Hereunto Were You Called

1Peter 2:21-23 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously 

‘For even hereunto were you called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps’ Christians are called to suffer and endure hardships, while being without sin (2:22; 1Jn. 2:6), thus following Christ (2Tim. 3:12; John 15:18-21). If you do not know your calling in life: all men were called to walked with God (have a relationship), and to represent Him on earth by living as Christ did on earth so that others can be saved by seeing the life of Christ in us (Eph. 4; Php. 3; 1Jn. 2:6).

‘Example’ a seven-fold example for us to follow, is given of Christ: Sufferings (2:21); sinlessness (2:22); guilelessness (2:22); love when being mocked (2:23); patience in threatening (2:23); resignation to God (2:23); and living in righteousness – that means without sin (2:24; Rom. 6; 1Jn. 3). These are the example according to which a proclaimed Christian should live; you cannot set your own standards for a true believer, but must follow what is commanded in God’s Word. The Word was not given for as to form our own opinion, religion and ideas of ‘what God wants’ the Word was given as instruction with human and godly examples of what exactly to do to live in obedience to God in all things.

‘Steps’ [Greek: ichnos] track or footstep. Only used of: Abraham (Rom. 4:12); Paul and Titus (2Cor. 12:18) and Jesus Christ (2:21).

‘Who did no sin’ Christ was the only sinless human being that ever lived. Mary was a sinner, for she rejoiced in God, her Saviour (Luke 1:47). There is no hint in Scripture that she had an immaculate conception. If she did have, then her parents had to be sinless, and their parents, etc. back to Adam. On the contrary, all men are born in sin aside from Christ, for He is the only one without a human father (Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-21). The reasons Christ have sinless flesh: He had no fall and was therefore sinless; He did not submit to satan and to his spirit and sinful nature (Eph. 2:2; John 8:44; 1Jn. 3:8). He came from the woman but was not of the seed of man (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:32-35; Rom. 8:3; Gal. 4:4; Php. 2:5-11; John 1:14; 1Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:9-18). Man is recognized as the head of the race in all Scripture (Gen. 2:20-22; 2Cor. 11:3; Rom. 5:12-21). The iniquity of man, not woman, was passed as a curse upon children (Ex. 20:5; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9; Jer. 31:29-30; Ezek. 18:2-4). Mary was merely the means of God in bringing His own Son into a human body. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, not by man who could not produce sinless offspring. God is holy and cannot produce sinful offspring. This is according to the law of reproduction in Genesis 1:22-28. Thus by means of a woman, God could send Christ in the likeness of the flesh controlled by sin, and yet not of sinful flesh controlled by sin and satan (2:22).

‘Neither was guile found in his mouth’ the 5th and last Old Testament prophecy in 1Peter (2:22; Isa. 53:9). ‘Reviled’ He did not rail on His tormenters or threaten them, but committed His cause to the righteous Judge who will always do right (Gen. 18:25). Four things are noted that Christ did not do: He did not sin (2:22); He did not use guile to cover up (2:22); He did not rail on His enemies (2:23), and He did not threaten His enemies (2:23). Four things are noted that Christ did: He suffered as our example (2:21); He committed His cause to God (2:23); He bore our sins in His own body (2:24); He submitted to stripes to heal men (2:24; Isa. 53:4-6; Matt. 8:16-17).

Endure Grief

1Peter 2:18-20 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when you be buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 

‘Be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward’ three commands are given to servants (all of us serving in work and at home): Be subject to masters with fear, not to the good ones only (2:18). Suffer wrongs patiently (2:19-20) and follow Christ’s example in suffering for righteousness (2:21).

‘Froward’ the Greek word skolios translated froward (the contrary, 1Pet. 2:18); untoward (i.e., stubborn, Acts 2:40); and crooked (Luke 3:5; Php. 2:15). Your time belongs to your master. If he wastes your time, let him answer for it.

‘For conscience toward God endures grief, suffering wrongfully’ 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). 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).

‘For what glory is it, if, when you be buffered for your faults, you shall take it patiently?’ there is no honour in suffering with patience when guilty of wrongdoing because the honour lies in not to transgress at all. ‘But if, when you do well and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God’ if we do, however, suffer for no wrong-doing, we should do it with patience, for this is the attitude Christ had when crucified (2:21-23).

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).

Submit Yourselves

1Peter 2:13-17 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 

‘Submit yourselves’ Be subject, as in Romans 13:1-7. Christians commanded to obey human laws and civil rulers as long as they do not transgress the laws of God. Ten duties of citizens are required: To be subject to civil government (2:13-17; Rom. 13:1; Tit. 3:1); to be afraid to disobey civil rulers (Rom. 13:3; Pro. 24:21); to do good (Rom. 13:4; Tit. 3:1); to pay taxes (Rom. 13:1-7; Matt. 22:17-21); to render dues to all people (Rom. 13:7); to honour civil rulers (2:13-17; Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 23:5); to pray for civil rulers (1Tim. 2:1-2); to obey civil laws (Rom. 13:1-7; Ezr. 7:26); to do not curse rulers (Eccl. 10:20); to work for peace (Rom. 12:18).

In God’s plan He has determined that human governments shall exist to help Him carry on moral government and enforce moral laws. Even though they are appointed by God, He is not responsible for their acts, which is mainly evil and selfish. If they get out of line He will judge them, as He will all others. Some facts about human governments: They were instituted by God (2:13-17; Gen. 9:1-7; Rom. 13:1-6). Their purpose was to execute criminals and enforce law and order among people (2:13-17; Gen. 9:6; Isa. 11:4-9; 65:20; Dan. 2:21; 4:17-25; 5:21; Rom. 13:1-6). Human governments, are not founded upon the arbitrary will of God, but upon the needs of humanity in securing their highest good.

‘Ordinance’ the Greek word ktisis, always translated “creature” or “creation” except here and Hebrew 9:11. It means not only to be subject to every human ordinance, but also to every human creature that has any authority in government. The Jews thought it was unlawful to obey any ruler who wasn’t Jewish.

‘For the punishment of evildoers’ this is the purpose of human government and civil rulers, and it is only right that all good people cooperate to put lawlessness down.

‘So is the will of God, that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men’ when Christians obey the eight commands for pilgrims, they not only do the will of God, “but put to silence” the enemies of Christianity. The eight commands for pilgrims are: Abstain from fleshly lusts (2:11); live honest lives before men (2:12); submit to human civil rulers (2:13-15); be free, but live godly (2:16); honour all men (2:17); love the brotherhood (2:17); fear God (2:17), and honour the king (2:17).

‘Silence’ [Greek: phimoo] translated “put to silence” (2:15; Matt. 22:34); “be speechless” (Matt. 22:12); “hold one’s peace” (Mark 1:25; Luke 4:35); “be still” (Mark 4:39); and “to muzzle” (1Cor. 9:9; 1Tim. 5:18).

‘Ignorance’ [Greek: agnosia] translated “ignorance” (2:15) and “not knowledge” (1Cor. 15:34). This rightly pictures foolish men who do not seem to have intelligence enough to accept Christianity (cp. Ps. 14:1).

‘Foolish’ [Greek: aphron] meaning senseless; witless; crazed or silly.

‘As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God’ Jews considered themselves servants to no one but God. They used this doctrine for a cloak of maliciousness to justify their many rebellions against Rome and other nations. Peter warned them to be subject to civil rulers in all lands proving they were true servants of God.

‘Honour all men’ Romans 13:7 says: “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Withhold nothing from civil government or its lawful officers that is required of you to pay. Pay taxes, customs, fear, and honour to all people over you in public life.

‘Brotherhood’ this means all true Christians in the one family of God (Eph. 3:6, 14-15) who represents the male (Heb. 2:11-12) body of Christ.

‘Fear God’ – fear [have respect] God who gave these commands lest He punish you for disobedience.

‘Honour the king’ honour the emperor or the highest civil ruler, for human government came from God (2:13-17; Rom. 13:1-7) even though the rulers are of darkness (Eph. 6:12).

Abstain from Fleshly Lusts

1Peter 2:11-12 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 

‘Strangers and pilgrims’ they were the elect or converted Jews of the dispersion (1:2). Jews lived in all lands and in every city of Europe, Asia, and Africa (Acts 2:5-9; 26:6). They maintained their own laws and synagogues remaining separate from all other peoples.

‘Pilgrims’ eight commands are given here for pilgrims: Abstain from fleshly lusts (2:11); live honest lives before men (2:12); submit to human civil rulers (2:13-15); be free, but live godly (2:16); honour all men (2:17); love the brotherhood [fellow Christians representing the body of Christ] (2:17); fear God (2:17) and honour the king [country leader] (2:17).

‘Abstain from fleshly lusts’ studying some of the sins that damn the soul we must look at the following ten: (1) Evil thoughts include evil surmising, imaginations, devising, wanton, lustful, lascivious thoughts – any mind activity not brought to the obedience of Christ as in 2Corinthians 10:4. Examples of evil thoughts: General wickedness (Gen. 6:5; Ps. 64:5-6; Isa. 59:7; 65:2), jealousy – hatred (Gen. 50:20), evading responsibility (Deut. 15:9), false witnessing (Deut. 19:15-21), factless decisions (Jdg. 15:2), murder and rape (Jdg. 20:5), surmising – judging (1Sam. 1:13), plotting to kill (1Sam. 18:25 Neh. 6:2; Est. 3:6), covetousness (2Chron. 32:1; Ezek. 38:10-12; Luke 12:15-21), pride (Est. 6:6; Ps. 10:4), evil imaginations (Job 21:27; 2Cor. 10:4-7), false security (Ps. 49:11), vanity (Ps. 94:11; 119:113; Jer. 4:14), foolishness (Pro. 24:9), cursing rulers (Eccl. 10:20), worry (Matt. 6:25-34; Luke 12:11-26), false accusations (Matt. 9:3-4; 12:24-25; Luke 5:21-23; 11:17), pride in outward religion (Matt. 15:1-20; Mark 7:1-22; Luke 6:7-8), self-exaltation (Luke 9:46-48), wanting God’s power for gain and outward show (Acts 8:18-24), religious zeal without knowledge (Acts 26:9-18), pride over human wisdom (1Cor. 3:18-21), partiality (Jas. 2:1-4), and unbelief – doubt (Luke 24:38). (2) Adulteries are unlawful sexual relations between men and women, single or married (Matt. 5:32; 15:19; Mark 7:21; John 8:3; Gal. 5:19). (3) Fornications is the same as adultery besides all manner of other unlawful relations (Matt. 5:32). (4) Murders – to kill; to spoil or mar the happiness of another; hatred (Matt. 15:18; 1Jn. 3:15). (5) Thefts – taking from others that which is not yours (Eph. 4:28). (6) Covetousness is forbidden in God’s Word (Matt. 6:19-21; Rom. 13:9; Eph. 5:3; Heb. 13:5; 1Jn. 2:15-17). Hatred of it is one qualification of godly leaders, civil and religious (Ex. 18:21; 1Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7; 1Pet. 5:2). It will damn the soul (1Cor. 5:11; Eph. 5:3-5; 1Tim. 6:9-11; 2Pet. 2:3, 14). It must be killed out entirely (Col. 3:2-6). (7) Wickedness – known characteristics of the wicked are: They seek the destruction of others (Ps. 35:19); they are enemies to the righteous and hope for their destruction (Ps. 35:25); they hate without cause and plan deceitful acts, and they gloat over the hurt of others (Ps. 35:26). (8) Deceit is falsehood (Ps. 119:118); (9) Lasciviousness is wanton desires, sinful lusts and the promoting or partaking of that which tends to produce lewd emotions, anything tending to foster sex sin and lust. That is why many worldly pleasures have to be avoided by Christians – so that lasciviousness may not be committed. (10) An evil eye, meaning an evil, covetous, envious, and corrupt desire and heart that are never satisfied (Pro. 23:6-7; 27:20; Eccl. 1:8; 1Jn. 2:16). An “evil eye” portrays: Hardness of heart (Deut. 15:9); utter depravity (Deut. 28:54-57); immorality (Job 24:15; 2Pet. 2:14; Isa. 3:16; Ezek. 6:9); covetousness (Pro. 28:22); darkness (Matt. 6:22-23; Luke 11:34; John 12:40; Acts 26:18); discontent – murmuring (Matt. 20:15); lusts (1Jn. 2:16); rebellion (Matt. 13:15); blasphemy (Ex. 20:7); pride (Ps. 101:5); foolishness, recklessness and thoughtlessness (Mark 7:21).

‘War against the soul’ [Greek: strateuomai] to serve as a soldier; to be drawn up in battle array either to kill or take captive. Fleshly lusts will do both if they are not conquered (Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 1:29-32; 1Cor. 6:9).

‘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). ‘Among the Gentiles’ what Peter writes to Christians applies to both Jews and Gentiles.

‘Evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God’ at first, the heathen made no distinction between Jews and Christians. And since Jews were so hated by the Gentiles, Christians needed to walk very godly to prove they weren’t Jews, even though many of them were Jewish by nationality.

‘In the day of visitation’ in the day they’re brought to Christ through your lives of suffering and by your good works.

A Stone of Stumbling

1Peter 2:7-10 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 

‘Stone of stumbling …’ this is the 3rd Old Testament prophecy in 1 Peter (1:8; Isa. 8:14). The reasons why the Jews stumbled at Christ: Because He did not come as a worldly prince to deliver them from the Romans (John 11:48; Acts1:7). Because He was a poor man having no appeal to worldly people (2Cor. 8:9; John 15:19-23; 17:14-16).

Then we have the reasons why the Jews killed Jesus: His kingship (Matt. 2:2-3, 16; John 18:33-40; 19:12-22); for telling the truth (Luke 4:21-29; John 8:40); for healing on the sabbath (Matt. 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; John 5:16; 9:16); out of jealousy (Matt. 26:3-4; 27:18; Mark 14:1; 15:10; Luke 22:2; John 11:48); because of their ignorance (Matt. 26:64-66; Mark 14:62-64; John 12:40; Acts 3:17); to fulfil prophecy (Luke 13:33-35; John 12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11, 28, 36-37; Acts 2:22-36; 3:18); because He claimed Sonship (John 5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7); because of their unbelief (John 5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38); He claimed to be God (John 8:53-59; 10:33; cp. John 1:1-2; Heb. 1:5-14); for fear of losing their authority (John 11:46-53; 12:10-11, 19).

‘Being disobedient’ this is what made them stumble. Anyone who obeys God will not stumble at Christ. ‘Also they were appointed’ this simply means that people are appointed to stumble if they are determined to be disobedient. God did not choose them to stumble or be disobedient. This was their choice (Matt. 13:15).

Ten symbols of the Messiah are given: A foundation stone (Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20); a tried stone (Matt. 21:42-44; Acts 4:11); a precious corner stone (2:4-8); a sure foundation (1Cor. 3:11); a smitten rock (Ps. 78:16; Num. 20:8-11; 1Cor. 10:4); head stone of the corner (Ps. 118:22); rejected stone (Ps. 118:22; Acts 4:11); stumbling stone (Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:32-33); a living stone (2:4); a rock (stone) of offense (2:8; Isa.8:14).

‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, a peculiar people’ Four things about Jewish Christians: A chosen generation (cp. Deut. 7:6); a royal priesthood (cp. Ex. 19:6); an holy nation (cp. Ex. 19:6); a peculiar people, the Greek word peripoiesis meaning purchased, not peculiar as in dress, speech, or manner of life (cp. Deut. 7:6)

‘Praises’ [Greek: arête] only translated praise here, but virtue in Philippians 4:8 and 2Peter 1:3, 5. The word refers to virtuous thoughts, feelings or actions. The virtues Christians are to show before men are the perfections of wisdom, knowledge, justice, truth, love, patience, holiness, goodness, grace, joy, peace, faith, and other attributes and powers of the Divine Trinity. These virtues are to be demonstrated by Christians to angels and men (1:12; 1Cor. 4:9; Eph. 3:9-10) ‘Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy’ this is the 4th Old Testament prophecy in 1Peter (2:10; Hos. 1:9-10; 2:23) describing the mercy the Jews have obtained through Christ.

As Lively Stones

1Peter 2:5-6 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded. 

‘You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood’ three things Christians are: Living stones, because of being in the Living Stone (2:4-5; 2Cor. 5:17-18); a spiritual house (Eph. 2:18-22; 1Cor. 12:13-28; Rom. 12:4-5); An holy priesthood (2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:4-6)

‘Offer up spiritual sacrifices’ the sacrifices this priesthood offers are spiritual (Rom. 7:14). There are ten spiritual sacrifices mentioned in the Word: Spiritual people offering themselves (Rom. 12:1-2; 1Cor. 2:15; 3:1; Gal. 6:1); spiritual services (1Cor. 2:4; 9:11; 14:12; 2Cor. 3:6); songs (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16); praises (1Pet. 2:9; Heb. 13:15-16); conduct (Rom. 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16, 25); personal faith (2Cor. 4:13-18); wisdom and knowledge (Col. 1:9); personal love (Col. 1:8); faithfulness (Php. 1:27; Rom. 1:9); prayer and supplications (Eph. 6:18). Out of the spirit (thoughts) we serve God with our free wills and a clear mind, not out of the soul where-from all passions originate that last as long as the ‘mood’ does. God is a Spirit being and when someone worships Him, it must be in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

‘Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded’ this is the first Old Testament prophecy in 1Peter (2:6; Isa. 28:16). The foundation of the body of Christ was to be laid in Jerusalem. There it was laid and there Christ suffered and died for the sins of the whole world (Matt. 23:37-39; Luke 13:33). There the Holy Spirit fell upon believers and the first outpour of the Holy Spirit took place after the death of Christ took place (Acts1:8; 2:1-8:1). ‘Chief corner stone’ this is the 2nd Old Testament prophecy in 1Peter (2:7; Ps. 118:22).

The twelve-fold stoneship of the Messiah in the Word: The stone of Israel (Gen. 49:24); the stone of stumbling (2:8; Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:33); the foundation stone (Isa. 28:16; Matt. 16:18; 1Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:20); a tried stone (Isa. 28:16); a precious cornerstone (2:4, 6-7; Isa. 28:16); a sure stone (Isa. 28:16); a rejected stone (2:4, 7-8; Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11); a living stone (2:4); a chosen stone (2:4); a chief cornerstone (2:6); an elect (chosen) stone (2:6); the head stone (2:7-8; Ps. 118:22).

‘Confounded’ [Greek: kataischuno] shame and dishonour. When we believe in Christ we will never have to be [confounded] ashamed or dishonoured.

You Have Tasted

1Peter 2:1-4 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby: If so be you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious 

‘Laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings’ Five things Christians must lay aside: All malice; all guile; hypocrisies; envies; all evil speakings (Eph. 4:22-31).

‘Newborn babes’ in 1Peter 1:23 Peter speaks of his readers as being born again. Here he tells them how to grow as newborn babes in Christ. It is by taking the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, the pure doctrines of the gospel, as recorded in the new covenant.

‘Of the word’ [Greek: logikos] belonging to speech; belonging to reason; that which is rational; fit for reasoning; hence, logic. Translated ‘of the word’ (1Pet. 2:2) and reasonable (Rom. 12:1). The milk to be found in the Word of God is in the highest sense reasonable.

‘Grow thereby’ six facts about spiritual growth: Like a cedar of Lebanon (Ps. 92:12); like calves in the stall (Mal. 4:2); into a holy temple (Eph. 2:21); in grace (2Pet. 3:18); in knowledge (2Pet. 3:18); into Christ in all things (Eph. 4:15).

A five-fold former state of apostates is described in Hebrews 6:4-5: Those who were once enlightened but are not now enlightened. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says this refers to “those who have been made Christians.” Paul uses the same term of saved individuals elsewhere (Eph. 1:18; Hebr. 10:32; cp. Ps. 19:7-8; Luke 11:34-36). Only saints are called “children of light” (Eph. 5:8; Col. 1:12; 1Thess. 5:5), and only saved people are spoken of as being in the light (Matt. 5:14-15; Luke 16:8; John 3:20-21; 8:12; 12:36; Rom. 13:12; Eph. 5:14; Col. 1:12; 1Jn. 1:7; 2:9-10). Only people who have not been saved as spoken of as being darkened from gospel light (2Cor. 4:4; Eph. 4:18; 5:8; Col. 1:13; 1Thess. 5:5; 1Pet. 2:9; 1Jn. 1:6; 2:8-11). Those who have tasted of the heavenly gift (Heb. 6:4). The [Greek: geuomai] have experience of. Translated “to eat” (Acts 10:10; 20:11; 23:14) and “to taste” (Heb. 6:4,5; 2:9; Matt. 16:28; 27:34; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27; 14:24; John 2:9; 8:52; Col. 2:21; 1Pet. 2:3). How could one taste of death, taste the Lord, taste the heavenly gift, and other things of these passages without experiencing them? They were made partakers of the Holy Spirit (Heb. 6:4). The Greek word metochos meaning a partner and fellow with (Heb. 3:1). No sinner is a partaker of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9-16). It is almost blasphemy to accuse the Holy Spirit of being a partner, sharer, and an associate with the ungodly. Jesus said that sinners cannot receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:17). Jude confirmed the same truth (Jude 1:19). They have tasted the good Word of God (Heb. 6:5). To taste the Word of God is to be saved, as proved in Matthew 13:20-23; Luke 8:13-15; John 15:3; Acts 2:41; 4:4; 8:14; 11:1; 17:11; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 5:26; James 1:18-25 and 1Peter 1:18-23. No man receives the Word and remains unsaved. They have tasted the powers of the world to come (Heb. 6:5). To taste of these powers means to experience eternal life. Every time such statement is found it refers to eternal life (Matt. 10:30; Luke 18:30; 20:35).  

‘Tasted’ to taste means to experience the thing tasted. Four heavenly things to taste: The Lord (2:3; Ps. 34:8); the Word of God (Ps. 119:103; Heb. 6:5); the heavenly gift (Heb. 6:4); the powers of the world to come (Heb. 6:5). ‘The Lord is gracious’ eight facts about Christ: He is gracious (2:3; Ex. 34:6; Ps. 86:15; 103:8; 111:4; 112:4; 116:5; 145:8); He is a Living Stone. The only foundation of the body (2:4, 6; Isa. 28:16; 1Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:18-22); chosen or elected of God (2:4). He was chosen to be the Saviour of the world and founder of the congregation and body of believers (Luke 18:7); He was disallowed of people, (2:4) which is a fulfilment of Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 53:1-12. The Greek word entimos translated “precious” (2:4, 6); “dear” (Luke 7:2); “hold in reputation” (Php. 2:29); and “honourable” (Luke 14:8). Regardless of the attitude of men, God holds Christ to be supremely precious, dear, and honourable. He is the chief cornerstone (2:6-8; Isa. 28:16) and a stone of stumbling (2:8; Ps. 118:22) and a rock of offence (2:8; Ps. 118:22).

The Word of the Lord

1Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 

‘The word of the Lord endures for ever’ nine characteristics are given of the Word of God in Psalm 19: It is perfect (19:7); sure; right (19:8); pure; clean (19:9); eternal; true; altogether righteous and sweeter than honey and the honeycomb (19:10). Six blessings of the Word of God are also given: Converting the soul of those who return to God as the sun returns in the heavens (19:7); making the simple wise; rejoicing the heart (19:8); enlightening the eyes as the sun enlightens all living things on earth; warning the servants (19:11); rewarding the obedient. By living in the Word as the sun does in the heavens, and by keeping watch as observers do the heavenly bodies, one is blessed.

The Word is the book that contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts binding, its histories true, and its decisions immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s charter. Here Heaven is opened, and the gates of Hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your feet in righteousness and true holiness. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully, meditatively, searchingly, and devotionally. Study it constantly, perseveringly, and industriously. Read it through and through until it becomes part of your being and generates faith that will move mountains. It is a mine of wealth, the source of health, and a world of pleasure. It is given to you in this life, will be opened at the judgment, and will last forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the least to the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

It is a mirror to reflect (Jas. 1:23); a hammer to convict (Jer. 23:29); a fire to refine (Jer. 23:29); seed to multiply (1Pet. 1:23); water to cleanse (Eph. 5:26; John 15:3); a lamp to guide (Ps. 119:105); and food to nourish, including milk for babes (1Pet. 2:2); bread for the hungry (Matt. 4:4); meat for men (Heb. 5:11-14); and honey for dessert (Ps. 19:10). It is rain and snow to refresh (Isa. 55:10); a sword to cut (Heb. 4:12); a bow to revenge (Hab. 3:9); gold to enrich (Ps. 19:7-10); and power to create life and faith (1Pet. 1:23; Rom. 10:17).

Seven things the Word of God is able to do: Make us wise unto salvation (2Tim. 3:15; Rom. 1:16; Jas. 1:21); produce faith (2Tim. 3:15; Rom. 10:17); make Jesus Christ known (2Tim. 3:15; John 5:39; 1Cor. 15:1-8); build up (Acts 20:32); give inheritance (Acts 20:32); produce profit in doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2Tim. 3:16); make the man of God perfect (2Tim. 3:17). Salvation is always through faith in Jesus Christ, never through works, rituals, water baptism, communion etc. (2Tim. 3:15; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:24-31).

Purified Your Souls

1Peter 1:22-24 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away

‘Purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently” seven experiences of Christians are mentioned here: Purity of soul; obedience to the truth; yieldedness to the Holy Spirit; love without hypocrisy; love with fervency; purity of heart and the new birth by the Word (1:23; 1Tim. 1:5).

Psalms 24:4 teaches: “He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” These are the type of people that will inherit the earth and multiply and replenish it forever (Gen. 8:22; 9:12; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14, 18, 27; Luke 1:32-33; 2Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:3-7, 21-27; 22:1-5). Four qualifications are mentioned: Clean hands (Ps. 15:1-5); a pure heart (Ps. 51:7; Mal. 3:2-3; Matt. 5:8; John 15:3); no idolatry (vanity, 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Heb. 12:14), and being truthful (Rev. 21:8).

Matthew 5:8 says: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” One receives a pure heart when born again (2Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:24; 2Thess. 2:13; 1Jn. 1:9; 2:29; 3:5-10; 5:1-4, 18).

‘Being born again’ many Scriptures say that when one is born again and in Christ, he “receives power to become a son of God” (1:12); he has “crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24); “his sins are blotted out” (Acts 3:19); “he is washed, sanctified, and justified” (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rev. 1:5); “he has turned from darkness to light and from the power of satan to the power of God” (Acts 26:18); “he has salvation” (Rom. 1:16; 2 Thess. 2:13); “he is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24); “he is God’s elect” (Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:2-4; Col. 3:12); and “he departs from all iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:4, 19-22).

‘By the word of God’ two agents of the new birth: the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5; 1Cor. 6:11) and the Word of God (John 3:5). Water is used in a figurative sense of salvation (John 4:14; Isa. 12:3), of the Spirit baptism (John 7:37-39), and of cleansing by the Word of God (John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). Since men are cleansed and born again by the Word (Jas. 1:18; 1Pet. 1:23), it is clear that being born of water means being born again by the Word of God.

‘All flesh is as grass’ this is quoted from Isaiah 40:6-8. This was the message the voice of the vision told him to cry: People are like grass which withers soon and is gone, but the Word of the Lord shall stand forever (Isa. 40:6-8; Psa. 119:89-91; Matt. 5:18; 24:35; Mark 13:31; John 10:35; 12:34; 1Pet. 1:25).

‘As grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass …’ this is the 4th New Testament prophecy in 1Peter. Earthly seeds and reproductions will soon perish, but the Word of God is eternal (Jas. 1:11; 4:14).

Believe in God

1Peter 1:19-21 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

‘As of a lamb without blemish and without spot’ He came as a man – a lowly servant of all to set the right example of how men can be like God. He came and lived as God would live among men so that men could learn to live like God. He literally “emptied Himself” (Php. 2:5-8) and took the form of a servant instead of the form of a sovereign. He humbled Himself from deity to humanity and from humanity to infamy, taking on Him the sins of the world and redeeming fallen man to His original dominion.

‘Foreordained’ the Greek word proginosko meaning to know beforehand (Rom. 8:29). It refers both to God seeing ahead that He would have to send a Saviour to redeem man from the fall (Rom. 8:29-30). No single individual is chosen, elected, foreknown, or predestined to be saved or lost without his personal choice and responsibility in the matter (John 3:16; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). It would be cruel impartiality – unjust regard for one and an unjust disregard for another – and not divine justice for one to be chosen by God to be saved and another to be damned. God offers grace to all alike. His invitations, promises, provision, and warnings of punishment are general. All people are invited to choose life and are warned of eternal punishment if they do not do so. It is inconsistent with man’s probation for God to elect some to be saved and some to be lost.

‘Before the foundation of the world’ before the disruption or overthrow of the pre-Adamite world (Matt. 13:35). ‘Foundation’ the Greek word katabole means to cast or throw down (note the verb kataballo translated “cast down” in 2Corinthians 4:9 and Revelation 12:10). Katabole should have been translated “overthrow” or “casting down of the world” in Matthew 13:35; 25:34; Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; 9:26; 11:10; 1Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8; 17:8. With the exception of Hebrews 11:10, katabole is used with kosmos meaning social world, and refers to the overthrow of the pre-Adamite world by the flood of Genesis 1:2; 2Peter 3:5-7; Psalms 104:5-9; Jeremiah 4:23-26 and the defeat of Lucifer and his earthly kingdom before Adam (Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:11-17; Luke 10:18).

‘Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God’ four things Christians believe: They believe in God through Christ, in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, in the ascension and exaltation of Jesus Christ and that their faith and hope are based upon the work of Christ.

To fully belief means: To believe that all the promises of God are yea and amen to all (2Cor.1:20); to believe that all things are possible to the believer (Mark 9:23); to believe that all things we ask in prayer we receive (Matt. 7:7-11; 21:22); to believe that even all of our desires will be granted (Mark 11:22-24); to believe that we can ask what we will, and it will be given (John 15:7); to believe in those things that be not as though they were (Rom. 4:17); to believe that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6); to believe that God gives liberally and that he does not upbraid or rebuke when we come to him for anything (Jas. 1:5-8); to believe without ever a question or a waver that what is asked is done (Jas. 1:5-8); to believe that it is the will of God to give what He has promised (1Jn. 3:22); to believe that Christ took all sickness and sin in His own body on the cross and that we do not have to bear them one minute after we accept His vicarious work (Matt. 8:16-17; 1Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:4-5). To believe that every believer can do the same works of God that Christ did and that God’s power in the baptism of the Spirit is the same today as when Christ and the early believers received it (John 14:12-15: Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 2:38-39; 5:32).