First Peter: The Gospel of Hope

Chapter 1




Chapter 1

1-2 Salutation including electing grace in Jesus Christ.

3-5 Thirteen phrases of God’s grace up to eternal inheritance.

6-9 Encouragement for faith under trial by Christ’s second coming.

10-12 The gospel reveals hidden things sought by saints and angels.

13-16 Applying final salvation should cause holy thinking and living.

17-21 Both judgment and redemption should motivate careful service.

22-23 Love is the greatest grace of regeneration and evidence of truth.

24-25 Man and his glory are temporary, but God’s written word is forever.


  1. The reading, comprehension, and value of God’s Bible depend on depth more than breadth.
  2. Can you choose to be excited about one book, one chapter, one verse, or one word at a time?
  3. Our modest pace is to maximize each word, the fulness of the gospel, practical learning, our minority position on some sections, the church in its breadth, and not multi-subject overload.
  4. Our method is taught in the Bible – read distinctly and give the sense (Neh 8:8; II Tim 2:15).
  5. We should pray humbly like David and Solomon taught us (Psalm 131:1; 119:18; I Kgs 3:7).
  6. The context of any book of the Bible helps provide perspective for study and interpretation.
  7. The WHO is the writer, Simon Peter, the leading apostle of Jesus Christ of twelve or eleven.
  8. The WHOM is the readers, the dispersed Jews in area of Asia Minor of modern Turkey.
  9. The WHY is the reason for the epistle, to confirm Paul’s gospel and press for holy living.
  10. The WHAT is the kind of writing – a personal, passionate, practical appeal to godly living.
  11. The WHEN is the timing of the epistle, which varies greatly from 44 to 65 by “experts.”
  12. The WHERE is the location of Peter at time of writing, which was literal Babylon (5:13).
  13. See the separate introduction.

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


  1. Unlike Hebrews where Paul was not identified, Peter is identified to Jews throughout Asia.
    1. When the writer is so introduced to us by the first word, we take the time to know him.
    2. While other writers have their epistle named after them, Paul does not have this honor.
    3. Peter was esteemed by Christian Jews for his honor from Christ and role in Jerusalem.
    4. Peter served a useful role writing this epistle to reassure Jews his gospel matched Paul’s.
    5. See the separate introduction.
  2. His name was Simon son of Jonah until Jesus gave him names of Cephas and Peter (stone).
    1. Simon is a Greek variant of the Hebrew Simeon, heard, from Leah’s second (Gen 29:33).
    2. When Andrew brought Simon to Jesus, He gave him an Aramaic name Cephas (Jn 1:42).
    3. Mark’s account of the new name records that Peter was the name, from Greek (Mk 3:16).
  3. While Simon used his name Peter to open this epistle, he used Simon Peter for the second.
    1. Paul did not use the name Simon for him, but Luke did in the book of Acts (Acts 10:32).
    2. Paul used both of his other names, Cephas and Peter (I Cor 1:12; Galatians 1:18; 2:9,14).
  4. Sinners reading the Bible find Peter’s denial recorded four times, disappearance at Acts 15:7, and rebuked in Galatians 2:11, but then two epistles with his name near the end of the canon!
  5. For more, see separate introduction.

An apostle of Jesus Christ.

  1. The apostles were special men chosen by Jesus Christ and enabled for great kingdom work.
    1. Peter is identified first in the list by Matthew of the apostles that Jesus Christ ordained.
    2. The apostles had the highest office and greatest gifts of Christ (I Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11).
    3. They were witnesses of Jesus Christ and His resurrection (Acts 1:21-22; I Cor 15:8).
    4. Apostles were eyewitnesses of the risen Lord, even Paul (Acts 9:17,27; I Cor 9:1; 15:8).
    5. There have been no apostles since Paul, no matter what men may say about themselves.
    6. Peter had great apostolic gifts second to none (II Cor 12:12; Acts 5:1-11,15; 9:36-42).
    7. Why did Peter state his office? To magnify his authority from Christ over other teachers!
    8. There is nothing wrong with reminding others of your office, as Paul did (Rom 11:13).
    9. Peter will even appeal to special words and events with the Lord Jesus (II Peter 1:14,16).
    10. We deny all Catholic, Mormon, Charismatic, and other claims to any apostles since Paul.
  2. Simon Peter is always listed first among the apostles and among the three favorite apostles.
    1. Matthew actually identifies him as first when giving a list of the apostles (Matthew 10:2).
    2. Even when Jesus chose his three favorites (Matt 17:1; 26:37; Mark 5:37), Peter is first.
    3. Even after denying Jesus just forty or so days earlier, he is still listed first (Acts 1:13).
  3. Peter’s apostolic role was very great, for he led the way in many aspects of the reformation.
    1. He led the apostles to fulfill scripture by naming a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:15-26).
    2. He opened the gospel door to the Jews at Pentecost and to the Gentiles with Cornelius.
    3. He spoke first at the council of Jerusalem and its controversy about Gentiles and the Law.
  4. Peter had no supremacy over the other apostles as the popes of Rome and their dupes claim.
    1. Jesus never told the other apostles to submit themselves to Peter as a pope (Mat 23:8-12).
    2. The rock on which Jesus built His church was Peter’s words, not Peter (Matt 16:16-18).
    3. The keys of the kingdom Jesus gave Peter He gave the rest (Matt 16:19; 18:18; Jn 20:23).
    4. Peter had no infallibility or primacy, for Paul rebuked him and then recorded it (Ga 2:11).
    5. There is no Bible evidence of Peter ever being near Rome, but far, far away (I Pet 5:13).
    6. In this epistle he will compare himself to ordinary elders, not as some pope (I Peter 5:1).
    7. The church’s foundation is all apostles and prophets, but Jesus is cornerstone (Eph 2:20).

To the strangers.

  1. These strangers were the dispersed Jews living among the Gentiles in Rome’s Asia (Jn 7:35).
  2. They needed to hear from Peter that Paul’s gospel was correct and to be pressed to godliness.
  3. See the separate introduction.

Scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

  1. There were Jews scattered throughout these Roman provinces in central and western Turkey.
  2. Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia were identified as being represented at Pentecost (Acts 2:9).
  3. Galatia had several churches Paul wrote (I Cor 16:2); Paul once passed Bithynia (Acts 16:7).
    1. Paul’s epistle to the Galatians included his rebuke of Peter, yet Peter writes those saints!
    2. God chooses when you hear the gospel and believe; we trust and thank Him for Bithynia.
  4. While at scattered, Jesus would also gather Gentiles (Jn 11:52; 10:16; Gen 49:10; Ep 1:10).


2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.


  1. Election is the doctrine of God’s choice to save some to eternal life and to pass over the rest.
    1. For a reader or hearer with understanding, this single word should prompt joy and praise.
    2. Peter started with this glorious and grand word, and he concluded with one also (5:13).
    3. Men crave to be chosen for a promotion, date, lottery, office … but this is eternal life!
    4. If God had not chosen you to eternal life, you would not have chosen Him or His heaven.The Bible says we are bound to give thanks for God’s choice to salvation (II Thess 2:13).
    5. For more about the reaction to election.
  2. It is a shame so few Christians are taught about the doctrine of God’s election to eternal life.
    1. Most Christians are afraid of the idea of God choosing or not choosing them to heaven.
    2. They want the choice in their hands, because they do not have a clue of total depravity.
    3. If total depravity is fully understood, without election not a single person would be saved.
    4. The modern missions movement must be greatly altered or scrapped in light of election.
    5. Their dedication to decisional salvation and once saved, always saved is terrible heresy.
    6. For much detail about doctrine of total depravity.
    7. For more about fairness of unconditional election.
  3. Many think election is not taught at all or much in the Bible, for they only know John 3:16.
    1. They have hardly ever read the Bible or gotten past the Romans road and other fables.
    2. They do not know God chose Israel out of all nations (Deu 7:7; Ps 147:19-20; Amos 3:2).
    3. They have not read these and many others (Matt 24:22,24,31; Luke 18:7; John 1:13; 3:8; 6:37-39; 10:26-29; Rom 8:28-33; 9:11-24; 11:1-7,28; I Cor 1:22-31; Eph 1:3-12; Col 3:12; I Thes 1:4; II Tim 1:9 2:10; Tit 1:1; Jas 2:5; II Pet 1:10; II Jn 1:1; Rev 13:8; 17:8).
  4. Many do not have eyes to see that God’s election in other areas of life is universally present.
    1. Have they not realized that God has made countless choices that drastically affect them?
    2. God’s choices determine your life – parents, nation, generation, intelligence, looks, health, coordination, neighbors, schools, opportunities, height, metabolism, jobs, bosses, investment returns, spouse, children, economy, crime, natural disasters, etc., etc., etc., etc.
  5. Election here is God’s choice to eternal life, for Jesus Christ’s work and blood are the object.
  6. To write Jews, those Jews scattered far from Israel, as elect, is special (Rom 9:6,24; 11:1-5).
    1. Peter will shortly use the equivalent word chosen when referring to these believers (2:9).
    2. The Jews assumed they were God’s people, but they were not without His election (2:10).
  7. God preempted your desire to know if you are elect by telling you (II Pe 1:5-11; I The 1:2-4)!


According to the foreknowledge.

  1. According to. In a manner agreeing with, consistent with, or answering to; agreeably to.
  2. Get one thing perfectly clear – God did not elect based on knowing your faith or good works.
    1. When God examined our race, He did not find one seeking Him (Ps 14:1-3; Ro 3:10-12).
    2. God shows mercy and compassion according to His own will (Rom 9:11-16; Eph 1:5,11).
    3. Faith and good works are the results of election, not causes (Acts 13:48; II Thess 2:13).
    4. In the Calvinist acronym it is called unconditional election represented by U in TULIP.
    5. Election of those already believing and saved is men electing God rather than vice versa.
    6. Total depravity precludes conditional election.
    7. Salvation is unconditional … Seven Proofs of Unconditional Salvation. 
  3. Foreknowledge may refer to God’s approbation, approval, affection, and love to His elect.
    1. There is much more to the verb to know than mere awareness of facts concerning a thing.
    2. God is omniscient and knows all things, but He also knows men lovingly (Psalm 1:6; 37:18-24; Nahum 1:7; John 10:14,27; I Cor 8:3; II Timothy 2:19; Deut 34:10; Amos 3:2).
    3. When the Bible says that Adam knew Eve, it was intimate sexual intercourse for Cain!
    4. In this sense we read Romans 8:29 and 11:2, where foreknown is to be loved beforehand.
    5. God has loved His elect or known them with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3; Ep 1:4).
    6. When Jesus Christ will pronounce He never knew the wicked, what does He truly mean?
    7. God’s everlasting love for His elect (Jer 31:3) is in stark contrast to never knowing the wicked (Matt 7:23; Hos 8:4), which elsewhere is stated as hating them (Psalm 5:5; 11:5).
    8. His declaration of not knowing them is hatred of workers of iniquity (Ps 5:5; Matt 7:23).
    9. Dominion and foreknowledge.
  4. Foreknowledge may also refer to God’s appointment and determination of future events.
    1. Then it means that God knows the future by His determination of it according to His will.
    2. James summarized at Jerusalem that all God’s works are known unto Him (Acts 15:18), which if they were known to Him from the beginning, then they were foreknown to Him.
    3. But what works are foreknown? Conditions performed by men, or God’s own works?
    4. Jesus was delivered by God’s determinate counsel and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23; 4:28).
    5. In this sense Peter will shortly use the word foreordained for Christ’s death (I Pet 1:20).
  5. We understand it in both of last two senses combined together for fullest sense of election.

Of God the Father.

  1. In general, the three in the Godhead are associated with different aspects of redemption.
  2. We can generalize by saying the first three phases match the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
  3. Reject presuppositions in your mind, for the vital phase is the Father’s in the very next verse!
  4. Though all three in the Godhead are equal, you may rejoice that God the Father chose you!

Through sanctification of the Spirit.

  1. Sanctification is a religious term to consecrate or dedicate something as holy for God’s use.
    1. This wonderful word is not complicated, but it is boring in a carnal generation of fables.
    2. God is holy, as Peter will declare, and we must be holy to dwell with Him (I Pet 1:14-16).
    3. God’s holiness is extreme and intolerant, and only His consecration will get us to heaven.
    4. While there is practical sanctification – your holiness, there is a much higher operation.
    5. Think past practical sanctification or limiting the Spirit to the vital phase of regeneration.
  2. There are about five phases of sanctification as part of our salvation taught in the Bible.
    1. By location in this salutary sentence about salvation, it connects election and justification.
    2. By location in this salutary sentence about salvation, it connects eternal and legal phases.
    3. For much more about sanctification in five phases.
  3. Here we see Holy Spirit consecration of us by the Father’s election unto the Son’s obedience.
    1. God planned and chose us in Christ before the world began for us to be holy (Eph 1:3-6).
    2. It is this sense of eternal sanctification that Jude applied to God the Father (Jude 1:1).
    3. God chose Jesus for our sanctification, and He chose us in Him, by grace (I Cor 1:30-31).
    4. The Holy Spirit set us apart, consecrated us, dedicated us, to the death of Jesus Christ.
    5. This is God the Father by the Holy Ghost making us holy by Jesus Christ (Heb 10:10-14).
    6. It is fitting that the Holy Spirit should be the means of setting us apart as holy in Christ.
    7. It is fitting to know that Christ’s blood was offered to God for us by the Spirit (Heb 9:14).
    8. Our legal sanctification is very visible since the cross of Christ (Heb 2:11; 10:29; 13:12).
    9. Our text is a summary of the work of the Godhead through the legal phase of salvation.
    10. Legal washing, sanctification, and justification are done by Jesus Christ and by the Spirit for filthy Corinthians to know their reservation in the kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9-11).
    11. Legal sanctification is the key – the Spirit assigned us to Christ and Christ to us. Glory!
    12. Vital salvation, or regeneration, is not here; it is in 1:3, and it is ascribed to the Father!
  4. This cannot be sanctification of the Spirit in regeneration, for that must follow Christ’s work!
    1. Sanctification of the Spirit as used in II Thess 2:13 may refer to regeneration for faith.
    2. The use of prepositions through and unto in this compound clause refer to ordo salutis.
    3. Justification at the cross is before regeneration soteriologically, logically, and actually.
    4. Regeneration is in the next verse (1:3), carefully separated from this verse by the Spirit.
  5. For phases of salvation … Five Phases of Salvation.
  6. For much more about sanctification in five phases.

Unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

  1. This phrase should not be very difficult, but men are tempted to put their own works into it.
    1. The preposition unto marks the objective for which God elected Jewish strangers and us!
    2. The prepositional phrase of Jesus Christ modifies obedience and sprinkling of His blood.
    3. Thus … unto obedience of Jesus Christ and unto sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.
  2. As Adam’s disobedience made you a sinner, even so Christ’s obedience made you righteous.
    1. The doctrine of representation, or federal headship, is crucial to salvation (Rom 5:12-19).
    2. Adam’s guilt and condemnation apply to all in him, so Christ’s salvation to all in Him.
    3. How do any get in Adam? By God’s choice! How do any get in Christ? By God’s choice!
    4. This is the main argument – election in Jesus Christ – just like Paul elsewhere (Ep 1:3-6).
    5. Jesus obeyed in going to the cross for death, and we get that obedience also (Heb 5:7-10).
    6. Jesus obeyed the Law and His Father perfectly, and we get that obedience (II Cor 5:21).
    7. Obedience … by election … and put before Christ’s blood cannot be man’s obedience.
    8. Cross-references like Ephesians 2:10 are in context of the vital phase; here is legal phase.
    9. This is the all important obedience of Jesus Christ in fulfilling the law and dying for us.
    10. Vital salvation, or regeneration, is not here; it is in 1:3, and it is ascribed to the Father!
    11. For much more about the doctrine of representation.
  3. As Moses’ Law required sprinkling of blood, so Jesus Christ’s blood was sprinkled for you.
    1. The people of Israel were sprinkled with the blood of calves and of goats (Heb 9:18-22).
    2. Jesus went into heaven with His blood for our eternal redemption (Heb 9:11-17,23-28).
    3. The new covenant of grace involves sprinkling Jesus’ blood (He 12:24; 13:20; 10:19,29).
    4. Peter will shortly exalt the value and importance of Jesus’ shed blood (I Peter 1:18-22).
    5. You do not sprinkle Christ’s blood on you, for you, or to you by any Christian act at all.
    6. Jesus Christ shed His blood as part of the covenant without you (Heb 1:3; Eph 1:7-12).
    7. It is unnecessary and wrong to insert man’s obedience and/or man’s sprinkling of Christ’s blood, for there is no mention of man in the text nor any reason at all to introduce him!
    8. The use of prepositions through and unto in this compound clause refer to ordo salutis.
    9. This is not some list of independent events like I Tim 3:16 that may be put in any order.
    10. For much more about the blood of Jesus Christ.
  4. We could restate the verse this way to help understanding the sense of it: God chose you scattered Jews to eternal life, because He loved you with an everlasting love, and as a result the Holy Spirit assigned you to Jesus Christ and Him to you for Him to obey and die for you.

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

  1. Peter used a similar salutation to open his second epistle to this same audience (II Peter 1:2).
  2. If God elected you, especially involving His Son’s death, He will freely give all (Rom 8:32).
  3. Is multiplication of grace and peace realistic? Indeed! For God can give past all knowledge!
  4. Consider the fabulous extent of peace that God can give (Isaiah 26:3-4; Philippians 4:6-7).

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. To bless God is to praise and worship Him for His attributes and give thanks for His mercies.
    1. Bless. To call holy; to extol, praise, or adore (God) as holy, worthy of reverence. esp. with an added notion of thanksgiving or acknowledgement of gracious beneficence or goodness: To praise or extol with grateful heart.
    2. Heaven’s choirs include blessing in praise and worship they give God (Re 5:12-13; 7:12).
    3. David, a great worship leader, used it for praise (I Chr 29:10-13,20; Ps 41:13; 72:18-19).
    4. Paul also opened a sentence of salvation mercy by praising God as blessed (Eph 1:3-6).
    5. God’s mercies should elicit such blessing from our lips giving Him praise (Ps 103:1-5).
    6. We are bound to give praise and thanksgiving for election as clearly stated (II Thes 2:13).
    7. Do you delight in God and glory in Him as you should (Psalm 37:4; 43:4; Jer 9:23-24)?
  2. The text does not say God was blessed, is blessed, or shall be blessed, because it rather calls the reader by be to bless Him in praise, thanksgiving, and worship, and He is worthy of it all.
  3. The text does not say God is Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1. Jesus is ours by God’s choice of us in Him and His assignment of Him to us (I Cor 1:30)
    2. It is on this basis – of our union to Christ – that the abundant mercy mentioned is for us.
  4. Almighty God is both the God and the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ in His single Person.
    1. There are not two beings considered by Peter, but only one, fulfilling two roles to Christ.
    2. Paul also opened a sentence of salvation mercy by using the God and Father (Eph 1:3-6).
    3. Jesus used this distinction with Mary, naming His Father and God as hers also (Jn 20:17).
    4. We reject any idea that God was God of Christ’s human nature and Father of His divine!
    5. There is another inspired sense in which He is God, even the Father, where even is explicative, of Jesus (II Cor 1:3; I Cor 15:24; I Thess 3:13; II Thess 2:16; James 3:9).
    6. Even. Prefixed to a subject, object, or predicate, or to a qualifying circumstance, to emphasize its identity, serving to introduce an epexegesis; = ‘namely’, ‘that is to say’.
    7. This is one way to identify our God from all others – Father of Jesus Christ (Rom 15:6) – which turns the noun of God for deity into a very specific title of identity of Jehovah.
    8. The distinction of God as also Father to Jesus Christ and to us carries a comforting sense.
    9. If God is Father of Jesus, and we are joint-heirs with Christ, then God is also our Father.
    10. God is the God of all men as Creator and Sovereign divine Ruler, but Father only to few.
    11. God is the God of Jesus Christ, but He is also His Father as begetting His only begotten.
    12. The context of regeneration supports a familial sense by our adoption as the sons of God.

Which according to his abundant mercy.

  1. According to. In a manner agreeing with, consistent with, or answering to; agreeably to.
  2. Election, justification, and regeneration (the phase of salvation here) is by God’s great mercy.
  3. Mercy. Forbearance and compassion shown by one person to another who is in his power and who has no claim to receive kindness; kind and compassionate treatment in a case where severity is merited or expected. [OED].
  4. Grace is not unmerited favor, but rather demerited favor; and only this grace is rightly mercy.
  5. Paul, by the same Author’s inspiration, declared regeneration to be by God’s mercy (Tit 3:5).
  6. God shows mercy only to some condemned sinners, and only by His will (Romans 9:15-16).
  7. Being born again is by God’s sovereign mercy without human cooperation (Jn 1:13; Ja 1:18), for man prior to regeneration as the same dead nature as the children of wrath (Eph 2:1-10).
  8. The question should not be why God shows mercy only to some, but why He shows it to any.
    1. We set ourselves against our Creator in Eden, choosing the devil as our father instead, and God should leave us there, if He were only fair, just, holy, and righteous.
    2. Rather than bark against God for hating Esau, ask instead why He would ever love Jacob.
  9. Abundant mercy here may be compared to riches of grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:7; 2:4).
  10. Bare mercy would pardon the condemned rebel; abundant mercy regenerates and adopts him!
    1. Do you understand the facets of salvation God chose that rise from pardon to adoption?
    2. They are the inspired terms of very different kinds to describe salvation in great breadth.
    3. For facets of salvation.
  11. We rightly sing a song by an uncertain author, In Songs of Sublime Adoration and Praise.

Hath begotten us again.

  1. In this place, God the Father is identified as Cause and Source of the vital phase of salvation.
    1. It may be assigned to the Spirit, thus showing Trinitarian participation (John 3:8; Tit 3:5).
    2. It may be assigned to the Son, showing Trinitarian participation (Jn 5:25-29; I Pet 1:23).
    3. You should bless Him, for without this stupendous change, you are forever condemned.
    4. You should bless Him, for this is His unbelievable act of giving us natures of His sons.
    5. What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us as the sons of God (I John 3:1-3).
  2. Our first birth was our total undoing, and it was totally without our approval or participation.
    1. God in sovereign dominion over your life and soul gave you birth to condemned parents.
    2. In relationship to Adam, you are fully, legally guilty and condemned for his sin in Eden.
    3. In relationship to Adam, you are totally depraved – a hateful rebel of God, a lover of sin.
    4. In this condition, you are a child of the devil (John 8:44) and child of wrath (Eph 2:1-3).
    5. Being born again saves us from a state of total depravity in which our first nature thrives.
    6. For more about total depravity and regeneration.
  3. Here is the doctrine of a second birth, which Jesus declared for the first time to Nicodemus.
    1. It is this second birth of a new nature in us that makes us the children of God (John 1:12).
    2. Peter passed from our birth as sons of God to receiving His inheritance as His own sons.
    3. Only sons get the inheritance; bastards have no part or lot with legitimate, rightful sons.
    4. This act is called quickening, regeneration, born again, resurrection,
  4. John 1:13, the deathbed text of one John Bunyan, clearly enough deals with four means of it.
    1. It is not of blood, for God does not care about family or ancestors (Mat 3:9; Rom 9:6-13).
    2. It is not the will of the flesh, for before regeneration man cannot and will not please God.
    3. It is not the will of man, for no other person like parents or godparents can assist you.
    4. It is of God, and He regenerates when and whom He will (John 3:8; 5:21; Rom 9:15-16).
  5. For much more detail about how men are born again.
  6. Check ahead in this commentary for the explanation for I Peter 1:23 about being born again.

Unto a lively hope.

  1. Peter connects the preparatory work of God with the practical result in man, thus 1:2-5 may be compared to 1:20-21 … with predestination, glory after resurrection, and faith and hope.
  2. It is a travesty that a false teacher like Joel Osteen can write book, Your Best Life Now, which is a total lie except for reprobates and have it read by millions of carnal Christians.
  3. Regeneration is not the lively hope, but it prepares and brings men to obtain hope in Christ.
    1. Faith is assumed, the conversion following regeneration, without being named here (1:5).
    2. The gospel includes the wonderful message of future events for a believer’s great benefit.
    3. These benefits are fabulous and many: Jesus Christ coming for him; resurrection and glorified body; name in the book of life; professed as Christ’s brother; all enemies destroyed; new heaven and earth; participation in judgment of angels.
    4. Neither our regeneration nor Christ’s resurrection guarantees our hope to be lively, but regeneration gives us ability and resurrection gives us the illustration to have lively hope.
  4. Hope is a function of the human heart and mind, which follows regeneration in conversion.
    1. Hope. Expectation of something desired; desire combined with expectation. [OED].
    2. The Bible defines hope viewed here as patiently waiting for glorification (Rom 8:23-25).
    3. A person cannot have true hope without regeneration, but not all regenerate elect learn it.
    4. Carnal Christians lose their hope of eternal life by playing around with this life too much.
    5. False teachers or lazy teachers can steal hope of eternal life by false doctrine or emphasis.
    6. You can be moved away from the hope of the gospel, which we must resist (Col 1:23).
    7. The hope of the wicked is an illusion – an expectation for good that they never obtain.
    8. The Bible contrasts hope of righteous and wicked (Pr 10:28; 11:7; 14:32; Job 8:13-14).
    9. The old man has no hope; the new man does; the gospel of Christ awakes and directs it.
  5. The believer’s hope can and should be lively, for it is based on a resurrected, living Saviour.
    1. Lively. adjective. Possessed of life; living, animate. Compare 2:4 living to 2:5 lively.
    2. Our lively hope is the certain expectation of eternal life by Jesus Christ’s living example.
    3. Hope that is lively is based the resurrected life of Jesus that follows in the next clause.
    4. A lively hope can also be a living hope, for we were quickened into life for such hope.
    5. A lively hope can also be a fruitful hope, for it shall never be disappointed (Prov 14:32).
    6. So great is this hope of what comes after life that Paul said death was gain (Phil 1:21).
    7. So clear was this gain to Paul that he knew it was better to depart (Phil 1:23; II Cor 5:8).
  6. This epistle may justly be called the gospel of hope, for it emphasizes hope (1:3,13,21; 3:15).
    1. The gospel is filled with hope even against man’s greatest enemy of death (II Tim 1:10).
    2. The believer’s hope is certain expectation of a positive and glorious end (Rom 8:23-25).
    3. It is our duty and privilege to recall things to mind to build up our hope (Lam 3:21-26).
  7. We hate preterism for many reasons, but one reason is its elimination of hope in the gospel.
    1. The comfort of the gospel is bodily resurrection and Christ’s return (I Thess 4:13-18).
    2. Christians without hope of resurrection, the hope here, are most miserable (I Cor 15:19).
    3. You can lose your hope by hearing false teachers and their false doctrine (I Cor 15:2).
    4. Enough of such heresy and your faith can be overthrown from gospel hope (II Tim 2:18).
    5. For much more about preterism.
  8. The devil has no hope, and he manipulates his minions to do what they can to steal yours.
    1. Fearmongers use the media to provoke fear of everything from Ebola to cholesterol to asteroids to saturated fat to hurricanes to Y2K to North Korea to big banks, etc., etc., etc.
    2. Hollywood entertainment, even life dramas, never teach hope or a foundation for hope.
    3. If you put your hope anywhere else, like Your Best Life Now, God will surely disappoint.
    4. All hope of the wicked is dying hope; hopes die before death, and they all die at death.
    5. The world can say, “Hope springs eternal,” but all of their hopes perish (Pr 10:28; 11:7).
  9. God our Father did things to increase our hope and designed the gospel and church to do so.
    1. Review His use and record of an oath to provoke greater hope in the heirs (Heb 6:17-19).
    2. God can cause you to abound in hope in believing by Holy Ghost power (Rom 15:13).
    3. One means is the gospel – the good news of glad tidings (Rom 10:15; II Thess 2:16-17).
    4. The hope of salvation – of the gospel armor – protects us from hopelessness (I Thes 5:8).
    5. We are to comfort each other with Bible words about our Lord’s coming (I Thess 4:18).
    6. If Paul prayed for an increase in hope at Ephesus, we certainly should do so (Eph 1:18).
  10. A lively hope, a hope of eternal life, should produce a changed life in anticipation of heaven.
    1. John saw the doctrine of adoption and hope of glorification as changing lives (I Jn 3:1-3).
    2. Paul saw hope as causing life suffering to disappear (Rom 8:17-19; II Cor 4:17 – 5:11).
    3. No matter the circumstances, the child of God should always have hope (Hab 3:17-19).
    4. Showing hope in adversity should bring questions from others for its reason (I Pet 3:15).
  11. Christians should be looking forward and upward with great joy at the hope of eternal glory.
    1. There is nothing on earth, no matter how you might be favored, to compare with heaven.
    2. Paul called it the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
    3. Hope is produced by regeneration and the gospel bringing joy (Rom 5:2; 12:12; Heb 3:6).
  12. For much more about hope and hopelessness from the Bible.

By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

  1. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the guarantee, illustration, and object of our hope.
    1. Jesus told His disciples, “Because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19). He is our Life.
    2. Jesus Christ is very much alive, which is the basis of our hope being lively (Rev 1:18).
    3. He proved His resurrection by many infallible proofs witnessed by hundreds (Acts 1:3).
    4. The residual power of His resurrection rips graves and resurrected bodies (Mat 27:50-54).
    5. The connection between His resurrection and our resurrection is taught (Romans 8:11).
    6. We should not face death in others or ourselves as hopeless worldlings (I Thess 4:13-18).
    7. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then many others will as well (I Thess 4:14).
  2. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most important facts of the true gospel.
    1. Some disciples lost hope before having His resurrection proven (Lu 24:21 cp 24:33-48).
    2. Without His resurrection, you are still damned in your sins (Rom 4:25; I Cor 15:12-18).
    3. Without His resurrection, there is no evidence for our own resurrection (I Cor 15:20-26).
    4. Without His resurrection, self-denial and suffering turn our faith into misery (I Co 15:19).
    5. Paul called the resurrection the hope of Israel (Acts 28:20; 23:6; 24:15; 26:6-7). Glory!
    6. If debating Greek philosophers in Athens, he preached the resurrection (Acts 17:29-34).
    7. To be an apostle, you had to be an eyewitness of the resurrected Jesus Christ (Acts 1:22).
  3. We cannot forget His ascension, for mere resurrection without glorification is not very much.
    1. Peter will shortly identify gospel prophecies as seeing Christ’s suffering and glory (1:11).
    2. Peter will shortly identify the fact that God gave Christ glory after his resurrection (1:21).
    3. For much more about Christ’s ascension.
  4. Our doctrine of baptism becomes meaningless without hope in the resurrection (I Cor 15:29).
    1. The Mormons corrupt this text because they do not have a clue about gospel truth at all.
    2. Catholics and Presbyterians corrupt it, because they have rejected baptism by immersion.
    3. Bible believers know baptism by immersion and its symbolic burial and resurrection are the answer of a good conscience with view of Jesus Christ’s resurrection (I Pet 3:21).
  5. Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead? Abolished death? Is coming back to eliminate it?
  6. Will you die like Jesus? Committing his spirit to God? Knowing his body could rest in hope?
  7. For much more about death destroyed.
  8. For more about resurrection (outline of I Cor 15).

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

To an inheritance.

  1. Heaven is not a reward for good conduct, or an offer you must receive, it is a transfer to sons!
    1. Adoption as sons is God’s incredible work of love and grace through Christ (I Jn 3:1-3).
    2. God has chosen the poor of this world to be the heirs of his eternal kingdom (James 2:5).
    3. So great is this transfer and honor that the angels are our servants under Christ (He 1:14).
    4. It is bestowed entirely by the free grace of God that justifies and regenerates (Tit 3:4-7).
  2. Jesus was made heir of all things for saving us (Heb 1:2,4); we are His joint-heirs (Ro 8:17).
    1. Our inheritance is only as good as its certainty, which is based on Jesus’ own inheritance.
    2. This fabulous bestowal of privilege and wealth must be revealed by the Spirit (Eph 1:18).
    3. Our inheritance will include face to face with Christ Himself, but there is more implied.
    4. The Bible describes Jesus inheriting and us joint-heirs with Him of blessings and things.
  3. What is the inheritance? A glorified body with a perfectly holy and righteous spirit in a renovated universe in the presence of God and Jesus with all things new and all negative things removed, without sin or sinners, lust or loneliness, and enjoying a degree of glory never imagined by men (Rom 8:18-23; I Cor 2:9; 15:42-54; II Pet 3:10-13; Rev 21:5).
  4. Inheritance of eternal life and heaven is by means of death, like all inheritances (Heb 9:15)!
  5. Knowing about this inheritance should change your life – just as any good inheritance would.
    1. If a dying uncle had $10M on condition of daily washing your car, what would you do?
    2. Keep in mind warnings about those inheriting the kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9-11; Ep 5:5).
    3. When you are on the job and worrying about compensation, think inheritance (Col 3:24).
    4. The word of God’s grace, the gospel, can confirm your inheritance (Ac 20:32; Ro 10:17).
    5. It will affect your marriage, for your wives are equal heirs in the inheritance (I Peter 3:7).
    6. You know you are a stranger and pilgrim, like the fathers (He 11:8-10,13-16; I Pet 2:11).
    7. It will change how you talk of others, for you will bless due to future blessing (I Pet 3:9)!
    8. Look how it changed the lives of those Jews persecuted in Judea (Hebrews 10:34-39).


  1. Corrupt. To spoil or destroy; to render unsound or impure; to spoil (anything) in quality.
    1. Compare Matthew 6:19-20 (moth or rust) and Matthew 7:17-18 (good or corrupt tree).
    2. The familiar use is what did not happen to Jesus’ body (Ps 16:10; Ac 2:27,31; 13:34-37).
  2. Everything on earth corrupts due to aging, decay, moths, rust, thieves, taxation, inflation, etc.
    1. Every hearer or reader is corrupting as the words arrive in your ears or eyes. Believe it!
    2. It is does not matter how healthy, strong, or virile – you will die and corrupt (Ps 49:9).
    3. Small business owners typically understate depreciation, which constantly decays assets.
    4. Every time you must use a dentist, mechanic, painter, repairman, shoe store, etc. Think!
    5. The whole creation, think of anything, is groaning in a state of corruption (Rom 8:21-23).
    6. Even relationships corrupt, because men change in their ability, affection, intensity, etc.
  3. Incorruptible. Incapable of physical corruption; that cannot decay or perish; everlasting.
    1. Paul contrasted the future of your corruptible flesh to future life everlasting (Gal 6:8).
    2. Paul contrasted your body as a temporal tent to a house eternal in the heavens (II Co 5:1).
    3. God has a glorified body for His children that is called incorruptible (I Cor 15:42-54).
    4. God has a crown, or reward, for His children that is called incorruptible (I Cor 9:25).
  4. Glorification and heaven cannot be altered once given, different from anything you know.
    1. Your body will be changed – transformed – into a glorious body free of change or decay.
    2. Everything in heaven, think of anything, cannot and will not degenerate, rust, spoil, etc.
    3. Everything God will bestow – beyond eye, ear, and mind – is eternally durable forever!
    4. God and Jesus never change, so by their great power they sustain an unchanging heaven.
  5. Renovation of the earth.
  6. Death is consuming and devouring you as you read, for it is always working hard on sinners.
    1. Death is sucking the memory out of your brain, the sight out of your eyes, the hearing out of your ears, the teeth out of your mouth, the taste out of your tongue, the moisture out of your mouth, the elasticity and clarity out of your skin, the firmness out of your flesh, the hormones out of your body, the form out of your shape, the strength out of your bones, the power out of your muscles, the flexibility out of your joints, the color and shine out of your hair, the hair off your head, the brightness out of your eyes, the desire and ability out of your sex, the insulin out of your pancreas, the processing out of your kidneys, the courage out of your mind, the remaining beats out of your heart, and the life out of your soul. See Eccl 12:1-8.
    2. Death is eating you alive while you read, and its conclusive finality will take us all down.
    3. You will decay until you are a rotting and weak lump unable to eat, swallow, or breathe!
    4. This death is good news, for it ends the painful connection of your spirit to your body!

And undefiled.

  1. Defile. To render foul, filthy; to pollute, dirty; to destroy purity, cleanness, or clearness of.
  2. Undefiled. Not rendered morally foul or impure; unpolluted, untainted. See Heb 7:26; 13:4.
  3. Since Adam and Eve, ashamed and defiled, everything we know is defiled (Gen 2:25; 3:7).
    1. Think naturally: everything we have known was impure or tainted with some deficiency.
    2. Think spiritually, everyone and everything we have ever known is defiled with some sin.
  4. Glorification and heaven have no faults or flaws when given, unlike anything you have seen.
    1. Rather than simply see this phrase as repetition of incorruptible, look for greater breadth.
    2. Incorruptible means incapable of degeneration; undefiled means it began perfectly pure.
    3. Things that defile shall in no wise be allowed entrance into heaven (Rev 21:27). Glory!

And that fadeth not away.

  1. Everything and everyone you have ever known depreciates in glory and pleasure over time.
    1. Men say, familiarity breeds contempt, for the more you are around someone, the worse!
    2. Solomon knew full souls loathe honey but hungry souls think bitter is sweet (Pr 27:7)!
    3. How many hours or days does it take for the wedding to wear off and the work to begin?
    4. This applies to new jobs, church membership, new cars, new clothes, new restaurant, etc.
    5. The joy or pleasure of anything will decline with its use or over time, cursing possession!
  2. Glorification and heaven will always hold power to please and never lose satisfying pleasure.
    1. Rather than only see this phrase as a repetition of incorruptible, look for greater breadth.
    2. Consider incorruptible as opposing decay, fadeth not away relating to luster and delight.
    3. Yes, it is certainly true that all present things fade. Think, Where the Roses Never Fade!
    4. Every earthly crown fades, tarnishes, rusts, corrupts, but not the crown of glory (I Pe 5:4).
    5. But there is another angle that can be taken on this phrase implying our loss of pleasure.
    6. Jesus knew the cross was the way to fulness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11).
    7. The more we know God, Christ, and salvation in heaven will not dilute its pleasure at all.
    8. Riches and honor of wisdom in heaven must reach their finest as durable riches (Pr 8:18).

Reserved in heaven for you.

  1. Inheritance of eternal life and heaven is by means of death, like all inheritances (Heb 9:15)!
  2. Your reservation to receive the inheritance depends on God, not you (Eph 1:11; Col 1:12).
    1. The Bible speaks of laid up (Col 1:5; II Tim 4:8); we speak of layaway; it is held for you.
    2. Anything reserved on earth can be lost or taken away or confused, but not so in heaven.
    3. The reservation is filled either by your dying or being alive when Jesus Christ returns.
    4. Reserved in heaven means it cannot be taken, changed, overthrown, compromised, etc.
  3. Peter changed the pronoun person from first (us) to second (you) for your greater comfort.
  4. God gave an earnest payment to assure you of your inheritance, the Holy Spirit (Ep 1:13-14).
    1. After faith and baptism, God gives the Spirit to seal you (Jn 7:37-39; Ac 2:38; Ro 5:1-5).
    2. If you neglect this gift, or if you grieve or quench Him, you compromise or destroy hope.
  5. God swore with an oath, so that you could be certain of this bequeathal (Hebrews 6:17-19).
  6. Are you Christ’s? The whole matter rests in your relationship to Jesus Christ (Gal 3:29).

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

Who are kept by the power of God.

  1. The persons of this verse being kept are the scattered strangers from Peter’s salutation (1:1).
    1. These persecuted persons were guaranteed eternal life as surely as others before or after.
    2. But they faced, and would face, a fiery trial of afflictions and tribulations (I Peter 4:12).
    3. They, and we in turn, need personal preservation and strength to maintain our confidence.
    4. The keeping of great concern here is their personal preservation in heart and mind (5:10).
    5. The following context indicates that their faith boosted by God’s power prevailed (1:6-9).
  2. The inheritance is safe in heaven, but there is then the necessity of you being preserved for it!
    1. The previous verse clearly told the certain, solid, lasting character of eternal inheritance.
    2. Since it was reserved by God in heaven for Peter’s audience, it was completely certain.
    3. Your reservation to receive the inheritance depends on God, not you (Ep 1:11; Col 1:12).
    4. No matter how certain and great the inheritance might be, the heirs must survive for it.
    5. Peter will next focus on their faith through trials and then repeat much about suffering.
  3. The elect (1:2), justified (1:2), and regenerated (1:3) heirs are preserved by God’s power.
    1. The means of their preservation here is not God’s covenant, faithfulness, love, oath, etc.
    2. The means of their preservation here is God’s power, which is according to their faith.
    3. Therefore, we view this verse as the practical phase of salvation involving human faith.
    4. Our faith is not the condition, instrument, or means of eternal, legal, vital, or final phases.
    5. The eternal, legal, vital, and final phases were guaranteed already in the previous verses.
    6. But there is a very real role for faith in the personal empowering of God’s elect to live.
  4. How are they kept? How are they preserved and protected? How are they made to survive?
    1. At first, this phrase may seem to teach eternal security, but there is another, better sense.
    2. It is certain none of the elect can finally be lost from Jesus Christ and His covenant of grace for eternal life in heaven (Jn 6:37-40; 10:28-29; 17:2; Ro 8:28-39; Heb 7:25; etc.).
    3. They cannot be lost from election, from justification, from regeneration, or glorification.
    4. As third-class citizens, these Christians Jews were despised both by Gentiles and Jews.
    5. However, there is great power available to those that live by faith according to His word.
    6. God has a practical operation of helping – perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (5:10).
    7. God can cause you to abound in hope through faith by Holy Ghost power (Rom 15:13).
    8. God’s might is available against the devil by those who use God’s armor (Eph 6:10-18).
    9. A good man has his steps ordered by the LORD, and He will uphold him (Ps 37:23-24).
    10. Believers do not need to faint here, for God renews the inward man daily (II Cor 4:16).
    11. When our faith is weak and insufficient, God’s power can make it greater (Mark 9:24).
    12. There is a level of knowledge of God and Christ that depends on His might (Ep 3:14-19).
    13. God’s word, which depends on faith, can build saints up for an inheritance (Acts 20:32).
    14. Faith in God brings peace by His power that passes understanding (Phil 4:6-7; Is 26:3-4).
    15. God is able to deliver the godly out of temptation, as Peter showed with Lot (II Pe 2:7-9).
    16. Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail and he would be useful again (Luke 22:32).
    17. Consider well how David described God’s power working with his faith (Ps 27:13-14).
    18. The beauty of this keeping is as Jairus heard Jesus say to him, Only believe (Mark 15:36).
  5. However, there are ways that God’s power does not keep His elect and regenerate children.
    1. It is just as certain that God has not unconditionally guaranteed the faith of any not to fail, for though He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, many do not do so.
    2. Faith does fail at times (II Tim 2:18; 4:3-4; I Tim 1:19; 6:9-10,21; Heb 3:12 – 4:11; I Cor 15:2,12; II Cor 6:1; Gal 1:6-7; 5:1-4; Heb 2:1-4; 6:4-6; 12:15; II Pet 2:18-22; I Tim 4:1-3; Luke 8:11-18; 22:31-32; Jas 5:19; Rev 18:4).
    3. Being kept unto final salvation cannot be by the instrument or means of our weak faith, but rather by God’s faithfulness to the finished work of Jesus Christ for each of the elect.
    4. Those of God’s elect that lose faith do not lose their place in the book of life or in Christ.
  6. Yet, for whatever reason, if you must choose the sense of eternal security, it can be justified.
    1. Then the sense would be that God will not lose any of His elect from certain eternal life.
    2. He keeps them elected, justified, and regenerated in spite of any weakness, sins, or doubt.
    3. Through faith then simply means assurance or evidence of His work, as in Ephesians 2:8.
    4. We choose a practical sense of preserving the elect internally due to words through faith.
    5. We choose a practical sense due to a scattered audience and current suffering in context.
    6. We choose a practical sense because it can be supported by numerous cross-references.
  7. For more about the assurance of eternal life.

Through faith.

  1. Peter connected God’s saving work with practical results in us, so 1:2-5 may be compared to 1:20-21 and 5:10 … with predestination, Christ’s glory after resurrection, and faith and hope.
    1. Peter had already said that his audience had hope (1:3), which means they also had faith.
    2. God’s justified, regenerate elect exercise faith and hope and God empowers them in both.
    3. God’s salvation is all the basis for faith and hope, and His power sustains those believing.
  2. The salvation here – final phase of glorification – is the goal and end result of our faith (1:9).
    1. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1).
    2. Our faith is the first level of evidence heaven is ours, when it endures as follows (1:6-9).
    3. If we lose faith in resurrection, we are most miserable (I Cor 15:2,12,19; II Tim 2:18).
  3. Our faith cannot be the condition, instrument, or means to get the final phase of eternal life.
    1. If this were so, then examples of losing faith just above show God’s elect losing heaven.
    2. Glorification depends on justification, calling, and predestination, not faith (Ro 8:28-30).
    3. The faith here is no more a guarantee of God’s power than hope in 1:3 is of being lively!
  4. There are conditional benefits by God’s power for holding faith in your promised inheritance.
    1. Note the result of their yet believing in 1:8, which was joy unspeakable and full of glory.
    2. Being filled with all joy and peace and abounding in hope is in believing (Rom 15:13).
    3. It is by believing without fainting in God’s goodness that obtains strength (Ps 27:13-14).
    4. Those who put on all the armor of God, including faith, get God’s might (Eph 6:10-18).
  5. Faith leads to sealing of the Holy Spirit, which is the earnest of our inheritance (Ep 1:13-14).
    1. The presence of the Holy Spirit has abundant internal blessings (Rom 5:5; Gal 4:4-6).
    2. Power for godly living in the new man comes by His daily strengthening (II Cor 4:16).

Unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  1. Here is a salvation you do not yet have – the final phase of salvation (Romans 8:23; 13:11).
    1. There must be phases of salvation, or this verse becomes confusing and contradictory.
    2. Though this text is easily grasped, a lack of appreciation for five phases hurts learning.
    3. For the five phases …Five Phases of Salvation.
  2. This is full, final salvation from all enemies and guilt for complete, eternal glory, peace, rest.
  3. The reason you do not have your inheritance is not due to incompleteness of its preparation.
  4. God controls the timing of all events and that is the only hindrance to your full enjoyment.
  5. The longsuffering of God should be appreciated and used (II Peter 3:9,15; I John 2:28-29).

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

Wherein ye greatly rejoice.

  1. The great joy of Peter’s audience was due to all that had just been declared of God’s blessing.
    1. It began with a salutation of God’s electing grace to Jesus Christ’s justification (1:1-2).
    2. It continued through thirteen phrases of great hope by God’s regenerating mercy (1:3-5).
    3. The end purpose of God’s great work for the elect’s sake was their eternal inheritance.
    4. They had redemption predestinated, salvation applied, and a future state of eternal glory.
  2. Great joy should and will result when the eternal inheritance of the elect is fully understood.
    1. This is more than ordinary joy, even of a high kind, for the inheritance is unbelievable!
    2. This great joy can occur even when the saints are enduring afflictions and tribulations.
    3. If Christians comforted one another with hope, they would fare much better (I Thes 4:18).
    4. This is more than inward serenity or contentment; it is outward in praise and gratitude.
  3. What a great religion that has future hope sufficient and true to overcome present afflictions.
  4. Great joy for a church is not by personalities or programs, but doctrinal truth producing hope!
  5. Faith is of a nature that it can provide sufficient reality of the future to overcome the present!

Though now for a season.

  1. When Peter wrote his audience, they were already in a season of suffering, as shown by now.
  2. Peter used suffering for a while instead of a season when concluding this epistle (I Pet 5:10).
  3. Even if afflictions and trials lasted your whole life, they are but for a moment (II Cor 4:17).
  4. Ordinarily, trials and afflictions ebb or end; it is rare that intensity of afflictions continue on.
  5. There are seasons, times or stretches, in which the combination of trials seems much heavier.

If need be.

  1. The need is disclosed in the following verse, which is for testing and perfection of their faith.
    1. There is little reason to explore all the possible causes or reasons for God sending trials.
    2. The specified reason in context is for the perfection of their faith toward Christ’s coming.
    3. The more we focus on Christ’s coming the holier we will live and be better meeting Him.
  2. A good man said, “God cannot trust me with health or money, so I am poor and afflicted.”
  3. If Christians were only shown prosperity and pleasure, they would be severely distorted.
  4. God’s providential wisdom toward His people cannot be questioned for it is just and holy.
  5. God does not take personal delight in afflicting or grieving the children of men (La 3:31-36).
  6. For four good reasons why Christians suffer.

Ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.

  1. Manifold. Qualifying a plural noun: Numerous and varied; of many kinds or varieties.
  2. How can Christians greatly rejoice in their future hope while being heavy due to afflictions?
    1. There is no contradiction, as Paul himself declared and exemplified the mix (II Cor 6:10).
    2. They know present pain is short and incomparable to heaven (Rom 8:18; II Cor 4:17-18).
    3. They know present pain is God’s tool for perfecting His children (Rom 5:3-5; Jas 1:2-4).
    4. They know present pain gives them fellowship with Christ’s (I Peter 4:12-13; Phil 3:10).
    5. There are limited purposes and reasons for Christian suffering, and they are all very good.
    6. David knew affliction in his life had good purposes and consequences (Ps 119:67,71,75).
    7. Four good reasons why Christians suffer.
  3. Christians should remember those principles and examples of scripture for joy in tribulations.
    1. Learn those places in scripture that see eternal reversal as sufficient for joy (Ps 73:21-28).
    2. Learn those places in scripture that know the trial will be eventually turned (Ps 27:13-14).
    3. Learn those places in scripture that God is not moved by severe problems (Hab 3:17-19).
    4. Learn to not be like Job, who could have ended his hard trial much earlier (Job 36:16-18).
  4. Christians should learn tools of contentment and joyful expectation to counteract difficulties.
    1. The song, Count Your Blessings, says that even among billows you can count blessings.
    2. But the one in context and the most powerful of all is to stress eternity (II Cor 4:17-18).
  5. Christians should expect manifold temptations – many afflictions and trials of varied kinds.
    1. The experience of God’s children from Abel to John shows lives of manifold tribulations.
    2. These scattered strangers were being tried (I Pet 1:1,6; 2:12; 3:14,16-18; 4:12-16; 5:10).
    3. You may be buffeted with sickness, persecution, financial troubles, family division, enemies, temptations to sin, professional problems, marital unrest, etc.

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

That the trial of your faith.

  1. Trial = experiment or test. What is the quality and quantity of your faith? Is it of high value?
  2. Faith was last mentioned in 1:5, where it was the vehicle for saints waiting for redemption.
  3. The previous verse stated tribulations and heaviness on an as-needed basis, if need be (1:6).
  4. Part of the joy in the midst of tribulations is for the refining to produce perfection (Jas 1:2-4).
  5. Though afflictions cause heaviness in one perspective, their value should be seen in another.
  6. Trying faith is a reason why Christians suffer.

Being much more precious than of gold that perisheth.

  1. The comparison is between faith and gold, not the two forms of testing or trial for purifying.
    1. The commodity under consideration in this verse and the immediate context is our faith.
    2. Note that faith is much more precious than gold, as there is no comparison between them.
    3. Faith, the connection between our souls and God’s promises is precious (Heb 11:1,6).
  2. Use of precious here is precious! Faith is much more precious than the precious metal gold.
    1. The argument runs from the lesser to the greater – refining gold justifies refining faith.
    2. If the precious metal gold, a gentle and beautiful metal, needs trial by fire, so does faith.
  3. The comforting comparison of much more should encourage us to the need for refinement.
    1. Every man, especially poor believers, would comprehend the precious value of gold.
    2. In the real analysis, there is no comparison between a metal and the saints’ confidence.
  4. Gold perishes with use over time and maybe even during the refining process of perfecting it.
    1. As all things in a decaying and temporal universe, it oxidizes and deteriorates, but slowly.
    2. It will soon melt and disappear as other metals and minerals in fervent heat (II Pet 3:10).

Though it be tried with fire.

  1. Gold is a precious metal – the best of the precious metals – yet it is purified by fiery trial.
    1. The argument runs from the lesser to the greater – refining gold justifies refining faith.
    2. If the precious metal gold, a gentle and beautiful metal, needs trial by fire, so does faith.
  2. A fiery trial will soon try Peter’s audience, and he warned them to understand it (I Pet 4:12).

Might be found unto praise and honour and glory.

  1. Beautiful jewelry formed from gold of high purity deserves praise, honor, glory (Pr 25:11).
  2. Consider how the elders obtained a good report in Hebrews 11:2 … by their very great faith.
  3. Enduring a froward boss out of conscience toward God (by faith) is thankworthy (I Pet 2:19).
  4. Will God praise children rich in faith? Indeed (Matt 25:21; Rev 2:7,11,17,26-28; 3:5,12,21)!
  5. Our light affliction works for us a far more exceeding, eternal weight of glory (II Cor 4:17).
  6. Without trials, how can you possibly demonstrate, prove, and improve great faith in God?
  7. How will you meet Jesus? With shame for your faults, or confident in holiness (I John 2:28)?

At the appearing of Jesus Christ.

  1. Did Peter expect his audience to be alive when Christ returned? Does preterism have a case?
    1. Preterists foolishly and heretically believe that all prophecies were fulfilled by 70 AD.
    2. This type of imminent language in the first person is common (I Thess 4:15; I Cor 15:51).
    3. Paul knew Jesus Christ’s second coming was far away in time, and he strictly warned against preterist folly in the matter (II Thess 2:3 compare I Tim 4:1-3; II Tim 2:14-18).
    4. He knew Daniel put Rome’s fall and all RCC history before Christ’s coming (Daniel 7).
    5. For a refutation of preterism.
  2. This is the Day of Judgment, resulting from the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Cor 3:13; 4:5).
  3. This chapter’s context is the second coming, and it should be kept in view in several places.

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Whom having not seen.

  1. This verse is an interruption or parenthetical element to a complex sentence from 1:6 to 1:9.
    1. The sentence continues forward from verse 7 to verse 9 with verse 8 as explanatory data.
    2. This verse is a compound, nonrestrictive, relative adjective clause with extraneous data.
    3. Nonrestrictive elements give information but do not alter the sentence meaning or value.
    4. Nonrestrictive clauses or phrases are usual in English and scripture (I Pet 1:1,17,23; etc.), though they are usually simple with only one element and set apart by enclosing commas.
    5. While it could be in parenthesis or set apart by dashes, God used colons to set it apart, because the parenthetical element already has four commas and one semi-colon itself.
    6. It might help to put parentheses around it, as long as they are clearly understand as aids.
    7. Verse 7 finishes with reference to the second coming of Jesus by His future appearing.
    8. Verse 9 by its use of end is describing the future objective of faith not its present benefits.
    9. The end, or final goal of faith, especially in context of the second coming, is that coming!
    10. The end, or final goal of faith, is salvation of their souls, not just lots of rejoicing glory!
    11. Verse 8 is a present trait of the scattered Jews of Peter’s readers, not their future conduct.
    12. So, receiving the end of faith and soul salvation occurs at the future event of His coming.
  2. Peter had seen Jesus for 3.5 years before His death and many times after His resurrection.
    1. These scattered strangers (1:1) far across the Mediterranean had not had such a privilege.
    2. Recall the request of doubting Thomas and a later exchange comforting us (Jn 20:25-29).
    3. Human affection is usually initiated, increased, confirmed, or enjoyed by personal sight.
  3. Let us learn to walk by faith, not sight, and what that means about faith (II Cor 5:7; 4:18).
  4. Faith, absolute trust in God’s promises and words, is true substance and evidence (Heb 11:1).
    1. Any of the elders can be used for their good report walking by faith, not sight (Heb 11:2).
    2. Noah had never seen rain or flooding before, but that did not discourage him (Heb 11:7).
    3. Abraham did not know where he was going but believed it his inheritance (Heb 11:8-10).
    4. Moses left Egypt with a nation and Pharaoh angry by seeing the invisible (Heb 11:27).

Ye love.

  1. There is little neutral affection and passion regarding Jesus Christ – love Him or hate Him!
    1. Wherever Jesus went among the Jews, division resulted from Him (Jn 7:43; 9:16; 10:19).
    2. Many wanted to kill Him for His life and doctrine; others were willing to die for Him!
    3. Paul went from doing anything against Him to constrained to do for Him (II Co 5:14-15).
  2. To believers, He is precious (I Pet 2:7); they will admire Him at His coming (II Thess 1:10).
  3. Paul’s crown of righteousness awaits those also that love His appearing (II Ti 4:8). Do you?
  4. If you love Jesus Christ, do not think highly of yourself, for He loved you first (I John 4:19)!
  5. If you do not love Jesus Christ, then the Bible curse is Anathema Maranatha (I Cor 16:22)!
  6. How much should you love Him? Above your love of others (Matt 10:34-39; Lu 14:25-33)!
  7. How much should you love Him? More than others’ love of Him (John 21:15-17; Phil 3:15)!
  8. How can or should we measure our love of Him? By keeping His commandments (Jn 14:15)!
  9. Paul identified the matter of sincerity about loving Christ to Ephesus (Eph 6:24; Rev 2:1-5)!
  10. For more, see He Is Altogether Lovely.

In whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing.

  1. This was a present trait of the scattered strangers of Peter’s readers, not their future conduct.
  2. Recall the request of doubting Thomas and the later exchange comforting us (John 20:25-29).
  3. The importance of faith, believing God and His words, especially about Jesus, is very crucial.
    1. Recall that it was already stated that the power of God is through faith to the elect (1:5).
    2. God will fill with all joy and peace in believing and cause hope to abound (Rom 15:13).
  4. Unspeakable joy and full glorious exultation are in Jesus Christ by the prepositional in whom.
  5. Faith in God and His words, resulting in believing on Jesus Christ, should lead to great joy.

Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable.

  1. This was a present trait of the scattered strangers of Peter’s readers, not their future conduct.
  2. What can faith in Christ do? It took the Philippian jailor from suicide to great joy (Ac 16:34)!
  3. If you are not one of the happiest people others know, are you in the kingdom (Rom 14:17)?
  4. If your joy in Christ is not what it should be, repent for carnality and seek Him (Jn 12:20-22)!
  5. Joy unspeakable is happy delight in Jesus Christ that cannot be put into words – ineffable!
    1. The Spirit also used unspeakable for God’s gift of Christ and what Paul heard in heaven.
    2. See love passing knowledge and peace passing all understanding (Eph 3:19; Phil 4:7).
    3. This joy you have is your own and others may not understand or have it (Proverbs 14:10).
    4. No wonder Michal despised David in her heart, because she was like her profane father.

And full of glory.

  1. Glory. verb. To exult with triumph, rejoice proudly. To boast. noun. A state of exaltation and splendor. in one’s glory: in one’s highest state of magnificence or prosperity; also colloq., in a state of unbounded gratification or enjoyment.
  2. This is not God’s glory directly, but rather our own exultation in happy delight about Christ.
    1. Men glory in something when they have great delight, excitement, joy, and pleasure in it.
    2. Compare these places: Psalm 63:11; 64:10; 105:3; 149:5; Isaiah 41:16; 45:25; Jeremiah 4:2; 9:23-24; I Corinthians 1:29,31; 3:21; II Corinthians 12:1-11; Galatians 6:14.
    3. In the texts above, note the close connection to joy and rejoicing, especially the first five.
  3. There is also the sense in which we partake in a practical and personal way of Christ’s glory due to our union with Him by faith in gospel blessings (II Thess 2:14; John 17:22).Are you rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory about Jesus and His coming, or not?

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

Receiving the end of your faith.

  1. This verse connects to 1:7 after the interruption of 1:8 in this complex sentence of 1:6 to 1:9.
    1. The sentence continues forward from verse 7 to verse 9 with verse 8 as explanatory data.
    2. Verse 1:8 is a compound, nonrestrictive, relative adjective clause with extraneous data.
    3. Nonrestrictive elements give information but do not alter the sentence meaning or value.
    4. Nonrestrictive clauses or phrases are usual in English and scripture (I Pet 1:1,17,23; etc.), though they are usually simple with only one element and set apart by enclosing commas.
    5. While it could be in parenthesis or set apart by dashes, God used colons to set it apart, because the parenthetical element already has four commas and one semi-colon itself.
    6. It might help to put parentheses around it, as long as they are clearly understood as aids.
    7. Verse 7 finishes with reference to the second coming of Jesus by His future appearing.
    8. Verse 9 by its use of end is describing the future objective of faith, not present benefits.
    9. The end, or final goal of faith, especially in context of the second coming, is that coming!
    10. The end, or final goal of faith, is salvation of souls, not just earthly rejoicing with glory!
    11. 1Verse 8 is a present trait of the scattered Jews of Peter’s readers, not their future conduct.
    12. So, receiving the end of faith and soul salvation occurs at the future event of His coming.
  2. The end, or final goal of our faith, especially in context of the second coming, is that coming!
    1. The point in time under consideration in the context is the appearing of Jesus Christ (1:7).
    2. The end of our faith – what we live for – is eternal life with Christ in heaven (Rom 6:22).
    3. The end here cannot be less than the adoption and glorification of our bodies (Rom 8:23).
    4. The end under consideration here is the end of all things as we now know (I Cor 15:24).
    5. Even patriarchs Abraham and Isaac looked beyond this life to the next (Hebrews 11:13).
    6. There are a thousand sacred sweets before the golden streets, but they are not the streets!
    7. God gave some grapes of Canaan to Israel beforehand, to sustain them, not satisfy them!
    8. We do not want to even think about Your Best Life Now (Joel Osteen), but rather heaven.
  3. Receiving without context is a present tense form of the verb to receive, yet it is attached in time to the appearing of Jesus Christ, thus further describing details of that future blessing.


Even the salvation of your souls.

  1. Even. Prefixed to a subject, object, or predicate, or to the expression of a qualifying circumstance, to emphasize its identity. Serving to introduce an epexegesis; = ‘namely’, ‘that is to say’. [OED]. Compare Genesis 19:4; 24:11; I Peter 3:4; I Tim 6:3; James 3:9; Col 1:14.
  2. Here is one of those Bible expressions to be rightly divided into the right phase of salvation.
  3. The context of this phrase is rather clearly the final phase of salvation and eternity in heaven.
    1. The context is a lively hope based on Jesus Christ’s resurrection to prove our own (1:3).
    2. The context is an eternal inheritance of incorruption reserved in heaven for us (1:4).
    3. The context is salvation already described as ready to be revealed in the last time (1:5).
    4. The context is God’s measure and reward of faith at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1:7).
    5. The context of the glory to follow Christ’s resurrection is glory in heaven (1:11,20-21).
    6. The context is God’s grace to be yet brought at the end at the revelation of Jesus (1:13).
    7. The context is to pass the time of their sojourning here in fear of God’s judgment (1:17).
  4. Do not be confused by the word soul, for it is synecdoche for the whole person (Gen 12:5; 46:26-27; Exodus 1:5; 12:4; Josh 11:11; Acts 2:41; 7:14; 27:37; I Pet 3:20; II Pet 2:14).
  5. Does it matter to you that your future is glorification in heaven rather than damnation in hell?
    1. If it matters to you, then bless God (1:3), rejoice greatly (1:6), and be full of glory (1:8)!
    2. If it matters to you, then get ready for the exhortation to holy living coming (1:13-16)!

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

Of which salvation.

  1. The salvation in context is the final phase of salvation – Christ’s coming and glorification.
    1. The immediate context – the end of faith and salvation of souls – is the final phase (1:9).
    2. The context is a lively hope based on Jesus Christ’s resurrection to prove our own (1:3).
    3. The context is an eternal inheritance of incorruption reserved in heaven for us (1:4).
    4. The context is salvation already described as ready to be revealed in the last time (1:5).
    5. The context is God’s measure and reward of faith at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1:7).
    6. The context of the glory to follow Christ’s resurrection is glory in heaven (1:11,20-21).
    7. The context is God’s grace to be brought at the end at the revelation of Jesus (1:10,13).
    8. The context is to pass the time of their sojourning here in fear of God’s judgment (1:17).
  2. Did the prophets of the Old Testament ever talk about the final phase of salvation? Indeed!
    1. 1Think of Job first, who knew his living Redeemer was coming to glorify his body for personal fellowship with God, in spite of all hell breaking loose in his life (Job 19:25-27).
    2. Abraham, Job’s relative, saw Jesus and looked for heaven (Jn 8:56; Heb 11:8-10,13-16).
    3. Jacob spoke of Jesus Christ as Shiloh and His work of gathering all the elect (Gen 49:10).
    4. David knew that his future was very different from the men of this world (Psalm 17:15).
    5. David knew that God would redeem him, that is his body, from the grave (Psalm 49:15).
    6. Asaph knew a great reversal of fortune was coming with glory after this life (Ps 73:24).
    7. Isaiah gave Paul the words that we love so much in the resurrection chapter (Isaiah 25:8).
    8. Hosea gave Paul the words that we love so much in the resurrection chapter (Hos 13:14).
    9. Daniel foretold that the kingdom of God would stand forever after all others (Dan 2:44).
    10. Daniel saw the Judgment and saints possessing the kingdom (Dan 7:9-14,18,22,27-28).

The prophets.

  1. Peter here told his audience of scattered strangers that they had it better than O.T. prophets.
    1. The great heroes of their faith, those of Hebrews 11, were not blessed nearly as much.
    2. He concluded this section by noting that the angels were fascinated by saints’ blessings.
  2. A prophet was a man (or woman) by whom God revealed His will to His church until 70 AD.
    1. The revelation does not have to be the future necessarily, though we often restrict it so.
    2. The first prophet revealing God’s will was Enoch, the seventh from Adam (Jude 1:14).
    3. The N.T. prophets existed until the completion of the N.T. canon (Eph 4:11; I Cor 13:8).
    4. There have been no prophets since 70AD, no matter what pretenders claim for themselves; the Bible is more sure than even God’s voice from heaven (II Pet 1:16-21).
    5. Fulfilled prophecy proves God’s unique greatness (Is 46:9-11), the inspiration of the Bible (II Pet 1:19-21), and the identity of true prophets (Deut 18:22).
    6. Do you grasp the value of the office, even loosely considered (Pr 29:18; Acts 8:30-31)?
    7. We must pray for God to appoint bishops to preach His word faithfully in this generation.
  3. Do you appreciate the various men God raised up from the beginning to declare God’s word?
    1. Muslims reverently honor their great prophet, even though illiterate without a prophecy!
    2. Paul began his comparison of Jesus’ superiority by comparing Him to prophets (Heb 1:1).
    3. God cares much about His prophets; you should also care (Genesis 20:7; 31:24; Numbers 12:6-10; 16:23-35; Psalm 105:13-15; II Kings 1:1-17; 2:23-24).
    4. God cares about their prophecies; you should also care (Ex 14:31; I Sa 8:7; I Thes 5:20).
    5. Moses fled Egypt once in fear, but an ordained Moses defied Pharaoh (Ex 5:1 – 14:31).
    6. Elijah illustrated John the Baptist, the greatest born of women, but Elisha trumped him!
    7. Micaiah would not compromise in the face of 400 competing prophets (I Kings 22:14).
    8. Respect Jonah. His preaching converted a pagan city of a couple million (Matt 12:41)!
    9. Think Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Malachi, and several unnamed, etc.
  4. The prophets here are O.T. prophets, for they did not see Jesus Christ and His glory clearly.
  5. While there are no more prophets (I Cor 13:8), you should appreciate bishops that preach.
    1. They celebrated hearing God’s word read and explained by Ezra (Neh 8:8; Ezra 7:6).
    2. We should have the same eager attitude that Cornelius had meeting Peter (Acts 10:33).
  6. For much more detail about God’s prophets.

Have enquired and searched diligently.

  1. Jesus taught the apostles that many prophets had desired to know gospel truth (Matt 13:17).
    1. Read Daniel to see him in several situations begging God for understanding of His will.
    2. Learn right now about a man of God – they crave truth and wisdom above life (Pr 2:1-9).
    3. God chose progressive revelation, meaning that many did not know much (Eph 3:1-12).
    4. If a man walking with God and knowing His will craved the gospel, what of you, today?
    5. You live on this side of the cross with a full canon of scripture and a man to teach it.
  2. The specific desire and request of the prophets is identified in the following verse in context.
    1. They wanted to know the what (more details) and the when (the timing) of Christ’s glory!
    2. You have all this neatly arranged on a silver platter of God’s word and gospel preaching.
    3. How great is your asking and searching of God and others to learn as much as possible?


Who prophesied.

  1. They were prophets; their work was prophecy – the declaration of God’s will to His church.
  2. You have the written result of much of their prophesying in the books of the Old Testament.
  3. Every God-called man had better be constantly about the business of revealing God’s truth.
  4. You should do anything in your power to help the man of God stick to his work (Acts 6:1-7).
  5. Paul wrote a short verse, Despise not prophesyings.
  6. For more about preaching.

Of the grace.

  1. Every spiritual blessing you will obtain in this world and the next is by the free grace of God.
    1. You deserve things; you have earned things; the wages of your sinful life is eternal death.
    2. But the gift of God, a gift by free grace only, is eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. The grace under consideration here is the final salvation of Christ’s coming and eternal glory.
    1. See the first phrase of this verse and the proofs given there of the final phase of salvation.
    2. You deserve the eternal death and torment in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels.
    3. Instead, you will be declared the sons of God to the universe to share Christ’s inheritance.
  3. Is there more grace than Daniel 9:24-27? What about Hab 2:6-9? What about Isaiah 53:1-12?
  4. The focus is eternal life – the final phase of salvation – but it took Christ’s suffering to get it!
    1. Jesus was crowned with glory and honor only forty days after His resurrection (1:20-21).
    2. The focus should be on final grace of glorification, but Jesus was glorified 2000 yrs ago.
  5. See the connection between the grace coming to them here and exactly when (1:10 cp 1:13).

That should come unto you.

  1. Jesus’ incarnation, salvation by Him, the gospel day, and His return were planned for others, and it was this generation Peter wrote that had seen and/or heard Christ first or second hand.
  2. The should here is not questionable probability – in this context it is absolutely 100% certain.
    1. This word does not mean God’s grace is intended for you but something could stop it.
    2. Should is the past tense of shall used for a variety of senses – here a certain expectation.
  3. What did God do so you should have eternal life after this world? All stated from 1:2 to 1:5!
  4. Why did God do such things that you should have eternal life? It seemed good in His sight!

11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Searching what.

  1. They wanted to know the what – more details – of their obscure view of Jesus and salvation.
  2. Daniel’s passionate fast and prayer for understanding Jeremiah 25:11-12 and 29:10 is classic.
  3. So obscure were prophecies that the Ethiopian eunuch, though a man with great authority under Candace of the Ethiopians, could not get the real intent and meaning of Isaiah 53.
  4. There are so many details in the gospel, as we shall see, but they barely had a clue of them.
  5. Is reading your Bible a chore? It should not be. Is it a ritual? You should eagerly search it.
  6. The noble Bereans searched the scriptures to confirm Paul had used them rightly (Ac 17:11).

Or what manner of time.

  1. They wanted to know the when – the timing – of their obscure view of Jesus and salvation.
  2. Daniel was very blessed to receive a dated and timed interval to Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27).
    1. God told Daniel six great things to come.
    2. This is the greatest timed prophecy given … Making Sense of Daniel.
    3. There were N.T. saints waiting with anticipation but without clarification (Luke 2:25,38).

The Spirit of Christ.

  1. Let it be settled forever! Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is rightly called the Spirit of Christ.
    1. Paul at least twice referred to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Jesus (Romans 8:9; Gal 4:6).
    2. Peter in this epistle described Jesus preaching through Noah by the Spirit (I Peter 3:20).
    3. Jesus had a human spirit, which He committed to God at His death (Luk 23:46; Act 7:59).
  2. Let it be settled forever! Prophets of God and their prophecies are by God the Holy Spirit.
    1. Peter will shortly write that holy men were moved by the Holy Ghost (II Peter 1:19-21).
    2. This operation of God maintains perfect unity of scripture and excludes human thinking.
    3. All scripture is inspired by God – God breathed by His Spirit – for profit (II Ti 3:16-17).
    4. Check out David describing how he wrote of Jesus Christ as a glorious king (Ps 45:1).

Which was in them.

  1. The prophets had God the Holy Spirit in them in order to do their inspired work of prophecy.
  2. A prophet without God’s Spirit would not know anything worth hearing or remembering.
  3. Do you see the full significance of God-chosen men filled with His Spirit to give you truth?
  4. Are you as thankful as you should be for God choosing and filling men to give you the truth?

Did signify.

  1. Signify. To be a sign or symbol of; to represent, betoken, mean.
    1. This is not literal language, but rather sign language, symbolic or metaphorical language.
    2. God’s prophets are not to be taken literally, for this word proves they used word pictures.
    3. Other places in scripture use this same word for prophecies (Rev 1:1; John 12:33; 21:19).
    4. God warned about prophetic language by saying prophets used similitudes (Hosea 12:10).
    5. Similitude. A person or things resembling, or having the likeness of, some other person or thing. The form, likeness, or image of some person or thing. A sign or symbol; the symbolic representation of something.
    6. A similitude is a simile, a figure of speech of comparison, not express, literal language.
    7. Two great examples are found in Isaiah 13 and Peter’s use of Joel 2:28-32 for Pentecost.
  2. Dispensationalists and premillennialists demand exclusively literal language by the prophets.
    1. They are some of the most blind, ignorant, naïve, and stubborn men claiming the Bible.
    2. They can actually read of heaven and earth shaking and say, “But it hasn’t happened yet.”
    3. So they still wait for the shaking of heaven and earth in Haggai 2:6-9 now 2000 years old.
    4. So they, like Charismatics, wait for Pentecostal blood, fire, and smoke now 2000 yrs old.
    5. So they, like ignorant Jews, still wait for Elijah to come before Jesus returns (Mal 4:5-6).
    6. So they miss the tabernacle of David built 2000 years ago with Gentiles (Acts 15:14-18).
    7. God could not have been any plainer in the five texts above, but futurists adore literalism.

When it testified.

  1. The One testifying here is the Holy Spirit of God and Jesus Christ working in His prophets.
  2. If God did not testify and reveal things to us, they would all be His secrets (Deut 29:29).
  3. God has spoken; God has testified; if you believe any report by anyone, at least believe His!
  4. Let God be true, but every man a liar (Ro 3:4). Hate contrary opinions (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20).


  1. This is prophecy in the sense we usually think of the word – to declare future events before.
  2. They were on that side of the cross; we are on this side of the cross; we are greatly blessed.
  3. Our God delights in His ability to bring His word to pass in spite of any difficulties found.
    1. Isaiah chapters 41-48 exalt Jehovah God by His unique and solitary ability to prophesy.
    2. Fulfilled prophecy.

The sufferings of Christ.

  1. Remember with confidence the salvation Peter had in mind here from the O.T. prophecies.
  2. Though final salvation of glorification in heaven is the primary emphasis, Jesus died for it!
  3. The sufferings of Jesus Christ are graphically described in Psalm 22, 69 and Isaiah 50,52,53.

And the glory that should follow.

  1. Jesus was given glory in heaven after His suffering, which Peter wrote shortly (1:20-21).
    1. Jesus was crowned with glory and honor for work of salvation (Phil 2:9-11; Heb 2:5-9).
    2. But there is more glory than just Jesus Christ’s glory – there is our glory (Rom 8:17-23).
  2. The issue presented here by Peter is our eternal glory, not just Christ’s coronation (4:13; 5:1).
    1. The argument so far by the Spirit is the final phase of salvation at His appearing (1:3-10).
    2. The argument to follow by the Spirit is also the final phase by His grace (1:10 cp 1:13).
    3. There is a glory in the gospel rest of Christ’s finished work and knowing it (II Thes 2:14).
    4. But we submit to the context where Peter sees Christ’s suffering to get us all into heaven.
  3. If the glory that should follow after is the final phase of salvation, there is a gap from Christ.
    1. There is the immediate glory that He received personally as the guarantee of ours (1:21).
    2. There is the consequential glory that all the elect will receive at the resurrection (5:1).
  4. The should here is not questionable probability – in this context it is absolutely 100% certain.
    1. This word does not mean God’s grace is intended for you but something could stop it.
    2. Should is the past tense of shall used for a variety of senses – here a certain expectation.
    3. What did God do so you should have glory by Christ’s suffering? All from 1:2 to 1:5!
    4. Why did God do such things so you should have eternal life? It seemed good in His sight!

12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Unto whom it was revealed.

  1. God told the O.T. prophets that their ministry was for other men living much later on earth.
  2. They enquired and searched diligently, but they were deprived of our blessing (Heb 11:40)!
  3. Daniel fasted and begged for understanding, but it was 490 years future (Dan 9:1-3,24-27).

That not unto themselves, but unto us.

  1. Gospel things pertaining to Jesus and salvation were ministered for the benefit of N.T. saints.
    1. The O.T. prophets and their immediate audiences would not see the benefit or fulfillment.
    2. The N.T. prophets, their immediate audiences, and us 2000 years later see much fulfilled.
    3. Jesus was chosen to die, prophesied so in the O.T., but truly did so 2000 years ago (1:20)!
    4. Jesus died for and rose again for O.T. saints, but it was Peter’s generation that saw Him.
  2. The O.T. elders and saints, great heroes, did not receive the promises fulfilled (He 11:39-40).
    1. They obtained a good report through faith in obedience to God with far less (Heb 11:2).
    2. They did not receive the great promise of the coming Messiah and His glorious kingdom.
    3. But God provided a better thing for us – the fulfillment of promises they had obscurely.
    4. Do you grasp you have it better than Abel, Noah, Abraham, Job, David, Solomon, etc.?
    5. Those great men and women, seeming greater than any since them, had to wait for us!
    6. God’s plan and dealings with men involve both covenants without excluding either one.
    7. If they had such faith without the promise, what should we diligently show in life with it?
  3. The difference in covenants is very great, with the new far surpassing any aspect of the old.
  4. Paul wrote Hebrews to show Jesus Christ and the gospel far superior to anything of the O.T.

They did minister the things.

  1. The O.T. prophets’ ministry included foretelling gospel things of Jesus Christ and salvation.
    1. The work of the ministry is primarily to declare the revealed will of God to His people.
    2. The work of the ministry is often confused today with administration, entertainment, fundraising, Christian schools, political activism, healing, counseling, visitation, etc., etc.
  2. Gospel things pertaining to Jesus and salvation were ministered for the benefit of N.T. saints.
    1. The O.T. prophets and their immediate audiences would not see the benefit or fulfillment.
    2. In the fullness of time Jesus finally came to save us (1:20; Gal 4:4; II Ti 1:10; Heb 9:10).
    3. The things they obscurely foretold were the most precious things that could ever be told.
    4. Paul quoted Isaiah about glad tidings of good things from preachers (Is 52:7; Ro 10:15).
  3. Good ministers serve things new and old out of God’s treasury (Matthew 13:52; I Cor 4:4).

Which are now reported unto you.

  1. Things O.T. prophets foretold darkly and obscurely, the N.T. apostles now reported as facts!
    1. Those saints before the cross were always looking forward from mere shadows of truth.
    2. What will you tell me about Genesis 22:15-18 without the benefit of Galatians 3:8,16,29?
    3. From Genesis 3:15 to Malachi 4:5-6, it was always future tense of Jesus and redemption.
    4. Now even the scattered strangers across the Mediterranean heard the facts of the gospel.
    5. Peter, Paul, and others were privileged to declare O.T. prophecies fulfilled (Acts 2:22-36; 8:30-35; 9:19-22; 10:36-43; 13:31-39; 17:1-3; 18:28; 26:22-23; I Cor 15:1-8; Heb 2:1-4).
  2. The gospel is not a theory … a concept … a philosophy … a fable … or mere oral tradition.
    1. The gospel is a report of real events that God wrought in and through His Son for you.
    2. The gospel had eyewitness reports of those who ate and drank with Jesus (Acts 1:21-22).
    3. The gospel is established on many infallible proofs by those preaching it (Acts 1:1-4).

By them that have preached the gospel unto you.

  1. These are mainly apostles, but also N.T. prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers (Ep 4:11).
  2. Paul was the main preacher in those parts Peter now wrote (1:1), and they reported the same.
  3. David prophesied of a great company of preachers, which was fulfilled (Ps 68:11; I Ti 3:16).
  4. God in grace saved you; God in grace sent men to tell you about it (Isaiah 52:7; Rom 10:15).
  5. What have you done to encourage the preacher that preaches to you (II Chr 31:4; Gal 6:6)?

With the Holy Ghost.

  1. Apostles and prophets of the N.T. were not different from prophets of the Old Testament; they both needed the Holy Ghost for the inspiration to reveal anything of God’s will.
  2. God put in the world a body of truth, in writing, by men possessed and directed by His Spirit.
  3. The Holy Ghost testified of Jesus Christ and what He taught (John 14:26; 15:26; Acts 1:4-8).
  4. The apostles and Jerusalem Church required men full of the Holy Ghost as deacons (Ac 6:3).
  5. If you are not full of the Holy Ghost, it is your fault (Luke 11:13; Eph 5:18; 4:30; Gal 5:25).

Sent down from heaven.

  1. One of the great blessings of the New Testament is permanent filling with the Holy Spirit.
  2. John and Jesus promised this blessing (Matt 3:11; John 7:37-39; 14:16-17; 16:7; Acts 1:4-8).
  3. Jesus and Pentecost initiated this blessing (John 20:22; Acts 2:33-38; Eph 1:13-14; 4:30).
  4. If you are not full of the Holy Ghost, it is your fault (Luke 11:13; Eph 5:18; 4:30; Gal 5:25).
  5. There is a Person inside you that is from heaven, yea rather, Who is even God Himself!

Which things the angels desire to look into.

  1. First, identify the angels, which desire to look into the things Peter has identified in context.
    1. These must be the elect and holy angels (I Tim 5:21; Matt 25:31; Rev 14:10; Jude 1:14).
    2. The devil’s angels have no interest in gospel things (Mark 1:23-24; 5:6-9; II Cor 4:4).
    3. The elect and holy angels love Jesus Christ and the gospel (Luke 2:13-15; Rev 5:11-12).
    4. The elect and holy angels are fully devoted to God, His Son, and His heirs (Heb 1:6,14)!
    5. For much more detail about angels in general.
  2. What are the things, which Peter has already mentioned, that the angels are fascinated by?
    1. It is Jesus Christ and His obedient sufferings to adopt us as the sons of God (1:2-12).
    2. God adopted us to show these angels His manifold wisdom in our salvation (Eph 3:10).
    3. If the gospel is glad tidings of good things (Is 52:7), the elect and holy angels would care.
    4. There are things and details of the things that are beyond human intelligence (I Cor 2:9).
    5. Carefully muse on incarnation, virgin birth, abuse by enemies, substitutionary death, God’s love of enemies, grace and mercy beyond degree, forgiveness of sins, burial, resurrection, ascension, crowned with glory in heaven, adoption of sons, joint-heirs with Christ, glorified bodies, inner circle around God’s throne, promoted over them, etc., etc.
    6. For mysteries of hidden wisdom.
    7. For facets of salvation.
    8. For more of the glory of Jesus Christ.
  3. The elect and holy angels have a desire toward these things to fully comprehend God’s grace.
    1. The angels that sinned were justly cast out of heaven and reserved for eternal torment (Job 4:18; Isaiah 14:12; Matt 8:29; 25:41; Luke 10:18; II Pet 2:4; Jude 1:6; Rev 12:7-9).
    2. They were actively and extensively involved with Jesus Christ (I Tim 3:16; John 1:51).
    3. Consider that they celebrate in heaven when one sinner on earth repents (Luke 15:10).
    4. These angels are now the servants of the sons and heirs of God – you and me (Heb 1:14).
    5. Remember the rings of those around the throne of God … the saints are inside the angels!
    6. If prophets and righteous man have desired, then what of the angels cut out (Matt 13:17)?
    7. If the best men of earth and the best angels of God are fascinated, what about you, today?
    8. For more Jesus and angels.
    9. For the great mystery of godliness.

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


  1. This word draws a conclusion, inference, or consequence from what Peter had just written.
    1. Wherefore. Introducing a clause expressing a consequence or inference from what has been stated: On which account; for which reason; which being the case; and therefore.
    2. This common, logical word (344 occurrences) is similar to therefore (1220 occurrences).
  2. Beginning with this word and its verb clause is the first imperative mood so far in this epistle.
    1. All that has gone before has been generally indicative, stating the facts of God’s grace.
    2. This is typical for apostolic writing. Note especially Rom 11:36; 12:1 and Eph 3:21; 4:1.
    3. Let this order move you – God has graciously saved you; what will you now do for Him?
  3. Peter had this far in the epistle declared great hope for suffering believers – Christ’s coming.
    1. A lively hope and eternal inheritance were identified as resulting from election (1:2-5).
    2. The suffering saints Peter wrote were encouraged in their faith for His return (1:6-9).
    3. The gospel declaration of wonderful things with angelic fascination was made (1:10-12).
    4. This verse indicates the event justifying the conclusion – the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    5. The mention of hope and the end for grace to be brought are all in context (1:3,9,10).
  4. These Jewish believers were in heaviness due to trials (1:6; 2:12; 3:14,16-18; 4:12-16; 5:10).
    1. Therefore, Peter’s summary of the final phase of salvation would have provided comfort.
    2. Therefore, hope of a great reversal of fortune should motivate to ruling faithless thoughts.
    3. If God is for you, who can be against you? Boldly claim God to help you (Heb 13:5-6)!
  5. The imperative verb gird following the concluding wherefore teaches a holy gospel response.
    1. The verses before this one are all positive, creating the duty to respond in order to obtain.
    2. The verses after this one are negative, creating the duty to respond to avoid (1:14-17).
    3. The incredible blessings and horrific warnings of the gospel should grab our attention.
    4. The gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response both ways, and it says much about you.
  6. This wherefore of conclusion, consequence, or inference should provoke self-examination.
    1. Hearing the gospel requires action, because the obedient are blessed and avoid judgment.
    2. How do you respond to the preaching of God’s word? Do you immediately change?
    3. You have heard more truth of blessing and judgment than most Christians in history.
    4. Turning away your ear from God’s word is dangerous (I Sam 3:39; 15:22-23; Neh 8:1-18; Pr 1:24-30; 28:9; Acts 7:51-60; 10:33; 17:10-11; I Thess 2:13; 5:20; II Thess 2:9-12).
    5. When you hear, you are one of four grounds and a doer or not (Luke 8:18; Jas 1:21-27).
    6. For a commentary on Proverbs 28:9.
    7. For much more about Parable of Sower .
    8. For much more about Doers of the Word.

Gird up the loins of your mind.

  1. This creative, practical metaphor should be appreciated and understood for its context here.
    1. The object of these words are the mental thoughts by those enduring painful afflictions.
    2. Loins are the area between the hip-bone and the ribs, the core area close to the groin.
    3. Loins are used as a metonym for the regenerative source and power of men and women.
    4. Breeches were an undergarment and a girdle an outer garment that covered the loins.
    5. With long or flowing garments of that culture, they had to be bound up for movement.
    6. In order to move quickly or do strenuous work, a girdle would be used to tie clothes up.
    7. Girding up the loins means to tighten up clothes for immediate, quick, and efficient action (Ex 12:11; II Sam 20:8; I Kgs 18:46; II Kgs 4:29; 9:1; Job 38:3; 40:7; Isaiah 5:27; 22:21; Jer 1:17; Luke 12:35; 17:8; John 13:4; Acts 12:8; Eph 6:14).
    8. It is very similar to our own metaphor about energetic work about rolling up shirt sleeves.
  2. The application of the metaphor is to rule thoughts to be ready, efficient, and strong in faith.
    1. Christianity is a religion of mental discipline and toughness, not emotion and feelings.
    2. Bible Christians do not sit around waiting for inner voices, even from the Holy Spirit.
    3. Peter’s audience was in heaviness by temptations (1:6; 2:12; 3:14,16-18; 4:12-16; 5:10).
    4. Therefore, there surely was a cause and provision for discouraged and hopeless thoughts.
    5. Guarantee of an eternal inheritance exalted in context should have helped them (1:3-12).
    6. Paul used the same metaphor to describe truth as the girdle by which to stand (Eph 6:14).
    7. The context assumes hope of eternal life should compensate for earthly pain and trouble.
    8. If God’s mighty angels are fascinated by gospel privileges, they should carry us through.
    9. Trials are allowed and sent by God, which have the goal to perfect faith (1:7; Jas 1:2-4).
    10. Tribulation is part of life, and it can be handled and managed by mental discipline ().
    11. Peter will return to this matter of right thinking shortly for them to arm themselves (4:1).
    12. All thoughts should be kingdom oriented and committed to the final phase of salvation.
    13. Therefore, there is wisdom to I Thess 4:18 and its exhortation to comfort one another.
    14. Your mind should say, Take courage, in line with David (Ps 42; 43; 27).
    15. Joy unspeakable and full of glory depends on this mental discipline to focus on future.
  3. With this gospel rule introduced by Peter, it is wise to consider more about your thoughts.
    1. The instinctive thoughts of the natural mind are as corrupt as hell itself (Eph 4:17-19).
    2. Thoughts and feelings are the most deceitful and wicked sources of impulses (Jer 17:9).
    3. A loose mind is dangerous, deadly, dysfunctional, and derelict from its proper duties.
    4. Stewing, simmering, and analyzing is wickedly deceptive and dangerous. Read the Bible.
    5. Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength condemns negative thinking.
    6. Do not let thoughts happen to you! They are not valuable! Make all thoughts serve God.
    7. Just say, No! You can do it! If you are in a habit of valuing thoughts, you are in trouble.
    8. Ease and inputs attack our minds more than ever, for we have much more of both evils.
    9. Those that are the least productively occupied always get into the most thought trouble.
    10. The devil tries to devour by sending thoughts that must be quenched (I Pet 5:8; Ep 6:16).
    11. Thoughts come from your old man, new man, conscience, Holy Spirit, devil. Trust Bible.
    12. You can by God’s grace rule thoughts to choose only godly matter (Phil 4:8; Rom 7:25).
    13.  It is my job to make war against your thoughts and bring them into captivity (II Co 10:5).
    14. The thought of foolishness is sin, and it will soon lead to sin (Pr 24:9; Job 31:1; Jas 1:14).
    15. God knows any thought in your mind; He instantly knows what you do with it (He 4:12).
    16. Keeping your heart with all diligence means you reject any ungodly thoughts (Prov 4:23).
    17. Thoughts can destroy you (II Cor 4:8-10; Prov 15:13,15; 17:22; 18:14; Jas 1:8; 3:14-16).
    18. Even the world has this rule: “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” We say, Amen!
    19. Some men and women are introverts more than others are: they are at risk for destruction.
    20. These souls know an internal monster and master of negative thinking chases them 24/7.
    21. It is your wisdom to always think of others and their things more highly than you think of yourself and your things (Rom 12:3,10; Eph 4:2; 5:21; Phil 2:1-4; I Pet 5:5).
    22. There are only two options, if you are offended; the best is to ignore it and be glorious (Pr 19:11; Col 3:13); the other is to kindly confront to reconcile (Matt 5:23-25; 18:15-17).
    23. Telling others or getting bitter in your heart are both equally wrong and akin to murder.
    24. Become an expert at forgiving, forbearing, and forgetting what others say or do … inside!
    25. The devil will corrupt your mind to remember others’ faults and overlook your own.
    26. Learn to talk to yourself about your thoughts that plague you – this is self-examination.
    27. Learn to identify your thoughts as separate from your conscience and call yourself a liar!
    28. Do you hate vain thoughts? How much? Just those of others? Or your own? (Ps 119:113).
    29. If you have a bad thought, then shut up, confess it immediately, and forget it (Pr 30:32).
    30. Rather than think, meditate on God and His works (Ps 1:2; 63:6; 77:12; 119:148; 143:5).
    31. Instead of thinking, start thanking, because all destructive thinking is the opposite of it.
    32. Music is dangerous, for worldly music, even easy listening junk, will turn you inward.
    33. Godly music, the only kind that can be fully justified, turns you upward and outward.
  4. There is more help in the word of God for those who do not mistrust and/or rule thoughts.
    1. What thoughts do you have that are contrary to God’s word? Tie them up and burn them!
    2. More about destructive thoughts.
    3. More about faith or feelings.
    4. More about hopeless thinking.

Be sober.

  1. Allow Peter to provide much of the sense for this short exhortation in things he wrote shortly.
    1. Because all things will disappear, be sober about life with emphasis on prayer (I Pet 4:7).
    2. Because the devil seeks to devour weak Christians, be vigilant against him (I Peter 5:8).
    3. This is godly sobriety, which is more than grave seriousness, but spiritual faithfulness.
  2. The persecuted Jews Peter wrote needed to rule their emotions and thoughts to hold hope.
  3. There is no time for you to be confused, discouraged, distracted, fearful, foolish, or troubled.
  4. The matter of living faithfully in a faithless world require all our wits and personal fortitude.
  5. The Christian life is not a grin and a game like Robert Schuller and Joel Osteen often affirm.

And hope to the end.

  1. A lively hope for believers has already been provided by Jesus Christ’s example for us (1:3).
  2. Hope is a function of the mind, for you must encourage yourself to believe things promised.
    1. Hopeless thinking, or a loose mind that forgets, will corrupt or crumble under pressure.
    2. David encouraged himself in the Lord when facing impossible circumstances (I Sa 30:6).
    3. How did he do it? He believed he would see God’s goodness in the future (Ps 27:13-14).
  3. Christians must keep hope all the way through life unto the end when hope will be fulfilled.
  4. Nothing in life from any source by any means that can separate us from God (Rom 8:28-39).

For the grace that is to be brought unto you.

  1. This grace had already been identified in 1:10, which is final salvation at Christ’s appearing.
  2. We hold to five phases of salvation at least, because they are plainly seen in the scriptures.
    1. Election, justification, regeneration, and conversion are by grace, but so is glorification.
    2. The first three are fully past for believers, the fourth continuing, and the fifth yet future.

At the revelation of Jesus Christ.

  1. This is the second coming of Jesus Christ, which is the main event of the full context (1:3-9).
  2. Jesus Christ in His time will show that He is the Blessed and Only Potentate (I Tim 6:13-16).
  3. Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire (II Thess 1:7-10).
  4. This is the hope and waiting of the gospel – for His second coming (I Cor 1:7; Tit 2:11-13).

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

As obedient children.

  1. We were made God’s children by sovereign, monergistic regeneration in the context (1:3,23).
    1. However, Paul once wrote, If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Ga 5:25).
    2. God did regenerate us for us to live any way we might choose but rather what He chose.
    3. What a waste of a new man, and great offence to God, if we squander regenerating grace.
  2. We want to be obedient children of God just like we want our children to obey us as parents.
    1. We should respond to a word from God with the instant zeal that we desire from children.
    2. As we desire our children to live our creed near or far from us, so we should obey Him.
  3. We love the doctrine of adoption, as it is the highest, loftiest facet of salvation (I John 3:1-3).
    1. It matters little we love the doctrine unless we love being obedient children pleasing Him.
    2. There should be the greatest combination of fear and love to perfectly please our Father.
  4. God and the world are perpetual enemies; we should remember it to despise their influence.
    1. If you flirt with the world, you are not an obedient child: you are His enemy (James 4:4).
    2. If we truly love God, we will think, speak, and do to please Him regardless of the world.
    3. We should delight to identify what is worldly and despise it for His sake (Ps 139:21-23).
    4. Once changed by regenerating grace, we should not allow past sinfulness to corrupt us.

Not fashioning yourselves.

  1. Fashion. To give fashion or shape to; to form, mould, shape. To give a specified shape to; to model according to, after, or like (something); to form into (the shape of something); to shape into or to (something).
  2. Compare Spirit usage (Ex 32:4; Job 10:8; 31:15; Psalm 119:73; 139:16; Is 44:12; Phil 3:21).
  3. A great lesson! Do not fashion your character, person, reputation, or conduct after the world.
    1. You fashion yourself daily by the choices you make to honor God, yourself, or the world.
    2. Put off the old corrupt man; put on your new regenerated man (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:8-11).
    3. The verb fashion = verb form, and you are to be transformed, not conformed (Rom 12:2).
    4. Daily with your girded mind you must reject even the opportunity for sin (Rom 13:14).
    5. Each day you must form a Christian man or woman by godly thoughts, words, and deeds.
    6. You promised God you would do this when you were baptized to walk in newness of life.
  4. The world’s fashion, its lifestyle and character, will soon pass away (I Co 7:31; I Jn 2:15-17).
  5. Better to fashion yourself without a right eye or hand, if vulnerable (Matt 5:29-30; 18:8-9).

According to the former lusts.

  1. Christians should not fashion or form their persons and lives according to past lusts and sins.
  2. When a person is truly converted, he is a new creature, and all things are new (II Cor 5:17).
  3. You must identify and destroy bad habits, no matter how desirable or practice for your life.
  4. Following Jesus your Lord, you can be armed to flush all past lusts to live for God (4:1-5).
  5. Sincere love of Jesus Christ crucifies the world and yourself to each other (Gal 6:14). Amen!


In your ignorance.

  1. No matter what you think of your natural self, it was ignorant and unfit for God’s presence.
  2. God forgave us our ignorant and wicked conduct before conversion, but now we are changed.
  3. How can these be Jews, since before conversion they were not so ignorant as lustful Gentiles.
    1. The Jews that Jesus preached to in the land of Israel were quite wicked (Matt 5-7; 12:39).
    2. The new man is no longer ignorant but truly renewed in knowledge (Col 3:10; Eph 4:23).

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


  1. This inspired disjunctive contrasts the lifestyles of the wicked (1:14) and the righteous (1:15).
    1. There is a wide gate and broad way; there is a strait gate and narrow way (Matt 7:13-14).
    2. In contrast to fulfilling the lusts of our flesh as before, we should be holy as God is holy.
    3. In contrast to the filthy and ignorant lusts of the wicked, there is holy living of God’s son.
  2. A theme leading to this verse and through it to the next is our relationship to God as children.
    1. Notice that 1:14 prefaced itself and the next two verses by referencing obedient children.
    2. Obedient children want to please their father, and they want to be like their father as well.
    3. Obedient children of God want to please their Father and be like Him in prized character.

As he which hath called you is holy.

  1. God is holy, and this glorious attribute and character of His should be very dear to your soul.
    1. Holiness is God’s infinite freedom from and infinite hatred for any and all evil anywhere.
    2. God is totally free from any and all evil (De 32:4; Hab 1:13; I Jn 1:5; Heb 7:26; Jas 1:13).
    3. He has such hatred for sin and sinners (Heb 1:9; Pr 6:16-19; 8:13; Ps 5:5-6; 7:11; 11:4-6).
    4. Holiness is extreme and intolerant! It hates any and all evil or moral imperfection at all.
    5. Sanctification is the act or process by which a thing is made holy i.e. saint or sanctuary.
    6. Righteousness is legal correctness; holiness is moral, spiritual perfection relating to God.
  2. The Bible emphasizes God’s holiness over His other attributes by several different measures.
    1. The first occurrence is Moses hearing the Lord and His great name (Ex 3:5; Jos 5:13-15).
    2. Think holy for Spirit, Scriptures, angels, people, place, covenant, hill, temple, name, etc.
    3. Where did God dwell in worship of the Old Testament? In the holiest of all (Heb 9:3,8).
    4. God is named the “Holy One” at least thirty times in Isaiah alone (Isaiah 1:4; 60:14; etc.).
    5. What attribute do special creatures gloriously repeat three times perpetually (Is 6:3; Rev 4:8)? Consider it well. Power-power-power? Love-love-love? Mercy-mercy-mercy? No!
    6. God takes this attribute as His own name (Isaiah 57:15; Dan 9:24; John 17:11; I Jn 5:7).
    7. What makes God glorious? There are several, but God says holiness (Ex 15:11; Re 15:4).
    8. For the high priest, Aaron’s miter had gold on blue lace for holiness (Exodus 28:36-38).
    9. The LORD swears by His holiness, which makes His oaths solemn (Ps 89:35; Amos 4:2).
    10. Power quickens God’s perfections; holiness beautifies them (Ps 29:2; 96:9; II Chr 20:21).
  3. How holy is God? How crucial is holiness to Him? How does He see violations of holiness?
    1. Heaven is not clean in His sight; He damned angels for eternity (Job 15:14-16; II Pe 2:4).
    2. He condemned 50-100 billion human souls to eternal torment for one couple eating fruit.
    3. He could only sanctify some of those souls by bruising and killing His only begotten Son.
    4. His holy fury against sinners for eternal torment is conscious, perpetual, and maximum.
    5. God’s holiness burned at Moses (rock), Aaron (calf), and Nadab and Abihu (strange fire).
    6. Isaiah the prophet, though a great prophet of God and blessed with a very special vision of God in heaven, was certain of destruction in the presence of God’s holiness (Is 6:1-8).
    7. When Peter saw a draught of fishes the Lord arranged, he saw his sinfulness (Luk 5:1-8).
    8. John saw God’s holiness in heaven, and he was as dead before Christ (Rev 1:17; 4:8-11).
    9. God verbally crushed Job twice; he repented and abhorred himself (Job 40:3-5; 42:5-6).
    10. David was afraid of the Lord and His holiness after He killed Uzzah at the ark (II Sa 6:9).
    11. Consider fatal consequences of the sinful unholiness of Ananias, Sapphira, and Corinth.
    12. You cannot serve God acceptably without holiness (Jos 24:19; Ezek 20:39; Rom 12:1-2).
    13. You cannot see God now or in heaven without holiness (Heb 12:14-17; Rev 20:6; 21:27).
  4. The adverb as indicates that a lesson is being drawn and applied from the holiness of God.
    1. The lesson moved from mental toughness (1:13) to reject the world’s corruption (1:14).
    2. Obedient children are like their father; in this case we must be holy as our Father is holy.

So be ye holy.

  1. You must live a holy life consistent with His holiness in order to be an obedient child of God.
    1. The as … so adverb construction here is emphatic and exact to imitate Him (Rom 5:19).
    2. He exhorts to holiness in body and spirit based on fabulous promises offered (II Cor 7:1).
    3. God’s mercies call us to holy lives without conforming to the world at all (Rom 12:1-2).
    4. Since all will be melted at Christ’s coming, we should be holy and spotless (II Pe 3:9-14).
    5. God’s will for your life is sanctification unto holiness without fornication (I Thess 4:1-8).
    6. Pure religion helps widows and orphans, and is to be free from the world (Jas 1:26-27).
    7. Walking with God can only be done with a holy life, because God is holy (I John 1:3-7).
    8. We live in an unholy generation of Christians; you will be strange to them (II Tim 3:1-2).
    9. Satan will viciously attack it; he loves carnal and unholy Christians, for they are fruitless.
    10. It is a painful subject, for it demands sacrifices and denial from pleasant habits you enjoy.
    11. Instead of popularity, it will make you strange to others when you practice it (I Pet 4:1-5).
    12. Since it is extreme, compromisers hate it, for it exposes their damned compromised faith.
    13. It exactly opposes the liberal, lascivious, undisciplined, and worldly Christianity of today.
    14. It is impossible to serve and worship God with compromise (Josh 24:19; Ezekiel 20:39).
    15. It is separation from sin and sinners (II Cor 6:14 – 7:1; Jas 1:27; II Pet 3:14; Jude 1:23).
  2. For much more about holiness (blue fringe).

In all manner of conversation.

  1. Manner. Species, kind, sort. Compare Spirit usage (Matt 4:23; 5:11; 10:1; 12:31; Ac 10:12).
  2. Conversation. Manner of conducting oneself in the world or in society; behavior, mode or course of life.
  3. Holiness of God’s standard and approval must rule every part of your conduct, life, lifestyle.
    1. Every part of your life – thought, word, deed – in both omission and commission are His.
    2. Your thoughts and moods are His, for they were already ordered to be girded up (1:13).
  4. The true faith and religion of Jehovah and Jesus is holy living in every aspect of your life.
    1. How spotted are you? How conformed? How transformed? How separated? How holy?
    2. Are you spotted with television? friends? speech? thoughts? laughter? jokes? music? covetousness? pride? fleshly minded? money? wine? education? child training? authority? time? service preparation? etc.?
    3. David set no wicked thing before his eyes out of hatred for compromisers (Psalm 101:3).
    4. Loving brethren, surprisingly, is a part of holiness (I Thess 3:12-13; 4:1-10; I Pet 1:22).
    5. Your body is the Lord’s by purchase, and the temple of the Holy Ghost (I Cor 6:13-20).
    6. Women should be holy –this extends far beyond just sexual purity (I Tim 2:15; Tit 2:3).
    7. They must mortify idleness, pride, debate, tattling, busybodies, folly, and other sins, etc.
    8. Holy women fear their husbands with meek and quiet spirits, as did Sarah (I Peter 3:5).
    9. We look at Isaiah’s vision for God’s glory, but it also condemns our speech (Is 6:1-8).
    10. You cannot compromise with any sin, for sin destroys any other holiness (Hag 2:10-14).
    11. We need holy fathers who will hate sin themselves and teach their children to hate it.
    12. This is the greatest threat to a church as stated by the Spirit and prophecy (II Tim 3:1-5).
  5. More about extent of holy duties.
  6. More about the extent of holy duties.

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

Because it is written.

  1. The call to holiness was not a suggestion – it was inspired scripture (Lev 11:44; 19:2; 20:26).
    1. The scattered strangers (Jews) would appreciate every confirmation from their scriptures.
    2. If there is one attribute of God emphasized in the Bible – it is His holiness. Never forget!
    3. Bring everything back to the Bible, no matter how large or how small. It alone has truth.
    4. Bring it to the Bible.
  2. When Jehovah chose Israel from all nations to be His, He expected them to be holy like Him.

Be ye holy.

  1. Holy living is an ancient landmark of our faith in an unholy generation of corrupt Christians.
  2. Both education and entertainment forces are bent on destroying personal and public holiness.
    1. They say holiness is extreme, hateful, intolerant, impractical, divisive, old-fashioned, etc.
    2. They laugh about sin, joke about it, mock it, and watch it. Only the very strong can resist.
    3. Condemnation of sin is called intolerant, fanatic, hateful, controlling, self-righteous, etc.
    4. There is nothing sacred or holy anymore; everything is profaned: from unborn to sodomy.
  3. Paul prophesied perilous times for the churches and saints of Christ (II Timothy 3:1-9).
    1. The character traits of this compromising and carnal brand of Christianity include unholy (3:2), despisers of those that are good (3:3), lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (3:4), and having a form of godliness without any authority (3:5).
    2. Jeremiah warned of compromising pastors of his day in light of holiness (Jer 23:9-11).
    3. This generation of Christians has a pile of teachers avoiding holiness (II Timothy 4:3-4).
    4. We should not be surprised, for a warning was given often (II Pet 2:18-19; Jude 1:18-9).
  4. You must have a true vision of God and His holiness to know it (Ps 4:4; 33:8; Isaiah 6:1-8).
    1. Limit your thoughts to holy matters of godly virtue (Phil 4:8; Matt 12:34-37; 23:25-28).
    2. Put on the holy new man you received from Christ, which is perfectly holy (Eph 4:24).
    3. Forget everyone else and following a multitude to do evil; the crowd is wrong (Ex 23:2).
    4. Avoid the appearance or temptation of evil, which can save you (I Thes 5:22; Ro 13:14).
    5. Practical holiness is available to all who will repent in godly sorrow (Jas 4:8; I John 1:9).
  5. For much more about holiness (blue fringe). 
  6. For much more about holiness (II Cor 7:1).
  7. For much more about holiness (sanctification).

For I am holy.

  1. If God is holy, and He has adopted children for Himself, guess what He wants them to be.
  2. He understands the simple rule that two cannot walk together without agreement (Amos 3:3).
  3. He regenerates adopted children to be like Him, and He sends men like Peter to teach them.
  4. You must be holy to be godly, be a child of God, to honor God, to please God, to see God.
  5. Love this attribute of our God; learn it better; defend it from others; practice it for His honor.

17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

And if ye call.

  1. The conjunction and connects the preceding context for its mental toughness for holy living.
  2. The adverb forasmuch follows in 1:18 to connect the precious value of redemption (1:18-20).
  3. The Spirit’s use of if does not express doubt or contingency, but a certainty (Phil 2:1; etc.).
  4. We call on the Father in prayer, but also in worship (Gen 5:3; Ps 116:7; Zep 3:9; II Cor 1:2).
  5. If you have prayed, “Heavenly Father,” or, “Our Father which art in heaven,” you are bound.
  6. From this time forward, let there be sobriety in your thoughts every time you call God Father.
  7. We call on Him often, times we are in trouble, times we are blessed, when we worship, etc.

On the Father.

  1. References to God as Father and our sonship (children) were made earlier (I Peter 1:3,14).
  2. Claiming to be Christians, His adopted elect, and praying to this holy God and worshipping Him, we assume and claim a relationship as His sons, which obligate us to strictly obey Him.
  3. We do claim Him as Father by faith; therefore it is our pleasure and privilege to obey Him.

Who without respect of persons.

  1. This is the character trait of perfect equity, judgment, justice, righteousness. God is perfect.
  2. Respect of persons is for your judgment and justice to be altered by any aspect of a person.
  3. There is no ruler on earth that is not guilty of respecting persons to some degree due to human weakness, deceitful hearts, emotional sentiment, family loyalty, fear, greed, imperfect judgment, peer pressure, self-protection, self-righteousness, and many other factors.
  4. No matter the situation, there is often a chance you can earn a little compromise or leniency.
  5. You take liberties based on their respect … parents, husbands, masters, rulers, pastors, etc.
  6. You do get away with things with others, but you will not get away with sin with this Judge.
  7. God has no respect of persons – there is no factor to influence Him (Deut 10:17; Job 34:19).
  8. You of all men have nothing for Him to see to cause Him to turn a blind eye and overlook.
  9. Children born to vigilant and just fathers know it is hard to avoid detection and punishment.
  10. God does not care one whit for advantage or superiority you have when compared to others.
  11. God does not care one whit for any excuse you make as to why you could not help yourself.
  12. God does not care if you are advantaged and superior, or if disadvantaged and inferior.

Judgeth according to every man’s work.

  1. There are two issues in this phrase – God our Father judges, and He strictly measures action.
  2. God our Father judges; while it is chastening for children, it is judgment and can be severe.
    1. It is a present tense verb – judgeth – so there is no need to run to the Day of Judgment, though there is also no reason to altogether exclude the Day of Judgment, for it cometh.
    2. Judgment Day will be bad enough, but there is plenty of judgment He will execute now.
    3. Paul’s use of damnation, judgment, and chastening to Corinth is helpful (I Cor 11:29-32).
    4. The form of chastening used in Heb 12:5-6 is scourging – God’s choice of words for you!
    5. Not worried? Thinking about other things? Ask Moses about Canaan, Bethshemesh about Ark-peeking, Bathsheba about her baby, David about numbering Israel, Uzziah about trying to be a priest, Peter about denying Jesus, Sapphira about fudging with her husband.
  3. God judges according to every man’s work – a holy, just, performance-based measurement.
    1. He does not care what you think of yourself, for your thoughts are arrogance in His sight.
    2. He does not care what you say of yourself, for He has already called you a liar (I Jn 2:4).
    3. He does not care how much you have deceived others to think or say good things of you.
    4. He does not care what you do outwardly that is not done from a pure heart full of love.
    5. This form of measurement, rewards, and punishments is so basic we all use it (Pr 20:11).
    6. You will be judged individually – every man – so you cannot hide for safety in the group.

Pass the time of your sojourning here.

  1. It is wonderful God adopted us as His children, and it wonderful that we cry, “Abba, Father.”
  2. But God’s character and traits – His holiness, His justice without regard for persons, His performance-based measurement, and His certain judgment for sin should cause fear.
  3. We all have been given time … some more, some less … on average about 70 years … but we are to pass the time of our lives in a specific way, which must be preached and pressed.
    1. You will pass time this afternoon, and I warn you to soberly pass it in fear of the Lord.
    2. Gird up the loins of your mind and do not let any input contrary to godliness remain.
    3. Gird up your mind to not let life just happen, for the world seeks to corrupt your mind.
    4. Guide your mind with sober vigilance to hate worldly thoughts and to love Christ instead.
    5. Guide your mind to realize this is not your home and to focus instead on your final home.
    6. Guide your mind to help each of your brothers and sisters to think these things as well.
    7. Do not pass your time here in pleasure, worldliness, hobbies, work, family, health, etc.
  4. We are sojourners here in the world – it is not our home or permanent dwelling place at all.
    1. Sojourn. To make a temporary stay in a place; to remain or reside for a time.
    2. America makes no difference, for America is not our nation; we belong to a holy nation.
    3. The issue is planet earth and the world’s lifestyle – we are pilgrims and strangers here.
    4. We are here only temporarily, so we must not get attached to anything the world offers.
    5. Peter restated this fact to readers in the next chapter with a related warning (I Pet 2:11).

In fear.

  1. The fear of God is not slavish terror, causing us to hide from Him in rebellion, but rather which causes us to obey Him in love and reverent respect for His glorious person and office.
    1. The fear of God is to hate evil and depart from evil (Pr 8:13; 16:6), not hide like Adam.
    2. It is not sorrow of the world for getting caught, but great zeal to reform (II Cor 7:10-11).
  2. The conjunction and connects the preceding context for its mental toughness for holy living.
  3. The conjunction forasmuch as following in 1:18 connects the precious value of redemption.
  4. A sermon from this text.

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

Forasmuch as ye know.

  1. Forasmuch. In consideration that, seeing that, inasmuch as. Compare I Pe 4:1; Heb 2:14; etc.
    1. In consideration of your redemption from sin, death, and hell, it deserves a holy response.
    2. Seeing that your redemption from death was by God’s Son, it deserves a holy response.
  2. Peter appealed to his readers that the knowledge they had of salvation should affect them.
    1. The key fundamental facts of the gospel about Christ’s death for sin are to be retained.
    2. Though faith and memory are not conditions for eternal life, they save from chastening.
    3. Note how Paul reasoned from the price paid for us to our lively response (I Cor 6:19-20).
  3. Notice the position of this phrase in the middle of a long sentence running from 1:17 to 1:21.
    1. The meaning of forasmuch is that God’s design of redemption should motivate godliness.
    2. Its position, after warning (1:17) and before salvation details (1:19-21), teaches holiness.
    3. There is no real conclusion or exhortation when looking forward, the connection is 1:17.
  4. Consideration of what God did for us by Jesus Christ should apprehend us to be bond slaves.
    1. The greater the gift or privilege given, the greater the sin of ingratitude by its recipients.
    2. Most believers know the rule: to whom much is given shall much be required (Lu 12:48).
    3. Since this audience knew the gospel, and so do you, the rule applies severely and strictly.
    4. Paul warned similarly when writing Jews in Israel (He 10:26-31; 2:1-4; 6:4-6; 12:25-29).
    5. Consider how Paul reasoned from Christ about his own life and zeal (II Cor 5:14-15).
    6. Learn it now, and love it – you are a bondslave of Jesus Christ forever (Romans 14:7-8)!

That ye were not redeemed with corruptible things.

  1. The primary and initial argument Peter raised that should affect them is their redemption.
  2. Redemption is the economic or financial event of buying something or someone back from another that has a legitimate and binding claim against it.
    1. Redeem. To buy back (a thing formerly possessed); to make payment for (a thing held or claimed by another). To free (mortgaged property), to recover (a person or thing put in pledge), by payment of the amount due, or by fulfilling some obligation. To ransom, liberate, free (a person) from bondage, captivity, or punishment; to save (one’s life) by paying a ransom.
    2. Compare the Spirit’s use of redeem (Exodus 13:13; Lev 25:25; I Chr 17:21; Ps 49:15).
    3. Redemption is a great subject deserving your fullest adoration and service (Matt 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 3:24; I Cor 6:20; Eph 1:7; Tit 2:14; Heb 9:12-14; Rev 5:9).
    4. For much more about redemption.
    5. For more about redemption.
  3. What was the claim against us? Who held the claim? What did He demand for the payment?
    1. The claim was God’s righteous condemnation to eternal torment for Adam’s and our sins.
    2. God held the claim – He that damned Adam and Eve, drowned the earth in a flood, etc.
    3. He demanded death –wages of sin is death – He applied three: spiritual, physical, eternal.
  4. The purchase of our souls from the claims of God’s justice was by nothing this world offers.
    1. Redemption in the world, like ransom for a captured or kidnapped family, is usually cash.
    2. Corruptible things, all that exists in this evil world, are insufficient for an immortal soul.
    3. No man can by any means give to God a ransom for his own or others’ souls (Ps 49:6-9).
  5. Corruptible things are all the world has to offer, but the best cannot redeem immortal souls.
    1. We learned this word earlier, where incorruptible described our eternal inheritance (1:4).
    2. We shall encounter it again shortly, where incorruptible will describe Jesus Christ (1:23).
    3. The infinite, eternal Spirit of Jehovah is not bought off by anything you have ever known.
    4. His holy and righteous nature requires much more than anything you can even imagine.
  6. If you were redeemed from death by silver and gold, you would greatly honor your redeemer.
  7. You were bought with a price; you are not your own; therefore glorify God (I Cor 6:19-20).

As silver and gold.

  1. The typical payment for redemption or ransom in a world of real money is precious metals.
  2. But silver and gold as you know them are corruptible and temporary (1:7), fully insufficient.
    1. Corruptible things, all that exists in this evil world, are insufficient for an immortal soul.
    2. No man can by any means give to God a ransom for his own or others’ souls (Ps 49:6-9).
  3. What is amusing here is that the entire Arminian missionary effort depends entirely on them!
    1. 1If no gold or silver, thus the money-begging institution called deputation, men go to hell.
    2. These missionaries do not know the Commission was fulfilled (Mark 16:19-20; etc.).
    3. These missionaries do not know the same Jesus told them not take money (Mark 6:7-9).
    4. They show hypocrisy and ignorance by appealing to Mark 16 while rejecting Mark 6!
    5. The missionary movement has for years published how many cents it takes to save a soul.
    6. These folks in 2013 did it for $.61 (5,074,367 souls).
  4. What is not amusing is that less than 1% of Arminians believe their own foolish soteriology.
    1. Arminians are guilty of soul genocide as they enjoy the good life that damns many souls.
    2. Their churches are far nicer than needed, and they often have gymnasiums costing souls!
    3. It would be better to go naked and suffer its shame, then to buy clothes and damn souls!
    4. BJU is the biggest culprit – begging the last nickel from paying students and requiring many prayers for missions, while having an extravagant, expensive Catholic art museum!
    5. We believe in labor and money to spread the gospel, for not for eternal life (II Tim 2:10).

From your vain conversation.

  1. Conversation. Manner of conducting oneself in the world or in society; behavior, mode or course of life.
    1. Conversation has nothing to do with talking to another person, but rather your lifestyle.
    2. The lifestyle considered here is their religious habits, conduct, requirements, or traditions.
  2. There are religious traditions that are simply and only vain – without merit, profit, or value.
    1. The Bible throughout mocks the vanity of idolatry (Is 44:9-20; Jer 2:5,8,19; Acts 14:15).
    2. Roman Catholics taught and practiced that giving money could purchase indulgences.
    3. Muslims think that a pilgrimage to Mecca, the fifth pillar or sacrament, gives eternal life.
    4. A religious practice either has divine proof for its validity and value, or it has neither.
  3. Peter’s audience, scattered Jews (1:1), had put confidence in money to redeem their souls.

Received by tradition from your fathers.

  1. Religious tradition is a powerful force: parents by example and teaching brainwash children.
    1. Consider that big Buddhists beget little Buddhists almost always with few exceptions.
    2. Therefore, give great glory to God for your parents or for saving you from your parents!
    3. We hold religious tradition, but it is tradition by apostles and scripture (II Thes 2:15; 3:6).
    4. These verses (2:15; 3:6) are the only positive use of the word out of 13 uses by the Spirit.
    5. Jesus and apostles hated Jewish traditions (Matt 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13; Gal 1:14; Col 2:8).
  2. We assume Jewish readers (1:1), so it is Jewish tradition by various errors of that nation.
    1. We do not charge Moses’ Law, though it involved many expensive sacrifices and much giving, for it also pointed clearly to Messiah throughout, Who would save by Himself.
    2. But we do see Jews had a fetish fascination with money (Psalm 69:9,22; Matt 19:16-26; 23:16-24; Mark 7:1-13; 11:15-19; John 2:13-17; Rom 11:9-10; Hos 12:7-8; Amos 8:4-7).
    3. And we know the traditions of the elders were contrary to Moses and Jesus, and they involved corruptions involving money (Matt 6:1-4; 15:1-9; John 2:13-17; Gal 1:14).
    4. Even the apostles got too excited about costly stones of the temple (Luke 21:5), though it was clear from scripture God did not care (Ps 50:7-13; Jer 7:4; Micah 6:7; Hag 2:8-9).

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


  1. There are many such inspired disjunctives in the Bible, but we should appreciate each one.
  2. Money is contrasted to Christ’s blood, but also loyalty to fathers with loyalty to God (1:21).
  3. Our religion is set at great odds against all others – by the gospel of redemption by blood.
    1. God becoming a man in order to die for the sins of enemies to adopt them is incredible!
    2. Their gods required they sacrifice their sons; our God sacrificed His only Son for us.
    3. The doctrine of substitutionary atonement must never be compromised in any way.

With the precious blood of Christ.

  1. Gold and silver were and are precious metals, taking on the role of money contrary to others.
  2. Peter used precious 4 times for Jesus or His blood, 2 times for faith, and 1 time for promises.
    1. He knew that it was the blood of Jesus Christ his Lord that washed away His many sins.
    2. Paul used it only once for gems themselves (I Cor 3:12), but we know he loved the blood.
  3. Jesus redeemed us from the claims of God’s law by the payment of His own precious blood.
    1. Adam condemned us by sin in Eden; Jesus bought us back by obedience (Rom 5:12-19).
    2. God gave the Law to show us our sins, but Jesus redeemed us (Rom 5:20-21; Gal 3:13).
    3. God, for His glory, put us in Christ and made Him to be for us – redemption (I Cor 1:30).
    4. Jesus entered one time into the holy place in heaven and obtained redemption (Heb 9:12).
  4. The blood of Jesus Christ represents the death of Jesus, for the life of a man is in the blood.
    1. The important connection between blood and the life of the body is revealed (Lev 17:11).
    2. His blood apart from death did not redeem any more than death without shedding blood.
    3. Avoid separating the blood of Jesus or His cross from His death, for His death is key (I Cor 1:17-18; Gal 5:11; 6:12,14; Eph 2:16; Phil 3:18; Col 1:20; 2:14; Heb 12:2).
    4. Mel Gibson, promoting his movie, The Passion of the Christ, to a large body of evangelical ministers explained that one drop of blood by a pin prick could redeem men.
  5. Since our redemption, or adoption, is far beyond natural things, we surely owe our Father.
    1. What ROI do you God your Father? Return on investment? He invested His Son’s blood!
    2. What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us … to adopt us as His own sons!
  6. For more about the blood of Jesus Christ.
  7. For more about the blood of Jesus Christ.

As of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

  1. This inspired simile does not serve us as well as it would shepherds or Jews, but try anyway.
    1. Not being shepherds, you may not fully appreciate lambs, but you should (Re 5:6; 13:8).
    2. Not being Jews, you do not automatically think of lambs offered continually every day.
    3. But Jesus is the Lamb of God, and He took away your sins as the innocent Substitute!
  2. This inspired simile about blemishes and spots is foreign to your experience, but try anyway.
    1. Lame lambs, blind lambs, spotted lambs (their wool), and other defects destroyed value.
    2. The Jews continually culled from their flocks the kind of lamb that represented our Jesus.
    3. Every shepherd would know the most valuable lamb in his flock to be culled for sacrifice.
    4. Jesus of Nazareth was God’s only begotten Son, His beloved Son, that pleased Him well.

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

Who verily.

  1. Verily. In truth or verity; as a matter of truth or fact; in deed, fact, or reality; really, truly.
  2. There are certain things in the universe that are absolute – the identity of God’s Son Jesus and the fabulous events surrounding Him on earth and the glory that followed (I Tim 3:16).
  3. There are certain things in the universe that are absolute – one is God’s everlasting covenant.
    1. You may doubt Columbus discovered America, gravity, or Americans visited the moon.
    2. But do not doubt Jehovah assigned Jesus Christ by covenant to die for His elect (1:2).
    3. You scoff at the comparison? Read these passages: Jer 31:35-37; 33:19-22; Is 54:9-10.

Was foreordained before the foundation of the world.

  1. Ordain. To appoint, decree, destine, order. To appoint or assign. To order, command, bid (a person to do something, or that a thing be done).
  2. Foreordain. To ordain or appoint beforehand; to predestinate.
  3. The LORD Jehovah appointed and charged Jesus Christ to die for His elect in eternity past.
    1. Though Jesus did not exist as Redeemer then, He was made the Surety of the covenant.
    2. Though neither you nor your race existed then, your name was written in the book of life.
    3. All parties and duties to the everlasting covenant were settled before the world began.
    4. It is called predestination in Eph 1:3-6 where Christ’s work is to pay for our adoption.
    5. Consider these verses about the everlasting covenant: Matt 25:34; Acts 15:18; Eph 1:4; II Thess 2:13; II Tim 1:9; Titus 1:2; Rev 13:8; 17:8; Rom 8:28-39; Jer 31:3; Heb 13:20.
    6. The testament of salvation, like a will and testament, stated the testator and beneficiaries before the world began, and it went into force with the testator’s death (Heb 9:15-17).
  4. For more events before the world began.

But was manifest in these last times.

  1. Manifest. Adjective. Clearly revealed to the eye, mind, or judgment; open to view or comprehension; obvious. Verb. To make evident to the eye or to the understanding; to show plainly, disclose, reveal.
  2. While a contrast by the disjunctive but, it is a matter of time only, eternity versus the gospel.
  3. God’s purpose and grace were from eternity, but manifested when Jesus came (II Ti 1:9-10).
    1. God sent forth His Son to actually redeem His children in the fullness of time (Gal 4:4-6).
    2. This timing issue, a blessing on Peter’s readers after the cross, had been stated (1:10-12).
    3. There are at least two aspects to the manifestation – His coming and gospel preaching.
  4. The last times, from a New Testament perspective, are from Jesus and the gospel forward.
    1. Compare these similar scriptures: Galatians 4:4; II Tim 3:1; Heb 1:2; 9:26; I John 2:18.
    2. We see many things very clearly that those before Christ did not see clearly at all. Glory!

For you.

  1. The doctrines of election and predestination are personal, by Jesus Christ for you personally.
  2. The pronoun you in High English is always plural, so it means the elect readers of the epistle.
  3. The gospel of Jesus Christ reveals information about a very personal God saving His people.
    1. These particular believers were the blessed recipients of the gospel on this side the cross.
    2. It is your blessed privilege to receive the gospel as God’s declaration of love to you.

21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Who by him do believe in God.

  1. If you believe in God, it is because Jesus Christ has revealed God to you and given you faith.
    1. Jesus taught that no man could know the Father unless Jesus revealed him (Matt 11:27).
    2. The gift of eternal life, from Jesus Christ, is the work necessary to know God (Jn 17:2-3).
    3. It takes the same resurrection power to quicken us to faith as raising Jesus (Eph 1:19-20).
  2. These short, simple expressions in the Bible should not be overlooked in learning salvation.
    1. The common scheme is that we must believe in God and Christ first to make Jesus ours.
    2. But without divine grace and enablement, we would never believe on Christ (Eph 2:1-3).
    3. Peter later wrote God’s righteousness gives us faith, opposite the current idea (II Pet 1:1).
    4. Let this phrase help you rightly identify the Word in 1:23 that liveth and abideth forever!
  3. The privilege of evangelical faith in the gospel of Christ is further reason to live for Him.

That raised him up from the dead.

  1. God raised the body of Jesus up from the dead, declaring Him to be the Son of God (Ro 1:4).
    1. If Jesus had not been raised from the dead, then He must not have satisfied God’s wrath.
    2. If Jesus had not been raised form the dead, you are still in sins (Rom 4:25; I Cor 15:17).
    3. But God did raise Him up, proving Jesus had conquered death for you and yours. Glory!
  2. The resurrection of dead bodies, the great theme of I Corinthians 15, is worthy of your love.
    1. If Jesus is not raised, then your dead relatives and you will not be raised (I Cor 15:18-19).
    2. But God did raise Jesus, which is proof your relatives and you will be (I Cor 15:20-23).
    3. From the beginning of this chapter, the glory of the resurrection has been stressed (1:3).
  3. Your lively hope in what God has in store for you (1:3) is based on what He did for His Son!
    1. The heaviness Peter’s readers were experiencing is alleviated by faith in the resurrection.
    2. Our faith and hope should be unwavering in God our Father by this example in Jesus.
    3. Jesus Christ is no weak, poor, or dead Saviour! He lives and reigns forever beside God!

And gave him glory.

  1. God raised Jesus from the dead; He proved His resurrection valid; He ascended up to heaven.
  2. When He arrived in heaven, Jesus was coronated as King and given great glory and honor.
    1. Peter had written that the O.T. prophets spoke of this glory to follow His suffering (1:11).
    2. When Jesus ascended up out of this world, He was received up into glory (I Tim 3:16).
    3. David wrote Psalm 8; Paul applied it to Jesus crowned with glory and honor (Heb 2:5-9).
    4. You should love to read what God did for His Son after He came and died (Phil 2:9-11).
    5. Read Revelation 1 and 4-5 to see what took place in the first century that John recorded.

That your faith and hope might be in God.

  1. On what basis does Peter explain or appeal for the faith and hope of his readers to be in God?
    1. Working backward, God raising Jesus from the dead and glorifying Him should do so.
    2. God doing such things for Jesus should replace the vain religious traditions of fathers.
    3. This is the lively hope of the believer, for Jesus is alive at the right hand of God (1:3).
    4. This risen, reigning, and returning Saviour gave us faith to follow Him to where He is!
    5. Is any labor for the Lord in vain? On what basis is such labor not in vain (I Cor 15:58)?
    6. What God did for Jesus He shall soon do for us that love Him (Phil 3:20-21; Col 3:1-4).
    7. We are the fulness of Jesus Christ, Who fills all in all – we shall be with Him (Eph 1:21)!
  2. Faith and hope to overcome this world depends on remembering where Jesus is now exalted, which is why the apostle to the Gentiles exhorted us to comfort one another (I Thess 4:18).
  3. If your faith and hope are not in God, and you call on the Father, then be well afraid (1:17).

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


  1. This is a new thought or argument here, distinct from what has gone before up through 1:21.
  2. This is an independent thought without much connection to the context following in 1:23.
  3. It is worth learning the sense of this word, for the Spirit used a form of it again in this verse.
  4. Seeing. quasi-conjunction. Seeing that, hence elliptically, seeing: considering the fact that; inasmuch as; since, because. Compare II Peter 3:11,14,17; Heb 4:14; 7:25; Gen 15:2; 18:18.
  5. Since they had advanced as far as brotherly love, they should press ahead in that great grace.
    1. This grace as much or more than others is something believers should grow and increase.
    2. Paul sought for it to abound (I Thes 3:12), increase (I Thes 4:9-10), continue (Heb 13:1).
    3. For love is the greatest Christian grace.

Ye have purified your souls.

  1. What are their souls here? There are two options, and one is more contextually reasonable.
    1. The first option is simply a reference to whole persons (Gen 12:5; I Pet 3:20; II Pet 2:14).
    2. The second option is a synonym for the heart by use later in the verse (Acts 15:9; Ja 4:8).
    3. Compare also other scriptures (I Pet 2:11; II Pet 2:8; Heb 10:38; Acts 4:32; John 12:27).
    4. We understand soul here to be the internal apparatus of motive and direction in a person.
    5. Yet, the soul, by directing the whole course of life, being purified, purifies the whole life.
  2. What is the purification here? It is practical sanctification of cleansing motives and actions.
    1. Faith and obedience to the gospel, the truth as next stated, brings personal sanctification.
    2. This is not justification, for that is a legal and forensic term about our status before God.
    3. Embracing the truth of the gospel brings about a sanctifying effect in conduct (Ac 15:9).
    4. Consider Paul’s exhortation his gospel and truth were for sanctification (I Thess 4:1-10).
    5. Though called to holiness earlier (1:15-16), they had achieved it in love (I Thes 3:12-13).
  3. There is a purifying of the soul and heart that is a consequence of active gospel obedience.
    1. An unregenerate or an unconverted heart or soul is polluted with sinful thought patterns.
    2. When the gospel is obeyed, the heart and soul are cleansed from sin to think righteously.
    3. God initiates the change (regeneration) and strengthens it (sanctification), but you obey.
    4. You can and should rise in degrees of purity or holiness by greater and greater obedience.
    5. Compare scripture on this subject (Romans 6:16-19; 12:1-2; Gal 3:1; 5:7; Eph 4:17-24).
    6. You can purify your hearts from sinful lusts (Jas 4:8; Is 1:16-17; Ezek 18:31; II Cor 7:1).
    7. The great hope of the gospel should cause purification (Heb 9:14; II Pet 3:14; I John 3:3).
    8. Each time you hear the gospel or read a Proverb commentary, you can and should purify.
    9. How much effort have you made to purify your soul? Have you prayed for your efforts?
  4. The purification here by its logical and grammatical connection is by way of brotherly love.
    1. You can show more truth over your depraved heart by brotherly love than anything else.
    2. The world loves those who love them and/or by whom they benefit, but Christians love and serve those with whom they have nothing in common but mutual love of Christ!
    3. Brotherly love is contrary to our natural addiction and obsession for bitterness, criticism, envy, evil surmising, hatred, malice, pride, selfishness, sloth, revenge, talebearing, etc.
    4. The greatest love is to those with whom you have nothing in common (Matt 5:43-48; Luke 5:30; 7:34; 10:25-37; 15:1-2; 19:7; I Cor 12:23; II Cor 6:11-13; Isaiah 11:6-9).
    5. The greatest love is to those who cannot repay (Matt 25:40; Luke 14:12-14; Job 29:12-18; 31:16-20; Isaiah 58:6-11; Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37; Rom 12:16; I Tim 5:10; Jas 1:27).


In obeying the truth.

  1. Obeying the truth requires believing the truth, which requires Jesus Christ’s work (see 1:21).
  2. Obeying the truth purifies or sanctifies a person by changing knowledge, motives, actions.
    1. Jesus taught that knowing the truth would free men from superstition (Jn 8:32; Heb 2:15).
    2. Consider all the lofty descriptions of believing the written word (Psalm 1:1-2; 19:7-11).
    3. Obeying the truth gives a person a full, new worldview, perspective, and approach to life.
    4. We are bound to always give thanks for the salvation of truth (II Thes 2:13; Gen 32:10).
    5. The Jews in Jerusalem marveled God had given faith to purify Gentile hearts (Acts 15:9).
    6. Peter’s argument reaches brotherly love, so they purged away hate and malice (Tit 3:3).
    7. The truth states what God has done, what He will do, and what we should do in response.
    8. With the great love of God shed abroad in our hearts, how can we not love the brethren?
  3. There is no value in truth without obeying it, otherwise you are merely a devilish believer (Jas 2:19), a forgetful hearer (Jas 1:21-25), fruitless ground (Luke 8:18), or a liar (I John 2:4).
  4. One of the great commandments of the truth is to love one another in Christ (John 13:34-35).

Through the Spirit.

  1. You cannot and will not obey the truth without regeneration and then help by the Holy Spirit.
  2. Ability, desire, and effort is by the Spirit (Ro 8:13; II Co 3:18; Gal 5:5; Phil 2:13; I Jn 3:24).
  3. With regeneration already in place, Paul still prayed for the Spirit (Eph 1:15-18; 3:14-19).
  4. Even if you are born again and have a Bible in your language, you must pray (Ps 119:18,25).
  5. If you allow or cover sin, you grieve the Spirit and quench His power (Ep 4:30; I Thes 5:19).
  6. You should do everything in your power, from holiness to prayer, to seek more of the Spirit.
  7. The doctrine of your total depravity helps here.

Unto unfeigned love of the brethren.

  1. Unfeigned love is genuine, sincere, true love – without any deception, hypocrisy, pretentions.
    1. Unfeigned. Not feigned, pretended, or simulated; sincere, genuine, true, real.
    2. Compare scriptures (I Sam 21:13; Jer 3:10; II Pet 2:3; II Cor 6:6; I Tim 1:5; II Tim 1:5).
    3. Against all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings (2:1).
  2. When we think of the change wrought by regeneration and truth, brotherly love is at the top.
    1. Both devils and believers have faith, and the devils may show more effects (James 2:19).
    2. A powerful evidence of Christianity is to replace hatred with brotherly love (Titus 3:3).
    3. Brotherly love is contrary to our natural addiction to hatred, pride, selfishness, sloth, etc.
    4. Brotherly love is selfless desire and efforts to perfect another person in the sight of God, which includes holy, fervent goodwill for them to maximize life as God has defined it.
  3. Note how Peter developed this chapter by the Spirit up to the great grace of brotherly love.
    1. After a foundation of God’s grace (1:1-12), he called for girding up thoughts (1:13), sobriety (1:13), hope (1:13), forming lives as obedient children (1:14), living holy lives (1:15-16), and living in fear of God due to strict judgment and costly redemption (1:17).
    2. He then reached brotherly love, which is in every chapter (1:22; 2:17; 3:8; 4:8; 5:14).
    3. This is the greatest grace of a Christian’s life and will do more for others than any other.
    4. Real lovemaking of a spouse, which is called love, but is considerably below brotherly love, is not getting sex from them, but rather sexual due benevolence to them (I Cor 7:3)!
  4. Hyperbole creates a strong argument for charity’s greatness – the more excellent way of love.
    1. You can earnestly covet the best gifts, but there is a more excellent way (I Cor 12:28-31).
    2. In spite of even hyperbolic spiritual gifts, without love they are worthless (I Cor 13:1-3).
  5. For more about brotherly love as the greatest.

See that.

  1. It is worth identifying the sense of this word, for the Spirit used a form of it in this verse.
  2. See. see to (or unto) – a. To be solicitous about. To attend to, do what is needful for; to provide for the wants of; to charge oneself with (a duty, a business).
  3. Compare scriptures (Gen 45:24; Ex 4:21; II Chron 24:5; Eph 5:33; I Thess 5:15; Heb 12:25).
  4. This is an imperative clause, even though Peter had already commended their unfeigned love.
  5. The purifying of faithful obedience brings the habit/motive, which must be put into action.
  6. Make sure that you are faithful in this high and holy duty of loving the brethren for Christ.

Ye love one another.

  1. Brotherly love is one of the great evidences and proofs of Christianity before God and world.
    1. John repeatedly wrote that it proved regeneration and eternal life (I Jn 2:10; 3:10,14; 4:7).
    2. Proof of election includes brotherly kindness, love, charity (I Thes 1:2-4; II Peter 1:5-11).
    3. Love shows we are the true children of God before the world (John 13:34-35; 17:21).
  2. Brotherly love is a preeminent duty that is repeated and defined often in the New Testament.
    1. Paul identified brotherly love as a duty of sanctification (Ro 12:10; I Thes 4:9; Heb 13:1).
    2. John stressed love in the few pages of his epistles (John 13:34-35; I John 3:11,23; 4:21).
    3. It is by this great grace of brotherly love that the church is built (Eph 4:2-3,15-16; 5:1-2).
  3. Brotherly love is a one another duty, meaning each one shows love to each other member.
    1. The compound reciprocal pronoun one another creates combinations and permutations.
    2. Each half of the pronoun is singular, yet attached to plural ye, intending one-on-one love.
    3. There are no cliques in the church of God; there is mutual love by each member to each.
  4. For more about brotherly love as the greatest.
  5. For more about one another duties.

With a pure heart fervently.

  1. There are two issues here – purity of love without hypocrisy; passionate love with fervency.
  2. Loving with a pure heart could be sinless love, but it rather addresses honest, sincere love
    1. Paul warned Rome to love without dissimulation, or hypocrisy or feigning (Rom 12:9).
    2. Dissimulation is hypocrisy – pretending or speaking of love but not performing properly.
    3. There is unfeigned love, as here, which indicates there is also feigned love (II Cor 6:6).
    4. Affection, concern, desire, empathy, and forgiveness of love must be from the heart (Matt 18:35; Jas 3:14-16) to engage the bowels of compassion (II Cor 6:11-12; I Jn 3:17).
    5. If you feel like a hypocrite, then repent and keep your heart loving with all diligence.
  3. Loving fervently is to love with great passion, to have the bowels involved in brotherly love.
    1. Fervent. Hot, burning, glowing, boiling. Of persons, their passions, dispositions, or actions: Ardent, intensely earnest.
    2. Peter will repeat this adjective shortly about the same subject – fervent charity (I Pet 4:8).
    3. Love, even this high, is a choice; it is not at all a function of chemistry or circumstances.
    4. Every commandment to love implies that love is something you do by setting your affections upon the object (Col 3:2,19; II Cor 6:11-13; Pr 5:19; Matt 22:36-40).
    5. You do not wait for fervency; you set your love, make investments, and feelings follow.
  4. The greatest measure of a church is Bible-defined brotherly love by all and to each member.
    1. Therefore, the whole church should strive to increase the average love and extent of it.
    2. How close are you to being ranked by a strict Paul with Stephanas’ house (I Cor 16:15)?
    3. Are you an Achan holding back your church? You are, if you do not fervently love all.
  5. For more about brotherly love as the greatest.

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

Being born again.

  1. Regeneration is absolutely necessary for any of the spiritual duties from 1:13 through 1:22.
    1. Your first birth leaves you totally depraved and unwilling and unable to please God at all.
    2. This is the message of the gospel, plain and simple and severe (John 3:3; 5:40; 6:44; 8:47; 10:26; Rom 3:9-18; 8:7-8; I Cor 2:14; Eph 2:1-3; 4:17-19; etc., etc.).
    3. You will not gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, hope to the end, fashion yourself as an obedient child, be holy, pass your sojourning in fear, believe in God, obey the truth, or love the brethren in purity and passion without God’s creative work of quickening.
    4. Being born again is the same as being begotten again (1:3), regeneration, quickening, etc.
    5. By its close connection within the same sentence, regeneration is especially necessary for acceptable love of the brethren, which John connected many times in I John chapters 2-5.
    6. For much more about total depravity.
    7. For much more about being born again.
    8. For more about regeneration.
  2. Regeneration is not a process; it is instantaneous; this audience was already born again (1:3).
    1. Being. participial adjective. It being the case that, seeing that, since.
    2. Compare scriptures to see being as an existing fact (I Peter 1:7; 2:24; 3:5; II Peter 3:6).
  3. There is no more room for human means in your second birth than there was in your first.
    1. It takes God’s creative, resurrection power to get a sinner to believe (Eph 1:19; 2:1,10).
    2. Peter had already assigned regeneration to God the Father and His abundant mercy (1:3).
    3. The will of the flesh (the subject) and the will of man (others) are excluded (John 1:13).
    4. The Bible or gospel cannot help a person in the flesh, for it would require the sinner’s cooperation with the Spirit or truth (John 3:3; 5:39-40; 6:44,65; 8:43,47; 10:26-29; Rom 8:7-8; I Cor 1:22-24; I Cor 2:14; II Cor 4:1-6; Eph 1:19; 2:1-3; II Tim 2:25-26).
  4. The work of regeneration requires God or Christ’s divine power, which the Bible and gospel do not have and are not credited with (John 1:13; 3:5; 5:21,24-29; Eph 2:1-5,10; Col 2:13).
    1. Proper interpretation of this verse starts with this axiom, and it cannot be compromised; therefore we know the written scriptures or the preaching of them is not in this verse.
    2. The gospel brings life and immortality to light, but it does not bring either (II Ti 1:9-10).
    3. The work of regeneration, which is totally necessary to believe, was said of Christ (1:21).
    4. This audience, already born again, was to desire the word to grow as Christians (2:1-3).
    5. There is a begetting by gospel preaching, but not regeneration (I Cor 4:15 cp Gal 4:19).
    6. The life-giving, creative resurrection of the new birth is fully monergistic without means.
    7. Whatever the interpretation of this text, the Bible and gospel cannot assist regeneration.

Not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible.

  1. Since birth or begetting is the concept or doctrine at hand, why think about any other seed?
    1. Seed. Offspring, progeny. Now rare exc. in Biblical phraseology. Gen 4:25; 9:9; 12:7; 15:3; 16:10; 19:32; 38:9; 46:6; Prov 11:21; Isaiah 1:4; 6:13; 53:10; 59:21; Rom 9:8; 11:1.
    2. Why seek a metaphorical use of seed as the written or preached word, if biology is here?
    3. Jesus used seed for preaching in a parable, but that is a rare use (Luke 8:11), and it did not bring about regeneration, for the good ground was already good before being sown!
    4. Jesus used seed for preaching in a parable, but recall the parable of wheat and tares, where Jesus and the devil sow their own seeds in the kingdom of heaven (Mat 13:24-43).
    5. The contrast of flesh and Spirit is much more applicable (John 1:13; 3:6 cp I Peter 1:24).
    6. Even ignoring the terms of this verse that rule it out, the Bible cannot regenerate any.
    7. It is being born again, a contrast implying two births – the human and the spiritual birth.
    8. Your first parents, corruptible themselves, gave birth to you as a corruptible being also.
  2. Jesus is called the seed of Eve, Abraham, and David, which should get honor over grass seed.
    1. He is called the seed of the woman by prophecy in the very beginning (Ge 3:15; Is 7:14).
    2. He is called the seed of Abraham, for He was the promised Seed (Gal 3:16; Heb 2:16).
    3. He is called the seed of David, as David’s Son (Jn 7:42; Ac 13:23; Rom 1:3; II Tim 2:8).
    4. For the seed of the woman.
  3. Jesus, the living Word of God, never saw corruption (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27-31; 13:36-37).
    1. Keep in mind that it was Peter that preached this glorious news on the day of Pentecost.
    2. It is the blood of Jesus Christ in context that is described as being incorruptible (1:18-19).
    3. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, the opposite of corruption (Heb 13:8).
    4. Jesus is entirely different from all other human flesh, as the following context says (1:24).
    5. Jesus has had His incorruptible body the last two millennia (1:21; I Cor 15:20-28,42-49).
    6. Jesus lives and abides forever, as in the last clause of this verse (Rev 1:18; Heb 7:16,25).
    7. Jesus the Son of God is the Agent and Source of regenerative life (John 5:21,25-29).
  4. The prepositions … not of … but of … for regeneration match well with John 1:13; 3:5-8, thus indicating that the agent, cause, source, or person of regeneration is under consideration.
  5. The Bible, the written Word of God, constantly sees corruption (II Cor 2:17; II Tim 3:13).
    1. Those holding to gospel means or instrumentality must be reminded of Bible corruption.
    2. From the very beginning in Eden, the word of God was corrupted and used against man.
    3. The Legion of Bible versions today shows that this corruption of scripture continues.
    4. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been corrupted and is being corrupted more than ever.
  6. There is another sense in which the seed here is the nature implanted by each of two births.
    1. Seed in this compound clause is then the implanted result, not the agent/person of it.
    2. First, consider how Paul’s parallelism defines and/or uses seed as nature (Heb 2:14-17).
    3. Second, a born again person has a seed within him that keeps him from sinning (I Jn 3:9).
    4. So leave the cause/source of regeneration separate; the seed is the regenerated new man.
    5. Seed does not equal word; seed is result of being born again; word is the cause/source.
    6. Therefore, Jesus the Word is the agent/source by which a regenerated seed is implanted.
    7. The new man is the holy and righteous implantation of spiritual seed that cannot corrupt.
    8. The seed provided by natural or biological parents is depraved and entirely corruptible.
    9. God in Christ created the new man as cause/source of regeneration (Ep 4:24; Col 3:10).

By the word of God.

  1. Here is one of the intriguing places in the Bible where you must make an interpretive choice.
    1. Is it the preached or written word of God, the Bible, or the living word of God, Jesus?
    2. The inspired ambiguity in places like this should excite and bless you, not frustrate you.
    3. We keep the apostolic and pastoral order to rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim 2:15).
    4. God has no use for those who approach His word lightly, so He gladly confounds them.
    5. Inspired confusion.
  2. Much is to be learned toward a text like this by considering the ignorance at Hebrews 4:12.
    1. Almost all Bible teachers and modern commentators make the word of God the Bible.
    2. Some make great use and emphasis of the text to exalt preaching e.g. R.B. Thieme, Jr.
    3. This is one of the simplest tests or questions to expose drastic ignorance of the scriptures.
    4. The word of God in Hebrews 4:12 is Jesus Christ; it is not the Bible; it is not them both.
    5. First, the context is strictly personal of Jesus Christ by name and pronouns (Heb 4:13-14).
    6. Second, Jesus is called the word of God elsewhere (John 1:1; I John 1:1; 5:7; Rev 19:13).
    7. Third, the terms in the verse are very true of Jesus Christ, but not really true of the Bible.
    8. Fourth, the large context is God measuring the Hebrews’ faith like He did the generation in the wilderness (Heb 3:7 – 4:11); there is no appeal or need for gospel or scripture here.
    9. Do not be bothered that word is not capitalized in Heb 4:12, for there were not solid rules for such in 1611, and the translators’ avoided forcing interpretations. Compare Psalm 51:11; Daniel 3:25,28; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6. Reject superstition about capitalization or not.
    10. For a separate study dealing with this text.
  3. Saying only John used word of God is circular reasoning and rejects Paul in Hebrews 4:12.
    1. See Luke in Luke 1:2, James in Jas 1:18, and Peter in I Pet 1:23 – about five total writers!
    2. Also consider these passages for possible usage (Hebrews 11:3; II Peter 3:5; Psalm 33:6).
  4. The interpretive choice and application of word of God to Jesus Christ here is not difficult.
    1. It is a Bible axiom God must regenerate before a depraved sinner will believe the gospel.
    2. It is a Bible axiom God regenerates, sometimes as God (John 1:13; Eph 2:1-3), Spirit (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5), or the Word (John 5:21,25-29; Heb 4:12; Jas 1:18; I Pet 1:23).
    3. All the terms of the text fit Jesus Christ perfectly, but do not fit the Bible nearly so well.
    4. Peter had credited God Himself for regenerating you (1:3) and Jesus Christ for the work resulting in your faith Godward (1:21). Peter knew the Bible was only for growth (2:2).
    5. The other word coming up in context (1:25) helps you grow, but does not give life (2:2).
    6. This challenging proximity of two words can also be seen in another epistle (Ja 1:17-25).
  5. If we resorted to the Greek like Catholic priests to the Latin, they are two different words!
    1. John always used logos for Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14; I John 1:1; 5:7; Revelation 19:13).
    2. Paul in Hebrews 4:12 used logos for Jesus; Peter used logos in 1:23 but rhema in 1:25.

Which liveth and abideth for ever.

  1. The intransitive verbs here, liveth and abideth, are best understood for a person, not a thing.
    1. Jesus lives forever in the fullest, most literal sense of that verb (Rev 1:18; Heb 7:16,25).
    2. Jesus abides forever in the fullest, most literal sense of that verb (John 8:35; 12:34).
    3. You would have to stretch word meanings to fit these intransitive verbs to the Bible.
    4. The word of the Lord, the gospel or preached or written word, only endures (1:25).
  2. This is consistent with Peter earlier, who declared Jesus’ resurrection as a lively hope (1:3).
  3. This is consistent with Peter earlier, identifying glory on Christ after resurrection (1:11,21).
  4. This is consistent with Peter earlier, who declared Jesus as working their faith in God (1:21).

NOTE: We could interpret or apply this differently and still preserve sovereign, monergistic regeneration.

  1. There are about three valid positions that one can hold as to the doctrine of regeneration in this verse.
    1. The being born again here is regeneration; the word of God is the Bible; thus decisional regeneration, the most popular scheme today for mass evangelism dependent on man’s free will.
    2. The being born again here is initial gospel conversion; the word of God is the Bible; so gospel initiation, which Paul described about his relationship to the Corinthian believers (I Cor 4:15).
    3. The being born again here is regeneration; the word of God is Jesus Christ; thus sovereign regeneration, which is what the Bible teaches about the executive role of Christ in the new birth.
    4. We reject decisional regeneration for at least the seven proofs of unconditional salvation.
    5. We reject gospel initiation for its rare use and the participial adjective being for an existing fact.
    6. Both of the other options retain doctrinal integrity, but context points to sovereign regeneration.
  2. For similar reasoning with a similar word of God passage.
  3. This strict monergistic view of regeneration without human cooperation, instrumentality, or means whatsoever, denying a role to preaching the gospel, may be proven by the Bible and seen in history.
    1. For a detailed study of regeneration and conversion.
    2. Regeneration or The New Birth; William H. Crouse; Richmond Press, Inc. Richmond, VA. 1925.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

For all flesh is as grass.

  1. This verse (1:24) is taken from Isaiah 40:6-7, and the next verse (1:25) is from Isaiah 40:8.
  2. Flesh here is for man (see the next clause). All men are like grass. All men die and corrupt.
    1. Do not let anyone boast of man’s greatness, for the Holy Spirit compared him to weeds!
    2. All mankind, all men apart of Jesus Christ, has no power to preserve life or improve it.
  3. The coordinating conjunction opening this verse keeps some measure of connection to 1:23.
    1. The for marks the source of man’s corruptibility and his desperate need for regeneration.
    2. The previous verse contrasted corruptible with incorruptible; fleshly man is corruptible.
    3. The for marks how very different Jesus the Word of God is from dying, corrupting man.
    4. The previous verse described living and abiding forever, but man and his glory are not so.
  4. There is no help in man, especially for the work of regeneration; he is compared to grass.

And all the glory of man as the flower of grass.

  1. Man is corruptible, just like weeds, and all his vain glory will dissipate and then disappear.
    1. Do not let anyone boast of man’s greatness, for the Holy Spirit compared him to weeds!
    2. The best men can ever be in any way by any measure disappears like weeds disappear.
    3. The best men can ever do in any way by any measure disappears like weeds disappear.
  2. Jesus the Word of God was crowned with honor and glory and is worthy of eternal praise.

The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.

  1. Contrary to Jesus the Word of God in 1:23 and born again children, all men are like grass.
    1. Whether you consider man, his glory, or his accomplishments, they all rot and disappear.
    2. Not only is man like grass and his glory like their flowers, but he corrupts and disappears.
  2. Grass has a certain property – which neither word of God has – it dries up and blows away!
  3. This transitional verse now introduces the written word God Peter will consider next (2:1-3).

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

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.

  1. This verse is taken from Isaiah 40:8, and the previous verse (1:24) is from Isaiah 40:6-7.
    1. The clause here is not Peter’s words: they are Isaiah’s words taken by Peter from the O.T.
    2. The majority of the quotation is in 1:24, where the contrast is made to incorruptible seed.
    3. The major intent of the quotation by its content is the contrast to the incorruptible Christ.
    4. Isaiah wrote about the written or preached word of God standing for ever, not Peter.
  2. After the transitional verse (1:24), Peter moved to the written word of God to use next (2:2).
    1. Peter’s style to pull various themes and words together should already be quite evident.
    2. The close proximity of two different words of God can also be found in James 1:17-22.
    3. Nowhere in the Bible can it be ascertained that the word of our God (Isaiah’s version) or the word of the Lord (Peter’s version) refers to Jesus Christ, the living Word of God.
    4. Peter quoted sufficiently from Isaiah 40:6-8 for his contrast to incorruption and to introduce the preached or written word that he would take up in the following verses.
  3. This is the written word of God that is preached by the gospel, as identified later in the verse.
    1. Isaiah wrote about the written or preached word of God standing for ever, not Peter.
    2. The disjunctive but contrasts God’s word versus man (1:24), not the two words (1:23,25).
    3. Man and his glory are temporary, like weeds, for they grow up, wither, and disappear.
    4. This word only endures, rather than lives and abides, which is only true of Jesus (1:23).
    5. The demonstrative pronoun this in the next clause indicates this word is newly identified.
    6. Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus referred to as the word of the Lord, so we reject such here.
  4. How does the word of God endure? Men change and disappear, but the Bible is changeless.
    1. David wrote that the word of the LORD is settled forever in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
    2. Jesus taught every jot and tittle of the Law would endure until all fulfilled (Matt 5:18).
    3. God faithfully promised to preserve His words from David’s time forever (Psalm 12:6-7).
    4. God told Isaiah to write/note His words in a book to last forever and ever (Isaiah 30:8).
    5. Peter wrote in his next epistle that the Bible is more sure than God’s voice (II Pet 1:19).
  5. Here is one of the intriguing places in the Bible where you must make an interpretive choice.
    1. Is it the preached or written word of God, the Bible, or the living word of God, Jesus?
    2. The inspired ambiguity in places like this should excite and bless you, not frustrate you.
    3. We keep the apostolic and pastoral order to rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim 2:15).
    4. God has no use for those who approach His word lightly, so He gladly confounds them.
    5. Inspired confusion.

And this is the word.

  1. Remember and consider that all of 1:24 and the first sentence of 1:25 are all from Isaiah 40.
    1. Therefore, we understand that the quotation is his transition from the Word to the word.
    2. Peter’s use of the demonstrative pronoun shows his new line of thought from the quote.
    3. Isaiah wrote about the word of our God standing for ever, not Peter. See this that way.
    4. Peter is not referring to his use of word in 1:23 but rather Isaiah’s use of word in 1:25.
    5. The quoted words are a contrast to 1:23, and their reference to the word introduce truth.
    6. Peter is introducing his next line of thought, which is the written word taken up in 2:2.
  2. These words, around the demonstrative pronoun this, identify and separate the written word.
    1. If both words were the same (1:23,25), the demonstrative pronoun would not be needed.
    2. The use of the pronoun identifies the latter word to be different from the former word.
    3. Consider Bible use of demonstrative pronouns … this is that (Acts 2:16; Num 26:9).
  3. If we resorted to Greek like Catholic priests to the Latin, the words are two different words!
    1. John always used logos for Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14; I John 1:1; 5:7; Revelation 19:13).
    2. Paul in Hebrews 4:12 used logos for Jesus; Peter used logos in 1:23 but rhema in 1:25.
  4. See the distinction of two words in James 1:18 and James 1:21, this epistle’s fraternal twin, where the distinction is identified and preserved by the adjective engrafted in James 1:21.

Which by the gospel is preached unto you.

  1. Preaching the gospel is preaching the word of the Lord, the Bible (Acts 8:25; 15:35-36).
    1. Many more examples could easily be raised to support the word of the Lord as the Bible.
    2. There is also the usage of the word of the Lord referring to revelation outside the Bible.
  2. Preaching the gospel is preaching the word of God, the written Bible (II Tim 3:16-17; 4:2).
    1. The apostles with prayer by the church preached the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31).
    2. Paul preached the word of God in Corinth for about a year and six months (Acts 18:11).
    3. Faith is increased by gospel preachers with the word of God being heard (Rom 10:17).
    4. Paul described the church’s rulers as those who speak the word of God (Hebrews 13:7).
    5. The Thessalonians received the word of God from Paul as the truth it was (I Thess 2:13).
    6. Paul did not corrupt the word of God but knew that many had done so (II Cor 2:17; 4:2).
    7. Many more examples could easily be raised to support the word of God as the Bible.
    8. Preachers spend their time studying the word of truth to rightly divide it (II Tim 2:15).
    9. Expository preaching of God’s word, like in Nehemiah’s day, is the standard (Ne 8:1-12).
  3. The earlier word (1:23) was the Agent of regeneration; this word is the content of preaching.
    1. The word here is Isaiah’s description of the preached or written word from Isaiah 40:8.
    2. The word here is what Peter will now encourage his audience to desire like milk (2:2).
    3. The word here is not Christ, for Isaiah (Is 40:8) nor Peter (2:2) intended it that way.
    4. The word here is not Christ, for the demonstrative pronoun separated it from verse 1:23.
    5. The former word is the name of Jesus the Son of God, the incorruptible seed to save us.