Baptism

1Corinthians 1:14-17 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 

‘Crispus’ was the chief ruler of the synagogue and he believed in the Lord with all his house (Acts 18:8). The chief ruler presided in all assemblies, interpreted the law, decided what was lawful and unlawful, punished and executed the rebellious, solemnized marriages, and issued divorces. Upon his conversion, Sosthenes succeeded him (Acts 18:17). He also became a convert (1Cor. 1:1).

 ‘Gaius’ mentioned in Romans 16:23. He may be the Diotrephes whom John refers to in his third epistle (3Jn. 1:9), when he says that he wrote unto the congregation. If this is true then we could suppose that 3 John could be called John’s epistle to the Corinthian congregation.

‘Stephanas’ we read of in 1Corinthians 16:15-17.

‘Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.’ Seven important facts Paul notes on water baptism: Paul was thankful that he had not emphasized or practiced baptism (1:14). Christ sent him not to baptize, but to preach the gospel (1:17). Baptism is not essential to salvation from sin (1:17-24). It is merely a symbol of that salvation (1Pet. 3:21). Christ saves people before and without water baptism (1:17-21). The gospel were preached without the preacher being a baptizer (1:17; John 4:2; Matt. 4:17-24). The preaching of the cross, not baptism, is God’s power to save (1:18-21; Rom. 1:16; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9). Faith, not baptism, saves the soul (1:21; John 3:15-20, 36; 5:24). It is important only after one is saved. Baptism into water is essential to obedience and to a “good conscience” after one is saved and in Christ (Mt. 28:19; 1Pet. 3:21; 1Jn. 5:6-10).

‘Not with wisdom of words.’ Human eloquence is no substitute for Holy Spirit anointing and power (2:1-5).

Dead to Sin

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 

‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? … How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?’ – having proved the sinfulness of both Jews and Gentiles and that both must be redeemed alike by Christ through faith and grace, Paul now takes up the argument of the divine method of dealing with sin and the secret of a victorious holy life (Romans 6:1-8:39). The questions come up that if salvation is free and apart from works – if the more heinous the sins the more abundant the grace to pardon then may we not go on in sin so that the grace of God may become magnified? God forbid.

Seven plain gospel facts are stated in 1John: Christ was manifested to take away our sins (1Jn. 3:5; Tit. 2:12). One cannot be in Christ and continue to sin (1Jn. 3:5-6; 2Cor. 5:17). Man can be as righteous as Christ in this life (1Jn. 3:7; 4:17; Tit. 2:12). Every man who sins is of the devil (1Jn. 3:8; John 8:44). Christ came to destroy the works of the devil (1Jn. 3:8; Matt. 8:17; Acts 10:38; John 10:10). One cannot sin as long as the Word of God remains in him (Rom. 6:14-23; 8:1-13; 1Jn. 3:9). All people are not children of God (1Jn. 3:10).

Literally thousands of religious teachers are constantly saying that no man can live free from sin, that we sin every day, and that there is no man that does not sin every day he lives. One can see that this teaching is entirely out of harmony with the Bible by reading Scripture. If these men sin every day, then they are sinners every day and there is no time that they are not sinners. If they are sinners all the time, then there is no time they are not under the death penalty of the broken law, and they will be sent to Hell as sinners to pay the death penalty. They are not Christians or saved from sin any one day they live if they sin every day they live. Christ means nothing to them if they are sinners and if they cannot be saved from sin. People who think they cannot live free from sin are really mistaken as to what sin is. If they class lack of knowledge, temptations, and common mistakes in life that do not break the law of God as sin, then they are right that no man lives free from sin. But if they think one cannot live free from the sins of Galatians 5:19-21 as well as Romans 1:21-32; 6:19; 2Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:19; 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1Thessalonians 2:3; 4:7 and 2Peter 2:1-22 that will damn the soul, then they are all wrong, for such must be true of anyone who will be saved. Men who argue that no person can live without sin are simply using every excuse under the sun to continue in sin.  They want to make people believe that they are Christians and yet they want to indulge in some sin or bad habit that will condemn them in the end. Men can live free from sin if they get saved from sin and permit Christ to live in their lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. If men live in sin daily then there is not a day in which they are not tindering the condemnation of a broken law and they will be sent to Hell to pay the death penalty for sin.

‘God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?’ many reasons are given in Romans that we should not continue living in sin: Death to sin nullifies it (6:2-3); resurrection from spiritual death (6:4-5); we walk in newness of life (6:4); death to sin and resurrection from sin means walking like Christ (6:5; 1Pet. 2:21-22; 1Jn. 2:6; 4:6, 17); the old man is crucified and dead (6:6; Eph. 4:22-24; 1Jn. 5:18); the body of sin is destroyed, that henceforth we should not sin (6:6); we are freed from sin (6:7, 18, 22); faith counts sin dead (6:8); sin has no dominion over us (6:9); sin not to reign in the body (6:12); the body must not yield to sin (6:13); married to Christ, not sin (7:4); we walk in the Spirit (8:1-4); we are made free from the law of sin (8:2); we are spiritually minded (8:6); Christ is in us, not sin (8:10); we are not debtors to sin (8:12); the Spirit mortifies sin in us (8:13); we have Spirit of freedom (8:15); intercession of Christ and the Holy Spirit keeps us (8:26-27, 34).

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).

Bare Our Sins

1Peter 2:24-25 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 

‘His own self’ Jesus Himself, not another in His place, died for our sins (2:24; 1Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:4; Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28).

‘Bare our sins’ He bore the punishment due to our sins. In no other sense could He bear them.

‘Own body’ in the human body prepared by God for Him to become incarnate in (Heb. 10:5).

‘On the tree’ on the cross (Matt. 27:32; Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Gal. 3:13).

‘That we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed’ Three reasons for Christ’s death: That we might be dead to sins (Rom. 6:6-7); that we might live unto righteousness [with no sin] (Rom. 3:26); that we might be healed.

‘Should live unto righteousness’ this means that we should live without sin (Rom. 6; 1Jn. 3). No scripture ever sanctions living in sin as many teach today. Without holiness, no man shall see God (Heb. 12:1-29).

‘By whose stripes you were healed’ physical healing is part of the redemptive work of Christ. By His stripes, we are healed (Isa. 53:5; Matt. 8:17). Two bodily references are made in atonement (at-one-ment with God): Wound [Hebrew: chalal] to wound; bore; slay; pierce (Ps. 109:22; Isa. 51:9; 53:5). This refers to the piercing of the hands, feet, and side. Bruise [Hebrew: daka’] to crumble; beat to pieces; break; bruise; crush; destroy; smite (Job 19:2; Ps. 72:4; 94:5; Isa. 3:15; 53:5, 10). This refers to the stripes by scourging, cuts by thorns, and other physical sufferings, and proves this was part of the work of atonement by which blood was shed. It was by this particular phase of punishment that physical healing was provided for all alike (Isa. 53:5; 1Pet. 2:24).

‘For you were as sheep going astray’ quoted from Isaiah 53:5-6. This is the anticipated confession of men, and the very cause for which the Messiah suffered. ‘Like sheep’ sheep are the most helpless of all animals when they go astray.

‘We have turned every one to his own way’ this has been the way of man ever since the fall. Each one pursues his own interests, makes his own plans, and seeks to gratify his own selfishness, regardless of the interest and good of the whole (Jdg. 17:6; 21:25).

‘As sheep’ people are compared to sheep before salvation (Isa. 53:6; Luke 15:4-6) as well as after it (Matt. 10:16).

‘Shepherd’ Christ is the Good Shepherd and the Overseer of our souls (John 10:6-17; Heb. 13:20-21). ‘Bishop’ [Greek: episkopos] A bishop was a preaching elder (Php. 1:1; 1Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:7; 1Pet. 2:25). Bishops and presbyters were the same.

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.

Believe in God

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Name of the Son

1John 5:13-21 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God’ this is the purpose of the written Word that was given to us by God (2Tim. 3:16) through the prophets (Old Testament) and the apostles (New Testament); that those who believe on the name of Jesus can have eternal life. ‘That you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe in the name of the Son of God’ two reasons for writing: That you may have eternal life and that you may believe in Jesus.

‘The name of the Son of God’ the name of Jesus stands for justice, love, righteousness, holiness, peace, power, influence, happiness, liberty, life, light, joy, friendship, judgment, salvation, home, Heaven, and all that is good. It has been the greatest name of all ages among men. Some have died for it and some have hated it enough to be damned because of it. It is the hope of the world and the joy of all saints.

The most wonderful truth for saints is that of the free and unreserved use of His name to carry on the work of God in the Earth and to act in His stead among men in defeating sin and satan. Men are the only visible agents of God in the world. God desires them to fully represent Him with great power and authority to prove to men that God is great and powerful to save their souls. From the way the average man represents God among men, it would seem that satan is greater and more powerful than God. All arguments from these weak and failing representatives of God are not convincing to unbelievers that God is the greatest.

All men have the legal and redemptive right to use the name of Jesus in asking and receiving from God. This puts prayer on a purely legal basis. The name of Jesus means much to the Father. He will always honour this name, for it means to Him that redemption has been completed and the world is saved from eternal rule by satanic powers. It means to the Father that His eternal plan of a perfect and sinless society on Earth and in the whole universe is guaranteed. This means more to the Father than our finite minds can now grasp because of the lack of understanding of the scope of the plan of God for man. The Father recognizes all that the name of Jesus implies. He knows that we have a legal and family right to use this name in prayer. The Father knows that the right use of this name will deliver all men from sin, sickness, and failure in life. It is the glory of God to recognize the name of Jesus in prayer and to answer according to the faith exercised.

‘Know that you have eternal life:’ By personal fellowship (1:3-7; 2:13); in fullness of joy in the heart (1:4); in keeping His commandments (2:3; 3:22); when walking even as He walked (2:6; 1Pet. 2:21-23); in love of the brethren (2:9-11; 3:10-19, 23; 4:7-21; 5:1); overcoming the world and satan (2:13-14; 5:4, 18); in the hatred of the world (2:15-17); being one with Christians (2:19); in Holy Spirit anointing (2:20-27); knowing the truth that sets free (2:21; John 8:32-36); acknowledging God and Christ (2:22-25); doing righteousness (2:29; 3:7-10; 5:1-4, 18); by purifying ourselves (3:3); being born again (2:29; 3:9; 5:1-18); cleansing from sin (1:7-9; 3:5-10); in freedom from condemnation (3:20-24); the indwelling Spirit (3:24; 4:4, 13); in faith (2:23; 5:1, 10); by confessing Christ (4:14-15); and receiving Him (5:10-13; John 1:12); through answered prayer (3:21-22; 5:14-15).

‘According to his will, he hears us’ this means according to His word (John 15:7; Rom. 10:17). God cannot deny His Word or Himself. We should consider the answers as sure as if we already had them (Rom. 4:17; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8; Mark 11:22-24).

‘Brother sin a sin’ a Christian brother, not a sinner. ‘Unto death’ all sin is forgivable except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31-32). Since this sin is the only one unto death (i.e., unforgivable), it is useless to pray for it.

Jesus Before Pilate

John 18:28-32 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring you against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take you him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying what death he should die. 

‘Let they Jesus from Caiaphas’ Jesus was led by the mob to Annas (18:13); by the mob to Caiaphas (Matt. 26:57; Mark 14:53; Luke 22:54; John 18:24); by the Jews to Pilate (Matt. 27:2; Luke 23:1; John 18:28); by soldiers to Herod (Luke 23:7); by soldiers to Pilate again (Luke 23:11-25); by soldiers to be scourged and mocked (Mark 15:16-19); by soldiers to be crucified (Matt. 27:31; Mark 15:20; Luke 23:26, 32; John 19:16).

‘The hall of judgment’ Pilate’s house, called the Praetorium, the dwelling place of the praetor, the chief ruler of the province. It was where he held court (Mark 15:16).

‘Early’ it was early in the day of preparation, from our Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset. It was perhaps between 11:00 p.m. to midnight, for a little later it was the 6th hour or midnight (19:14).

‘Passover’ Jesus had eaten of the passover before the time (Matt. 26:18-20; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-15), and was Himself slain at the time of the offering of the paschal lamb (1Cor. 5:7).

‘Pilate then went out unto them’ he went out to them lest they be defiled by coming into him. The Romans had agreed to permit the Jews the free use of their rites and ceremonies, so this was all Pilate could do.

‘Malefactor’ the Greek word kakopoios which means evildoer. They did not want Pilate to judge, but to execute the sentence they had already illegally passed. Pilate was not willing to execute a man whom he had not tried and who was not guilty, so offered to turn Jesus over to them for execution (John 18:31).

‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death’ this was another sin of the Jews. They had the power to stone anyone breaking their law (8:1-11, 59; 10:31; Acts 7:59), but in this case, they lied and, fearing the people, determined to raise the plea of rebellion against Caesar, throwing the responsibility of the Lord’s death upon Pilate (19:7, 12). He had to die by crucifixion to fulfil prophecy (Matt. 20:19; 26:2; John 3:14; 12:32-33). Jews did not crucify and they had no power to do so with criminals that were accused of crimes against the state, so they intimidated Pilate by accusing him of not being a friend of Caesar if he let Christ go (19:7, 12).