Feed the Flock

1Peter 5:1-4 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away. 

‘Elders’ [Greek: presbuteros] presbyters, bishops, pastors, and overseers of the churches In the Gospels and Acts it generally refers to the Sanhedrin (Matt. 15:2; 16:21; 21:23; 26:3; Acts 4:5, 8, 23). In the early stages of the body of Christ, elders were the ministers and deacons, or preaching elders and business elders of the local congregations (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 16:4; 20:17, 28; 21:18; 1Tim. 5:17; Tit. 1:5; Jas. 5:14). All apostles were elders (Acts 11:30; 1Pet. 5:1; 2Jn. 1:1; 3Jn. 1:1), but all elders were not apostles (Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4). The elders of Acts 20:17 were the overseers of Acts 20:28. The elders of 1Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5-10 and 1Peter 5:1-2 were preaching elders or bishops. The business elders were deacons (Acts 6:1-15). Bishops and deacons are mentioned in Philippians 1:1 and 1Timothy 3:1-13. The word presbuteros is also used of older men and women (Luke 15:25; John 8:9; Acts 4:22; 17:1-34; 1Tim. 5:2). It is used also of heavenly ranks (Rev. 4:4, 10; 5:6, 8, 11, 14; 7:11, 13; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4). It is found 68 times and is translated “elder” except in John 8:9 and Acts 2:17; 4:22.

‘Elder’ [Greek: sumpresbuteros] a fellow elder; one on the same level with yourselves. Peter was not the first pope, the prince of the apostles, or the head of the church, as is falsely claimed by false religions, because he certainly missed the opportunity here of making this clear to all believers. Five things that Peter did claim to be: A servant of Jesus Christ (2Pet. 1:1); an apostle of Jesus Christ (1Pet. 1:1); a fellow elder (1Pet. 5:1); a witness of the sufferings of Christ (1Pet. 5:1; Acts 5:32) and a partaker of the glory (1Pet. 5:1).

‘Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly’ six commands to the elders (5:2-3): Feed [with the Word of God] the flock of God, but don’t fleece them. Take oversight of the flock of God. Serve God and His flock willingly. Serve readily, not for personal gain. Do not be lords over God’s heritage. Be examples to the flock.

‘Feed the flock of God’ Peter was commanded this by Jesus Christ in person as we see in John 21:15 “Feed my lambs” and verses 16 and 17: “Feed my sheep” [Greek: bosko] to feed, tend a flock, provide pasture for, take care of, guide, lead, defend, govern, and shepherd My lambs.

‘Filthy lucre’ the Greek word aischrokerdos that means eagerness for base gain.

‘Lords over God’s heritage’ not exercising lordship or rulership over the flock that is under you, but being examples in utter humility and service. ‘Ensamples’ [Greek: tupos] example (5:3; Php. 3:17; 1Cor. 10:6, 11; 1Thess. 1:7; 2Thess. 3:9; 1Tim. 4:12); pattern (Tit. 2:7; Heb. 8:5); manner (Acts 23:25); fashion (Acts 7:44); form (Rom. 6:17); figure (Acts 7:43; Rom. 5:14); and print (John 20:25).

‘Shepherd’ Jesus Christ is the “when the chief Shepherd shall appear.” Hebrew 13:20 says: “our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep.” Ten titles of Christ: The shepherd (Gen. 49:24; Zech. 13:7; Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:27); my shepherd (man’s, Ps. 23:1); o shepherd of Israel (Ps. 80:1; Isa. 40:11; 63:11); one shepherd (Ezek. 34:23; Ezek. 37:24); My shepherd (God’s, Zech. 13:7); the shepherd of the sheep (John 10:2); the good shepherd (John 10:11, 14); great shepherd of the sheep (Heb. 13:20); the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls (2:25); the chief Shepherd (5:4).

‘Crown of glory that fades not away’ crowns are laid up for all who prove true, but possessed of none until time of reward. Ten crowns are mentioned in Scripture, of which five will be given to believers at the judgment seat of Christ (2Cor. 5:10) after the Rapture: Crown of honour (Pro. 12:4; 17:6; Est. 8:15; Job 19:9); crown of kings (2Sam. 12:30; Est. 1:11; 2:17; Rev. 19:12-16); High Priest’s crown (Ex. 29:6); a crown of pride (Isa. 28:1-5); the crown of thorns (Matt. 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2-5); crown of glory (5:4; Pro. 4:9; 16:31; Isa. 62:3); crown of righteousness (2Tim. 4:8); the crown of life (Jas. 1:12; Rev. 2:10); incorruptible crown (1Cor. 9:25); soul winner’s crown (1Thess. 2:19).

Them that Suffer

1Peter 4:15-19 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. 

‘Busybody’ the inspector of another; meddling in the affairs of others and forgetting his own (Lev. 19:16; Pro. 20:3; 2Thess. 3:11-12; 1Tim. 5:13).

Christian suffering does not consist of suffering for murder or as a thief, for being an evildoer or a busybody (4:15); or for suffering for any crime listed in Romans 1:18-32; 1Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-21.

‘Christian’ this so-often misused word means Christ-like or to be like Christ. The meaning of this definition are clearly explained in 1Peter 2:21-23 when He is given as the example for us to follow in.

‘Judgment’ [Greek: krima] meaning judgment, damnation and punishment. If the righteous are found sinning He judges them first, and if they are found righteous He delivers them from judgment (Gen. 18:23-32; 19:22; Ex. 14:13-31; Ezek. 9:1-11; etc.). The idea here is that if God will punish the righteous when they sin, He will surely punish the ungodly. If the ones who are righteous are scarcely saved, there is no possible hope of sinners being saved.

‘Let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator’ let them that suffer for well-doing endure it and commit themselves to God who is faithful to avenge all such (Heb. 10:30-31). ‘The will of God’ always refers to living for God on His moral standards alone, not those set by traditions or society, or our own opinion of what a Christian should look like, so that we can set an example through our daily lives (not preaching) for others to give them hope, thus it will always be important to live godly lives (1:16; 2:21-23; Matt. 5:48) so that we do not cause stumbling through half-truths to others (1 Cor. 10:32; 1Jn. 2:10).

Christian Suffering

1Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 

‘Fiery’ [Greek: purosis] burning. ‘Trial’ the Greek word poorosis meaning ignition, that is, (specifically) smelting (figuratively conflagration, calamity as a test) – a burning, trial.

‘But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy’ this is the 6th and last New Testament prophecy in 1Peter that is unfulfilled. Ten rewards are mentioned in Scripture for Christian suffering: Eternal consolation (2Cor. 1:7; 4:17); making Jesus known (2Cor. 4:11); life to others (2Cor. 4:12); making grace manifest (2Cor. 4:15); greater glory in heaven (2Cor. 4:17); guarantee of judgment (2Thess. 1:5); reign with Christ (2Tim. 2:12); Spirit upon us (1Pet. 4:14); glory to God (1Pet. 4:16); great joy (1Pet. 4:13-14).

‘Partakers of Christ’s sufferings’ Eight facts about Christian suffering: Suffering is not strange or unusual for Christians (4:12; 2Tim. 3:12). We should rejoice when we are partakers of the sufferings of Christ (4:13; Matt. 5:10). The greater the suffering, the greater the joy and the glory (4:13; Rom. 8:17-18). Besides the greater glory to come the Christian has the Holy Spirit upon him now to enable him to endure (4:14; Rom. 8:26-27). Christian sufferings glorify God (4:14; Rom. 8:17-18). It is an honour, not a shame, to suffer as a Christian (4:16). Though sufferings begin with Christians, they end in an eternal weight of damnation to the ungodly (4:17-18). Sufferings should be borne by Christians, in patience as in the will of God, realizing that God is always faithful to His own in their sufferings (4:19; 1Cor. 10:13). Christian suffering consist of: Persecution for righteousness (Matt. 5:10; 13:21; Mark 10:30; John 15:20); reviling and slander (4:4; Matt. 5:11-12; 10:25; Acts 13:45); false accusations (Matt. 10:17-20); rejection by people (Matt. 10:14); scourging for Christ (Matt. 10:17); hatred by the world (Matt. 10:22; John 15:18-21); hatred by relatives (Matt. 10:21-36); martyrdoms (Matt. 10:28; Acts 7:58); temptations (Luke 8:13; Jas. 1:2-16); shame for His name (Acts 5:41); imprisonments (Acts 4:3; 5:18; 12:4); tribulations (Acts 14:22; 2Thess. 1:4); stoning (Acts 14:19; 2Cor. 11:25); beatings (Acts 16:23; 2Cor. 11:24-25); being a spectacle to people (1Cor. 4:9); misunderstanding, necessities, defamation, and despising (1Cor. 4:10-13); trouble, affliction, distresses, tumults, labours, watching, fasting, and evil reports (2Cor. 6:8-10; 11:26-28); reproaches (4:14; Heb. 13:13); trials (1:7; 4:12); satanic opposition (Eph. 4:27; 6:12); groaning and travailing because of the curse (Rom. 8:17-26).

As Good Stewards

1Peter 4:8-11 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

‘Fervent’ [Greek: ektenes] earnest; zealous and abundant. Translated fervent (4:8) and without ceasing (Acts 12:5; 1Thess. 5:17; Rom. 1:9). ‘Charity’ not that our love will cause God to pass up or pardon the sins of others, but that it will enable us to pass up the faults of others and not hold grudges ourselves.

‘Grudging’ [Greek: gongusmos] grudging (4:9) and murmuring (John 7:12; Acts 6:1; Php. 2:14). Do nothing merely because it is commanded, but do it from love to God and man (1Cor. 10:31).

‘Gift’ [Greek: charisma] a gift or an ability given by the Holy Spirit through grace (1Tim. 4:14). Every man is to minister through his daily walk-of-life to others according to the ability he receives from God (4:10-11; Rom. 12:3-8; 1Cor. 12:4-11).

‘Manifold grace of God’ seven manifold things are mentioned in the Word: God’s manifold works (Ps. 104:24); man’s manifold transgressions (Amos 5:12); man’s manifold temptations (1:6); God’s manifold grace (4:10); God’s manifold wisdom (Eph. 3:10); God’s manifold mercies (Neh. 9:19, 27); man’s manifold reward (Luke 18:30).

‘Oracles’ [Greek: logion] a divine answer to a question. It always implies a speech purely celestial, in which man has no part (Acts 7:38; Rom. 3:2; Heb. 5:12). Heathen gave the highest respect to oracles from their gods. They held them as sacred and inviolable and did scarcely anything in business, war, making peace, or making laws without an oracle. How much more should Christians obey the Bible which they hold to be the oracles of God! Heathen gave many presents to their priests to get an oracle that could be interpreted either way a matter happened, but Christians have an infallible revelation in all affairs of life – and it is free.

‘Let him do it as of the ability which God gives’ let him not try to minister beyond his own ability, or imitate the ability of another (2Cor. 10:11-18).

Arm Yourselves

1Peter 4:1-4 Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you

‘Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind’ put on the same armour of forgiveness, meekness, gentleness, and complete self-control that Christ had. By exercising these qualities, we enable ourselves to withstand the enemy’s attacks that can come through others or through circumstances on many levels.

‘He that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin’ he that has mortified the flesh has ceased from sin (Rom. 8:12-13; Col. 3:5-10).

‘The will of God’ always refer to living for God on His moral standards alone, not those set by traditions or society, or our own opinion of what a Christian should look like, so that we can set an example through our daily lives (not preaching) for others to give them hope, thus it will always be important to live godly lives (1:16; 2:21-23; Matt. 5:48) so that we do not cause stumbling through half-truths to others (1 Cor. 10:32; 1Jn. 2:10).

‘Time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles’ this is a picture of Gentile life and indicates that Peter is writing also to the Gentiles and not only to Jews.

‘Walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelling, banqueting, and abominable idolatries’ eight sins of Jews and Gentiles are mentioned here: Lasciviousness [Greek: aselgeia] every form of lewdness and impurity. Lusts [Greek: epithumia] strong or vehement desire (see Col. 3:5). Excess of wine [Greek: oinophlugia] to be hot or to boil; to be aflame with wine. Drinking of fermented (old wine) is a sin (Pro. 20:1; 21:17; 23:29-25; Isa. 5:11-12, 22; 1Tim. 3:2-3; Tit. 1:7) because it contains alcohol and any form of poisoning of the body is sinful and no sin ever added to the glory of God. We are commanded in the Word in this regard and our bodies are supposed to be the temple of God and we are not allowed to bring damage to it in any way [by any food, drink or outside factors] and we cannot neglect it in any way (1Cor. 6:19-20). Revelling [Greek: komoi] lascivious feasts, boisterous festivity, singing and drinking in honour of idols. Banqueting [Greek: potois] wine feasts or drinking matches. Abominable idolatries – at idol feasts the most impure, obscene, and perverted orgies, and abominable rites were practised. Excess of riot [Greek: asotia] flood of profligacy, sweeping away all rule, order, and restraint before it. Speaking evil of you [Greek: blasphemeo] blaspheming God and man. Translated “speak evil of” (4:4, 14; Rom. 14:16; 1Cor. 10:30; Tit. 3:2; 2Pet. 2:2, 10, 12; Jude 1:8, 10); “revile” (Matt. 27:39); “rail on” (Mark 15:29; Luke 23:39); “report slanderously” (Rom. 3:8); “defame” (1Cor. 4:13); “speak blasphemy” (Matt. 26:65); “blasphemously” (Luke 22:65); “blasphemer” (Acts 19:37); and “blaspheme” (Matt. 9:3; Mark 3:28-29; Luke 12:10; John 10:36; Acts 13:45; 18:6; 26:11; Rom. 2:24; 1Tim. 1:20; 6:1; Tit. 2:5; Jas. 2:7; Rev. 13:6; 16:9, 11, 21).

‘Run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you’ they marvel how you can renounce these fleshly gratifications for something spiritual that you cannot see. Worldly people are always offended when we don’t eat or drink with them and will always comment on this matter because of the guilt that comes from their conscious when their thoughts accuse them (Rom. 2:14-15). Christians ought not to mingle or socialize with people who are not of one mind with regards to what God’s Word says (1Cor.5:9-13; 1Jn. 2:15-17), because we are not to cause offence towards others (Php. 1:10). Only the Holy Spirit convicts of sin (John 16:7-11), no person can successfully convict another person of what is right or wrong. If people stop sinning because of our word, it will never be for the right reasons and they will never be purified in heart by being equipped with the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22; Php. 1:6).

A Good Conscience

1Peter 3:19-22 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. 

‘By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison’ by the Holy Spirit anointing He preached to the angels in Tartarus while His body was in the grave (2Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6-7).

‘Spirits in prison’ ten proofs these spirits are fallen angels: They sinned in the days of Noah (Gen. 6:4). If these were human souls it would not specify only those who sinned in the days of Noah. Human beings are never called “spirits.” Where human spirits are referred to it is always qualified and clarified by speaking of them as “spirits of men” (Heb. 12:23); “spirits of all flesh” (Num. 16:22; 27:16); and “spirits of the prophets” (1Cor. 14:32). People have spirits, but they are not spirits. Where the word “spirits” is used without such qualifications it refers to spirit beings (Ps. 104:4; Heb. 1:7, 14). There is a special prison for angels that sinned before the flood (2Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6-7). The Greek word for “preached” is kerusso meaning to proclaim as a public crier, or to announce something whether it be good or bad. The gospel is never preached to human beings after they die, and there would be no special message for only the one generation of Noah’s day for God is impartial. Human beings are appointed to die and after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27), not more preaching intended for their salvation. There is no special prison for human beings who sinned in Noah’s day and another prison for all other human beings who have sinned. All go to Sheol/Hades until the judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). Christ made no announcement to human souls in hell that we know about. He did liberate the righteous souls taking them to heaven with Him when He ascended on high (Eph. 4:8). He left the angels in hell until the judgment (2Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6-7). Christ Himself – not Enoch, Noah, or some other man – went to preach to these spirits. This could only be while He went to Sheol/Hades (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27). Whoever the spirits are they were in prison when Christ preached to them (3:19). All these facts indicate that they were fallen angels and not men.

‘Wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water’ into which ark eight souls were saved by [Greek: dia, through] water, or saved from drowning in the flood by being in the ark (Gen. 6:9-10, 18; 7:7; 8:18). The water did not save them, but the ark did.

‘Saved by water’ they were not saved in the sense of their souls being saved from sin, but saved from drowning in the flood.

‘Like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us’ the “like figure” of baptism in water also saves us. It was the ark that saved them from drowning in the flood. So baptism in water does not save the soul, but faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – that which baptism is a figure of – does save the soul (Rom. 6:3-5; 1Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 1:14; Col. 1:20-22). A mere figure can have no power to save, but the reality of the figure can. Peter, lest some should trust in water baptism to save the soul, makes it very clear that baptism does not save one from the filth or moral depravity of the flesh. He shows it to be only the answer of a good conscience toward God, one that has been made clean by faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is clear here that at baptism the conscience is already supposed to be good and clean and baptism merely answers to it. As the waters of the flood could not have saved these eight persons had they not made use of the ark, so the water of baptism does not save the soul of anyone, but testifies figuratively to the salvation that comes by faith (Rom. 1:16; 3:24-25; 10:9-10).

‘Filth of the flesh’ the Greek word rhupos, the root word of rhuparia, rhuparos, and rhupoo, meaning moral filth and depravity (Jas. 1:21; 2:2; Rev. 22:11).

‘Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God’ this is His rightful place by virtue of His achievements and exaltation to original glory (John 17:5; Eph. 1:20-23; Php. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:3-4). After Christ made His supreme sacrifice His work for sins was finished. He could then sit down and wait to see His work completed in the lives of believers who would be freed from sin and delivered from their enemies (Heb. 1:3; 10:12-14; 12:2; Ps. 110:4).

Suffer for Righteousness’ Sake

1Peter 3:14-18 But and if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit 

‘Suffer for righteousness’ sake,’ all sufferings for doing right will work to your good (Rom. 8:28), providing you take the right attitude (Matt. 5:10; Luke 6:22-23). ‘Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled’ quoted from Isaiah 8:12-13.

‘Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts’ another proof that sanctification means to separate from a profane to a sacred purpose. We are to give God His rightful place; hold Him in reverence.

‘Good conscience’ one can always have a good conscience if he maintains good behaviour. ‘Conscience’ [Greek: suneidesis] joint knowledge of God and man; knowledge of our acts, state, or character as to right and wrong; the faculty, power, or principle which decides the lawfulness of our actions and affections, and approves or condemns them; the moral faculty or sense; consciousness of actions; the eye, judge, and guide of the inner man. Twelve kinds of conscience are described in the Word: Awakened (John 8:9); seared (1Tim. 4:2); purged (Heb. 9:9, 14; 10:2); pure (Acts 24:16; 1Tim. 3:9; 2Tim. 1:3); weak (1Cor. 8:7, 12, 13); defiled (Tit. 1:15); witnessing (Rom. 2:12-15; 9:1; 2Cor. 1:12); good (Acts 23:1; 1Tim. 1:5, 19; 1Pet. 2:19;  3:16, 21; Heb. 13:18); convicting or healthy (Matt. 27:3); satisfied (1Cor. 10:25-29); evil (Heb. 10:22); perfect (Heb. 9:9).

‘Conversation’ [Greek: anastrophe] behaviour or manner of life; the whole conduct of life in domestic and public relations. Always translated “conversation” (1:15, 18; 2:12; 3:1, 2, 16; Gal. 1:13; Eph. 4:22; 1Tim. 4:12; Heb. 13:7; Jas. 3:13; 2Pet. 2:7; 3:11).

‘That you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing’ six things to do in view of suffering: Be happy in suffering (3:14; Matt. 5:10). Be not afraid of man (3:14; Matt. 10:28). Be not troubled by trouble (3:14). Take suffering as unto God and hold Him sacred in your heart (3:15). Be ready to give an account of your life, conduct, and hope (3:15). Maintain a good conscience by good behaviour (3:16).

‘Christ also has once suffered for sins …’ eight facts about Christ (3:18-22): He suffered (3:18); He was put to death (3:18); He was resurrected by the Spirit (3:18); He went to Sheol/Hades (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:27); He preached to fallen angels while in Sheol/Hades (3:19; 2Pet 2:4; Jude 1:6-7); He ascended to heaven (3:22); He sits on God’s right hand (3:22; Eph. 1:20; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 12:2); He exalted above all others (3:22; Eph. 1:20-23; Php. 2:9-11; Col. 1:15-18).

‘Once suffered for sins’ three purposes of Christ’s sufferings: He suffered for sins (2:24; Gal. 1:4; Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:14; 1Cor. 15:3). He suffered for the unjust (Rom. 5:6-8). He suffered to bring us to God (Col. 1:20-22; 2:14-17; 2Cor. 5:14-21).

‘Death in the flesh’ He died in the flesh but did not die in the spirit, proving immortality of the spirit (3:4). Only the body dies at the time of physical death. This is caused by the soul and spirit leaving the body (Jas. 2:26). The body returns to dust and the soul and spirit of the righteous go to heaven to await the resurrection (2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11). The soul and spirit of the wicked go to hell to await the resurrection (Luke 16:19-31; Isa. 14:9; Rev. 20:11-15). The soul and spirit are spiritual and immortal. They cannot go back to dust.

‘Quickened by the Spirit’ His dead body was resurrected by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11).

Let Him Refrain

1Peter 3:8-13 Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called, that you should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good?

‘Be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous’ twelve commands are given here for Christians: Be one of mind (3:8; Eph. 4:1-3). Have compassion on one another (3:8). Love as brethren (3:8; 1Cor. 13:1-13). Be pitiful (tender-hearted, 3:8). Be courteous (friendly, 3:8). Not rendering evil for evil (3:9). Not railing for railing (3:9). Be a blessing to others (3:9). Control the tongue (3:10; Jas. 3:1-18). Do not be deceptive (3:10). Shun evil and do good (3:11). Seek peace and pursue it (3:11). ‘Be one of mind’ to take the Word of God as the final authority and not have one’s own opinion or ideas of what you think He could have meant.

‘For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile’ quoted from Psalm 34:12-16 where eighteen conditions of a long life are given: Freedom from fear (Ps. 34:4); quickening from God (Ps. 34:5); boldness – freedom from shame; freedom from troubles (Ps. 34:6); divine deliverance (Ps. 34:7); partaking of God’s life (Ps. 34:8); absolute trust in God; fear of God (Ps. 34:7-9); freedom from want (Ps. 34:9-10); seeking God first (Ps. 34:10, 15; Matt. 6:33); godly teaching (Ps. 34:11; 2Tim. 3:15); control of tongue (Ps. 34:12-13); godliness – departing from evil [sin] (Ps. 34:14-16); consecration to doing good (Ps. 34:14); seeking and pursuing peace; brokenness and humility (Ps. 34:18); salvation of the soul (Ps. 34:22); prosperity – freedom from worry.

Three warnings about speaking evil: Commands against it (Ex. 22:28; Eph. 4:25-31); shortens life (3:9-10; Ps. 34:13); brings sure judgment (Ps. 12:3-4; Matt. 12:36-37; 1Cor. 6:10). Death and life are greatly determined by the power of the tongue, and he who uses this power rightly shall live because of it (Pro. 18:21).

‘For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil’ three blessings are noted here for the righteous: God’s eyes are over them; He hears their prayers and defeats their enemies.

‘But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil’ God will look upon the wicked to abhor and to punish them for their sins.

‘And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good?’ No one can harm us when we are IN Christ – in union with Him. ‘Followers’ [Greek: mimetes] imitator – we must be imitators of Christ: live as He lived while on earth (1Thess. 1:6: 2:14; 1Pet. 2:21-23; 1Jn. 2:6).

The Hidden Man

1Peter 3:4-7 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters you are, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 

‘Hidden man of the heart’ this is the inner man of Romans 7:22; 2Corinthians 4:16 and Ephesians 3:16 where it refers to the spirit of man which knows (1Cor. 2:11; 2Cor. 4:16; Eph. 3:16) and which is immortal (3:4). It also takes in the soul, that is, the seat of the feelings, emotions, and desires, for Paul not only knew and willed to do the will of God, but he delighted in it (cp. Ps. 1:2).

‘Is not corruptible’ [Greek: aphthartos] translated “not corruptible” of man’s soul and spirit (3:4); “incorruptible” of man’s crown (1Cor. 9:25), of the future resurrected body (1Cor. 15:52), of our heavenly inheritance (1:4), and of the Word of God (1:23); “uncorruptible” of God (Rom. 1:23); and “immortal” of God (1Tim. 1:17). Thus, we have definite proof that the inner man is just as immortal as God. People have immortality of soul and spirit and will have immortality in body in the resurrection (1Cor. 15:51-58).

Twenty-five proofs are given in Scripture of the immortality of man’s soul as we can see from the following quotes: the hidden man of the heart is not corruptible (is immortal, 1Pet. 3:4). Hell from beneath is moved to meet thee at thy coming (Isa. 14:9-11). They have eternal life (John 3:15-16; 6:54, 58; 17:2-3). They are passed from death unto life (John 5:24; 6:40, 47). He shall live forever (John 6:51) and they shall never perish (John 10:28). They shall never die (John 11:25-26). Man is not able to kill the soul (Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5). There appeared Moses talking with Him (Matt. 17:3; cp. Deut. 34:6). Their worm dies not (Mark 9:43-49). In hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments (Luke 16:19-31). All live unto Him (Luke 20:37-38). Though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day … The things which are not seen (the soul and spirit) are eternal (2Cor. 4:16-18). To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2Cor. 5:8). To depart (die, the inner man leaving the body, Jas. 2:26) is to be with Christ (Php. 1:21-24). Whether we wake (live) or sleep (die), we shall live with Him (1Thess. 5:10). You are come unto the spirits of just men and made perfect (Heb. 12:22-23). The souls of the dead live according to God in the spirit (1Pet. 4:6). He that does the will of God abides forever (1Jn. 2:17). We know we have passed from death unto life because we love (1Jn. 3:14-15). God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1Jn. 5:11). He that has the Son has life (1Jn. 2:24-25; 5:12). Your heart shall live forever (Ps. 22:26). The path of the just shines more and more unto the perfect day (Pro. 4:18). I saw under the altar the souls . . . they cried, saying (Rev. 6:9-11).

‘Even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit’ meekness so as not to be provoked by others and a quiet spirit so as not to provoke others. ‘Of great price’ all the ornaments placed on the heads of all females are of no value compared to the meek and quiet spirit. One is passing; the other is eternal. Proverbs 11:22 states: As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. a jewel in the swine’s snout is as becoming as a beautiful woman who lacks moral discretion.

‘Whose daughters you are, as long as you do well’ as Abraham is the father of all that believe (Rom. 4:12, 16), so Sarah is here spoken of as being the mother of many daughters who walk in her footsteps. ‘Afraid with any amazement’ fear of detection for infidelity. If you do well, being faithful wives, as Sarah, you will not live under fear of being found guilty of infidelities.

‘Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife’ two commands are given here for husbands: Likewise – be just as faithful to your wives, as you want them to be to you; give them no excuse for sin and give honour to the wife, using your superior strength in protecting her and as being heirs together of life.

‘Weaker vessel’ even though more beautiful, they are delicate and frail.

‘That your prayers be not hindered’ many prayers are hindered because of the unfaithfulness of husbands and wives. Husbands must make sure they honour their own wives by giving them the necessary honour and support as to not being cut off from above (Isa. 59:1-2).