doctrine when suffering reprisals for adherence to BD is nothing less than "glorious".
  50. The final clause (v.9) of the long sentence, which began in v.6, draws our attention to the prophetic future, when the Church is united with Christ in resurrection glory.
  51. The verb "obtaining" (pres.midd.pt.2.p., komi,zw,, komizo, to obtain, be paid back) explains the paradoxical joy of adjusted, suffering believers.
  52. The middle voice of the verb means "carry off for oneself".
  53. The present tense of this participle is significant, underscoring the tension between present application and future remuneration.
  54. This word is used in both temporal and eschatological contexts.
  55. It is used in 2Cor.5:10, as here, in connection with reward or loss of reward based on the character of oneís temporal works (cp. Eph.6:8; Col.3:25; Heb.10:36; 11:39; 1Pet.5:4).
  56. It is used in commercial transactions (Mt.25:27; Lk.7:37).
  57. It is used one time in a typological setting (Heb.11:19; Abraham received back Isaac as a type of the resurrection of Christ).
  58. In a word, those who were willingly and joyfully enduring the spectacle of persecution were obtaining something for the future.
  59. They were building a strong foundation for their eternal niche (1Tim.6:19).
  60. "The outcome" (to. te,loj, to telos, the end, culmination, termination) refers to the final evaluation when "all bets are in", so to speak.
  61. "Faith" is used here in the active sense of believing doctrine.
  62. Unstated, but implicit, is the necessity for faith plus works.
  63. The outcome of faith (or +V) is "the deliverance of" their "souls".
  64. The complete deliverance of the soul (reference to the person) is predicated on both the Ph1 and Ph2 adjustments.
  65. The Ph1 adjustment insures immortality in a resurrection body like Christís.
  66. The Ph2 adjustments (Rebound and Maturity) constitute deliverance with respect to the future.
  67. The phrase "the salvation of your souls" stands in apposition to "the outcome of your faith".
  68. The one defines the other.
  69. The Rapture is a deliverance for all who participate in it, predicated on the salvation adjustment.
  70. As such it focuses on the deliverance of the body.
  71. Immediately-following the Bema Seat is a moment of deliverance or loss for each Church Age believer.
  72. Those who remained faithful to the end of Ph2 will experience deliverance from shame and loss at the Bema.
  73. "Salvation" has a range of meanings in the Bible.
a. A temporal deliverance (Heb.11:7 and throughout Psalms).
  1. Deliverance from spiritual death (Rom.1:16; 10:1; Eph.1:13; 2Tim.3:15; Heb.6:9; 1Pet.2:2).
  2. Deliverance at the Rapture (Rom.13:11; 1Thess.5:9; Heb.9:28; 1Pet.1:5).
  3. From loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Phil.2:12; 1Tim.4:16).
  4. From a spiritual fall (2Cor.7:9,10).
  1. Deliverance is used in a broad sense encompassing saving faith, the Rapture, and excelling at the Bema (ex. 1Pet.1:10; Phil.1:28?; 2Tim.2:10).
  2. Its basic meaning is deliverance.
  3. Here and elsewhere in the NT it is used in connection with passing the test of fire associated with a finished course and receiving the premiere token of that accomplishment - the crown (1Cor.3:12-15).
  4. In the soul resides volition/free will.
  5. The soul is manís most valuable possession (Mk.8:36), and its loss in hell is immeasurable (Rom.2:8,9).
  6. Furthermore, where goes the soul, the body follows (Jn.5:29).
  7. So in the case of the believer there are two "salvations" related to the immortal soul (and the body) 2Cor.5:10.
  8. The first is "in the bag" at the moment of saving faith (the soul is saved Ph1).
  9. The second is realized when qualified believers of this age receive the crown (the soul is saved Ph3, based on Ph2).
The Prophetic Inquiry and the Present Age (vv.10-12)
Their Diligence (v.10)

VERSE 10 As to this salvation (Peri. h`j swthri,aj [prepw/rel.pro.gen.f.s., hos; "As to this", + gen.f.s., soteria, salvation]), the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you (profh/tai [n.m.p., profh,thj, prophetes, prophet] oi` profhteu,santej [def.art. + aor.act.pt.n.m.p., profhteu,w, propheteuo, prophesy; "who prophesied] peri. th/j eivj u`ma/j ca,ritoj [prep. + def.art.w/gen.f.s., charis, grace, + prep.w/pro.acc.p., su]) made careful search and inquiry (evxezh,thsan kai. evxhrau,nhsan [aor.act.ind.3.p., evkzhte,w, ekzeteo, seek out, + conj. + aor.act.ind.3.p., evxerauna,w, exeraunao, make a careful search; 1X]),

Their Dilemma (v.11)

VERSE 11 seeking to know (evraunw/ntej [pres.act.pt.n.m.p., evrauna,w, eraunao, investigate, search; 8X: Jn.5:39; 7:52; 1Cor.2:10; Rev.2:23; "searching to know"]) what person or time (eivj ti,na h' poi/on kairo.n [prep.w/indef.pro.acc.m.s., tis, "what", + conj., or, + interrog.pro.acc.m.s., poios, what kind of, + acc.m.s., kairos, time; translation: "what or what kind of time"; they knew who the person was but grappled with the question of the age between the two advents]) the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating (to. evn auvtoi/j pneu/ma Cristou evdh,lou[def.art.w/nom.nt.s., pneuma, spirit {HS}, + gen.m.s., Christos, + prep. w/loc.m.p.demon.pro., autos, + imperf.a.ind.3.m.s., dhlo,w, deloo, make clear, indicate; cp. 2Pet.1:14]) as He predicted the sufferings of Christ (promarturo,menon [pres.mid.pt.nom.nt.s., promartu,romai, promarturomai, foretell, predict; 1X] ta. eivj Cristo.n paqh,mata [def.art.w/acc.nt.p., pa,qhma, pathema, suffering, + prep.w/acc.m.s., Christos]) and the glories to follow (kai. ta.j meta. tau/ta do,xaj [conj. + acc.f.p., doza, glory; "glories", + prep.{meta-after} w/demon.pro.acc.nt.p., autos; "to follow", or "after this"]).

Their Insight (v.12)

VERSE 12 It was revealed to them (oi-j avpekalu,fqh [rel.pro.dat.m.p., hos; "It", + aor.pass.ind.3.s., avpokalu,ptw, apokalupto, reveal]) that they were not serving themselves, but you (o[ti ouvc dihko,noun e`autoi/j u`mi/n de. [conj./coord., that, + neg. + impf.act.ind.3.p., diakone,w, diakoneo, serve, + pro./reflec.dat.m.p., e`autou/, heautou, themselves, + conj./advers. + pro.acc.m.p., su]),in these things which now have been announced to you (auvta,( a] nu/n avnhgge,lh u`mi/n [pro.acc.nt.p., autos; "in these things", + pro./rel.nom.nt.p., hos; "which", + adv., nun, now, + aor.pass.ind.3.s., avnagge,llw, anangello, announce, + pro.acc.p., su, you]) through those who preached the gospel to you (dia. tw/n euvaggelisame,nwn u`ma/j [prep.w/aor.m.pt.gen.m.p., euvaggeli,zw, euangelizo, proclaim good news; "preached the gospel", + pro.acc.m.p., su, you]) by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven (ÎevnÐ pneu,mati a`gi,w| avpostale,nti avpV ouvranou/ [prep.w/instr.nt.s., pneuma, + adj.instr.nt.s., a[gioj, hagios, holy, + aor.pass.pt.dat.nt.s., avposte,llw, apostello, send, + prep.w/abl.m.s., ouranos, heaven]) -- things into which angels long to look (eivj a] evpiqumou/sin a;ggeloi paraku,yai [prep.w/pro./rel.acc.nt.p., hos, "into which", + nom.m.p., a;ggeloj, angelos, angel, + pres.act.ind.3.p., evpiqume,w, epithumeo, desire, lust, long, + aor.act.infin., paraku,ptw, parakupto, peer; 5X: Lk.24:12; Jn.20:5,11 {careful observation of the empty tomb}; Jam.1:25 {interest and intensity under GAP}]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 10-12

  1. "As to (or "concerning"; preposition peri,) this salvation" stands as a kind of heading to the long sentence ending with v.11.
  2. The repetition of the noun "salvation" from v.9 acts as a bridge to the discussion of O.T. prophetic insight with respect to the present age of grace.
  3. "Salvation" refers to all phases of Christian experience (the emphasis in v.9 is the final outcome based on the Bema Seat).
  4. "The prophets who prophesied" is a reference to O.T. prophets, and not N.T. prophets.
  5. They are clearly distinguished from those who first brought the gospel to the Asian Christians in v.12 (cf. "those who preached the gospel to you").
  6. Of the many objects of their prophetic witness, it included "the grace that would come to" a distinct category of believers living between the First and Second Advents.
  7. This "grace", as it has turned out, concerns itself with the special status of believers of this dispensation.
  8. "Of the grace" is, literally, "concerning the grace" (the preposition is peri).
  9. Peter uses two compound verbs, similar in meaning (aor.act.ind.3p. of evkzhte,w, ekzeteo, seek out, and evxerauna,w, exeraunao, make careful inquiry), to show that this was not a casual pursuit.
  10. The focus of their inquiry (though not stated) was the written text of the O.T.
  11. They sought out an answer to their doctrinal dilemma, and they did so with the utmost diligence.
  12. The verb evrauna,w (eraunao, examine, investigate; cp. v.11 where it is translated "seeking to know") is used in Jn.5:39 and 7:52 of inquiry into Scripture (cp. the verb exeraunao, an intensive compound of eraunao, translated "made careful inquiries" in v.10).
  13. One wonders if this research was done independently or was an on-going compilation of research done during the period of the formation of the O.T. canon.
  14. Certainly, the more O.T. books at oneís disposal, the better chance of coming to a more complete resolution of the question.
  15. This activity began most certainly sometime in the post-Mosaic period.
  16. When it began in earnest, we would have to speculate.
  17. Now to v.11 and the specific target of the prophetic inquiry.
  18. The subject of "seeking to know" is certain unspecified O.T. prophetic students, and the object of the participle (pres.act.pt.nom.m.p. of evrauna,w, eraunao, try to find out, examine, search) is the phrase translated "what person or time".
  19. The first part of this phrase consists of a preposition (eivj) and an indefinite pronoun (ti,j, tis, who, what, which) in the accusative.
  20. The problem with the NAS translation is that "what person" is unlikely because Scripture gives no indication of any mystery or doubt about the "person" in whom salvation is centered.
  21. Old Testament prophets from Abraham forward knew that the Savior would be a Jew who would be rejected by His own people.
  22. As the O.T. canon evolved, there came to be a body of divine revelation that indicated various particulars with respect to the person and times associated with Christís (Messiahís) advents.
  23. For instance, the place and unique circumstances of His birth were a part of the prophetic witness.
  24. The second part of this phrase is translated "or time".
  25. It consists of the coordinating disjunctive conjunction h' (or), followed by the interrogative pronoun poi/oj (poios, what sort of), with the noun kairo,j (kairos, time).
  26. This part of the phrase goes with the preposition eis, with both the pronoun and the noun taking the accusative of reference.
  27. The translation "what" or "what kind of time" best suits the known facts of doctrine, specifically what they knew and what they could not have possibly known.
  28. Old Testament prophets understood from their study of the O.T. the doctrines of the birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, session, and coming of Messiah.
  29. They even understood that God would set aside temporarily His people, Israel, in favor of another people following the First Advent.
  30. Moses, Isaiah, and Hosea all indicated that God would replace Israel with a new nation/people (cf. Deut.32:21; Isa.65:1; Hos.1:10; 2:23; cp. Rom.9:25,26; 10:19,20).
  31. All these things were made apparent to them through God the Holy Spirit.
  32. God the Holy Spirit made the O.T. prophesies clear, as well as whatever direct revelation was given to a particular prophet.
  33. For instance, Daniel revealed the exact time when Christ would appear, as well as the subsequent fall of Jerusalem and the dispersion of national Israel (Dan.9).
  34. God the HS indwelt these men and He was the One who made prophetic inquiry possible.
  35. "The Spirit of Christ" refers to God the HS (cp. Rom.8:9 for the only other occurrence).
  36. The phrase "within them" (evn auvtoi/j) indicates that they were indwelt with the HS as we are in this age (it was not universal).
  37. God the Holy Spirit "predicted" specific prophetic facts relative to the First and Second Advents.
  38. The phrase "the sufferings of Christ" characterizes the First Advent with special emphasis upon the Cross.
  39. The phrase "the glories to follow" summarizes the history of God the Son beginning with His resurrection.
  40. "The glories", as Peter calls them, include everything pertaining to the Person of Christ from His resurrection forward.
  41. Jesus referred to His resurrection, ascension, and session as His glorification (Jn.17:5).
  42. Of course, the Second Coming is included in the "glories to follow" along with the Millennium and Eternal State.
  43. The prophetic witness as contained in the O.T. writings was so clear and unequivocal that Jesus rebuked believers who doubted the resurrection (Lk.24:25,26).
  44. The question that O.T. prophets struggled with had to do with the history between "the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow".
  45. They knew there was going to be a people and a dispensation between the two diverse categories of Messianic experience.
  46. They did not know who the new people of God were going to be.
  47. Nor could they have ascertained the nature of the present dispensation.
  48. God did not reveal to them these things, but revealed it through the N.T. prophets and apostles.
  49. Paul was especially used of God to reveal the doctrine of the Body of Christ, made up of believing Jews and Gentiles.
  50. Paul labeled this a mystery doctrine, hidden until it was revealed to him and others (Eph.3:3,4,9; 5:32; Col.1:26,27; Rom.16:25; cp. 11:25).
  51. Again, it is clear from Peterís statement in v.12 that O.T. prophets anticipated the new people of God who would temporarily replace Israel as the priest nation to the nations.
  52. Jesus prophesied this in the Temple before the religious authorities in connection with His teaching of the parable of the vineyard (Mt.21:43).
  53. He also announced the fall of Jerusalem and the dispersion of national Israel which took place in 70AD in the subsequent parable Ė the parable of the wedding feast (Mt.22:7).
  54. His teaching was in complete agreement with Dan.9:26.
  55. The O.T. writing prophets gradually came to recognize that believers living between the two advents would benefit from their writings.
  56. Anyone who was positive and open-minded could readily ascertain that Jesus fulfilled the O.T. prophetic witness when being taught by competent Church Age communicators.
  57. The Hebrew prophets who left behind their writings were cognizant of the fact that they were benefiting a mystery people of a special age.
  58. Their diligence was rewarded.
  59. Their search for answers went as far as it could.
  60. They did not speculate in the absence of Scriptural support.
  61. Hence, Peterís words: "It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but youÖ".
  62. The Asian Christians and all who have followed through the centuries have had the indispensable blessing of the O.T. prophetic writings.
  63. Without these books the N.T. witness would be meaningless.
  64. The second link in the chain of getting the truth to the believers living between the advents is also specified in v.12.
  65. The missionaries who first "preached the gospel" to the recipients of this epistle were enabled to do so "by the Holy Spirit" which had been "sent from heaven" on the day of Pentecost (Acts.2), May 24, 33AD.
  66. Peter was not only there on that occasion, but he also evangelized the Jews who had come to Jerusalem from the nations, resulting in the conversion of some 3,000 souls.
  67. God the HS enabled him to speak extemporaneously on the first day of the Church Age.
  68. Those who first brought the gospel to northern Asia Minor were so empowered.
  69. There is in Peterís word a clear indication that he was not one of them!
  70. The good news of salvation first presented to the pagans of Asia Minor was a message that had the O.T. as its ancient and authoritative witness.
  71. The Christians of the first century at least had recourse to public information that could establish the historicity of the man, Jesus (His trial and mysterious disappearance; cf. Acts.26:26).
  72. In its place we have the N.T. canon.
  73. God the HS worked in the lives of the O.T. prophets as well as those who spoke face-to-face with the people of northern Asia Minor.
  74. Peterís final observation in this section has to do with the keen interest of the angels into the "things" of BD.
  75. The verb "long to look" (paraku,ptw) is a very strong word for looking into a matter.
  76. Of its five occurrences in the N.T., it is used 3X of stooping and looking into the empty tomb (Lk.24:12; Jn.20:5,11).
  77. It is used 2X of intense interest into the realm of BD (Jam.1:25; 1Pet.1:12).
  78. Peter informs his readers that angels take great interest in the "things" which are communicated to positive volition.
  79. It appears that angels, for all their knowledge, learn as God reveals His plan to man.
  80. Devotion to God is evidenced by an intense desire to hear and understand Scripture.
  81. For instance, when God first revealed to Paul the doctrine of the Church, the elect angels eagerly gapped the information.
  82. We learn from this statement something about the personality and character of angels.
  83. Angels are keen and eager observers of the plan of God, and of the accurate communication of Scripture in particular (1Tim.3:16).
  84. In this dispensation, with the completed canon of Scripture, the angels receive instruction from the body of Christ (Eph.3:10).
  85. They delight in "things new and old" (Mt.13:52).
  86. The implications of the gospel for the present dispensation were, and are, a special area of interest for the angels.
  87. They, too, had to wait until God made the mystery doctrine of the Church available.
  88. They had no prior insight with respect to the special and privileged dispensation now long in progress.
Call to a New Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi (vv.13-25)
In Holiness (vv.13-16)
Preoccupation (v.13)

VERSE 13 Therefore, gird your minds for action (Dio. avnazwsa,menoi ta.j ovsfu,aj th/j dianoi,aj u`mw/n [conj., dio, therefore, + aor.m.pt. {imper.} n.m.p., avnazw,nnumi, anazonnumi, gird; 1X + def.art.w/acc.f.p., ovsfu,j, osphus, waist, lower back, reproductive organs {male}; Hellenistic: o` karpo.j ovsfu,oj, compare Heb.7:5,10; metaphorical: Lk.12:35; Eph.6:14; + gen.f.s., dia,noia, dianoia, mind, + pro.gen.m.p., su; "your"]), keep sober in spirit (nh,fontej [pres.act.pt. {imper.} 2.p., nh,fw, nepho, be sober; 6X: 1Thess.5:6,8; 1Pet.1:13; 4:7; 5:8]), fix your hope completely (telei,wj evlpi,sate [adv., teleios, fully, completely, + aor.act.imper.2.p., evlpi,zw, elpizo, hope]) on the grace to be brought to you (evpi. th.n ferome,nhn u`mi/n ca,rin [prep.w/def.art.w/pres.pass.pt.acc.f.s., fe,rw, phero, bring, + acc.f.s., charis, grace, + pro.dat.pl., su, you]) at the revelation of Jesus Christ (evn avpokalu,yei VIhsou/ Cristou/ [prep.w/dat.f.s., avpoka,luyij, apokalupsis, revelation {Rapture}; cp. 1:7; 4:13]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 13

  1. With the inferential conjunction dio, ("Therefore") of v.13 Peter shifts from reflection upon the privileged status and prospective blessing (SG3 at the Rapture) of those who are born again to the Ph2 responsibilities that are incumbent upon all who aspire to the full measure of the "living hope".
  2. The background to the section as a whole is the "living hope" mentioned in v.3 and designated in a variety of ways throughout vv.3-12: as an "inheritance" (v.4), as "salvation" (vv.5, 9,10), as "the outcome of your faith" (v.9), and as "praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (v.7).
  3. In v.13 Peter exhorts the Royal Family in a series of three imperatives.
  4. The first imperative (aorist participle used imperatively), "gird you minds for action", or more literally, "gird the loins (Ďwaistí) of your minds for action" (vb. is avnazw,nnumi, anazonnumi, bind up; 1X), has as its background the ancient custom of pulling up oneís robes and tying them at the waist so as to engage in action unencumbered.
  5. A similar expression occurs in Lk.12:35: "Be dressed in readiness (:Estwsan u`mw/n ai` ovsfu,ej periezwsme,nai = pres.act.imper., eimi, + pro.2.pl. + def.art.w/nom.fem.pl., osphus, waist, + pf.pass.pt.nom.fem.pl., periezonnumi, wrap around, be dressed), and keep your lamps lit".
  6. Paul, in Eph.6:14, also uses the compound verb perizw,nnumi (perizonnumi) when he calls believers to: "Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED (aor.midd.pt./imper.) YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS".
  7. Paul quotes freely from the LXX of Isa.11:5.
  8. The LXX of Prov.31:17 uses Peterís compound (anazonnumi) only once, in reference to the "excellent wife" who "girds herself with strength" (avnazwsame,nh [aor.midd.pt.] ivscurw/j [adv. with strength] th.n ovsfu.n [acc.fem.sing., waist] auvth/j [demon.pro., "herself"]).
  9. The Israelites were to eat the first Passover with "loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your handÖ".
  10. This expression is used here metaphorically based on the presence of the noun "your minds".
  11. The focus of the exhortation is upon the mental attitude in respect to living the CWL in the face of adversity and temptation.
  12. The question that confronts us is, what is Peter referring to exactly?
  13. The answer is found in the parallel construction in Eph.6:14.
  14. While Paul uses a different compound of the verb (peri versus ana), the answer to what Peter is referring to is supplied by the words "with truth" in Eph.6:14.
  15. The intake of BD is how we prepare ourselves for action with honor in the Angelic Conflict.
  16. This interpretation of the first imperative is further supported by the fact that we have an aorist participle followed by the second imperative, which is a present participle translated "keep sober in spirit".
  17. In other words, the idea is that "having girded the loins of their minds (with BD)", they are to "keep on being sober".
  18. The one naturally follows the other.
  19. Both involve conscious effort and self-discipline.
  20. "Keep sober" has as its background manís propensity to abuse alcohol.
  21. This verb occurs 6X in the N.T.: 1Thess.5:6,8; 2Tim.4:5; 1Pet.1:13; 4:7; 5:8.
  22. Each of the above references has to do with spiritual sobriety.
  23. Negative volition is always inebriated (1Thess.5:6,8).
  24. Only by knowing and applying BD can we think clearly and relate to reality.
  25. BD is what keeps us sober.
  26. When we are under the influence of our sin natures and human viewpoint, then we are drunk.
  27. Degrees of spiritual inebriation vary according to the activity and according to the extent.
  28. To keep sober is basically a command to stay in fellowship.
  29. Prayer is an important means of keeping ourselves from things which would render us spiritual drunks (1Pet.4:7).
  30. When we follow the dictates of the ISTA, we are not sober, and we are incapable of thinking and acting in a spiritually responsible manner.
  31. Failure to keep ourselves sober exposes us to the schemes of the enemy (1Pet.5:8).
  32. To stay sober we must exercise self-control and clarity of mind.
  33. Believers should keep the directive will of God before them.
  34. Once we step outside the circle of fellowship we lose sobriety.
  35. Certain sins and activities are especially harmful.
  36. Pursuit of STA lusts renders the individual a drunk, and the consequences of perpetual spiritual drunkenness are akin to what happens to an addict.
  37. Drunkenness in the physical realm leads to irresponsibility and loss.
  38. So in the spiritual analogy, the failure to focus on intake and application results in loss.
  39. To be obsessed or preoccupied with temporal things over spiritual things is to be a spiritual drunk.
  40. The reversionist is akin to someone who is an addict.
  41. The third imperative of v.13 is "fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation (i.e., Rapture) of Jesus Christ".
  42. The verb is the aorist active imperative of evlpi,zw (elipzo, to hope).
  43. The calls to assimilate BD (girding of the loins of the mind) and spiritual sobriety (resist the impulses of the ISTA) are strictly preliminary to the imperative of hope.
  44. These two things serve the main imperative of v.13.
  45. The aorist imperative "fix your hope completely" is the first of many aorist imperatives in First Peter.
  46. These imperatives have the force of directives, setting a course for the churches to follow.
  47. The adverb "completely" greatly (telei,wj) reinforces this imperative.
  48. It could also be translated "unreservedly".
  49. This imperative from the WOG addresses the supreme importance of SG3 and the attitude that each and every believer should have towards the awards ceremony.
  50. "The grace to be brought to you" refers to the above-and-beyond blessings distributed at the Bema Seat.
  51. All CA believers will receive the standard blessings associated with positional sanctification: namely, a resurrection body like Christís (1Jn.3:2).
  52. Some, if not many, will receive no reward (1Cor.3:15).
  53. There will be a relative few who will receive the crown, which is the token of a completed Ph2.
  54. It will be bestowed upon those who die adjusted to BD.
  55. There will be an in-between group who will receive varying amounts of SG3 but no crown (1Cor.3:12-15).
  56. "The revelation of Jesus Christ" refers to His coming to receive, via resurrection, the Church unto Himself (1Thess.4:13ff; cp. 1Cor.1:7; 1Pet.1:7; 4:13).
  57. Believers who are girded with truth and who are sober are believers who consider carefully their decisions and endeavors.
  58. Everything we do should be done with a view to how it impacts on this prophetic certainty (cp. 2Cor.5:10; cp. Rom.14:10,12).
  59. Paul places the same importance upon the building up of the SG3 account (Col.3:1 "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God").
  60. As did Jesus in Mt.6:19,20.
  61. Temporal accomplishments and advantages at the expense of SG3 will only result in lasting dishonor (Phil.3:19 "whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is their shame, who set their minds on earthly things").


The Enemy Within (v.14)

VERSE 14 As obedient children (w`j te,kna u`pakoh/j [conj./subord., hos, as, + nom.nt.p., te,knon, teknon, child, + gen.f.s., u`pakoh,, hupakoe, obedience; "children of obedience"]), do not be conformed to the former lusts (mh. suschmatizo,menoi tai/j pro,teron evpiqumi,aij[neg. + pres.pass. or midd.pt. {imper.} nom.m.p., suschmati,zw, suschematizo, 2X: Rom.12:2 {"to this world"}, + def.art.w/dat.f.p., evpiqumi,a, epithumia, lust, + adv., proteros, former]) which were yours in your ignorance (evn th/| avgnoi,a| u`mw/n [prep.w/def.art.w/loc.f.s., agnoia, ignorance + gen.p., su]),

Imitators of God (v.15)

VERSE 15 but like the Holy One who called you (avlla. kata. to.n kale,santa u`ma/j a[gion [conj./adver., but, on the contrary, + prep.w/aor.act.pt.acc.m.s., kale,w, kaleo, call, + pro.acc.p., su, + adj.acc.m.s., hagios, holy; transl.: "but like the One who called you is holy"]), be holy yourselves also in all your behavior (kai. auvtoi. a[gioi evn pa,sh| avnastrofh/| genh,qhte [conj./ascen., kai, also, + pro./demon.n.m.2.p., "yourselves", + adj.n.m.p., hagios, holy, + prep.w/adj.loc.f.s., pas, all, w/loc.f.s., avnastrofh,, anastrophe, manner of life, behavior; 13X: Gal.1:13; Eph.4:22; 1Tim.4:12; Heb.13:7; Jam.3:13; 1Pet.1:15,18; 2:12; 3:1,2,16; 2Pet.2:7; 3:11; + aor.pass./dep.imper.2.p., gi,nomai, ginomai, become; transl.: "also yourselves become holy in all manner of living"]);

Scriptural Support (v.16)

VERSE 16 because it is written (dio,ti ge,graptai [conj./subord., because, + pf.pass.ind.3.s., gra,fw, grapho, write]), "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY (Îo[tiÐ {Agioi e;sesqe( o[ti evgw. a[gioj [conj. {used to introduce quotes} + adj.n.m.p., hagios, holy, + fut.mid./dep.2.p., eivmi,, "You shall be", + conj./subord., hoti, for, + pro.1.s., ego, I, + adj.nom.m.s., hagios, holy])."

ANALYSIS: VERSES 14-16

  1. Peter then summarizes the experiential prerequisite for maximizing their participation in "the grace to be brought to them at the revelation of Jesus Christ".
  2. He begins by reminding them that they are "children of obedience" (genitive of quality).
  3. Formerly, they were "sons of disobedience" and "children of wrath" (cf. Eph.2:1-3).
  4. But with their conversion to Christianity, their status changed dramatically.
  5. Faith in Christ is an act of obedience that set them apart from the rest.
  6. Obedience is seen in this chapter in verses 2, 14, and 22.
  7. Believers are supposed to structure their lives (Ph2) in accordance with the obedience that ushered them into the POG.
  8. We are Godís children through the new birth and as such our lives are to be lives of obedience to the directive will of God.
  9. Peter, by this designation, is simply describing his readers as those who have accepted the gospel.
  10. The conjunction "As" (w`j) has a metaphorical quality.
  11. The comparison is taken from Divine Institution #3, the family with children.
  12. Children, under DI #3, are, above all else, to be characterized by obedience.
  13. The conjunction also serves as a serious form of address: "like the obedient children that you are".
  14. The only other use of the verb "do not be conformed" is in Rom.12:2: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect".
  15. The pres.midd. or pass. participle is used as an imperative (in Rom.12:2 it is an imperative).
  16. The verb (suschmati,zw, suschematizo) means to fashion something by using a mold.
  17. The negative mh. makes this a prohibition.
  18. In other words, what believers are not to be conformed or molded to is what Peter calls "the former lusts."
  19. The comparative adjective "former" points to the past before they were spiritually enlightened, that is, their pre-salvation history.
  20. The noun "lusts" is a reference to the ISTA with its lust pattern.
  21. Believers are told here not to be conformed to the STA with its lusts.
  22. Paul, in Rom.12:2, takes a slightly different tack by exhorting Christians living in the capitol of the Roman Empire to not be conformed to the Greco-Roman world.
  23. The lust pattern of the STA includes power, money, approbation, and sex lust.
  24. Approbation lust is the desire to meet the approval of others, measured in our times by material success.
  25. Lust refers to all kinds of self-seeking, whether directed towards wealth, power, status or pleasure.
  26. Christians are told not to conform themselves to this mold of past STA impulses.
  27. We are to live for God and not for our STAs.
  28. Otherwise we will lose big time at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
  29. The degree to which the individual believer follows the dictates of his/her STA, to that extent loss and shame will meet them at the Bema.
  30. Peter attributes their former absorption in STA lusts to their "ignorance" (cp. Eph.4:18).
  31. His choice of terms is significant, for to the Jew ignorance characterized the Gentiles with their pervasive idolatry and sensuality.
  32. The use of this term suggests that the recipients were largely converts from paganism.
  33. Just as the Hebrews after the Exodus were bidden to abandon their former Egyptian habits of life (Lev.18:2-4), so must the New Israel of God scattered among the nations.
  34. In verses 15 and 16 Peter sets before believers a positive, objective model of conformity.
  35. This model is introduced by the words "but like" (avlla. kata.).
  36. We are not to be like the former lusts, "but like the Holy One".
  37. Peter uses a familiar Jewish designation of God as "the Holy One" (LXX o` a[gioj tou/ vIsrah,l:; Pss.71:22; 78:41; 89:18; Isa.1:4; 5:16; 12:6; 14:27; 17:7; 29:23; 30:12,15; 31:1; 41:20; 45:11; 55:5).
  38. Because God is absolute Righteousness, He is set apart from all the rest.
  39. Pagan religion encouraged STA behavior (temple prostitutes, et al.).
  40. Peter modifies the familiar Hebrew title with "who called you" (to.n kale,santa u`ma/j), which is an aorist participle of kaleo, translated literally, "the One having called you".
  41. The participle looks back to the point when they were evangelized.
  42. Since the Holy One called us to be his children, we are to aspire to be like our heavenly parent.
  43. We are enjoined to "be holy (aor.pass.imper. of gi,nomai with adj.masc.pl., hagios, holy) in all behavior".
  44. The aorist imperative means to make +R our trademark.
  45. The idea behind the imperative is: "show yourselves holy".
  46. Our Father is +R and He demands the practice of +R in His children.
  47. Since we are children, He does not demand absolute perfection, but He demands that we display a strong resemblance to our progenitor.
  48. Those who do so, and do so consistently, will inherit accordingly.
  49. The phrase "in all your behavior" means just that.
  50. It includes our thought pattern, our speech, and our overt actions.
  51. The noun "behavior" means manner of life (13X: Gal.1:13; Eph.4:22; 1Tim.4:12; Heb.13:7; Jam.3:13; 1Pet.1:15,18; 2:12; 3:1; 2Pet.2:7; 3:11).
  52. A key word in First Peter (used here for the first time), avnastrofh,(anastrophe) has the widest possible application.
  53. +R is to characterize the day-to-day conduct of believers always and everywhere.
  54. The Latin is modus vivendi.
  55. Spirit-filled +R is to characterize our entire course of life.
  56. Everyday living is to be in accord with Godís +R as articulated in His Word.
  57. Finally, Peter backs up his high requirement with a quotation from the O.T.
  58. He quotes exactly the LXX of Lev.19:2.
  59. He introduces the quotation with a formula: "for it is written".
  60. By quoting from the Levitical portion of the Law of Moses, it is clear that Peter regards the church as a neo-Levitical community.
  61. There is no doubt that, beginning with the command to "Be holy because I am holy", Peter is addressing his readers in distinctly priestly terms.
  62. To Peter the Church is the New Israel (cf. 2:9).
  63. Like Israel of old, the Church as a universal priesthood is to conduct itself according to the godliness code set forth in the WOG.
  64. +R is "all your behavior": it is not guesswork, but is clearly set forth in the Canon of Scripture.
  65. The universal royal priesthood of the Church is to live in accordance with that high standard or suffer the consequences for time and eternity.
  66. The words "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY" run like a refrain through Leviticus (Lev.11:44: 19:2; 20:7,26).
  67. For this reason, Lev.17-26 has been designated the holiness code.
  68. The holiness code for Israel is set forth in the Mosaic Covenant and reinforced by the Prophets.
  69. The holiness code for the Church is set forth in the N.T. with its royal imperatives.
  70. Basically, "holy" (Heb. qodosh; Gk. Hagios) means "separate", "marked off", the opposite of what is profane.
  71. In the Near Eastern religions, generally holiness was understood as a dangerous, quasi-naturalistic power or explosive force inherent in cult objects, places, activities, or persons.
  72. In the OT, however, it is God Himself, in His perfect essence, who is in the authentic sense the Holy One.
  73. According to OT viewpoint, holiness has an ethical and moral element in it.
  74. The OT Holiness Code, mixed with ritual injunctions, contains a mass of commands of profoundly moral import.
  75. The OT takes for granted that God imparts holiness (+R) to whatever objects or people He appropriates to Himself.
  76. Thus Jerusalem is holy (Isa.48:2); so is the Temple (Isa.64:11).
  77. Israel is holy because God has chosen it as His people and dwells in their midst (Num.15:40; Deut.7:6; 26:19).
  78. The N.T. reflects this same truth, as the members of the Church are "saints".
  79. We are this via imputation and positional sanctification.
  80. The call here is to Ph2 sanctification via the intake and application of the godliness code.


In Fear (vv.17-21)

VERSE 17 And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges (Kai. eiv pate,ra evpikalei/sqe to.n avproswpolh,mptwj kri,nonta [conj., kai, and, + part./conditional + acc.m.s., pater, father, + pres.m.ind.2.m.pl., evpikale,w, epikaleo, call, name, "address", + adv., aprosopolhmptos, impartially; 1X, + def.art.w/pres.act.pt.acc.m.s., kri,nw, krino, judge]) according to each one's work (kata. to. e`ka,stou e;rgon [prep.w/acc.nt.s., ergon, work, + adj.gen.m.s., e[kastoj, hekastos, each]), conduct yourselves in fear (avnastra,fhte evn fo,bw| [aor.pass.imper.2.p., avnastre,fw, anastrepho, conduct oneself, + prep.w/loc.m.s., fo,boj, phobos, fear]) during the time of your stay upon earth (to.n th/j paroiki,aj u`mw/n cro,non [def.art.w/acc.m.s., cro,noj, chronos, time, + pro.gen.m.p., su + def.art.w/gen.f.s., paroiki,a, paroikia, stay, visit; 2X: Acts.13:17]);

ANALYSIS: VERSE 17

  1. Peter supplies further motivation to adhere to Godís perfect Righteousness as set forth in Scripture.
  2. This is the thrust of the conjunction Kai,,, which begins the Greek sentence.
  3. The construction which follows the "And" is a first class condition, which means "and it is so".
  4. These believers were taught to "address" or "call upon" (epikaleo) God the Father as a part of the protocol of prayer.
  5. Jesus so taught His disciples to open their prayers by addressing God the Father (Mt.6:9).
  6. All prayer is to be addressed to the first Person of the Godhead.
  7. In Judaism God was rarely called Father (Ps.89:26; Jer.3:19; Mal.1:6).
  8. The term was more a metaphor than a fixed title.
  9. Jesus made it a fixed title in His use of Abba.
  10. In this passage Peter identifies Christians as a community by the way in which they address God.
  11. Their relation to God as Father is not introduced as something new, but presupposed as a basis of the argument Peter is advancing.
  12. Peter began this letter by identifying God as Father (v.2), both of Jesus Christ and of believers (v.3).
  13. In vv.14-16 Peterís case for living a certain way is based on the character of the One who called His people.
  14. Since the One who called us is +R, it follows that we should emulate +R in all our behavior (thought, word, and deed).
  15. In v.17 Peter takes the next logical step when he reminds them that the Holy One, who is their Father, will "impartially judge" their life on earth.
  16. The primary emphasis of this clause is less on the fact that believers address God as Father than on the fact that the One whom they address in prayer is the impartial Judge of every human being.
  17. He reminds them that God will, at the specified time, judge "each oneís work", and that without respect to persons.
  18. This is a very sobering thought, which is designed to motivate righteous conduct in the face of increasing persecution from the cosmos.
  19. Just because He is their Father does not mean that they are exempt from judgment.
  20. On the contrary, believers will face judgment before unbelievers (cf. 4:17).
  21. Peterís point is that if he and his readers have a special relationship to God by virtue of their calling and their new birth, then it is crucial that they keep before them who He is and display the reverence God deserves.
  22. By introducing here the thought of Godís fatherhood, Peter is completing the thought of v.14 Ė that we are children of a heavenly parent who holds us accountable based on our insight into the POG.
  23. The adverb "impartially" (avproswpolh,mptwj) is akin to the Hebrew idiom "to receive the face" of someone, meaning to show partiality or favoritism.
  24. The alpha prefix gives it the meaning "impartiality" and is found nowhere else in the N.T. (or LXX).
  25. Positive compounds are more common (Rom.2:11; Eph.6:9; Col.3:25; Jam.2:1; cp. Jam.2:9).
  26. Especially noteworthy is Acts.10:34, because it is Peterís conclusion based on Godís full acceptance of Gentiles into this age of grace.
  27. God will not show partiality among believers.
  28. Consciousness of their sonship might tempt them to expect favorable treatment.
  29. Peter makes it clear that this is not the case, for God will judge impartially "according to each oneís work".
  30. Not their "works" in the sense of units of divine good production, but their "work" (to ergon) in reference to the evaluation of Ph2 to determine worthiness to receive the crown or not.
  31. The believer at the Bema Seat will undergo two evaluations.
  32. The first has to do with all our works or deeds, plural (1Cor.3:12-15; 2Cor.5:10; Heb.6:10); the second has to do with an overall evaluation with respect to a finished course.
  33. Based on this sobering affirmation of doctrine, Peter exhorts his readers to "conduct" themselves "in fear during the time of" their "stay on earth".
  34. Peter urges them to live out the balance of their time on earth in godly fear, knowing that each one must give an account.
  35. By fearing God, we make decisions that are in accord with +R.
  36. Peterís point is that since the God whom they address as Father is to be their judge, they would be wise to have a healthy dread of His judgment and shape their behavior accordingly.
  37. They should not cling to their status as children, as they will be judged for their performance as His sons and daughters.
  38. The time frame of the command to live in fear is fixed by the phrase "during the time of your stay on earth".
  39. The noun translated "stay" (paroiki,a) is found only here and in Acts.13:17, where it is used of Israelís temporary residency in Egypt.
  40. Hence, the believerís life on earth is contrasted with the permanent home associated with Ph3.
  41. Their paroiki,a in Roman times came to an end, and they, along with all believers, await final evaluation in connection with the parousi,a of Christ.
  42. This term parallels what we see in the letterís opening verse.
  43. This phrase parallels "the rest of the time in the flesh" of 1Pet.4:2.
  44. As long as our allotment of days remains, there is still opportunity to shed the impending shame and loss that awaits those who stand before Christ unprepared.
Another Compelling Reason to Persevere (vv.18,19)

VERSE 18 knowing that you were not redeemed (eivdo,tej o[ti ouv evlutrw,qhte [pf.act.pt.n.m.s., oi=da, oida, know, + conj., hoti, that, + neg. + aor.pass.ind.2.p., lutro,w, lutroo, redeem, set free]) with perishable things like silver or gold (fqartoi/j( avrguri,w| h' crusi,w|( [adj.instr.nt.p., fqarto,j, phthartos, subject to decay, perishable, + dat.nt.s., avrgu,rion, argurion, silver, + conj., or, + dat.nt.s., crusi,on, chrusion, gold]) from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers (evk th/j matai,aj u`mw/n avnastrofh/j patroparado,tou [prep.w/def.art.w/adj.abl.f.s., ma,taioj, mataios, futile, worthless, empty, useless, w/abl.f.s., avnastrofh,, anastrophe, manner of life; cp. v.15; 2:12; 3:1,2; 3:16; 2Pet.2:7; 3:11; + adj.abl.f.s., patropara,dotoj, patroparadotos, handed down from oneís ancestors; 1X]),

VERSE 19 but with precious blood (avlla. timi,w| ai[mati [conj. + adj.instr.nt.s., ti,mioj, timios, precious, valuable, + instr.nt.s., ai-ma, haima, blood]), as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (w`j avmnou/ avmw,mou kai. avspi,lou Cristou/ [conj./comparison, + abl./gen.m.s., avmno,j, amnos, lamb, + adj.gen./abl.m.s., a;mwmoj, amomos, without blemish/flaw; blameless, + conj., kai, + adj.gen./abl.m.s., a;spiloj, aspilos, without spot, stainless, + gen.m.s., Christos]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 18,19

  1. From the twin thoughts of God as holy and as judge, Peter moves to a third compelling motivator for righteous conduct.
  2. Namely, the gratefulness that informed believers must feel when they recall what their rescue from their pre-salvation, perilous, pointless existence has cost.
  3. Peter appeals to elementary articles of BD.
  4. "Knowing that" (eivdo,tej o[ti) is a perfect participle and could be paraphrased "knowing as you do".
  5. Exactly the same participial expression is found frequently in Paulís letters (Rom.5:3; 6:9; 1Cor.15:58; 2Cor.1:7; 4:14; 5:6).
  6. It embodies the concept of standardized teaching.
  7. The verb "redeemed" is used in Ti.2:14 to describe the effect of Christís work on the Cross.
  8. The verb lutro,w (lutroo) goes back to Christís teaching with respect to His primary mission at the First Advent (Mk.10:45).
  9. Peter is dealing with established Christian terminology taken from the institution of slavery.
  10. In the Greco-Roman world of the first century AD, redemption (lutron) was a technical term for the money paid to buy a slave his freedom.
  11. Both the noun and the related verb were used in the LXX of the redemption of property held in mortgage (Lev.25:25-28), of the payment of a sum for the first born (Num.28:15), or ransom of a man whose life was forfeit (Ex.21:30; 30:12).
  12. Also the verb came to be used metaphorically of deliverance from enemies (Ps.69:18), from the sin unto death (Ps.69:18), from sin (Ps.130:8), from spiritual death (Ps.49:7,8), or from exile (Isa.41:14), but particularly from Egyptian bondage (Ex.6:6; 15:13; Deut.8:8).
  13. This event foreshadowed deliverance from spiritual death via the baptism of the HS (1Cor.10:2).
  14. Before stating what the redemption price consisted of, Peter states what it did not involve.
  15. Their spiritual redemption did not consist of "perishable things like sliver and gold".
  16. "Silver and gold" can open many doors, but not this one.
  17. Psalm 49:5-9 makes it clear that temporal wealth is ineffectual in the redemption of the immortal soul.
  18. For all the things that money can buy, it is worthless when it comes to the redemption of the soul.
  19. God only accepts one commodity, as stated in v.18.
  20. Mankind is born physically into the slave market of sin.
  21. From birth all mankind is spiritually dead, enslaved to the ISTA (Eph.2:1).
  22. Wealth cannot purchase the single most important and valuable thing there is Ė the soul.
  23. "Perishable things like silver and gold" are useless with respect to the redemption of the soul from the curse associated with the fall of man.
  24. God cannot accept a perishable commodity for an imperishable one.
  25. Material things are temporal at best and could never be the coin necessary to redeem the soul, which is immortal.
  26. False religion promotes the idea that immortality can be attained through the offering of perishable things.
  27. Their "futile way of life" refers to their pagan way of life.
  28. The unregenerate life is characterized by thinking that is futile/vain/useless.
  29. The ancestral upbringing of these converts was totally bankrupt to affect real spiritual change.
  30. They had inherited a legacy that was a dead end.
  31. For all its claims and ostentation and longevity, their ancestral traditions were as good as if they never existed.
  32. For all the billions upon billions of people who have been born into false religion and philosophy, not one has risen above the slave market of sin through that system.
  33. The recipients of First Peter came to appreciate their blessed status in a sea of futility.
  34. The price of our redemption or rescue did not consist, as was considered valid in such transactions, of silver and gold.
  35. Peter completely disparages the notion that anything perishable can redeem its opposite.
  36. Money cannot buy release from the penalty of sin.
  37. Even at its greatness, pagan life is null and void in the spiritual realm.
  38. In describing the acceptable commodity for deliverance from the slave market of sin and death, Peter employs imagery that is clearly sacrificial.
  39. Christ is likened to a lamb, based on the OT typology of the Levitical sacrifices.
  40. Under the Law all sacrificial animals had to fulfill the requirement of perfection.
  41. Under no circumstances could an animal be used for sacred purposes that had a detectable flaw or imperfection.
  42. Birth defects, disease, or injury rendered otherwise qualified animal sacrifices unacceptable (Lev.22:19-25).
  43. Peter uses two adjectives to describe the sinless perfection of Christ, the Lamb of God.
  44. The first, translated "unblemished" (a;mwmoj), occurs 8X times in the NT: Eph.1:4; 5:27; Phil.2:15; Col.1:22; Heb.9:14; 1Pet.1:19; Jude.1:24; Rev.14:5.
  45. Jesus Christ was free from sin genetically and experientially.
  46. The first adjective suggests the absence of disqualification due to inherited sin, or the ISTA.
  47. The second adjective, translated "spotless", indicates disqualification from an external association.
  48. Christ did not have an STA, and therefore did not commit any act of sin in accord with the dictates of the sin nature.
  49. Furthermore, He did not succumb to external temptation.
  50. Remember that Adamís original sin was committed in the absence of a sin nature.
  51. In hypostatic union Christís humanity was temptable and capable of sinning.
  52. He could have followed the pattern of Adam and sinned apart from an OSN.
  53. The adjective "spotless" (a;spiloj) suggests carelessness leading to a stained garment.
  54. This adjective occurs four times in the NT: 1Tim.6:16; Jam.1:27; 1Pet.1:19; 2Pet.3:14.
  55. Christ was careful to avoid sin at all levels.
  56. In summary, the first adjective ("blameless") has to do with sin that is associated with temptation from within (ISTA); the second ("spotless") has to do with sin as a result of temptation from without.
  57. Sin would have disqualified Him as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
  58. The key word "lamb" has as its OT antecedent the Passover lamb.
  59. Israelís deliverance from Egypt was predicated upon their participation in the first Passover.
  60. The first Passover was observed in Egypt (Ex.12).
  61. Paul understood the significance of this sacrifice within the context of OT history and shadow Christology and soteriology when he spoke of "Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed" in 1Cor.5:7.
  62. Christ is the reality Ė the true paschal (suffering) lamb.
  63. Of course, the lamb(s) had to be sacrificed and its blood had to be applied to the lintels and door posts of the Israelite dwellings for the people to escape death in their homes.
  64. While the lamb portrays Christ, the shed blood of the lamb portrays Christís work toward sin on the Cross (1Cor.5:7: "For Christ our Passover [lamb] also has been sacrificed").
  65. Old Testament animal sacrifice required the death of the animal through the shedding of blood (Heb.9-10).
  66. All victims bled to death under the knife of the one offering the sacrifice.
  67. This again was a picture of Christ dying for the sins of the world.
  68. The blood of Christ, however, does not refer to His physical blood, as He, in contrast to the animal sacrifices of OT times, did not bleed to death on the Cross.
  69. So just as Christ is not a literal lamb, bull, ram, etc., so it is not his literal physical blood that saves us, as so many think.
  70. The blood of Christ is a representative analogy, not a direct analogy.
  71. In this representative analogy the "X-thing" is the bleeding to death of the animal, while the "Y-thing" is Christ bearing sins from 12 noon to about 3:00 p.m.
  72. Fact: Christ did not die by bleeding to death.
  73. Fact: He did bleed through wounds inflicted by men both prior to and during His crucifixion.
  74. Fact: There was ample blood in His body to sustain life when He actually died.
  75. Fact: After He had died, a Roman solider pierced His side and out came blood and water (serum).
  76. Fact: Christ died of His own volition, as He prophesied He would, and not as a result of the trauma of crucifixion (Lk.23:46); He was unique even in His physical death.
  77. All references to the blood of Christ relate to the time frame when He bore the sins of the world, marked off by the darkness that engulfed the area, beginning at noon and lasting for some three hours (Mt.27:45).
  78. At the end of the three hours He cried out: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" (Mt.27:46).
  79. Following three more sayings from the Cross ("Woman behold your son!"/"Behold your mother!"/"I am thirsty!"), He proclaimed "It is finished!" (Jn.19:30).
  80. During the three hours of darkness Christ was separated from fellowship with God the Father, as implied in His words "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?".
  81. While enshrouded in darkness, the humanity of Christ experienced pain directly from the hand of God as a ransom for the sins of all mankind.
  82. It took about three hours for this transaction to occur.
  83. Moreover, Christ did not die physically for the sins of the world, but because His work was finished.
  84. So the imagery of "precious blood" is seen in the work of Christ during those three hours.
  85. For the blood to be "precious", the lamb had to be free from personal and imputed sin.
  86. So Christ lived on earth from 3BC (Sept.11) until 33AD (Friday, April 3) with no sinful activity to His account.
  87. Paradoxically, He came in contact with all the sinful activity of all mankind for all time.
  88. The WOG makes it clear that He was sinless and that He bore the wrath of God for the sins of each and every descendant of Adam.
  89. The ransom price for deliverance from the slave market of sin was paid to God the Father.
  90. The blood of Christ is "precious", as it provides the potential of eternal salvation to all who simply believe in Christ, who died for our redemption.
  91. There is nothing so precious as this commodity.
  92. This fact presented in this present context provides compelling motivation to spiritual excellence in the face of the enemy.
  93. Knowing this should motivate us to live in godly fear for the balance of our stay upon earth (v.17).

VERSE 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world (proegnwsme,nou me.n pro. katabolh/j ko,smou [pf.pass.pt.abl.m.s., proginw,skw, proginosko, know beforehand; 5X: Acts.26:5; Rom.8:29; 11:2; 1Pet.1:20; 2Pet.3:17; + part., men {emphasis}, + prep.w/gen.f.s., katabolh,, katabole, foundation, + gen.m.s., ko,smoj, kosmos, world]), but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you (fanerwqe,ntoj de. evpV evsca,tou tw/n cro,nwn diV u`ma/j [aor.pass.pt.gen.m.s., fanero,w, phaneroo, appear, + conj./adver., de, but, + prep.w/adj.gen.m.s., e;scatoj, eschatos, last, + def.art.w/gen.m.p., cro,noj, chronos, time, + prep.w/pro.acc.p., su; "for your sake"])

VERSE 21 who through Him are believers in God (tou.j diV auvtou/ pistou.j eivj qeo.n [prep.w/pro.gen.m.s., autos, him, + def.art.w/adj.acc.m.p., pisto,j, pistos, faithful; believing; believer, + prep.w/acc.m.s., theos, God]), who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory (to.n evgei,ranta auvto.n evk nekrw/n kai. do,xan auvtw/| do,nta [def.art.w/aor.act.pt.m.s., evgei,rw, egeiro, raise, + pro.acc.m.s, autos, him, + prep.w/adj.abl.m.p., nekro,j, nekros, dead, + conj., kai, + aor.act.pt.acc.m.s, di,dwmi, didomi, give, + pro.dat.m.s, autos, him, + acc.f.s, doxa, glory]), so that your faith and hope are in God (w[ste th.n pi,stin u`mw/n kai. evlpi,da ei=nai eivj qeo,n [conj./subord., hoste, so that, + def.art.w/acc.f.s., pistis, faith, + pro.gen.p. su, you, + conj., kai, + acc.f.s., evlpi,j, elpis, hope, + pres.act.infin, eimi; "are", + prep.w/acc.m.s., theos]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 20,21

  1. In v.20 Peter desires to impress upon his charges that the redemption in which they are beneficiaries is part of a plan which God has known about from eternity past.
  2. In particular, the Redeemer, who is the executor of "operation grace", "was foreknown before the foundation of the world".
  3. It is of interest to note that Peter, in his address on the day of Pentecost, made the same observation with respect to the recent events resulting in the crucifixion of Christ (Acts.2:23: "this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death").
  4. There, He desires that his audience understand that what has happened were not events out of control, but events under the direction of God for a purpose formulated in eternity past.
  5. Here, he wants believers to understand that eternal redemption, as centered in the Person and work of Christ, was not an afterthought of deity.
  6. Everything about Christ "was foreknown" from eternity past, including His complete obedience to death, even death on a cross.
  7. The plan they are participants in has antecedents that are eternal.
  8. This observation may have been prompted in part by the attacks of their enemies, who accused them of following a faith that had no history or tradition behind it.
  9. But Jesus Christ was the object of divine foreknowledge.
  10. Foreknowledge is a function of Omniscience.
  11. Both the verb (proginw,skw, proginosko) and the noun (pro,gnwsij, proginosis) are used of things which are known in advance of their occurrence.
  12. The noun occurs 2X: Acts.2:23; 1Pet.1:2.
  13. The verb occurs 5X: Acts.26:5; Rom.8:29; 11:2; 1Pet.2:20; 2Pet.3:17.
  14. Acts 26:5 and 2Pet.3:17 make it clear that the sense is knowledge known in advance.
  15. Theologians who try and make the word group mean foreordination are mistaken.
  16. Foreknowledge and foreordination/predestination/election are not synonyms.
  17. The terms are used together in Acts.2:23 and Rom.8:29 and are clearly distinguished.
  18. In v.20 Peter does not mention the related but separate doctrine of predestination as he does in Acts.2:23, where Christ is the subject.
  19. Christ, like believers, is of course both the object of foreknowledge and predestination.
  20. God foreknew everything about the God-Man including the fact that He would be fully qualified to be the Savior.
  21. Divine foreknowledge does not make anything certain.
  22. It simply means that God, through His attribute of Omniscience, had all the facts at His disposal when He formulated "operation grace".
  23. In Acts.2:23 Peter includes predestination in his presentation of the Person and work of Christ.
  24. There, he demonstrates how God works all things together for good.
  25. Believersí incorporation into the POG is the outworking of His eternal purpose.
  26. And so, at the propitious moment in human history (time), Christ appeared as the God-Man (v.20b).
  27. The aorist participle "has appeared" presupposes Christís actual pre-existence (cf. the "Spirit of Christ" in v.11).
  28. What was known from Scripture became manifest in the flesh to those who were Jesusí contemporaries.
  29. The words "in these last times" are a reference to the present dispensation.
  30. With the incarnation, passion, and glorification of Christ, the last age has dawned before the Second Advent of Christ.
  31. The Church Age is special for a number of reasons.
  32. It is designated as "the consummation of the ages" in Heb.9:26.
  33. The expression "in these last times" refers to history from the First Advent of Christ to His second coming (cf. Heb.1:2, "in these last days").
  34. The words "for the sake of you" are designed to encourage the beleaguered saints for whom the letter was written.
  35. Christ appeared for them in their need of redemption from the slave market of sin.
  36. The eternal purposes of God are realized when people who are positive come to saving faith.
  37. This is brought out in what follows: "who through Him are believers in God".
  38. "Him" refers to Jesus Christ, the object of saving faith.
  39. True believers in God are people who have acknowledged who and what Christ is.
  40. Religious people who do not acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God who died for their redemption are not genuine believers in God.
  41. Apart from Christ, no one can have a relationship with God (Jn.14:6 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me").
  42. "God" refers to God the Father.
  43. Peter characterizes the God in whom his readers believe as Him "who raised Him (i.e., Jesus) from the dead and gave Him glory".
  44. The only other reference to God the Father "giving glory" to God the Son is Jn.17:22.
  45. The more familiar expression is that God "glorified" Jesus (Acts.3:13).
  46. We, too, will be glorified at the right time (Rom.8:17,30).
  47. In Lukeís Gospel there is the parallel expression "to suffer and enter into His glory" (Lk.24:26).
  48. The glorification of the deceased humanity of Christ via resurrection, ascension, and session validates Christís work on the cross.
  49. Believers in Christ are related to a God who can, and has, raised the dead.
  50. The final phrase "so that your faith and hope are in God" expresses intended result.
  51. The historical and doctrinal reality with respect to the glorification of Christ should inspire "faith and hope" in believers.
  52. If God raised Christ from the dead according to the witness of Scripture, then we should press on under adversity, knowing that the outcome of our faith will be amply rewarded.
  53. Faith signifies trust in God during our time on earth.
  54. Hope looks to the future and our assurance that we, too, will share in Christís glory according to the promises of Scripture.
  55. Hence, we should all the more conduct ourselves according to the teachings of Scripture to enhance our eternal niche.


In Love (vv.22-25)

VERSE 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls (Ta.j yuca.j u`mw/n h`gniko,tej evn th/| u`pakoh/| th/j avlhqei,aj [def.art.w/acc.f.p., psuche, soul, + pro.gen.m.p., su, you, + pf.act.pt.2.m.p., a`gni,zw, hagnizo, purify; {ritual, as in Jn.11:55; Acts.21:24,26; 24:18; real, Jam.4:8; 1Jn.3:3}]) for a sincere love of the brethren(eivj filadelfi,an avnupo,kriton [prep.w/acc.f.s., filadelfi,a, philadelphia, brotherly love; 6X: Rom.12:10; 1Thess.4:9; Heb.13:1; 1Pet.1:22; 2Pet.1:7; + adj.acc.f.s., avnupo,kritoj, anupokritos, sincere; genuine; 6X: Rom.12:9; 2Cor.6:6; 1Tim.1:5; 2Tim.1:5; Jam.3:17; 1Pet.1:22]), fervently love one another from the heart (evk kardi,aj avllh,louj avgaph,sate evktenw/j [prep.w/abl.f.s, kardi,a, kardia, heart, + pro.acc.m.p., avllh,lwn, allelon, one another, + aor.act.imper.2.p., avgapa,w, agapao, love, + adv., ektenos, earnestly]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 22

  1. Peter makes no attempt at a transition, but appears to change the subject rather abruptly.
  2. Although there is no immediate or obvious connection between hope and purification, the principle expressed in 1Jn.3:3 that "everyone who has this hope in him (Christ and His appearing) purifies himself just as He (Christ) is pure", illustrates how hope might have prompted Peter to speak on inner purification.
  3. Peter uses the perfect participle of the verb "to purify" to signify something that has already occurred.
  4. The purification of which Peter speaks is the product of orienting to "the truth".
  5. Obedience to the truth means that they were both hearers and doers of BD.
  6. Intake of BD and the consistent use of Rebound result in the purification of the soul.
  7. The soul is the "real you", which is either under the influence of the STA or under the influence of the "new you", that is, on those occasions when God the HS is in control.
  8. As new converts they had been taught the things they needed in order to live righteously in the world and before one another.
  9. Peter acknowledges their recent "obedience to the truth" that has resulted in "a sincere love of the brethren".
  10. This is the third time in this letter he made mention of their obedience (vv.2,14).
  11. Here, he is definitely referring to their Ph2 positive volition.
  12. The kind of love they have attained to is love without pretense.
  13. The adjective "sincere" also means "genuine" or "without hypocrisy".
  14. In other words, it means a love that is not phony/fake.
  15. The word occurs 6X: Rom.12:9 ("Let love be without hypocrisy."); 2Cor.6:6 ("in genuine love"); 1Tim.1:5 ("sincere faith"); 2Tim.1:5 ("sincere faith"); Jam.3:17 ("without hypocrisy"); 1Pet.1:22 ("sincere love").
  16. As a body of positive believers scattered throughout northern Turkey, they had assimilated the doctrine ("truth") that enabled them to love one another in a way that was free from pretense.
  17. They, like the Thessalonians, knew the doctrine (1Thess.4:9,10).
  18. The commands in First John to "love one another" and to "love the brethren" parallel Peterís concern here (1Jn.2:10; 3:10,11,14,23; 4:7,20,21).
  19. "Truth" encompasses all the pertinent doctrine to fulfill the imperative to "love the brethren".
  20. It is knowing what love is and what it isnít (cf. 1Cor.13).
  21. Based on their past accomplishments in this aspect of the CWL, Peter exhorts them to "fervently (earnestly) love one another from the heart".
  22. The words "from the heart" correspond to the adjective "sincere" in reference to the kind of love desired (cf. Rom.6:17).
  23. The entire clause, with the exception of the adverb "fervently", echoes the previous reference to genuine love among the Royal Family.
  24. Peterís point is that having purified their souls for the express purpose of displaying genuine affection and care for each other, they must do exactly that.
  25. The adverb "fervently" can either refer to the intensity of love or its constancy.
  26. The latter seems preferable (cp. the only other usage, Acts.12:5).
  27. They should love each other from the heart "unremittingly"; their affection must be constant and enduring, unshaken by adversity or shifting circumstances.
  28. In the current climate of persecution they need to support one another in word and deed.

VERSE 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable (avnagegennhme,noi ouvk evk spora/j fqarth/j [pf.pass.pt.nom.m.p., avnagenna,w, anagennao, born again, + neg. + prep.w/abl.f.s., spora,, spora, seed, + adj.abl.f.s., fqarto,j, phthartos, subject to decay, perishable]) but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God (avlla. avfqa,rtou dia. lo,gou zw/ntoj qeou/ kai. me,nontoj [conj./advers., alla, but, + adj.abl.f.s., a;fqartoj, aphthartos, imperishable, + prep., dia, w/gen.m.s., lo,goj, logos, word, + pres.act.pt.gen.m.s., za,w, zao, live, + conj., kai, and, + gen.m.s., theos, God, + pres.act.pt.gen.m.s., me,nw, meno, abide]).

VERSE 24 For, "ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS (dio,ti pa/sa sa.rx w`j co,rtoj [conj., dioti, because, + adj.f.s., pas, all, + n.f.s., sa,rx, sarx, flesh, + conj./compar., hos, as, + n.m.s., co,rtoj, chortos, grass]), AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS (kai. pa/sa do,xa auvth/j w`j a;nqoj co,rtou [conj. + adj.n.f.s., pas, all, + n.f.s., doxa, glory, + pro.gen.f.s., autos, "its", + conj./compar., hos, as, + n.nt.s., anthos, flower, + gen.m.s., chortos, grass]). THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF (evxhra,nqh o` co,rtoj kai. to. a;nqoj evxe,pesen\ [aor.pass.ind.3.s., xhrai,nw, zeraino, wither, + def.art.w/n.m.s., chortos, grass, + conj., kai, + def.art.w/n.nt.s., anthos, flower, + aor.act.ind.3.s., evkpi,ptw, ekpipto, fall off]),

VERSE 25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER (to. [def.art.n.nt.s.] de. [conj., but] r`h/ma [n.nt.s., herma, word] kuri,ou [gen.m.s., kurios, lord] me,nei [pres.act.ind.3.m.s., meno, abide] eivj to.n aivw/naÅ[ prep.w/acc.m.s.def.art.w/acc.m.s., aion, age; idiom, forever])." And this is the word which was preached to you (tou/to [demon.pro.n.nt.s., autos, this] de, [conj., and] evstin [pres.act.ind.3.m.s., eimi] to. r`h/ma [def.art.w/n.nt.s., hrema, word] to. euvaggelisqe.n [def.art.w/aor.pass.pt.n.nt.s., euvaggeli,zw, euangelizo, proclaim good news] eivj u`ma/j [prep.w/acc.m.p., su]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 23-25

  1. The connection between the kind of love we are to exhibit toward one another (v.22) and the reference to the new birth is this: the kind of love called for is based on a new order of existence.
  2. That new order of existence is not based on the natural order of things.
  3. The dynamic related to the kind of love specified in v.22 is possible only when understood in the light of our new order of existence.
  4. The birth from above, or the new birth, brings us into a new dimension.
  5. We are, by Godís grace and power, a new species; therefore, by extension, we are empowered to function as a new species of humanity.
  6. After all, it is the dynamic of our love for each other that marks us as Christís disciples (Jn.13:35).
  7. Regeneration is the first essential step that puts us in a position to engage in this dynamic.
  8. Hence, verse 23.
  9. Our birth into a new family (humanity) is not predicated upon "perishable" but "imperishable seed".
  10. The natural birth results in people who find it hard, if not impossible, to love and associate with certain people.
  11. The second, or new, birth opens the door to a dramatically superior experience of love toward fellow believers as well as the world in general.
  12. Peter describes the new birth here in much the same way that he described the grounds for redemption in vv.18-19 Ė by means of a contrast between perishable and imperishable things.
  13. Just as we were redeemed "not with perishable things such as silver and gold" (v.18), so we were born anew "not of the planting of perishable seed but imperishable".
  14. The feminine form of "seed" (spora,) occurs only here in the N.T., and appears to have been chosen because it focuses more on the process of sowing than on the seed as such.
  15. The masculine noun is spe,rma and is used of plant and human generation.
  16. The language of regeneration plainly suggests human procreation (Jn.1:13; 3:4).
  17. The seed in this analogy is the WOG, which impregnates the soul with eternal life.
  18. The "seed" is imperishable and so is the progeny, the born again Christian.
  19. A logical deduction arising from this verse is that all that are born again are imperishable.
  20. The natural birth produces perishable results, but the new birth results in a species that cannot perish (Jn.8:51; 11:25).
  21. When the volition of the soul receives the message of salvation (the gospel), the power of God keeps His promise and regenerates the one who believes.
  22. The seed is identified with "the living and abiding (enduring) word of God".
  23. Godís word is always "living" in that it is based on the divine attributes.
  24. It is "abiding" in the sense that it is eternal, as God is eternal.
  25. The "word" is the gospel message with its promise of eternal regeneration to all that believe (cf. v.25b).
  26. James 1:18 speaks of God bringing us to salvation by the WOG.
  27. In v.23 Peterís thought is that, as a result of accepting the gospel, the Asian Christians have been spiritually born into a new order of being of which the characteristic note is Godís love.
  28. In support of what Peter has just said about Godís word, he appeals to Isa.40:6-8, which compares "ALL FLESH" (humanity) with "GRASS" and with "THE FLOWER OF GRASS".
  29. James 1:10 also appeals indirectly to this text, but to illustrate the ephermerality of riches.
  30. Isaiahís objective was to console the despondent Jews in captivity with the knowledge that their oppressorsí glory and power would wane, and Godís promise to restore and deliver His people would prevail.
  31. The glory of man is likened to the green grass of spring and the wild flowers, which can be dramatic.
  32. Manís glory fades like flowers due to his mortality.
  33. By contrast, manís generational glory fades but the WOG keeps on enduring.
  34. It is there for each generation and each individual, and it enables man to attain to what he cannot permanently achieve, and that is eternal glory beyond imagining.
  35. Because the life cycle of plants is relatively short, and the perishability of plants is more obvious to humans than their own mortality, grass and flowers become appropriate metaphors for the human condition.
  36. The outward splendor of civilization (likened to a grassy meadow with an abundance and variety of beautiful flowers) belies a hidden but universally recognized fact, and that is that the scene will soon fade to brown and death.
  37. By extreme contrast, "THE WORD OF THE LORD ABIDES FOREVER".
  38. The doctrine beginning with the gospel was what the Asian Christians had proclaimed to them so that they could overcome the transitoriness of human existence and attach themselves to that which is eternal and glorious.
  39. They had been privileged to hear an eternal gospel which promises eternal life.
  40. The focus here is on the message, whereas in 1:12 it was upon the messengers who first taught them.
  41. The theme here is consistent with other Scriptures, such as Mt.24:35 and 1Jn.2:17.
  42. Peter continues to build up their identity and call them to responsibility.
Summary of vv.22-25
  1. The imperative of v.22 to "love one another unremittingly from the heart" is set in a strongly theological context.
  2. The context is a reminder of the assured realities of spiritual purification (result of intake of BD) and the new birth.
  3. This is contrasted with the ephemeral, in an appeal to Scripture (vv.24,25).
  4. The reason can only be that Peter considers this theological context absolutely necessary to the understanding of the love command.
  5. Without a frame of reference of these things it is impossible to be fond of other individuals and to have a commitment to a community or a cause.
  6. What is always lacking is a constancy or steadfastness, which Peter sums up with the adverb "fervently", which is better rendered "unremittingly".
  7. The love of which he speaks is an unremitting, imperishable love.
  8. This love binds those who have become "believers in God" into a community distinct from the society around it.
END: FIRST PETER CHAPTER ONE
JACK M. BALLINGER
DECEMBER 15, 1998
Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church, Inc.