First Peter: The Gospel of Hope

Chapter 2




Chapter 2

1-3 Instruction to grow by word with motive and condition.

4-6 Comfort for scattered Jews by superiority of N.T. house.

7-8 Comfort for scattered Jews by reprobation of enemies.

9-10 Comfort for scattered Jews by election to great mercy.

11-12 General exhortation to godliness in face of worldly enemies.

13-17 Specific exhortation to submit to civil rulers and government.

18-20 Specific exhortation to submit to professional masters.

21-25 Example of Jesus for encouragement under suffering.

1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,


  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. By way of taking from Isaiah 40:6-8, Peter had introduced the revelatory word of God (1:25).
    1. The word of the Lord enduring forever (Is 40:8; I Pet 1:25) is the revealed will of God.
    2. It is this word that gospel ministers are to preach to audiences as these Jews had heard.
    3. Without any apostles or prophets, we equate the word of the Lord entirely to the Bible.
  3. The next verse of this chapter will show that the thought being brought forward is the word.
    1. For them then, the word of the Lord could be apostolic inspiration or written scripture.
    2. For us now, the word of the Lord is primarily the written Bible and the preaching of it.
  4. Backing up further, Peter had highly commended and exhorted their love of the brethren.
    1. Just four verses earlier, Peter had commended but exhorted them to more brotherly love.
    2. As a result of being born again, they had a commendable reputation for brotherly love.
    3. Connected to that capstone grace of Christians, Peter now exhorts them against its vices.
  5. The fruitful value of God’s revelatory word, by whatever means, requires prepared hearers.
  6. Grasp this sentence by working backward from verse three or outward from verse two.

Laying aside.

  1. The Holy Spirit chose various expressions to describe rejecting sin and choosing godliness.
    1. Laying aside is a phrase depicting the putting off of a garment, as with Jesus (John 13:4).
    2. Peter calls his readers to put off sins (Rom 13:12-14; Eph 4:22-25; Col 3:8-11; Jas 1:21).
    3. Laying aside is a phrase depicting the putting off of a weight to run better (Heb 12:1).
    4. If you want to get as serious as the Bible, then think about menstrual rags (Isaiah 30:22).
    5. Laying aside is also the opposite of holding, and we must not hold onto sin (Mark 7:8).
    6. In a related metaphor depicting killing of sin, it is called mortify (Rom 8:13; Col 3:5).
    7. Our terminology might be flush it! For the cesspool of human depravity deserves such.
    8. By whatever terminology, believers are to stop sinning and live holy lives unto Christ.
    9. Any habit, pet sin, tradition, mental bondage, peer pressure, or otherwise, throw it off!
  2. The fruitful value of God’s revelatory word, by whatever means, requires prepared hearers.
    1. Peter’s next imperative verb – a duty of Christians – is to desire the word of God (2:2).
    2. The Bible is a spiritual book, written by the eternal Spirit, Who reveals it on His terms.
    3. Faith and other graces and duties of the Holy Ghost must be in place to learn scripture.
    4. There are positive rules to learn (Pr 1:7; 2:1-9; 9:10; 18:1), but there are also negative.
  3. Consider the prerequisites or rules for understanding that we include in Bible hermeneutics.
    1. Qualification #1: Men must be regenerated with spiritual life to understand the Bible.
    2. Qualification #2: A regenerate man must be illuminated by the Holy Spirit to understand.
    3. Qualification #3: A man must fear God to even begin understanding Scriptural truth.
    4. Qualification #4: A man must delight in the Lord to obtain understanding from God.
    5. Qualification #5: A man must obey and apply his learning if he is to learn any more.
    6. Qualification #6: A man must ask in prayer for wisdom to increase his knowledge.
    7. Qualification #7: A man must seek understanding and knowledge in order to get it.
    8. Qualification #8: A man must be able to take reproof, correction, and instruction.
    9. Qualification #9: A man must have godly and noble motives for learning Scripture.
    10. Qualification #10: A man must use his God-given teacher as much as possible to learn.
    11. Much more detail of the rules.
  4. Disobedience, hypocrisy, or rebellion against God’s commandments will bring blindness.
    1. David knew more than the ancients, because he kept God’s precepts (Psalm 119:100).
    2. Daniel understood the need to turn from iniquities to understand truth (Daniel 9:13).
    3. Doing the will of God is the condition for knowledge of the true doctrine (John 7:17).
    4. Disobedience will bring a loss of understanding previously had (Luke 8:18; Job 36:12).
    5. God cannot stand scorners, and He will judge all of them (Proverbs 15:10; 21:16; 29:1).
    6. Disregard of His instruction and offers of truth will bring blindness (II Thess 2:10-12).
    7. Hypocrisy will bring God’s marvelous wonder of blinding wise men (Is 29:9-16; 6:9-12).
    8. God deceives those who hold on to heart idols or stumblingblocks of sin (Ezek 14:1-11).
    9. The Bible has many more examples and precepts; beware that you do not offend Him.
    10. God is Author of confusion.
  5. Pay close attention, for Peter is going after your degree and extent of brotherly love to others.
    1. He had commended and exhorted them for the greatest of graces – brotherly love (1:22).
    2. Connected to that capstone grace of Christians, Peter now exhorts them against its vices.
    3. By association with each other, the five vices refer by their sense back to brotherly love.
    4. Notice the lack of sins here like drunkenness, idolatry, sedition, witchcraft, heresies, etc.
    5. If brotherly love is as great as the Bible makes it, then what should we think of its vices?
    6. Peter must have been kind to commend, since he added correction here to his exhortation.
    7. Get ready for the Holy Spirit to shine a spotlight into the recesses of your heart and mind!
    8. Let none be guilty of inner sins of un-love, while bold in outward goodness (Matt 23:28).
    9. Let none resent the messenger of the Lord of hosts. Grasp the glory of real love (Ja 3:17).
    10. Let us be children in all the adult, hateful junk in this verse (I Cor 14:20; Matthew 18:3).
  6. Here before you is the rescue of the human soul leading to God’s blessing and your joy and peace like you have never had it … and the cure with strength is so very easy (I Pet 3:8-12).

All malice.

  1. Malice. The desire to injure another person; active ill-will or hatred. Malicious. Of persons, their dispositions, etc.: Given to malice; addicted to sentiments or acts of ill-will.
    1. Compare synonyms/related words: malignity, hatred, envy, despiteful, grudge, bitterness.
    2. Compare scriptures about malice (Psalm 35:11-16; Matt 5:21-26; 26:6-16; Rom 1:29; I Cor 5:8; 6:7; 14:20; Eph 4:31; Col 3:8; Titus 3:3; Jas 3:14-16; I Pet 2:16; III John 1:10).
    3. We may think legal terminology and death row by the word malice, but it is much closer!
  2. Malice is bitterness, grudge, hatred, or the wicked desire for harm or revenge to another.
    1. Such a spirit is entirely contrary to the Christian religion. Harboring hatred in your heart is a violation of the sixth commandment, Thou shalt not kill. Flush it! Pray for the person.
    2. Christians are to be loving, merciful, and tenderhearted. Envy and strife in your heart is from the devil. Do not deceive yourself that you have any right to have them (Ja 3:14-16).
    3. Did someone offend, hurt, defraud you? So what! Forgive the 100 pence (Mat 18:21-35)!
    4. It is a simple choice – to practice God’s love from inside out or to hold the devil’s hate.
    5. Why not earnestly covet to be the most glorious Christian by forgiveness (Prov 19:11)!
  3. How much malice does God allow you? None, at all! You are to love even your enemies!
    1. It is all in your mind and heart – blow it out – and choose to forgive and love like God!
    2. You are bound in malice, not by principle, but by pride; choose the happy way to live.
  4. If you do not correct this poison in your soul and brain, you are just like Cain the murderer.
    1. God gave Cain a choice, warning him of what was likely to happen, but he did not repent.
    2. The warning about being like Cain (or Satan) continues from Gen to I Jn 3:12; Jude 1:11.
    3. What keeps you holding malice? Bitterness, envy, hatred, pride, selfishness, wickedness?
    4. You give place and advantage to the devil in your life and family (Eph 4:27; II Cor 2:11).
  5. If you will not purge this sinful bile from your heart, the word of God will be closed to you, you will be judged, and/or the Lord may require it of the whole church (think Achan).
    1. Remember that the context is desire for the milk of the word for spiritual growth (2:2).
    2. God is not deceived or mocked; if you have malice in your heart, He will close His word.
  6. Peter shortly uses children that need to grow up – and children hold no malice (I Cor 14:20).

And all guile.

  1. Due to the immediate and intermediate context, we relate these five sins to brotherly love.
    1. The immediate context is the basic nature and connection of the five terms together (2:1).
    2. The intermediate context is an exhortation made to pure and fervent brotherly love (1:22).
    3. Any sin hinders the ability and effect of God’s word in a believer, but we emphasize love.
  2. Therefore, we understand all guile to be any such vice or violation of proper brotherly love.
  3. Guile. Insidious cunning, deceit, treachery. See scriptures (Ex 21:14; Ps 55:11; II Co 12:16).
  4. Guile related to brotherly love is any deception, fraud, or circumventing others for advantage.
    1. Defrauding a brother in any matter, including sex, is sinful despite of God (I Thes 4:3-8).
    2. Flattery or design to hide treachery or mislead is this sin (Prov 3:29; 20:19; 26:28; 29:5).
    3. What have you ever hid from a brother that is not Christian liberty for his godly benefit?
    4. Sinners deceive or mislead to take advantage of others financially, sexually, socially, etc.
    5. This sin can be as easy as misleading or exaggerating health issues, money issues, dating interest or activities, social or other influence, delaying giving for needs to avoid it, only reporting favorable information, referrals that are not in the other’s best interest, etc., etc.
    6. How much guile is allowed in a Christian’s life? None at all, for all is to be laid aside.
  5. Born again Christians should be like Nathanael and 144,000 – no guile (Jn 1:47; Rev 14:5).
    1. Peter will use Jesus as an example in this matter and describe its blessings (2:22; 3:10).
    2. Godly men are entirely transparent with nothing harmful ever hid and no evil intentions.
    3. They never hide treachery, plan treachery, or introduce treachery into their relationships.
    4. It is better to be naïve, gullible, innocent, honest to a fault, defrauded, than to risk guile.
    5. Choose to be on the short end of the stick in any conversation or transaction (I Cor 6:7-8).

And hypocrisies.

  1. Due to the immediate and intermediate context, we relate these five sins to brotherly love.
    1. The immediate context is the basic nature and connection of the five terms together (2:1).
    2. The intermediate context is an exhortation made to pure and fervent brotherly love (1:22).
    3. Any sin hinders the ability and effect of God’s word in a believer, but we emphasize love.
  2. Therefore, we understand hypocrisies to be any such vice or violation of true brotherly love.
  3. Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you are not in fact, whether habitual or intentional.
    1. Hypocrisies is less malicious than guile in that there is less intentional treachery to harm.
    2. Peter has already commended unfeigned love against dissimulated love (1:22; Rom 2:9).
    3. John corrected those who love in word or tongue, but not in deed and truth (I Jn 3:17-18).
    4. Solomon condemned such procrastinating promises without performance (Pr 3:27-28).
    5. This sin is easy by thinking you love the brethren without costly efforts to serve them.
    6. This sin is easy by judging others while guilty of the same or worse sins (Matt 7:3-5).
    7. Hugging, smiling, chatting at church with anyone and ripping them later is devilish.
  4. Hypocrisy is defeated by keeping your heart with all diligence to avoid any sinful thoughts.

And envies.

  1. Envy. Malignant or hostile feeling; ill-will, malice, enmity. Active evil, harm, mischief. The feeling of mortification and ill-will occasioned by the contemplation of superior advantages possessed by another. See also the Bible sins of bitterness, emulation, and strife.
  2. It is a terrible sin that God will reject from entering heaven (Galatians 5:19-21; Jas 3:14-16).
    1. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy (Pr 27:4)?
    2. It is related to malice, and it is part of the depraved nature of each person (Tit 3:3; Ja 4:5).
    3. Consider and compare these examples to your heart: Joseph’s brothers (Acts 7:9); Rachel about childbirth (Gen 30:1); Saul about David (I Sam 18:8-9); Corinth (I Cor 3:1-3).
    4. It is grieving about and resenting others’ advantages, acceptance, friendship, freedom.
    5. It is diluting the ability, honor, and successes of others by excusing yourself by anything.
    6. Envy will ruin you from inside out and destroy spiritual and physical health (Prov 14:30).
    7. If your motive in any activity is even 1% out of envy or strife due to others, you lose all.
  3. The cure is easy, exciting, pleasant, and rewarding – celebrate others’ blessings with zeal!
    1. The N.T. rule is to rejoice about their honors and successes (Rom 12:15; I Cor 12:26).
    2. If you have made them and their lives more important, it is easy (Rom 12:10; Phil 2:1-4).
    3. Get rid of any thoughts about you – make all for God’s glory and others’ profit (Ga 5:26).
    4. You are last in importance at all times – figure it out, everyone else has (Mat 20:24-28).
    5. For more of being third behind God and others.

And all evil speakings.

  1. Due to the immediate and intermediate context, we relate these five sins to brotherly love.
    1. The immediate context is the basic nature and connection of the five terms together (2:1).
    2. The intermediate context is an exhortation made to pure and fervent brotherly love (1:22).
    3. Any sin hinders the ability and effect of God’s word in a believer, but we emphasize love.
  2. Therefore, we understand evil speakings to be any verbal violation of Biblical brotherly love.
    1. Every kind of verbal criticism, detraction, harm, or offence about another is condemned.
    2. Your mouth proves and reflects your heart, no matter your hiding (Matt 12:34: Pr 23:7).
    3. You should love with a pure heart fervently, as just written (1:22), including your mouth.
    4. Before you justify yourself by limiting spoken words, it includes emails, texts, letters, etc.
    5. The Bible widely condemns this evil in general and detail (Ps 140:11; Ep 4:31; Jas 4:11).
    6. Women are prone to it, so they and husbands must guard (I Tim 3:11; 5:13; Titus 2:3).
    7. There is insufficient space to fully define and apply all the sins of speech that fit under this category, but here are a few: backbiting, clamour, debate, despiteful, despisers of those that are good, evil surmising, false accusations, fierce, gainsaying, railing, reproaching, reviling, slander, sowing discord, talebearing, whispering.
    8. No matter where you are, in your vehicle, or at home, or in your bedroom (Eccl 10:20).
  3. Choose to end all negative thoughts and words about others and replace with loving words.
    1. Mothers and teachers taught, If you cannot say something nice, do not say anything at all.
    2. But godliness does better than silence – words can be a great source of grace and life rather than curse and death (Pr 12:18; 15:4; 16:24; 18:21; Eccl 10:12; Eph 4:29; Col 4:6).
    3. Saul offended and violated David more than anyone could or would you, yet consider David’s gentle, humble, and reverent attitude toward him during life and after his death.
    4. There are many examples: Jesus on the cross, Stephen being stoned, and Paul to Corinth.
    5. How much evil speaking or how many of its sins are you allowed by God? None at all!
  4. You can only criticize or rip others due to a holy cause by authority or a matter of further sin.
    1. Jesus defined, Thou shalt not kill, very differently than you do, so beware (Matt 5:21-22).
    2. These cases are so rare you can forget them; they seldom to never are church brothers.
  5. For your information, your words and name-calling mostly hurt you with both God and men.
    1. God hears every word you say, every text you send, and reads every email. You lose big!
    2. You prove to hearers/readers that you are cruel, hateful, vicious, ignorant of God’s love.
    3. Children know, Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
    4. The bile that bubbles in cruel persons will hurt them more than it hurts those they hate.
    5. The bitterness inside that causes evil speaking gives place to the devil and eats men alive.

Note: Why did the Holy Spirit inspire Peter to use all for three of the sins and not the other two sins?

  1. This becomes a little more important by our emphasis of these five sins relating to brotherly love.
  2. The first two sins are identified by singular words, and all is attached so that you overlook none.
  3. The next two sins are identified by plural words, and all is not needed so that you overlook none.
  4. The last sin is both plural and has an all attached, because this particular sin is most common of all.
  5. When Paul listed this last sin, he used the singular, so Peter’s all plus the plural form is very weighty.

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

As newborn babes.

  1. These are infants – newborn babies naturally crave milk, known especially by their mothers.
    1. The frequency of their feeding creates a considerable burden on mothers in early months.
    2. Their intensity of desire to feed rises quickly in decibels if the frequency is compromised.
    3. The quantity they need is significant and requires mothers to eat and live well for them.
    4. Their bodies demand feeding with strong hunger pangs and perfect knowledge to do it.
    5. The instinctive demand for milk is for a very real purpose – hit maximum growth rate.
    6. By considering aspects of infant feeding, especially their strong desire, we see our duty.
  2. After Peter’s exhortation to lay uncharitable things aside (2:1), here is his second imperative.
  3. The as gives this verse away as a form of metaphor called simile. You should be like a baby.
  4. While we seek to copy infants in craving desire for nourishment and pleasure, remember Paul’s words about malice (I Cor 14:20), and let us flush all the hateful, adult junk of 2:1.


  1. Note the comma! This desire is not indicative mood, about infants. It is imperative, for you!
  2. What is your level of desire for the milk of God’s word? Think frequency, intensity, quantity.
  3. Scripture states the desire in different ways in different places for learning and conviction.
    1. Are you like the man who sold all he had to buy the pearl of great price (Matt 13:44-46)?
    2. Are you eager to dig and mine for it like men do hidden treasure (Pr 2:1-5; Job 28:1-28)?
    3. David panted, thirsted, and fainted for God and His word – like a hart, a male deer, craves water (Ps 42:1; 63:1; 84:2; 119:131). Do you have this desire? It is a command!
    4. David described his desire for God’s word as soul-breaking and longing (Ps 119:20,40).
    5. Do you desire the scriptures like prophets inquiring and searching diligently (1:10-11)?
    6. Do you desire to look into gospel things equal to or less than the angels (1:12; Eph 3:10)?
  4. How can you and others tell if you have a craving desire for God’s word to grow thereby?
    1. Your attendance at every assembly of the church will show a priority for God’s word.
    2. Your participation in any way to accelerate or excite your desire will be rather evident.
    3. You will communicate with others about the word of God for gathering and for sharing.
    4. You will have fruit to your account, for you will have learned enough to convert others.
    5. You will have the growth results of a life more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
    6. On the contrary, carnal Christians disregarding the word of God will have other priorities.
    7. What do you do with your free time? Your arrogance that your uses are noble are vain!
    8. What is your greatest pleasure? Be very careful that no earthly joy competes with heaven.
    9. The lack of progress in most Christians’ lives is due to no growth from self-starvation.
    10. If there is a lazy minister or one with skim milk or white Kool-Aid, no growth will occur.

The sincere milk of the word.

  1. Use of milk here should not be used in any way to contradict Paul’s reproof (Heb 5:12-14).
    1. Peter by the Holy Spirit used milk to continue his metaphor about the desire of infants.
    2. The milk of scripture is for Christian infants, and neither Peter nor Paul approved of such.
    3. These scattered strangers in Asia Minor had been converted or instructed by Paul himself.
    4. Peter knew Paul’s depth in the gospel and his inspired writings were very deep (3:15-16).
    5. These Christians were not infants still using milk; they had grown past that to some meat.
  2. Sincere milk of the word means the apostolic, honest, pure, unadulterated gospel of Christ.
    1. Sincere. 1. Not falsified or perverted in any way: a. Of doctrine, etc.: Genuine, pure. b. True, veracious; correct, exact. c. Morally uncorrupted, uncontaminated. 2. Pure, unmixed; free from any foreign element or ingredient. 3. Containing no element of dissimulation or deception; not feigned or pretended; real, true.
    2. The apostles taught the pure gospel and wholesome words of Jesus Christ in full strength; any variation from sound doctrine or sound words is heresy (II Tim 1:13; I Tim 6:3-5).
    3. False teachers now feed fables to lusting ears rather than sound doctrine (II Tim 4:3-4).
    4. Joel Osteen that we know of has never in his life preached a sermon of Christ’s gospel.
    5. We avoid every carnal and fleshly distraction we can to provide the spiritual nutrients of apostolic milk – rejecting politics, persons, philosophy, social issues, entertainment, etc.
    6. Paul warned a similar audience against distractions (Heb 13:9; I Tim 1:4; Rom 16:17-18; II Cor 11:3-4,13-15; Gal 1:6-9; Ep 4:14; Col 2:8; II Thes 2:2; I Tim 4:1-3; II Ti 2:14-18).
    7. The sincere milk is the word of Christ crucified (II Ti 3:16-17; 4:2; I Cor 2:2; Gal 6:14).

That ye may grow thereby.

  1. What kind of growth is good? The kind Peter will identify closing the second epistle (3:18).
    1. It is a shame most churches can only comprehend growth in numbers, size, or facilities.
    2. Those with Christian character and intent have been misled by the Great Commission.
    3. The rest hardly have a clue about grace, salvation, the gospel, the church, or real growth.
    4. There are those that only seek the baptism by the Holy Spirit and blathering in tongues.
    5. There are those that only want to have their best life now, like TV huckster Joel Osteen.
  2. What is growing in grace? To use God’s grace to conform your life to Christ more perfectly.
    1. To start, it is growth in faith to believe the facts and promises of the gospel (II Thess 3:1).
    2. To finish, it is abounding in charity and brotherly love toward each other (II Thess 3:1).
    3. It includes your role in a local church to assist its growth in the Lord (Eph 2:21; 4:15-16).
    4. You can by sin or neglect squander God’s grace in your life (II Cor 6:1; Hebrews 12:15).
  3. What is growing in knowledge of Jesus Christ? To fully comprehend Him and His great love.
    1. Even good saints must learn by the Spirit the full dimensions of Jesus’ love (Ep 3:14-19).
    2. Even Paul wanted to increase experimental or practical knowledge of Him (Phil 3:8-10).
    3. We must be like the Greeks that sought only Jesus, rather than the apostles (John 12:21).
    4. Jesus alone is altogether lovely.
  4. We never want to stay infants in God’s grace that regenerated us into spiritual life (1:3,23).
    1. As Paul exhorted Galatians, if we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:25).
    2. He had little patience for those churches and saints that remained immature (I Cor 3:1-4).
  5. There are other things the Bible teaches in which we want to grow, but keep priorities right.
    1. Financial or professional emphasis is important, but it is not the first of your priorities.
    2. Remember the duties of a man, and keep the ten areas of a man’s life in it its right place.
    3. A mighty man’s ten areas of life to manage.
    4. Before self-righteously sounding like a monk, remember all of Jesus in Matthew 23:23.

3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.


  1. Peter’s if here is not conditional or doubtful at all, but a rhetorical tool of considerable force.
    1. He had used this style technique already in 1:17, where the issue was also already settled.
    2. Sometimes it is more effective and weighty to ask questions than state facts (Ps 24:8,10).
    3. By implying a condition or doubt about a thing so obvious, it is persuasively powerful.
  2. These were born again believers, and they most certainly considered the Lord to be gracious.
    1. He had already commended their faith under heaviness and their unspeakable joy (1:6-8).
    2. He had assumed and argued from their knowledge of their Lord’s redemption (1:18-19).
  3. Paul used the same rhetorical technique very persuasively about a similar topic (Phil 2:1-2).
  4. God’s grace in Jesus should be the strongest motivating force in the world (II Cor 5:14-15).

So be ye have tasted.

  1. The if so be here is a rhetorical alternative to a simple if, adding more force to the persuasion.
    1. If so be. If it happen (that); if it turns out (that); supposing that.
    2. Compare general uses of this combined phrase (Jos 14:12; Is 47:12; Hos 8:7; Mat 18:13).
    3. Compare Bible similar usages of this rhetorical device (I Cor 15:15; Ep 4:21; Phil 2:1-2).
  2. Tasting God is partaking of Him and His grace experientially that affects spiritual senses.
    1. It is not enough to know Bible facts; have you met the Lord and Saviour of the Bible?
    2. It is laying hold of gospel truth by faith for mental pleasure and heart-moving joy in God.
    3. David had introduced this concept and term that Peter may have drawn from (Ps 34:8).
    4. Meditate on God or His Son to satisfy your soul as with marrow and fatness (Ps 63:5-6).
    5. Paul warned weak believers that had already tasted what Peter intended here (Heb 6:4-6).
    6. The Bible teaches that satiating pleasure in God and the gospel can be found (Ps 36:7-9; 65:4; 104:34; Is 25:6-8; 55:1-3; Jer 31:12-14; Zech 9:16-17).
    7. With a connection to God’s word (2:2), we see tasting God’s grace by scripture (Job 23:12; Ps 19:10; 119:103; Prov 24:13-14; John 5:39; Acts 17:2-3).
    8. You should get more out of Song of Solomon’s references to food and drink than veiled references to various forms of sexual pleasure (Song 1:2-4; 2:3-5; 4:10-16; 5:1; etc.).
    9. The sinful woman in Simon’s house tasted of His great mercy (Luke 7:36-50). Have you?
    10. Reader, have you tasted the goodness of God? His great grace in Christ? Glory to come?

That the Lord is gracious.

  1. The gospel is the good news and glad tidings of God’s grace in Jesus Christ to rebel enemies.
    1. Grace is much more than mercy or unmerited favor, as some say; it is demerited favor!
    2. Mercy is not being punished for your sins; grace is being adopted instead of punished!
    3. In gracious is much to consider and study and compile, but space and time do not permit.
  2. The Lord here is the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom Paul applied grace to close all his epistles.
    1. The following verses immediately take up the subject of Jesus distinct from the Father.
    2. The chief corner stone, elect, and precious in the house of God is Jesus Christ (2:4-8).
    3. The grace of Christ includes His obedience and blood (1:2), the incredible inheritance you have in and with Him (1:3-12), His precious blood (1:18-19), His covenant to die for you (1:20), His work for you to believe (1:21), regeneration of you, etc., etc.
    4. It was His grace that caused Him to become poor so that you might be rich (II Cor 8:9).
    5. Jesus saw His seed, took up His life again, and did all needed for the elect (Isaiah 53:10).
    6. The Bible, New Testament, and Revelation end with Jesus Christ’s grace (Rev 22:21).
  3. There is every good feature of grace in the gospel from Gen 3:15 to Rev 22:21 to excite you.
    1. We call them facets of salvation, for God has chosen glorious concepts and words for us.
    2. What Hollywood drama can even come close to the unbelievable and unspeakable gift of adoption as God’s sons granted by a sovereign God to rebel enemies that did not want it!
    3. Taste what God did in eternity, what Jesus did in time, and what is sure for your future!
    4. They drive to their houses of worship (movie theaters) and pay high ticket prices to watch shameless idiocy and hopeless existence to moving soundtracks with great enthusiasm!
    5. They go to houses of worship (stadiums) and pay high ticket prices for kid-game heroes.
    6. For facets of salvation.
  4. Can you retrace the logic of Peter’s argument from this third verse back to the first verse?
    1. From verse 3 to verse 2 – Christ is very gracious, therefore you should desire the word.
    2. From verse 2 to verse 1 – in order to grow in God’s word, you must purify brotherly love.
  5. Compare Paul’s similar rhetoric and content to provoke love of the brethren (Phil 2:1-4).
  6. Is there enough grace and glory in the gospel for you to lay sin aside and desire the word?

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

To whom coming.

  1. The whom here is the Lord from the previous verse and Jesus the stone of the context ahead.
  2. The coming here is believing on Jesus Christ and joining His kingdom by baptism (implied).
    1. Jesus taught no man could come unto Him except by His Father’s election (Jn 6:37-40).
    2. Jesus taught no man could come unto Him except by His Father’s drawing (Jn 6:44,65).
    3. Coming to Jesus Christ is believing on Him as Lord and Savior (Jn 6:36-37,44-47,64-69).
    4. Coming to Jesus Christ is taught in both testaments (Isaiah 55:3; Matt 11:28; John 5:40).
    5. There is no real believing on Christ without believer’s baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:37).
  3. Those coming to Christ, or believing on Him, were Peter’s audience of scattered Jews (1:1).
    1. Coming to Jesus Christ was a costly decision in persecution and lost Jewish privileges.
    2. For the next seven verses (2:4-10), Peter will encourage these believers to faith in Christ.
    3. They were key parts of the spiritual house and temple of God along with the Lord (2:4-6).
    4. They had distinguished themselves from the Jewish reprobates by loving Christ (2:7-8).
    5. They were the true generation and nation of God that the rest of Israel was not (2:9-10).
    6. The section (2:4-10) is best seen as exalting Israel that was Israel (Rom 9:6; John 1:47).
    7. In all respects of great O.T. privileges, these Jewish Christians were far more privileged.

As unto a living stone.

  1. Jesus is only as a stone by similitude (a simile) as a key building block in the temple of God.
  2. The stone here is Peter’s inspired simile of Jesus Christ as a component in the temple of God.
    1. The Jews, and rightly so by God’s blessing, put great faith in their temple made of stones.
    2. The rebellious Jews presumed on the temple while Solomon’s temple stood (Jer 7:1-15).
    3. The poor apostles admired the stones of Zerubbabel’s and Herod’s temple (Luke 21:5).
    4. The scattered, persecuted Jews Peter addressed were far from the temple in Jerusalem.
    5. However, Peter is about to give them great encouragement as stones in a better temple!
  3. Jesus is a living stone, for He is alive forevermore in a living temple and organism of God.
    1. Lively. adjective. Possessed of life; living, animate. Contrast I Pet 2:4 living to 2:5 lively.
    2. Jesus is alive forevermore; He has life in Himself to give others; He shall raise the dead!
    3. The Jews in Asia Minor that had converted were part of temple far superior to Jerusalem.
    4. The dead, inanimate stones used in Solomon’s and Zerubbabel’s temples were nothing.
    5. There is a living, animate temple, house, family, church, or body of God built upon Jesus.

Disallowed indeed of men.

  1. Peter is referring to Isaiah 28:16 (the precious stone) and Psalm 118:22 (overriding the Jews).
  2. The Jews refused to receive and instead rejected God’s chosen Son and Messiah of Israel.
    1. Disallow. To refuse to laud, praise, or commend; to discommend, to blame. To refuse to approve or sanction; to disapprove. To refuse to accept with approval; to reject, disown. To refuse to accept as reasonable, true, or valid; to refuse to admit. To refuse to acknowledge or grant (some claim, right, or privilege), or to accede to (some request or suggestion); to reject. To refuse to allow or permit; to forbid the use of, to prohibit.
    2. He came unto His own – the Jews – and the majority of them received Him not (Jn 1:11).
    3. Jesus caused a great division among the Jews (Luke 2:34-35; John 7:12,43; 9:16; 10:19).
  3. Hard to believe and entirely unreasonable, the Jews in fact, reality, and truth rejected Jesus.
    1. Indeed. In actual fact, in reality, in truth; really, truly, assuredly, positively.
    2. Even the man born blind was sufficiently wise to confound the Pharisees (John 9:13-34).
    3. Not only did the Jews not receive Him, they conspired and crucified Him (Acts 13:27).
  4. It does not matter what men may think of Jesus Christ, His gospel, or any part of scripture.
    1. From Trapp, as the fable, “The cock on the dunghill knoweth not the price of this jewel.”
    2. Believers in God must increase in faith and thick skin to ignore opinions of the ignorant.
    3. Who cares what men think? The Bible ridicules them (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5).
    4. It is foolish and sinful to follow a multitude, but especially with this Man (Ex 23:1-3).
    5. We concur with Paul’s lofty statements concerning Him (I Tim 1:15; 3:16; I Cor 16:22).
    6. There shall soon be a day in which He will separate men (II Thes 1:7-10; I Tim 6:13-16).

But chosen of God.

  1. The inspired disjunctive but here disregards the profane Jews for God’s sovereign purpose.
    1. What men disallow or reject, even religious men claiming God’s religion, is worthless.
    2. The Jews could conspire and blaspheme all they wanted – God exalted Jesus (Ps 2:1-12).
  2. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus being God’s chosen or elect Servant (Is 42:1-3; Matt 12:17-21).
  3. God chose Jesus just like He had chosen David out of the people to be King (Psalm 89:19).
  4. Peter had written God foreordained Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world (1:20).

And precious.

  1. Peter, by the Spirit, loved to identify Jesus as precious, which he did four times (1:19; 2:6-7).
    1. Precious. Of great price; having a high value; costly. Of great moral, spiritual, or non-material worth; held in high esteem. See Ezek 28:13; Dan 11:43; Matt 26:7; I Cor 3:12.
    2. He will elaborate on it further (1:6-7), but he had to introduce this precious terminology.
    3. Consider also how Peter used precious for other spiritual things (I Peter 1:7; II Pet 1:1,4).
    4. Peter introduced precious here (2:4) from Isaiah 28:16 (2:6) and applied it to them (2:7).
  2. If Jesus is not precious to a believer or to a church, then that believer or church are in danger.
  3. Jesus should always be preeminent and dominate content as crucified (I Cor 2:2; Gal 6:14).

5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Ye also.

  1. There are similarities between Jesus and His brethren, which similarity is indicated this way.
  2. There was no noun or pronoun until now referring to the hearers Peter sought to comfort.
  3. The ye here are those scattered Jews of 1:1 that had come to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
  4. The also indicates his comparison between Jesus the living stone and them as lively stones.

As lively stones.

  1. Lively. adjective. Possessed of life; living, animate. Compare I Peter 2:4 living to 2:5 lively.
  2. A building, house, or temple with living or lively stones is an organism, not an organization.
    1. Organism. An organized body, consisting of mutually connected and dependent parts constituted to share a common life; the material structure of an individual animal or plant.
    2. Organization. The condition of being organized; the mode in which something is organized; co-ordination of parts or elements in an organic whole; systematic arrangement for a definite purpose.
    3. The temple in Jerusalem without God’s presence was a bunch of gravel glued together!
    4. The temple Peter saw was the living combination of Jesus and His redeemed brethren!
    5. Other words and concepts used by the apostles for this temple were body and family, both words which describe a combination of living parts.
  3. It is your wisdom to consider the living aspects of your church rather than the buildings or programs that most churches emphasize to the confusion of their own existence.
    1. From the Vatican to the cathedral in Strasbourg to the Mormon Temple and Tabernacle, many put their money and their faith in a building made of dead stones that is also dead.
    2. Even foolish Baptists can get carried away with building programs to miss their purpose.
    3. The emphasis of a church must be on its spiritual union in and around Christ Jesus.

Are built up a spiritual house.

  1. There must be right dividing of God’s word here to avoid shame and find truth (II Tim 2:15).
    1. There is more than one house of God spoken of in the Bible, from your body natural and spiritual (II Cor 5:1-6) to Herod’s temple (John 2:16-17; Luke 13:35) to the local church (I Tim 3:15) to the church universal (Heb 3:1-6; 10:21).
    2. God’s temple is your physical body (I Cor 6:19-20), a local church (I Cor 3:16-17; II Cor 6:16; II Thess 2:4), the universal church (Eph 2:21; 3:10; 5:25-27,32; Heb 12:23), or heaven (Rev 3:12; 11:19; 16:17; 21:22).
    3. There are local churches, the universal church, and collective noun church for churches!
    4. Church of Christ (Campbellites) is superstitious about Rom 16:16, ignoring I Cor 11:16!
    5. Primitive Baptists superstitiously hold a manmade name and speak of the PB Church!
    6. Landmarkers deny a universal church as every Bible reference is always a local church.
    7. Catholics and their daughters deny a local church as every Bible reference is universal.
  2. God is builder of His house, temple, family, or body by electing and regenerating its parts.
    1. Notice here that the voice of the verb phrase are built is passive voice – God built us.
    2. We do not do the building of this spiritual house in the context – God only builds it.
  3.  We must appreciate the terminology used here and elsewhere about God’s building of us.
    1. This point is so glorious as to nearly overwhelm heart and mind when considered well.
    2. Let us humble ourselves before the incredible gospel facts Peter here detailed for readers.
    3. The Jews were incredibly proud and/or thankful and/or privileged to be God’s building.
    4. N.T. writers described gospel privileges under O.T. terms for national privileges of Israel – nation (I Pet 2:9), church or congregation (Heb 12:22; I Tim 3:15), tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16), house of God (I Tim 3:15; I Pet 2:5), temple of the living God (II Cor 6:16), habitation of God (Eph 2:22), mount Sion (Heb 12:22), city of the living God (Heb 12:22), Jerusalem (Heb 12:22), kingdom (Heb 12:28), family (Eph 3:15), commonwealth (Eph 2:12), fellowcitizens (Eph 2:19), household of God (Eph 2:19), generation (I Pet 2:9), priesthood (I Pet 2:5,9), peculiar people (Tit 2:14), people of God (Heb 4:9), country (Heb 11:14-16), altar (Heb 13:10), tabernacle (Heb 8:2), house of Israel (Heb 8:10), Israel of God (Gal 6:16; Rev 9:6), Jews (Rom 2:28-29; Rev 2:9; 3:9), kings (Rev 1:5-6; I Pet 2:9), thrones (Rev 20:4; Luke 22:30).
    5. Foolish men actually get excited about the house of Windsor or the house of Rothschild.
    6. Rather than try to nitpick these terms, grasp the historical/national metaphors they are.
    7. The patriarchs are mostly ignored in the comparison due to only two written covenants.
  4. There is a universal kingdom, church, house, temple, nation, etc. including all of God’s elect.
    1. It may be seen in five phases to help sort through and rightly divide various Bible verses.
    2. The eternal phase of this building is God’s elect chosen in Jesus Christ to future glory.
    3. The legal phase of this building is Jesus Christ’s sacrifice to pay for His rights to them.
    4. The vital phase of this building is the translation of them into Jesus Christ’s kingdom.
    5. The practical phase of this building is their faith and baptism converting to embrace it.
    6. The final phase of this building is when all elect are finally glorified in heaven together.
  5. There are local churches, houses, temples, bodies that are unique congregations of believers.
    1. Rebels against local church authority deny them, but there are individual, local churches.
    2. These heretics claim a universal church or body for all believers and reject the local one.
    3. You can spot them when you hear yapping about us all being part of the body of Christ.
    4. While a universal church is true as shown above, it is false in the sense of local churches.
    5. Therefore, there is a plural noun churches for many more than one (Acts 9:31; Rom 16:16; I Cor 11:16; II Co 11:8,28; Gal 1:2,22; I Thes 2:14; II Thes 1:4; Re 1:4,11; 22:16).
    6. Therefore, a local church is called the whole church (Ac 15:22; Rom 16:23; I Cor 14:23).
    7. Therefore, each one judges its own members in or out (I Cor 5:3-5,12-13; Mat 18:15-17).
    8. Therefore, each one has its dedicated ministers (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; I Thes 5:12-13).
    9. Therefore, each one is called a body for the interaction of its members (I Cor 12:12-27).
    10. When this local church is dealt with, the singular is a collective noun (I Tim 3:15; 5:16).
  6. We believe this section of scripture (2:4-10) to deal with the universal house/temple of God.
    1. Peter’s audience was Jews from a wide range of local churches that included Gentile members, but Peter largely ignored the Gentiles to directly comfort the converted Jews.
    2. The singular spiritual house cannot refer to a local church, as many local churches were involved, and it would not be a collective noun, for the Gentile members were ignored.
    3. The traits of the house of God are not limited to unique, specific local church privileges.
    4. The terminology throughout the seven verses is larger and singular, not local churches.
    5. When Paul used similar terms (Heb 12:22-24), including mount Sion, he called it the general assembly, with membership by the book of life, spirits of just men, angels, etc.
    6. When Paul used similar terms (Ep 2:19-21), he did not limit it to the church at Ephesus.
    7. There is a local church also built together that God inhabits (Eph 2: 22; I Cor 3:16-17).
  7. There are three aspects of a local church that may be considered to rightly divide churches.
    1. The legality of a church, like the legality of a baptism, only makes it legitimate i.e. SBC.
    2. The spirituality of a church is whether it has its candlestick of the Spirit or not (Rev 2:5).
    3. The practicality of a church is whether it holds the doctrine and obeys the gospel or not.

An holy priesthood.

  1. The Jews, more than any other religion, had a very important role for priests from Aaron.
    1. Converting to Christianity meant you were outside the ministry of God’s O.T. priests.
    2. A glorious encouragement would be full understanding of a new temple and priesthood!
    3. They were made kings (kingship is in 2:9) and priests by Jesus Christ (Rev 1:5-6; 5:10).
    4. They did not look for their genealogy as Jews under Ezra, their priesthood was in Christ!
    5. Their roles as priests were prophesied to be very great indeed (Isaiah 61:6; Mal 3:3-4).
  2. The Jews knew any priest without proper lineage, attire, instruments, etc., would be unholy.
    1. But in this new temple with Jesus Christ as great high priest they would be holy priests.
    2. The only priesthood that was acceptable to God had to be holy, which they would be.
  3. Do you fully grasp the great privilege of the men chosen to approach unto God for worship?
    1. You can go straight into the presence of God as often as you want with great boldness!
    2. The stupendous event of you, a filthy God-forsaken Gentile, being a priest is remarkable.
    3. But a new priesthood of Gentiles was also prophesied in the O.T. (Is 66:21; Mal 1:11).

To offer up spiritual sacrifices.

  1. The New Testament has sacrifices of a public/corporate kind and a private/personal kind.
    1. It is easy to envy the O.T. saints like David and Solomon and their magnifical sacrifices.
    2. But as God told the Jews by Haggai, the N.T. has elements of unprecedented worship.
  2. We are to continually offer up the sacrifice of praise by giving thanks with lips (Heb 13:15).
    1. This is a rule of the N.T. for both private and public worship (Eph 5:18-21; Col 3:15-17).
    2. This was also the rule of the O.T. for those with spiritual understanding (Ps 69:30-31).
    3. Consider how plainly Hosea told of offering the calves of our lips with words (Hos 14:2).
    4. We are bound to always gives thanks to God for salvation from eternity (II Thess 2:13).
  3. Acts and gifts of charity are also pleasing sacrifices of the N.T. (Heb 13:16; 6:10; Phil 4:18).
  4. We also give our bodies a living sacrifice by conforming our lives unto Christ (Rom 12:1-2).
  5. Prayer is also like incense and the evening sacrifice as the Psalmist well wrote (Psalm 141:2).
  6. Our singing without instruments trumps the trumpets and other noisy instruments of David.

Acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

  1. How can we ever offer sacrifices acceptable to God while in filthy bodies in a filthy world?
    1. Our great high priest covered all our sins and sanctified our filthiness to be acceptable.
    2. When we meet, pray, sing, worship, preach, fellowship, let us do it in His precious name!
    3. Jesus taught us to pray in His name, for by it we will receive our petitions (John 14:13).
  2. The Jews had one annual visit acceptable to God by the high priest with life-saving blood.
    1. But we can go in to Him every hour in private and publicly in every church assembly.
    2. We have a new and living way open to God via the Lord Jesus (Heb 4:15-16; 10:19-22).

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Wherefore also.

  1. Consider how Jews might have read 2:4-5 about a spiritual house, holy priesthood, and etc.
    1. They might easily have had some real doubts about such grand propositions from Peter.
    2. The highest level that the world had seen and the Jews had aspired was O.T. grandeur.
  2. Peter did not rely on inspiration or creative similes only for God’s building of N.T. believers.
  3. There was further evidence from the O.T. that God had prophesied of this spiritual building.

It is contained in the scripture.

  1. The greatest authority for a Jew, an honest and born again Jew, was to hear scripture quoted.
    1. Peter quoted from Isaiah 28:16 about Christ as the chief corner stone of God’s building.
    2. Paul also used this passage to explain the obstinacy of Jewish unbelievers (Romans 9:33).
  2. Let it always be your habit to go to the scriptures, for only what they have is worth reading.
    1. Be noble as the Bereans to check even an apostle by the word (Acts 17:11; I Thess 5:21).
    2. There is no other light or understanding than scripture (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20; II Pet 1:19).
    3. Present truth to men by appealing to and arguing from scripture (Acts 17:1-3; 19:27-28).
  3. In this place we have another example for taking a single word and building an argument.
  4. For one-word arguments in scripture.

Behold, I lay in Sion.

  1. This Sion fulfills the Zion of the O.T., the mountain of God’s house, Jerusalem, or Israel.
  2. Paul told the Jewish Christians he wrote about this mount Sion and Jerusalem (Heb 12:22).
  3. Drawing from the O.T. Zion, the N.T. Sion is a name for Jesus Christ’s kingdom/church.

A chief corner stone.

  1. Jesus Christ, the living stone chosen by God in context, is the chief support of God’s house.
    1. He is also called the chief corner stone in Ephesians 2:20 with the apostles as foundation.
    2. As the chief corner stone the whole building is measured out from Him and tied together.
  2. Without Jesus Christ, our church and the church universal has no future or value whatsoever.
  3. The source of the quotation, Isaiah 28:16, also includes a sure foundation about Jesus Christ!


  1. As Peter had introduced already, Jesus was chosen by God though rejected by men (2:4).
  2. He had also declared that He was foreordained before the foundation of the world (1:20).
  3. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus being God’s chosen or elect Servant (Is 42:1-3; Matt 12:17-21).
  4. God chose Jesus just like He had chosen David out of the people to be King (Psalm 89:19).


  1. This is no ordinary stone that supports and decorates the glorious building and house of God.
  2. Every church is duty bound and blessed by privilege to make Jesus preeminent in all things.
  3. Peter, by the Spirit, loved to identify Jesus as precious, which he did four times (1:19; 2:4,7).
    1. Precious. Of great price; having a high value; costly. Of great moral, spiritual, or non-material worth; held in high esteem. See Ezek 28:13; Dan 11:43; Matt 26:7; I Cor 3:12.
    2. Consider also how Peter used precious for other spiritual things (I Peter 1:7; II Pet 1:1,4).

And he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

  1. The scattered Jews enduring persecution that Peter wrote would never be confounded (1:1).
  2. With pagan Gentiles and synagogue Jews against them, these saints would have had doubts.
  3. Paul quoted the same text for similar purposes in Romans 9:33 and 10:11, using ashamed.
  4. Isaiah’s words were, “shall not make haste,” appealing in some sense to haste making waste.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.

  1. Believers, when they grasp the position and role of Jesus Christ, they know He is precious.
    1. Faith in Jesus as God’s Son is the faith and victory that overcomes the world (I John 5:4).
    2. There will always be tribulation in the world, but He has overcome the world (Jn 16:33).
    3. Only those that find Him precious will ever forsake all to take up a cross to follow Him.
  2. Real faith, produced by the Spirit, based in scripture, and knowing Jesus, finds Him precious.
    1. The scriptures testify of Jesus Christ, and what they testify is glorious in both testaments.
    2. If Jesus Christ is not precious to you, then you need to examine your faith or knowledge.
    3. Carnal living will quench and grieve the Holy Spirit, whose ministry is to testify of Jesus.
  3. The Desire of all Nations, Jesus made Zerubbabel’s temple greater than Solomon’s (Ha 2:7).
  4. For Jesus Christ as altogether lovely.

But unto them which be disobedient.

  1. There were those who disobeyed the gospel of Christ, even among God’s favored people.
    1. The O.T. prophesied of the wickedness of Israel rejecting Jesus (Isaiah 8:14; 6:9-13).
    2. Paul quoted Isaiah about Israel as disobedient and gainsaying people (Ro 10:21; Is 65:2).
  2. There is a great difference between those who believe the gospel and those who disobey it.
  3. Consider the horrific difference that will be made when Jesus Christ appears (II Thes 1:7-10).

The stone which the builders disallowed.

  1. The quote is from Ps 118:22 about the stone refused becoming the head stone of the corner.
    1. Inspired Peter continued to pursue the metaphor of a stone, a building, and its builders.
    2. We can add Ps 118:23 for the full measure of delight in God’s zealous work (Is 9:6-7)!
    3. The Jews’ obstinate profanity against Jesus Christ had been prophesied (Isaiah 6:9-13).
    4. Jesus applied this Psalm against the Jews of His generation with fury (Matt 21:40-46).
    5. Peter, emboldened by the Holy Ghost, blasted the same against the rulers (Acts 4:11-12).
  2. The Jews, God’s nation, screamed, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Lu 19:14).

The same is made the head of the corner.

  1. What men do with God, His religion, His Son, or His word matters little; His will shall stand!
  2. The building of God – His kingdom, house, nation, or church – has Jesus Christ as its king!
  3. It did not matter that reprobate and blind Jews rejected Christ, for God exalted Him anyway.
    1. In spite of their rejection, God exalted Him as the glorious King of His church (Ps 2:1-6).
    2. In spite of their refusal, God exalted Jesus to be Judge to destroy His enemies (Lu 19:27).

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.

  1. Peter continued his lengthy metaphor about Jesus Christ and His church as a stone and rock.
    1. He borrowed terminology here, further use of a stone and a rock, from Isaiah 8:13-15.
    2. Those who miss God’s sovereign work of snaring men do not know Him (Is 28:9-13).
  2. God designed the person and work of Jesus Christ so He was offensive to the nation of Israel.
    1. Though fulfilling many unique prophecies no one else could fulfill, the Jews hated Him.
    2. Though fulfilling dated and timed prophecies that certified His ministry, they hated Him.
    3. Though performing miracles that had never been seen before in Israel, they hated Him.
  3. Paul knew the desire and proclivity of the Jews as well as any, but he never met their needs.
    1. The Jews were convinced they would be justified by pedigree or by works of the Law.
    2. God’s market survey showed Jews craving signs, so He sent the gospel (I Cor 1:21-24).
    3. In case they followed the Greeks for wisdom, Paul preached Christ crucified (I Co 2:1-5).

Even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.

  1. Jesus was only a stumbling block and offending rock to particular Jews, the disobedient ones.
    1. Jesus caused a great division in His nation (Luke 2:34-35; John 7:12,43; 9:16; 10:19).
    2. The common people heard Him gladly, but the religious rulers envied and despised Him.
    3. Unless God regenerates, the gospel will be foolishness to every single man (I Cor 2:14).
  2. The word here is the preached or written word of the gospel revealing Jesus Christ to men.
    1. It was the preaching of the gospel that was a stumblingblock to the Jews (I Cor 1:22-24).
    2. The word is God’s revelation of righteousness, truth, wisdom for salvation (II Tim 3:15).
    3. What folly to reject the word by whatever contradictions, debates, quarrels, quibbles, snuffing at it, questioning it, enviously swelling against it, casting reproaches on it, or creating odious consequences from it, when it was given for your deliverance and safety!
    4. The Jews of all men should have revered the word they had strapped to their foreheads!
  3. We cannot be stumblingblocks by liberties, but we do not modify the gospel stumblingblock.
    1. We shall preach Jesus and Him crucified, no matter what the outcome of it (I Cor 2:1-5).
    2. Preaching the unvarnished truth of God’s word brings certain triumph (II Cor 2:14-17).

Whereunto also they were appointed.

  1. The text is easy enough – these Christ-haters among the Jews had been appointed to disobey.
    1. Whereunto. rel. Unto which: = whereto 3. Whereto. To which. Compare II Peter 1:19.
    2. Also indicates that they were appointed to disobey along with Christ’s design to offend.
    3. God sent Jesus in such a way to offend faithless Jews, which fulfilled their reprobation.
  2. The doctrine of reprobation is not hard to understand, for it is the complement of election.
    1. Reprobation. Theol. Rejection by God; the state of being so rejected or cast off, and thus ordained to eternal misery.
    2. If God chose or elected anyone to eternal life or to other benefits, He had to reject others.
    3. The terminology is scriptural for those God has rejected (Jeremiah 6:30; II Cor 13:5-7).
    4. God’s rejection leaves man depraved, thus another sense (Ro 1:28; II Tim 3:8; Tit 1:16).
    5. Pharaoh is a classic and common example of a man God hardened (Ex 9:16; Rom 9:17).
    6. God willingly makes known His power on vessels of wrath designed for destruction (Rom 9:22). Is this unfair? Try Romans 9:20! All men had their perfect chance in Adam.
    7. God ordained the wicked to eternal condemnation in hell (Pr 16:4; Matt 7:23; John 8:44; Eph 2:3; I Thess 5:9; II Thess 2:9-12; I Pet 2:8; II Pet 2:3,12; Jude 1:4; Rev 4:11; 20:12).
  3. The doctrine of reprobation, or God’s rejection of men, is despised and hated by men today.
    1. It is such a simple concept and doctrine, for you cannot have choice or election without it.
    2. Men will accept election/reprobation as long as they are elect and others are reprobate.
    3. For sentimental Arminians, why do you see God’s rejection of Satan as perfectly fine?
  4. If any people should have understood and appreciated reprobation, it should have been Jews.
    1. After all, God chose Abram of all the men on earth to walk with Him and rejected others.
    2. After all, God chose Isaac and rejected Ishmael by Hagar and six other sons by Keturah.
    3. After all, God chose Jacob over his twin Esau even before they were born of Rebekah.
    4. After all, God chose to know Israel of all the families in the earth and to reject the rest.
  5. If you find yourself resenting reprobation, then prove you are elect by believing on Christ!
    1. If you do not believe on Him, but live for yourself in this world, you justify reprobation.
    2. There is no such thing as men truly coming to Christ being rejected, so believe on Him!

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:


  1. This inspired disjunctive contrasts the reprobation of the previous verse to the election here.
    1. There is no grammatical need for the disjunctive but, however it emphasizes the contrast.
    2. The Bible’s buts offer an interesting study of God’s justice and mercy or other contrasts.
    3. Consider Psalm 73:26; Isaiah 53:4-5; Acts 13:30; Rom 3:21; 6:23; 10:6; 12:19; 13:14; 14:15; I Cor 1:18; 6:11; 7:15; 15:57; Gal 1:15; Eph 2:4,13; II Thes 2:13; II Tim 1:7; Titus 3:4; Heb 1:8; 2:9; 12:22; II Pet 2:5; 3:10; I John 2:20.
  2. The contrast is so great, so severe, so stupendous in consequences that but deserves attention.
    1. A sovereign Potter’s choice for vessels of mercy or wrath is incredible (Romans 9:10-24).
    2. The precious blood of Christ is very different from mere gold and silver (I Peter 1:18-19).
    3. Worldly men, the Jews in particular, disallowed Jesus, but God chose Him (I Peter 2:4).
    4. Two buts in the next verse greatly contrast reprobate and elect Israelites (I Peter 2:10).
    5. The difference God makes in hearing or not hearing prayers is significant (I Peter 3:12).
  3. In each of the four distinctions for the Christian Jews that follow, we should rejoice in grace!
  4. How many more buts could rightly be generated to describe God’s great mercy in your life?
    1. Out of the world’s population of over 7 billion, how many believe? … but you believe!
    2. What should have resulted from the foolish choices in your life? … but God saved you!

Ye are a chosen generation.

  1. The choice here is God’s electing grace contrasted to the reprobation in the previous verse.
    1. Election in the Bible is as much of a choice as when a nation chooses public officers.
    2. Where the word election could go, the Bible may have choice (Eph 1:4; II Thess 2:13).
    3. Where the word choice could go, the Bible may have election (Rom 8:33; I Peter 1:2).
  2. There is nothing unfair, unrighteous, or ungracious about God in the doctrine of election.
    1. Paul assumed questions, implying it severe, but answered dogmatically (Rom 9:14,19).
    2. Some argue, Why is God not gracious to all? We answer, Why is God gracious to any!
    3. Rather than fuss about why God hated Esau, why not fuss about why He loved Jacob!
    4. For more about the fairness of election.
  3. Those chosen here were Jews considered as Jews still part of the dispersion (1:1; 2:12).
  4. They are called a generation in the familial sense of a progeny of God’s own dear children.
    1. Generation here is not those living at a certain time for lack of a demonstrative adjective.
    2. It is used here in the sense of family or descendants (De 10:15; Ps 22:30; 73:15; Is 6:13).
  5. We Gentiles were never part of Israel’s commonwealth in any way, we must greatly rejoice.

A royal priesthood.

  1. Peter already identified them as priests, holy priests, in comforting them against Israel (2:5).
    1. Rather than identify them as constituents, congregants, or supplicants, they were priests.
    2. Unlike the Jews, we have little appreciation for priests, so we do not embrace the phrase.
  2. But here they are royal priests, creatively uniting their position in Christ as kings and priests.
    1. The Jews knew well that priests came from the tribe of Levi and kings from that of Judah.
    2. But in Jesus Christ, believers were chosen to be both by God’s grace (Re 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
    3. The two highest offices in Israel were king or high priest. The Christian Jews were both!
  3. This privilege, role, status, and power is far greater than intended in the O.T. by Exodus 19:6.
  4. We do not come from the right nation or tribe, but Jesus Christ made us king-priests to God.
  5. Why royal priests? Because we live and reign with Jesus Christ (Eph 2:4; Rev 20:4,6; etc.).

An holy nation.

  1. Think nationalism! Think American pride, German loyalty, or Japanese kamikaze pilots!
    1. Nationalism is the love and pride of one’s nation, which varies from strong to fanatical.
    2. You cannot fully appreciate being citizens of a nation that was God’s perpetual darling.
  2. The scattered Jews had been dispersed 500+ years earlier, now strangers in foreign countries.
    1. God had told them early on they were a holy nation unto Him, but now better (Ex 19:6).
    2. The Bible exalts their nationalism (Gen 12:2; 18:18; 46:3; Exodus 33:13; Deut 4:6-8,43; 26:5; 28:1; II Sam 7:23; Ps 33:12; 106:5; 147:19-20; Isaiah 26:15; 66:8; Jer 31:36; 33:9).
  3. Prophecies and fulfillments of the future nation included Gentiles, so we also rejoice (Amos 9:11-12; Acts 15:13-18; Jer 31:36; Ezek 37:21-28; Mic 4:7; Mat 21:43; Jn 11:49-52; Ac 2:5).
  4. We can compare it to Americanism, which has its own fanatical, patriotic, obsessive idolatry.
    1. As Gentile Christians in America, we are citizens of a nation with Jesus Christ as King.
    2. Our first and greatest allegiance is not to the American flag but rather to the Holy Bible.
    3. Our first and greatest loyalty and service is not the president but rather to Jesus Christ.
    4. America has no value or virtue that is not infinitely exceeded by Jesus Christ’s kingdom.
    5. Our nation has many faults and problems from top to bottom, but God’s nation has none.

A peculiar people.

  1. Peculiar. 1. That is one’s own private property; that belongs or pertains to, or characterizes, an individual person, place, or thing, or group of persons or things, as distinct from others.
    1. People may be peculiar (strange or weird) in various ways, but that is not the meaning.
    2. Earth’s population hit 7 billion in 2011, and you are not peculiar or special among them.
    3. If you died and were buried Tuesday, Wednesday would go on with little thought of you.
    4. If any love you, and that is questionable, their love does little now and fully nothing then.
    5. The peculiarity we care about is being God’s exclusive people, not any other ancestry.
  2. Peculiar. Bible usage has the meaning and sense just given to describe God’s chosen people.
    1. In contrast to Egyptians, Jehovah brought Israel to Himself as a peculiar treasure above all others; they would be His kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex 19:3-6).
    2. Jehovah restricted His children from heathen customs due to them being a holy people and having chosen them a peculiar people unto Himself above all nations (Deut 14:1-2).
    3. Jehovah avouched (declare, acknowledge, or claim solemnly as one’s own, to avow) Israel to be His peculiar people and to make them higher than all nations (Deu 26:16-19).
    4. Jehovah chose Jacob (Israel) to Himself for them to be His peculiar treasure (Ps 135:4).
  3. The Jews felt the privilege and pleasure of this relationship nationally and naturally so much that they connected eternal life to their relationship to Abraham by their birth certificates!
  4. These scattered Jews were God’s personal and special treasure as His own elect children distinct from all others, and this peculiarity was illustrated in the O.T. church and fully realized in Christ’s redeemed children, separated by election from the Jewish people at large.
    1. Jesus Christ died to redeem us from all iniquity (buy us back from sin’s condemnation) and purify unto Himself a peculiar people as the holy children of God (Titus 2:13-14).
    2. Here in this phrase and surrounding context, contrasted to the appointing of the disobedient wicked to judgment, God chose believers to be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a peculiar people (2:7-10).

That ye should shew forth the praises of him.

  1. God has made all things for Himself and His pleasure – grasp this axiom (Pr 16:4; Rev 4:11).
    1. The drama of the universe is for the glory and praise of God by His design (Isaiah 43:21).
    2. God chose to save and adopt some for the praise of His grace (Ro 9:22-24; Ep 1:3-6; 2:7).
    3. Election or reprobation is not for the clay, but in both cases for the Potter (Rom 9:22-24).
    4. Since this is the case – all is for God’s glory – we should actively fulfill our destiny in it.
  2. When salvation is rightly understood, you are bound to thank God always (II Thess 2:13).
  3. We shew forth God’s praises by declaring and living them in such a way to make it visible.
    1. David wrote of declaring what God had done for his soul (Psalm 66:16; 75:9; 145:6).
    2. He also wrote of shewing forth His works (Ps 9:1,14; 51:15; 71:15; 79:13; 96:2; etc.).
  4. For this reason we praise, give thanks, and sing to show God our great gratitude for salvation.

Who hath called you.

  1. There are three calls of salvation, but we do not have to strictly divide them every time.
    1. There is God’s appointment, choice, and ordination of you to eternal life by His will.
    2. There is God’s regeneration of you by His powerful command to live vitally as a son.
    3. There is God’s invitation by the gospel to the full enjoyment and power of His salvation.
    4. For example, many are called by the gospel, but few chosen to eternal life (Matt 22:14).
    5. If we choose the first, the other two follow; if we choose the last, the others are requisite.
    6. We limit God’s word more than necessary, if we always restrict such words to one phase.
    7. Ordinarily, and a general rule that we hold, God’s sovereign call leads to the gospel call.
  2. What does it mean to be called of God? It means God chose and appointed you as His child!
    1. The Romans were called of God (Ro 1:6-7), or chosen of God (I Cor 1:24-29; I Pet 1:2).
    2. Your calling is your chosen or appointed role or vocation (I Cor 7:17-24; Eph 4:1 cp 5:1).
    3. Luke wrote an inspired commentary that ordination to eternal life fits the bill (Act 13:48).
    4. Our calling, or appointment, is to obtain eternal life through Jesus Christ (I Thess 5:9).
    5. God’s call can be appointment, or regeneration as a son, or the gospel call to act like one.
    6. The call here is different and more than an invitation, offer, or request for us to choose.
    7. It is God’s charge, command, order, and ordination that result in us being sons of God.
    8. The gospel call to be sons is nothing compared to God’s authoritative call, appointment, ordination, or regeneration to be His sons (Matt 22:14; Rom 9:11; Eph 1:3-12).
    9. The gospel call always follows God’s sovereign call (I Cor 1:22-31; II Thess 2:13-14).
    10. The soteriological terms used by theologians, the general call and effectual call, are more confusing than helpful, and they are used to promote the heresy of gospel regeneration.
    11. The gospel cannot call a natural man to obedience, even by the Holy Spirit (I Cor 2:14).
    12. There must be a prior creation of a new spiritual man, which is called regeneration, and before that God must have predestinated a man to quickening (John 8:47; Rom 8:29-30).
    13. The call is not as we might think today, an audible request, a phone conversation, an invitation, a visit, etc. It is the sovereign choice of God to appoint some to salvation.
  3. The calling or vocation we receive from God is due to His purpose, not our own (Rom 8:28).
    1. Salvation and calling are by God’s eternal purpose in Christ, not our works (II Tim 1:9).
    2. If God has been merciful to you, it is according to His own good will (Matt 11:25-26).
  4. Consider God’s call even further by additional usage (Rom 1:6; 8:28,30; 9:24; I Cor 1:9,24-27; I Thess 2:12; II Tim 1:9; Heb 3:1; 9:15; I Pet 1:15; 2:21; 3:9; 5:10; II Pet 1:3).
  5. Examples of other calls (Ac 13:7; Ro 1:1; I Cor 7:24; II Cor 1:1; Gal 1:15; Ep 4:1; Heb 5:4).
  6. We choose by internal evidence that Peter emphasized sovereign appointment to eternal life.
    1. The immediate preceding context is between elect and reprobates by appointment (2:7-8).
    2. The preceding context in the verse is blessings of an eternal and legal sort in Jesus Christ.
    3. The context following is being or not being the people of God by His own mercy (2:10).
    4. God’s sovereign call does save men from darkness (Col 1:13; Eph 5:7-10; II Cor 4:3-6).
    5. But as in Acts 13:48, the connection between ordination to eternal life and faith is close.
    6. Peter closed this first epistle with the precedent, sovereign call in clear focus (I Pet 5:10).
    7. But we do not cut off the resulting gospel call, due to the darkness and light following.
  7. The most important issue about calling is to determine if you are called as a vessel of mercy!
    1. Based on what Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, the evidence of calling is your love of God.
    2. Do you see in the gospel and show by a new life God’s power and wisdom (I Cor 1:24)?
    3. Peter listed eight things that when done prove your calling and election (II Peter 1:5-11).

Out of darkness.

  1. What is the darkness? It is that of sinful living, manmade religion, ignorance of salvation.
    1. The contrast strongly present here is with the stumbling darkness of reprobates (2:7-8).
    2. Consider how Peter clearly identified in context their past sinful living (1:14; 4:1-5).
    3. Consider how Peter already identified their vain religion received by tradition (1:18).
    4. It is circular reasoning and a non sequitor to say these phrases prove a Gentile audience.
    5. See the notes for I Pet 1:18 for the evidence of Jewish superstition and religious darkness.
  2. Do you know how dark the world is? Darkness of your ancestors? Of your deceitful heart?
    1. How would you be living or worshipping if not for the God calling you out of darkness?
    2. God condemns all the thoughts of men as vain darkness (Ps 94:11; 49:10-13; 119:113).
    3. All men are blind in darkness and unreasonable (Is 8:20; II Thess 3:1-2; I Tim 6:20-21).
    4. They are too blind and stupid to know why they fall (Pr 4:19; Matt 15:14; Job 12:24-25).
    5. When men born blind reject offered light, He blinds further (Job 5:12-14; Rom 1:18-32).
    6. If God did not deliver you from your darkness, you would never see any light. Amen!
  3. The coming of Jesus Christ and conversion by the gospel was to deliver men from darkness.
    1. Prophecies of it were fulfilled (Is 9:2; 60:1-3; Mat 4:16; Luke 1:78-79; John 8:12; 12:46).
    2. God sends His ministers to deliver men from darkness by truth (Luke 4:18; Acts 26:18).

Into his marvellous light.

  1. This is the glorious knowledge and understanding of the gospel and doctrine of Jesus Christ.
    1. Marvelous. Such as excites wonder or astonishment; wonderful, astonishing, surprising.
    2. Compare Bible use (Job 5:9; Ps 17:7; 31:21; 78:12; 98:1; 118:23; Mic 7:15; Mat 21:42).
    3. Prophecies of light were fulfilled (Is 9:2; 60:1-3; Mat 4:16; Luk 1:78-79; Jn 8:12; 12:46).
    4. The gospel and doctrine of Jesus Christ is wonderful light that most miss (II Cor 4:1-7).
    5. God’s revelation under the O.T. was glorious, but the N.T. much more (II Cor 3:7-11).
  2. Compare how God’s purpose and grace toward the elect brought gospel light (II Tim 1:9-10).
    1. We clearly see five phases of salvation, but we do not want to separate them too rigidly.
    2. God’s electing, justifying, and regenerating grace and power provide for this conversion.
    3. God’s grace in salvation gives life for death and light for darkness, from election to conversion; dividing too strictly confuses and limits (Ep 1:3-14; 2:1-3; 4:17-24; 5:8-10).
    4. God sovereignly translates us from the power of darkness, but we also believe (Col 1:13).
  3. The word of God, His revelation of glad tidings, is a light shining in a dark place (II Pe 1:19).
    1. God’s word is a lamp for our feet and light for our path (Ps 119:105; 19:8; 43:3; Pr 6:23).
    2. Jesus had life in Himself that was the light of regenerated men (Jn 1:4-5; 8:12; Ps 36:9).
    3. God’s children are children of light and should live in light (Eph 5:8-11; I Thess 5:3-10).
    4. The words of God are all plain to those that understand – by the light of God (Pr 8:8-9).
    5. The wicked go to the generation of their fathers – they shall never see light (Ps 49:19).

10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Which in time past were not a people.

  1. The previous verse described these Jewish believers with four stupendous blessings of God.
    1. They were a holy nation by God’s choice, which meant they were not so by themselves.
    2. They were His peculiar people, but these scattered Israelites little felt such high honor.
  2. Peter here alluded to some verses by the prophet Hosea about Israel (Hosea 1:6,9-10; 2:23).
  3. There are three senses or degrees these Jews were not the people of God though being Jews!
    1. First, they had been dispersed and scattered by the Assyrians away from God’s nation and worship by His severe judgment of the ten tribes that had been so profanely wicked.
    2. Second, they had not been elected by grace to eternal life in Christ until this generation, for Peter began with that blessing and enumerated various aspects of it following 1:2.
    3. Third, they had been converted by the gospel to the N.T. rest and hope of Jesus Christ, which included the spiritual features of 2:5 and 2:9, lifting them above national Israel.
    4. We can see all three aspects of their relationship to God (1:2; 1:21,25; 2:5,9; II Pet 1:1).
    5. They had been nothing, though scattered Jews, but now they had everything in Christ.
  4. Many assume I Pet 2:10, Rom 9:25-26, and Hosea itself describes Gentiles, but we do not!
    1. Hosea’s prophecy is about Israel’s ten tribes with a natural, real, immediate application.
    2. There is no reason to spiritualize the prophecy outside Israel to refer instead to Gentiles.
    3. While true Gentiles were once not the people of God and without His mercy, passages of scripture dealing with the Gentiles are plain enough (Acts 15:13-19; Eph 2:11-22; etc.).
    4. We must faithfully reject connections by the sound of words rather than their proper sense that violate the context, which is the work of rightly dividing (Ne 8:8: II Tim 2:15).
    5. For interpretive work against Gentiles in Hosea.
  5. Read Hosea’s first two chapters about the prophecy of God’s rejection and destruction of the ten tribes, with particular attention paid to the three children’s names and meanings – Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah, and Lo-ammi, and then His elective, merciful choice to save these tribes again.
    1. Hosea chapters 1-2 (and the rest of the book) is clearly and only about Jehovah’s severe judgment and destruction of Israel (the ten tribes) and then the recovery of them later.
    2. Hosea’s only use of Gentiles is to identify them as captors and judges of Israel (Hos 8:8).
    3. Do not presume Gentiles by a description as not being God’s people, for that is precisely the judgment God declared by the prophet Hosea to Israel’s ten tribes (Hosea 1:1-9).
    4. In Romans 9:25-26, Paul’s next few verses are quotations from Isaiah about Israel, not Gentiles, and use of the adverb also connects them to quotations from Hosea (Rom 9:27).
    5. The Gentiles are not part of Paul’s argument until Romans 9:30, where they are quite ancillary and only briefly mentioned, for Paul returned quickly to Israel’s sins (9:31-33).
    6. There is no reason to apply Israel or Jews for all the elect people of God of Jews and Gentiles, for the racial distinction is maintained throughout Romans chapters 9-11.
  6. Peter’s use of Hosea’s prophecy was to comfort the elect, scattered Jews with God’s mercy.
    1. Peter applied Hosea and its terms strictly to Jews, clearly distinguished from Gentiles, showing that Christ had made them unique, spiritual Israelites (I Pet 2:4-12); it is discouraging and shameful to read efforts that Peter wrote to Gentiles by these words.
    2. Peter wrote the diaspora scattered throughout the Empire (I Pet 1:1), from both the Assyrian destruction of Israel and Babylon’s of Judah/Benjamin; Peter was one of the apostolic pillars assigned to Jews, and he wrote them as did James (Gal 2:9; James 1:12).
    3. He will in two verses clearly identify that his audience are Jews among Gentiles (2:12).
  7. We reject Scofield’s note at Hosea 1:10 that says the prophecy still awaits fulfillment, for it was fulfilled naturally with Zerubbabel and much more so spiritually with Jesus Christ.
  8. What can we Gentiles learn? We were less the people of God than God-rejected Israelites!
    1. Hosea nor Peter spoke directly of Gentiles, but we are blessed in one body with Jews!
    2. Let Paul’s words about Gentile spiritual poverty sober you to the blessing (Eph 2:11-22).
    3. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people (2:9).
    4. We have obtained God’s mercy by eternal salvation and grafting us into His kingdom.
    5. When God took the kingdom from Israel, He gave it to the Gentiles (Matthew 21:40-43).

But are now the people of God.

  1. Refer to notes above for which in time past were not a people for an application of this verse.
  2. Elect Jews that were without God’s blessing of mercy in three respects are now His people!
  3. Forget the recovery of dispersed Jews from the nations back to Jerusalem, there is more here.
  4. Hos 1:6; 2:1 for name changes from Lo-ruhamah (not His people) to Ruhamah (His people).

Which had not obtained mercy.

  1. Refer to notes above for which in time past were not a people for an application of this verse.
  2. These scattered Jews in Asia had been rejected by God for up to 700 years before His mercy.

But now have obtained mercy.

  1. Refer to notes above for which in time past were not a people for an application of this verse.
  2. Consult Hosea 1:9; 2:1,23 for name changes from Lo-ammi (no mercy) to Ammi (mercy).

11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Dearly beloved.

  1. Peter, as a Jew, addressed elect Jews kindly, for they were kinsmen naturally and spiritually.
  2. Peter will use this affectionate term, used by the other apostles, again in this epistle (4:12).
  3. By God’s love and rule, beloved can be His love or Peter’s (II Thess 2:13; I John 4:11; 5:1).
  4. Our position in Jesus Christ is glorious – beloved by God and also by apostles (I John 1:1-4).

I beseech you.

  1. Beseech. To supplicate, entreat, implore. To make supplication or earnest request; to ask.
  2. Though an apostolic pillar of the church, yet at times ministers should use kind entreaties.
  3. Beseeching, by its sense of begging entreaty or imploring supplication, is truly appropriate.
    1. Every means should be used to move God’s children from lethargy to faithful godliness.
    2. Paul besought others to their duty (Rom 12:1; II Cor 5:20; 6:1; Ep 4:1; Philemon 1:9-10).
    3. Reasons: judgment, praise, indirect glory, enemies, adorn gospel, practical salvation, etc.
  4. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we use whatever means to help save others (Jude 1:22-23).

As strangers and pilgrims.

  1. Strangers and pilgrims are those who do not have a permanent home or commitment here.
    1. They are nomadic in nature, meaning they view this life in the world as only temporary.
    2. They are only passing through on their way to another place, in this case heaven above.
    3. The fathers were strangers and pilgrims on earth, seeking a heavenly country (He 11:13).
  2. These Jews were nationally strangers and pilgrims by the great distance from Israel (1:1).
    1. They had been scattered by the Assyrians and Babylonians among the Gentile nations.
    2. They were strangers and pilgrims in Asia as second class citizens due to race and culture.
  3. But Peter by context here addressed them as Christian strangers and pilgrims in the world.
    1. In God’s spiritual house and nation (1:5,9), distance from earthly Jerusalem was vanity.
    2. Rather than speak of national benefits they missed, he spoke of spiritual duties (2:11-12).
  4. Peter had already with a powerful appeal exhorted them to sojourning here in fear (1:13-17).
    1. Expecting grace at Christ’s return, he pressed them for holiness and against former lusts.
    2. Due to God’s holiness and expectation of the same, they should be careful in all respects.
    3. God judges men by their works without any respect of their persons, so sojourn in fear.
  5. This world is not your home; heaven is your home; we are in the world but not of the world.
    1. Paul drew a great contrast between belly worshippers minding earthly things and saints with their lives geared toward heaven, Jesus, and spiritual events to occur (Phil 3:18-21).
    2. If baptized, then you should live a resurrected life with your affections above (Col 3:1-4).
  6. Remember two key facts – you are going to another world, and this world will be burned up.
    1. The new heaven and new earth are drastically superior to this world (II Pet 3:13-17).
    2. Peter closed out his epistles with a dramatic description of the earth’s ruin (II Pet 3:9-12).

Abstain from fleshly lusts.

  1. Abstain. To keep or withhold oneself, to refrain. To refrain from food, to fast; to refrain from the use of alcoholic beverages, to be a ‘total-abstainer.’
  2. Compare the Bible usage of avoiding things (Acts 15:20,29; I Thess 4:3; 5:22; I Tim 4:3).
  3. Lusts are desires; fleshly lusts are man’s sinful desires to have or do things that are sinful.
    1. The world’s desires are lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life (I Jn 2:15-17).
    2. Lusts of the flesh – slothfulness, gluttony, drunkenness, fornication, oversleeping, etc.
    3. Lusts of the eyes – covetousness, mental adultery, overspending, discontentment, etc.
    4. Pride of life – bitterness, boasting, envy, hatred, malice, revenge, slander, whisper, etc.
  4. The Christian life is one of moderation, mortification, self-denial, and temperance to not sin.
    1. Lust is desire, strong desire, which creates an appetite with expectations of great pleasure.
    2. To abstain from lusts is to deny your desires, which is truly a painful, sacrificial choice.
    3. By contemplating the reward against the pleasure, Moses showed us how (Heb 11:24-26).
    4. Therefore, the knowledge of Jesus Christ’s return is crucial to avoid misery (I Cor 15:19).
    5. Paul combined motives and duties in an excellent passage about self-denial (Tit 2:11-15).
    6. The value of a thing is what you will exchange for it – what will you give up for Christ?
    7. Do you truly grasp the doctrine of Christ – it is better to enter life maimed (Matt 18:7-9)?

Which war against the soul.

  1. You are in a war for your soul! Do not underestimate the conflict or the consequences of it.
    1. Men who do not prepare properly for war get killed and lose everything they once had.
    2. We were once on our way to hell with those who are still on the way to hell (Eph 2:1-3).
    3. The old man must be put off with deceitful lusts like you used to live and others still live.
  2. There is an enemy that wants to destroy you – forget the devil and the world – it is truly you!
  3. What is the war? It is the Romans 7 conflict that Paul described between the mind and flesh.
    1. Paul called it a war (Rom 7:23), for he had a raging conflict within him against godliness.
    2. Read Romans 7:7-25 to fully appreciate how Paul’s lusts fought against Paul’s desires!
    3. Christians are schizophrenic in a way by having such a conflict of desires within them.
    4. He concluded he would serve God with his mind (new man) and sin with his flesh (7:25).
  4. What is the war? It is the craving, raging desires inside to do things opposite the will of God.
    1. Your soul goals are to glorify God now, win others to God, and be ready to meet Him.
    2. To the degree you give in to fleshly lusts, you compromise and forfeit these soul goals.
    3. There is a terrible conflict of severe antagonism of the Spirit and your flesh (Ga 5:16-17).
    4. When you give in to your lusts, you are a loser like Lot, Samson, Solomon, and Demas.
    5. When you abstain from your lusts, you are like winners like Joseph, Moses, and Daniel,

12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Having your conversation.

  1. Conversation. Manner of conducting oneself in the world or in society; behaviour, mode or course of life. Compare the Bible usage (Philippians 1:27; I Peter 3:1-2,16; II Peter 3:11,14).
  2. Peter made a general application to abstain from fleshly lusts by your lifestyle in the world.
    1. He besought his dear elect Jews in this sinful world to abstain from sin in their lifestyle.
    2. The soul war is not just one lust or sin but to live your life in every respect without sin.
    3. Your whole outlook, ambitions, attitude, activities, habits, character, conduct are here.
  3. Your conversation before the world is important, just as a wife’s before her husband (3:1-2).


  1. Honest. Of persons: Having honourable motives or principles; marked by uprightness or probity. Of good moral character; virtuous, upright, well-disposed.
  2. Compare the Bible usage of honest (Luke 8:15; Acts 6:3; Romans 12:17-18; II Cor 13:7).
  3. Honest is the opposite of evil by its definition and Bible usage – righteous, noble, virtuous.
  4. Honest in this verse context is opposite of evil accusations and consistent with good works.
  5. Believing wives were to have chaste conversation in a similar way to save husbands (3:1-2).

Among the Gentiles.

  1. This prepositional phrase proves that Peter’s direct audience was Jews of the Diaspora (1:1).
    1. They were not Gentiles, for the distinction from Gentiles here proves them to be Jews.
    2. They were not Jews in Judea, for such Jews were not living among the Gentiles. See 1:1.
  2. Many want to argue and fuss about the audience, but the internal evidence is sufficient to prove the Jews, and that was Peter’s ministry as well (Gal 2:9 cp Acts 15:1-2 cp Gal 1:18).
  3. For more of the audience, see Introduction.

That, whereas they speak against you as evildoers.

  1. The reason for godly and holy living was to provide a witness to the truth against gainsayers.
  2. It is natural and ordinary for worldly men to speak evil of Christians, regardless of conduct.
    1. Peter will reason from this fact in his epistles (I Pet 3:16; 4:3-5,14-16; II Pe 2:1-3; 3:1-4).
    2. We want to grow in favor with God and men, but this is surely easiest with good men.
    3. Consider it a blessing when men revile you and persecute you (Matt 5:10-12; Luke 6:26).
    4. No two men lived any better than John and Jesus, but they were mocked (Luke 7:30-35).
  3. Yet, by an honest lifestyle there are friends and converts to be had, which is the point here.
    1. The argument is presented here on the way to showing how to help men glorify God.
    2. Peter exhorted wives to use their lives to convert husbands without the Bible (3:1-6).
    3. Note Joseph with Pharaoh, David with Hiram, Daniel with kings, Esther with Ahasuerus.

They may by your good works.

  1. When the Bible speaks of influencing others, it is always by good works, not by methods.
    1. Your life can be a living epistle of Christ – the only Bible many will read (II Cor 3:1-3).
    2. Your life can do so much to beautify the gospel and so so much against its gainsayers.
    3. For actions becoming the gospel.
    4. For actions speaking louder than words.
    5. For more about living epistles of Jesus Christ.
  2. You can live a blameless and harmless life without fault to shine in a dark world (Phil 2:15).
  3. Just as it is easy today to distinguish yourself on the job, it is easy to do so in righteousness, for the contrast of the imploding moral standards around us with true Christianity is great.

Which they shall behold.

  1. Good works are to be seen, or they have no benefit toward anyone but our omniscient God.
    1. When unbelievers learn you are a Christian, they will hear all words and see all actions.
    2. A real Christian will not be hidden long, and then his life had better back his profession.
  2. The most humble Son of God taught boldly about letting your light shine (Matthew 5:14-16).
  3. Do not be confused about humility, thinking you can sneak around in false, foolish modesty.
    1. When the Bible condemns eyeservice as menpleasers, it condemns having any carnal goal to please men for personal advantage rather than first pleasing God from the heart.
    2. But the bold and outward conduct called for here has as its great goal the glory of God, which is the antidote for merely pleasing men, even on the job (Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-25).
    3. If men are pleased by conduct as to the Lord, it is a good thing (Luke 2:52; Prov 3:3-4).
  4. The wife of an unbeliever should not hide her godliness, but let her man behold it (I Pet 3:1-2), for this is how she may win her unbelieving husband without the word (I Cor 7:16).

Glorify God in the day of visitation.

  1. Jesus taught this same rule that a godly life will bring glory to God by other men (Matt 5:16).
  2. God’s glory is always your goal and purpose, both directly and indirectly, in all your actions.
    1. God’s glory is achieved directly when (a) you do things in private or public that please Him or (b) when you verbally declare His goodness with praise and thanksgiving.
    2. God’s glory is achieved indirectly when you move others to glorify Him in word or deed.
    3. Consider how David moved from directly blessing God to getting others glad (Ps 34:1-3).
    4. Your conduct either beautifies or corrupts the gospel (Phil 1:27; Titus 2:1,10; I Pet 3:16).
    5. You are the only Bible many will ever read – so be a living epistle of God and godliness – for the sacrifice of your life will be visible to all men (II Cor 3:1-3; I Thess 1:8-10).
  3. What is the day of visitation? It is when God regenerates or convicts a man to consider truth.
    1. The Bible uses God visiting men to describe His personal spiritual blessing and opportunity accompanying salvation (Luke 1:68,78; 7:16; 19:44; Acts 15:14; Ps 106:4-5).
    2. For Gentiles that had in the past accused these Jewish believers as evildoers now turning to glorify God for their good works would indicate a very great change in them indeed.
    3. For an unbelieving husband to be won by his wife’s marital conduct without any presentation of the word of God, it is sure God would have to likewise visit him (3:1-2).
    4. Peter shortly exhorted to preparation for the occasions when men would ask about their faith, which would occur by properly sanctifying God in their hearts, as also here (3:15).
  4. Though we understand the text as above, we should also live to prepare for visitation by men.
    1. You should live in such a way to be without offence if ever brought to trial before men.
    2. Remember how Daniel and Jesus passed the most rigorous vetting by their vile enemies.
  5. How much fruit do you have to your account of bringing any to conversion to glorify God?

13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

Submit yourselves.

  1. For a very extensive study of Romans 13:1-7.
  2. When Peter got to specific duties of Christians, he began with submission to civil authority.
    1. The transition from God’s grace to their Christian duties occurred between 2:10 and 2:11.
    2. This choice is interesting on several accounts, which justifies thoughtful consideration.
    3. Submission is one of the more difficult, painful, and trying duties for any under authority.
    4. Civil government here was Rome – pagan, occupier of Israel, enemy of Jews (Acts 18:2).
    5. Honor and obedience to civil rulers is one of the most public, visible proofs of godliness.
    6. There are certain commands of a higher order than others, and they bring great blessings.
    7. Honoring parents has a reward (Eph 6:2-3), but so does honoring high earthly authorities.
    8. God’s blessing or judgment depends on your treatment of civil rulers, for they are His appointed rulers most like Him (Exs 16:8; Job 34:16-19; I Sam 8:6-7; Ps 19:11; Pr 24:21-22; Eccl 8:1-5; 10:20; Jer 27:1-11; 29:4-7; Rom 13:2-4; Gal 6:7; Jas 1:25; II Pet 2:10-12).
  3. Submission is a key and serious subject throughout scripture that should be well understood.
    1. Submit. To place oneself under the control of a person in authority or power; to become subject, surrender oneself, or yield to a person or his rule, etc.
    2. Subject. To render submissive or dependent; to bring into a state of subordination or submission. To be or become subject, submit to.
    3. Subject or subjection, similar words, are used for civil rulers (Rom 13:1,5; Tit 1:1), servants to masters (I Pet 2:18), wives to husbands (I Pet 3:1,5; Eph 5:24), for women in public assemblies (I Tim 2:11), for parental rule (Luke 2:51; I Tim 3:4), for Christ’s rule over the universe (Heb 2:8; I Pet 3:22), for Christ under God (I Cor 15:28), for ruling your body (I Cor 9:27), and for the relationship of all one to another (Eph 5:21; I Pet 5:5).
    4. God told Hagar to return to Sarah and submit even after her harsh treatment (Gen 16:6,9).
    5. David joined obedience with submission when describing defeat of enemies (Ps 18:44).
    6. Wives must submit to husbands like the church is subject to Christ (Ep 5:22-24; Co 3:18).
    7. Churches and saints must submit themselves to Christ’s ministers (I Co 16:16; He 13:17).
    8. Christians are to submit themselves to God in humility to obtain His grace (James 4:6-7).
    9. The younger members in a church should submit to the older church members (I Pet 5:5).
    10. If you must be forced to do something (belligerent or resisting), then it is not submission.
    11. If you do it against your will and resenting the one in authority, then it is not submission.
    12. If it is something you want to do anyway, then it is not submission; it is a sweet vacation.

To every ordinance of man.

  1. God’s command for our submission and subjection is to ordinances of men. How can that be?
    1. God is the enemy of this world, and it is civil rulers that have killed the most Christians.
    2. But God ordained human society and gathering into kingdoms and nations, and like all other relationships, He has revealed His will as to how His children should cooperate.
    3. The fact His five authority structures are abused does not alter their wisdom or power.
    4. How many of man’s ordinances should be obeyed submissively in subjection? Every one!
    5. What ordinances are considered here? Civil laws and regulations from national to local.
    6. You are not responsible to apply the Constitution, so please forget foolish appeals to it.
  2. What should a Christian do when the government legislates sin and/or rulers personally sin?
    1. What a government legislates or authorities do is irrelevant until the law affects you.
    2. Laws for abortion and sodomy are irrelevant. Keep your babies; marry the opposite sex.
    3. What a ruler does in private or public does not alter your duty to obey them (Mat 23:1-3).
    4. All human authority is imperfect, even the way you exercise your office. Think soberly.
    5. God will take care of a sinning authority over you; He will handle the judgment and vengeance perfectly; it is not your concern unless expressly provided for in the Bible.
  3. Are there exceptions? Indeed! But as exceptions, God and Christians typically ignore them.
    1. Should your wife, children, and employees press you to know the exceptions to defy you?
    2. Neither should you be worrying about exceptions, for it shows a corrupt, rebellious mind.
    3. If a government tries to force you to disobey God, then you must obey God over them.
    4. If a government legislates liberties for men to sin, let the wicked serve the devil. So what!
    5. Their use of your tax money is not your choice, so it has no bearing on you paying taxes, thus Jesus paid for His crucifixion and Paul had the Roman church pay for his beheading.
    6. It does not matter that government rulers sin … authority is not a function of integrity, but rather of a God-given office and the providence of God that put that ruler in office.
    7. It does not matter what government legislates … until their laws apply directly to you, for they all legislate sin that allow the wicked to sin, but the laws do not obligate you to sin.
  4. Any question about one authority structure is most easily resolved by considering another.
    1. If a husband tries to force his wife to disobey God, you know she should not obey him.
    2. If a husband is a fool and sins one or ten ways, you know the wife should still obey him.
    3. If a wife read books and websites every day about bad husbands, would you allow it?
    4. Should your children get together in private to discuss your faults and choose to rebel?
    5. Is it wise for your children to spend time with rebellious children that hate their parents?
    6. God ordained government to protect your assets and rights from other citizens, though none do it perfectly, just like you never perfectly fulfill the role of husband or father.
  5. Consider a few civil ordinances you might ignore or rebel against and thus sin against God.
    1. Do seat belts bother you? You want to kiss your windshield? They protect your children!
    2. Do income taxes hurt? You only pay a fraction of benefits used! Will you work for free?
    3. Are copyright laws right? You obviously have never created anything. It is flat out theft!
    4. Disposing of batteries and oil? You hide both in the trash? What happens at the landfill?
    5. Sales tax for online buys? You like the way it once was? What if trends cost you money?
    6. Their DUI % is wrong? You can handle your booze just fine? They are protecting you!
    7. You are practicing medicine? You want the right for snake oil? Most like qualified docs!
    8. It is a right to build? Not if a permit is required? They protect your next house purchase!
    9. You hate S.S. numbers? You need numbers to function. There are 100+ with your name!
    10. You hate rules to homeschool? You’ll do it your way? They want your kids successful!

For the Lord’s sake.

  1. If you love God and Jesus Christ, then you want to do anything to please. This is near the top.
  2. We obey civil government and political rulers from top to bottom because it is God’s will.
    1. When you face an ordinance that irritates you, do it humbly and eagerly to please God.
    2. When you face a person in authority you dislike, give them extra attention and honor.
    3. If this ordinance is as important as the Bible shows it to be, God will bless good citizens.
  3. What does it really mean for the Lord’s sake? It means to honor, obey, and please God.
    1. God set up civil authority, and for you to resent or disobey it, you defy Him (Ro 13:1-2).
    2. His enemies will mock Him and His religion if they find you breaking any civil laws.
    3. He sent rulers to protect and bless you, so you should appreciate them (Rom 13:3-4).
    4. You beautifully adorn the gospel of Jesus Christ by being a noble and virtuous citizen.
    5. By looking ahead you can see it is God’s will to shut the mouths of enemies (2:15-16).
  4. There is a beautiful sense in the next lesson about froward masters – conscience toward God.
    1. Paul made this same appeal about conscience when dealing with civil rulers in Rom 13:5.
    2. You have not done anything worth God’s notice until you submit to loss/pain for Him.
    3. When rulers compromise our prosperity, success, peace, safety, or opportunity, hardly the case in America in 2014, only then do we have an opportunity to truly please God civilly.
    4. If you get in trouble with rulers for breaking a law or regulation, you deserve chastening!
    5. An employee or wife cannot prove nobility or virtue until the job or marriage is difficult.
    6. When you obey for the Lord’s sake, you do it because of Him more than anything else.
  5. Wives submit to husbands and children obey parents because it is right (Eph 6:1; Col 3:18).

Whether it be to the king.

  1. We are not familiar with monarchies or other autocratic governments. Peter wrote of Rome.
    1. They had a Caesar, emperor, or king in many respects, for he often had dictatorial power.
    2. They also had local, provincial kings like Herod that were political appointees of Rome.
  2. Remember at all times Jesus, Paul, and Peter had Rome in mind when teaching submission!
    1. In your worst political nightmare, you have never imagined anything even close to Rome.
    2. They were an occupying foreign army that killed John, Jesus, James, etc., etc., etc., etc.
    3. They appointed a king over Israel, Herod the Great, who was an Idumean, an Edomite!
    4. You likely know next to nothing about Nero, whose ruling conduct can be discovered.
    5. President Barack Obama is a loving Sunday School teacher and nurse in comparison.
  3. In the United States, you may apply these words from God to our own federal government.
    1. The Internal Revenue Code is a function of the federal government and its treasury duty.
    2. Conscription (military draft) primarily resides in the federal government’s duty to defend.

As supreme.

  1. The form of government is irrelevant. God demands your subjection to the highest authority.
    1. If you study the political history of Israel, it was always centralized in one political ruler.
    2. God is not impressed by constitutional republics, democracies, or other forms of ruling.
  2. The God of heaven is wise enough to keep you from escaping by categorizing civil authority.
    1. What they do in D.C. has no bearing on ranchers in Texas or Montana, right? Wrong!
    2. If you have more respect for your county council because you attend meetings, grow up!

14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Or unto governors.

  1. The God of heaven is wise enough to keep you from escaping by categorizing civil authority.
    1. I do not want to deal with the local SSA office – I will only submit to Washington, D.C.
    2. If you have more respect for a ruler or laws because of a white house or obelisk, grow up!
  2. The word governor here is general, though I am tempted to use it for the Federal Reserve!
    1. Governor. One who governs, or exercises authoritative control over, subjects or inferiors; a ruler.
    2. Compare Bible usage for many senses of governor, but all involve ruling (Gen 42:6; I Kgs 22:26; I Chr 29:22; II Chr 1:2; 28:7; Ezra 5:3; 6:7; Neh 5:14; Ps 22:28; Mal 1:8; Mat 2:6; 27:2; Luke 2:2; 3:1; John 2:8-9; Acts 23:24; II Cor 11:32; Jas 3:4).
    3. The Federal Reserve is led by a board of seven governors appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate with a full term of 14 years – one picked every two years.
  3. Governors include much more in the Bible than the executive that leads a state in the USA.

As unto them that are sent by him.

  1. The key point here is simple – delegated authority is authority; it should not be compromised.
  2. Some fools actually believe authority is derived from the governed! It is derived from God!
  3. These Jews faced publicans at the door, centurions claiming food, or soldiers asking for help.
  4. Consider some delegated authority you might ignore or rebel against and so sin against God.
    1. Do you like DHEC and its letter grades for restaurants? Would you eat at one with a “C”?
    2. Do you like DSS and its intrusion into homes and families? Their goal is to save children.
    3. Do you like traffic control devices or do you curse or circumvent? They help all traffic!
    4. You don’t like police with tanks, drones, helicopters? It isn’t fair? We want them to win!
    5. You think HIPAA is ridiculous and overly conservative? Be glad when enemies vet you!
    6. You resent the IRS and 501(c)(3)? What about so-called patriots and pretend churches?
    7. You think eminent domain is not fair? Should an idiot holdout hold up progress for all?

For the punishment of evildoers.

  1. Important! This phrase and the next, like those in Rom 13, are not criteria for civil obedience.
  2. Evildoers in this context, as in Romans 13, are criminals of the state that break civil laws.
    1. These words are simply descriptive of the purpose of government as intended by God.
    2. There is nothing here at all for men to conditionally qualify governments for obedience.
    3. God ordained rulers to protect your assets and rights from enemies domestic and foreign.
    4. No government does it perfectly, but all of them do it generally to protect citizens, just like no husband or father does his job perfectly, but the office and person is still obeyed.
    5. We do not qualify governments for obedience; children do not rebel against parents with faults; wives do not defy foolish husbands; employees do not strike imperfect managers.
    6. The interpretation of this and the next phrase are crucial to understand God and authority.
    7. God never intended civil governments of this world to force Bible righteousness on any, any more than he intended employment masters to have Bible studies for their slaves.
    8. These words are simply description of the purpose of government as intended by God.
    9. There is nothing here at all for men to conditionally qualify governments for obedience.
    10. If we promote qualifying civil rulers, then we must do the same for husbands and fathers.
    11. Do not let so-called Christian patriots, some of the most ignorant and foolish men alive, pervert these descriptive phrases about civil rulers into excuses for their civil rebellion.
    12. Even good Christian men can be so moved by their natural lust and pride to pervert them.
  3. This is the intended, ordinary, common purpose of kings and governors with civil authority.
    1. There is no government on earth that as a rule praises murderers, thieves, or kidnappers.
    2. Every government on earth generally punishes false witnesses, arsons, and anarchists.
    3. Every government enforces proper weights and measures, a key purpose from God, whether Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia (Lev 19:26; Deu 25:13; Pr 16:11; 20:10,23).
    4. To humble Americans, many pagan nations have a stricter criminal code than does USA.
    5. The most Christ-hating nations on earth, Muslim nations, enforce Bible morality better.
  4. Exceptions do not alter any aspect of this general rule, for God may have made the exception.
    1. God ordained the offices, prepared the men, promoted the men, and moves them in office to do this or that, for He is the Governor over all (Ex 4:21; 34:24; Deut 2:30; Josh 11:20; Judges 14:4; I Sam 2:25; II Sam 24:1; I Kgs 12:15; 22:20-23; Ezra 1:1; 7:27; Ps 105:15; 106:46; Prov 21:1; Isaiah 10:5-19; Ezek 20:25-26; Dan 1:9; Acts 2:23; 4:28; etc.).
    2. The worst law in Israel – child sacrifice – was sent by God (Ezekiel 20:25-26; 14:6-11).
    3. America’s laws for abortion and same-sex marriage also came from God (Rom 1:18-32).
    4. Submitting to a king is to trust God Himself, for He rules the king – He is King of kings!
  5. Rulers are God’s ministers to you for good, for they protect you from criminals (Rom 13:4).
    1. Any other idea about civil authority is wrong and tends toward rebellion and damnation.
    2. A Christian should think of as many things as possible to be thankful for his government.
    3. Every husband wishes his wife would; every parent wishes children would; give thanks!
    4. Paul received much from Nero of Rome.
  6. Caesar, Herod, and Pilate may have had faults, but they still enforced laws for public safety.
    1. If you doubt so, then ask the two malefactors or thieves crucified beside Jesus Christ.
    2. The Roman protection of Paul all over the Roman world is remarkable and praiseworthy, especially their armed escort of 470 to save him from the Jews and get him to Caesarea.
  7. They do not have the sword in vain, at least in America, for they killed 39 in 9 states (2013).
  8. If you do not fear the government’s various swords, consider God’s damnation (Rom 13:2).
  9. Evildoers are not those breaking God’s word, but rather those breaking basic laws of society.
    1. We might wish for a law against infant baptism, but this ruler could also outlaw baptism.
    2. God never designed or instituted civil government in the world to enforce Bible holiness.
  10. Creating your definition of this phrase and the next to avoid subjection to their laws is profane ignorance and/or brute rebellion, and God calls for your destruction (II Pet 2:10-12).

And for the praise of them that do well.

  1. Important! This phrase and the previous, like in Rom 13, are not criteria for civil obedience.
  2. See everything written for the previous phrase and apply it the same way for this phrase.
  3. This is the intended, ordinary, common purpose of kings and governors with civil authority.
  4. The doing well here is not keeping God’s laws and regulations but the king’s and governors’!
  5. God never designed or instituted civil government in the world for enforcement of holiness.
  6. All nations on earth reward good citizens, though imperfectly, just like you in your offices.
  7. Even pagan governments that have no fear or love of Jehovah will eventually reward virtue.
    1. Joseph’s virtuous conduct in Egypt was learned and greatly rewarded. Believe the verse!
    2. Daniel’s virtuous conduct in Babylon was learned and well rewarded. Believe the verse!
    3. Esther’s virtuous conduct in Persia was found and greatly rewarded. Believe the verse!
    4. Paul was rescued from Jews, cared for well on the way, and given a Rome rental house.
  8. The fact that governments put men to death for Christ’s sake does not alter these facts at all.
  9. Creating your definition of this phrase and the previous to avoid subjection to their laws is profane ignorance and/or brute rebellion, and God calls for your destruction (II Pet 2:10-12).
  10. See everything written for the previous phrase and apply it the same way for this phrase.

15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

For so is the will of God.

  1. You want to know God’s will for your life? Then learn to submit cheerfully to civil rulers.
    1. Most Christians look outside the Bible to nebulous feelings and fantasies for God’s will.
    2. God has plainly stated that His will for our lives is revealed in scripture (Deut 29:29).
  2. What does so refer to? What has gone before (2:13-14), or what follows after (2:15-16)?
    1. So. In the way or manner described, indicated, or suggested; in that style or fashion.
    2. So … that, in such a way, to such an extent, that. See the Oxford English Dictionary.
    3. Sober consideration of inspired ambiguity would allow it to apply to both possibilities.
    4. The first sentence (2:13-14) is modified for the Lord’s sake; we apply so to what follows.
    5. It is God’s will for His children to obey civil government to shut the mouths of enemies.
  3. Believe this rule and reward! When you do the will of God, as in this doctrine, He will bless.
    1. It is good evidence you are God’s child going to heaven (Mat 7:21; I Jn 2:15; Rev 22:14).
    2. Consider other statements of God’s blessing on the righteous (Ps 19:11; Pr 3:16-18; Is 3:10-11; Matt 12:50; 21:28-32; Luke 11:28; Jn 7:17; Col 3:24-25; Jas 1:25; I John 3:22).

That with well doing.

  1. What is well doing here? What does God consider doing well here? Being a good citizen!
    1. Well-doing. The action or practice of doing good; virtuous life and behaviour.
    2. The combination is used in the Bible (Romans 2:7; Galatians 6:9; II Thessalonians 3:13).
    3. Peter used it twice more in the next two chapters as a desirable thing (I Peter 3:17; 4:19).
    4. A fundamental and important part of great Christian character is full obedience to rulers.
  2. If you fear and love God, which is the proper order, you should want to do well in His sight.
    1. Submitting to government laws and regulations and civil authorities behind them is good.
    2. You will never lose doing things that please God, and submission to government is one.
    3. Though there is not a promise attached like at Ephesians 6:2-3, there will be a reward.
    4. Godly character chooses submission and subjection, not questions, resistance, rebellion.
  3. The influence of Christians is not to reform politics of nations but rather morals of the world.
    1. Your duty is to display your good works, not your own ideas of politics (Matt 5:14-16).
    2. Rather than try to right the many wrongs of a nation, God’s saints live out righteousness.
    3. Christians only get involved in politics at elementary and obvious levels, not revolution.
    4. Christians only resist government when their orders contradict the claims of Jesus Christ.
    5. This attitude and policy is taught throughout the Bible by precept/principle and example.
    6. Christians in the Bible never got involved in politics to make a nation of the world better.
  4. It is good to do what is right (2:13-14) in spite of any liberty or pretenses thereunto (2:15-16).
  5. Christians should be the most thankful of all citizens, which is something that does please God, and which others will notice (I Tim 2:1-3; I Thess 5:18; Deut 28:47-48; Phil 2:14).

Ye may put to silence.

  1. God gave secret wisdom for His true children to know one of the reasons for civil obedience.
    1. Our Father in heaven does more than just make rules for our lives; He also tells us why!
    2. If you delight to please God and know the Bible is for your perfection, pay attention here.
  2. God’s ways are usually not our ways, because we would rather silence enemies with words.
    1. God has not called you to leave political tracts in restaurants or write blogs or comments.
    2. God called you to be a model citizen showing all honor and fidelity to your government.
  3. One reason to obey rulers and laws is to shut the foolish mouths of God’s ignorant enemies.
    1. This should be very exciting, more exciting than a favorite candidate winning an election.
    2. Ehud silenced Eglon, Samuel silenced Agag, David silenced Goliath, but you can too!
    3. We want to shut the mouths of those fools that make fun of Christianity in various ways.
    4. You can be like a minister of the gospel, whose work is to shut their mouths (Tit 1:9-11).
  4. When you disobey God and laws of conscience and nature, you give occasion to blaspheme.
    1. God hated David’s sin. For Uriah? No! For Abigail? No! For His honor (II Sam 12:14)!
    2. Young women must be noble and virtuous to shut the same mouths (I Tim 5:14; Tit 2:5).
    3. For actions becoming the gospel.
    4. For actions speaking louder than words.
    5. For more about living epistles of Jesus Christ.

The ignorance of foolish men.

  1. Ignorant enemies of Christianity, often malicious also, will falsely accuse Christian conduct.
  2. Consider the charges that were raised in the Bible against the very best of men and conduct.
    1. They said John the Baptist had a devil and Jesus Christ was a glutton and winebibber.
    2. But they also said that Jesus Christ was an enemy of Rome (Luke 23:2; Matt 22:15-22).
    3. They charged Jesus as being a competitor to Caesar shows their stupidity (John 19:12).
    4. They charged Paul and Silas for sedition against Caesar at Thessalonica (Acts 17:5-9).
    5. If or when we go to court for our religion, we must not be civil rebels (Acts 25:7-12).
  3. If enemies of the gospel catch you breaking the law, they can charge Christians as hypocrites.
    1. Your words about gospel truth are turned upside down when you speed past a colleague.
    2. If they hear you do not pay taxes, you are a devil, for they know about Jesus and Caesar.
    3. If they hear you on a rant about the president’s wife, they know it is not right or godly.
  4. Other fools and ignorant men are so-called Christian patriots that creep into God’s churches.
    1. They actually believe that Americanism and Bible Christianity are connected or related.
    2. They feel it their duty to right the wrongs of American government by political activism.
    3. They actually think they can do some good for the nation by opposing D.C. or City Hall.
    4. These men are often guilty of despising government, speaking evil of dignities, telling jokes about rulers, making railing accusations, drawing disrespectful cartoons, charging with conspiracies, barking about things they do not know or understand, stopping tax payments on various grounds, driving without drivers’ licenses, refusing to use their S.S. number, never giving thanks for praying for rulers, breaking the law for raw milk, ignoring building permitting, hunting on state property, reading the junk of others like them, attending anti-government or anti-tax meetings, talking about being freemen, etc.
    5. Some get in the pulpit and use it for spreading their seditious dung e.g. Carl McIntyre.
    6. Such men are a stench on the gospel, which I have witnessed repeatedly, and God judges.

16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

As free.

  1. The Jews as Jews considered themselves freemen and not subject to other nations and laws.
    1. This is not the point that Peter made here, but it should be considered for other benefits.
    2. The Jews assumed they were freemen by God’s choice of them out of and above all nations of the earth (Deut 7:5-8; 17:15; 20:10-18; Psalm 147:19-20; John 8:33).
    3. This mentality, some of it justified, was the cause of their frequent rebellions against Rome and other nations God put over them (Ezra 4:12,15,19; Luke 23:2-5; Acts 24:5).
    4. If ever a people had a historical, legal, moral, political, religious, scriptural, and traditional right to dishonor and disobey a foreign, occupying government, it was Jews.
    5. When you add to this Jewish concept that of being a Christian in another nation under Jesus Christ, then the seeds for civil rebellion were ready to sprout … but God forbid!
  2. There are senses in which Christians are free, which Peter wisely admitted and limited here.
    1. Christian Jews were free from the ceremonial and legal claims of Moses’ law into the liberty of Christ and the gospel (Ro 6:11-22; Gal 2:4; 4:21-31; 5:1,13; Col 2:13-17; etc.).
    2. Christians are part of another nation under King Jesus (Dan 2:44; 7:18; Jer 30:7-9; Hosea 3:4-5; Acts 2:33-36; 15:13-18; I Tim 6:13-16; Heb 12:22-24,28-29; Rev 11:15; etc.).
    3. Peter had in fact just described this great national privilege to his readers (I Pet 2:5,9-10).
    4. Christians are free from superstition and bondage (Matt 11:28-30; John 8:32; Heb 2:15).
    5. Christians own all things as heirs of the universe (Rom 4:13; I Cor 3:21-23; Rev 21:7).
    6. Christians are not under soul bondage to any man as God’s children (I Co 6:13-20; 7:23).
    7. Christians as children of God and Christ are free from some earthly dues (Matt 17:24-27).
    8. Christians are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ and will judge angels (Rom 8:17; I Cor 6:1-3).
    9. Christians are king-priests and live and reign with Jesus Christ (Ep 2:4; Rev 1:5-6; 5:10).
  3. Paul is the best commentary and cross-reference for this freedom and liberty (I Cor 7:20-24).
    1. We should not be surprised, for there is one Author, though many writers (II Pe 1:20-21).
    2. I Cor 7:22 is the perfect cross-reference and explanation for managing freedom or liberty.
    3. A man’s professional situation when converted does not matter unless it can be improved.
    4. Employment freedom could be sought to better please God, but servitude did not matter.
    5. Jesus Christ has freed us from all claims of God’s justice, the devil, men, and nations.
    6. In Christ, we are citizens of a greater nation, but we owe America all ordinary fidelity.
    7. Think! In Jesus Christ there is no male or female … yet, wives must submit to husbands!
  4. None of the concepts of gospel freedom in Christ Jesus alter God’s ordination of civil rulers.
    1. Christians are still servants of God, and God has ordained submission to civil authority.
    2. Christians are free, yet they are bound to right deeds, restraint, truth, and human offices.
    3. Our freedom only goes so far, for we are His servants, as the verse’s last phrase declares.
  5. It is easy to see Jewish temptations to think they were free from humble obedience to Rome.
  6. Americans are infatuated with a false sense of freedom, liberty, or license to do what they want against any authority, if they do not like the ruler, his conduct, or his treatment of them.
    1. So-called patriots make up definitions of free, freedom, freemen, liberty to resist rulers.
    2. So-called Christians make up their concept of Christ’s sovereignty to resist government.
    3. When the two are combined in a man, a so-called Christian patriot, you have a real nut.
    4. The safest course for a church is to avoid or exclude such persons as soon as identified.

And not using your liberty.

  1. Man’s nature is to grasp for any concept that allows him freedom from authority or restraint.
    1. A depraved rebel by nature, his desperately wicked heart deceives him to sin (Jer 17:9).
    2. It is confusion and profane wickedness to exploit Christ’s gospel to resist civil authority.
    3. Wise men will realize this proclivity and hate and resist it mightily in order to obey God.
  2. No matter what freedom or liberty is true for Christians, all civil rulers are still to be obeyed.
    1. Some so-called Christians in history have thought they could do anything they wished.
    2. Drastic differences between Christianity and paganism easily lead to rebellious thoughts.
  3. Using your legitimate liberty in this case is abusing it by applying it outside gospel limits.
  4. Jesus taught a great lesson by paying a tribute He was not required to pay (Matt 17:24-27).
    1. We believe this tribute is the poll tax for maintenance of the temple (Ex 30:13; 38:26).
    2. No matter what the tribute was, Jesus argued perfectly that He was not bound to pay.
    3. He paid anyway, not using His freedom or liberty, in order to avoid offence to others.
  5. American Christians of the more conservative sort sometimes use the gospel for rebellion.
    1. They claim that under Christ the church and they are sovereign and do not bow to any.
    2. They argue that submitting to the IRS compromises the sovereignty of Christ’s church.
    3. Consider the IRS’s legitimate and gentle use of 501(c)(3) status for tax-exempt subsidy!
    4. They fuss long and loud about Christ as King, except when He orders civil responsibility.
    5. When confronted with Jesus and Caesar, they call the Constitution king (Matt 22:15-22).
    6. Never has any had more right to “freemen” and “constitutional liberty” under God than the Jews, but Jesus entirely disregarded such ideas and appealed to the de facto facts!
    7. So-called American patriots with their U.S. Constitution do not compare whatsoever.

For a cloke of maliciousness.

  1. Man’s nature is to grasp for any concept that allows him freedom from authority or restraint.
    1. A depraved rebel by nature, his desperately wicked heart deceives him to sin (Jer 17:9).
    2. It is confusion and profane wickedness to exploit Christ’s gospel to resist civil authority.
    3. Wise men will realize this proclivity and hate and resist it mightily in order to obey God.
    4. The Jews used their presumed liberty for a cloak of maliciousness against the Romans.
    5. Men will appeal to “the Lord will provide” to justify themselves being underemployed.
  2. A cloke of maliciousness is an abuse or excuse of Christianity to justify rebellion to rulers.
    1. Malice. Bad quality, badness; chiefly in moral sense, wickedness. Power to harm, harmfulness; harmful action or effect.
    2. Cloke. To cover over, conceal; to disguise, mask. That which covers over and conceals; a pretext, pretence, outward show.
    3. Compare the Bible uses of cloke in the sense of hiding (John 15:22; I Thessalonians 2:5).
  3. Those with malicious intents in nearly any matter will not publicly admit they are malicious.
    1. Religion is a poor cloak for malice; it will serve hypocrites no better than Ahab’s armor.
    2. It is even lower to stoop to manmade arguments like the U.S. Constitution to cover greed.
  4. The maliciousness of action toward the government is revealed by the way it is pursued.
    1. If you think the IRS’s taxing authority is illegal or unconstitutional, take them to court.
    2. Howard Jarvis did it in California in 1978 with Proposition 13 to cut property taxes 57%.
    3. If you lose, then you have seditiously violated Christ’s gospel and should be excluded.
    4. Before you fight government, come up with an issue greater than money (I Tim 6:6-10).
    5. If it involves sowing accusations, ridicule, or unrest to others, then it is the sin of sedition.
  5. It is not the duty or the right of Christians to hold malice against the worst of governments.
    1. Peter exhorted Jewish believers, second-class citizens, to full civil submission and honor.
    2. Paul exhorted Gentile believers, even under Nero, to full civil submission and honor.
    3. The angels do not rail or accuse even Hitler or the devil (II Peter 1:10-12; Jude 1:8-10).
  6. If you want your wife to submit, though she is your equal in Christ, then submit to rulers.
    1. This applies to children also; if you want them to submit, then show them how it is done.
    2. This includes attitude, speech, conduct about authority from top to bottom of all spheres.
    3. This also includes the rich and other kinds of men you foolishly dislike e.g. doctors.
    4. God judges sin in kind – you will get rebellion, if you rebel (Ps 9:16; Ga 6:7; Pr 1:30-33).
    5. God will also bless according to how you sow, so sow submission (Ps 19:11; Jas 1:25).

But as the servants of God.

  1. Rather than allow any concept of freedom or liberty to corrupt attitude or conduct, believers remember they are God’s servants and submit to civil rulers as His ministers (Rom 13:1-7).
  2. Though free as God’s children in some respects, citizens of His kingdom, and owning all things, these Jews were God’s servants, and He had ordained them to obey civil government.
  3. As the servants of God, we are bound by duty to obey those authorities He has so ordained.
  4. We are praying and paying citizens by duty to God, rather than by any inherent submission.
  5. Joseph, Daniel, and Esther gloriously executed their offices for the benefit of pagan nations.

17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Honour all men.

  1. The four duties are fully compatible and dependent with one another, contrary to many ideas.
  2. Who are the all men of this verse to whom honour is due by the commandment of the Spirit?
    1. We cannot exclude any from the all men without a strong contextual or scriptural reason.
    2. We cannot exclude any that could be objects of malice by those profaning their liberty.
    3. It is outside other believers (see the next clause); it is outside the king (see fourth clause).
    4. If men being italicized bothers you, Jesus argued from am in Matthew 22:31-33 (Ex 3:6).
    5. Due to context, this is honor toward all others for an orderly society, for the duty going before is doing well in the world without any malice under a pretense of liberty (2:15-16).
    6. Since governors were in the context but not identified here, it surely includes them (2:14).
    7. Paul used all men for all in authority and all kinds, as we read it (I Tim 2:1-2); his reason was similar – that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
    8. Paul used all men and no man in a very similar construction and context (Titus 3:1-2).
    9. God established human society beyond family and church and expects it to function well.
    10. An orderly society requires men getting along well with each and respecting one another.
    11. Christians should be exemplary in all social duties to silence adversaries and glorify God.
    12. Such a command counters any disrespectful, rebellious, seditious, or anarchic conduct.
  3. The Bible provides examples and precepts that support this interpretation and gospel rule.
    1. Christians should live peaceably with all men, if possible, using all ability (Rom 12:18).
    2. It is a rule of Christianity to do good to all men, even unbelievers (Gal 6:10; I Thes 5:15).
    3. We should love our neighbors, even Samaritans, and follow the golden rule toward all.
    4. Abraham, Jacob, Samuel, prophets, and apostles never scrupled to honour even bad men.
    5. God made the rich and poor, and they meet together in His great economy (Prov 22:2).
  4. How can we apply this rule to honour all men in our lives and interaction with the world?
    1. Honour men according to their office and position from God with humility and nobility, for the honor due a king (last clause of this verse) is very different from fellow drivers.
    2. Servants have their due honour and so do doctors, whether you like their medicine or not.
    3. The rich are to be honored, not envied or resented, even in your bedroom (Eccl 10:20).
    4. There were landlords and slave owners, both of which should be honored for their estates.
    5. Paul corrected himself for reviling the high priest, even in an unfair trial (Acts 23:1-5).
    6. Jesus’ did not behave maliciously in the most unfair trial for His life (John 18:20-23).
    7. There is no reason to revile or threaten pagans; Jesus gave us an example (I Pet 2:21-25).
    8. Waiters/waitresses are only paid $2.13 per hour in SC, so how can you honour them?
    9. We do not have servants living with us, so how do we follow perfect Job (Job 31:13-15)?
    10. The Bible teaches the age-old rule to stand up in the presence of elders (Lev 19:32).
    11. Masters should be shown all honor without questioning or retorting (I Ti 6:1; Tit 2:9-10).

Love the brotherhood.

  1. The four duties are fully compatible and dependent with one another, contrary to many ideas.
  2. Though we should do good to all men, our best friends are the household of faith (Gal 6:10).
  3. Though we honour all men, even all kinds of men, we hold special affections for Christians.
  4. The followers of Jesus Christ are like a secret society in the world that it does not perceive.
    1. They do not recognize us, because they cannot discern spiritual truth (I Co 2:6-10,14-16).
    2. They could not recognize the Lord of glory, and they miss us also (I Jn 3:1; Jn 15:18-19).
    3. There is perpetual hatred and war between them (Prov 29:10,27; Gen 4:4-8; Gal 6:14).
    4. We help one another eagerly due to a blood relationship in the high king of the universe.

Fear God.

  1. The four duties are fully compatible and dependent with one another, contrary to many ideas.
  2. God is chief and first, but these other duties are consistent with great fear and love for Him.
  3. Its placement here reminds that honor for any man or king cannot compromise duty to God.
  4. When divine and human authority conflict, we ought to obey God rather than men (Ac 5:29).
  5. The greatest foundation, power, and reason to rightly honour and obey men is to fear God, for the offices, the men in them, and their choices at anytime are by God’s will (Ps 76:10).
  6. For more about the fear of God.

Honour the king.

  1. The four duties are fully compatible and dependent with one another, contrary to many ideas.
  2. Kings justly receive the highest honor among men, for he has the highest office among men.
  3. The honour that God requires for kings includes your thoughts about the king (Eccl 10:20).
  4. Speaking evil of kings proves a reprobate and/or profane heart (II Pet 2:10-2; Jude 1:8-10).
  5. Since the king is the highest office and person, your honour should exceed any you expect.
  6. Honoring a king does not detract from your fear of God but rather confirms and proves it.

NOTE: For further study of this important doctrine of submission to civil authority, see these documents.

  1. Sermon outline for Romans 13.
  2. PowerPoint slides for “Rulers and the Rich“.
  3. Sermon outline for “Christian and Taxes”.
  4. Sermon outline for “God Bless the IRS”.
  5. Sermon outline for “Ordinance of Authority”.
  6. Commentary on Proverbs 24:21.
  7. Commentary on Proverbs 24:22.
  8. Sermon outline for “Living Under Obama”.
  9. FAQ for “Are You a 501(c)(3) Church?

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.


  1. Consider implications of Peter addressing lusts, honest living, good works, and God’s glory.
    1. He generally exhorted readers to live like strangers and pilgrims in this world (2:11-12).
    2. When this apostle began to list the duties of Christians, he went right after submission.
    3. He hit civil authority (2:13-17), a master’s authority (2:18-21), and a husband’s (3:1-6).
    4. Let every sober Christian consider how important obeying authority is to God and men.
    5. Let sober Christians consider that earthly and mundane duties like jobs are important.
  2. Men cannot wait to get to 3:1-6 for wives to obey, but God teaches them first in 2:13-20!
    1. They want wives to learn submission, but they must first learn civil submission (2:13-17).
    2. They want wives to learn submission, but they must fear learn to obey bosses (2:18-20).
    3. No man deserves the submission of his wife if he cannot do better submitting to bosses.
    4. The devil could not be content under God, so let us be totally unlike him by submission.
  3. There are two kinds of servants in the Bible, with one closely similar to your employment.
    1. A bond servant was a slave – owned and directed 24/7 by a master (Leviticus 25:39-46).
    2. A hired servant was directed by a master only for contracted time on the job (Ex 21:1-6).
    3. The New Testament does not make a distinction so as to cover both classes of servants.
    4. The Bible’s exhortations to servants include bond slaves, so your situation is a picnic.
  4. Read the Bible about servants (Exodus 21:1-3; Leviticus 25:39-46; Ecclesiastes 10:5-7; Matthew 8:9; Luke 17:7-10; Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-25; I Tim 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10).
  5. Bible suggestions to get ahead on the job.

Be subject to your masters.

  1. Submission is a key and serious subject throughout scripture that should be well understood.
    1. Submit. To place oneself under the control of a person in authority or power; to become subject, surrender oneself, or yield to a person or his rule, etc.
    2. Subject. To render submissive or dependent; to bring into a state of subordination or submission. To be or become subject, submit to.
    3. Subject or subjection, similar words, are used for civil rulers (Rom 13:1,5; Tit 1:1), servants to masters (I Pet 2:18), wives to husbands (I Pet 3:1,5; Eph 5:24), for women in public assemblies (I Tim 2:11), for parental rule (Luke 2:51; I Tim 3:4), for Christ’s rule over the universe (Heb 2:8; I Pet 3:22), for Christ under God (I Cor 15:28), for ruling your body (I Cor 9:27), and for the relationship of all one to another (Eph 5:21; I Pet 5:5).
    4. God told Hagar to return to Sarah and submit even after her harsh treatment (Gen 16:6,9).
    5. David joined obedience with submission when describing defeat of enemies (Ps 18:44).
    6. Wives must submit to husbands like the church is subject to Christ (Ep 5:22-24; Co 3:18).
    7. Churches and saints must submit themselves to Christ’s ministers (I Co 16:16; He 13:17).
    8. Christians are to submit themselves to God in humility to obtain His grace (James 4:6-7).
    9. The younger members in a church should submit to the older church members (I Pet 5:5).
    10. If you must be forced to do something (belligerent or resisting), then it is not submission.
    11. If you do it against your will and resenting the one in authority, then it is not submission.
    12. If it is something you want to do anyway, then it is not submission; it is a sweet vacation.
  2. God chose the term master for a work boss, for slavery set the stage of working for others.
    1. Some of the Christians Peter addressed were very likely bond slaves owned by masters.
    2. There is nothing in the Bible to condemn slavery, but it is governed by God’s laws for it.
    3. There is nothing in nature to condemn slavery, but when a man can be made free, he may.
    4. Consider how well Joseph performed as a slave in Egypt under Potiphar without revenge.
    5. A bond slave had no reason to chafe or worry about it, as Paul instructed (I Cor 7:20-22).
    6. Jesus used Master for Himself, showing how high God regarded the office (John 13:14).
  3. Note carefully that God does not start with or even refer to work ethic, but rather submission.
    1. We tend to limit work ethic to diligence, but it includes so much more, even submission.
    2. You cannot hide behind great diligence while harboring resentment or resisting a boss.
    3. If you want to be great in the sight of the Lord, then you need to be a great subordinate!
    4. Forget all the wicked excuses that keep men from submitting to other men on the job.
    5. It does not matter if you know better or more; it is more the office than person you obey.
    6. It does not matter if you think you will lose; you are wrong scripturally and naturally.
  4. Paul to Titus about servants included a very difficult part of submission – verbal (Tit 2:9-10).
    1. Answering again condemned there is not answering respectfully to questions by a boss.
    2. Answering again condemned there is retorting in any disrespectful or rebellious manner.
    3. Men laugh about it, but it is a good illustration – Boss: “Jump”; Employee: “How high?”
    4. Whether it sounds old fashioned or not, using “Sir” when addressing managers is good.
  5. For more about five spheres of authority.

Note: It is important that Christians have a great work ethic on the job in addition to suffering patiently.

  1. Christians work purposefully. They understand they have various God-given goals to meet.
  2. Christians work sufficiently. They do whatever it takes to fulfill their financial obligations.
  3. Christians work passionately. They work with great commitment, enthusiasm, and zeal.
  4. Christians work conventionally. They conform appearance to fit in and have a great image.
  5. Christians work sacrificially. They know great workers may face difficulty, loss, or pain.
  6. Christians work conscientiously. They have an owner’s mentality about their work and company.
  7. Christians work modestly. They work any job in any industry or do anything needed.
  8. Christians work diligently. They work by great energy and focus to be very productive.
  9. Christians work boldly. They are not intimidated by circumstances to procrastinate.
  10. Christians work patiently. They scoff at free lunches and choose persistence over time.
  11. Christians work frugally. They preserve some of their income by limiting expenses.
  12. Christians work respectfully. They fear, honor, and obey their masters well in all things.
  13. Christians work fearfully. They work fearing God, for all employment wrongdoing will be judged.
  14. Christians work faithfully. They do everything a boss desires of the ideal employee.
  15. Christians work prudently. They always watch and evaluate to avoid business trouble.
  16. Christians work responsibly. They know that a job is a privilege and others depend on it.
  17. Christians work obediently. They do not oppose or resent full subjection to their bosses.
  18. Christians work cheerfully. They are joyful workers rather than merely willing workers.
  19. Christians work submissively. They cheerfully submit to bad bosses by confidence in God.
  20. Christians work quickly. They are time conscious and work speedily to be productive.
  21. Christians work humbly. They humbly avoid pretensions and willingly seek counsel.
  22. Christians work safely. They willingly seek counsel from wise men before acting.
  23. Christians work loyally. The will defend their boss and owners as far as possible.
  24. Christians work accurately. They are scrupulous about doing a job right the first time.
  25. Christians work fairly. They value righteousness and mercy above profits or riches.
  26. Christians work honestly. They are meticulous about integrity of business transactions.
  27. Christians work generously. They are generous and liberal in opportunities for charity.
  28. Christians work prayerfully. They seek God’s will and blessing on any business venture.
  29. Christians work contentedly. They are content within God’s financial and job limitations.
  30. Christians work skeptically. They are prudent, as in pessimism, skepticism, and proving all things.
  31. Christians work wisely. They use intelligence and wisdom to leverage their efforts.
  32. Christians work skillfully. They get a transferable skill for earning power and security.
  33. Christians work quietly. They learn a profession and do not meddle with others.
  34. Christians work spiritually. They know that obeying God provides the greatest leverage.
  35. Christians work providentially. They know the sovereignty of God controls their outcomes.
  36. Christians work conservatively. They avoid risk, contingent liabilities, and related dangers.
  37. Christians work thankfully. They know a job is not a right, so they are grateful for it.
  38. Christians work peacefully. They get along with all men, high or low, in any situation.
  39. Christians work kindly. They are good and gentle masters in light of their Master.
  40. Christians work guardedly. They are vigilant to avoid any offence or temptation to sin.
  41. Christians work ethically. They follow the Bible’s ethical principles for gray areas.
  42. Christians work exceptionally. They aim for excellence, not just average or above average.
  43. Christians work evangelistically. They work so as to glorify God and magnify Christianity.
  44. Christians work expectantly. They see by faith the great paydays coming in the future.
  45. For all the detail explaining these points.

With all fear.

  1. We assume this fear is the same as for God, a reverential desire to please and not disappoint.
    1. We do not believe this is terror or paranoia, but rather that commitment to honor another.
    2. It is not wrong to speak of reverence to men (Mal 1:6; Eph 5:33; Heb 12:9; I Kings 1:31).
    3. Though not terror or paranoia, it still may include some trembling (Eph 6:5; Phil 2:12).
  2. We believe this fear is toward God, as in Col 3:22, and the boss, as in Prov 24:21; I Pet 3:2,6.
    1. In cases like this without clear, limited application, we read inspired ambiguity for both.
    2. God assumes and expects men to fear their bosses, for He argued from it (Malachi 1:6).
    3. We know both fear of God and fear of man in employment situations is correct and right.
    4. Fear of man in such a context is never equal to the fear of God or corrupting (Pr 29:25).
  3. The apostolic command is all fear; there must be no lack or weakness in obeying your boss.
    1. Our politically correct generation and society would say that such fear is not healthy.
    2. The youth want to wear their profane t-shirts with the anarchic message – No Fear!
  4. True fear of God produces submission to authority, for masters are by God and from God.

Not only to the good and gentle.

  1. Subjection with all fear commanded in context is not only for great bosses that care for you.
    1. There are great bosses we meet in life that are nearly like friends, but they hardly count.
    2. It is true that there is a measure of submission to even a good boss, to let him direct you.
  2. In fact, bosses that are good and gentle may lull you into compromising your job submission.
    1. In such a situation you might think him your buddy and relax your standard of respect.
    2. If you have such a boss, you should ignore the kindness to show great respect anyway.
  3. The rule for submitting to believing masters fits well here to show godliness (I Tim 6:1-2).
  4. If you have a good boss that treats you with gentleness, when did you last thank him for it?

But also to the froward.

  1. God knows you will encounter difficult bosses in employment, and you must submit to them.
  2. Froward. Disposed to go counter to what is demanded or what is reasonable; perverse, difficult to deal with, hard to please; refractory, ungovernable.
  3. Compare Bible usage (II Samuel 22:27; Proverbs 4:24; 6:12; 8:8; 11:20; 16:28,30; 17:20).
  4. A froward boss may be abusive, hard, harsh, critical, sarcastic, demanding, unmerciful, etc.
  5. A froward boss may be a bully, not keep his word, make fun of you, promote others over you, give you the worst jobs, pay you less than peers, review you unmercifully, spread rumors, not protect you, give you more than you can get done, etc.
  6. The only liberty or right you have in today’s work environment is to quit on Christian terms.
    1. If your firm or boss has other provisions for redress, you may use them, as Paul Rome.
    2. Paul laid out in his exhortations to servants that they could change status (I Cor 7:20-22).
    3. When you quit, you should generously allow terms of departure helpful to the company.
    4. When you quit, there should be no subversive efforts or revenge or threats in any way.

19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

For this is thankworthy.

  1. Not until you have submitted yourself with all fear to a froward boss does this apply to you.
  2. Thankworthy. Worthy of thanks; deserving gratitude or credit. Conduct worthy of praise.
  3. God knows real performance from average incompetence; Jesus taught it (Luke 6:32-35).
  4. Since the text does not say, we assume inspired ambiguity and apply it to both God and men.
    1. We know from context God’s acceptance of your conduct is a major matter here (2:20).
    2. It is a high goal to be accepted by God, and to know how on the job is good (II Cor 5:9).
    3. It is a goal of our religion to grow in favor with God and men (Pr 3:3-4; 22:1; Luke 2:52).
    4. Until you suffer cheerfully under a unreasonable boss, you do not deserve God’s praise.
    5. Until you endure grief wrongfully by conscience toward God, men should not honor you.

If a man for conscience toward God.

  1. There is always one overriding motive when working on the job – conscience toward God.
    1. Paul carefully rejected menpleasing for a single heart to Christ (Eph 6:4-8; Col 3:22-25).
    2. Eyeservice is only acceptable if due to conscience toward God (Rom 12:17; II Cor 8:21).
  2. True fear and love of God causes men to submit to bosses that would otherwise be very hard.
    1. Knowing He has commanded it and expects it from His children makes hard tasks easier.
    2. Knowing God accepts and delights in such conduct as comparable to Jesus makes it easy.
  3. We want our lives from top to bottom in every area to be driven by conscience toward God.
    1. There is no other conscience that counts in comparison, no other standard that matters.
    2. All your habits, feelings, thoughts are vanity in comparison to what would please God.
    3. Let us be like Joseph that denied Mrs. Potiphar on the grounds of God, not Mr. Potiphar.
    4. Let us be like Paul that apologized to Ananias out of regard to God’s word (Acts 23:1-5).

Endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

  1. You will get into situations on the job and working for a master that will cause you grief.
    1. Grief. Hardship, suffering; a kind, or cause, of hardship or suffering. Hurt, harm, mischief or injury done or caused by another; damaged inflicted or suffered; molestation, trouble, offence.
    2. This grief, pain, and trouble will be sufficiently hard to manage that you must endure it.
    3. The idea – I don’t have to put up with this – is false; you are bound to godly ways of exit.
  2. Your grief and suffering under a froward master will not be your fault, so it is truly wrong.
    1. It does not matter they are wrong – just as with rulers – for we obey imperfect authority.
    2. The fact that they are wrong does not alter your submission and respect to their office.
    3. Though they legislate or execute wrong treatment of you, it does not involve your sin.
    4. Not until a boss or a ruler requires us to do wrong do we have a Bible reason to disobey.
    5. Suffering means going to work and performing though difficult to do with much anxiety.
    6. Do not tell God or us your boss is unfair or wrong. We already know it by froward!

20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

For what glory is it.

  1. You have done nothing thankworthy or worth any glory until you have an unreasonable boss.
  2. There is no legitimate or righteous glory for patiently bearing grief at work that is your fault.
  3. Do not tell us about character on the job until you are punished while being a great employee.

If, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently.

  1. If you have faults on the job, you deserve to be slighted, punished, and underpaid on the job.
  2. Slaves literally did get buffeted for their faults, but Moses limited such to short of death.
  3. Buffet. To beat, strike, esp. with the hand; to thump, cuff, knock about.

But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it.

  1. When you do well for a boss, keeping his rules and desires, you expect to be taken care of.
  2. However, a truly froward boss will mistreat you even when you are performing very well.
  3. Human nature being what it is, the natural response is to justify self and condemn the boss.

Ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

  1. There is conduct acceptable to God, and such conduct should be very important to Christians.
  2. Patience. The suffering or enduring (of pain, trouble, or evil) with calmness and composure; the quality or capacity of so suffering or enduring. Forbearance, longsuffering, longanimity under provocation of any kind; esp. forbearance or bearing with others, their faults, limitations, etc.

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

For even hereunto were ye called.

  1. Submitting to employment abuse out of conscience toward God is part of being a Christian.
  2. Peter’s exhortation to submit to abuse by a master seems hard and unusual, but it is not at all.
  3. Jesus Christ is Founder and Leader of our Religion, and we should be very much like Him.
    1. Being a Christians means to be a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ (Acts 11:26).
    2. Jesus suffered far worse than abuse on the job, and He was far more righteous than any.

Because Christ also suffered for us.

  1. Since Jesus our Founder and Leader suffered our behalf, surely we can suffer on His behalf.
  2. Never has anyone suffered so unjustly as did Jesus Christ, which should highly motivate us.

Leaving us an example.

  1. Liberals deny His Deity and substitutionary atonement to limit His role to only an example.
  2. We see His example because of what is written here and elsewhere, but there is much more.
  3. You cannot suffer as Jesus did and follow His example without being free from any faults.

That ye should follow his steps.

  1. We want to be followers of Jesus Christ, and it extends right down to our conduct on the job.
  2. Peter then detailed the things that Jesus did that we should copy and follow while working.

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

Who did no sin.

  1. The context is a servant doing well but is abused or mistreated in spite of good performance.
  2. Jesus was perfect in every aspect of His life in word and deed without any fault in Him at all.
  3. We needed a perfect Substitute for our redemption, and God sent us One in His Own Son.
    1. For us to have the perfect righteousness of God to our account, we need Him righteous.
    2. We were given God’s perfect righteousness by having His accounted to us (II Cor 5:21).
  4. It is your wisdom to follow this great example of being without fault while working for men.
    1. It can be done! Daniel did it for 70 years or so while under pagan emperors (Dan 6:1-5).
    2. Let your reputation be one of wisdom and honor without any dead flies (Eccl 10:1).
  5. Remember! It is when you do well and are abused that you earn God’s blessing and praise.
  6. Remember! It is when you do well pleasing God that He may turn your enemies (Prov 16:7).

Neither was guile found in his mouth.

  1. Not only was Jesus perfect in all respects, but Peter took special notice of no verbal offences.
    1. The easiest way to respond to abuse by others is to let them have it with your mouth.
    2. Peter illustrated how perfect Jesus was in the next verse without reviling or threatening.
  2. Guile. Insidious cunning, deceit, treachery. See scriptures (Ex 21:14; Ps 55:11; II Co 12:16).
    1. Guile is any deception, fraud, subversion, or circumventing of others for your advantage.
    2. Flattery or design to hide treachery or mislead is this sin (Prov 3:29; 20:19; 26:28; 29:5).
    3. Sinners deceive or mislead to take advantage of others financially, sexually, socially, etc.
    4. Christians should be like Nathanael and 144,000 – no guile (John 1:47; Revelation 14:5).
    5. Godly men are entirely transparent with nothing harmful ever hid and no evil intentions.
    6. They never hide treachery, plan treachery, or introduce treachery into their relationships.
    7. It is better to be naïve, gullible, innocent, honest to a fault, defrauded, than to risk guile.
    8. Choose to be on the short end of the stick in any conversation or transaction (I Cor 6:7-8).
  3. A very easy way to sin externally is to let things out of your mouth that should not be said.
  4. Further benefits of sound speech are to reduce conflict and to persuade (Prov 15:1; 25:15).
  5. Another benefit is to love life and see good days by not speaking evil or guile (I Peter 3:10).

23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again.

  1. Jesus was reviled throughout His life and while on the cross, but He did not respond in kind.
  2. Revile. To subject to contumely or abuse; to assail with opprobrious or abusive language.
    1. Contumely. Insolent reproach or abuse; insulting or ofensively contemputuous language or treatment; sespite; scornful rudeness.
    2. Opprobrious. Of words, language, etc.: Conveying opprobrium or injurious reproach; attaching, or intended to attach, disgrace; contumelious, vituperative, abuseve.
  3. There are cases of Jesus being reviled in life and at death recorded in the gospel accounts.
    1. He was accused of being a glutton and winebibber for difference with John (Lu 7:33-35).
    2. He was accused of casting out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils (Luke 11:15).
    3. He was accused of being Beelzebub Himself, the prince of the devils (Matthew 10:25).
    4. On trial, He was mocked and derided as King of the Jews (John 19:1-3; Matthew 27:29).
    5. On the cross, He was reviled and mocked for prophecy about the temple (Matt 27:39-44).
    6. There are other examples of the injurious words, reproaches, slanders, and blasphemies that His enemies hurled at Him during His life and while dying on the cross.
  4. Jesus did not stoop to the wickedness of depraved man to revile by name-calling in return.
    1. Isaiah had prophesied that though oppressed and afflicted, He would not speak (Is 53:7).
    2. Isaiah had prophesied that he would be like a lamb at slaughter or shearing (Isaiah 53:7).
    3. His descriptive charges of their character or conduct were not natural reviling (Jn 8:44).
    4. His appeal to justice and law was done calmly and soberly without anger (Jn 18:19-23).
    5. His prophecy of their coming ruin was done didactically and carefully (Matt 21:33-46).
    6. He was silent during most of His trial in such a way that caused wonder (Matt 27:12-14).
    7. He did not speak harshly; He showed no anger: He did not pray for revenge, though just.
    8. He actually prayed to His Father to forgive those at the foot of the cross (Luke 23:34).
    9. Consider what Jesus could have said with His perfect knowledge of each of His adversaries and having the tongue of the learned that had silenced them before.
  5. We are to follow Jesus’ example and only respond to their evil with our good (Ro 12:17-21).

When he suffered, he threatened not.

  1. Enduring abuse both in life and death, He did not threaten evilly, though knowing their end.
  2. Since suffering here is in addition to reviling, we may emphasize the physical at His death.
  3. Jesus did not use His great knowledge or tongue of the learned to have promised great pain.
    1. We are tempted to threaten, even though we have limited ability to inflict any true harm.
    2. Jesus knew every detail of what would happen to each and the nation, but He was silent.
    3. You have never had the knowledge to threaten like He could have, but He did not use it.
  4. He did not speak harshly; He showed no anger: He did not pray for revenge, though just.

But committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

  1. Jesus committed Himself and His cause to God His Father to do as it seemed right to Him.
    1. Throughout His life, His trial, and finally His death, He trusted God to vindicate Him.
    2. His final words on the cross were commending His spirit into God’s hands (Luke 23:46).
    3. There is perfect justice and judgment in the universe, and you should rest in the sure fact.
  2. Jesus did not find comfort or peace in revenge of any kind but rather trusting God the Judge.
    1. The natural man seeks to mitigate his pain or suffering by inflicting as much as he can.
    2. Let God be Judge; if you take matters into your hands, He may well not (Rom 12:17-21).
    3. The less you resent or strive for yourself, the more your heavenly Judge will do for you.
    4. Sleep peacefully that God blesses godly efforts and fights enemies for you (Ps 127:1-2).
  3. Does this approach work – this pacifist approach to being publicly wronged though innocent?
    1. Judges judge in two directions – to exonerate the righteous and to condemn the wicked.
    2. God has highly exalted Jesus and promoted Him over the universe at His right hand!
    3. God sent the Roman armies just 40 years later and tore them and their nation to shreds!
  4. Work by faith, not by sight; work by faith, not by feelings; there is more than meets the eye.
    1. If you look around and consider the boss’s fancy corner office, you will think hopelessly.
    2. If you let your feelings direct your heart and mind, you will forget all this text promises.
    3. It is a matter of faith to look beyond present circumstances and realize the huge reward.
    4. Look to Jesus who saw the joy that was set before Him to endure and despise the grief.

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Who his own self.

  1. Peter applied the example of Jesus for your job fortitude and transitioned to your redemption.
  2. Jesus submitted Himself to an unfair trial, to torture in several ways, and then to crucifixion.
  3. Jesus had no man with Him to help Him; even His Father forsook Him when most needed.
    1. When these Jews suffered on the job as third-class citizens, they certainly felt all alone.
    2. But they could look to Jesus Christ their Saviour as having been alone to suffer for them.
  4. Jesus took on the work of redemption of your soul by Himself – no one else helped to do it.
    1. We love imputation, for it was Jesus’ singular obedience that justified us (Rom 5:12-19)!
    2. We love the KJV in Hebrews 1:3, for it plainly declares He purged our sins by Himself!

Bare our sins in his own body.

  1. By the doctrine of imputation, our sins were accounted to the Person of Jesus to die for us.
  2. God made Him to be sin for us, in that the penal punishment for our sins was exacted of Him.
  3. The wages of sin is death, so God gave His Son a body to suffer death for sin (Heb 10:1-14).
  4. While it is true that the body dies, Jesus had a complete human nature that suffered for sin.
  5. The legal transaction was such God the Father hid His face and forsook His Son (Ps 22:1).

On the tree.

  1. Peter here used the source material of the cross and the appearance of the cross for the cross.
  2. The Jewish audience Peter wrote would understand this choice of word tree better than you.
    1. Moses had written God’s curse on any that were hung on a tree to die (Deut 21:22-23).
    2. Paul quoted that parenthetical element to prove Jesus took the curse of the law (Gal 3:13).
  3. Jesus died on the cross, for He was already dead when the soldiers checked (John 19:31-37).
  4. It was not the pain of the cross that saved us (though it was severe), but rather His death.

That we, being dead to sins.

  1. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross paid for our sins, so we should be dead to repeating them.
  2. If there is no more sacrifice to be made for sins, our freedom should result in service to Him.
  3. Jesus died a substitutionary death in our place, so we are in effect legally dead to sin already.
  4. Based on a legal transaction of justification/imputation, there should be practical obedience.

Should live unto righteousness.

  1. With our sins paid by our glorious Substitute, we should live our lives for His righteousness.
  2. The conscious effect of Jesus’ death should be our desire to live the righteous life He lived.
  3. Paul reasoned logically, though accused of insanity, of living for the Christ that died for Him.

By whose stripes ye were healed.

  1. Peter quoted from Isaiah 53:5 for the scourging of Jesus Christ being part of our salvation.
  2. Isaiah also described in Isaiah 50:6 that the back of Jesus would be smitten by the smiters.
  3. Jesus Christ was scourged in the torture leading up to His crucifixion by Jews and Romans.
    1. He had many stripes laid on His back that may well have revealed some internal organs.
    2. Jesus prophesied of the scourging by Gentiles (Matt 20:19; Mark 10:34; Luke 18:32-33).
    3. The gospel historians recorded His scourging (Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1).
    4. The Romans excused Paul from scourging for his citizenship, but did not for the Christ!
  4. Now get this point in its context and rejoice! Jesus chose literal buffeting for your salvation!
    1. Jesus is your example for how to respond to suffering under a froward master (2:19-21).
    2. Suffering under a froward master included buffeting, which could be a whipping (2:20).
    3. But Jesus chose the worst possible whipping, a Roman scourging before dying for you.
    4. If He willingly allowed a Roman scourging to save you, can you suffer under a boss?
    5. You are not alone in your suffering, no matter how severe, for He did it for you first!
  5. The legal work of Jesus Christ on the cross set in motion the vital and practical to follow.

25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

For ye were as sheep going astray.

  1. The legal work of Jesus Christ on the cross set in motion the vital and practical to follow.
    1. Jesus died for our sins and freed us legally, so knowledge of it should bring obedience.
    2. We were lost, wandering sheep by nature, foolish and helpless and weak, but now His!
    3. His legal work brought regeneration, and the news of it should convert us to be like Him!
  2. This is a simile indicated by the word as, which removes any spiritual significance of sheep.
    1. Because it is a simile, we understand it is only a comparison to literal wandering sheep.
    2. If it were not for the word as, we might build a creative argument about Christ’s sheep.
    3. Sheep are foolish, helpless, pitiful, and weak, such as we are by nature trying to live.
  3. These Jews before their conversion were wandering in ignorance of their own scriptures.
    1. Note the past tense were, for this condition they were in was before they heard the gospel.
    2. Recall Peter’s correction of their ignorance and former lusts they had once obeyed (1:14).
    3. Recall Peter’s correction of the false religious tradition they had from their fathers (1:18).
    4. They had obeyed the truth and purified their souls by it through the Holy Spirit (1:21-22).
  4. Before conversion, we are all like ignorant or simple sheep wandering in our own confusion.
    1. By the grace of salvation, we now have a perfect Shepherd and Bishop to fully direct us.
    2. Jesus Christ, both Wonderful and Counselor (Is 9:6), lived and taught us how to succeed.
    3. There is no wolf that can harm us (Shepherd); there is no dilemma too difficult (Bishop).

But are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

  1. The return here is still part of the simile, for they were not Jesus Christ’s before conversion.
    1. Stick to the simile of the verse about literal sheep wandering lost, alone, and helpless.
    2. Peter did not introduce a deep soteriological point here but rather described conversion.
    3. There is nothing here about His elect being His, then not being His, and then returning.
    4. There is nothing here about Jews converting, unconverting, and then converting again.
    5. They were not Jesus Christ’s in any way, then they were not, but they were once again.
  2. Conversion is turning from our own thinking and living to submit to Jesus Christ’s religion.
    1. The news of Jesus Christ dying for our sins should cause us to live righteously for Him.
    2. Rather than wander in our own way, we join the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ.
    3. Saul’s dramatic conversion involved his humble request to Jesus of what to do (Acts 9:6).
  3. Since the simile here regards wandering and found sheep, the first title of Jesus is Shepherd.
    1. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, gave His life for them, and gives abundant life (Jn 10:1-18).
    2. He is also called the great shepherd of the sheep in context of eternal life (Heb 13:20-21).
    3. A shepherd protects sheep from harm and provides all they need for growth and health.
    4. While the world may abuse us, even while serving them well on the job, not so Christ.
    5. These third-class citizens of Asia were under protection and provision of Jesus Christ.
    6. Peter has progressed from example (1:21-23) to justification and conversion (1:24) to their secure position under Jesus Christ’s care while they submit to their masters (1:25).
  4. While there are under-bishops in the church of Christ, Jesus Himself is the Archbishop.
    1. Bishop. A word meaning overseer or superintendent to take care of the church of God.
    2. Jesus fills every role necessary for the protection and provision of His people (Heb 3:1).
    3. Compare how Paul addressed elders at Ephesus as overseers over the flock (Acts 20:28).
    4. Paul used this title for pastor-teachers in his Pastoral Epistles (I Timothy 3:1-2; Tit 1:7).
    5. It is also used in explanatory notes following these epistles at II Tim 4:22 and Titus 3:15.
    6. Let us outdo all those who submit to bishops of Rome in our devotion to Jesus Christ.