1 Peter Chapter 2
1Pe 2:1 TPT So abandon every form of evil, deceit, hypocrisy, feelings of jealousy and slander.
Russell: All evil speakings -- Evil speaking is strictly forbidden, as wholly contrary to God's spirit of love, even if the thing be true. Professed Christians are often the most pronounced scandal mongers. Those who hear slanderers are partakers of their evil deeds.
Evil words and deeds represent some wrong condition of head or heart; the Lord's follower should daily, hourly, keep watch over his thoughts, words, deeds and underlying motives. The advanced Christian sees that in the Lord's sight hatred is murder, slander is assassination, and the destruction of a neighbor's good name is robbery and rapine. Any of these things done in the Church, among the professed people of God, is doubly evil; the assassination and robbery of a brother.
Barnes: Wherefore laying aside - On the word rendered laying aside, see Rom_13:12; Eph_4:22, Eph_4:25; Col_3:8. The allusion is to putting off clothes; and the meaning is, that we are to cast off these things entirely; that is, we are no longer to practice them. The word “wherefore” (οὖν oun) refers to the reasonings in the first chapter. In view of the considerations stated there, we should renounce all evil.
All malice - All “evil,” (κακίαν kakian.) The word “malice” we commonly apply now to a particular kind of evil, denoting extreme enmity of heart, ill-will, a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification, or from a spirit of revenge - Webster. The Greek word, however, includes evil of all kinds. Compare Act_8:22, where it is rendered wickedness, and 1Co_5:8; 1Co_14:20; Eph_4:31; Col_3:8; Tit_3:3.
And all guile - Deceit of all kinds. See the Rom_1:29 note; 2Co_12:16 note; 1Th_2:3 note.
And hypocrisies - See the 1Ti_4:2, note; Mat_23:28; Gal_2:13, on the word rendered dissimulation. The word means, feigning to be what we are not; assuming a false appearance of religion; cloaking a wicked purpose under the appearance of piety.
And envies - Hatred of others on account of some excellency which they have, or something which they possess which we do not. See the notes at Rom_1:29.
And all evil speaking - Greek: “speaking against others.” This word (καταλαλιὰ katalalia) occurs only here and in 2Co_12:20, where it is rendered “backbitings.” It would include all unkind or slanderous speaking against others. This is by no means an uncommon fault in the world, and it is one of the designs of religion to guard against it. Religion teaches us to lay aside whatever guile, insincerity, and false appearances we may have acquired, and to put on the simple honesty and openness of children. We all acquire more or less of guile and insincerity in the course of life. We learn to conceal our sentiments and feelings, and almost unconsciously come to appear different from what we really are. It is not so with children. ..Now, it is one of the purposes of religion to bring us back to this state, and to strip off all the subterfuges which we may have acquired in life; and he in whom this effect is not accomplished has never been converted. A man that is characteristically deceitful, cunning, and crafty, cannot be a Christian. “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,” Mat_18:3.
Do you recognize these sins in your heart?
Are you striving against them?
1Pe 2:2 TPT In the same way that nursing infants cry for milk, you must intensely crave the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word. For this “milk” will cause you to grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life--
Guzik: As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word: Desire is a strong word. In the Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is used for man’s deepest longing for God: As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God (Psa_42:1).
i. Babes . . . desire: A healthy new baby has an instinctive yearning for its mother’s milk. When things are right, you don’t have to tell it to want the milk.
c. That you may grow thereby: The word of God is necessary for the growth of the Christian. We should all desire the pure milk of the word, even though Paul rebukes the Corinthians for being able to only receive milk (1Co_3:1-2), the Christian should never get tired of the simple truths of the gospel simply presented.
“To drink the milk of the Word is to ‘taste’ again and again what he is like, for in the hearing of the Lord’s words believers experience the joy of personal fellowship with the Lord himself.” (Grudem)
Russell: As newborn babes -- We find that repeatedly in the Scriptures the young Christian and the less developed are likened to babes, to children. The babe cannot be expected to grow up to manhood instantly. Some writings of the Epistles were suitable for babes in Christ, and others were strong meat, the deeper things of the divine plan. (Heb_5:13)
The divine provision is so wonderful that even babes starved for the milk of the Word, may quickly appropriate strong and nourishing food and become clear in the knowledge of God. Harvest Gleanings
The sincere milk -- The simple truths, the foundation doctrines; the first principles of the doctrines of Christ.
The means by which a newborn babe grows. Eating of strong meat would cause it to strangle. An occasional cup of milk is good even for grown folks. But grown men need stronger food. The Lord gives the milk of the word at first, that the new nature may grow thereby, and become able to digest stronger food and thus develop in character likeness to our Lord.
Of the word -- God's Word is a great storehouse of food for Christians in all stages of development.
May grow thereby -- So that in due time you will "Be no more children tossed about with every wind of doctrine." (Eph_4:14) Become strong; suggesting a process of development. As the babe goes on, he should feed upon the strong meat of God's Word. The spiritual babe that does not grow will never reach manhood's estate. He will never be a king and priest.
Do you crave the Lord’s Word?
Are you choking on the Meat, because you never took the time to drink the milk?
1Pe 2:3 TPT especially now that you have had a taste of the goodness of the Lord Jehovah and have experienced his kindness.
JFB: Peter alludes to Psa_34:8. The first “tastes” of God’s goodness are afterwards followed by fuller and happier experiences. A taste whets the appetite [Bengel].
gracious — Greek, “good,” benignant, kind; as God is revealed to us in Christ, “the Lord” (1Pe_2:4), we who are born again ought so to be good and kind to the brethren (1Pe_1:22). “Whosoever has not tasted the word to him it is not sweet it has not reached the heart; but to them who have experienced it, who with the heart believe…” [Luther].
Guzik: If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious: If we have received from God, if we have tasted (personally experienced) that the Lord is gracious, then we have all the more reason and responsibility to receive the word in the enthusiastic way that babies receive their milk.
Russell: Ye have tasted -- Only those who come with sincere hearts to taste and see for themselves can ever know. Theirs is the "hidden manna." (Rev_2:17)
Barnes: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious - Or rather, as Doddridge renders it, “Since you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” The apostle did not mean to express any doubt on the subject, but to state that, since they had had an experimental acquaintance with the grace of God, they should desire to increase more and more in the knowledge and love of him. On the use of the word “taste,” see the notes at Heb_6:4.
Clarke: This seems to refer to Psa_34:8 : O taste and see that the Lord is good. And there is still a reference to the sucking child that, having once tasted its mother’s milk, ever after desires and longs for it. As they were born of God, and had tasted his goodness, they would naturally desire the same pure unadulterated milk of the word.
Do you thirst after God’s Word?
1Pe 2:4 GW You are coming to Christ, the living stone who was rejected by humans but was chosen as precious by God.
Barnes: The phrase “living stone” is however unusual, and is not found, I think, except in this place. There seems to be an incongruity in it, in attributing life to a stone, yet the meaning is not difficult to be understood. The purpose was not to speak of a temple, like that at Jerusalem, made up of gold and costly stones; but of a temple made up of living materials - of redeemed people - in which God now resides. In speaking of that, it was natural to refer to the foundation on which the whole rested, and to speak of that as corresponding to the whole edifice. It was all a living temple - a temple composed of living materials - from the foundation to the top. Compare the expression in Joh_4:10, “He would have given thee living water;” that is, water which would have imparted life to the soul. So Christ imparts life to the whole spiritual temple that is reared on him as a foundation.
Disallowed indeed of men - Rejected by them, first by the Jews, in causing him to be put to death; and then by all people when he is offered to them as their Saviour.
But chosen of God - Selected by him as the suitable foundation on which to rear his church.
And precious - Valuable. The universe had nothing more valuable on which to rear the spiritual temple.
Clarke: Disallowed indeed of men - That is, rejected by the Jews. This is a plain reference to the prophecy, Psa_118:22 : The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
Chosen of God - To be the Savior of the world, and the Founder of the Church, and the foundation on which it rests; As Christ is the choice of the Father, we need have no doubt of the efficacy and sufficiency of all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of a lost world. God can never be mistaken in his choice; therefore he that chooses Christ for his portion shall never be confounded.
Precious -- Honorable. (Diaglott)
Are you “coming to Christ” or rejecting him?
Is Jesus “precious” or “honorable” to you?
1Pe 2:5 TPT Come and be his “living stones” who are continually being assembled into a sanctuary for God. For now you serve as holy priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices that he readily accepts through Jesus Christ.
Guzik: Coming to Him as to a living stone: Peter’s picture here is that God is building a spiritual temple (a spiritual house) using living stones (Christians), those who have come to the ultimate Living Stone (Jesus).
b. This spiritual house shows that as much as Israel had a temple, Christians also have one. But the Christian’s temple is spiritual, and they themselves are the temple.
c. Chosen by God and precious: As much as Israel was chosen by God, so is the church. As much as they had a priesthood, so Christians are a holy priesthood. And as much as they have sacrifices, so Christians offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God.
d. To offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ: God does the work of building (being built), but we do the job of offering sacrifices pleasing to Him, as we come to Jesus as who we are - living stones, made by Him.
We can only serve as priests as we do it through Jesus Christ. In ourselves, we have no priestly authority, but only in Jesus.
Ye also -- All of God's faithful saints are living stones in the Temple of God, through which, eventually, all the world shall have access to God.
Stones -- All the members of Christ's Body, built upon the foundation. The New Jerusalem, the Church had twelve foundation stones, built upon the one foundation rock, Christ. The saints are living stones, being chiseled and polished, preparatory to the uniting of all these in one grand, glorious Temple of God beyond the veil.
Are built up -- Under the headship of Christ; through the operation of the holy Spirit. Shaped, chiseled, polished, by Jesus as the Father's representative.
A spiritual House --It will be spiritual, unseen by men, each member like unto the glorified Jesus, far above angels--and God by His holy Spirit will dwell there in fullest measure.
To think of Peter as the only foundation for the Church would be to deny Christ's teaching and Peter's own statement. SM461:3; Harvest Gleanings
Sacrifices -- Willing service and obedience, praise, and whatever is done to the glory of God. Represented by the sacrifices offered on the Golden altar in the Holy. The careful and conditional study of God's plan; the imbibing of its spirit; leading to an enthusiastic zeal for its accomplishment, and to activity to the extent of ability in its service, at whatever cost or sacrifice it may require.
Acceptable to God -- Well pleasing. (Diaglott)
Have you come to Jesus?
Are you a “living stone”, or more of a bump on a log?
How do you “serve” as a priest?
What are the “spiritual sacrifices” that you offer up?
1Pe 2:6 TPT For it says in Scripture: Look! I lay a cornerstone in Zion, a chosen and priceless stone! And whoever believes in him will certainly not be disappointed.
Guzik: Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone: If we are being built into a spiritual house, there is no doubt who our Chief Cornerstone is. Even though men rejected Him, He has become the Chief Cornerstone in the work of building the church.
i. Jesus is the cornerstone of Psalms 118; the stumbling stone of Isaiah 8; the foundation stone of Isaiah 28; the supernatural stone of Daniel 2; and the rock that gave Israel water in the wilderness (1Co_10:4).
b. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone: Those who reject the Chief Cornerstone, refusing to build on Him, instead stumble over Him. Instead of being their salvation, Jesus becomes to them a rock of offense.
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed: It is appointed that those who are disobedient to the word should stumble over Jesus. When Jesus spoke of Himself as the stone of Psalms 118, He spoke of what those who rejected Him are appointed to: And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder. (Mat_21:44)
Russell: Chief corner stone -- A foundation stone. (Diaglott) The Lord Jesus Christ; capstone of the whole. The Church of God, are now being shaped, fitted and prepared for positions in the Temple of God of which the dear Redeemer himself is the chief cornerstone, the foundation. Very soon the union between Jesus and the Body will be complete, as expressed by the prophet: "He shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying; Grace, grace, unto it." (Zec_4:7)
Elect -- Chosen. (Diaglott)
Precious -- Honorable. (Diaglott)
That believeth on him -- Who confides in it. (Diaglott)
Confounded -- Ashamed. (Diaglott)
This is a “precious promise”—can you claim it?
1Pe 2:7 TPT As believers you know his great worth—indeed, his preciousness is imparted to you. But for those who do not believe: The stone that the builders rejected and discarded has now become the cornerstone
Barnes: Christians are often called simply “believers,” because faith in the Saviour is one of the prominent characteristics by which they are distinguished from their fellow-men. It sufficiently describes any man, to say that he is a believer in the Lord Jesus.
He is precious - Margin, “an honor.” … The apostle was not showing that it was an honor to believe on Christ, but was stating the estimate which was put on him by those who believe, as contrasted with the view taken of him by the world. The truth which is taught is, that while the Lord Jesus is rejected by the great mass of people, he is regarded by all Christians as of inestimable value:
I. Of the fact there can be no doubt. Somehow, Christians perceive a value in him which is seen in nothing else. This is evinced:
(a) In their avowed estimate of him as their best friend;
(b) In their being willing so far to honor him as to commit to him the keeping of their souls, resting the whole question of their salvation upon him alone;
(c) In their readiness to keep his commands, and to serve him, while the mass of people disobey him; and,
(d) In their being willing to die for him.
But unto them which be disobedient - Literally, “unwilling to be persuaded,” (ἀπειθὴς apeithēs) that is, those who refused to believe; who were obstinate or contumacious, Luk_1:17; Rom_1:30. The meaning is, that to them he is made a stone against which they impinge, and ruin themselves.
The stone which the builders disallowed - Which they rejected, or refused to make a cornerstone. The allusion here, by the word “builders,” is primarily to the Jews, represented as raising a temple of salvation, or building with reference to eternal life. They refused to lay this stone, which God had appointed, as the foundation of their hopes, but preferred some other foundation. See this passage explained in the Mat_21:42 note; Act_4:11 note; and Rom_9:33 note.
The same is made the head of the corner - That is, though it is rejected by the mass of people, yet God has in fact made it the cornerstone on which the whole spiritual temple rests, Act_4:11-12. However people may regard it, there is, in fact, no other hope of heaven than that which is founded on the Lord Jesus. If people are not saved by him, he becomes to them a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.
Is Jesus your best friend—the one you confide in, the one you trust in?
Do trust him to see you through your trials to the end?
Do you keep his commandments?
Are you willing to die for him?
1Pe 2:8 TPT And A stone that makes them stumble and a rock to trip over. They keep stumbling over the message because they refuse to believe it. And this they were destined to do.
Guzik: They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed: It is appointed that those who are disobedient to the word should stumble over Jesus. When Jesus spoke of Himself as the stone of Psalms 118, He spoke of what those who rejected Him are appointed to: And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder. (Mat_21:44)
Russell: Stone of stumbling -- Israel, the typical house, stumbled in that they did not recognize his presence among them, and rejected his sacrifice as the basis of justification. The same stumbling-stone is now in the close of the Gospel age causing many to stumble.
Rock -- Christ Jesus. Those who are rooted and grounded in Christ and built up in him, in his doctrine, his love, and his character, shall never be moved. He is the sure foundation upon which we build our superstructure. In ourselves we find no ground of stability upon which to rear our building of character and faith.
Which stumble -- Because they do not accept the great foundation of faith--the ransom--they are unworthy to stand.
Being disobedient -- Who will not accept its plain and simple teachings relative to the great foundation of our faith, Christ Jesus, who gave his life a ransom for many. God lays great stress upon loyal and loving obedience on the part of all his children. It was only a little matter of disobedience that cost Adam and his posterity so dearly, and that will bring similar results to all those who, having once escaped the condemnation of death through faith in Christ the Redeemer, thereafter prefer to appear in their own righteousness.
They were appointed -- God designed that they should stumble because they are disobedient and refuse to stand before God in the robe of Christ's righteousness, but prefer to appear in their own.
Do you stumble over Christ?
Is there something you refuse to believe? Why do you refuse?
1Pe 2:9a TPT But you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. …
Guzik: But you are a chosen generation: The things that once exclusively belonged to Israel - their election (chosen), priesthood, and calling, are now no longer the property of Israel alone. These are now the property of every Christian, and we have them in a greater, spiritual sense.
i. We are a royal priesthood. The offices of royalty and priesthood were jealously separated in Israel, but Jesus, who is our King and Priest, has brought them together for His people.
b. His own special people: We are special because we belong to God. A museum may be filled with quite ordinary things: hats, canes, shoes, and so forth; but they are significant because they once belonged to someone famous. God takes ordinary people, and because He has taken them, they are special.
i. These same titles were applied to Israel (Exo_19:5-6, Deu_4:20, Deu_7:6, and Isa_43:20-21). Now, in Jesus, we belong to God as His own special people.
Russell: But ye are -- The Apostle Peter is pointing out the fact that the Church of Christ is separate and distinct from all other people. All "Israelites indeed" of the fleshly house were privileged to become members of the spiritual house. New creatures in Christ, neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free.
A chosen generation -- Greek, genos, race. A new race. All are begotten of the holy Spirit. They must first make a full consecration before this new generative power will begin to operate in them. New creatures in Christ Jesus. A new order of beings, chosen of God as the heirs of his special favor. These only are being called, chosen, and proved during this Gospel age.
A royal priesthood -- The work of a priest is that of intercession and instruction in righteousness and logically implies subjects and a future work of salvation. The word "priesthood" stands for teacher, because under the Jewish arrangements all the priests were teachers, instructors of the people. The Royal Priesthood, of which the Redeemer is the Head, has a variety of titles and offices: King, Priest, Judge, Lawgiver, Mediator, Father; respecting special features of its service for the blessing of all the families of the earth.
Aaron and his sons did not typify the still higher priesthood which God had in mind when he established the Levitical priesthood. This higher order of priests was typified by Melchizedek, the king-priest. The royal feature differentiates the Melchizedec from the Aaronic order. Aaron and his sons had nothing whatever to do with the royalty of the typical kingdom.
Speaking prophetically; we are not priests yet. It is only those who will be declared worthy to sit with him in his throne that will be the Royal Priesthood; those who make their calling and election sure. The real Royal Priesthood will be that portion of us that will attain unto the first resurrection. The royalty of the priesthood signifies that it will no longer be a sacrificing class.
The priesthood does not end when the kingly powers begin, for it is written concerning the future reign, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." (Rev_5:10)
"Consider the High Priest of our profession." (Heb_3:1)
An holy nation -- A nation is a body of people united under one government and having common interests and bound by mutual obligations and mutual consent, either expressed or implied, to conserve those interests. When the foreordained number shall have demonstrated their loyalty even unto death, then this holy nation will be complete; then the blessing of all the families of the earth will proceed. God recognizes no nations except Israel of the past and spiritual Israel of the present.
"The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given unto a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Mat_21:43)
A peculiar people -- A people for a purpose. (Diaglott) Separate from the world; in the world and yet not of it. They have the spirit of Christ, a spirit of full consecration to the Lord; are self-sacrificing and know no will but the will of the King; adhering to the Word of the Lord as their only law; have a decided faith and act zealously in harmony therewith; they know the truth and are able to give a reason for their hope, while others merely speculate and wonder and doubt.
You are “a chosen generation”---Do you appreciate that privilege and responsibility?
1Pe 2:9b TPT …He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.
Should shew forth -- Sound forth--in our words and deeds--the message is too good to keep. God's people who have everything to rejoice in will seek to lift high the royal banner, to tell the good tidings of great joy to the extent of their ability and to cooperate with all others who are thus doing. This should be the chief business of all the saints. The anointing we have received is for this very purpose. We are to have the courage to speak our convictions. We are to exercise our function of ambassadorship. The new creation is called to preach, not by ambitions or imaginations, but by the Word.
The praises -- A heart filled with the spirit of love, the spirit of God, the spirit of the truth, and overflowing with the same will be sure to bestow it upon others. Virtues of character and plan. By pointing men directly or indirectly to the Lord. God wishes His praises to be known because His praises will show to His creatures the great blessings He has provided for them. Israel gave glory and praise to God for their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. How much more should those who have tasted of God's grace and goodness show forth their praises unto him. All who are spirit-begotten have the authority to preach and to teach as messengers from God to the extent of their opportunities.
Each one begotten of the holy spirit, love, should seek to let its light so shine out, through all the avenues of communication with his fellow creatures, as to glorify his Father in heaven. If we do not let our light shine we are unworthy of it, and the treasure will be taken away and we will be left in darkness.
Who hath called you -- With this heavenly calling, not for our own sakes merely, but for his own glory and the blessing of others.
Out of darkness -- In permitting us to brush away the veil of superstition, misunderstanding and mistranslation. We must remember that we were equally in the dark but a short time ago, and that our neighbors and friends are no more responsible for being in the dark than we were.
His marvellous light -- This light has an effect upon the world, reproving them and setting before them an example of better living, better thinking. The holy Spirit becomes the illuminating power in the life of these.
Do you broadcast God’s glorious wonders?
Do you share God’s Word?
Do you share your hope? Do you know what your hope is?
1Pe 2:10 TPT For at one time you were not God’s people, but now you are. At one time you knew nothing of God’s mercy, because you hadn’t received it yet, but now you are drenched with it!
Guzik: Who once were not a people but are now the people of God: We once were without these privileges, and were not even a people before God. We had not seen the mercy of God, but now have obtained mercy.
i. In our culture, with its Christian foundations, we don’t understand the tremendous sense of privilege and relief that came to Gentiles as they were able to share in the New Covenant with the God of Israel. Peter’s message is nonetheless wonderful: “You didn’t used to belong, but now you belong to God and among God’s people.”
d. That you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light: The purpose for these high privileges is not so we can grow proud, but so that we can proclaim the praises of Him who has done such great things for us.
Clarke: Which in time past were not a people - This is a quotation from Hos_1:9, Hos_1:10; Hos_2:23, where the calling of the Gentiles, by the preaching of the Gospel, is foretold. From this it is evident, that the people to whom the apostle now addresses himself had been Gentiles, covered with ignorance and superstition, and now had obtained mercy by the preaching of the Gospel of Christ.
Do you appreciate God’s Mercy on your behalf?
Do you really?
1Pe 2:11 TPT My divinely loved friends, since you are resident aliens and foreigners in this world, I appeal to you to divorce yourselves from the evil desires that wage war within you.
Guzik: We can only abstain from fleshly lusts as we live as sojourners and pilgrims, as those who recognize that this world is not their home, and that they have a home and a citizenship in heaven.
b. Which war against the soul: Peter understands that these fleshly lusts . . . war against the soul. To be a Christian means to fight against the lusts of the flesh, and the battle continues as long as we live in this flesh.
i. It is easy for us to see how the pursuit of fleshly lusts can destroy our body physically. Just ask the alcoholic dying of liver disease, or ask the sexually immoral person with AIDS or one of the 350,000 people on this earth who contracted a sexually transmitted disease in the last 24 hours. But Peter reminds us that fleshly lusts also war against the soul. Some escape disease in the physical body when they sin, but the disease and death of the inner man is a penalty that no one given over to the flesh escapes.
Clarke: Abstain from fleshly lusts - As ye are strangers and pilgrims, and profess to seek a heavenly country, do not entangle your affections with earthly things. While others spend all their time, and employ all their skill, in acquiring earthly property, and totally neglect the salvation of their souls; they are not strangers, they are here at home; they are not pilgrims, they are seeking an earthly possession: Heaven is your home, seek that; God is your portion, seek him. All kinds of earthly desires, whether those of the flesh or of the eye, or those included in the pride of life, are here comprised in the words fleshly lusts.
Which war against the soul - Αἱτινες στρατευονται κατα της ψυχης· Which are marshalled and drawn up in battle array, to fight against the soul; either to slay it, or to bring it into captivity. This is the object and operation of every earthly and sensual desire. How little do those who indulge them think of the ruin which they produce!
Are you a pilgrim and a stranger?
Are you divorcing yourselves from the world and its desires?
1Pe 2:12 TPT Live honorable lives as you mix with unbelievers, even though they accuse you of being evildoers. For they will see your beautiful works and have a reason to glorify God in the day he visits us.
Guzik: Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles: This kind of godly living makes our conduct honorable among those who don’t know God yet. Though we can expect that they will speak against you as evildoers, they can still be brought to glorify God by seeing our godly conduct.
i. Christians were falsely accused of great crimes in the early church. Pagans said that at communion Christians ate the flesh and drank the blood of a baby in a cannibalistic ritual. They said that Christian “agape feasts” were wild orgies. They said that Christians were antisocial because they did not participate in society’s immoral entertainment. They said that Christians were atheists because they did not worship idols.
ii. But over time, it was clear that Christians were not immoral people - and it was shown by their lives. “The striking fact of history is that by their lives the Christians actually did defeat the slanders of the heathen. In the early part of the third century Celsus made the most famous and the most systematic attack of all upon the Christians in which he accused them of ignorance and foolishness and superstition and all kinds of things - but never of immorality.” (Barclay)
Russell: Conversation honest -- Words of truth and soberness. God-likeness certainly cannot include any harmful gossip, any unclean or unholy conversation, any disloyal or rebellious words.
Speak against you -- We are to rejoice, even if we are called to suffer persecution for his sake.
Glorify God -- By our good works and kindly spirit.
Day of visitation -- Of their visitation; in the future. Shows a distinction between the day of the world's visitation and the day of the Church's visitation. This Gospel age is the day of our visitation, when in the divine favor we have forgiveness of sins and are brought into relationship with the Father. The present time is not the world's, but the Church's visitation.
Are you living honorably?
Do your friends or associates criticize you for being holy?
1Pe 2:13 TPT In order to honor the Lord, you must respect and defer to the authority of every human institution, whether it be the highest ruler
(ISV) For the Lord's sake submit yourselves to every human authority: whether to the king as supreme,
Clarke; Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man - In every settled state, and under every form of political government, where the laws are not in opposition to the laws of God, it may be very soundly and rationally said: “Genuine Christians have nothing to do with the laws but to obey them.”
The meaning of St. Peter appears to be this: the Jews thought it unlawful to obey any ruler that was not of their own stock; the apostle tells them they should obey the civil magistrate, let him be of what stock he may, whether a Jew or a Gentile, and let him exercise the government in whatsoever form. This is the general proposition: and then he instances emperors and their deputies; and, far from its being unlawful for them to obey a heathen magistrate, they were to do it for the Lord’s sake, δια τον Κυριον, on account of the Lord, whose will it was, and who commanded it.
Russell: Submit yourselves -- Christians are to be subject to the worldly powers only in the absence of a contrary admonition from God.
To every ordinance -- Except when conscience would be violated. The spirit of submission, rather than of contention, is enjoined upon the whole Church.
For the Lord's sake -- So that his spirit or disposition may be manifest in you.
Barnes: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man - Greek, “to every creation of man,” (ἀνθρωπίνῃ κτίσει anthrōpinē ktisei The meaning is, to every institution or appointment of man; to wit, of those who are in authority, or who are appointed to administer government. The laws, institutes, and appointments of such a government may be spoken of as the creation of man; that is, as what man makes. Of course, what is here said must be understood with the limitation everywhere implied, that what is ordained by those in authority is not contrary to the law of God.
Whether it be to the king - Peter undoubtedly had particular reference to the Roman emperors, but he uses a general term, which would be applicable to all in whom the supreme power resided, and the injunction here would require submission to such authority, by whatever name it might be called. The meaning is, that we are to be subject to that authority whether exercised by the sovereign in person, or by those who are appointed by him.
As supreme - Not supreme in the sense of being superior to God, or not being subject to him, but in the sense of being over all subordinate officers.
Guzik: Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man: As Christians, we should be good citizens, submitting to government. This was very different groups of zealous Jews in that day who recognized no king but God and paid taxes to no one but God.
b. We do this for the Lord’s sake. Since governments have a rightful authority from God, we are bound to obey them - unless, of course, they order us to do something in contradiction to God’s law. Then, we are commanded to obey God before man (Act_4:19).
i. Peter wrote this in the days of the Roman Empire, which was no democracy, and no special friend to Christians. Yet he still recognizes the legitimate authority of the Roman government.
Titus 3:1 TPT Remind people to respect their governmental leaders on every level as law-abiding citizens and to be ready to fulfill their civic duty.
Are you a law abiding citizen?
1Pe 2:14 TPT or the governors he puts in place to punish lawbreakers and to praise those who do what’s right.
Guzik: God uses governing authorities as a check upon man’s sinful desires and tendencies. Governments are a useful tool in resisting the effects of man’s fallen nature.
i. The greatest offense government can make is to fail to punish evildoers, or to reward evildoers through corruption.
1Pe 2:15 TPT For it is God’s will for you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing what is right.
Guzik: Peter knows that our conduct is a way to defend the gospel. He knows that those who never read the Bible will read our lives, so it is by doing good that we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
JFB: put to silence — literally, “to muzzle,” “to stop the mouth.”
ignorance — spiritual not having “the knowledge of God,” and therefore ignorant of the children of God, and misconstruing their acts; influenced by mere appearances, and ever ready to open their mouths, rather than their eyes and ears. Their ignorance should move the believer’s pity, not his anger. They judge of things which they are incapable of judging through unbelief (compare 1Pe_2:12). Maintain such a walk that they shall have no charge against you, except touching your faith; and so their minds shall be favorably disposed towards Christianity.
1Pe 2:16 TPT As God’s loving servants, you should live in complete freedom, but never use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.
Guzik: Yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God: We are warned against taking the liberty we have in Jesus as an excuse for sin. Instead, we use our liberty in Jesus to show the kind of love and respect that Peter calls for.
Barnes: As free - That is, they were to consider themselves as freemen, as having a right to liberty. The Jews boasted much of their freedom, and regarded it as a birthright privilege that they were free, Joh_8:33. They never willingly acknowledged their subjection to any other power, but claimed it as an elementary idea of their civil constitution that God only was their Sovereign. They were indeed conquered by the Romans, and paid tribute, but they did it because they were compelled to do it, and it was even a question much debated among them whether they should do it or not Mat_22:17. Josephus has often referred to the fact that the Jews rebelled against the Romans under the plea that they were a free people, and that they were subject only to God. This idea of essential freedom the Jews had when they became Christians, and everything in Christianity tended to inspire them with the love of liberty.
And not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness - ... The word maliciousness refers rather to enmity of heart, ill-will, an intention to injure. The apostle has reference to an abuse of freedom, which has often occurred. The pretence of these who have acted in this manner has been, that the freedom of the gospel implied deliverance from all kinds of restraint; that they were under no yoke, and bound by no laws; that, being the children of God, they had a right to all kinds of enjoyment and indulgence; that even the moral law ceased to bind them, and that they had a right to make the most of liberty in all respects. Hence, they have given themselves up to all sorts of sensual indulgence, claiming exemption from the restraints of morality as well as of civil law, and sinking into the deepest abyss of vice. Not a few have done this who have professed to be Christians… The apostles saw this tendency in human nature, and in nothing are they more careful than to guard against this abuse.
But as the servants of God - Not free from all restraint; not at liberty to indulge in all things, but bound to serve God in the faithful obedience of His laws. Thus bound to obey and serve him, they could not be at liberty to indulge in those things which would be in violation of His laws, and which would dishonor Him. See this sentiment explained in the notes at 1Co_7:22; 1Co_9:21.
Clarke: As free - The Jews pretended that they were a free people, and owed allegiance to God alone; hence they were continually rebelling against the Roman government, to which God had subjected them because of their rebellion against him: thus they used their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness - for a pretext of rebellion, and by it endeavored to vindicate their seditious and rebellious conduct.
Are you a rebel?
1Pe 2:17 TPT Recognize the value of every person and continually show love to every believer. Live your lives with great reverence and in holy awe of God. Honor your rulers.
Russell: Honour all men -- Respecting them according to their character or office, and obeying the laws, does not necessarily mean a participation with the world in the functions of government. The Apostle points to justice as a consideration for rendering honor, respect and service; honor to whom honor is due.
Love -- With agapee or higher love which would gladly lay down life for the brethren.
The brotherhood -- Because of God-likeness in their good intentions, and that they have given their hearts to the Lord. Only in proportion as we see character-likeness to Christ can we truly love his followers; where the brother's flesh is much fallen, we have largely a compassionate love rather than a loving admiration.
Fear God -- Perfect love casts out slavish but not reverential fear. He who loses the fear of God, and the fear of losing the great prize which God has held out before us, is in a very dangerous position.
"He that feareth him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." (Act_10:35)
Honour the king -- Kings are not always personally worthy of honor; but honor is always due to the office, which is "ordained of God." (Rom_13:1)
Barnes: Honor all men - That is, show them the respect which is due to them according to their personal worth, and to the rank and office which they sustain.
Love the brotherhood - The whole fraternity of Christians, regarded as a band of brothers. The word used here occurs only in this place and in 1Pe_5:9, where it is rendered “brethren.” The idea expressed here occurs often in the New Testament.
Fear God - A duty everywhere enjoined in the Bible, as one of the first duties of religion. Compare Lev_25:17; Psa_24:7; Psa_25:14; Pro_1:7; Pro_3:13; Pro_9:10; Pro_23:17; See the Rom_3:18 note; 2Co_7:1 note. The word fear, when used to express our duty to God, means that we are to reverence and honor him. Religion, in one aspect, is described as the fear of God; in another, as the love of God; in another, as submission to his will, etc. A holy veneration or fear is always an elementary principle of religion. It is the fear, not so much of punishment as of his disapprobation; not so much the dread of suffering as the dread of doing wrong.
Honor the king - Referring here primarily to the Roman sovereign, but implying that we are always to respect those who have the rule over us. See the notes at Rom_13:1-7. The doctrine taught in these verses Rom_13:13-14 is, that we are faithfully to perform all the relative duties of life. … Many of the duties which we owe to ourselves are, from the nature of the case, hidden from public observation. All that pertains to the examination of the heart; to our private devotions; to the subjugation of our evil passions; to our individual communion with God, must be concealed from public view. Not so, however, with those duties which pertain to others. In respect to them, we are open to public view. The eye of the world is upon us. The judgment of the world in regard to us is made up from their observation of the manner in which we perform them. If religion fails there, they judge that it fails altogether; and however devout we may be in private, if it is not seen by the world that our religion leads to the faithful performance of the duties which we owe in the various relations of life, it will be regarded as of little value.
How are you living this verse?
1Pe 2:18 TPT Those who are servants, submit to the authority of those who are your masters—not only to those who are kind and gentle but even to those who are hard and difficult.
Guzik: Servants, be submissive to your masters: The command to submit to masters isn’t just to those who work for masters who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh. If we must endure hardship because of our Christian standards, it is commendable before God.
Barnes: Not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward - The word rendered “froward” (σκολιοῖς skoliois) means properly “crooked, bent;” then perverse, wicked, unjust, peevish. Anyone who is a servant or domestic is liable to be employed in the service of such a master; but while the relation continues, the servant should perform his duty with fidelity, whatever may be the character of the master. ..Though the terms used here do not necessarily imply that those to whom the apostle gave this direction were slaves, yet it may be presumed that they probably were, since slavery abounded throughout the Roman empire; but the directions will apply to all who are engaged in the service of others, and are therefore of permanent value. Slavery will, sooner or later, under the influence of the gospel, wholly cease in the world, and instructions addressed to masters and slaves will have no permanent value; but it will always be true that there will be those employed as domestics, and it is the duty of all who are thus engaged to evince true fidelity and a Christian spirit themselves, whatever may be the character of their employers.
Meyer: Some of the tenderest words in the Epistles are addressed to the household slaves, who constituted a very important part of the primitive Church. Masters and mistresses had absolute control over their chattels; and might put them to death without interference from the state. The Apostle endeavors to cheer them while bearing their nameless wrongs. They were to bear all their sorrows patiently and silently, following in the footsteps of their Lord, and certain that He would vindicate them.
Let employees remember that they have been placed in worldly and ungodly homes as lamps on dark landings, in order to bear witness to Jesus by the simplicity and beauty of their conversation. And the way of the Cross is the only safe way for us all, if we would keep in touch with our Shepherd and Protector.
Are you a model employee?
If you are an employer—are you also a model employer?
1 Peter 2:19 Weymouth For it is an acceptable thing with God, if, from a sense of duty to Him, a man patiently submits to wrong, when treated unjustly.
Barnes: If a man for conscience toward God - If, in the conscientious discharge of his duty, or if, in the endurance of this wrong, he regards himself as serving God. That is, if he feels that God, by his providence, has placed him in the circumstances in which he is, and that it is a duty which he owes to him to bear every trial incident to that condition with a submissive spirit. If he does this, he will evince the true nature of religion, and will be graciously accepted of God.
Benson: For this is thankworthy — An acceptable thing to God. Greek, τουτο γαρ χαρις; literally, this is grace; that is, a grand proof of true grace; if a man for conscience toward God — From a pure desire of pleasing him; endure grief — Severe treatment; suffering wrongfully — The apostle here refers to those punishments which, according to the customs of that age, tyrannical masters were allowed to inflict on their servants, however contrary to justice and mercy such punishments might be.
Russell: Endure grief -- This is acceptable to God as a sacrifice of sweet incense.
Suffering wrongfully -- It is better to suffer wrongfully than to be contentious, even for our rights. Let us see to it that our sufferings are for righteousness' sake only, let us not charge God or our neighbors for sufferings due to our own faults.
How do you react to someone treating you unjustly?
How can we keep this admonition before our minds, so that we can come to the point where we patiently submit?
1Pe 2:20 TPT For what merit is it to endure mistreatment for wrongdoing? Yet if you are mistreated when you do what is right, and you faithfully endure it, this is commendable before God.
Barnes: This expresses the common feeling of our nature. We attribute no particular credit to one who submits to a just punishment even with a calm temper. We feel that it would be wrong in the highest degree for him to do otherwise. So it is when calamities are brought on a man on account of his sins. If it is seen to be the fruit of intemperance or crime, we do not feel that there is any great virtue exhibited if he bears it with a calm temper. But if he is overwhelmed with calamity when it seems to have no particular connection with his sins, or to be a punishment for any particular fault; if he suffers at the hand of man, where there is manifest injustice done him, and yet evinces a calm, submissive, and meek temper, we feel that in such cases there is eminent virtue.
Russell: And suffer -- Jesus suffered when he was doing right; and so that is what the Church is doing.
Gill: and suffer for it; reproach and persecution, by words or blows, in person or property:
ye take it patiently; without grieving and repining, or answering again, and making any returns:
Clarke: For what glory is it - It appears from this that the poor Christians, and especially those who had been converted to Christianity while in a state of slavery, were often grievously abused, they were buffeted because they were Christians, and because they would not join with their masters in idolatrous worship.
Examine yourselves and see if you need improvement in this.
1Pe 2:21 TPT In fact, you were called to live this way, because Christ also suffered in your place, leaving you his example for you to follow.
Guzik: Jesus is our example as someone who endured punishment unjustly. When He was reviled, Jesus did not revile in return, but in His sufferings, He committed Himself to the Father.
Russell: Were ye called -- The true saints must all suffer; for as Paul forewarned, we must "through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God." (Act_14:22) "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trials that shall try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you." ( 1Pe_4:12)
Christ also suffered -- The Head suffered first. The Master learned what obedience meant "by the things which he suffered." (Heb_5:8) Jesus suffered even unto death, and we are to do the same--have "fellowship with his sufferings." (Phi_3:10)
Leaving us an example -- Leaving you a copy. (Diaglott) Perfect in his example, which we should follow.
Ye should follow -- With Christ we present ourselves in harmony with everything written in God's book, to do his will even unto death. This is our privilege to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col_1:24)
His steps -- Presenting oneself a living sacrifice and faithfully carrying out the consecration vow as did Christ, until the sacrifice terminates in death. Jesus did more than render to every many his due, he sacrificed his own rights on behalf of mankind. To follow in the Lord's steps of humiliation and sacrifice, even unto death, is no light undertaking. It is the means by which we can become partakers of the divine nature with our Lord. The steps Jesus trod were steps of suffering. If we follow in the exact footsteps of another we always arrive at the same destination. We must continually lose our mental and moral likeness to the world and be more and more conformed to the image of our Lord.
Are you following the example of the Lord?
Are you living pretty comfortably?
1Pe 2:22 TPT He never sinned and he never spoke deceitfully.
Russell: Who did no sin -- While all other men are sinners by nature. "And in him is no sin." (1Jo_3:5)
Barnes: Who did no sin - Who was in all respects perfectly holy. There is an allusion here to Isa_53:9; and the sense is, that he was entirely innocent, and that he suffered without having committed any crime. In this connection the meaning is, that we are to be careful that, if we suffer, it should be without committing any crime. We should so live, as the Saviour did, as not to deserve to be punished, and thus only shall we entirely follow his example. It is as much our duty to live so as not to deserve the reproaches of others, as it is to bear them with patience when we are called to suffer them. The first thing in regard to hard treatment from others, is so to live that there shall be no just occasion for it; the next is, if reproaches come upon us when we have not deserved them, to bear them as the Saviour did. If he suffered unjustly, we should esteem it to be no strange thing that we should; if he bore the injuries done him with meekness, we should learn that it is possible for us to do it also; and should learn also that we have not the spirit of his religion unless we actually do it.
Neither was guile found in his mouth - There was no deceit, hypocrisy, or insincerity. He was in all respects what he professed to be, and he imposed on no one by any false and unfounded claim. All this has reference to the time when the Saviour was put to death; and the sense is, that though he was condemned as an impostor, yet that the charge was wholly unfounded. As in his whole life before he was perfectly sincere, so he was eminently on that solemn occasion.
Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
What comes out of your mouth?
1Pe 2:23 TPT When he was verbally abused, he did not return with an insult; when he suffered, he would not threaten retaliation. Jesus faithfully entrusted himself into the hands of God, who judges righteously.
Russell: When he was reviled -- To be reviled is to be made to appear vile, to be evil spoken of, slandered. His doctrines were disputed and he was slandered as a blasphemer. Finally they reviled him to the extent of crucifying him between two thieves.
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2Ti_3:12)
Reviled not again -- Jesus did not retaliate. When evil things were spoken of him he did not speak evil of those who did him injury. Jesus could have contradicted the Jews, telling them the Devil was working with them, etc. But he did not render evil for evil. At our Lord's trial he was charged with blasphemy, the rabble felt at liberty to abuse Jesus and show their contempt by spitting upon him and smiting him, yet he did not revile against them.
No matter how much we are reviled, we are not to revile in return; instead, we are to bless. If the person who has slandered us is in difficulty and needs help, we are to overlook altogether what he has done to us, and be just as ready to help them as any other person.
If under pressure we revile in return, and slander and backbite, we thus demonstrate our unfitness for a place in the Kingdom. We are not to attempt to retaliate upon our enemies by doing them evil, or in any manner to "get even with them." This also includes our thoughts.
Have you mastered this?
1Pe 2:24 TPT He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we would be dead to sin and live for righteousness. Our instant healing flowed from his wounding.
Guzik: With by whose stripes you were healed, Peter quotes Isa_53:5, which primarily refers to spiritual healing, but also definitely includes physical healing. The provision for our healing (both physically and spiritually) is made by the sufferings (stripes) of Jesus. The physical aspect of our healing is received in part now, but only completely with our resurrection.
iii. In context, we see that Peter’s main point is that if we are treated unjustly by a master, we don’t fear whatever harm he causes. We can be healed and restored by Jesus’ suffering for us.
Russell: Bare our sins -- Paid the penalty for our sins which became the full satisfaction of justice. The ransom for our sins has been paid by Jesus. That is, he bore the punishment of our sins there--death.
"For to this end Christ both died and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord (Master--or have authority over) both of the living and the dead." (Rom_14:9)
"And not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1Jo_2:2)
Own body on the tree -- The special sense in which Christ was made a curse for the Jew Paul has stipulated in Gal_3:13, 14. This was to hang upon a tree--the extreme penalty of the Law. (Deu_21:23)
Benson: By whose stripes ye were healed — Of your spiritual disorders: evils infinitely greater than any which the cruelty of the severest masters can bring upon you. See on Isa_53:5. “By changing his discourse from the first to the second person, the apostle addressed those slaves who might be beaten unmercifully by cruel masters; because, of all the considerations by which they could be animated to patience, the most powerful was, to put them in mind of the painful stripes with which Christ was beaten, when he was scourged by Pilate’s order, (Mat_27:26,) and to tell them, that with these stripes the wounds in their souls, occasioned by sin, were healed; wounds far more painful and deadly than those inflicted on them by their froward masters.”
Clarke: By whose stripes ye were healed - The apostle refers here to Isa_53:4-6; and he still keeps the case of these persecuted servants in view, and encourages them to suffer patiently by the example of Christ, who was buffeted and scourged, and who bore all this that the deep and inveterate wounds, inflicted on their souls by sin, might be healed.
1Pe 2:25 TPT You were like sheep that continually wandered away, but now you have returned to the true Shepherd of your lives—the kind Guardian who lovingly watches over your souls.
Barnes: For ye were as sheep going astray - Here also is an allusion to Isa_53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” The figure is plain. We were like a flock without a shepherd. We had wandered far away from the true fold, and were following our own paths. We were without a protector, and were exposed to every kind of danger. This aptly and forcibly expresses the condition of the whole race before God recovers people by the plan of salvation. A flock thus wandering without a shepherd, conductor, or guide, is in a most pitiable condition; and so was man in his wanderings before he was sought out and brought back to the true fold by the Great Shepherd.
But are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls - To Christ, who thus came to seek and save those who were lost. He is often called a Shepherd. See the notes at John 10:1-16. The word rendered “bishop,” (ἐπίσκοπος episkopos,) means “overseer.” It may be applied to one who inspects or oversees anything, as public works, or the execution of treaties; to anyone who is an inspector of wares offered for sale; or, in general, to anyone who is a superintendent. It is applied in the New Testament to those who are appointed to watch over the interests of the church, and especially to the officers of the church. Here it is applied to the Lord Jesus as the great Guardian and Superintendent of his church; and the title of universal Bishop belongs to him alone!
Have you come back to the Shepherd?