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.

Grace Be With You

2John 1:1-3 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwells in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 

‘Elder’ John was an elder in three ways: By title, being an apostle and a preaching elder; by seniority, both as a Christian and as an apostle. He is thought to have been the oldest of the apostles, to have had the most years of Christian experience and to have been the only one to die a natural death; by age, being about 90 years old at this writing.

In the early days of the congregations, elders were the ministers and deacons, or teaching elders; those who served God for a period of time and had a good report from outside (1Tim 3:6-7) and were experienced in the Word (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 16:4; 20:17, 28; 21:18; 1Tim. 5:17; Tit.1:5; Jas. 5:14).

‘Elect’ from the Greek word eklektos meaning chosen, excellent, preeminent. All men are called to become God’s elect or chosen ones and can be if they will choose God (Matt. 11:28-30; 20:16; John 1:12; 3:16-20; 6:37; Eph. 1:4; 2Thess. 2:13; 1Tim. 2:4 Jas. 2:5;; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 17:14; 22:17).

‘Lady’ the Greek word kuria, the feminine of kurios; meaning Lord. It may signify some honourable woman to whom John addressed the epistle. She probably had a congregation in her home, just as the leaders, Euodias and Syntyche, two women of the congregation of Philippi had (Php. 4:2-3).

‘Her children’ this reference will be the same as Paul writing unto Timothy as his “own son” (1Tim. 1:2) which means a son in the gospel (Acts 16:1-3; 1Tim. 1:18; 2Tim. 1:2; 2:1).

‘I love in the truth’ this love is Christian love and so do all who love the truth. ‘In the truth’ refers to Christ who is the truth, for no greater love do we have than He who laid down His life (John 15:13). ‘Shall be with us for ever’ the doctrines of Christianity are eternal.

‘Grace be with you, mercy, and peace’ three things children of God receive of Him at the new birth. Even though grace cannot be withheld from a man because of demerit, lessened by demerit, or be mixed with the law of works; it does not prove that there are no conditions men must meet in order to get the benefits of grace. Not one scripture teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives 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 (1 John 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel (Rom. 6:1; 2Cor. 6:1; Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4; Heb. 12:15).

‘From God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ’ from both the Father and the Son of the Father, proving two distinct persons of the Trinity.

‘The Son of the Father’ the only time this expression is used. It emphasizes that Jesus is not the Father, but the Son of the Father (John 1:14, 18; 3:16). The incarnation is the very foundation of Christianity.

Grace for Grace

John 1:15-18  John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that come after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 

Christ was in existence before John, but after John in public earthly ministry (Matt. 3:11; Lk. 3:17; John 1:31-33) “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” Micah 5:2 (See also Isa. 9:6-7; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8.)

The Greek word for fullness is pleroma which means abundance, completeness. All needs and lawful wants are promised by the gospel (2Cor. 1:20; Mat. 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; John 14:12-17; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26).

Grace upon grace means full grace, according to our needs and wants (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-38; Jas. 1:5-8).

The law that condemns in the moral life, and only typifies in the religious life is the law of Moses. First of 13 times Moses is mentioned in John (John 1:17, 45; 3:14; 5:45-46; 6:32; 7:19-23; 8:5; 9:28-29). Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ – this does not mean that there was no law before Moses, or no grace and truth before Jesus Christ. The law itself is truth, and the New Testament is law. There are 1,050 commands in the New Testament. The idea here is that the fullness of grace came by Jesus Christ. One can get today in fullness what men received only in part in Old Testament times.

The Greek word for seen is horao which means to see with the eyes and also see with the mind. That it means here to comprehend fully or understand is clear from the fact that many men have seen God with the eyes (Gen. 18:2, 33; 32:24-30; Exo. 24:10; 33:11; Jos. 5:13; Isa. 6:1-13; Ezek. 1:26-28; Dan. 7:9-14; 10:5-6; Acts 7:56-59; Rev. 4:2-5; 5:1-7). The verse could read, “No man has ever comprehended or experienced God at any time in all His fulness, save the only begotten Son . . . . He hath declared Him.” That Christ is the first to experience God in the fullness of the Holy Spirit is clear from John 3:34; Acts 10:38; Isaiah 11:1-2; 61:1-2 and Luke 4:16-18.

The Greek word for declared is exegeomai which means revealed, expounded; where we get our word exegesis.

Believe on His Name

John 1:12-14  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 

The gospel benefits only the individual (Mar. 16:16; John 3:16; 6:37) – as many as received him – and to them did He delegated power; the liberty and right to use power. It is the liberty and right for every man to be saved if he wills (1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17) for they that believe on His name (Acts 2:21; 3:16; 4:12).

The Greek word for born is gennao which means a bringing forth. A word used of people who are adopted into the family of God (John 3:3; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 5:1, 5:18). It does not mean in either of these uses that a new body, soul, and spirit have come into existence, as when used of Christ who is the only begotten Son of God and the first begotten of Mary (John 1:14, 18; 3:16). Not of blood, that is, not by right of natural descent from man. Not by right of the flesh merely to escape punishment. Not by right of man’s theories and religions, but of God who took man’s place to save him (John 3:16; Rom. 3:20-30; 2Cor. 5:14-21).

Christ was made flesh, not spirit; but man, not God; and earthly, not heavenly. This made Him God’s Son, for sonship in connection with Jesus Christ always refers to humanity, never to deity (Lk. 1:35; Acts 13:33).

Jesus is and was and always will be the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14,18; 3:16, 18; 1Jn. 4:9). Men never will be begotten or born in the same sense as Jesus was (Matt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:34-35), for their sonship is on a different basis – that of adoption, not an actual begetting and coming into existence (Rom. 8:15; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5).

Full of the grace by which we are saved and not an excuse to continue in sin (Rom. 6:1-3; Heb. 10:26-31) and the truth which is the Gospel – the life of Jesus Christ that was set as an example for us to live accordingly (1Pet. 2:21-23).

Feet Shod with Preparation

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace  Eph 6:15 KJV 

As we still contemplate the armor of God that we are commanded to put on to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace – being prepared and in readiness to bring the gospel that gives peace with every step we take, as the example was given to us through Christ Jesus’ life in 1 Peter 2:21-22:

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 

We have been called to live our lives according to His example ascribed in the gospels and consistent with the instructions as given in the Epistles by the Apostles.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom Col 3:15-16a KJV

The Gospel or the law of Christ, Gal. 6:2 are the grace of Christ which was preached not after man or received of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal. 1:11-12 It is that which justifies Gal. 2:16 gives the Spirit, works miracles, redeems from the curse of the law. It brings the promise of faith, as well as the establishment and generation thereof. Gal.3; Rom. 10:17; 16:25 It produces the new birth, Gal. 4:21-31; 1 Pet. 1:23 gives salvation, Rom. 1:16; Eph. 1:13 nourishes spiritual life, 1 Pet. 2:2 imparts grace Acts 20:24 and brings liberty which we must stand in, that sets us free. Gal, 5:1, 13; Jn. 8:31-36

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Rom. 5:1 which means we have a change in mind, a new tranquility in God.  Jesus did give us this assurance in John 14:27:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world give, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

We have been warned not to be troubled or afraid because fear will remove our strength, love and sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7 I therefore choose to cast all my cares on my Heavenly Father and make my requests known to Him, always in thanksgiving. I will not tolerate anxiety or worry that will injure my soul and destroy my relationship with God and man.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Php. 4:6-7 KJV