2/26/21

God's Mercy and Justice by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=960

God's Mercy and Justice

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

The inspired writers of the Bible recorded a remarkable amount of material about two characteristics of God: mercy and justice. These two qualities, at first glance, might seem contradictory. Can a gracious, merciful God punish people?

First, observe a portion of the biblical record of God’s mercy. Just after the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, Moses led them in a song of praise to God, which included this verse: “You in Your mercy have led forth the people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation” (Exodus 15:13, emp. added). It was not long after this that God gave the Israelites instructions to build the Ark of the Covenant, the lid of which was called the mercy seat. The mercy seat was made of pure gold, and was the place where God communicated with Moses (Exodus 25:22; 30:6). The Greek word used to name the mercy seat is hilasterion (Hebrews 9:5), a word that also is used to designate Jesus (Romans 3:25; McCord, 128[17]:527). In a sense, Jesus is the “mercy seat” for Christians—His merciful sacrifice and eternal presence allow us to communicate with the Father (see 1 John 2:1; Hebrews 7:27), and through Christ we receive God’s mercy (Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Peter 1:3).

When revealing the Ten Commandments to Moses, God Himself proclaimed both His divine mercy and justice:

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth, you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep My commandments (Exodus 20:4-7).

Just as God’s mercy continues to exist, the justice of God likewise is not limited to the long ago. God is still serious about people serving Him, and about the consequences for people who choose not to serve Him. It is fascinating and startling to study the numerous passages where God’s vengeance is under consideration. For example, Hebrews 10:30 records: “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ ” In Romans 12:19, Paul wrote: “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Our perfect God cannot allow sin to go unpunished (see Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:9). God always has been just—He punished Adam, for example, because sin has consequences (Genesis 2:17). Norman L. Bales observed of God’s punishing Adam: “Had He not done so, our relationship with Him would be as unpredictable as the relationship the ancient pagan people imagined they had with their numerous deities” (1989, p. 33). We can depend on God’s system of ethics because God has never treated the righteous and the wicked in the same way (p. 34).

Many sincerely ask: “How could a merciful God allow souls to be eternally lost?” Some people conclude that mercy and justice must be mutually exclusive characteristics of God, and, consequently, God never could exercise justice or wrath on anyone, because His mercy prevails. Their picture of God is skewed, because they picture Him as akin to a benevolent, grandfather who constantly gives generous gifts, but is extremely hesitant to discipline. In God’s dealings with humans, both mercy and justice are present, with the two characteristics balancing each other.

If God is truly good (and He is), then He cannot tolerate or overlook evil. He did not overlook the sin of Adam (Genesis 3:17-19), Cain (Genesis 4:11-13), Saul (1 Samuel 15:26), or David (2 Samuel 12:8-10), and He certainly will not overlook sin in the modern world. However, God has mercifully provided a way for sinners to escape His wrath: He sacrificed His spotless, sinless Son. Christ was the only One Who was qualified to be a sacrifice for sin, and because He never sinned, His pure blood can wash away our sins (Revelation 1:5; Hebrews 13:20), allowing us to stand justified before God on the Day of Judgment (Titus 3:7; Hebrews 10:19). However, we must take the necessary steps to appropriate that blood to our souls (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12).

The justice and mercy of God have never contradicted each other. In fact, our perfect Creator balances the two qualities masterfully. If that were not true, the psalmist would not have been able to proclaim, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face” (Psalm 89:14, emp. added).

REFERENCES

Bales, Norman L. (1989), How Do I Know I’m Saved?: A Study of God’s Grace (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate)

McCord, Hugo (1987), “The Mercy Seat,” Gospel Advocate, 128:527, September 3.

God's Just Destruction of the Canaanites by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4660

God's Just Destruction of the Canaanites

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In the 1930s and 40s, the Nazi regime committed state-sponsored genocide of so-called “inferior races.” Of the approximately nine million Jews who lived in Europe at the beginning of the 1930s, some six million of them were exterminated. The Nazis murdered approximately one million Jewish children, two million Jewish women, and three million Jewish men. The Jews were starved, gassed, and experimented on like animals. In addition, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime slaughtered another three million Poles, Soviets, gypsies, and people with disabilities (see “Holocaust,” 2011 for more information). Most sane people, including Christians and many atheists (e.g., Antony Flew, Wallace Matson), have interpreted the Nazis’ actions for what they were—cruel, callous, and nefarious. 

Some 3,400 years before the Holocaust, the God of the Bible commanded the Israelites to “destroy all the inhabitants of the land” of Canaan (Joshua 9:24). They were to conquer, kill, and cast out the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites (Exodus 23:23; Deuteronomy 7:1-2; Joshua 3:10). After crossing the Jordan River, we learn in the book of Joshua that the Israelites “utterly destroyed all that was in the city [of Jericho], both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword…. [T]hey burned the city and all that was in it with fire” (Joshua 6:21,24). They also “utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai” (Joshua 8:26), killing 12,000 men and women, and hanging their king (8:25,29). In Makkedah and Libnah, the Israelites “let none remain” (Joshua 10:28,30). They struck Lachish “and all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword” (10:32). The Israelites then conquered Gezer, Eglon, Hebron, Debir, and Hazor (10:33-39; 11:1-1). “So all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took and struck with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded” (Joshua 11:12). 

God had the Israelites kill countless thousands, perhaps millions, of people throughout the land of Canaan. It was genocide in the sense that it was a planned, systematic, limited extermination of a number of nation states from a relatively small area in the Middle East (cf. “Genocide,” 2000; cf. also “Genocide,” 2012). But, it was not a war against a particular race (from the Greek genos) or ethnic group. Nor were the Israelites commanded to pursue and kill the Canaanite nations if they fled from Israel’s Promised Land. The Israelites were to drive out and dispossess the nations of their land (killing all who resisted the dispossession), but they were not instructed to annihilate a particular race or ethnic group from the face of the Earth.

Still, many find God’s commands to conquer and destroy the Canaanite nation states problematic. How could a loving God instruct one group of people to kill and conquer another group? America’s most well-known critic of Christianity in the late 1700s and early 1800s, Thomas Paine (one of only a handful of America’s Founding Fathers who did not claim to be a Christian), called the God of the Old Testament “the Mars of the Jews, the fighting God of Israel,” Who was “boisterous, contemptible, and vulgar” (Paine, 1807). Two centuries later, Richard Dawkins (arguably the most famous atheist in the world today), published his book The God Delusion, which soon became a New York Times bestseller. One of the most oft-quoted phrases from this work comes from page 31, where Dawkins called God, a “racist, infanticidal, genocidal…capriciously malevolent bully” (2006). According to one search engine, this quote (in part or in whole) is found on-line approximately one million times. The fact is, critics of the God of the Bible are fond of repeating the allegation that, because of His instruction to the Israelites to kill millions of people in their conquest of Canaan, the God of the Bible has (allegedly) shown Himself to be an unruly, shameful, offensive, genocidal, “evil monster” (Dawkins, p. 248; cf. Hitchens, 2007, p. 107).

Was God’s Campaign Against Canaan Immoral?

How could a supremely good (Mark 10:18), all-loving (1 John 4:8), perfectly holy God (Leviticus 11:44-45) order the Israelites to slay with swords myriads of human beings, letting “none remain” in Canaan? Is not such a planned, systematic extermination of nations equivalent to the murderous actions of the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s, as atheists and other critics of Christianity would have us believe? In truth, God’s actions in Israel’s conquest of Canaan were in perfect harmony with His supremely loving, merciful, righteous, just, and holy nature.

Punishing Evildoers is Not Unloving

Similar to how merciful parents, principals, policemen, and judges can justly administer punishment to rule-breakers and evildoers, so too can the all-knowing, all-loving Creator of the Universe. Loving parents and principals have administered corporal punishment appropriately to children for years (cf. Proverbs 13:24). Merciful policemen, who are constantly saving the lives of the innocent, have the authority (both from God and the government—Romans 13:1-4) to kill a wicked person who is murdering others. Just judges have the authority to sentence a depraved child rapist to death. Loving-kindness and corporal or capital punishment are not antithetical. Prior to conquering Canaan, God commanded the Israelites, saying,

You shall not hate your brother in your heart…. You shall not take vengeance nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself…. And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself (Leviticus 19:17-18,33-34; cf. Romans 13:9).

The faithful Jew was expected, as are Christians, to “not resist an evil person” (Matthew 5:39) but rather “go the extra mile” (Matthew 5:41) and “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39). “Love,” after all, “is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10; cf. Matthew 22:36-40). Interestingly, however, the Israelite was commanded to punish (even kill) lawbreakers. Just five chapters after commanding the individual Israelite to “not take vengeance,” but “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), God twice said that murderers would receive the death penalty (Leviticus 24:21,17).

The Wickedness of the Inhabitants of Canaan

The Canaanite nations were punished because of their extreme wickedness. God did not cast out the Canaanites for being a particular race or ethnic group. God did not send the Israelites into the land of Canaan to destroy a number of righteous nations. On the contrary, the Canaanite nations were horribly depraved. They practiced “abominable customs” (Leviticus 18:30) and did “detestable things” (Deuteronomy 18:9, NASB). They practiced idolatry, witchcraft, soothsaying, and sorcery. They attempted to cast spells upon people and call up the dead (Deuteronomy 18:10-11).

Their “cultic practice was barbarous and thoroughly licentious” (Unger, 1954, p. 175). Their “deities…had no moral character whatever,” which “must have brought out the worst traits in their devotees and entailed many of the most demoralizing practices of the time,” including sensuous nudity, orgiastic nature-worship, snake worship, and even child sacrifice (Unger, 1954, p. 175; cf. Albright, 1940, p. 214). As Moses wrote, the inhabitants of Canaan would “burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30). The Canaanite nations were anything but “innocent.” In truth, “[t]hese Canaanite cults were utterly immoral, decadent, and corrupt, dangerously contaminating and thoroughly justifying the divine command to destroy their devotees” (Unger, 1988). They were so nefarious that God said they defiled the land and the land could stomach them no longer—“the land vomited out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:25). [NOTE: Israel was an imperfect nation (as all nations are), but God still used them to punish the Canaanites. God warned Israel before ever entering Canaan, however, that if they forsook His law, they, too, would be severely punished (Deuteronomy 28:15ff). In fact, similar to how God used the Israelites to bring judgment upon the inhabitants of Canaan in the time of Joshua, He used the pagan nations of Babylon and Assyria to judge and conquer Israel hundreds of years later.]

The Longsuffering of God

Unlike the foolish, impulsive, quick-tempered reactions of many men (Proverbs 14:29), the Lord is “slow to anger and great in mercy” (Psalm 145:8). He is “longsuffering…, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Immediately following a reminder to the Christians in Rome that the Old Testament was “written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope,” the apostle Paul referred to God as “the God of patience” (Romans 15:4-5). Throughout the Old Testament, the Bible writers portrayed God as longsuffering.

Though in Noah’s day, “the wickedness of man was great in the earth” and “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5), “the Divine longsuffering waited” (1 Peter 3:20). (It seems as though God delayed flooding the Earth for 120 years as His Spirit’s message of righteousness was preached to a wicked world—Genesis 6:3; 2 Peter 2:5.) In the days of Abraham, God ultimately decided to spare the iniquitous city of Sodom, not if 50 righteous people were found living therein, but only 10 righteous individuals.

And what about prior to God’s destruction of the Canaanite nations? Did God quickly decide to cast them out of the land? Did He respond to the peoples’ wickedness like an impulsive, reckless mad-man? Or was He, as the Bible repeatedly states and exemplifies, longsuffering? Indeed, God waited. He waited more than four centuries to bring judgment upon the inhabitants of Canaan. Although the Amorites were already a sinful people in Abraham’s day, God delayed in giving the descendants of the patriarch the Promised Land. He would wait until the Israelites had been in Egypt for hundreds of years, because at the time that God spoke with Abraham “the iniquity of the Amorites” was “not yet complete” (Genesis 15:16). [NOTE: “The Amorites were so numerous and powerful a tribe in Canaan that they are sometimes named for the whole of the ancient inhabitants, as they are here” (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, 1997).] In Abraham’s day, the inhabitants of Canaan were not so degenerate that God would bring judgment upon them. However, by the time of Joshua (more than 400 years later), the Canaanites’ iniquity was full, and God used the army of Israel to destroy them.

Yes, God is longsuffering, but His longsuffering is not an “eternal” suffering. His patience with impenitent sinners eventually ends. It ended for a wicked world in the days of Noah. It ended for Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Abraham. And it eventually ended for the inhabitants of Canaan, whom God justly destroyed.

What About the Innocent Children?

The children of Canaan were not guilty of their parents’ sins (cf. Ezekiel 18:20); they were sinless, innocent, precious human beings (cf. Matthew 18:3-5; see Butt, 2003). So how could God justly take the lives of children, any children, “who have no knowledge of good and evil” (Deuteronomy 1:39)? The fact is, as Dave Miller properly noted, “Including the children in the destruction of such populations actually spared them from a worse condition—that of being reared to be as wicked as their parents and thus face eternal punishment. All persons who die in childhood, according to the Bible, are ushered to Paradise and will ultimately reside in Heaven. Children who have parents who are evil must naturally suffer innocently while on Earth (e.g., Numbers 14:33)” (Miller, 2009). God, the Giver of life (Acts 17:25; Ecclesiastes 12:7), and only God has the right to take the life of His creation whenever He chooses (for the righteous purposes that He has). At times in history, God took the life of men out of righteous judgment. At other times (as in the case of children), it was taken for merciful reasons. [NOTE: For a superb, extensive discussion on the relationship between (1) the goodness of God, (2) the contradictory, hideousness of atheism, and (3) God bringing about the death of various infants throughout history, see Kyle Butt’s article “Is God Immoral for Killing Innocent Children?” (2009).]

CONCLUSION

Though the enemies of the God of the Bible are frequently heard criticizing Israel’s conquest of Canaan, the fact is, such a conquest was in complete harmony with God’s perfectly loving, holy, and righteous nature. After patiently waiting for hundreds of years, God eventually used the Israelites to bring judgment upon myriads of wicked Canaanites. Simultaneously, He spared their children a fate much worse than physical death—the horror of growing up in a reprehensible culture and becoming like their hedonistic parents—and immediately ushered them into a pain-free, marvelous place called Paradise (Luke 16:19-31; 23:43).

REFERENCES

Albright, William F. (1940), From the Stone Age to Christianity (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins).

Butt, Kyle (2003), “Do Babies Go to Hell When They Die?” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1201.

Butt, Kyle (2009), “Is God Immoral for Killing Innocent Children?” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/article/260.

Dawkins, Richard (2006), The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin).

“Genocide” (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.

“Genocide” (2012), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genocide.

Hitchens, Christopher (2007), God is Not Great (New York: Twelve).

“Holocaust” (2011), Encyclopedia.com, http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Holocaust.aspx#1.

Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

Miller, Dave (2009), “Did God Order the Killing of Babies?” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=2810.

Paine, Thomas (1807), “Essay on Dream,” http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/paine/dream.htm.

Unger, Merrill F. (1954), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Unger, Merrill F. (1988), “Canaan,” The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

God's Fierce Anger by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1186

God's Fierce Anger

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

A great disservice has been committed against the present generation of Americans. An inaccurate picture of the character and nature of God has been created. But only God’s Word can provide us with a balanced, healthy comprehension of God’s personal attributes. Only the Bible can bestow upon us the appropriate interplay between the love and mercy of God, as well as the wrath and anger of God. Many people today have failed to assess properly the reality of God’s wrath. They have substituted emotion and human feelings for truth and the clear statements of God.

A general attitude of permissiveness, laxity, and undiscriminating tolerance has blanketed American society. Many Christians comfortably relax in the presence of impenitent sin and open defiance of the laws of God—using the refrain that, after all, “nobody’s perfect.” Christians demonstrate a willingness to toy with unscriptural innovation—after all, “God wants us to be happy and to express ourselves.” Church members entertain fellowship with false religion—after all, “it’s sincerity that counts,” not whether you conform to the objective, absolute will of God. Churches lose their sense of alarm and urgency in providing wayward church members and the unevangelized with the divine antidote to sin and their lost condition.

Out of this context, voices have arisen that focus almost exclusively upon the love of God. Emphasis is repeatedly placed upon God’s compassion, mercy, and grace—to the neglect of other attributes of God. While one never can emphasize God’s love enough, one can be guilty of misrepresenting the true nature of that love. One can so present the love of God that the equally biblical doctrine of God’s wrath makes no sense, and eventually fades into irrelevance.

THE LOVE OF GOD

Many Bible passages detail the amazing love of God. Consider the following from the New Testament:

Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things (Matthew 6:30,32).

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11).

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32).

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16).

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:8-10).

[T]he kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared (Titus 3:4).

Even in the Old Testament, God’s amazing love is expressed repeatedly:

And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exodus 34:6-7).

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back (Isaiah 38:17).

I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me; for I have redeemed you (Isaiah 44:22).

He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).

Of course, the Bible contains many more similar allusions. These few serve to summarize the basic nature of the incredible love of God. God loves every single human being. He wants every single person to obey Him so that He can usher every person into eternity in His presence. “God…is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

THE WRATH OF GOD

But, having noted the reality of the wonderful love of God for all people, the reader is urged to integrate and harmonize this attribute of God with what the Scriptures teach about God’s wrath. Numerous passages in both the Old and New Testaments depict God as a God Who executes His wrath against people. Notice the following from the Old Testament:

For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me (Exodus 20:5).

[B]y no means clearing the guilty (Exodus 34:7).

[L]est the anger of the Lord your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 6:15).

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe (Deuteronomy 10:17).

Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against this land, to bring on it every curse that is written in this book. And the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day (Deuteronomy 29:27-28).

Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, “Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?” (Deuteronomy 31:17).

Moving to the New Testament, notice the following verses:

And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! (Luke 12:4-5).

[S]ince it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

God struck dead two Christians, a husband and wife, in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 5:1-11). The writer of Hebrews provided this sober warning:

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who rejected Moses’ law died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God under foot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:26-31).

He then added: “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). Given today’s religious climate, many people do not believe that such verses exist in the Bible. Or they ignore them or insist that they do not apply today. What a tragic mistake! The Bible is replete with such references to the wrath and justice of God, and it is imperative that we accept them and respond accordingly.

Consider the example of the great Judean king Hezekiah. He endeavored to bring the nation back into harmony with God’s written revelation. Why?
“...that His fierce wrath may turn away from us.” That expression is used three times in the context (2 Chronicles 29:10; 30:8; 32:26). King Josiah found himself in a similar circumstance. When he realized the extent to which the nation had departed from God’s will, he tore his robes and declared: “[G]reat is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book” (2 Chronicles 34:21).

People in our day go merrily on their way, out of harmony with God’s written Word, consoling themselves with a false view of God’s love. They are like Jeremiah’s contemporaries, who tried to heal the hurt of the people “slightly.” “Slightly” meant they did not consider their neglect of God’s will to be all that serious. They said, “Peace, Peace” when there was no peace as long as they were out of harmony with the Scriptures (Jeremiah 6:14).

The time has come to approach the situation the way the prophets of God did. Read the Old Testament books written by the prophets—like Amos, Joel, and Habakkuk. As they did, we need to warn people today about the reality of God’s wrath and its inevitable occurrence. One day, all people will know what God’s wrath is. Listen again to the words of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9: “[T]he Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who know not God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.”

It is absolutely imperative that we live our lives everyday with a correct understanding of both the love of God and the wrath of God. The same God Who speaks of the availability of an eternal home of bliss called heaven is the same God Who will provide an eternal place of conscious pain called hell. Consider closely Paul’s summary given to Christians in Rome, warning them of the danger of losing their salvation: “Therefore, consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off ” (Romans 11:22).

Did you know that God cannot save everybody? “But I thought God can do anything?” Not true! The Bible certainly represents God as omnipotent—all-powerful (Romans 1:20; Ephesians 1:19). But we misunderstand the power of God if we think He somehow is going to gloss over people’s rejection of His words and save everyone. God simply cannot do that and still be God! God, as a loving Being whose nature demands that He grant humans free will, is powerless to save people who do not want to be saved. He cannot save people who refuse to take advantage of the antidote to sin that He has provided. He is incapable of saving those who reject the one and only means by which they can be forgiven of sin.

God made provision for human sin by sending His Son to die in place of us. Only the sacrifice of Christ had the atoning power to pay for our sin. But the very nature of the Universe is such that God gave us free moral agency. He cannot interfere with our own wills and coerce us to be saved. We must make the choice. We are responsible for all of our choices. If we wish to take advantage of the free gift of salvation available in Christ, we must freely choose to believe, to repent of our sins, to confess Jesus to be divine, and to be immersed in water for the forgiveness of our sins. Passage after passage in the New Testament indicates that this is the divine plan of salvation for human beings. Hear the Gospel message of salvation and choose to believe (Romans 10:17). Change your mind about your past sinful conduct (Acts 17:30). Confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10). Then allow someone to baptize you, that is, immerse you in water with the understanding that in that action, the blood of Jesus will wash away your sins by the grace of God (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21).

If you deliberately reject these simple instructions on how to become a Christian, then you will have no one else to blame in eternity when you experience the wrath and punishment of God. When one becomes a Christian, then a new life commences. Now that person will study the Scriptures in order to learn how to live the Christian life. He or she will find out how God wants to be worshipped. “You mean, I can’t just worship God spontaneously out of my own inclinations?” Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

A person also will determine which church Christ endorses, and refrain from associating with churches spawned by mere men. “You mean one church is not as good as another?” That’s correct. Jesus did not build a multiplicity of churches. He built only one (Ephesians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 12:20). He declared: “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18).

A fitting summary regarding the nature of God and how all people must make preparation now for eternity is found in 2 Corinthians 5:10-11: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Jesus Heals A Deaf-Mute Boy (9:14-29) by Mark Copeland

 

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

Jesus Heals A Deaf-Mute Boy (9:14-29)
 

INTRODUCTION

1. Coming down from the mount of transfiguration with His three    disciples...
   a. Jesus finds His other disciples embroiled in controversy - Mk 9:14
   b. Surrounded by a multitude, disputing with scribes - ibid.

2. The controversy apparently involved a failed attempt to heal a deaf-mute boy...
   a. Who from childhood had been prone to seizures
   b. Whose father desperately wanted him healed
   c. Whom the disciples of Jesus had not been able to heal

[The account of this miracle is one of most detailed in the gospels.
From it we can learn valuable lessons, but must also be careful not to
misapply what is said.  Let's start by examining...]

I. THE NARRATIVE

   A. THE FAILURE OF THE DISCIPLES...
      1. Jesus finds His disciples embroiled in controversy - Mk 9:14-16
      2. It appears related to their inability to heal a man's deaf-mute son - Mk 9:17-18,25
      3. Jesus chides His disciples for their lack of faith - Mk 9:19
      4. As the boy is brought to Jesus, he has a spirit-induced seizure - Mk 9:20
      5. The father describes how this has happened often since childhood - Mk 9:21-22
      6. The father begs for compassion if Jesus can help - Mk 9:22
      -- A chaotic scene, the disciples' frustration and father's emotions much in evidence

   B. THE SUCCESS OF THE SAVIOR...
      1. Jesus responds to the plea of the father - Mk 9:23-24
         a. If the father can believe, all things are possible
         b. The father professes faith, begs for more faith
      2. As the crowd draws closer, Jesus heals the deaf-mute boy - Mk 9:25-27
         a. The demon cast out with a great convulsion, leaving the boy dead-like
         b. Jesus takes the boy by the hand, lifting him up, and the boy rises
      3. Jesus privately informs the disciples as to the reason for their failure - Mk 9:28-29
         a. Jesus explains the need for prayer in a case like this
         b. Many manuscripts add the need for fasting as well
      -- The incident ends with a quiet teaching opportunity for His disciples

[The record of this miracle provides insight as to the role of faith,
prayer, and even fasting.  But we must be careful in how we understand
what Jesus is teaching.  With this in mind, we consider...]

II. THE APPLICATION

   A. CAVEATS...
      1. Avoid misapplication
         a. It can be tempting to take Jesus' words in isolation
         b. Especially "all things are possible to him who believes"
         c. Which some have taken literally, without exception
         d. Giving many people false hope, destroying faith in the process
      2. Consider context
         a. All things are possible, but must be within God's will - 1Jn 5:14
            1) E.g., Jesus in the garden - Mk 14:35-36
            2) E.g., Paul with his thorn in the flesh - 2Co 12:7-9
            3) As one brother put it:  "All things are possible, but
               they must be on the menu"
         b. Some things are not possible, when asked improperly
            1) For selfish and sinful reasons - Jm 4:3
            2) While not keeping God's commandments - 1Jn 3:22
      -- Jesus' words presume God's permission and our obedience

   B. PRINCIPLES...
      1. The importance of faith
         a. Faith cannot be underestimated - He 11:6; Mt 8:13; 9:22,29
         b. Such faith grows through the Word of God - Ro 10:17
         c. It certainly does not hurt to pray:  "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" - Mk 9:24
         d. But responses to faith are always subservient to God's will (cf. Paul's thorn)
      2. The power of prayer
         a. Our faith, while important, is not always sufficient
         b. God must be involved, for only with Him are all things possible - Lk 1:37
         c. Thus at time faith must be joined with prayer - e.g., Jm 5:14
         d. But also, responses to prayer are subservient to God's will - 1Jn 5:14
      3. The role of fasting
         a. Fasting was often joined with prayer to incur God's favor - Ezr 8:21-23
         b. Fasting served to humble oneself before God - Psa 35:13; 69:10
         c. Such humility is more likely to incur God's favor - Isa 57:15; 66:1-2
         d. Thus people often served God with fasting and prayer - Lk 2:36-37; Ac 13:2-3
      -- Faith, prayer, and fasting working together can accomplish more
         if it be God's will

CONCLUSION

1. Many have misconstrued the words of Jesus...
   a. "If you believe, you will receive" (gospel of health and wealth)
   b. "If you can conceive it, you can achieve it" (power of positive thinking)

2. But they fail to take Jesus' words in the overall context of the Bible...
   a. What we seek must be in keeping with the Lord's will
   b. What we seek must not be for selfish purposes

3. On the other hand, many do not fully appreciate...
   a. The importance of faith in God
   b. The power of prayer to God
   c. The role of fasting in service to God

With the aid of the Word of God, we can better know what is in keeping
with His will.  Then we can better make use of our faith, prayer, and
fasting as we seek to do His will...      
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Comfort in the Times of Tragedy by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 


Comfort in the Times of Tragedy

We awoke Tuesday morning to the news of the devastating tornadoes that swept through Middle Tennessee very early that morning and left incredible destruction in its wake. And sadly the loss of many lives.

At least 25 people were killed. And dozens are still missing. Many are displaced because their homes were destroyed. Particularly heart breaking was the news of a young couple, Josh and Erin Kimberlin and their little boy Sawyer who died as a result

Another familyMatt and Macy Collinsand their infant daughter suffered severe injuries when the storm destroyed their home and also took the life of the daughter, Hattie.

We lived in Middle Tennessee for 11 years and know many people in the area where the tornadoes struck. And we’re friends with those who lost loved ones. It hurts to hear this terrible news.

My friend, Wilson Adams, author of Courageous Living Books, who lives in Murfreesboro, succinctly expressed my feelings when he posted on facebook, “I hate death. Although death comes to all, it’s the timing that hurts the most.”

“And…the seeming randomness.”
“And…the unanswered questions.”

Why? We cry in our pain. Why me? Why them? Why now? Why this way?

Yes, like Job of old, who experienced the death of his children, the loss of his wealth, and the physical affliction coupled with the mental and emotional pain, we search for answers.

It all seems so senseless.

Yes, I hate death. I hate the sorrow it brings. I hate the emptiness it leaves. I hate the relationships it ruptures. I hate the burden it bears.

Yet, death ever lurks. Looking over our shoulder. Sneering. Leering. Waiting to strike. Leaving its hurt. And about the time we’ve had some healing, death invades our homes and hearts again.

These kind of tragedies shake us up. And remind us of the reality of the fallen world in which we live. That our time here is temporary. And life is transitory.

I agree that the unexpectedness and timing of death is often the most unnerving, unsettling, and upsetting. But, Wilson was right when he wrote, “In times of tragedy, we must turn toward God, not run from Him.”

The Bible encourages when we feel hurt and experience suffering to look to the “Father of mercies.” He is “the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:4). God knows our hurt. Hears our cry. And feels our pain. “Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).

A friend commented to me last night how these tragedies often bring out the best in people. Volunteers are descending on Middle Tennessee to help with the cleanup. Go Fund Me accounts are being set up to help with medical, living and housing expenses. As well as funerals.

It’s an opportunity for us to model the character of Christ. While we can’t remove the hurt, we can offer a helping hand. Show compassion. And express our sympathy.

We all can’t do everything. But we all can do something. We can pray. Pray for the families mourning the death of loved ones. Pray for those who are recovering from physical injuries. Pray for those who lost homes, businesses and all their material possessions.

These tragic tornadoes are an abrupt reminder that life is fragile. And none of us are exempt from sickness, suffering and sorrow. Pain is a part of life.

And the specter of death ever looms, lurking over our homes. And whether is comes calmly. Or strikes suddenly and catastrophically. It will come. Sooner. Or later.

Indeed, these experiences can either make us bitter or better. The choice is yours.

In the meantime, comfort and encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

THE BIBLE TRUMPS PREACHERS BY STEVE FINNELL

 

https://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2016/11/

THE BIBLE TRUMPS PREACHERS BY STEVE FINNELL


Should you trust the Bible or preachers?

Billy Graham said you do not have to believe in Jesus to be part of the body of Christ. (SEE: U-Tube "Robert Schuller and Billy Graham speaking with wide acceptance)

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Do you trust preacher Billy Graham or Jesus?

Billy Graham teaches that water baptism is not essential to be saved.

Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved.....

Do you trust Jesus or Billy Graham?

Do you want to put your faith in Billy Graham and others who deny the words of Jesus or do you want to trust Jesus, God's word, the Scriptures, the BIBLE.

GOD DOES NOT PREACH FALSE DOCTRINE. GOD WILL NOT LEAD YOU ASTRAY. WHY WOULD YOU PUT YOUR FAITH IN PREACHERS, BOOKS WRITTEN BY PREACHERS, CREED BOOKS, AND CATECHISMS?


WHY NOT JUST TRUST THE BIBLE?

Peter's First Letter Chapter Four by Charles Hess

 

https://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Hess/Charles/Albert/1929/Comments/12Peter/1peter4.html

Peter's First Letter
Chapter Four
Copyright ©2003, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington
Verses:
[ 01 ] [ 02 ] [ 03 ] [ 04 ] [ 05 ] [ 06 ] [ 07 ] [ 08 ] [ 09 ] [ 10 ]
[ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ] [ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ] [ 19 ]

In this chapter[ 1 ] Peter cites the example of Christ's suffering as he pleads with Christians to cease from sin, He mentions the end of all things and urges prayers, fervent love and hospitality, He advises the full use of whatever gifts Christians may have. He points out that suffering for God's glory as a Christian is virtuous and noble. The chapter ends with the plight of people who do not obey the gospel along with a plea for Christians to commit their souls to a faithful Creator (see chart 1 PETER 4 OUTLINE).


Chart
1 PETER 4 OUTLINE
  1. Example of Christ's suffering; plea to cease from sin (1Pe 4:1-5).
  2. The end of all things; prayers, fervent love and hospitality (1Pe 4:7-9).
  3. The full use of gifts (1Pe 4:10, 11).
  4. Suffering as a Christian is noble (1Pe 4:12-16).
  5. Those who do not obey the gospel; commit souls to a faithful Creator (1Pe 4:17-19).


CHRIST'S SUFFERING AND THE CHRISTIAN

4:1, 2 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, 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.

Therefore [since therefore, therefore since, then, forasmuch then].[ 2 ] Peter is about to give a reason why Christians should be ready to suffer. It has to do with ceasing from sin. One who is suffering for Christ is not likely to sin unless in weakness he tells a lie or denies his Lord.


Chart
STRENGTHENED AGAINST SIN
(1Pe 4:1, 2)
  1. Arm yourselves.
  2. Suffer--cease from sin.
  3. The rest of the time in the flesh.
  4. No longer for the lusts of men.
  5. But for the will of God.


Christ suffered for us in the flesh [as Christ hath, having, suffered, in the flesh].[ 3 ] Peter introduced the blood of Christ in 1 Peter 1:2. The suffering on Calvary was again mentioned in 1 Peter 2:21, 23; 3:18, 19. The Lord's pain was intense. It was no less than any human would have suffered under the same torture. It was not somehow mitigated or lessened because He was the Son of God. "He suffered until he was put to death by means of flesh."[ 4 ]

ARMED WITH CHRIST'S PURPOSE

Arm yourselves also with the same mind [do ye also, arm ye yourselves likewise with the same thought, purpose, attitude].[ 5 ] Christians who face suffering and death are to arm themselves in order to do their utmost to stand firm (see Eph 6:11-13). Their armor is to be the opposite of what worldly people might expect. They are not to aggressively or defensively use swords, clubs, stones or guns. Instead, they are to imitate the conviction, attitude and motives of Christ. They are to follow His example (see 1Pe 1:21-23).


Chart
ARMED WITH CHRIST'S PURPOSE
(1Pe 4:1)
  1. Let us put on the armor of light (Ro 13:12).
  2. By the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left (2Co 6:7).
  3. Put on the whole armor of God (Eph 6:11).
  4. Putting on the breastplate of faith and love (1Th 5:8).
  5. Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering (Col 3:12).


When a Christian takes within his heart the purpose, attitude, temperament and mind of Christ, when he thinks like Christ would think, only then has he armed himself with the most invincible armor possible. He is then armed with the mind of Christ. When Jesus suffered,

He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously (1Pe 2:23; see chart ARMED WITH CHRIST'S PURPOSE).

The conviction of a man or woman who remains firm in the face of death for Christ is victorious because it overcomes the world (1Jo 5:4; compare Re 2:7, 11, 26; 3:5).

SANCTIFICATION THROUGH SUFFERING

For he who has suffered in the flesh [because he who, for whoever, for he that, hath suffered in the flesh].[ 6 ] Enduring bodily suffering for doing what is right has a beneficial effect. It produces endurance and spiritual strength.

Has ceased from sin [hath ceased from, has done with, sin].[ 7 ] The new birth ought to motivate a babe in Christ to lead a righteous life. "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:3). After one has repented and has been baptized into the death of Christ for the remission of sins (Ac 2:38; Ro 6:3), he is freed from sin and essentially has ceased from it. "For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Ro 6:7). As all Christians understand that this is an ideal. It is probable that every Christian will sin occasionally (see 1Jo 1:8, 10). If there is no danger of apostasy, then why did the NT writers give so many warnings against it?

There is a spiritual maturity that comes with application of the principles of Christ. Suffering that is endured for Him renews one's spiritual strength. Ordinary temptations becomes almost trivial and insignificant because, as one's faith grows stronger, the power of the old enticements becomes weaker and weaker.

That he no longer should live [so that ye, so as to, live no longer, no longer to live, should no longer live].[ 8 ] When a Christian, whether facing martyrdom or not, arms himself with the mind of Christ he resolves to live out his life righteously. Paul asked, "How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Ro 6:2).

The rest of his time [for the rest of the time, of your time].[ 9 ] The rest of the time in the flesh refers to the balance of one's earthly life. Someone has said it this way: "This is the first day of the rest of your life." A decision made today points the direction for the rest of one's life.

In the flesh [in flesh].[ 10 ] So long as one is in the flesh, he has to work at living devoutly and ethically. The fact that one has suffered for Christ helps greatly. Its beneficial effect is not momentary. It may last the rest of one's earthly life.


Chart
BREVITY OF LIFE (A)
(1Pe 4:2)
  1. The days of the years of my pilgrimage are 130 years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life (Ge 47:9).
  2. Our days on earth are as a shadow (1Ch 29:15; Ps 102:11).
  3. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle (Job 7:6; 8:9).
  4. My days are swifter than a runner (Job 9:25).
  5. Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1).



Chart
BREVITY OF LIFE (B)
(1Pe 4:2)
  1. You have made my days as handbreadths (Ps 39:5).
  2. We finish our years like a sigh (Ps 90:9).
  3. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away (Ps 90:10).
  4. All the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow (Ec 6:12).


For the lusts of men [to, by, men's lusts, the lusts of people, human passions].[ 11 ] Christians who have suffered for the Lord no longer seek to live according to fleshly lusts or evil desires. Worldly cravings lose their charm. Riches no longer are a goal in themselves. Sinful pleasures lose their appeal. What was once eagerly sought after no longer is.

But for the will of God [but by, to, God's will].[ 12 ] A form of the same Greek word for "will" is used of Joseph's desire concerning Mary. He was "MEETHELOON not wanting to make her a public example" (Mt 1:19). A Christian who has suffered gets down to basics. He aspires only to keep on doing whatever the Lord wills. It is God's will that the saints forever avoid sins of the flesh. Paul singled out one sin to abstain from when he wrote:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality (1Th 4:3; see also 1Pe 4:3).

ENOUGH SINNING IN THE PAST

4:3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime [let the time that is past, for the time past, already past, of our life, suffice, may suffice, may suffice us, is sufficient, for us].[ 13 ] Paul wrote to the Romans of the urgency of waking up and living according to God's will.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light (Ro 13:12).

The Christian life is not like a crash diet to lose a few pounds and then eat again. It is a resolve to live for God the rest of one's life. When a person turns to God he leaves behind the old sinful lifestyle never to return to it.[ 14 ] Peter urged his readers not to live according to ignorance.

As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance (1Pe 1:14).

In doing the will of the Gentiles [to have wrought, done, for doing, the desire of the Gentiles, what the Gentiles like to do].[ 15 ] The implication is that there is no time remaining to live in sensuality, lusts and drinking as do worldly people (in the present context, Gentiles). It is easy to be caught up in worldly thought when the media brings it right into the living room day by day to relaxed and receptive people.

Notice that the pagans choose. That is, they "will" to carry out their sinful actions. The fact that Paul reminded the Romans to change their behavior from what it was formerly indicates that Christians also have the power to choose to quit their sins:

Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy (Ro 13:13).

Chart
PAGAN HEDONISM
(1Pe 4:3, 4)
  1. A course of sensuality, licentiousness, debauchery.
  2. Lusts.
  3. Drunkenness, excess of wine.
  4. Revellings, orgies, riot.
  5. Drinking parties, carousings.
  6. Abominable, forbidden, idolatries.


When we walked in lewdness [living in, walking in, leading lives filled with, and to have walked in, pursued a course of, licentiousness, lasciviousness, intemperance].[ 16 ] Paul recalled the time when the Ephesians were dead in trespasses and sins:

In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2).

Two chapters later in Ephesians 4:18, Paul, pointed out that Gentiles had become calloused and given over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. He urged his readers not to live in sensuality, debauchery or license as did the pagans.

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind (Eph 4:17).

Lusts [passions, lust].[ 17 ] In his second letter, Peter again describes worldly people who "walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority" (2Pe 2:10). He says that they "count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime" and "have eyes full of adultery" (2Pe 2:13, 14).


Chart
DO SOCIAL DRINKERS APPROVE?
(1Pe 4:3)
  1. Of the existence of the liquor industry?
  2. Of their addictive product, for he drinks it?
  3. Of the promotion and advertisement of it?
  4. Of the sale of its product?
  5. The view that the liquor industry is a boon to society and that the problem lies with those who "can't handle their drink"?
  6. Adapted from McGuiggan 148




Chart
DRUNKENNESS
(1Pe 4:3)
  1. Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; who continue until night, till wine inflames them! (Isa 5:11).
  2. For while tangled like thorns, and while drunken like drunkards, they shall be devoured like stubble fully dried (Na 1:10).
  3. Now the works of the flesh are evident . . . envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (Ga 5:19, 21).


Drunkenness [excess of wine, winebibbings, wine-drinking].[ 18 ] Jim McGuiggan stated, "I don't believe that a person who socially drinks approves of all the liquor industry stands for or does! But there are a number of things he does approve and a number of things he gives the definite impression that he approves" (see charts PAGAN HEDONISM; DRUNKENNESS; EXCESS OF WINE; DO SOCIAL DRINKERS APPROVE?).


Chart
DRINKING PARTIES
(1Pe 4:3)
  1. Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat (Pr 23:20).
  2. Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper (Pr 23:29-32).



Chart
EXCESS OF WINE
(1Pe 4:3)
  1. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Pr 20:1).
  2. Lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life (Lu 21:34).
  3. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness (Ro 13:13).
  4. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards . . . inherit the kingdom of God (1Co 6:10).
  5. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation (Eph 5:18).



Chart
REVELLING AND CAROUSALS
(1Pe 4:3)
  1. Sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play (Ex 32:6; compare verse 19; Nu 25:1-3).
  2. Went into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech (Jg 9:27).
  3. There they were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil which they had taken (1Sa 30:16).
  4. Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk (1Sa 25:36).


Revelries [revels, revellings].[ 19 ] Several writers have pointed out that the first three sins are more personal in nature while the last three are social. Carousals are riotous, merry-making activities that are associated with drinking alcoholic beverages.

Drinking parties [carousing, carousings, banquetings, drinkings, revellings, dissipation].[ 20 ] "Drinking parties" as used here include revolting drinking contests. At some drinking parties, the host or hostess supplies the booze while invitations may be BYOB (bring your own bottle). Have you ever thought that it is a sin to supply alcoholic drink to someone else? "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor" (Hab 2:15; see charts DRINKING PARTIES; REVELLING AND CAROUSALS).

And abominable [and lawless, unhallowed, wicked].[ 21 ] Not only was idolatry forbidden because it was a great evil but it usually involved other detestable, excesses such as fornication and drinking liquor.

Idolatries [idolatry].[ 22 ] Peter's readers had come out of paganism. Like the Corinthians, they were to quit the sins of that depraved lifestyle.

You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led (1Co 12:2).

Accompanying idol worship at Corinth and elsewhere were vile sins of the flesh. According to second century Jewish teachings, there were three cardinal sins: idolatry, unchastity and bloodshed.[ 23 ] Idolatry is a heinous sin because it denies God and denounces His revelation. It shatters the very basis for religion and ethics.

STRANGE THAT YOU NOT RUN WITH THEM

4:4, 5 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. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

In regard to these [wherein][ 24 ] The thoughts of pagans were attuned to immoral and hurtful practices. Their value system was mixed up. They did not understand that God's way is best and brings the greatest happiness. They figured that righteousness was not pleasurable but boring.

They think it strange [they are surprised].[ 25 ] Pagans in Paul's day did not readily understand God's system of morality. Their "religion" approved of sins of the flesh. Some non-Christians today cannot comprehend why or how converts to Christ live the way the do. They wonder what has happened. Why are they no longer immoral? Why do they not drink? Why do not they curse and lie? Most surprising of all, they wonder why they attend midweek prayer meetings. These things may seem to be foolish and wearisome to one who has not obeyed the gospel. To the Christian, however, right living is refreshing and appealing. A godly life is much more pleasant, satisfying and stimulating than worldliness could ever be.

That you do not run with them [that ye, run not, no longer run, with them, do not now join them].[ 26 ] Peter alludes to a passage in the Psalms.

When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers (Ps 50:18).

It was displeasing to God for His OT people to mingle and hobnob with sinners. The term "run with" implies excited and eager involvement with sinful, immoral people. Christians do not run with, plunge in or dive in with them. They politely refuse to participate "but rather expose them" (Eph 5:11). If possible, Christians avail themselves of opportunities to teach them.

In the same flood of dissipation [to, into, the same wild profligacy, excess, sink, riot, of corruption].[ 27 ] In his second letter, Peter described the depravity of false teachers who were so full of sin that they count it "a pleasure to carouse in the daytime." He went on to say that they are "carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you" (2Pe 2:13). As water seeks its own level, the flood of riotous wickedness fills the hollows of the empty lives of reckless, worldly people. Not so with Christians. The "flood of dissipation" no longer appeals to them.

Unconverted Gentiles alluded to in the present verse lived in a "flood of ASOOTIAS dissipation." That is, they lived in corruption, profligacy, riot and wastefulness. Notice the use of words related to "dissipation" in other NT passages. The prodigal son "wasted his possessions with ZOON ASOOTOOS prodigal living" (Lu 15:13). "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is ASOOTIA dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18). An elder's children are not to be "accused of ASOOTIAS dissipation or insubordination" (Tit 1:6).

Speaking evil of you [and they slander, abuse, speaking injuriously of, you].[ 28 ] Immoral people sometimes pretend to be friends of Christians as they try to entice them into partaking of corrupt practices. Then they turn on them and malign their good behavior (1Pe 3:16). Christians are vilified because they uphold the name of Christ (1Pe 4:14). They are blasphemed for not participating in the debauchery of sin. When weak Christians do the same things that worldly people are guilty of, they are censured and criticized. Abuse is heaped upon them and their character is defamed.


Chart
GIVING ACCOUNT
(1Pe 4:5)
  1. For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment (Mt 12:36).
  2. Fool! This night your soul will be required of you (Lu 12:20).
  3. And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes (Lu 12:47).
  4. So then each of us shall give account of himself to God (Ro 14:12).


They will give an account to Him [but they will, who shall, render account to him].[ 29 ] Peter reminds his readers that people will one day pay for their sins (see Mt 7:23; 25:30, 41, 46; chart GIVING ACCOUNT).

Who is ready [that is ready, prepared].[ 30 ] James spoke of the nearness of the divine Judge.

Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! (Jas 5:9; compare 1Pe 4:7).

To judge [to pass judgment on].[ 31 ] Believers understand the certainty of future judgment.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2Co 5:10).

The living and the dead [the quick and the dead].[ 32 ] "The living and the dead" suggests much more than a judgment that took place in AD 70. At the final day, Christ will execute "all judgment" (Joh 5:22, 27). All the dead in the tombs will hear His voice and come forth to be judged (Joh 5:28, 29). He will "be judge of the living and the dead" Ac 10:42; 2Ti 4:1). He will judge the world (Ac 17:31).

GOSPEL PREACHED TO DEAD

4:6 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.

For this reason the gospel was preached [for this is why, for this cause, for unto this end, for because of this, was the gospel, were the glad tidings, preached].[ 33 ] (see charts PURPOSES OF PREACHING; REASONS FOR PREACHING A and B).


Chart
PURPOSES OF PREACHING
(1Pe 4:6)
  1. As a witness to the nations (Mt 24:14).
  2. To produce faith (Ac 2:36; 15:7; Ro 10:17).
  3. To pierce hearts (Ac 2:37).
  4. For obedience of faith (Ro 1:5; 6:16; 16:26).
  5. That people may live according to God in the spirit (1Pe 4:6).



Chart
REASONS FOR PREACHING (A)
(1Pe 4:6)
  1. To finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given (Ac 20:24).
  2. Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! (1Co 9:16).
  3. I have been entrusted with a stewardship (1Co 9:17).
  4. That I may be partaker of it with you (1Co 9:23).



Chart
REASONS FOR PREACHING (B)
(1Pe 4:6)
  1. We also believe and therefore speak (2Co 4:13).
  2. That in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak (Eph 6:20).
  3. Vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Th 1:8).


Also to those who are dead [even to the dead, to them, also to them, that are dead, to the dead also].[ 34 ] The mention of the "dead" suggests two classes of people: those physically alive and the literal dead. Some think the "dead" are the lost either on earth or in the spirit world.[ 35 ] It is the opinion of the writer that the people spoken of had heard and obeyed the truth while physically alive but were literally dead when Peter wrote. Guy N. Woods summarizes the idea by saying:

That which was preached was the "gospel," God's power to save (Ro 1:16); and the preaching thereof was to "the dead," dead in the spirit when Peter wrote, but alive and in the world when the gospel was preached to them.[ 36 ]

That they might be judged [that though judged, judged indeed].[ 37 ] This is not the final judgment of God but that of the persecutors. Their judgment
condemned Christians. That they may "live according to the will of God in the spirit" helps one to understand that they suffered according to the will of God (see notes below on But live and According to God in the spirit).

According to men in the flesh [in the flesh like men, as regards men after, like people in, the flesh].[ 38 ] It is the writer's view that judgment against those who had heard and obeyed the gospel arose and was executed by men in the flesh. That is, Christians were judged by men who were then living upon the earth. "Men in the flesh" spoke against faithful Christians as if they were evildoers (see 1Pe 2:12). Like Christ, they were reviled (1Pe 3:21-23).[ 39 ]

But live [they might live].[ 40 ] The people spoken of here were Christians, not those who were disobedient in the days of Noah (see 1Pe 3:19, 20).

According to God in the spirit [in spirit, after the Spirit, like, as regards, God, in keeping with God's will]. According to the will of God, according to God.[ 41 ] This phrase underscores the fact that these men and women were saved. After they were judged by men and condemned to die for their faith in Christ, they lived in the spirit in a blessed state after their bodies were slain. Both the righteous and wicked continue to exist after physical death. Only those who have heard and obeyed the gospel will live in the spirit according to God.

WATCHFUL IN PRAYERS


4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

But the end of all things [the end of all things].[ 42 ] The "end of all things" is the end of the Jewish state. It is not the end of time when Christ returns to raise the dead and judge the world.


Chart
AT HAND=DRAWING NEAR
(1Pe 4:7)
  1. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt 3:2).
  2. The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand Mk 1:15).
  3. The kingdom of God has come near to you [set up on Pentecost, Ac 2] (Lu 10:9).
  4. The Day approaching (Heb 10:25).


Is at hand [is near, drawn nigh].[ 43 ] When Peter wrote, the end of time and the final judgment were not at hand. Therefore, the "end of all things" must have some other meaning. How can commentators claim to believe the Bible and, at the same time, accuse the Holy Spirit of inspiring an apostle to say the final coming of Christ was near or at hand when He well knew it was not?[ 44 ] However, to Peter, who wrote about AD 65, the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was looming on the horizon. That terrible event was literally drawing near. It was at hand! (see chart AT HAND=DRAWING NEAR).


Chart
SOBER IN SPIRIT (A)
(1Pe 4:7)
  1. Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober (1Th 5:6).
  2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded (1Ti 3:2; compare Tit 1:8).
  3. Older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience (Tit 2:2).



Chart
SOBER IN SPIRIT (B)
(1Pe 4:7)
  1. Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (Tit 2:12).
  2. Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober (1Pe 1:13).
  3. Be serious and watchful in your prayers (1Pe 4:7).


SOUND MIND

Therefore be serious [so be ye therefore sober, sober therefore, keep sane, of sound mind].[ 45 ] Peter gives a caution based upon the nearness of the end of all things. Persecutions were threatening. Clear thinking was imperative. The terrible destruction of Jerusalem and related tragedies were motivating Christians to be serious as theycontinued to live faithfully until death (compare Re 2:10).

And watchful in your prayers [and vigilant, and be sober, be watchful, for, unto, prayer].[ 46 ] Opposite of a sober spirit is one that is heedless, lackadaisical, careless and superficial. A sober spirit implies sound judgment. A self-controlled Christian does not skip regular prayer because of recreational activities or work.

FOR THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER

Once before, Peter encouraged his readers to "gird up the loins of your mind, be sober" (1Pe 1:13). Such a spirit stirs one to prayer. Paul's watchword was prayer.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Eph 6:18).

FERVENT LOVE

4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."

And above all things [above all, but before, and with, all things].[ 47 ] "Above all things" is an expression that implies that the topic is exceedingly important. For example, Paul and James wrote:

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Eph 6:16).

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection (Col 3:14).

But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and your "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment (Jas 5:12).

Have fervent love [hold unfailing your love, being fervent in your love, having fervent charity, enlarge your love].[ 48 ] Peter once again enjoins fervent love for one another as he did in chapter 1.

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 (1Pe 1:22).

For one another [among yourselves].[ 49 ] It as natural as breathing for Christians to love one another.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (Joh 13:35).

For love will cover a multitude of sins [because charity, since love, covers, covereth, shall cover, the multitude of sins].[ 50 ] To cover sins is to forgive them. This is clearly seen in the following parallelisms in the Psalms.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Ps 32:1).

You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; you have covered all their sin (Ps 85:2).

Although not so apparent in Proverbs, the meaning is the same.

He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends (Pr 17:9).

Unless there is some other way than the blood of Christ to atone for sins, salvation comes about only through His forgiveness. Restoring a lost brother or sister takes advantage of the saving power of Christ. Merely ignoring sin is not restoring at all. Neither does ignoring a transgression turn a sinner from the error of his way.

Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (Jas 5:20).

Love, by itself, does not cancel sins. It is not a substitute for Calvary. The NEB paraphrase with "because love cancels innumerable sins" is unjustifiable.

HOSPITALITY

4:9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.


Chart
BE HOSPITABLE
(1Pe 4:9)
  1. A stranger and you took Me in (Mt 25:35).
  2. Given to hospitality (Ro 12:13).
  3. A bishop then must be . . . hospitable (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:8).
  4. A widow is to have "lodged strangers" (1Ti 5:10).
  5. Do not forget to entertain strangers (Heb 13:2).



Chart
HOSPITALITY (A)
(1Pe 4:9)
  1. Peter: Lodging with Simon, a tanner (Ac 10:6).
  2. Lydia: Come to my house and stay (Ac 16:15).
  3. Jailer: Brought them into his house, he set food before them (Ac 16:34).



Chart
HOSPITALITY (B)
(1Pe 4:9)
  1. Paul: Entered the house of Philip the evangelist . . . and stayed with him . . . many days (Ac 21:8, 10).
  2. Mnason of Cyprus: An early disciple, with whom we were to lodge (Ac 21:16).
  3. Natives: Kindled a fire and made us all welcome (Ac 28:2).
  4. Publius: Received us and entertained us courteously for three days (Ac 28:7).


Be hospitable to one another [being hospitable, practice, use, hospitality one to another].[ 51 ] The apostles and others depended upon the hospitality of Christians wherever they went, especially when they were travelling in order to preach the gospel (see charts BE HOSPITABLE; HOSPITALITY A and B). During His personal ministry, Christ was entertained in various homes (see chart CHRIST IN PRIVATE HOMES).


Chart
CHRIST IN PRIVATE HOMES
(1Pe 4:9)
  1. With Matthew (Mt 9:10).
  2. Simon the leper (Mk 14:3).
  3. A Pharisee (Lu 7:36; compare 14:1).
  4. Martha and Mary (Lu 10:38).
  5. Zaccheus (Lu 19:7).
  6. At Emmaus (Lu 24:29).
  7. At Cana of Galilee (Joh 2:2).


Without grumbling [ungrudgingly, without grudging, murmuring, complaint].[ 52 ] "God loves a cheerful giver" whether one gives into the church treasury or spends money by showing hospitality (see 2Co 9:7). "Do all things without complaining and disputing" (Php 2:14). Unlike selfish Nabal who complained and refused hospitality to David, Christians are loving, generous and hospitable. Jesus alluded to this fine quality when he described the judgment scene.

For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me (Mt 25:35, 36).

Chart
HOSPITALITY BEGRUDGED (A)
(1Pe 4:9)
  1. Edom: You shall not pass through my land (Nu 20:18).
  2. Sihon: Would not permit Israel to pass through his border (Nu 21:23).
  3. Ammonites and Moabites: Did not meet Israelites with bread and water; hired Balaam to curse them (De 23:4).
  4. Levite and concubine: Sat down in the open square of the city, for no one would take them into his house to spend the night (Jg 19:15).



Chart
HOSPITALITY BEGRUDGED (B)
(1Pe 4:9)
  1. Nabal: Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from? (1Sa 25:10).
  2. Samaritans: Did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem (Lu 9:53).


GOOD STEWARDS

4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

As each one has received [as every man, each, each according, according as each, hath, as he has, received].[ 53 ] Everywhere the apostles went they preached the gospel and established churches of Christ. They laid hands on many, many new converts. It may be that almost every Christian in the first century had some kind of spiritual gift.

A gift [the gift, grace].[ 54 ] In apostolic days, special gifts were graciously bestowed by the Holy Spirit through the laying on of apostles' hands (Ac 8:16). Timothy had received one gift by Paul's hands (see 1Ti 4:14; 2Ti 1:6). The word "gift" is broad enough to include both the natural and supernatural gifts. Whatever gift is intended in the present verse is not specified. Every resource, asset and accommodation whether spiritual or otherwise is a gift. Luther thought the gift was whatever talent with which one was blessed when he came from his mother's body.[ 55 ] In consideration of the present context one must not forget the gift of prosperity.


Chart
GIFTS OF THE DISPERSION
(1Pe 4:10, 11)
  1. Speaking (as the oracles of God).
  2. Serving (as with the ability which God supplies).
  3. That in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.


Minister it [employ, ministering, even so minister it, the same, use it to serve in serving, in service].[ 56 ] During the first century, miraculous gifts were widespread in the churches of Christ. Each recipient had a degree of control over the ministration of his gift. For example, if there was no interpreter, the tongue-speaker was to "keep silent in church" (1Co 14:28). Prophets were not overpowered and forced to speak out. They could choose whether to speak or not. "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" (1Co 14:32). Women, gifted or no, were to "keep silent in the churches" (1Co 14:34). Timothy was not to neglect his gift (1Ti 4:14) but was to kindle it afresh (2Ti 1:6).

To one another [among yourselves, for one another, one to another].[ 57 ] Spiritual gifts were to be used on behalf of others but never selfishly or for personal glory.

As good stewards.[ 58 ] A steward is a servant in charge of what belongs to another. In ancient times, there were two main classes of stewards. One type acted as overseer of his master's estate much as a property manager does today. Another kind of steward was over servants, supplies and certain monies. Since stewards did not own what they managed, it was imperative that they handle things in accordance with the wishes of their lord. So it is with Christians. None of the wealth to which they hold title is really theirs. It all belongs to God. The same was true of spiritual gifts. They were to be used as if belonging to God, in a way that pleased Him.

Of the manifold grace of God [of God's varied grace, the various grace of God].[ 59 ] Gifts of the Holy Spirit were several and varied. In addition to those mentioned in verse 1 Peter 4:11, the church at Rome, likewise, had received various gifts (see Ro 11:29; 12:6; compare 1:11). Nine distinct gifts were mentioned as being given at Corinth (1Co 12:8-10).

And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues (1Co 12:6-10).

The large church at Ephesus had several miraculous gifts as well as natural ones.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness (Ro 12:6-8; compare Eph 4:7).

Separate from miraculous gifts, God's many-faceted grace is showered upon all Christians. They may recognize His grace as an occasion to use whatever is in their hand (see Ex 4:2), to perform a service (see Es 4:14) or time itself as a gift (Eph 5:16; Col 4:5). All aspects of God's rich grace ought to be used for His glory.

SPEAK AS ORACLES OF GOD

4:11 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. Amen.

If anyone speaks [whoever, if any man, speak, speaketh].[ 60 ] Since gifts were the immediate topic, I understand Peter to mean speaking by inspiration. However, if a Christian is blessed with natural capability to speak well, he should use that talent to proclaim God's word.

Let him speak [speaking, let him speak]. This phrase is purposefully in italics to indicate that it was supplied by the translators in order to make a more graceful expression.

As the oracles of God [as, as it were, as one who utters, oracles of God, the word of God].[ 61 ] The "oracles" of God are the words He has revealed. Moses received "living oracles" (Ac 7:38). The Jews were entrusted with "the oracles of God" (Ro 3:2). The Hebrew Christians needed someone to teach them "the first principles of the oracles of God" (Heb 5:12). When first century Christians spoke forth the inspired message they were to do so in a manner suited to its sacredness. It required seriousness and earnestness. There was no adding, subtracting or minimizing its importance. They were to preach the very words of God.

If anyone ministers [whoever renders service, if any man minister, ministereth].[ 62 ] The Greek word translated "ministers" is general enough to include the exercise of several of miraculous gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. All of them were to be exercised unselfishly, with diligence and earnestness. In the present century, anyone who renders service to God gives praise for whatever inherent ability he possesses.

Let him do it as with the ability [as one who renders it, ministering as of, let him do so, of, as of the, by, the strength].[ 63 ] Ability or strength to carry out God's will, whether ordinary or miraculous, comes from God.

Which God supplies [which God giveth, supplieth].[ 64 ] God provides the means for Christians to live, move, work, prosper and contribute.

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness (2Co 9:10).

He enriches Christians in order that they may serve others. He supplies more than they need but He expects them to supply something also. This is evident in Peter's instructions about adding the Christian graces.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge (2Pe 1:5).

He gives daily bread but, at the same time, he expects a man to work or not be allowed to eat (Mt 6:11; 2Th 3:10, 12).


Chart
THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
(1Pe 4:11)
  1. In praise (Ps 22:23).
  2. By good works (Mt 5:16).
  3. In answered prayer (Joh 14:13).
  4. By bearing much fruit (Joh 15:8).
  5. With one accord [unity] (Ro 15:6).
  6. In the body (1Co 6:20).
  7. According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (2Th 1:12).


That in all things God may be glorified [in order that in everything, so that God in all things may be glorified].[ 65 ] God is to be glorified in everything. Christians give Him praise by their words and actions.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1Co 10:31; see chart THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED).

Notice how the apostle Paul gave glory to God for what had been accomplished by his own preaching and that of others:

Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles (Ac 14:27).

And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them (Ac 15:4).

Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles (Ac 15:12).

Through Jesus Christ.[ 66 ] Christians continually offer praise to God through Jesus Christ.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Heb 13:15; compare Ro 16:27; Eph 3:21; 2Pe 3:18).

To whom belong the glory [to him be, whose is the, praise].[ 67 ] Glory belongs both to God and Christ (see 2Pe 3:18). When Peter and John were arrested, threatened and released, all the people were glorifying God because of what had happened (Ac 4:21). Prayer offered among their own companions praised God because of what He had done "through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus" (Ac 4:23-30).

And the dominion [and dominion, might, power].[ 68 ] God who has the power to create continues to exercise dominion.

Forever and ever [for the ages of ages].[ 69 ]

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen (Ro 11:36; compare Php 4:20; 1Ti 1:17; 2Ti 4:18; 1Pe 5:11; Jude 25; Re 1:6; 5:13).


To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1Pe 5:11).

Amen.[ 70 ] As used here, "Amen" is an approval or endorsement of what has been said. It means "So it is" or "So be it." Inasmuch as the word is inspired of the Holy Spirit we may understand it here as "It is so!"

THE FIERY TRIAL

4:12, 13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Beloved.[ 71 ] Beloved (plural in Greek) is a term of endearment. It indicates Peter's close fellowship and care for his readers.

Do not think it strange [think it not, that is, take not as, strange, do not be surprised].[ 72 ] Peter's advice kept Christians from being caught off guard when being persecuted. Persecutors or anyone else who oppose faithful saints are astounded and amazed at the ethics of God's people (1Pe 4:4).

Concerning the fiery trial [at the fiery ordeal among you, the fire of persecution].[ 73 ] Christians of the Dispersion were already enduring hard times. They were being "grieved by various trials" (1Pe 1:6). The fiery ordeal was severe, something like metal smelted in a furnace (compare 1Pe 1:7; Ps 66:10; Pr 27:21). Nevertheless, they were able to have glad hearts because they had aligned themselves with their suffering Lord.

Which is to try you [coming, comes, cometh, upon, amongst, you, which has taken place to prove you, for your trial, testing].[ 74 ] Translation of the Greek present participle correctly indicates the testing by persecution was a then-present and ongoing occurrence (see also footnote on Were happening to you). Some modern versions show this very graphically.

As though some strange thing [as if, a strange thing, something strange].[ 75 ] The fiery trial of persecution should not have been thought of as extraordinary or unexpected. Paul told Christians to anticipate the same thing.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2Ti 3:12; compare Ro 8:17)

Happened to you [was, were, coming upon, happening to, unto, you].[ 76 ]


Chart
PARTAKERS
(1Pe 4:13)
  1. Of grace with Paul while in chains (Php 1:7).
  2. In inheritance of saints in light (Col 1:12).
  3. Of the heavenly calling (Heb 3:1).
  4. Of the Holy Spirit (He 6:4).
  5. Of His holiness (Heb 12:10).
  6. Of the glory that will be revealed (1Pe 5:1).
  7. Of the divine nature (2Pe 1:4).


But rejoice to the extent that you partake [but even as, inasmuch, insomuch, in so far, as ye, as you, share, have shared, participate, are partakers, rejoice].[ 77 ] To partake of Christ's sufferings means that Christians share or have fellowship with them. Faithful Christians who share Christ's sufferings keep on rejoicing about it (Greek present tense).

Of Christ's sufferings [Christ's sufferings, in the sufferings of Christ].[ 78 ] To the degree that persecutions are endured on His behalf they are "His" sufferings. Paul wrote this about sharing Christ's sufferings:

And if children, then heirs-- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together (Ro 8:17).

REJOICE IN SUFFERING FOR CHRIST

That when His glory is revealed [that when his glory shall be revealed, that, so that, at, in, the revelation of his glory].[ 79 ]

The coming of Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was called "the day when the Son of Man is revealed" (Lu 17:30; compare Mt 16:27). Other passages refer to the revealing of Christ at His final coming (see 1Co 1:7; Col 3:4; 2Th 1:7; 1Pe 1:7; 1Jo 2:28).

You may also be glad with exceeding joy [you may, also ye may, rejoice, be glad also, and be glad, exceedingly, with exultation].[ 80 ] In spite of suffering and sorrows, Christians go onward rejoicing until Christ comes and all tears are wiped away (Re 21:4).

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials (1Pe 1:6).

REPROACHED FOR NAME OF CHRIST

4:14 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.

If you are reproached [if ye be insulted, reviled].[ 81 ] The word "if" does not always denote uncertainty. Here it is used in the sense of "when." This sense is clear due to the fact that persecution was going on when Peter wrote (see note on verse 12). The persecution included intimidation (1Pe 4:14), slander, insult (1Pe 4:16) and death (implied in 1Pe 4:6).

For the name of Christ [in the name of Christ].[ 82 ] "For the name of Christ" is similar to "for My sake" (Mt 5:11; 10:39), "for My name's sake" (Mt 10:22; 19:29; Ac 9:16), "for the Son of Man's sake" (Lu 6:22), "for His name" (Ac 5:41), "for Your sake" (Ro 8:36), "for Christ's sake" (1Co 4:10; 2Co 12:10; Php 1:29), "for Jesus' sake (2Co 4:5, 11), the reproach "of Christ" (Heb 11:26) and "as a Christian" (1Pe 4:16). The name of Christ denotes His person, all that He stands for and all that He is.

Blessed are you [happy are ye, you are blessed].[ 83 ] The Greek word for "blessed" is the same as that used in the Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-11). Common meanings given are "happy" or "fortunate." A more precise meaning entails divine blessing or favor.

For the Spirit of glory and of God [because the spirit of glory, the honor, and the spirit of God].[ 84 ] A unique blessing (the Spirit of God) is with those who are suffering for Christ. God honors (gives glory to) them.


Chart
SPIRIT UPON THE PERSECUTED
(1Pe 4:14)
  1. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD (Isa 11:2).
  2. And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it (Lu 10:6).


Rests upon you [resteth upon you].[ 85 ] The Greek word for "rests" corresponds to a Hebrew word for "will rest" in Isaiah 11:2. The spirit of glory and of God rests as did the Shekinah (God's glory) on the tabernacle (compare Nu 11:25, 26; see chart SPIRIT RESTS UPON THE PERSECUTED).

On their part He is blasphemed [on their part he is evil spoken of, it is blasphemed by them].[ 86 ] These words and those below are found in the Majority Text (see the KJV and NKJV) but not in the Alexandrian. The meaning is that the enemies of Christians speak evil against, belittle or blaspheme Christ. Whether genuine or not, the statement is indisputably true.

But on your part He is glorified [but it is honored by you].[ 87 ] This phrase appears in both the KJV and NKJV. On the part of the Christian, Christ is praised or glorified.

LET NONE SUFFER AS AN EVILDOER

4:15, 16 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

But let none of you suffer [let, for let, none of you, none of you is to, suffer].[ 88 ] It is inappropriate for a Christian to commit a crime and have to suffer for it. In fact, it is completely out of character for a saint of God to be guilty of any misconduct that would occasion a just infliction of punishment. There may be a hint here that persecutors would falsely accuse and unjustly punish God's people for all kinds of crimes they did not commit. Christians were to live in such a way that the accusers "may be ashamed" (1Pe 3:16). It has been suggested that Christians were falsely accused of setting the great fire in Rome in AD 64. Some have supposed that the Apostle Paul himself was falsly implicated in that crime of arson.

As a murderer [indeed as murderer].[ 89 ]

A thief [or, or a, or as a, thief].[ 90 ]

An evildoer [or, or a, or as an evildoer, wrongdoer].[ 91 ] "Evildoer" has been defined quite broadly as a bad actor, criminal or sorcerer.

Or as a busybody in other people's matters [or as overseer, a meddler, mischief-maker of, in, other men's matters, the affairs of others].[ 92 ] "Busybody" in Greek is an unusual word. It has no less than eight different definitions: a usurper of authority, a concealer of stolen goods, a spy, an informer, revolutionist, one who infringes on the rights of others, a neglectful bishop, and a busybody-- along with various synonyms of all of these words. One is almost tempted to include Paul's phrase "and the like" here (see Ga 5:21). Probably the translation "troublesome meddler" is as good as any. A Christian should not have been guilty of any wrong similar to any of the above (see chart LET NONE SUFFER).


Chart
LET NONE SUFFER
(1Pe 4:15)
  1. As a murderer.
  2. A thief.
  3. An evildoer.
  4. A busybody in other people's matters.


[4:16] Yet if anyone suffers [but if one, a man, any man, suffer].[ 93 ] Although the word "suffers" does not appear in the Greek text in this verse, is supplied from verse 15.

As a Christian [but if as a Christian].[ 94 ] The word "Christian" occurs only three times in the NT (Ac 11:26; 26:28; 1Pe 4:16). Some early writers cited by Vine and Thayer suggested that the name "Christian" was given by the Gentiles and used by the "vulgar."[ 95 ] This is one instance where the early non-biblical writers were mistaken. The word CHREEMATISAI called in Acts 11:26 where the disciples were called "Christians" strongly indicates that God Himself did the calling. It was God who called the disciples "Christians" first in Antioch (see note on Ac 11:26). Many believe (the writer of these notes being among them) that "Christian" is the "new name" foretold to be given by the mouth of the Lord (see Isa 62:1, 2).

Let him not be ashamed [he is not to be ashamed].[ 96 ] If one suffers because he is a murderer or a thief he should feel shame. However, as he suffers as a Christian there is no disgrace. He should rejoice and give God the glory (see Ac 4:21).

But let him glorify God [but, but he is to, glorify God].[ 97 ] The name "Christian" is a name of honor. It denotes a follower and adherent of Christ Jesus, the Son of God Himself (see note at verse 14 on For In this matter [in this name, under that name, on this behalf].[ 98 ] Not only will the Christian praise, honor and glorify God for the privilege of suffering for the name "Christian" (see Ac 5:41) but Christ will confess his name before the Heavenly Father (Mt 10:28-32). Denominations are totally unbiblical in their acceptance of church names based on reformers, certain doctrines or types of organization. It would be a great blessing to the cause of Christ if all denominations would drop every humanly devised name, dissolve their unscriptural governing bodies and burn their creeds!

TIME FOR JUDGMENT TO BEGIN

4:17 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?

For the time has come [for the judgment time is come].[ 99 ] Peter knew that the time for "judgment" had come in his own day. With that in mind, it is deemed preposterous to think that he referred to a judgment day more than 1,900 years into the future. "Judgment" has other meanings than the final judgment (see note below).


Chart
NOT THE GENERAL JUDGMENT
(1Pe 4:17)
  1. The time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God (1Pe 4:17) [but the general judgment was in distant future].
  2. Here the righteous is "scarcely saved" [but in general judgment entrance into heaven will be abundantly supplied (2Pe 1:10, 11)].
  3. Hence the judgment of verse 17 is not the judgment at end of time.
  4. (Adapted from Woods 120)



For judgment to begin [that judgment must, of having the judgment, begin].[ 100 ] Christians, as well as all other accountable people, will be judged by Christ at the close of the church age (see 2Co 5:10). However, in the present verse, the judgment is in connection with the persecution of Christians (see 2Ti 3:12; Jas 1:2-4). Guy N. Woods agreed and argued accordingly (see chart NOT THE GENERAL JUDGMENT).


At the house of God [with, from, upon, the household of God].[ 101 ] In the following phrase, Peter defines the house of God as "us." Those who say that Christians comprise the family of God are exactly right.

And if it begins with us first [but if it begins with us, first at us, first begin at, it is first from, upon, us].[ 102 ] Paul equates the house of God with "the church of the living God." The household of God is composed of people and is known as the church of Christ.

OUTCOME FOR THE DISOBEDIENT

What will be the end of those? [what is, shall be, the end of them?].[ 103 ] Should the disobedient suffer more or less than the saints? Think about fairness and justice when you answer. Inasmuch as faithful Christians suffer, what should be the outcome of the wicked?

Who do not obey the gospel of God [that obey not, disobey, the glad tidings of God].[ 104 ] People must obey the gospel to be saved (Ro 6:3-6, 17, 18; Heb 5:9). The wrath of God is upon those who refuse to believe it and who do not obey it. To put it plainly, the unbelieving and disobedient are lost.

Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Th 1:6-8).

RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY SAVED

4:18 Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

Now If the righteous one [for, and if, the righteous].[ 105 ] Persecution against Christians was widespread when Peter wrote. Christians were having, and would continue to have, a hard time. Only with great difficulty would they escape or be saved from persecution and execution. In the church age, the righteous are those who have believed and obeyed the gospel (compare Ro 1:16, 17; 6:3, 4, 17, 18) and are living faithfully and who do the will of God (Mt 7:21; Re 2:10).

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous (1Jo 3:7).

Is scarcely saved [scarcely be, is difficultly, it is with labor is, saved].[ 106 ] Notice the similarity of Peter's statement to one of the OT Proverbs.

If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner (Pr 11:31).

Notice that the quotation from Proverbs the righteous are to be rewarded "on the earth." I take it that Peter too was speaking of the righteous (singular in Greek) who is saved "on the earth." If that is correct, then the salvation spoken of here is likely not eternal salvation in heaven. Some have proposed that it means being saved from utter destruction by persecution. Others call to attention the destruction, such as in Jerusalem in AD 70. Christians in the first century were literally and physically saved from that. Prior to it, Jesus had said:

And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened (Mt 24:22).

The "elect" were the Christians. The days were probably "cut short" in the sense that the siege against Jerusalem ended. It is generally understood that Christians recognized the warning signs and left Jerusalem. So far as is known, not one of them died in that awful war. If it be objected that Peter's readers were not in Jerusalem, let it be recalled that the destruction by the Roman armies was not limited to Jerusalem but was widespread throughout lands occupied by Jews.

WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE SINNER?

Where will the ungodly? [where shall the impious?].[ 107 ] Peter leaves the fate of the ungodly and sinner rather open. He does not state definitely that they will go to hell. But since the righteous are in some manner saved "on the earth" (Pr 11:31), there is an implication that the godless and sinners will not be saved "on the earth." Many thousands of unbelieving Jews perished in the war of AD 70. Let us not forget that all Christians as well as all of the ungodly anticipate the ordeal of final judgment.

A ungodly person is one who is not a Christian, one who does not reverence God and does not worship Him. He has "no hope" and is "without God in the world" (Eph 2:12). Since those who truly believe in God must believe also in Christ, the Jews who rejected the Savior were godless (see Joh 14:1).

And the sinner appear [and sinner appear].[ 108 ] Notice the article before "godless" (HO ASEBEES the godless) but there is none before "sinner" (HAMARTOOLOS). Scholars have pointed out that this construction implies that "sinner" is simply another explanation of "the godless." In other words, "the ungodly" and "sinner" comprise only one class of people.

SUFFERING ACCORDING TO GOD'S WILL

4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

Therefore [wherefore, wherefore also, so then].[ 109 ] Peter draws a conclusion based upon the foregoing. Christians are going to suffer and are scarcely to be saved from destruction. Some of them will die (implied in verse 6).

Let those who suffer [let them, them also, that suffer].[ 110 ] This admonition may be addressed to Christians generally because they may expect to suffer (Ro 8:17; 2Co 1:5, 7; 2Ti 3:12).

According to the will of God [according to, in keeping with, God's will].[ 111 ] Suffering is in keeping with the will of God for all Christians (see 1Pe 2:15, 20; 3:17; 4:2, 6).

ENTRUST SOULS TO THE CREATOR

Commit their souls to Him [and entrust, the keeping of, their souls, to him],[ 112 ] When Christ suffered, He kept on entrusting Himself "to Him who judges righteously" (1Pe 2:23). Christians are to commit their souls to Him whether or not they are suffering. This is a part of "doing good" (see below).

In doing good [do right, in well-doing, in doing that which is good, continue to do good].[ 113 ] Whether or not they are being persecuted, Christians need to continue doing good. When under great stress and pressure to deny Christ, they are urged to do what is right. When they face strong temptation to sin, they must do good.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Ga 6:9; compare Tit 3:1).

As to a faithful Creator [to, unto, as unto, the faithful Creator].[ 114 ] God is our Maker. His faithfulness suggests to me that He was fair and just in the matter of predestination. Surely His fairness prevented Him from arbitrarily and Calvinisticly ordaining anyone to burn forever in hell without giving him or her a chance.

God is faithful to keep His promises (2Pe 3:9). He is faithful and righteous to forgive (1Jo 1:9). He is faithful to reward the righteous (1Co 3:14). As Creator, He is faithful and able to raise the dead and usher His saints into heaven.

Footnotes:


[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV and RSV and occasionally another version. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]OUN, therefore (Marshall 918); a particle, never found at the beginning of a sentence . . . inferential, denoting that what it introduces is the result of or an inference from what precedes so, therefore, consequently, accordingly, then (Arndt 592, 593); so then (Williams); then (Lenski 177).
[ 3 ]CHRISTOU PATHONTOS SARKI, Christ, having suffered in the flesh (Marshall 918); corporeality, physical limitation(s), life here on earth (Arndt 742); in identification with Christ in His crucifixion, as the spiritual ideal to be realized (Vine 1103); having suffered by means of flesh (Lenski 177); has suffered in our physical form (Williams).
[ 4 ]Lenski 177.
[ 5 ]KAI HUMEIS TEEN AUTEEN ENNOIAN HOPLISASTHE, also ye the same mind arm yourselves [with] the same mind (Marshall 918); arm [yourselves], in an exhortation to arm ourselves with the same mind as that of Christ in regard to His sufferings; idea, notion, intent, rendered "mind" in 1 Peter 4:1 (Vine 67, 741); arm [yourselves]; with the same insight (Arndt 575); literally thought, and so some render it here. The rendering intent, resolution, is very doubtful. It seems rather to be thought as determining the resolution (Vincent 1.659); you must arm yourselves with the same determination (Williams); do you also equip yourselves with the same idea (Lenski 177).
[ 6 ]HOTI HO PATHOON SARKI, because the [one] having suffered in [the] flesh (Marshall 918); since Christ has suffered in the flesh, be ye also willing to suffer in the flesh (Vincent 1.659); for whoever suffers in his physical form (Williams); because the one who suffered by means of flesh (Lenski 178).
[ 7 ]PEPAUTAI HAMARTIAS, has ceased from sin (Marshall 918; Lenski 178); stopped, made an end . . . of ceasing from sin (Vine 168); has done with sin (Williams).
[ 8 ]EIS TO MEEKETI BIOOSAI, for to no longer to live (Marshall 918); to spend life, to pass one's life (Vine 679); live (Arndt 142); no longer, not from now on . . . with the infinitive of result (Arndt 518) so as no longer to live (Lenski 918); so that he no longer can spend earthly life (Williams).
[ 9 ]TON EPILOIPON CHRONON, the remaining time (Marshall 918); signifying still left, left over [EPI over, LOIPOS remaining], in the neuter with the article "the rest [of your time]" (Vine 961); the remaining time in the flesh (Arndt 142); the rest of his earthly [implied] life (Williams); the rest of the time (Lenski 178).
[ 10 ]EN SARKI, in [the] flesh (Marshall 918); in the flesh (Arndt 142); in flesh (Lenski 178); in harmony with [instrumental of measure] his human desires (Williams).
[ 11 ]ANTHROOPOON EPITHUMIAIS, of men in [the] lusts (Marshall 918); with subjective genitive, desires for something forbidden (Arndt 293); with human desires (Williams); for lusts of men (Lenski 178).
[ 12 ]ALLA THELEEMATI THEOU but in [the] will of God (Marshall 918); intention, the better reading for THELEEMA], desire, inclination (Vincent 1.659); what is willed, predominately of God (Arndt 354); but in accordance [instrumental of measure] with God's will (Williams); but for God's will (Lenski 178).
[ 13 ]ARKETOS GAR HO PARELEELUTHOOS CHRONOS, for sufficient the having passed away time (Marshall 918); enough, sufficient, adequate; the time that is passed (Arndt 107, 626); "past" is, in the Greek, a perfect participle, and "have wrought" a perfect infinitive, indicating that the period under consideration had been terminated and closed (Woods 108); for enough time having proceeded (Lenski 181); for the time that is past is enough (Williams).
[ 14 ]"For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit,' and, 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire' (2Pe 2:20-22).


[ 15 ]KATEIRGASTHAI TO BOULEEMA TOON ETHNOON, to have worked out the purpose of the nations (Marshall 918); [an emphatic form of ERGAZOMAI work, produce, perform], to have worked out, achieved, effected by toil . . . wrought the desires of the flesh (Vine 1229, 1243, 1244); what the Gentiles desire to do (Arndt 145); to have accomplished what the heathen like to do (Williams); to have wrought out the counsel of the Gentiles (Lenski 181); Gentiles [TA ETHNA], in the church age are non-christians (Littrell).
[ 16 ]PEPOREUMENOUS EN ASELGEIAS, having gone [on] in licentiousness (Marshall 918); ye walked. Construe with to have wrought. The time past may suffice for you to have wrought the desire, etc., walking as ye have done; the perfect participle having an inferential reference to a course of life now done with wantonness, excesses of all kinds, with possibly an emphasis on sins of uncleanness (Vincent 1.659); excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness . . . among the sins of the unregenerate who are "past feeling" (Vine 640); outward acts and overt deeds as distinguished from the "lusts" (Woods 108); leading lives that are steeped in sensuality (Williams); having proceeded in excesses (Lenski 181).
[ 17 ]EPITHUMIAIS, lusts (Marshall 918; Lenski 181); lusts, point especially to fleshly lusts, "the inner principles of licentiousness" [Cook] (Vincent 1.659); strong desire of any kind, the various kinds being frequently specified by some adjective . . . of men (Vine 697); lustful desires (Williams).
[ 18 ]OINOPHLUGIAIS, debaucheries (Marshall 918); excess of wine [from OINOS wine, PHLEOO or PHLUOO to teem with abundance; thence to boil over or bubble up, overflow]. It is the excessive, insatiate desire for drink, from which comes the use of the word for the indulgence of the desire--debauch. So ASV, wine-bibbings (Vine 387); from OINOPHLUX which is compounded of OINOS and PHLUOO to bubble up, overflow], drunkenness (Thayer 442); of the individual occurrences of drunkenness (Arndt 562); drunkenness (Williams); wine-swillings (Lenski 181).
[ 19 ]KOOMOIS, carousals (Marshall 918; Lenski 181); originally signified merely a merry-making; most probably a village festival, from KOOMEE, a village. In the cities such entertainments grew into carouses, in which the party of revellers paraded the streets with torches, singing, dancing, and all kinds of frolics (Vincent 1.660); revels, carousals, the concomitant and consequence of drunkenness, used in the plural (Vine 965); first used innocently of village merrymaking, but later came to be applied to rioting, drinking parties, and is so used here (Woods 108, 109); carousing (Williams).
[ 20 ]POTOIS, drinking bouts (Marshall 918; Lenski 181); literally, drinking-bouts (Vincent 1.661); literally, a drinking, signifies not simply a banquet but a drinking bout, a carousal (Vine 162); drinking matches in which each participant sought to outdo all others engaging (Woods 109); revelry (Williams); dissipation [from POTOS a drinking, a drinking-bout, drunkenness] (Littrell).
[ 21 ]KAI ATHEMITOIS, and unlawful (Marshall 918; Lenski 181); more literally, unlawful, emphasizing the idolatries as violations of divine law (Vincent 1.661); unlawful [A negative, THEMITOS an adjective from THEMIS law]; hence, unlawful (Vine 6); that leads to lawlessness (Williams).
[ 22 ]EIDOLOOLATRIAIS, idolatries (Marshall 918; Lenski 181); [from EIDOOLON idol and LATREIA service], in the plural (Vine 574); idolatry (Williams).
[ 23 ]Cohen 97; Sanhedrin 74a.
[ 24 ]EN HOO, while (Marshall 918); in which connection (Lenski 183).
[ 25 ]XENIZONTAI, they are surprised (Marshall 918); denotes to think something strange (Vine 1093); they are astonished (Marshall); they deem strange (Lenski 183).
[ 26 ]MEE SUNTRECHONTOON HUMOON, not running with you (Marshall 918); "in a troop" [Bengel]; like a band of revellers (Vincent 1.661); run together with [SUN with], metaphorically of running a course of evil with others (Vine 981); plunge with [them] into the same stream of debauchery (Arndt 793); run along with others; metaphorically, to rush with, that is, cast one's self, plunge (Thayer 606); that you are not still rushing hand in hand with them (Williams); your not continuing to run with [them] (Lenski 183).
[ 27 ]EIS TEEN AUTEEN TEES ASOOTIAS ANACHUSIN, to the same of profligacy excess (Marshall 918); literally, pouring forth . . . used in classical Greek of the tides which fill the hollows (Vincent 1.661); literally, a pouring out, overflowing [akin to ANACHEOO to pour out], used metaphorically in 1 Peter 4:4, "excess," said of the riotous conduct described in verse 3 (Vine 387) [A not, SOOZOO to save], literally, unsavingness, prodigality, wastefulness; and thence of squandering on one's own debased appetites, whence it takes the sense of dissoluteness or profligacy (Vincent 1.661); prodigality, a wastefulness, profligacy [A negative, SOOZOO to save]. . . the corresponding verb is found in papyrus writing, telling of "riotous living" [like the adverb ASOOTOOS wastefully] (Vine 971, 972); into the same outpouring of dissoluteness (Lenski 183); into the same excess of profligate living (Williams).
[ 28 ]BLASPHEEMOUNTES, blaspheming (Marshall 918); blaspheme, rail at or revile . . . speak evil of (Vine 123); speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate (Thayer 102); injure the reputation of, revile, defame (Arndt 142); and they abuse you for it (Williams); [they] blaspheming (Lenski 183).
[ 29 ]HOI APODOOSOUSIN LOGON TOO, who will render account to the [one] (Marshall 918); give up or give back, restore, return, render what is due, pay, give an account [APO back, DIDOOMI to give] (Vine 478); but they will have to give an account for it to Him (Williams); they the ones who shall give due account in full to him (Lenski 183).
[ 30 ]HETOIMOOS ECHONTI, readily having=who is ready (Marshall 918); literally, having himself in readiness; there at God's right hand in heaven, whither he has gone [1Pe 3:22]; implying also a near judgment (Vincent 1.662); adverb, readily [akin to HETOIMOS prepared, ready], is used with ECHO to have, literally, "to have readily," that is, to be in readiness, to be ready (Vine 923); readily, be ready (Thayer 255); is ready, willing (Arndt 316); who is ready (Williams; Lenski 183).
[ 31 ]KRINAI, to judge (Marshall 918; Williams; Lenski 183); of the divine tribunal . . . occupied by God or Christ; administer justice, judge (Arndt 452).
[ 32 ]ZOONTAS KAI NEKROUS, living and dead (Marshall 918; Williams; Lenski 183); the living and the dead (Arndt 452); translated "quick" [that is, living] (Vine 679); deceased, departed, [those] whose souls are in Hades (Thayer 423).
[ 33 ]EIS TOUTO GAR EUENGELISTHE, for this good news was preached (Marshall 918); of the good news concerning the Son of God as proclaimed in the Gospel; of persons to whom"the proclamation is made (Vine 498, 873); this is why the good news was preached (Williams); for the gospel was proclaimed (Lenski 184).
[ 34 ]KAI NEKROIS, indeed to dead men (Marshall 918); dead, literally (Arndt 534, 535); deceased, departed, those whose souls are in Hades (Thayer 423); to the dead too (Williams); even to dead men (Lenski 184).
[ 35 ]J. Vernon McGee states flatly, "These were dead in trespasses and sins" (see Eph 2:1). Barclay (295) suggests that "Christ descended to the world of the dead and preached the gospel there" and they "had still another chance to grasp the gospel and to live in the Spirit of God." It is the view of this writer that it is wresting the Scriptures to use such a passage as John 5:24 and 11:25 to insist that Jesus taught He would offer the dead a second chance.
[ 36 ]Woods 110.
[ 37 ]HINA KRITHOOSI, in order that they might be judged (Marshall 918); KRITHOOSI is third person plural, first aorist passive subjunctive of KRINOO (Han 420); contextually, used specifically of the act of condemning and decreeing [or inflicting] penalty on one; to be judged (Thayer 329, 361); that they may be judged (Williams); in order that they be judged (Lenski 184).
[ 38 ]MEN KATA ANTHROOPOUS SARKI, on one hand according to men in [the] flesh (Marshall 918); in their physical nature as men are (Williams); the body, not designating it, however, as a skilful combination of related parts ["an organism," which is denoted by the word SOOMA], but signifying the material or substance of the living body]; as it is fit men should be judged (Thayer 329, 570); the body itself, viewed as substance (Arndt 743); on the one hand, according to men by means of flesh (Lenski 184); in their physical nature as men are (Williams).
[ 39 ]An alternate view is that they received judgment that was common to men.
[ 40 ]ZOOSI DE PNEUMATI, might live on the other in [the] spirit (Marshall 918); but live in the Spirit (Williams); the spirit, the vital principle by which the body is animated; to live as God lives (Thayer 329, 520); but live in the Spirit (Williams); that they may live my [sic] means of spirit (Lenski 184).
[ 41 ]KATA THEON, according to God (Marshall 918; Lenski 184); to be judged as it is fit men should be judged, to live as God lives (Thayer 329); as God does (Williams).
[ 42 ]PANTOON DE TO TELOS, now of all things the end (Marshall 919); termination, the limit; the end of all things [that is, the present order of things] (Thayer 619, 620); but the end of everything on earth [implied] (Williams); now the end of all things (Lenski 192).
[ 43 ]EENGIKEN, has drawn near (Marshall 919). literally, has come near, the word constantly used of the coming of Christ and his kingdom (Vincent 1.662); intransitive, drawing or coming near, approaching (Thayer 164); near, nigh, frequently rendered "at hand," "drawing nigh" (Vine 520); is near (Williams); has come near (Lenski 192).
[ 44 ]It does little good to say a thousand years with the Lord is as a day. This expression most likely means that time does not affect the fulfillment of God's promises (see note on 2Pe 3:8).
[ 45 ]OUN SOOPHRONEESATE, therefore be ye soberminded (Marshall 919); [from SOOS sound, PHREEN the mind]. Therefore, as ASV, be ye of sound mind (Vincent 1.662); in exhortations [to show what ought now to be done by reason of what has been said, which is, wherefore, [our transitional therefore] curb one's passions, [RV be of sound mind and be sober] (Thayer 463, 613); so be serious (Williams); accordingly be of sound mind (Lenski 193).
[ 46 ]KAI NEEPSATE EIS PROSEUCHAS, and be ye sober unto prayers (Marshall 919); be sober; the KJV has followed the Vulgate, VIGILATE [watch]; literally, prayers. The plural is used designedly: prayers of all kinds, private or public (Vincent 1.662); signifies to be free from the influence of intoxicants; in the NT metaphorically, it does not in itself imply watchfulness, but is used in association with it (Vine 1057); and be sober for prayers! (Lenski 193); prayer addressed to God (Thayer 545); prayers (Arndt 713); and soberminded that you may give yourselves [implied] to prayer (Williams).
[ 47 ]PRO PANTOON, before all things (Marshall 919); of superiority or pre-eminence, above all things (Thayer 537); above everything else (Williams); before everything else (Lenski 193).
[ 48 ]EKTENEE ECHONTES, fervent having (Marshall 919); properly stretched out; figuratively, intent, earnest, assiduous (Thayer 200); keep fervent (Williams); having fully exerted (Lenski 193).
[ 49 ]TEEN EIS HEAUTOUS AGAPEEN, to yourselves love (Marshall 919); affection, good-will, love benevolence (Thayer 4); your love for one another (Williams); the love to yourselves (Lenski 193).
[ 50 ]HOTI AGAPEE KALUPEI PLEETHOS HAMARTIOON, because love covers a multitude of sins (Marshall 919); tropically to hide, veil, that is, to hinder the knowledge of a thing . . . not to regard or impute them, that is to pardon them (Thayer 323); because love hides a multitude of sins (Lenski 193); because love covers up a multitude of sins (Williams).
[ 51 ]PHILOXENOI EIS ALLEELOUS, [be] hospitable to one another (Marshall 919); hospitable to one another; hospitable, generous to guests, [given to hospitality] (Thayer 654); [EIS is used] to indicate the goal in a friendly sense (Arndt 229); hospitable to each other (Lenski 196); hospitable to one another (Williams).
[ 52 ]ANEU GONGUSMOU, without murmuring (Marshall 919; Lenski 196); murmuring, muttering [akin to GONGUZOO to mutter, murmur, grumble, say anything in a low tone], of displeasure or complaining [more privately than in public] (Vine 765); ungrudgingly (Williams).
[ 53 ]HEKASTOS KATHOOS ELABEN, each one as he received (Marshall 919); received [what was given], gained, gotten, obtained (Thayer 371); aorist tense points to a definite time when the gift was received (Woods 113); as all of you have received your spiritual talents (Williams); according as each one received a charisma (Lenski 196).
[ 54 ]CHARISMA, originally, something freely given: a gift of grace [CHARIS]. Used in NT [a] of a blessing of God graciously bestowed, as upon sinners [Ro 5:15, 16; 11:29]; [b] of a gracious divine endowment: an extraordinary gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling and working in a special manner in the individual [1Ti 4:14; 2Ti 1;6; Ro 12:6, 8]. So here (Vincent 1.662); "gift" [CHARISMA] here is the same as those under consideration in 1 Corinthians 12 (Woods 113); grace [from CHARISMA a free favor, free gift]; here it relates to the various talents or abilities of Christians (Littrell).
[ 55 ]See Lenski 196.
[ 56 ]AUTO DIAKONOUNTES, it ministering (Marshall 919); serve one another with it (Arndt 184); you must keep on using them in serving (Williams); ministering it (Lenski 196).
[ 57 ]EIS HEAUTOUS, to yourselves (Marshall 919); one another (Williams); for yourselves (Lenski 196).
[ 58 ]HOOS KALOI OIKONOMOI, as good stewards (Marshall 919); literally, beautiful stewards (Woods 114); in every respect unobjectionable, blameless, excellent (Arndt 400); as good trustees (Williams); as excellent stewards (Lenski 196).
[ 59 ]POIKILEES CHARITOS THEOU, of [the] manifold grace of God (Marshall 919); signifies that which exists in varied content, and suggests that widespread bestowal of such gifts in the apostolic age (Woods 114); of various kinds, diversified, manifold; the grace of God, that manifests itself in various ways; the CHARIS [grace] of God manifests itself in various CHARISMATA [spiritual gifts in a special sense] (Arndt 683, 878, 879); God's many-sided favor (Williams); of God's manifold grace (Lenski 196).
[ 60 ]EI TIS LALEI, if anyone speaks (Marshall 919; Lenski 198); if anyone is preaching (Williams).
[ 61 ]HOOS LOGIA THEOU, as [the] oracles of God (Marshall 919); in classical Greek, of the oracular responses of heathen deities. Here, divine utterances or revelations (Vincent 1.663); let him do it as one who utters the oracles of God (Williams); as God's sayings (Lenski 198).
[ 62 ]EI TIS DIAKONEI, if anyone ministers (Marshall 919); serves generally, services of any kind (Arndt 184); minister, that is, attend to, anything, that may serve another's interests . . . to one another, for mutual use (Thayer 137); if anyone is rendering any service to others (Williams); if one ministers (Lenski 198).
[ 63 ]HOOS EX ISCHUOS, as by strength (Marshall 919); by the strength (Arndt 383); let him do it will all the strength (Williams); as out of strength (Lenski 198).
[ 64 ]HEES CHOREEGEI HO THEOS, which supplies God (Marshall 919); originally "lead a chorus" or "pay the expenses for training a chorus", then generally defray the expenses of something, provide, supply [in abundance] (Arndt 883); which God supplies (Lenski 198); that God supplies (Williams).
[ 65 ]HINA EN PASIN DOXAZEETAI HO THEOS, in order that in all things may be glorified God (Marshall 919); praise . . . indicating the genuine confession of facts in one's life which gives glory to God (Vine 870); so that in everything God may be glorified (Williams); in order that in every way God may be glorified (Lenski 199).
[ 66 ]DIA IESOU CHRISTOU, through Jesus Christ (Marshall 919; Williams; Lenski 199).
[ 67 ]HOO ESTIN HEE DOXA, to whom is=whose is the glory (Marshall 919); praise . . . indicting the genuine confession of facts in one's life which gives glory to God (Vine 870); to whom belongs the glory (Lenski 199); to Him be glory (Williams).
[ 68 ]KAI TO KRATOS, and the might (Marshall 919; Lenski 199); force, strength, might, more especially manifested power, is derived from a root KRA- to perfect, to complete: "creator" is probably connected. It also signifies dominion, and is so rendered frequently in doxologies, 1 Peter 4:11; 5:11; Jude 25 (Vine 324, 325); power, rule, sovereignty . . . in a doxology (Arndt 449); and dominion (Williams).
[ 69 ]EIS TOUS AIOONAS TOON AIOONOON, unto the ages of the ages (Marshall 919; Woods 115); literally, "unto the ages of the ages," "for ever and ever," or "for evermore" (Vine 377); forever and ever (Williams); for the eons of the eons (Lenski 199).
[ 70 ]AMEEN, amen (Marshall 919; Lenski 199; Williams); let it be so (Vine 45); liturgical formula, at the end of the liturgy . . . at the end of a doxology (Arndt 45); derived from a Hebrew verb which means to support; and when passive, to be a support, trustworthy, sure. It is sometimes an endorsement of what is said . . . "so it is"' in others a petition "be it so," the use made of it at the conclusion of our prayers" (Woods 115).
[ 71 ]AGAPEETOI, beloved (Marshall 919; Lenski 2201); beloved ones; from AGAPAOO to love, often used as a form of address (Vine 110); dear, beloved (Arndt 6); dearly beloved (Williams).
[ 72 ]MEE XENIZESTHE, be not surprised [at] (Marshall 919); that is, alien from you and your condition as Christians (Vincent 1.663); denotes to think something strange (Vine 1093); do not be surprised [upset] at the fiery ordeal among you (Arndt 548); be not deeming strange (Lenski 201); do not be astonished (Williams).
[ 73 ]TEE EN HUMIN PUROOSEI, the among you fiery trial (Marshall 919); burning (Vincent 1.663); a fiery trial [literally, a burning, as in Re 18:9, 18], metaphorically, refining or trial by fire, referring to the refining of gold [1Pe 1:7] (Vine 423); literally smelted in a furnace (McGee); the KJV thus makes the trial a thing of the future; mistranslating the Greek present participle, which is taking place. This participle, therefore, represents the trial as actually in progress (Vincent 1.663); the fire-glow among you (Lenski 201); that a test by fire is coming upon you (Williams).
[ 74 ]PROS PEIRASMON HUMIN GINOMENEE, for trial to you happening (Marshall 919); literally, for trial or probation (Vincent 1.663); test, trial; to test you (Arndt 640); a test is coming upon you (Williams); when occurring to you with a view of trial (Lenski 201).
[ 75 ]HOOS XENON, as a surprising thing (Marshall 919); compare think it not strange, above (Vincent 1.663); as though something unheard of (Arndt 548); as though something strange (Williams); as something strange (Lenski 201).
[ 76 ]HUMIN SUMBAINONTOS, to you occurring (Marshall 919); SUMBAINONTOS is the present active participle, genitive singular neuter of SUMBAINOO (Han 421); again the present participle. Better, perhaps, were happening; by chance, instead of with the definite purpose indicated by "taking place with a view to probation" (Vincent 1.663); were happening to you (Arndt 548); meeting you (Lenski 201); happening to you (Williams).
[ 77 ]ALLA KATHO KOINOONEITE CHAIRETE, but as ye share rejoice (Marshall 919); KOINOONEITE is second person plural, present active indicative of KOINOONEOO; CHAIRETE is second person plural, present active indicative of CHAIROO (Han 421); share, have a share . . . in spiritual blessings (Arndt 438); rejoice, be glad (Arndt 873); but to the degree you are fellowshipping you may rejoice (Lenski 201); but so far as you are sharing you may rejoice (Williams).
[ 78 ]TOIS TOU CHRISTOU PATHEEMASIN, the of Christ sufferings (Marshall 919); that which is suffered or endured, suffering, misfortune . . . Christ's sufferings (Arndt 602); Christ's sufferings (Williams); the sufferings of Christ (Lenski 201).
[ 79 ]HINA KAI EN TEE APOKALUPSEI TEES DOXEES AUTOU, in order that also at the revelation of the glory of him (Marshall 919); in the eschatological sense of the disclosure of secrets belonging to the lat days (Arndt 92); in order that also at the revelation of his glory (Lenski 201); so that at the uncovering of His glory (Williams).
[ 80 ]CHAREETE AGALLIOOMENOI, ye may rejoice exulting (Marshall 919; Lenski 919); literally, ye may rejoice exulting (Vincent 1.663); rejoice, be glad; that you might shout for joy (Arndt 4, 873); you may rejoice triumphantly (Williams).
[ 81 ]EI ONEIDIZESTHE, if ye are reproached (Marshall 919); if you are being reviled (Arndt 570, 573); to speak evil of another; reviled, slandered, blasphemed (Woods 117); if you are suffering abuse (Williams); if you are being reproached (Lenski 204).
[ 82 ]EN ONOMATI CHRISTOU, in [the] name of Christ (Marshall 919); for the name of Christ (Arndt 570, 573); because you bear the name of Christ (Williams); in connection with Christ's name (Lenski 204).
[ 83 ]MAKARIOI, blessed [are ye] (Marshall 919); blessed, fortunate, happy, usually in the sense privileged recipient of divine favor (Arndt 486); blessed [are you] (Lenski 204); you are happy (Williams).

[ 84 ]HOTI TO TEES DOXEES KAI TO TOU THEOU PNEUMA, because [are ye] the of glory and the [?that] of God spirit (Marshall 920); literally, the spirit of glory and that of God. The repetition of the article identifies the spirit of God with the spirit of glory: the spirit of glory, and therefore the spirit of God: who is none other than the spirit of God himself. Hence ASV, better, the spirit of glory and the spirit of God (Vincent 1.664); the Spirit is more closely defined by a genitive of the thing (Arndt 677); because the Spirit of the glory and of God (Lenski 204); because the glorious Spirit of God (Williams).
[ 85 ]EPH' HUMAS ANAPAUETAI, on you rests (Marshall 920); transitive, causes to rest . . . middle voice (Arndt 59); the word is used in the active voice to give rest or refreshment (Vincent 1.664); is resting upon you (Williams; Lenski 204).
[ 86 ]KATA MEEN AUTOUS BLASPHEEMEITAI, according to truly them He is blasphemed (Green 942).
[ 87 ]KATA DE HUMAS DOXAZETAI, according to but to you, He is glorified (Green 942).
[ 88 ]MEE GAR TIS HUMOON, not for anyone of you (Marshall 920); for not (Williams); for do not anyone of you (Lenski 207). suffer in a wrong way (Vine 1103); for not one of you (Williams).
[ 89 ]HOOS PHONEUS, as a murderer (Marshall 920; Williams; Lenski 207); murderer (Arndt 864).
[ 90 ]EE KLEPTEES, or a thief (Marshall 920; Lenski 207); thief (Arndt 434); or as a thief (Williams).
[ 91 ]EE KAKOPOIOS, or an evildoer; doing evil . . . evil-doer, criminal, sorcerer (Arndt 397); or any sort of criminal (Williams); or a bad actor (Lenski 207).
[ 92 ]EE HOOS ALLOTRIOEPISKOPOS, or as a prier into other men's affairs (Marshall 920); literally, the overseer of another's matters. One who usurps authority in matters not within his province (Vincent 1.664); a word whose meaning has not yet been determined with certainty . . . the proximity of KLEPTEES has led to the conjecture concealer of stolen goods; for spy, informer . . Epictetus [first or second century AD; G. Kinkel edition 1894, 3.22.97] interprets the word as meaning one who meddles in things that do not concern him, a busybody . . . revolutionist . . . infringing the rights of others . . . [possibly] a Christian coinage, aimed at neglectful bishops (Arndt 40); or as a meddler in other people's business (Williams); or as an agitator (Lenski 207).
[ 93 ]EI DE, but if (Marshall 920; Williams; Lenski 208); but if [the words anyone suffers are supplied from the context].
[ 94 ]HOOS CHRISTIANOS, as a Christian (Marshall 920; Lenski 208); the Christian (Arndt 886); a word formed after the Roman style, signifying an adherent of Jesus, was first applied to such by the Gentiles and is found in Acts 11:16; 26:28; 1Pe 4:16 (Vine 183); a Christian, a follower of Christ (Thayer 672); for being a Christian (Williams).
[ 95 ]"Vulgar" is used here in the ordinary sense of that which is common, ordinary or provincial.
[ 96 ]MEE AISCHUNESTHOO, let him not be ashamed (Marshall 920; Lenski 208); be ashamed (Arndt 25); he must not be ashamed (Williams).
[ 97 ]EN TOO ONOMATI TOUTOO, by this name (Marshall 920); in this capacity (Arndt 573); for bearing this name (Williams); in connection with this name (Lenski 208).
[ 98 ]DOXAZETOO DE TON THEON, but let him glorify God (Marshall 920; Lenski 208); let him praise God (Arndt 573); but should keep on praising God (Williams); in this name, a few manuscripts have, "in this behalf" or "because of this."
[ 99 ]HOTI [HO] KAIROS, because the time [?has come] (Marshall 920); KAIROS is often used with qualifying phrases to define the specific character of the KAIROS in question: definite, fixed time (Arndt 395); because the time has come (Williams); seeing that it is the period (Lenski 210).
[ 100 ]TOU ARXASTHAI TO KRIMA, to begin the judgment (Marshall 920); the infinitive with TOU is used epexegetically [that is, in such a way as to explain the meaning] . . . just like a simple infinitive (Nunn 178); to begin, make a beginning (Thayer 78); with indication of the starting point (Arndt 113); for judgment to begin (Williams); for the verdict to start (Lenski 210).
[ 101 ]APO TOU OIKOU TOU THEOU, from the household of God (Marshall 920); figuratively . . . of Christendom as the spiritual temple of God. The following passages are more difficult to classify; meaning 2 [the Christians as God's family] may also be possible, 1 Peter 4:17 . . . 1 Timothy 3:15 (Arndt 560); at the household of God (Williams); from the house of God (Lenski 210).
[ 102 ]EI DE PROOTON APH' HEMOON, and if firstly from us (Marshall 920); and if it begins with us (Williams); moreover, if first from us (Lenski 211).
[ 103 ]TI TO TELOS TOON, what [will be] the end of the [ones]? (Marshall 920); end or goal toward which a movement is being directed, outcome (Arndt 811); what will the end be of those? (Williams); what the end of those (Lenski 211).
[ 104 ]APEITHOUNTOON TOO TOU THEOU EUANGELIOO, disobeying the of God gospel (Marshall 920); disobey, be disobedient [A negative, PEITHO to persuade, in passive and middle voices, to be persuaded, to listen to, to obey], refuse to be persuaded, refuse belief, be disobedient (Vine 311, 797); disobey, be disobedient; in our literature the disobedience is always toward God or his ordinances [since in the view of the early Christians, the supreme disobedience was a refusal to believe their gospel, APEITHEOO may be restricted in some passages to the meaning disbelieve, be an unbeliever. This sense, though greatly disputed (it is not found outside our literature), seems most probable in Joh 3:36; Ac 14:2; 19:9; Ro 15:31, and only slightly less probable in Ro 2:8; 1Pe 2:8; 3:1, perhaps also verses 20; 4:17; 1Mg 8:2] (Arndt 82); who are disobedient to the gospel of God (Lenski 211); who are rejecting God's good news (Williams).
[ 105 ]KAI EI HO DIKAIOS, and if the righteous man (Marshall 920); and if the upright man (Williams); of men, upright, just, righteous . . . conforming to the laws of God and man; applied to model citizens in the Graeco-Roman world . . . with emphasis on the religious aspect: not violating the sovereignty of God, and keeping his laws. Hence, the DIKAIOI=the just, the righteous in a specific Jewish-Christian sense (Arndt 195); and if the upright man (Williams); and if the righteous (Lenski 212).
[ 106 ]KAI EI MOLIS SOOZETAI, and if scarcely is saved (Marshall 920); SOOZETAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of SOOZOO (Han 421); scarcely, with difficulty; passive, be saved, attain salvation (Arndt 526, 798); and if is hard to be saved (Williams); and if is with difficulty is saved (Lenski 212).
[ 107 ]HO [DE] ASEBEES POU PHANEITAI, the impious where will appear? (Marshall 920); what will become of the godless man (Arndt 851); what will become of the godless? (Williams). where will the ungodly appear (Lenski 212).
[ 108 ]KAI HAMARTOOLOS, and sinner (Marshall 920); [and] sinner (Arndt 44); and sinful (Williams).
[ 109 ]HOOSTE, so as (Marshall 920); therefore (Williams); wherefore (Lenski 213).
[ 110 ]KAI HOI PASCHONTES, indeed the [ones] suffering (Marshall 920); suffer [also in the sense suffer death, be killed (have to) die] (Arndt 634); those who suffer (Williams; Lenski 213).
[ 111 ]KATA TO THELEEMA TOU THEOU, according to the will of God (Marshall 920; Lenski 213); as a rule of the will of God [or Christ] . . . according to his will (Arndt 354); in accordance with God's will (Williams).
[ 112 ]PARATITHESTHOOSAN TAS PSUCHAS AUTOON, let them commit the souls of them (Marshall 920); give in charge as a deposit . . . used by Christ in commending his soul to God [Lu 23:46] (Vincent 1.664); entrust someone [their souls] to the care or protection of someone; the soul must be entrusted to God; entrust their souls (Arndt 2, 623, 893); must also commit their souls (Williams); let them deposit their souls (Lenski 213).
[ 113 ]EN AGATHOPOIIA, in well-doing (Marshall 920); the surrender to God is to be coupled with the active practice of good (Vincent 1.664); doing good; while [or by] doing good, which can be taken generally or as meaning specific acts [so, if plural] 1 Peter 4:19 (Arndt 2); in doing right (Williams); in connection with well-doing (Lenski 213).
[ 114 ]PISTOO KTISTEE, to a faithful Creator (Marshall 920); in our literature only of God as the Creator (Arndt 456); to the Creator who is faithful (Williams); with a faithful Creator (Lenski 213).

Copyright ©2003, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington, U.S.A.
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise, are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.

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