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).

Chaste Conversation

1Peter 3:1-3 Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel

‘Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands’ wives are to be in submission to their husbands, (not to all men alike as some people like to misquote) like Christians submitting to rulers (2:13) and servants submitting to their masters (2:18).

‘Without the word be won’ if husbands will not hear preaching of the gospel, they will hear the preaching of the chaste behaviour of the wives. If the wife will conduct herself chastely, in reverence to her husband and in the fear of God, her husband may be won (3:2-3).

Eight ways to win a husband to God (3:1-6): Submit to and obey the husband [always in the Lord] (3:1, 5-6). Obey the Word (3:1). Have chaste conversation (3:2). Let not the outward adorning be the chief aim in life (3:3) no shameless attire. Let the inner man be adorned more than the outward man (3:3-4). Trust in God (3:5). Do well (3:6). Live faithful to the husband, so there will be no fear of being found guilty of infidelity (3:6). These are not only duties of a wife, but are the eight things which make a model wife. How can one who is constantly breaking these laws win a husband or anyone else?

‘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).

‘Adorning’ [Greek: kosmos] behaviour; fashion; ornament; decoration. ‘Let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel’ outward adorning consists here of hairstyle, wearing gold and wearing apparel. It is not the total condemnation of these three things that Peter intends here, but rather he’s stressing the importance of inner adorning over outward adorning. Many go to extremes classing as sin all wearing of rings, bracelets, and other ornaments, but this is not the purpose of the passage. It says nothing of any one of these things being sinful or unbecoming to Christians, and in this respect is in perfect accord with Paul who rebukes extravagance in ornaments and garments when women adorn themselves to bring any form of attention to their bodies or themselves.

We are to pay more attention to the inward man than to the outer man (3:4). Peter here gives the examples of holy women of old who adorned the inner man by being quiet and meek before their husbands, but who wore jewellery and outward adorning (3:5-6; Gen. 24:22, 30, 47, 53). All these came from Abraham and Sarah who were rich in silver and gold (Gen. 24:35).

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).

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.

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).

Redeemed

1Peter 1:17-18 And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers 

‘And if you call on the Father …’ if you call on God through Christ and profess to be obedient children, pass your time here in reverence and fear.

‘Without respect of persons’ God cannot be anything but infinitely impartial in His dealings with all men. He cannot prefer one above another nor bless one above another when all meet the same terms and love Him with all the heart. The seeming preference of God between two men is based upon the attitude and disposition of the men toward God and conformity to His plan. Naturally, God cannot bless two men the same when one is in obedience and the other in rebellion. God will bless the ones more who conform more fully to His holiness as He is allowed in their lives to do to them according to His will.

Here it is clear that all judgment of God will be according to every man’s work (1Pet. 1:17; Matt. 16:27).

‘Redeemed’ the Greek word lutroo meaning to procure the life of a captive or a slave by paying a price (Heb. 9:12). The price here is not silver and gold, but the precious blood of Christ (1Pet. 1:18-19; Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:14; Col. 1:20; Acts 20:28). Silver and gold, the most valuable medium of commerce among men, bear no proportion in their value to the souls of men to be redeemed. Nothing but the precious blood of Christ could pay the ransom price for the soul.

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:13-14). The blessing of Abraham was that of being justified by faith, of having God as a friend to the extent that a whole nation was healed by prayer (Gen. 20), and of having all the good things of this life that could come to a human being through the gospel (Gal. 3:69).

‘Vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers’ empty, foolish, unprofitable and vain traditions and rituals. The Jews had added innumerable religious burdens and empty ceremonies which they held to be essential to salvation and handed down to generations, much like people do today in keeping religious activities (traditions Matt. 7, 15:9; Col. 2:8) because they believe it to be what a Christian should live according to, instead of the obedience to God’s Word to be a doer of the Word (Jas. 1:21-25) who lives without sin (Rom. 6; 1Pet. 2:21-23; 1John 3).

Be Holy

1Peter 1:15-16 But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy. 

‘So be you holy in all manner of conversation’ paganism scarcely produced a god whose example was not the most abominable. Their greatest gods were paragons of impurity, of sexual excess and perversion. Here Christianity has an infinite advantage over heathenism. God is holy and He demands all His followers to be like Him (1:15-16; Heb. 12:14). All impure conversations must be avoided at all cost (1Cor. 15:33; Matt. 12:36).

‘Be you holy; for I am holy.’ This verse is quoted from Leviticus 11:44. If men are not holy, they are not saved; if they are saved, they are holy. In fact, every born again person is holy according to 1John 2:29; 3:5-10; 5:1-4, 18; 2Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:24; etc. No man will have any part in the first resurrection [rapture] without holiness of life: “Blessed AND HOLY is he that has a part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4-6; 22:11). The following Scripture also commands holiness: “That we . . . might serve him without fear, IN HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS before him, all the days of our life” (Luke 1:74-75); “Even so now yield your members’ servants TO RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO HOLINESS . . . you have your fruit UNTO HOLINESS, and the end everlasting life” (Rom. 6:16-23); “For if the first fruit BE HOLY, the lump is ALSO HOLY: and if the root BE HOLY, SO ARE THE BRANCHES” (Rom. 11:16); “Present YOUR BODIES a living sacrifice, HOLY, acceptable unto God” (Rom. 12:1); “You are the temple of God . . . the temple of God IS HOLY, which temple you are” (1Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20); “Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS in the fear of God” (2Cor. 7:1); “He has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLAME before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4); “And that you put on the new man, which after God is created IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS” (Eph. 4:24) “That it [the body of Christ] should BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH” (Eph. 5:25-27); “To present you HOLY AND UNBLAMEABLE AND UNREPROVEABLE in his sight” (Col. 1:20-23; 3:12); “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but UNTO HOLINESS” (1Thess. 4:3-7); “I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all THE HOLY BRETHREN” (1Thess. 5:27); “Who has saved us, and called us with an HOLY CALLING” (2Tim. 1:9); “That they be in behaviour AS BECOMETH HOLINESS.. . Teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, WE SHOULD LIVE SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY, IN THIS PRESENT WORLD” (Titus 2:3, 11-14); “Wherefore, HOLY BRETHREN, partakers of the heavenly calling. . . Follow peace with all men, AND HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God” (Heb. 3:1; 12:10, 14).

Modern religionists can argue all that they want to that no man can be holy and live free from sin, but it is certainly clear that no man who does not live this way will ever see God in peace. If men cannot live this way, then there cannot be any such thing as Christians and saved men either now or in eternity. Men do not have to belong to any particular group who are classed as holiness on Earth, but it is certain that without being holy in God they are lost, so let us all become holy in Christ. The new birth means more than a mere profession of faith that Jesus is the Son of God or that one is saved because of water baptism, attendance of a religious nature, partaking of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday, and a lot of other substitutes that some men are trusting in to save their souls. One must become honest and face facts and be saved the Bible way or be lost. The responsibility of conforming to truth is yours. You will be saved or lost as you accept the message of God and obey the gospel.  Give your life to God and do not be satisfied with anything short of becoming a new creature in Christ and then you can experience eternal life.

Grace

1Peter 1:9-12 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 

‘The end of your faith’ the Greek word telos meaning the end of a thing. It could also mean the consummation of being admitted or initiated into religion, marriage, etc. If this is what Peter has in mind it refers to believers being initiated into salvation by their faith (1:8-9). He could also have had in mind the end of salvation itself, which is at the end of a life of faith. 

‘Enquired’ [Greek: ekzeteo] to search out. They carefully and diligently sought and examined the truth of the things they were prophesying.

‘Grace that should come unto you’ they had salvation, grace, fillings, and gifts of the Spirit. It was the fullness of grace they predicted (John 1:16-17). Remember that the receiving of the fullness of grace is conditional.

God cannot give grace to men who disobey the gospel. If so, then God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom. 2:11). God is under obligation to saints only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel (1John 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel. Grace teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously, and godly here and now (Tit. 2:11-12). If people do not obey its teaching grace can go no further.

Anyone may: Receive grace in vain (2 Cor. 6:1); frustrate the grace of God in his life (Gal. 2:21); fall from it (Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4); fail of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15); turn it into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4); sin in spite of it (Rom. 6:1); continue or discontinue in it (Acts 13:43); minister it to others (1Pet. 4:10); grow or not grow in it (2Pet. 3:18); receive or reject it (John 3:16; Heb. 12:15; Jas. 4:6; Rev. 22:17).

‘Searching’ [Greek: ereunao] to search for; examine (1:11; John 5:39; 7:52; Rom. 8:27; 1Cor. 2:10; Rev. 2:23). They did not know the time of the sufferings of Christ or by whom, neither the glory to follow the sufferings.

‘Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven’ it was the new covenant – that is the New Testament that was established with Christ’s crucifixion, (Heb. 9:15-18) and its full blessings that the prophets foretold. The fullness of grace (John 1:16-17), the fullness of the Holy Spirit anointing upon believers (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8), the full gifts and fruit of the Spirit (1Cor. 12:4-11; Gal. 5:22-23), and the complete redemptive acts and processes of which the law was a shadow (Heb. 10:1) were all predicted by the prophets in the Old Testament. The way into the holiest by the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:19), power and authority of every believer to do the works of Christ (John 14:12), and many other truths and experiences were unknown to the prophets. ‘Desire to look into’ angels are no doubt amazed at the wonderful plan of redemption and of the eternal exaltation of the redeemed. Even now they are being taught by the body of Christ the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:9-11). They observe saints constantly (1Cor. 4:9) and desire to look into the wonderful truths of the gospel.