Peace Be With You

1Peter 5:12-14 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein you stand. The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you; and so doth Marcus my son. Greet you one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. 

‘Silvanus’ the same as Silas (2Cor. 1:19; 1Thess. 1:1; 2Thess. 1:1). Paul’s companion on his second missionary journey. He took part in the founding of the congregations in Macedonia (Acts 15:40-18:18). He was a chief man in the congregation at Jerusalem. Took Peter’s letter to Asia Minor (5:12).

‘The church that is at Babylon’ the congregation of believers at Babylon, not the modern version of churches as we know it today.

‘Babylon’ this refers to the city of Babylon on the River Euphrates, the only literal Babylon mentioned in Scripture. It is a historical fact that Babylon was still in existence at that time and that there were many Jews there. Josephus writes of Babylon about the same time.

‘Marcus’ this is John Mark, a convert of Peter and the author of the Gospel of Mark. He was the nephew of Barnabas (Col. 4:10) and a disciple of Jesus (Acts 12:12). Paul and Barnabas took him on the first missionary journey but he got homesick and left the party (Acts 12:25; 13:5, 13). Paul and Barnabas separated over Mark when they started on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:33-39). He later worked with Paul (Col. 4:10-11; 2Tim. 4:11; Phm. 1:24). He was not the actual son of Peter, but a son in the faith in the same way that Timothy and Titus were sons of Paul (1Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4).

‘Greet you one another with a kiss of charity’ this was the eastern greeting, as well as a way that the Christian believers greeted one another (5:14; Rom. 16:16; 1Cor. 16:20; 2Cor. 13:12; 1Thess. 5:26).

‘Peace be with you’ to have the peace of God one must be in Christ Jesus, that means to be in unity with Him and of one mind with His Word. We must permit the peace of God to garrison or keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ (Php. 4:7) without allowing the cares of this world to consume our hearts and minds. Men have peace societies, temples, and plans, but arm for war all the while. They killed the Prince of Peace (Acts 4:27) and ignore Him still, so they will have no peace until He comes to reign (Ps. 2:1-12; 1Thess. 5:3; 1Cor. 15:24-28). In John 14:27 we have the following reassurance of Christ: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” To maintain this peace we must not allow our hearts to be troubled (John 14:1) and not be afraid or fearful (2Tim. 1:7).

Be Sober and Vigilant

1Peter 5:8-11 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

‘Sober’ [Greek: nepho] to live soberly, to drink no intoxicants; live soberly and righteously (Tit. 2:11-12). Translated be sober (1:13; 5:8; 1Thess. 5:6, 8) and watch (4:7; 2Tim. 4:5). It was counted a disgrace even among the heathen to be drunk in the day, hence the admonition to live as children of light and of the day (1Thess. 5:5-8).

‘Vigilant’ [Greek: gregoreo] to be awake. Translated “vigilant” (5:8); “wake” (1Thess. 5:10); “watchful” (Rev. 3:2); and “watch” 20 times (Matt. 24:42-43; 25:13; Acts 20:31; 1Cor. 16:13, Col. 4:2; 1Thess. 5:6; Rev. 3:3; 16:15; etc.). Never be off your guard. Be ready every moment to resist the devil (5:9; Jas. 4:7; Eph. 4:27).

‘Adversary’ [Greek: antidikos] an opponent in a suit; properly the defendant, but also the plaintiff or the one who brings suit.

‘Devil’ twenty-one names and titles of satan: Devil (5:8; Matt. 4:1-11; Eph. 6:11); adversary (5:8; 1Tim. 5:14); satan (Luke 10:18; 11:18; Rev. 12:9); Belial (2Cor. 6:15; Deut. 13:13); Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-14); dragon (Rev. 12:3-17; 13:2-11; 20:2); serpent (2Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9); enemy (Matt. 13:39; Luke 10:19); tempter (Matt. 4:3; 1Thess. 3:5); wicked one (Matt. 13:19; 1Jn. 5:18); Beelzebub (Matt. 10:25; 12:24); the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4); the prince of this world (John 12:31); accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10); prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:1-3; 5:12); the anointed cherub (Ezek. 28:11-17); angel of light (2Cor. 11:14); prince of devils (Matt. 12:24); the thief (John 10:10); king over all the children of pride (Job 41:34); leviathan (Job 41:1; Isa. 27:1).

‘Roaring lion’ seven things satan is compared to a roaring lion (5:8); a fowler (Ps. 91:3); fowls (Matt. 13:4, 19); a wolf (John 10:12); a thief (John 10:10); a serpent (Rev. 12:9; 20:3); a great red dragon (Rev. 12:3-12).

‘Walks about, seeking whom he may devour’ clear examples of how satan seeks to devour believers as clearly seen in Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7. He cannot devour just anyone therefore he constantly seeks those who will allow him through disobedience and ignorance of God Word.

‘Devour’ [Greek: katapino] to gulp down. Translated “devour” (5:8); “drown” (Heb. 11:29); “swallow” (Matt. 23:24); and “swallow up” (1Cor. 15:54; 2Cor. 2:7; 5:7; Rev. 12:16). It is not everyone that satan can gulp down. Those who obey the eight commands of 1Peter 5:5-9, cannot be swallowed up by him.

‘Whom resist stedfast in the faith’ this method of satanic defeat is open to every child of God (Jas. 4:7).

‘Same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world’ these refer to persecutions of Christians in all the world and not to diseases. The word for afflictions means the same as the sufferings of Christ in 1Peter 5:1, and not to sicknesses and diseases. It is [Greek: pathema] a hardship or pain; subjectively an emotion or influence – and it is not necessary for Christians to be sick in order to enjoy the blessings of 1Peter 5:10. ‘Make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you’ four blessings from suffering persecutions are given: (1) Perfection – to be perfect (2Cor. 13:11). The Greek word katartizo meaning to adjust; put in order again; restore; repair; settle by mediation. Translated “mend” (Matt. 4:21; Mark 1:19); “restore” (Gal. 6:1); fit (Rom. 9:22); “prepare” (Heb. 10:1-39); “frame” (Heb. 9:3); “perfectly joined together” (1Cor. 1:10); “be and make perfect” (5:10; Matt. 21:16; Luke 6:40; 1Thess. 3:10; 2Cor. 13:11; Heb. 13:21). (2) Establishment in the faith [Greek: sterizo] strengthen (Luke 22:32; Rev. 3:2); establish (5:10; 2Pet. 1:12; Rom. 1:11; 16:25; 1Thess. 3:2, 13; 2Thess. 2:17; 3:3; Jas. 5:8); fix (Luke 16:26); and set (Luke 9:51). (3) Spiritual strength [Greek: sthenos] to bind together and strengthen so there will be no danger of warping, splitting, or falling apart. (4) Settling or grounding one in the faith [Greek: themelioo] having a good foundation.

Humble Yourselves

1Peter 5:5-7 Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.

‘Submit yourselves unto the elder …’ eight commands were given to Christians in verses 5-9: Let the younger submit to the elder (5:5); all submit to one another (5:5); be clothed with humility (5:5); humble yourselves to God (5:6); cast all your care upon God (5:7); be sober (5:8); be vigilant (5:8); resist satan in the faith (5:9).

‘Humility’ [Greek: tapeinophrosune] translated “humility” (5:5; Col. 2:18, 23); “humility of mind” (Acts 20:19); “humbleness of mind” (Col. 3:12); “lowliness” (Eph. 4:2); and “lowliness of mind” (Php. 2:3). Humility is the secret to the following things: The glory of the creature (Luke 17:10; Rev. 4:11); redemption (Php. 2:5-8); riches and honour (Pro. 15:33; 22:4; Matt. 5:3); fellowship (Isa. 57:15; 66:2); soul rest (Matt. 11:29); personal salvation (Matt. 18:3; Luke 18:1-43); greatness (Matt. 20:26-27; Luke 22:26); exaltation (Matt. 23:12; Luke 14:11); revelation (Matt. 11:25; Luke 10:21); unity (5:5; Eph. 4:1-3; 5:21); victorious Christian living (Rom. 12:10, 16; 1Cor. 13:1-13; Gal. 5:26; Php. 2:1-4; Col. 3:5-14; 1Jn. 4:20; 1Tim. 1:15; Tit. 2:11-14); faith (Mat. 8:8; 15:28; John 4:50).

‘For God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble’ quoted from Proverbs 3:34 and repeated in James 4:6.

‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God’ mourners and penitents used to lie on the ground and roll themselves in the dust (Jas. 4:10). When forgiven, penitents arose from the earth and clothed themselves in clean and better garments. People are privileged to humble themselves and seek mercy or exalt themselves and refuse mercy. Mercy is the result of the right attitude, and hardening is the result of stubbornness or the wrong attitude toward God (Rom. 9:18). Humble and godly people go through life with as little show and parade as possible (Rom. 12:16).

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).