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    1. Peter--Greek form of Cephas, man of rock.
    - an apostle of Jesus Christ--"He who preaches otherwise than as a messenger of Christ, is not to be heard; if he preach as such, then it is all one as if thou didst hear Christ speaking in thy presence" [LUTHER].
    - to the strangers scattered--literally, "sojourners of the dispersion"; only in Joh 7:35 and Jas 1:1, in New Testament, and the Septuagint, Ps 147:2, "the outcasts of Israel"; the designation peculiarly given to the Jews in their dispersed state throughout the world ever since the Babylonian captivity. These he, as the apostle of the circumcision, primarily addresses, but not in the limited temporal sense only; he regards their temporal condition as a shadow of their spiritual calling to be strangers and pilgrims on earth, looking for the heavenly Jerusalem as their home. So the Gentile Christians, as the spiritual Israel, are included secondarily, as having the same high calling. He (1Pe 1:14; 2:10; 4:3) plainly refers to Christian Gentiles (compare 1Pe 1:17; 1Pe 2:11). Christians, if they rightly consider their calling, must never settle themselves here, but feel themselves travellers. As the Jews in their dispersion diffused through the nations the knowledge of the one God, preparatory to Christ's first advent, so Christians, by their dispersion among the unconverted, diffuse the knowledge of Christ, preparatory to His second advent. "The children of God scattered abroad" constitute one whole in Christ, who "gathers them together in one," now partially and in Spirit, hereafter perfectly and visibly. "Elect," in the Greek order, comes before "strangers"; elect, in relation to heaven, strangers, in relation to the earth. The election here is that of individuals to eternal life by the sovereign grace of God, as the sequel shows. "While each is certified of his own election by the Spirit, he receives no assurance concerning others, nor are we to be too inquisitive [Joh 21:21, 22]; Peter numbers them among the elect, as they carried the appearance of having been regenerated" [CALVIN]. He calls the whole Church by the designation strictly belonging only to the better portion of them [CALVIN]. The election to hearing, and that to eternal life, are distinct. Realization of our election is a strong motive to holiness. The minister invites all, yet he does not hide the truth that in none but the elect will the preaching effect eternal blessing. As the chief fruit of exhortations, and even of threatenings, redounds to "the elect"; therefore, at the outset, Peter addresses them. STEIGER translates, to "the elect pilgrims who form the dispersion in Pontus.", &c. The order of the provinces is that in which they would be viewed by one writing from the east from Babylon (1Pe 5:13); from northeast southwards to Galatia, southeast to Cappadocia, then Asia, and back to Bithynia, west of Pontus. Contrast the order, Ac 2:9. He now was ministering to those same peoples as he preached to on Pentecost: "Parthians, Medes, Elamites, dwellers in Mesopotamia and Judea," that is, the Jews now subject to the Parthians, whose capital was Babylon, where he labored in person; "dwellers in Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Bithynia," the Asiatic dispersion derived from Babylon, whom he ministers to by letter.

    2. foreknowledge--foreordaining love (1Pe 1:20), inseparable from God's foreknowledge, the origin from which, and pattern according to which, election takes place. Ac 2:23, and Ro 11:2, prove "foreknowledge" to be foreordination. God's foreknowledge is not the perception of any ground of action out of Himself; still in it liberty is comprehended, and all absolute constraint debarred [ANSELM in STEIGER]. For so the Son of God was "foreknown" (so the Greek for "foreordained," 1Pe 1:20) to be the sacrificial Lamb, not against, or without His will, but His will rested in the will of the Father; this includes self-conscious action; nay, even cheerful acquiescense. The Hebrew and Greek "know" include approval and acknowledging as one's own. The Hebrew marks the oneness of loving and choosing, by having one word for both, bachar (Greek, "hairetizo," Septuagint). Peter descends from the eternal "election" of God through the new birth, to the believer's "sanctification," that from this he might again raise them through the consideration of their new birth to a "living hope" of the heavenly "inheritance" [HEIDEGGER]. The divine three are introduced in their respective functions in redemption.
    - through--Greek, "in"; the element in which we are elected. The "election" of God realized and manifested itself "IN" their sanctification. Believers are "sanctified through the offering of Christ once for all" (Heb 10:10). "Thou must believe and know that thou art holy; not, however, through thine own piety, but through the blood of Christ" [LUTHER]. This is the true sanctification of the Spirit, to obey the Gospel, to trust in Christ [BULLINGER].
    - sanctification--the Spirit's setting apart of the saint as consecrated to God. The execution of God's choice (Ga 1:4). God the Father gives us salvation by gratuitous election; the Son earns it by His blood-shedding; the Holy Spirit applies the merit of the Son to the soul by the Gospel word [CALVIN]. Compare Nu 6:24-26, the Old Testament triple blessing.
    - unto obedience--the result or end aimed at by God as respects us, the obedience which consists in faith, and that which flows from faith; "obeying the truth through the Spirit" (1Pe 1:22). Ro 1:5, "obedience to the faith," and obedience the fruit of faith.
    - sprinkling, &c.--not in justification through the atonement once for all, which is expressed in the previous clauses, but (as the order proves) the daily being sprinkled by Christ's blood, and so cleansed from all sin, which is the privilege of one already justified and "walking in the light."
    - Grace--the source of "peace."
    - be multiplied--still further than already. Da 4:1, "Ye have now peace and grace, but still not in perfection; therefore, ye must go on increasing until the old Adam be dead" [LUTHER].

    3. He begins, like Paul, in opening his Epistles with giving thanks to God for the greatness of the salvation; herein he looks forward (1) into the future (1Pe 1:3-9); (2) backward into the past (1Pe 1:10-12) [ALFORD].
    - Blessed--A distinct Greek word (eulogetos, "Blessed BE") is used of God, from that used of man (eulogemenos, "Blessed IS").
    - Father--This whole Epistle accords with the Lord's prayer; "Father," 1Pe 1:3, 14, 17, 23; 2:2; "Our," 1Pe 1:4, end; "In heaven," 1Pe 1:4; "Hallowed be Thy name," 1Pe 1:15, 16; 3:15; "Thy kingdom come," 1Pe 2:9; "Thy will be done," 1Pe 2:15; 3:17; 4:2, 19; "daily bread," 1Pe 5:7; "forgiveness of sins," 1Pe 4:8, 1; "temptation," 1Pe 4:12; "deliverance," 1Pe 4:18 [BENGEL]; Compare 1Pe 3:7; 4:7, for allusions to prayer. "Barak," Hebrew "bless," is literally "kneel." God, as the original source of blessing, must be blessed through all His works.
    - abundant--Greek, "much," "full." That God's "mercy" should reach us, guilty and enemies, proves its fulness. "Mercy" met our misery; "grace," our guilt.
    - begotten us again--of the Spirit by the word (1Pe 1:23); whereas we were children of wrath naturally, and dead in sins.
    - unto--so that we have.
    - lively--Greek, "living." It has life in itself, gives life, and looks for life as its object [DE WETTE]. Living is a favorite expression of Peter (1Pe 1:23; 1Pe 2:4, 5). He delights in contemplating life overcoming death in the believer. Faith and love follow hope (1Pe 1:8, 21, 22). "(Unto) a lively hope" is further explained by "(To) an inheritance incorruptible . . . fadeth not away," and "(unto) salvation . . . ready to be revealed in the last time." I prefer with BENGEL and STEIGER to join as in Greek, "Unto a hope living (possessing life and vitality) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Faith, the subjective means of the spiritual resurrection of the soul, is wrought by the same power whereby Christ was raised from the dead. Baptism is an objective means (1Pe 3:21). Its moral fruit is a new life. The connection of our sonship with the resurrection appears also in Lu 20:36; Ac 13:33. Christ's resurrection is the cause of ours, (1) as an efficient cause (1Co 15:22); (2) as an exemplary cause, all the saints being about to rise after the similitude of His resurrection. Our "hope" is, Christ rising from the dead hath ordained the power, and is become the pattern of the believer's resurrection. The soul, born again from its natural state into the life of grace, is after that born again unto the life of glory. Mt 19:28, "regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory"; the resurrection of our bodies is a kind of coming out of the womb of the earth and entering upon immortality, a nativity into another life [BISHOP PEARSON]. The four causes of our salvation are; (1) the primary cause, God's mercy; (2) the proximate cause, Christ's death and resurrection; (3) the formal cause, our regeneration; (4) the final cause, our eternal bliss. As John is the disciple of love, so Paul of faith, and Peter of hope. Hence, Peter, most of all the apostles, urges the resurrection of Christ; an undesigned coincidence between the history and the Epistle, and so a proof of genuineness. Christ's resurrection was the occasion of his own restoration by Christ after his fall.

    4. To an inheritance--the object of our "hope" (1Pe 1:3), which is therefore not a dead, but a "living" hope. The inheritance is the believer's already by title, being actually assigned to him; the entrance on its possession is future, and hoped for as a certainty. Being "begotten again" as a "son," he is an "heir," as earthly fathers beget children who shall inherit their goods. The inheritance is "salvation" (GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH

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