1 Peter – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:

Verse 2 – Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

Verse 3 – nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

Elders were church officers providing supervision, protection, discipline, instruction, and direction for the believers. Peter was a fellow elder, not their superior. His identification with the elders in caring for God’s people, is a powerful example of Christian leadership, where authority is based on service, not power.

Verse 4 – and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Verse 5 – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

As Christians, we are to respect those who are older and listen to those who are younger. But all are to show respect to both ages and serve with a humble spirit.

Verse 6 – Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

Be willing to take a low position and do that to the best of your ability until God sees fit to exalt you. He will do it when you’re ready.

Verse 7 – casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Worry and stress kind of shows we don’t trust Christ to take care of us. It takes humility to ask for help. Sometimes people think that because of their own decisions that turned out wrong, God won’t help and doesn’t care. Never submit to your circumstances, but submit to God who controls your circumstances!

Verse 8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

The devil is looking for weak spots and also listens to what comes out of your mouth especially about the Father. He know whether you have the confidence and faith to believe God will help you, by what you say!

Verse 9 – Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

Verse 10 – But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

Grace is given to the Christian to endure all suffering.

Verse 11 – To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Verse 12 – By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which we stand.

Verse 13 – She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.

Silvanus, is Silas, and Babylon is in reference to Rome.

Verse 14 – Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Peter wrote this letter just before the cruel Emperor Nero began persecuting Christians in Rome and throughout the empire. Peter lived by the words he wrote because he was eventually martyred for his faith.

 

1 Peter – Chapter 4

Verse 1 – Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

Verse 2 – that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Having the same mind as Christ had when he was ready to suffer for the will of God is the same determination Christians are to have. Christ was ready to suffer to bring about salvation to the whole world.

The reasoning is based on the idea that there is such a union between Christ and the believer that His death on the cross secured the death of the believer to the world – ceased from sin.

As Christians, we die to self, meaning, we are no longer under the influence of the former things – sin. We seek only to do the will of God.

Verse 3 – For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles – when we walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

Verse 4 – In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

When a person’s life changes radically at conversion, they may experience contempt from their old friends. They may be mocked because they refuse to participate in some of their activities. The new Christian is heading in the opposite direction now. However, God will give you new friends that you will have much more in common with.

Verse 5 – They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Verse 6 – For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

The basis of salvation is our belief in Jesus, but the basis for judgment is how we live. Those who inflict persecution on others, are marked for punishment when they stand before God.

Verse 7 – But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

Death is certain to all, therefore, we are to live a holy life, by the assurance that “the end of all things is drawing near.” Therefore, be sober, thoughtful, considerate and kind to others. Be serous in prayer because time is short!

Verse 8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

Proverbs 10:12 – Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Love to another will cover or hide a great many imperfections and faults, that you might have noticed in the other person.

Verse 9 – Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

Don’t offer to do something for someone and then quarrel about it.

Verse 10 – As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Any endowment or gift that has been bestowed upon us in order to benefit another. By doing this we show the grace of God.

Verse 11 – If anyone speaks let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.

Some people believe that they have the right to use their God given abilities any way they choose. Others feel they have no special abilities at all, so they do nothing to help others. However, when we use our gifts and talents to serve others, they will see Jesus in us and praise God for the help they have received. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Verse 12 – Beloved do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange things happened to you;

Verse 13 – but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s suffering, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

This means suffering the same kind He endured, and inflicted for the same reasons. They were to rejoice that they were identified with Christ even in suffering. “Then when His glory is revealed” – at the day of judgment.

Verse 14 – If you are reproached for the name of Christ blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

Meaning: If they were reproached, it was a positive condition because they would be considered friends of Christ and had rewards waiting on them in heaven.

Verse 15 – But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.

Those kind of sufferings are because of doing wrong and there is no glory in them.

Verse 16 – Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

Verse 17 – For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

We are to judge ourselves first. We are to keep our character and actions in check, professing to be “Christ-like.” How will those on the outside of God’s house ever know we belong to Him if we don’t obey the gospel? If discipline comes to those who believe, how much more will it come to the unbeliever?

Verse 18 – Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear.

Verse 19 – Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good as to a faithful Creator.

God created the world and has faithfully ordered it and kept it since creation. Because we know God is faithful, we can count on Him to keep His promises to us. If God can oversee the forces of nature, surely He can see us through our trials that we face!

 

 

 

 

1 Peter – Chapter 3

Submission in Marriage

Verse 1 – Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,

Verse 2 – when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

Under Roman law, the husband and father had absolute authority over all members of his household including his wife. (These verses are not talking about a Christian woman marrying an unbeliever. It is talking about the wife being converted after marriage.)

Peter is reassuring Christian wives who were married to an unbelieving husband, that they did not need to preach to their husbands. He was simply saying that if they were kind, loving, and submissive to them, then they might win them over.

Verse 3 – Do not let your beauty be that outward adorning of arranging the hair of wearing gold, or of putting on fine apparel;

Peter is not saying that the wife should neglect her appearance by looking like, “Plain Jane.” It’s all about the heart and attitude when the wife dresses. Don’t be “Show offy!”

Verse 4 – but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Verse 5 – For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,

Verse 6 – as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

By these verses, we see it is not about the jewelry, it’s about a humble heart. And verse 6, is talking about : Don’t come out of the Christian character, even if the husband is mean and causes terror. Handle in a way that is becoming to a Christian wife. However, don’t  ever stay in an abusive relationship.

Verse 7 – Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Husbands, did you catch that ? Be good to your wife, or your prayers will go no further than the ceiling!

Verse 8 – Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender-hearted, be courteous;

Verse 9 – not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

Verse 10 – For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile;

Verse 11 – Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”

When Peter says, “All of you,” he is still talking to the married couple, but we all can take this to heart.

Verse 12 – For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

God protects the righteous. He does it by saving them from those vices by which the lives of so many are shortened. He hears every prayer of His children.

When verse 12 says, “But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, it’s talking about the lost, the unbeliever. The first prayer God will hear from them, is the prayer of repentance and belief in His Son Jesus.

Verse 13 – And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?

The idea is, that God would in general protect them, through the next verse shows some will suffer for righteousness sake.

Verse 14 – But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”

Verse 15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Verse 16 – having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

As Christians, we are to live in such a way that when accusations from the enemy come, that our conscience is clear of any wrong doing.

Verse 17 – For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

You will be comforted by the Lord when doing the Father’s will and you are persecuted!

Verse 18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by Spirit,

Verse 19 – by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

Verse 20 – who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

Peter is showing us of the patience of God through longsuffering for souls to come to Him. It took Noah 120 years to build that ark, and all the while preaching to whom would listen. However, only eight were saved when God shut the door to the ark. How long did God wait on you before you turned to Him?

Verse 21 – There is also an anti-type which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Verse 22 – who has gone to heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Peter says that Noah’s salvation through water symbolized baptism. Baptism is the symbol of the transformation that happens in the heart of death (to the old life), burial (death to sin), and resurrection (raised to a new life), in Christ Jesus.

 

1 Peter – Chapter 2

Desire the Pure Milk of the Word

Verse 1 – Therefore, laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,

Verse 2 – as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

Verse 3 – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Grace is the first thing we should learn as new believers; that a God so gracious would forgive and love us, in spite of our sin. So as we fill our spirits up with the gospel, these old characteristics start to disappear.

Once we start to learn from God;’s word what it means to be  a Christian, we develop a strong desire to have self-control, by staying in the Word. Then as we see things like envy begin to fall away, we know we are maturing.

Verse 4 – Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

Verse 5 – you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Salvation is often referred to as “coming to Christ” the “corner-stone” of the spiritual house. Some reject Him, some come to the “living stone,” for salvation. This body of believers, the spiritual house is built with “living stones,” living materials. This spiritual temple, not made with perishable materials, like that at Jerusalem, but made with redeemed souls, in which Christ is the head.

To offer up spiritual sacrifices – no more animal sacrifices, but a sacrifice of the heart; the sacrifice of prayer and praise, acceptable only y through Christ as our Intercessor before the throne of God.

Verse 6 – Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

Have you ever put your trust in something or someone, and then find out you were wrong to do so? This causes shame or embarrassment. However, God and His Word, can be trusted to their fullest, and you will never fall prey to shame because He does what He says and is who He says He is!

Verse 7 – Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,”

Verse 8 – and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

“But to those who are disobedient” – refuse to be persuaded, to believe. Some of these believe there are many ways to God’ some believe because they think they are a “good person,” that is good enough. However, they still refuse to believe in the only one and true way to God is through Jesus Christ. The gospel offends them, and it therefore becomes a stumbling rock to them! They are blinded to the truth.

Verse 9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him which called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Verse 10 – who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

“Called out of darkness” – darkness is the emblem of ignorance, sin, and misery, and refers to their condition, and ours, before conversion. Those who are brought to the knowledge of the gospel.

A conversion is so great and so rapid, the views and feelings are so different before and after conversion, that it seems like a sudden transition from midnight to noon – darkness to light. In all cases of genuine conversion it is true that each one can say that they have been called from a state in which their mind was dark to one in which it is comparatively clear!

Verse 11 – Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

Verse 12 – having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Christians are identified as sojourners and pilgrims because this world is not our home. “Abstain from fleshly lusts” – these fleshly lusts can be sexual temptations; and be temptations that conquer us. There are all kinds of temptations to make the flesh feel fulfilled. It’s not wrong to want to be happy, but we know what is good for us and what isn’t. The choices we make in this life will affect us in the next.

Peter uses the Gentiles as the evildoers in the next verse, because there were a large number of non-believers that were involved in paganism surrounding the Christians that he was writing to. If we are constantly on guard of our behavior and conduct to honor God, we shouldn’t worry too much about what unbelievers say about us. When they speak lies, others will see that what they’ve accused us of is not true.

Verse 13 – Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

Verse 14 – or to governors as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.

The meaning is to every institution of man, those who are in authority – obey the laws of the land unless contrary to God’s laws. If we don’t break the law, then we wont’ be punished by the law.

Verse 15 – For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men –

Verse 16 – as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God.

Those who were converted to the Christian faith, whether from among the Jews or the Gentiles, were made to feel that they were the children of God, and that His law was the supreme rule of their lives. They were not to forget their subjection to civil authority and that liberty was an invaluable blessing. They were free from sin and condemnation.

Verse 17 – Honor all people, love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

Verse 18 – Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.

Our demeanor is not to change due to the response of the other person.

Verse 19 – For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

Meaning: Even if we suffer at the hands of someone being harsh, we still do what’s right because we love God. He will make it right.

Verse 20 – For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

The idea is, that if a person was justly punished, (meaning they deserved it) and take it patiently, there would be no honor in it. On the other hand, if someone who is unjustly punished for no wrong doing, then it is honor in God’s sight.

Verse 21 – For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

Verse 22 – “Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth,”

Verse 23 – who, when He reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

Verse 24 – who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we have died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you ere healed.

Peter said all that , to show Christians: That because Christ suffered for the sins of others, who had no sin Himself, we will also suffer unjustly in this world at the hands of others, so let Christ be an example as to how we conduct ourselves when we are harshly treated.

“By whose stripes” – Christ took the scourging, beatings, and humiliation for us on account of our sin.

“Ye were healed” – Sin is often spoken of as a disease, and redemption from it as a restoration from it.

Verse 25 – For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Like sheep with no shepherd, we all had wandered away from the flock, and were following our own paths before coming to Christ. We were without a protector and were exposed to every kind of danger.

But once we became born-again, we return to the true flock and now have the great Protector and Shepherd of our souls living on the inside of us.

 

1 Peter – Chapter 1

Introduction: Persecution can cause either growth or bitterness in the Christian life. Response will determine the result. In writing to Jewish believers struggling in the midst of persecution, Peter encourages them to conduct themselves courageously.  Both their character and conduct must be above reproach.

Chapter 1

Verse 1 – Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Verse 2 – elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

Verse 3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Verse 4 – to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

Verse 5 – who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

James was writing to the temporary residents which had been dispersed to that region – in this case, the five Roman provinces located in what is now modern Turkey.

Divine foreknowledge is the basis on which a believer is chosen. It is more than just God’s prior knowledge of everything; it also includes His predetermination.

All members of the Trinity work to bring about our salvation. The Father chose us before we chose Him (Ephesians 1:4).

For those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, they have an inheritance with the Father for all eternity.

Verse 6 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you  have been grieved by various trials,

Verse 7 – that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

Verse 8 – whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

Verse 9 – receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.

When Peter talks about sufferings he is not talking about natural disasters or experiencing God’s punishment, but the response of an unbelieving world to people of faith – persecutions.

All Christians will suffer trials, fiery trials, that burn away impurities and prepares us to meet Christ. Trials teach us patience and helps us grow into the kind of people God wants. Just as gold is heated to remove the impurities, likewise we are strengthened through trials of our faith.

Verse 10 – Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, when prophesied of the grace that would come to you,

Verse 11 – searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

The Old Testament people didn’t personally know Christ, but they believed God and His promise of a Messiah. That promise that the prophets had looked forward to had now been revealed – salvation through Christ.

The Spirit of Christ is another name for the Holy Spirit.

Verse 12 – To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into.

Verse 13 – Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

When Christ is revealed to you, grace is supplied. When Christ is accepted, hope takes hold of an eternal rest with the Savior.

Verse 14 – as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;

Former ignorance: suggests that the recipients of this letter were mostly Gentiles who, before coming to Christ, practiced pagan religions.

Verse 15 – but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

Verse 16 – because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Holiness means being totally devoted or dedicated to God, set aside for His special use and set apart from sin and its influence. This is in contrast to the way we used to live. Always keep in mind, we are all accountable for our actions.

Verse 17 – And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear;

Verse 18 – knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

Verse 19 – but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

We are not to take our salvation, that was bought with the precious blood of Christ, for granted. That alone should make anyone want to live a holy life.

Verse 20 – He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you,

Verse 21 – who through Him believed in God, who raised Him form the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Christ was not an afterthought after man sinned. The plan was set in motion by the all-knowing, eternal God long before the world was created.

Verse 22 – Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

Verse 23 – having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

Verse 24 – because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,

Verse 25 – but the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Do you know a self-centered person cannot truly love. Everything is only temporary except the Word of God, which is eternal! Why is it that something that is so important to our very life and destiny after death, do so many know so little about? If people want a spirit filled life, then they need to go to the word of God and get filled. It makes all the difference in the world how your life will turn out.