Imputed to Him

Romans 4:21-24 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead

‘Fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform’ his soul was full of confidence that the Word of God bound Him to fulfil what He had promised. After 25 years, it was fulfilled. Faith was imputed for righteousness (4:3-22; Heb. 11:8-12).

‘And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.’ Imputation: justification from all sin. [Hebrew: chashab] to be reckoned or put to the account of one; charge with. Equivalent to the Greek word logizomai, translated numbered (Mark 15:28); accounted (Rom. 8:36; 1Cor. 4:1; Gal. 3:6; Heb. 11:19); counted (Rom. 2:26; 4:3, 5; 9:8; Php. 3:13); laid to their charge (2Tim. 4:16); reckoned (Luke 22:37; Rom. 4:4,9,10; 6:11; 8:18); and impute (Rom. 4:6, 8, 11, 22-24; 2Cor. 5:19; Jas. 2:23).

Imputation is that act of God in salvation whereby He accounts the believer righteous in Christ because Christ bore his sins and because he has properly repented of his sins and met God’s terms of reconciliation (Rom. 3:24-31; 4:1-25; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; Gal. 3:6-9, 13-14).

‘It was not written for his sake alone’ Genesis 15:6 was written for all mankind.

‘If we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead’ the condition of the gospel is faith, not only temporary faith, but steadfast and continued faith. We can have joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Saviour whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; Ephes. 2:8-9); access into grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfilment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Mat. 7:7-11; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

Believed in Hope

Romans 4:17-20 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickened the dead, and called those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God 

‘I have made thee a father of many nations’ quoted from Genesis 17:4-5. This is a prophecy fulfilled before New Testament times.

‘Who quickened the dead, and called those things which be not as though they were’ Two things of God here: Resurrection (4:17; 8:11; John 5:21; 6:63; 1Cor. 15:22, 35, 45; 2Cor. 3:6; Gal. 3:21; 1Tim. 6:13; 1Pet. 3:18). Faith (4:17; 8:24-25; Mat. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Heb. 11:1). True faith is counting things that be not as though they were. This is what God exercised when He called the worlds into existence (Heb. 11:3; 2Pet. 3:5; Gen. 1:1; Job 38:4-7).

‘Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken’ here Paul describes the faith of Abraham in order to explain what gospel faith is like (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8). ‘So shall thy seed be’ quoted from Genesis 15:5.

‘Hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb.’ Genesis 17:1 reveals God as the Fruitful-One who was to multiply Abraham abundantly; the Life-Giver who was to restore life to Abraham and Sarah who were as good as dead where offspring was concerned. Through Him, they would have future offspring as the dust (Gen. 13:16), stars (Gen. 15:5), and sand in number (Gen. 22:17). In Genesis 21:1 we see the Lord visited Sarah to renew her youth so that she could bear a child and nurse him (Gen. 21:1-2).

‘He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.’ Abraham lived in faith giving God glory in all he did (1Cor. 10:31) and never stumbled in his service to God.

The Promise

Romans 4:13-16 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all 

‘Heir of the world’ this refers to his being a blessing to all nations of the earth. He also will literally inherit the earth along with all those blessed with him (Ps. 37:11; Mat. 5:5; 25:34; Rev. 5:10; 22:4-5).

‘Righteousness of faith’ this promise of heirship did not come through the law but by the Abrahamic covenant of faith (4:13-16; Gen. 12:1-3).

‘Is made void’ [Greek: kenoo] has been emptied (1Cor. 1:17; 9:15; 2Cor. 9:3; Php. 2:7). ‘Made of none effect’ [Greek: katargeo] to make useless; without effect; make of no effect (3:3; 4:14; Gal. 3:17; 5:4); come and bring to naught (1Cor. 1:28; 2:6); done away (1Cor. 13:10; 2Cor. 3:7, 3:11, 3:14); fail (1Cor. 13:8); cease (Gal. 6:11); vanish away (1Cor. 13:8); make void (Rom. 3:31); cumber (Luke 13:7); deliver (Rom. 7:6); loose (Rom. 7:2); put away (1Cor. 13:11); put down (1Cor. 15:24); destroy (Rom. 6:6; 1Cor. 6:13; 15:26; 2Thess. 2:8; Heb. 2:14); and abolish (2Cor. 3:13; Eph. 2:15; 2Tim. 1:10). It is clear from these passages that whatever is abolished is completely null and void. What is it here that is abolished? It is the law of commandments in decrees or the law of dogmatic commandments. The word for ordinances is dogma, translated “decree” (Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4; 17:7) and “ordinance” (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14). The law was made to expose sin (Rom. 3:19-20; 7:13; Gal. 3:19-25) and to keep the Jews a distinct people until Christ came. After that, it was no longer needed.

‘Works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression’ No law makes provision for mercy and pardon should it be broken. It works wrath and punishment only.

‘Therefore it is of faith… the faith of Abraham’ We read in James 2:23 that Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness – a quote from Genesis 15:6 which was many years before offering Isaac as in Genesis 22:1-24. Thus, every act of obedience is an act of faith and works combined to maintain justification before God. Abraham proved his faith in God when he was asked to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. It was faith that led him to this act of obedience (Jas. 2:23). Had he refused to obey, it would have demonstrated that he had no faith in God or His Word. It is also clear that this act of faith and works was not his initial justification by faith. That was at least 40 to 50 years before offering Isaac (Gen. 12:1-4; 15:6; Rom. 4:1-6).

‘By grace’ because of this, it can be for all people. Ephesians 2:8 states that by grace are we saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God. A simple statement of how people are resurrected spiritually from death in sins (Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 10:9-10; John 3:16; 1Jn. 1:9).

‘The promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all’ this promise of heirship (4:13) was made to everyone that has faith by grace – the same faith that Abraham had and of which he is the father of.

We Establish the Law

Romans 3:29-31 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. 

‘Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? … Do we then make void the law through faith?’ These questions are answered in Romans 3:29-31.

‘Circumcision by faith’ Colossians 2:11 talks about that we are made circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. Literally, in Him, you have been circumcised, not by cutting the flesh, but by the circumcision of Christ in putting off the body of sins of the flesh. Christ became circumcised and fulfilled all the law to become a true mediator between God and man. Now through Him, we are freed from all Mosaic Law observance and have been redeemed through the work of Christ on the cross (Col. 1:14, 20-25; 2:11-17; 1Pet. 2:24).

‘Make void’ [Greek: katargeo] to make useless; without effect; make of no effect (3:3; 4:14; Gal. 3:17; 5:4); come and bring to naught (1Cor. 1:28; 2:6); done away (1Cor. 13:10; 2Cor. 3:7, 3:11, 3:14); fail (1Cor. 13:8); cease (Gal. 6:11); vanish away (1Cor. 13:8); make void (Rom. 3:31); cumber (Luke 13:7); deliver (Rom. 7:6); loose (Rom. 7:2); put away (1Cor. 13:11); put down (1Cor. 15:24); destroy (Rom. 6:6; 1Cor. 6:13; 15:26; 2Thess. 2:8; Heb. 2:14); and abolish (2Cor. 3:13; Eph. 2:15; 2Tim. 1:10). It is clear from these passages that whatever is abolished is completely null and void. What is it here that is abolished? It is the law of commandments in decrees or the law of dogmatic commandments. The word for ordinances is dogma, translated “decree” (Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4; 17:7) and “ordinance” (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14). The law was made to expose sin (Rom. 3:19-20; 7:13; Gal. 3:19-25) and to keep the Jews a distinct people until Christ came. After that, it was no longer needed.

‘We establish the law’ Christianity establishes the law: By recognizing Christ as the subject of its rites and ceremonies (Luke 24:44; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 8-10); by Christ fulfilling it (Mat. 5:17); by Christ ending it (10:4); by fulfilling in people the righteousness that the law demanded but could not give (8:3); by including its moral and spiritual principles in the New Testament (Heb. 8:6).

We Conclude

Romans 3:26-28 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

‘At this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus’ God is now ready to declare His readiness to impart His righteousness by faith to penitents and can now be just in justifying them by His grace (3:24-26).

‘Righteousness’ [Greek: dikaiosune] found 92 times and always translated “righteousness.” The English word is found 305 times in Scripture. It always means the doing of what is right. Fourteen facts about righteousness: Revealed in the gospel (1:17); not commended by unrighteousness (3:5); manifested apart from the law (3:21); witnessed by the law and prophets; freely given to all alike (3:22-25); imputed by faith without works or law (3:22; 4:3, 5, 13, 22). It is God’s righteousness in remitting sins through Christ (3:25; 1Jn. 1:9). It is Christ’s righteousness because He did all that was required of God to redeem people (5:18; 2Cor. 1:1-24). The medium of grace reign (5:21); a requirement of saints (6:13-20); and it produces life (8:10). The law required it, but could not give it (8:4; 9:31-32; 10:4-6); produced by the Holy Spirit (14:17). Conditions of receiving it (3:22; 4:1-5:11; 6:13-19; 8:1-10; 10:9-10).

‘Where is boasting then? … By what law? of works?’ Here (3:27-28) we have the second dialogue between Paul and the Jew. Paul has been proving from Romans 3:9 that the Jews are as guilty and condemned as the Gentiles and that both must be saved by the redemption in Christ. The Jew, finding his boasted religion of Romans 2:17-29 of no merit at all to save his soul, interrupts (as Paul anticipates) and asks, “Where does our boasting come in with such a program of salvation without works and the law? Have we no merit of our own? Do we not have anything accruing to us from our 1,700 years of circumcision and the Mosaic covenant?” Paul answers, “It is completely out-your boasting.” The Jew responds, “By what law? of works?” Paul says, “By the law of faith-you have sinned and you need forgiveness. The law of works cannot pardon. It requires obedience and only kills if transgressed. Faith alone in Christ will pardon and cancel the death penalty” (3:27-28; Eph. 2:8-9).

‘Boasting’ ten things that people boast about: bargains (Pro. 20:14); security (Pro. 27:1); religion (Rom. 2:17-29); strength (1Sam. 17:8-10); conquest (Isa. 10:8-16); gifts (Pro. 25:14); riches (Ps. 49:6); sins (Ps. 94:4); plans (Jas. 4:13-17); and power (Luke 10:17). The only boasting allowed is “in the Lord” (2Cor. 10:12-18).

‘Conclude’ to arrive at a judgement or opinion by reasoning. ‘That a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law’ to be saved through faith in Christ’s atonement and not through the Law of Moses.

Justified Freely

Romans 3:24-25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God

‘Justified freely’ this means declaring not guilty; acquittal in the court of heaven. Three things that save the soul: being washed [Greek: apolouo, from apo] away from, and louo, to wash the whole being, not a part of it. It is used in Acts 22:16 of complete washing from sins; not by baptism, but by calling upon the name of the Lord, as in Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9-14. Here it is used of complete washing from the sins of 1Corinthians 6:9-10 by calling on the name of Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:11). The Greek word louo without the preposition apo, is used of washing from all sins (Rev. 1:5); the whole feet (John 13:10); the whole body (Acts 9:37; Heb. 10:22); the whole sow (2Pet. 2:22); and all the stripes of Paul and Silas (Acts 16:33). Sanctified [Greek: hagiazo] to hallow, consecrate, separate from sin unto God (John 17:17). Note how this is put before justification (1Cor. 6:11). Justified [Greek: dikaioo] to declare righteous or not guilty; justify. It is translated “freed from sin” (Rom. 6:7); “justifier” (Rom. 3:26); “be righteous” (Rev. 22:11); and “justify” 33 times. One is justified the moment he repents and is forgiven (Luke 18:14; Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:24, 28, 30; 4:5; 5:1, 9; 1Cor. 6:11; Gal. 2:16-17; 3:8, 24; Tit. 3:5-7).

‘Grace’ the unmerited love and favour of God to man (Ps. 84:11).

‘Redemption’ [Greek: apolutrosis] to redeem by paying the price (Ex. 21:8; Gal. 3:13); a deliverance by paying a ransom (1Tim. 2:6); deliverance from the penalty of sin, including forgiveness of sin (Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7, 14; 4:30; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:15); and restoration of all creation from the curse (Rom. 8:23).

‘Set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood’ God has set forth, made, appointed, and published this sacrifice to be a propitiation, or covering for sin.

‘Propitiation’ this is the act of God whereby He becomes propitious or gracious to the sinner through Jesus Christ (Heb_9:5; 1Jn_2:2).

‘To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins’ Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:20 and Revelation 1:5. God cannot declare any man righteous or remit one sin without faith in the atonement (Heb. 9:22; Eph. 1:7).

‘Sins that are past’ this refers to two things: Forgiveness of the sins of Old Testament saints (Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:15). Forgiveness of past sins of each sinner that repents (Eph. 1:7; 1Jn. 1:9).

‘Forbearance of God’ [Greek: anoche] the self-restraint of God whereby He tolerates sinners and permits them to live to be saved (Rom. 2:4; 3:25; cp. Neh. 9:30).

Righteousness of God

Romans 3:21-23 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God 

‘Now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets’ Since the gospel has come and the New Testament has been made, people can be justified and made righteous without the law (Rom. 3:21-31). ‘The law and the prophets’ the name for what is known to us as the Old Testament.

‘Righteousness of God.’ Righteousness in the Bible means: The perfection of the divine nature, whereby God is most just and holy in Himself, and in all His dealings with His creatures (John 17:25). The clemency, mercy, and goodness of God (Deut. 2:25; Ps. 51:14). The faithfulness of God to His promises (Ps. 31:1; Isa. 42:6; 1 Cor. 10:12-13). “The righteousness of Christ” is the active and passive obedience of Christ, whereby He perfectly fulfilled the law, and propitiated the justice of God so that man could obey God and receive the righteousness which is by faith, and their persons be accepted of God and received to eternal glory (Dan. 9:24; Jer. 23:6; 1 Cor. 1:30). Uprightness and justice in dealing between men (Luke 1:75).  Holiness of life and conversation (1 Cor. 15:34). “The righteousness of God” is that righteousness which has been fully met and maintained in the atoning work of Christ on the cross, by which God is now able to save sinners and still be righteous in doing so (Rom. 1:17; 3:5, 21-22; 10:3). Under the law, God required righteousness from man, but the law instead of giving it to many only demonstrated that he was destitute of it and needed God’s righteousness, which He now freely gives under Grace.

‘Witnessed by the law and the prophets’ the rites and ceremonies of the law and the predictions of the prophets all testified of the great redemption in Christ that would justify people apart from both the law and the prophets (Psa. 16:8-11; Isa. 53:1-12; Luke 24:44; John 5:39; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 8:1-10:23; etc.).

‘For there is no difference’ no difference whether Jew or Gentile (Rom. 1:16; 2:7-11; 1Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28).

‘All have sinned’ one must know and confess he is a sinner before he can be saved (Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38; 3:19; Rom. 10:9-10; 1Jn. 1:9).

The conclusion is that all have sinned (1:18-3:18, 23). All are guilty before God (3:19-20). The law cannot justify anyone (3:20). The law only condemns (3:20). God has provided redemption by faith in Jesus Christ (3:21-26). All boasting is excluded and man is helpless to save himself (3:27). People are justified only by accepting God’s plan of redemption (3:28). ‘Short of the glory of God’ this refers to original glory (Gen. 1:26-28; Psa. 8:1-9; Rev. 21-22).

The Knowledge of Sin

Romans 3:11-20 There is none that understand, there is none that seek after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that do good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 

‘They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one’ This is true of all people (Isa. 53:6; Rom. 1:21-32; 3:23; 5:12-21).

‘Unprofitable’ [Greek: achreioo] to make useless. The whole mass of mankind is as a slain, putrid mass thrown together in heaps.

‘Open sepulchre’ by malicious and cutting words they kill and bury the reputation of people. As a tomb is opened and the stench of putrefaction is unbearable, so their throats spue forth poison (3:13-14).

‘Asps’ [Greek: aspis] adder (Ps. 140:3; Deut. 32:33; Job 20:14-16; Isa. 11:8).

‘No fear of God before their eyes’ the same as in Romans 1:32. Not one charge is listed here but what can be traced in case histories of both Jews and Gentiles.

‘To them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God’ For fear the Jews might think Romans 3:10-18 do not apply to them, Paul here says that they apply to all under the law that every mouth might be stopped and the whole world becomes guilty before God. ‘By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin’ even if the Jews had not broken the law, they could not be justified. The law could only condemn, not justify (3:21-31; 7:7-25).

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).

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).