God, Haiti, and Suffering by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



God, Haiti, and Suffering

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

January 12, just before 5 p.m. A massive earthquake, magnitude 7.0, struck Haiti near the country’s capital. United Nations officials estimated 50,000 fatalities, but according to Haitian government figures, the death toll is at 200,000, with 80,000 buried in mass graves. Those left homeless now number in the millions (Carroll, 2010; “Haiti Earthquake...,” 2010; Kates, 2010; Haven and Melia, 2010). Scenes of human suffering—injured children, weeping mothers, the bodies amid the rubble—cannot help but evoke heartfelt sorrow and sympathy. Christians automatically mobilize during such times to provide comfort and assistance to the afflicted (James 2; Proverbs 19:17; 21:13; 28:27). Indeed, those nations (like America and Great Britain) and organizations (like the Red Cross), who historically share the Christian worldview, typically surpass non-Christian countries in benevolent outpouring (Indian Ocean-Earthquake..., 2010; “Tsunami Aid...,” 2005; “Humanitarian Response...,” 2010).

As shocking and heart-rending as this event may seem, many other natural disasters have occurred in human history that compare with the Haiti earthquake in its devastation. In America alone, several earthquakes have exceeded the magnitude of the Haiti earthquake. On December 16, 1811, two earthquakes with approximate magnitudes of 8.0 struck southeast Missouri, followed by two additional earthquakes in the same area over the next two months, measuring 7.8 and 7.4 respectively. New Madrid, Missouri was destroyed, and the course of the Mississippi River was permanently changed, with land on one side of the river shifting to the opposite side of the riverbed (Fleury, 2008a). On April 18, 1906 an earthquake, with a magnitude estimated between 7.7 to 8.3 on the Richter scale, struck San Francisco, killing some 3,000 people and leaving another 250,000 homeless (Fleury, 2007b). On March 27, 1964, Alaska was struck by an earthquake measuring 9.2—the third largest recorded in the world—devastating Anchorage (Fleury, 2007a). On October 17, 1989 an earthquake with a surface magnitude of 7.1 struck 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz, California, some 60 miles southeast of San Francisco and Oakland. Sixty-seven died, with 3,757 more injured and 12,000 made homeless (Fleury, 2008b).

Throughout China’s history, extensive flooding has occurred countless times as a result of the mighty 3,000-mile-long Hwang Ho River. Several of the most terrible floods, with their ensuing famines, have been responsible for the deaths of more than a million people at a time. The southern levee of the river failed in Hunan Province in 1887, affecting a 50,000 square mile area (“Hwang Ho,” 2004). More than 2 million people died from drowning, starvation, or the epidemics that followed (“Huang He...,” 2004). In contrast, though considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, the death toll for hurricane Katrina in 2005 was about 1,600, with 1.7 million people displaced across the country (Janega, 2009; “Hurricanes,” n.d.). According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake that created the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 is estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, resulting in more than 150,000 people dead or missing, and millions more homeless in 11 countries (“The Deadliest...?” 2005; “Earthquake and Tsunami...,” 2008).

In reality, such events have occurred repetitiously throughout the history of the world, and continue to do so—constantly: hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, tornados, floods, tsunamis, droughts, and volcano eruptions. In fact, natural disasters kill one million people around the world each decade, and leave millions more homeless, according to the United Nation’s International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (“Disasters...,” 1997).

This circumstance inevitably elicits the pressing question: “WHY?” “Why would God allow such loss of life, inflicted on countless numbers of seemingly innocent people?” The number one argument marshaled by atheists to advocate their disbelief in God is the presence of widespread, seemingly purposeless suffering. They insist that if an infinite Being existed, He would exercise His perfect compassion and His omnipotence to prevent human suffering (e.g., Lowder, 2004; cf. Jackson, 2001). Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins sarcastically declares:

We know what caused the catastrophe in Haiti. It was the bumping and grinding of the Caribbean Plate rubbing up against the North American Plate: a force of nature, sin-free and indifferent to sin, unpremeditated, unmotivated, supremely unconcerned with human affairs or human misery. The religious mind, however, hubristically appropriates the blind happenings of physics for petty moralistic purposes (2010).

For rabid atheistic evolutionists like Dawkins, to suggest that God uses natural phenomena for earthly purposes is hypocritical, “evil nonsense.” To them, the material realm has no ultimate purpose or meaning—other than what humans subjectively assign to it. Even for many people who do not embrace formal atheism, the fact that God apparently seems willing to allow misery and suffering to run rampant in the world, elicits a gamut of reactions—from perplexity and puzzlement to anger and resentment.


If the Bible is the inspired Word of God (and it is—see Butt, 2007), then it is the only document on the planet that was superintended by God when it was produced. The Bible, therefore, is the only reliable guide for ascertaining the meaning of life and human existence. Only the Bible can make sense of the circumstances that attend life on Earth. And, indeed, it provides the perfect explanations for the occurrence of earthquakes and other natural phenomena. Its handling of the subject is logical, sufficient, and definitive.

“Vale of Soul-Making”

In order to make sense of various aspects of the created order, like earthquakes, one must ask the logically prior question: What is the purpose of the created order? If the atheists and evolutionists are correct, the physical realm, with its human inhabitants, has no purpose, but rather, is a monumental “cosmic accident” (Gould, 1989, p. 44). As Cornell University professor and atheist, Dr. Will Provine, maintained:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear—and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either (Provine and Johnson, 1994, 16[1], emp. added).

If, on the other hand, the God of the Bible exists, He is the Creator responsible for the material Universe. Why did He create the Universe, specifically the Earth, and then create humans to inhabit the Earth?

The Bible teaches that God created the world to be the most suitable environment in which humans are enabled to make their own decisions concerning their ultimate destiny (Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). We humans have been provided with the ideal environment in which we may freely accept or reject God’s will for our lives—what Keats called, “The vale of Soul-making” (1899, p. 369). More specifically, the one essential purpose which God had for creating the world was

the creation of a being (who would have descendents like himself) who would be capable of entering into fellowship with him, who would be capable of becoming a son of God, who (thus) would have to be capable of deciding freely to believe him, to love him with all of his heart, to submit to him in obedience, and whom God could love and eventually glorify (Warren, 1972, p. 44).

Such an environment would necessarily have to possess certain characteristics conducive to the accomplishment of this central purpose. Those characteristics would include an environment that would supply man’s basic physical needs (since humans have physical bodies), allow him to be a free moral agent, to be challenged, and to learn the things he most needs to learn (Warren, p. 47). But why would God allow human beings to be subjected to unpleasant, tragic events—like earthquakes, floods, tornados, and hurricanes? A prominent biblical answer to that question is: natural disasters and nature’s destructive forces are the result of specific conditions that are necessary to God’s providing humanity with this ideal environment.

God is not blameworthy for having created such a world, since He had a morally justifiable reason for having done so. Human existence on Earth was not intended to be permanent. Rather, the Creator intended life on Earth to serve as a temporary interval of time for the development of one’s spirit. Life on Earth is a probationary period in which people are given the opportunity to attend to their spiritual condition as it relates to God’s will for living. Natural disasters provide people with conclusive evidence that life on Earth is brief and uncertain (see Warren, 1972; Thompson, 1997). In the face of physical calamities, we humans would do well to contemplate our own fragility and finitude, and be driven to look beyond ourselves to a higher Power Who can inform us as to our raison d’etre—our reason for existing.

Punishment for Sin

But does God ever harness natural phenomena—the forces of nature—as tools of chastisement to punish people for their sins? The Bible answers strongly in the affirmative (see Miller, 2005). Indeed, God did so many times in Bible history. He scourged Egypt with plagues of frogs, lice, flies, animal disease, boils, hail, and locusts (Exodus 8-10). He used seismic activity against Korah and his followers (Numbers 16:31-33; cf. Psalm 106:17). He punished the grumbling Israelites with venomous snakes (Numbers 21:6). He punished Ahab and idolatrous Israel with drought for three and a half years (1 Kings 17:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17). He sent a hurricane-like wind upon the sea, causing Jonah and his shipmates to fear the destruction of the ship (Jonah 1:4ff.). Nahum announced God’s fury against the Assyrian Empire with the words: “The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him” (1:5-6). Job acknowledged: “He removes the mountains, and they do not know when He overturns them in His anger; He shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble” (9:5-6; cf. Isaiah 2:19-21). The psalmist invites: “Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth” (46:8). On the occasion of the giving of the Decalogue, “[t]he earth shook.... Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel” (Psalm 68:8; cf. Exodus 19:18). Indeed, “[i]n His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land” (Psalm 95:4-5).

The prophet Joel interpreted a devastating locust plague as indicative of divine disfavor, punishment for sin, and motivation to repent: “It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.” (1:15). He repeatedly referred to the “day of the LORD” (1:15; 2:1,11,31; 3:14) as a point in time when God intervenes in the affairs of men in human history, harnessing the forces of nature, or even foreign armies, to take vengeance on those who need chastisement to bring them to their spiritual senses. In the context of Joel, the nation deserved the “day of the LORD” because of the rampant immorality and wickedness. The natural disaster she suffered was designed to elicit repentance, alter her behavior, and redirect her to spiritual reality.

The great prophet Amos also described the “day of the LORD” (5:18,20) in terms of physical catastrophe, including famine, drought, blight, and locusts (4:6-11; cf. 7:1). He added this chilling warning: “Prepare to meet your God!” (4:12). He declared that the God that formed and controls the constellations in the Universe, and can bring flood upon the land is the same God that “rains ruin upon the strong, so that fury comes upon the fortress”(5:9): “The LORD is His name” (vs. 8). The book of Revelation uses figurative, apocalyptic language to allude to this same feature of God’s activity in history—the use of natural phenomena as tools of chastisement (6:5-17; 8:7-12; cf. Summers, 1951, pp. 143-145,155ff.).

A word of caution: The Bible does not claim to provide humans with complete explanations regarding the forces operating within the physical Universe. But it does offer some clarification regarding natural calamities, shedding light on some of the reasons for phenomena like famines, earthquakes, and floods. It does not claim to offer every reason, and it certainly does not claim to explain every occurrence of a natural calamity. While one occurrence may be the direct result of God’s punitive punishment on people due to their wickedness, another such catastrophe may have no such specific intention. Rather, it could be the result of the entrance of sin into the world, or it may simply be the result of the coincidental, God-ordained physical forces necessary to the operation of the Universe (e.g., Matthew 6:45).

In any case, we are speaking specifically about natural phenomena—features of the created order that operate according to set laws throughout history. Such phenomena are to be distinguished from supernatural occurrences where God has stepped in and suspended the laws of nature that He, Himself, set into motion (e.g., Genesis 19:24; Exodus 7:20; Leviticus 10:2; 1 Kings 18:38). The only way to know when a natural disaster is due specifically to divine retribution is if an inspired prophet sent by God so interprets the event. No such prophets exist today (Miller, 2003a; Miller, 2003b). Nevertheless, we cannot assume that since the age of miracles has passed that God no longer intervenes in history via natural occurrences. God still rules in the kingdoms of men (Daniel 4:17), and it is still true that “[t]he effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16; cf. 1 Kings 18:41-45; McGarvey 1894, pp. 320 ff.). He still controls the forces of nature, “for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Indeed, even now, it is Jesus Who is “upholding all things by the word of His power,” and “in Him all things consist” (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17). “[E]ven the winds and the sea obey Him” (Matthew 8:27). “O LORD God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O LORD?.... You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them” (Psalm 89:8-9). God declared to Isaiah: “Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink because there is no water, and die of thirst” (Isaiah 50:2). God articulated through Jeremiah that a nation’s iniquities cause it to forfeit the benevolent aspects of the natural order (5:22-25).

There is every reason to believe that God still uses natural calamities as formative influences in the world. While punishment is certainly a proper purpose to such discipline, the fact is that God simply wants defiant people to repent. He gets a nation’s attention by such means to cause the people to reflect upon their life and behavior. He benevolently subjects them to hardship and calamity in this life to prepare them for the life to come. The physical suffering that anyone endures in this life is not worthy to be compared with the eternal punishment awaiting those who leave this life in a state of rebellion against God (cf. Romans 8:18).

Sadly, few throughout history get the message. Most are like those to whom God sent His Old Testament prophets. When the prophet Hosea announced the judgments of God against the people as divine chastisement, he regretfully had to report: “But they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek Him for all this” (Hosea 7:10). When God sent enemies against Israel, Isaiah bemoaned: “For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts” (9:13). Ezekiel described his contemporaries as “a rebellious nation.... For they are impudent and stubborn children” (2:3-4). Jeremiah said, “They are all stubborn rebels, walking as slanderers. They are bronze and iron; they are all corrupters” (6:28)—which brings us to America’s own spiritual condition. If America continues down its present pathway of immorality and defiant rejection of biblical principles, can America expect to suffer increasing instances of natural calamities?


The Founders of the American Republic agreed with the Bible on this point. They believed that while personal sin is addressed by God in eternity at the Judgment, national sins are punished in time, in the course of history. The “Father of our country,” George Washington, articulated this principle in his first inaugural address on Thursday, April 30, 1789:

[T]here is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained (emp. added).

Washington believed that God’s treatment of America depended on America’s recognition of His moral and spiritual principles in her political activities. Disregarding Christian principles automatically means that a nation will forfeit the physical blessings available through God’s providential dealings.

Considered “The Father of the American Revolution,” Samuel Adams wrote a letter from Philadelphia to a friend, two months before the Declaration of Independence, on April 30, 1776, stating: “Revelation assures us that ‘Righteousness exalteth a Nation’—Communities are dealt with in this World by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general Character” (2006, p. 212, emp. added). After a passionate admonition to his fellow delegates at the Constitutional Convention to seek the favor and guidance of God in their deliberations, recognizing His providential kindness toward them, Benjamin Franklin insisted:

We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest (see Farrand, 1911, 1:451-452, emp. added).

The “Father of the Bill of Rights,” George Mason, insisted to his fellow constitutional delegates: “Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities” (see Farrand, 2:370, emp. added). Delegate Luther Martin expressed the same viewpoint:

[I]t ought to be considered that national crimes can only be, and frequently are punished in this world, by national punishments; and that the continuance of the slave-trade, and thus giving it a national sanction and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of Him, who is equally Lord of all, and who views with equal eye the poor African slave and his American master (see Farrand, 3:211, emp. added).

Also speaking in the context of slavery, Thomas Jefferson warned: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that His justice cannot sleep forever.... The almighty has no attribute which can take sides with us in such a contest” (1832, Query 18, pp. 170-171, emp. added).

The Founders went so far as to claim that the Revolutionary War itself was, to some extent, a punishment from God for the sins of the people. For example, on March 7, 1778, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation to the nation in which they alluded to “the evident tokens of his Displeasure” in permitting “the continuation of a cruel and desolating WAR in our land” (Journals of the..., 10:229). Their stated solution was for all Americans “to acknowledge his righteous Government, confess and forsake their evil Ways, and implore his Mercy” (10:229). On March 20, 1779, the Congress issued a similar proclamation, which commenced: “Whereas, in just Punishment of our manifold Transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all Events to visit these United States with a calamitous War” (Journals of the..., 13:343, emp. added). Again, the solution was for the citizenry to be “sufficiently awakened to a Sense of their Guilt” and “taught to amend their Lives and turn from their Sins, that so he might turn from his Wrath” (13:343). The Congress felt the same way in March of 1780 when they stated to the nation: “It having pleased the righteous Governor of the World, for the punishment of our manifold offences, to permit the sword of war still to harass our country, it becomes us to endeavour, by humbling ourselves before him, and turning from every evil way, to avert his anger and obtain his favour and blessing” (Journals of the..., 16:252-253, emp. added). A year later, the Congress again called upon the nation to “confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and through the merits of our blessed Saviour, obtain pardon and forgiveness” (Journals of the..., 19:285, emp. added).

Both the Bible and the Founders of the American Republic stated unequivocally that God can and will allow natural calamities to be inflicted against peoples who commit iniquity and allow rampant immorality to prevail in society. Is it even remotely possible that Haiti is experiencing this phenomenon?


Make no mistake: “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son” (Amos 7:14), and, as stated earlier, have no inspired link to deity by which to declare that Haiti is being punished for sin. No one should “speak falsely for God” (Job 13:7). Indeed, Pat Robertson misspoke when he boldly declared his assessment of the situation (Condon, 2010). Nevertheless, the evidence demonstrates that the country is particularly plagued by religious and moral factors among its population that are counterproductive to a healthy relationship with the God of the Universe. Haiti is notorious for its widespread practice of the false religion of voodoo (Guynup, 2004). Despite a heavy historical influence of Catholicism by way of the French colonials, “voodoo may be considered the country’s national religion. The majority of Haitians believe in and practice at least some aspects of voodoo” (Haggerty, 1989). What’s more, the country suffers from the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS outside of the African continent (Craythorne, 2006, p. 102). A 1989 Library of Congress study found that “[h]omosexual activity has contributed to the spread of AIDS in Haiti. AIDS transmission was also related to female and male prostitution. At least 50 percent of the female prostitutes in the capital city’s main prostitution center were believed to be infected with HIV” (Haggerty). In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of researchers concluded that the initial introduction of the aids virus into America came via Haiti: “HIV went directly from Africa to Haiti, then spread to the United States and much of the rest of the world beginning around 1969” (Avasthi, 2007; Gilbert, et al., 2007, 104[47]:18566-18570; cf. Owen, 2006). Meanwhile in Haiti, “[t]he average age for young people to begin sexual relations is 12, with many young boys and girls starting to have sex as early as eight years old” (Caistor, 2003).

In an article titled “Haiti’s Avoidable Death Toll,” George Mason University’s Distinguished Professor of Economics, Walter Williams, insists that the high death toll and national inability to address domestic calamity is due to Haiti’s “self-inflicted poverty”—the result of Marxist inspired “restrictions on economic liberty” (2010). Several of these restrictions are rooted in moral and spiritual degradation. Bribery and other forms of corruption are a way of life for Haitians. Indeed, Haiti has a worldwide reputation for corruption. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world. This index is a synthesis survey based on 13 different expert and business surveys. Haiti has been listed in the top 10 most corrupt nations for several years, taking the top spot in 2006, the number four spot in 2007 and 2008, and ranking 168 out of 180 in 2009 just behind Iran and eight other Muslim countries (“Corruption Perceptions...,” 2009). Williams observes:

Crime and lawlessness are rampant in Haiti. The U.S. Department of State website, long before the earthquake, warned, “There are no ‘safe’ areas in Haiti.... Kidnapping, death threats, murders, drug-related shootouts, armed robberies, home break-ins and car-jacking are common in Haiti.” The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns its citizens that, “The level of crime in Haiti is very high and the police have little ability to enforce laws. Local authorities often have limited or no capacity to provide assistance, even if you are a victim of a serious crime.” Crime anywhere is a prohibitive tax on economic development and the poorest people are its primary victims (2010; cf. “Protest Demonstration...,” 2005; “Violent Demonstration...,” 2009; “Travel Advice...,” 2010).

While it is tenuous for ignorant, limited man to attempt an overall assessment of a nation’s spiritual condition, sufficient evidence exists to conclude that the moral and religious conditions of Haiti are significantly impaired and contrary to God’s Word. Since, in the words of the Father of our country, “the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on [such] a nation,” what Haiti needs in addition to material aid—and far more desperately—is instruction in the moral and spiritual principles of the New Testament.


Though politically incorrect, it is high time for the peoples of the world, from Muslim nations, Hindu nations, communistic/Marxist/socialist nations, to animistic, superstitious nations like Haiti, who openly acknowledge and envy America’s unprecedented wealth and progress (to the point that many are dying to get here), to likewise understand that America owes her incredible standing solely to the God of the Bible. He has blessed America because her founding principles openly acknowledged the one true God and sought to promote His religion and the moral principles of that religion (Miller, 2008; Miller, 2009). With widespread indications of the decline of Christianity mounting in America, Americans would do well to face reality: the corruption, immorality, and barbaric conditions that characterize many nations of the world will inevitably transform our own society into a nightmarish, immoral, social cesspool.

Do we really think that God will make an exception and exempt America from its own collection of natural calamities? Historical evidence exists to indicate that in 1811-1812, the town of New Madrid, Missouri was notoriously wicked:

Though it was prosperous as a business village and trading post, its inhabitants were noted for their impiety. All the worst elements of a frontier river town were to be found here in this place.... History says but little about the town prior to the earthquake, and that little is not to its credit. It is spoken of as the favorite resort of boatmen, who spent “their Sabbaths in drinking, gambling, and fighting.” Priest and preacher were unheard, or if they were listened to at all, it was with the utmost indifference (Musick, 1897, p. 143, emp. added).

San Francisco at the turn of the century was also widely recognized as a wicked city. The Barbary Coast was rampant with debauchery and every imaginable sexual sin from prostitution to homosexuality (cf. Boyd, 2003; Asbury, 1933). [NOTE: Another striking example is the report of history that at the time Pompey was obliterated by the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, its citizens were notorious for their rampant immorality (e.g., Connie Gill, 2005; N.S. Gill, 2005).]

Christians understand that no matter how catastrophic, tragic, or disastrous an event may be in this world, it fits into the overall framework of soul-making—preparation for one’s departure from life into eternity. Likewise, the Christian knows that, although the great pain and suffering caused by natural disasters may be unpleasant, and may test one’s mettle, nevertheless, such suffering is neither dysteleological (purposeless) nor intrinsically evil. Nor is it a reflection on the existence of an omnibenevolent, omnipotent God. The only intrinsic evil is violation of God’s will, i.e., sin (1 John 3:4). What is required of all accountable persons is obedience to God’s revealed Word—even amid pain, suffering, sickness, disease, death, and, yes, earthquakes.


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Guynup, Sharon (2004), “Haiti: Possessed by Voodoo,” National Geographic Channel, July 7, [On-line], URL: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0707_040707_tvtaboovoodoo.html.

Haggerty, Richard A., ed. (1989), Haiti: A Country Study (Washington, D.C.: GPO for the Library of Congress), [On-line], URL: http://countrystudies.us/haiti/41.htm.

“Haiti Earthquake of 2010” (2010), The New York Times, January 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.nytimes.com/info/haiti-earthquake-2010/.

Haven, Paul and Mike Melia (2010), “Haiti’s Mass Graves Swell; Doctors Fear More Death,” Associated Press, January 21, [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/cb_haiti_earthquake.

“Huang He, or Hwang Ho”(2004), Britannica Student Encyclopedia, [On-line], URL: http://www.britannica.com/ebi/article?tocId=9274966.

“Humanitarian Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake” (2010), Wikipedia, [On-line], URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanitarian_response_to_the_2010_Haiti_earthquake#cite_ref-0.

“Hurricanes” (no date), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, [On-line], URL: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mguide_nd.html. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mguide_nd.html.

“Hwang Ho” (2004), LoveToKnow 1911 Online Encyclopedia, [On-line], URL: http://32.1911encyclopedia.org/H/HW/HWANG_HO.htm.

Indian Ocean-Earthquake/Tsunami-December 2004 (2010), “Table A: List of All Commitments/Contributions and Pledges,” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), [On-line], URL: http://ocha.unog.ch/fts/reports/daily/ocha_R10_E14794_asof___1001291628.pdf.

Jackson, Roy (2001), “The Problem of Evil,” The Philosopher’s Magazine Online, [On-line], URL: http://www.philosophers.co.uk/cafe/rel_six.htm.

Janega, James (2009), “Katrina Victims Rebuilding Lives,” Chicago Tribune, August 28, [On-line], URL: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/aug/28/local/chi-katrina-chicago_janegaaug28.

Jefferson, Thomas (1832), Notes on the State of Virginia (Boston, MA: Lilly and Wait).

Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (1904-1937), ed. Worthington C. Ford, et al. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office), Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwjc.html.

Kates, Brian (2010), “Haiti: Another Earthquake—6.1 Aftershock Rocks Shellshocked Port-au-Prince,” New York Daily News, January 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/01/20/2010-01-20_60_earthquake_strikes_haiti_strong_aftershock_sends_people_ running_into_the_stre.html.

Keats, (1899), The Complete Poetical Works and Letters of John Keats, ed. Horace E. Scudder (New York: Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.), [On-line], URL: http://books.google.com/books?id= wIs6AAAAMAAJ&dq=George+and+Goergiana+Keats& source=gbs_navlinks_s.

Lowder, Jeffery (2004), “Logical Arguments From Evil,” Internet Infidels, [On-line], URL: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/nontheism/atheism/evil-logical.html.

McGarvey, J.W. (1894), Sermons (Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing).

Miller, Dave (2003a), “Are There Modern-day Apostles?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2279.

Miller, Dave (2003b), “Modern-day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation—Extended Version,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2569.

Miller, Dave (2005), “Is America’s Iniquity Full?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/305.

Miller, Dave (2008), The Silencing of God: The Dismantling of America’s Christian Heritage (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Miller, Dave (2009), Christ and the Continental Congress (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Musick, John (1897), Stories of Missouri (New York: American Book Company).

Owen, James (2006), “AIDS Origin Traced to Chimp Group in Cameroon,” National Geographic News, May 25, [On-line], URL: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/05/060525-aids-chimps.html.

“Protest Demonstration Notice” (2005), Embassy of the United States Port Au Prince Haiti, May 10, [On-line], URL: http://haiti.usembassy.gov/wm_15.html.

Provine, W.B. and Phillip E. Johnson (1994), “Darwinism: Science or Naturalistic Philosophy?” Origins Research 16(1), Fall/Winter, [On-line], URL: http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or161/161main.htm.

Summers, Ray (1951), Worthy is the Lamb (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press).

Thompson, Bert (1997), “Divine Benevolence, Human Suffering, and Intrinsic Value,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/198.

“Travel Advice: Haiti” (2010), Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, February 10, [On-line], URL: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Haiti.

“Tsunami Aid: Who’s Giving What” (2005), BBC News, January 27, [On-line], URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4145259.stm.

“Violent Demonstration on Friday, September 11, 2009” (2009), Warden Message No. 87, Embassy of the United States Port Au Prince Haiti, May 10, [On-line], URL: http://haiti.usembassy.gov/uploads/sV/lK/sVlKGYFf194bgkUOJuSEYQ/Warden-Message-no.-87.pdf.

Warren, Thomas (1972), Have Atheists Proved There Is No God? (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

Washington, George (1789), “First Inaugural Address,” The Avalon Project at Yale Law School, [On-line], URL: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/wash1.asp.

Williams, Walter (2010), “Haiti’s Avoidable Death Toll,” The Patriot Post, January 20, [On-line], URL: http://patriotpost.us/opinion/walter-e-williams/2010/01/20/haitis-avoidable-death-toll/.

God, Design, and Natural Selection by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



God, Design, and Natural Selection

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In a September 2016 New Scientist article titled “Can We Ever Know If God Exists?”1 Executive Editor Graham Lawton insisted that “the only coherent and rational position is agnosticism.”2 Allegedly, there is not enough legitimate evidence to come to the rational conclusion that “God exists.” For example, Lawton called the design argument for God’s existence a “superficially persuasive argument” that is “very refutable.”3 And how is it supposedly refuted? What evidence did Lawton offer in contradiction to the design argument? He presented only one statement: “Evolution by natural selection, working over vast lengths of time, is all you need.”4

Sadly, many people will naively take Lawton at his word and assume, “He must be right. I guess we can’t prove that God exists.” The simple fact is, however, his “refutation” of the design argument is nothing of the sort. First, the design argument for God’s existence is an actual logical argument.

Premise 1: Anything that exhibits complex, functional design demands an intelligent designer.

Premise 2: The Universe exhibits complex, functional design.

Conclusion: Therefore, the Universe must have an intelligent Designer.

This argument for God is logically sound and observationally true. Even atheists frequently testify to the “design” in nature. For example, Australian atheistic astrophysicist Paul Davies has admitted that the Universe is “uniquely hospitable,” “remarkable,” and “ordered in an intelligible way.” He even confessed to the “fine-tuned properties” of the Universe.5 The simple fact is, to deny either premise of the design argument is to deny reality, while to deny the conclusion is to deny logic.

Second, “Evolution by natural selection, working over vast lengths of time, is [not!]6 all you need.” Certainly the fit adapt and survive, and pass along their advantageous genetic traits [example: longer legs in some animals] to their offspring, but such processes (1) cannot create complex, functional design from nothing, (2) cannot change non-design into design, and (3) do not (and cannot) change one kind of animal into another. The simple fact is, natural selection does not design anything. As evolutionist Hugo de Vries admitted long ago, “Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.”7 It cannot explain the arrival of the perfectly designed “bomb-producing” bombardier beetle anymore than it can rationally explain the communication skills of the “sophisticated,” “intelligent,” “tailor-made,” color-changing Cuttlefish.8

Atheistic evolution is simply inept to deal with the reasonable arguments for the existence of God, including the logically sound design argument. To say that the design argument has “turned out to be very refutable” is simply false. And to act as if natural selection over long periods of time is the answer to the design observed in nature is equally fallacious. Such talk may sound nice in theoretical circles, but the evidence on a real observational and philosophically sound level still points to design that demands a designer. In truth, regardless of what Lawton and New Scientist say, we can know that God exists.9


1 Graham Lawton (2016), “Can We Ever Know If God Exists?” New Scientist, 231[3089]:39, September 3.

2 An agnostic is “a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable”—Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary (2016), http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic, emp. added.

3 Lawton, p. 39, emp. added.

4 Ibid.

5 Paul Davies (2007), “Laying Down the Laws,” New Scientist, 194[2610]:30,34, June 30.

6 Parenthetical comment added.

7 Hugo De Vries (1905), Species and Varieties: Their Origin by Mutation, ed. Daniel Trembly MacDougal (Chicago, IL: Open Court), pp. 825-826, emp. added.

8 Eric Lyons (2008), “The Cause of the Cuttlefish,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2505&topic=328.

9 See the Existence of God section of ApologeticsPress.org for a plethora of articles on this subject: http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12.

Suggested Resources

God, Atheism, and the True Meaning of Life by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



God, Atheism, and the True Meaning of Life

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

I wonder how many casual atheists (and agnostics who teeter on the brink of atheism) have actually thought through the fact that atheism implies that life ultimately is meaningless. One of the world’s most celebrated atheistic, evolutionary writers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Dr. Richard Dawkins, confessed in a 1995 Scientific American article, “The Universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom…no purpose…nothing but pitiless indifference.”1 More recently, in September 2016, Graham Lawton, Executive Editor of New Scientist magazine, penned a one-page article titled, “What is the Meaning of Life?” What answer did this leading evolutionary agnostic give? Here was his heavy-hitting first line: “The harsh answer is ‘it has none.’”2 “Your life may feel like a big deal to you,” he wrote, “but it’s actually a random blip of matter and energy in an uncaring and impersonal universe.”3 Other than subjective feelings of meaning and importance, unbelief implies “we will never get objective data on the matter.”4 Atheism and agnosticism simply fail “to capture a ‘true’ or ‘higher’ meaning.”5

In light of such valid, but depressing, confessions about unbelief, I would simply like to point out two beautiful truths about theism, and specifically biblical theism. First, a person can logically come to know that the God of the Bible exists.6 If matter demands a Maker; if life on Earth demands a life Giver; if complex, functional design in the Universe demands a Designer; and if the supernatural attributes of the Bible demand a Supernatural Author; then the evidence demands this verdict: the God of the Bible exists. Second, the Word of God gives mankind the meaning and purpose that he inherently longs for. Please understand, rational Christians do not come to believe in God and in the Bible as His inspired Word simply because we want some objective meaning to our life on Earth. Rather, once we see the evidence for God and His Word and commit our lives to the Lord in obedience to the Gospel of Christ (Romans 6:1-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9), our admittedly innate but formerly uninformed desire for a “higher meaning” is at that moment made complete by the “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25). In fact, God gave His inspired Word so that “the man of God may be complete” (2 Timothy 3:17). No doubt, part of this Divinely given, God-revealed “perfection” or “completeness” is one’s realization that the human life actually has real, objective meaning.

The best atheism can do is to ask people to choose for themselves what the meaning of human life is. But such meaning is entirely subjective. One person could just as easily conclude that the meaning of life is to reduce the population of human beings on Earth by any means possible in order to “save mother Earth,”7 as he could decide that the meaning of life is “to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones,”8 including having sexual relations with anyone, at anytime, anywhere.9 On the other hand, Christianity offers the world real, objective meaning. The Creator of mankind has informed us that we exist on Earth for the purpose of choosing (by the grace of God) where we want to live eternally (Matthew 7:13-14). As we prepare to meet our Maker (Ecclesiastes 12:7), He has instructed us to “[f]ear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).


1 Richard Dawkins (1995), “God’s Utility Function,” Scientific American, 273[5]:85, November, emp. added.

2 Graham Lawton (2016), “What is the Meaning of Life?” New Scientist, 231[3089]:33, September 3.

3 Ibid., emp. added.

4 Ibid., emp. added.

5 Ibid.

6 See Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2014), “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5045&topic=93. For even more evidence, visit the “Existence of God” section of ApologeticsPress.org.

7 See Eric Lyons (2010), “Save the Planet! Kill the People!” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3586&topic=94.

8 Charles Darwin (1958), The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Barlow (New York: W.W. Norton).

9 Regardless of whether the person is willing. Cf. Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer (2000), A Natural History of Rape (Cambridge: MIT Press).

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Ashamed Of Jesus And His Words? (8:38) by Mark Copeland



Ashamed Of Jesus And His Words? (8:38)


1. Jesus taught that discipleship can be costly... - Mk 8:34
   a. It requires denial of self
   b. It demands bearing hardship
   c. It involves following Jesus despite the cost

2. Following Jesus may be embarrassing for some... - Mk 8:38
   a. For as then, so today, we live in an adulterous and sinful world
   b. Where others often ridicule you for your faith in Jesus
   c. As they try to weaken your resolve to follow Jesus

[Yet Jesus warns why we should not be ashamed of Him (in view of His
glorious return). In this lesson I hope to encourage you as to why you
should never be ashamed of Jesus and His words...]


      1. As confessed by those who saw Him
         a. John the Baptist:  "The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" - Jn 1:29
         b. Nathaniel:  "The Son of God, the King of Israel!" - Jn 1:49
         c. Nicodemus:  "A teacher come from God" - Jn 3:2
         d. The 5000:  "Truly the Prophet who is to come into the world"- Jn 6:14
         e. Peter:  "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God" - Jn 6:69
         f. Thomas:  "My Lord and My God" - Jn 20:28
         g. Paul:  "The blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords" - 1Ti 6:15
         h. John:  "The faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead,
            the ruler over the kings of the earth" - Re 1:5
      2. As professed by Jesus Himself
         a. "I am the bread of life" - Jn 6:35
         b. "I am the light of the world - Jn 8:12
         c. "I am the door" - Jn 10:9
         d. "I am the good shepherd" - Jn 10:11
         e. "I am the resurrection and the life" - Jn 11:25
         f. "I am the way, the truth, and the life" - Jn 14:6
         g. "I am the true vine" - Jn 15:1
         h. "I AM" (a declaration that He is the Eternal One, that is, God) - Jn 8:58
      -- The veracity of such statements has been established by His resurrection! - cf. Ro 1:4

      1. "I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as
         a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is
         irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily
         the most dominant figure in all history." - H.G. Wells
      2. Henry G. Bosch, author of Our Daily Bread, summed it up nicely:
         a. "Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for
            40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ's
            3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the
            combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among
            the greatest philosophers of all antiquity."
         b. "Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest
            paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci
            received their inspiration from Him."
         c. "Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the
            world's greatest poets were inspired by Him."
         d. "Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven,
            Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of
            melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratories they composed in His praise."
         e. "Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble Carpenter of Nazareth."
      -- Jesus is the most famous person who ever lived, how can we ever
         be ashamed of Him?

[We have no reason to be ashamed of Jesus.  But it is not only Jesus
Himself, but His words...]


      1. That Jesus taught and warned about hell - Mt 10:28; 13:41,47-50
      2. That Jesus taught He is the only way to salvation - Jn 8:24; 14:6
      3. That only few would be saved, not even some who believe - Mt 7:13-14; 7:21-23
      4. That He taught one must believe and be baptized to be saved - Mk 16:15-16
      5. That He taught there is only one ground for divorce and remarriage - Mt 19:9
      -- People show their shame when unwilling to believe and stand for what Jesus taught

      1. They are the words of God - Jn 3:34
      2. They are spirit and they are life - Jn 6:63
      3. They are the words of eternal life - Jn 6:68
      4. They are the words by which mankind will be judged - Jn 12:48
      5. They are the words by which we enjoy fellowship with God - Jn 14:21,23
      6. They are words which when obeyed lead to answered prayer - Jn 15:7
      7. They are words which give peace in a troubled world - Jn 16:33
      -- In light of such power, how can we be ashamed of His words?


1. When properly considered and understood, we have no reason to be ashamed...
   a. Of Jesus - who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, what He will one day do
   b. Of His words - what they are, what they mean, what they can accomplish in our lives

2. When Jesus returns to raise the dead and judge the world...
   a. If we are ashamed of Jesus, He will be ashamed of us - Mk 8:38
   b. If we live for Him and follow His words, He will glorify us! - 2Th 1:7-12

May we ever be able to sing the hymn with sincerity:  "I'm not ashamed
to own my Lord, Or to defend His cause; Maintain the honor of His Word,
The glory of His cross." (Paul G. Glaser)...  

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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What Christians Can Do During Civil Unrest? by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



What Christians Can Do During Civil Unrest?

“Close call.” Posted my friend and former college classmate Nancy (Clendening) Reaves.

Saturday evening, Nancy and her husband, Brownie, a preaching colleague of mine, were driving through Atlanta. Suddenly, Nancy, recounted, “A young black man ran out onto Hwy 85 intending to harm whoever was in the next car. It. Was. Me. He threw a big rock at my car window. Brownie was driving. It hit the door rim and was two inches from hitting me.”

Yes, “Black Lives Matter,” Nancy affirmed. “What happened was horrible and unjust. We all get it. There is a small fraction of bad cops. There are many, many more who help and defend and care about keeping us safe. Their lives matter too.”

“White lives matter too,” she correctly opined “How does hurting a random person change what happened?”

Suddenly what I was seeing on TV became very real. Friends of mine were threatened. Their lives were put in danger because of the racial tensions stirred by a rogue cop in Minneapolis.

What can we do? How should Christians respond to the tension, racial unrest and violence all around us? Here’s six things we can all do to let our light shine in a sin-darkened world.

1. We Can Pray.

I trust you are praying every day about this terrible situation. If not, begin now. Pray for peace. Pray for our leaders to make correct decisions. Pray for police officers everywhere. Pray for the families affected by George Floyd’s death. Pray for our black brothers and sisters who are hurting, angry and feel the ugly sting of racism.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6)

2. Respond to evil with good.

As Bob Russell wrote in a blog post, “Don’t get “sucked into the cycle of hatred. There’s an old saying, ‘You become what you hate.’”

The agitators, not the peaceful protestors, are stirring up strife. There’s a lot of theories about who they are, where they’re from and what they’re motives are. But one thing is for sure, they are returning evil for evil. The other night, an angry African-American screamed into the TV camera,– “One of ours – two of yours!”

Let’s break that cycle. In our social media posts, in our interactions with others, and within our own hearts, let’s follow Jesus’ counsel in the Mountain Message.

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt. 5:45).

3. Emphasize and sympathize with those who are hurting.

As a white male, I don’t know what it’s like to be a black man in America. But I need to care. Feel compassion. Show concern. And try to understand. While we’ve come a long way in race relations during my life time, there is still work to be done.

We know that Jesus understands the pain and problems that we all encounter and endure. As His followers, he calls on us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful (I Pet. 3:8; Lk. 6:36).

4. Eradicate racism from your heart, and oppose racism.

The Bible teaches that in the Body of Christ there are no racial distinctions. “All are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). That being true, our attitude and actions towards those of a different race, nationality or ethnicity ought not to be colored by prejudice, partiality, or bigotry.

A friend observed from yesterday’s post, that the cop who killed George Floyd may not be a racist. He may just be a bad cop toward all races. Maybe. But racial tensions have been stirred nonetheless. So, it’s an occasion for all of us to look inside ourselves and cleanse ourselves of any impurity of thought toward our fellow man. Of course, this cuts both ways. To both blacks and whites.

5. Refuse to pigeon-hole others into a narrow category.

The cops I know are not like Derek Chauvin. The black men I know are not like the one who threw the rock at my friend, or the young man screaming into the TV camera, or the ones setting fires and burning down buildings.

In the sentiment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. let’s judge others not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

6. Remember the answer to our nation’s ills is the gospel of Christ.

The Devil divides us. Sin ensnares us. And evil people go from bad to worse. The only cure is Christ. And His Gospel. My friend and preaching colleague, Dan DeGarmo recently posted this truth on facebook. “If you spend your entire life fighting the wars of social justice and you don’t tell one person about Jesus, you have failed.”

It’s the gospel that changes hearts. Redirects lives. Purifies motives. Removes guilt. Improves society. Ennobles purpose. Eradicates barriers. Cleanses us from sin. And saves the soul.

The problems of our nation won’t be solved by Republicans or Democrats. Or by legislation. Or the overthrow of America. Following the principles enunciated by Jesus is the only answer.

Finally, “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thess. 5:15).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





Why do some reject Jesus as Lord and Savior and others accept Him? Why is it, some accept the teaching found in Scripture concerning the terms for pardon and other believe in the man-made traditions found in creed books and statements of faith? Could there be a direct correlation between rejecting the truth and not fearing God?


Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Fear of the Lord is when knowledge originates.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

Fear of the Lord is the introduction to wisdom. Lack of fear produces the absence of wisdom.

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

Fear of the Lord lengthens your days here on earth.

Proverbs 16:6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.

Fear of the Lord helps men avoid evil.


Luke 23:39-43 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying , "Are you not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!" 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" 43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."


Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Without fear of God there is no way men can understand the truth. Without wisdom, knowledge, and understanding men are left hanging on the cross with the first criminal.


John 12:42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;

The rulers did not confess Jesus because they feared the Pharisees more than they feared the Lord. The question is; how many preachers today will not preach water baptism as being essential for salvation because they fear losing their jobs more than they fear God?

Why do some men fear saying, Jesus is the only way to the Father?(John14:6)

Why do men fear teaching the terms of pardon.
FAITH: John 3:16
REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16

Do men preach their doctrine because they fear God or do they fear that they might be ostracized by their family, friends, lodge brothers, church members, and society in general if they preach the truth?



Peter's First Letter Chapter One by Charles Hess



Peter's First Letter
Chapter One
Copyright ©2003, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington
[ 01 ] [ 02 ] [ 03 ] [ 04 ] [ 05 ] [ 06 ] [ 07 ] [ 08 ] [ 09 ] [ 10 ]
[ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ] [ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ] [ 19 ] [ 20 ]
[ 21 ] [ 22 ] [ 23 ] [ 24 ] [ 25 ]

Peter begins his first letter[ 1 ] by greeting the pilgrims of the Dispersion. He praises God for the living hope of a heavenly inheritance. He acknowledges the various trials that were to come to test his readers. The prophets foresaw the sufferings of Christ and His glory. Christians are encouraged to live holy lives. They are reminded of the cost of their redemption and God's foreordained plan to save them. The remaining part of chapter 1 praises the revealed word of God (see charts 1 PETER 1 OUTLINE A and B).


  1. Greeting pilgrims of Dispersion (1Pe 1:1, 2).
  2. Living hope (1Pe 1:3-5).
  3. Various trials to test Christians (1Pe 1:6-9).
  4. Prophets foresaw Christ's sufferings (1Pe 1:10-12).


  1. Live holy lives (1Pe 1:13-17).
  2. Cost of redemption (1Pe 1:18, 19).
  3. Plan to save foreordained (1Pe 1:20, 21).
  4. Praising revealed word of God (1Pe 1:22-26).


1:1, 2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

Peter.[ 2 ] Simon,[ 3 ] to whom Jesus gave the name Peter, claims to be the writer of this letter. All honest readers agree that none other than the apostle Peter is that person. I know of no good evidence to the contrary.

An apostle of Jesus Christ [apostle of Jesus Christ].[ 4 ] Nowhere in Scripture is it recorded that Peter was, or claimed to be, head of the Lord's Church. If it were true, would this not have been the ideal time for him to lay claim to the honor? He did not claim to be Pope because he was not. He was a Christian, one of the twelve apostles, influential and popular, but nothing more. In spite of Scriptural evidence to the contrary, he has been exalted by men as the first "Pope."

To the pilgrims [to the exiles, strangers, sojourners, who are sojourners].[ 5 ] The Christians addressed here may have had citizenship in the countries mentioned but if so that was secondary. Their real citizenship was in heaven. Regardless of where on earth they lived, they considered themselves to be aliens and strangers (see Php 3:20; 1Pe 2:11).

Of the Dispersion [scattered throughout].[ 6 ] The "Dispersion" is not used of unconverted Jews but, figuratively, of Christians, Gentile Christians especially.[ 7 ] They were scattered everywhere. Their real citizenship was in heaven. They were "exiled" on the earth (see TO WHOM WRITTEN in Introduction to this letter).


In Pontus [of Pontus].[ 8 ] Like Bithynia, Pontus bordered the southwestern shore of the Pontus Euxinus (Black Sea). Among the residents of Pontus were some Jews present on Pentecost (Ac 2:9). Aquila was born there (Ac 18:2). At the time of Peter's writing, all five provinces mentioned in this verse had many Gentile inhabitants and were under Roman rule.

Galatia.[ 9 ] Galatia lay south of Bithynia and Pontus, west of Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.[ 10 ] Cappadocia was south and east of the other provinces mentioned by Peter. Some of the Jews present in Jerusalem on Pentecost hailed from there (Ac 2:9).

Asia.[ 11 ] Asia (Asia Minor) was south of Bithynia and Pontus and west of Galatia. For the most part, its western border was the Aegean Sea. The Mediterranean Sea was its southern border. A tradition has Peter, in his later life, working in northern Asia Minor, including Bithynia.

And Bithynia.[ 12 ] Bithynia's northern border was the Black Sea (Pontus Euxinus). The Holy Spirit did not permit Paul to evangelize that area (Ac 16:6-10) but apparently Peter was allowed to do so (see note above).

    (1Pe 1:1)

  1. Many called but few chosen (Mt 22:14).
  2. For sake of elect those days shall be shortened (Mt 24:22).
  3. Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? (Ro 8:33).
  4. Be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble (2Pe 1:10).
  5. Those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful (Re 17:14).

[1:2] Elect [the elect, chosen] [ 13 ] (see chart ELECT = GOD'S CHOSEN).

According to [and].[ 14 ]

Foreknowledge [destined, the foreknowledge].[ 15 ] In his sermon on Pentecost, Peter spoke of God's foreknowledge and "determined purpose" or "determinate counsel" in the same sentence (Ac 2:23). James said, "Known to God from eternity are all His works" (Ac 15:18). Paul himself was chosen, being separated from his mother's womb (Ga 1:16). The apostles and other Jews were predestined to become sons of God through Jesus Christ.

Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Eph 1:5).

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11; see chart CONDITIONAL SALVATION OF ELECT).

Inasmuch as many of Peter's readers were Gentiles, God foreknew them as well (see Eph 2:11-13).

    (1Pe 1:1)

  1. Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven (Mt 7:21).
  2. Unless you repent you will all likewise perish (Lu 13:3).
  3. Now commands all men everywhere to repent (Ac 17:30).
  4. Vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel (2Th 1:8).
  5. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1Jo 2:4).

Of God the Father [by God the Father].[ 16 ]

In sanctification of the Spirit [and sanctified by, through, of spirit, the Spirit].[ 17 ] There is considerable evidence that in this verse "Spirit" is not the Holy Spirit but "spirit" as in the human spirit. For one thing, there is no Greek article before the word.

John Calvin taught that the Holy Spirit acts directly upon the heart of only those sinners who will eventually accept the gospel. Such an arbitrary selection and election is not impartial but God is impartial! (see Ac 10:35; 1Pe 1:17). Since the impartial God desires all to be saved (1Ti 2:3, 4), why would not He just operate directly upon all hearts? To arbitrarily choose one soul for salvation and another for damnation is heartless discrimination. Would Calvinists imitate this kind of discrimination when dealing with their own children? If a civil or criminal judge behaved in such a cavalier[ 18 ] manner in the courtroom, would any Calvinist approve of it?

You may notice a Calvinistic bias in the following quotation from W. E. Vine that also appears in a previous footnote. I wonder if Mr. Vine realized that by this statement he implied that God was a cruel respecter of persons.

The sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice, or election, of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual.[ 19 ]

God chose from the beginning so that both Jews and Gentiles could come to Christ and be saved. He did not arbitrarily elect and reject individuals without any response on their part to the saving gospel. The truth about being called by the gospel was expressed by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians.

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit [or "spirit"] and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Th 2:13, 14).

All who believe and obey the gospel are saved (Mk 16:15, 16). God elects or chooses those who are saved. He chooses or elects to salvation those who obey the gospel.[ 20 ]

    (1Pe 1:1)

  1. God chose.
  2. He chose from the beginning.
  3. The choice was made in sanctification of the spirit for obedience.
  4. Those chosen were called through the gospel (2Th 2:13, 14). (Adapted from Woods 22)

Sanctification is used in two senses in the NT. First, the word refers to the setting apart of an individual for God's service at baptism. This sets the stage for the second type of sanctification that involves purity of life for which all Christians strive. Both kinds of sanctification are wrought by the Holy Spirit through the medium of the powerful gospel message. People are not forced to become Christians or to remain faithful. They themselves must pursue holiness or sanctification. If they fail to do so, they will miss heaven.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14).

For obedience [by, unto, unto the, obedience, to Jesus Christ].[ 21 ] The importance of obedience of God's sanctified ones is emphasized. The work of the Holy Spirit through the inspired word creates faith and thus enables one to become obedient (see Ro 10:17). Like love of the brethren, obedience is natural for Christians (1Pe 1:14; 22, 23).

And sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ [and for sprinkling, and cleansing, with, in, his blood].[ 22 ] In OT times, the blood of oxen was sprinkled.

And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words" (Ex 24:8).

The NT antitype of sprinkling animal blood is the sprinkling of the blood of Christ (Heb 10:22; 12:24). Christians have been "washed in His blood" at the time immersion into Christ (compare Ro 6:2-6, 17, 18; Re 1:5). At baptism the "sprinkling of blood" purifies the conscience and bodies are "washed" (Heb 10:22).[ 23 ]

Grace to you and peace be multiplied [grace unto you, may grace, and peace be multiplied to you].[ 24 ] Grace[ 25 ] and peace[ 26 ] were common Greek and Hebrew greetings (compare Ro 1:7; 1Co 1:3; Eph 1:2; Php 1:2). Peter combined them to wish his readers both grace and peace. Where the two are mentioned together, grace always precedes peace.


1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.[ 27 ] Peter is praising God. Vine and Vincent say the Greek word "Blessed" is used in the NT of God only (see Ro 1:25; 9:5; 2Co 1:3; Eph 1:3).[ 28 ]

    (1Pe 1:3)

  1. Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (Joh 3:3).
  2. Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (Joh 3:5).
  3. The inward man is being renewed day by day (2Co 4:16).
  4. A new creation (Ga 6:15).

    (1Pe 1:3)

  1. Made alive together with Christ (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13).
  2. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth (Jas 1:18).
  3. Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1Pe 1:23).

Who according to His abundant mercy [by, which according to, his great mercy].[ 29 ] God showed mercy toward the Jewish fathers (Lu 1:72). The Gentiles praise Him for it (Ro 15:9). He is rich in mercy (Eph 2:4). It is according to His mercy that He saves people (Tit 3:5).

    (1Pe 1:3)

  1. Living God (Mt 16:16; Joh 6:57; Ro 14:11).
  2. Living water (Joh 4:10; 7:38).
  3. Living bread (Joh 6:51).
  4. Living oracles (Ac 7:38).
  5. Living sacrifice (Ro 12:1).

    (1Pe 1:3)

  1. Living and abiding word (Heb 4:12; 1Pe 1:23, 25).
  2. Living way (Heb 10:20).
  3. Living hope (1Pe 1:3).
  4. Christ, a living stone (1Pe 2:4).
  5. Christians, as living stones (1Pe 2:5).

Has begotten us again [begat, we have been born, anew].[ 30 ] It is the mercy of God, not humanly devised works of righteousness that causes us to be born again (see Tit 3:5). The new birth is made possible by an exercise of the will of God. Being begotten by the word of truth is the Spirit's part in the new birth (see Joh 3:3-8; 1Jo 5:1).

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (Jas 1:18).

    (Heb 1:3)

  1. Good hope (2Th 2:16).
  2. Blessed hope (Tit 2:13).
  3. Better hope (Heb 7:19).
  4. Living hope (1Pe 1:3).

To a living [unto a lively].[ 31 ] Sinners flee to Christ in order to lay hold on hope. Outside of Him there is none (Eph 2:12; see charts LIVING THINGS A and B).

That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us (Heb 6:18).

The living hope is made possible by the living God. That hope is in the living Christ[ 32 ] and is a hope of eternal life (Tit 1:2; see charts LIVING THINGS A and B).

    (1Pe 1:3)

  1. How should we then live? (Eze 33:10 KJV).
  2. No longer live in sin (Ro 6:2).
  3. Live to God (Ga 2:19).
  4. Live by the faith of the Son of God (Ga 2:20).
  5. Live for righteousness (1Pe 2:24).
  6. Live the rest of your time for the will of God (1Pe 4:2).
  7. Live according to God in the spirit (1Pe 4:6).

Hope.[ 33 ] In the NT, at least four adjectives describe hope (see chart LIVING HOPE).

Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead [by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from, from among, the dead].[ 34 ] The resurrection of Christ gives assurance to all Christians. It is the ground of their hope. Because He is living, their hope is living (see Ac 24:15; 1Co 15:12-19). Babes in Christ are raised with Him from immersion into His death. They are raised to walk a new life in Him (Ro 6:3, 4; Col 2:12-3:1).

    (1Pe 1:4)

  1. The word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance (Ac 20:32).
  2. Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Ro 8:17).
  3. Spirit the guarantee of our inheritance (Eph 1:14).
  4. The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:18).


[1:4] To an inheritance [unto, and to, an inheritance].[ 35 ] Only legitimate children of God may legitimately receive an inheritance. Only those born again are His children (verse 3).

Incorruptible [imperishable, which is imperishable, that can never perish, is one that nothing can destroy].[ 36 ] The heavenly inheritance is durable and everlasting. It is not subject to entropy.[ 37 ] It will never decay or be corrupted.

    (1Pe 1:4)

  1. In Christ . . . old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2Co 5:17).
  2. Removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made (Heb 12:27).
  3. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea (Re 21:1).

    (1Pe 1:4)

  1. Tears, death, sorrow, crying, pain; for the former things have passed away (Re 21:4).
  2. No temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple (Re 21:22).
  3. No longer any curse (Re 22:3).
  4. There shall be no night there. They need no lamp nor light of the sun (Re 22:5).

And undefiled [undefiled].[ 38 ] The heavenly inheritance is pure, unstained, unspoiled and undefiled.

And that does not fade away [and unfading, that fadeth not away, (is) enduring].[ 39 ] The heavenly inheritance of Christians never fades.Notice the similarity of the Greek word in the footnote with the name of an annual flower, the amaranth or amaranthus. The plants grow to a height of about three feet and have flaming foliage of chocolate, crimson or purple. The flowers are supposedly unfading (see charts THINGS THAT PASS AWAY A and B).

Reserved in heaven [kept in the heavens].[ 40 ] The inheritance is not, as some would say, heaven on earth. Neither is it an earthly premillennial inheritance. It is reserved or kept in heaven.

Jesus spoke of eternal life "in the age to come" (Mk 10:30). Paul himself lived "in hope of eternal life" (Tit 1:2). The beloved apostle John called it a promise: "And this is the promise that He has promised us -- eternal life" (1Jo 2:25).

    (1Pe 1:4)

  1. If you love Me, you will TEEREESETE keep My commandments (Joh 14:15).
  2. Father, TEEREESON keep them (Joh 17:11).
  3. While I was with them, I ETEEROUN was keeping them (Joh 17:12a).
  4. I EPHULAXA guarded them (Joh 17:12b).

For you.[ 41 ] Jesus said to the disciples, "I go to prepare a place for you" (Joh 14:2). Peter understood that promise to include all Christians. He said to his readers that the inheritance is reserved in heaven "for you." Paul taught the same thing when he said the crown of righteousness is "not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2Ti 4:8).


[1:5] Who are kept [who are, being, guarded, protected, shielded].[ 42 ] The inheritance is "reserved." Its heirs are "kept" or "protected."

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil (Heb 6:19).

    (1Pe 1:5)

  1. The just shall live by faith (Ro 1:17; 3:11).
  2. Justified by faith (Ro 3:28; 5:1; Ga 2:16; 3:24).
  3. Faith accounted for righteousness (Ro 4:5).
  4. Access by faith into this grace in which we stand (Ro 5:2).
  5. Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame (Ro 10:11).

    (1Pe 1:5)

  1. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! (1Co 15:17).
  2. That the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe (Ga 3:22),
  3. For by grace you have been saved through faith (Eph 2:8).

By the power of God [by God's power, by the power of God].[ 43 ] It is not "faith power" that guards us. It is God's power, but He does it in response to man's faith. God's power is the gospel (Ro 1:16), His word (Heb 4:12; Joh 17:17; Jas 1:18). His word is "the faith" (1 Pe 5:9).[ 44 ]

Through faith [through the faith].[ 45 ] A Christian keeps himself in the love of God (Jude 21). Constant guarding is done through faith, that is, it is dependent upon something man does, a work if you please (Joh 6:29). If one's faith fails, what about the Divine guarding (see Lu 22:31, 32)? Paul himself had a part in the progress of the faith of his converts.

And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith (Php 1:25).

    (1Pe 1:5)

  1. Wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2Ti 3:15).
  2. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:22).
  3. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith (1Jo 5:4).

For salvation [unto, unto a, for a, salvation].[ 46 ] Sometimes salvation just refers to forgiveness of past sins. In this verse, however, it is yet to be revealed. Therefore, it is heavenly or eternal (see verse 9). It involves the resurrection from the dead and eternal life yet to be received in actuality (see note on Reserved in heaven, verse 4). It is called the crown of life and is a gift of the Godhead (Joh 17:2; Ac 2:38 Ro 6:23). It is promised to every obedient believer (Ac 2:39; 1Jo 2:25; see charts FUTURE SALVATION A and B).

    (1Pe 1:5)

  1. For by faith you stand (Ro 11:20; 2Co 1:24).
  2. The testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (Jas 1:3, 4).
  3. For we walk by faith, not by sight (2Co 5:7).
  4. The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God (Ga 2:20).
  5. That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Eph 3:17).

    (1Pe 1:5, 10)

  1. We shall be saved from wrath through Him (Ro 5:9).
  2. Salvation is nearer than when we first believed (Ro 13:11).
  3. Delivers us from the wrath to come (1Th 1:10).

    (1Pe 1:5, 10)

  1. God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1Th 5:9).
  2. Will inherit salvation (Heb 1:14).
  3. He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation (Heb 9:28).
  4. Account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation (2Pe 3:15).

Ready to be revealed [prepared to be revealed].[ 47 ] The salvation from passed sins mentioned in Acts 2:38 had already been revealed. The salvation in the present verse is in readiness to be revealed. It will be revealed just prior to entrance into eternity.

In the last time.[ 48 ] At the very end of earthly time when the judgment day comes, then shall be revealed the salvation that is eternal. The general resurrection will occur on "the last day" (Joh 6:39, 40, 44) at which time the "last trumpet" will sound (1Co 15:52). Judgment will occur "in the last day" (Joh 12:48). The "last enemy" will be destroyed (1Co 15:26).


1:6-9 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls.

In this you greatly rejoice [wherein, in which, ye exult, rejoice, rejoice greatly].[ 49 ] After the seventy disciples returned from the Limited Commission "with joy" Jesus rejoiced (Lu 10:17).

In that hour Jesus rejoiced [EEGALLIASATO rejoiced greatly] in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight" (Lu 10:21).

The intense love and trust Christians have for Christ gives them cause for great joy even during trials. Rejoicing greatly or being overjoyed in time of persecution is right in line with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (see Mt 5:12).

Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets (Lu 6:23)

Paul agreed:

Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance (Ro 5:2, 3).

James concurred.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials (Jas 1:2).

Though now for a little while [though now for a season, at present].[ 50 ] Even if persecution lasts, or seems to last, a lifetime, it is only "a moment" in comparison to eternity. This is how Paul viewed it.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2Co 4:17).

The suffering of Peter's readers was to be for "a little while" (1Pe 5:10).

If need be [if needed, you may have to].[ 51 ] It was necessary for Peter's readers to undergo persecution. Charles Williams renders the present verse:

In such a hope keep on rejoicing, although for a little while you must be sorrow-stricken with various trials (1Pe 1:6 Williams).


You have been grieved [suffer, ye are in heaviness, put to grief, now have sorrow].[ 52 ]A few years before Peter wrote, an event occurred near the Lake of Galilee. Peter ELUPEETHEE was grieved because Jesus said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" Even though unpleasant for him, the penetrating questioning of Christ did Peter a lot of good (see Joh 21:17). Christians are not criticized or condemned for being somewhat distressed under trials. They have to endure distress, sorrow and sadness during their period of suffering even though they know the eventual outcome will be something to rejoice about.

By [through, in, due to].[ 53 ] The various prepositions (by, through, in, etc.) used by translators undertake to express the idea of the environment or sphere in which the Christians could expect to be grieved.

Various [manifold].[ 54 ] The wisdom of God is POLUPOIKILOS manifold, that is, many colored (Eph 3:10). Trials also come in assorted varieties. Persecution may take the form of some kind of physical or mental abuse, including imprisonment, financial hardship, torture or even being murdered. James encourages Christians who are under trial and urges them to "Count it all joy" when they fall into various trials or manifold temptations (Jas 1:2).

Trials [temptations].[ 55 ] The original readers of this letter anticipated suffering to come upon them in many different ways. Their trials though distressing, would result in the proof of their faith.


[1:7] That the genuineness of your faith [so that the trial, trying, proving, proof, of your faith].[ 56 ] In presenting a related thought, James pointed out that "The testing of your faith produces patience" (Jas 1:3). Faith is tested and proved in the crucible of suffering but it need not be lost. Love, hope and faith all "abide" (1Co 13:13).

Being much more precious than gold that perishes [which is, more valuable than of gold, which though perishable, which perisheth].[ 57 ] Gold is considered to be valuable because of its beauty, scarcity and malleability. The first mention of gold in Scripture is in connection with the garden of Eden. The record states there was gold in the land of Havilah and "The gold of that land is good" (Ge 2:12). Just before the exodus from Egypt, according to Moses' instructions, the Israelites requested gold and other valuables from the Egyptians. The "borrowed" gold became, in part, wages for their hard labor as slaves.

Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing (Ex 12:35).

Some of the gold the children of Israel received was probably used to make the golden calf (Ex 32:3, 4). Some was contributed for temple furnishings (see Ex 25:3; 25:11-13, 25-39; 26:6, 29, 32, 37; 28:5, 6, 8, 11, 13-15, 20, 22, etc.).

Solomon's wealth was measured partly in gold (1Ki 10:14). Regardless of its value and desirability, Peter foretold the melting of gold along with the elements.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2Pe 3:10).

Gold "is perishable." One reason that genuine faith is of much greater worth than gold is that it may be imperishable regardless of the severity of trials.

The last book in the NT mentions gold. It tells of an angel that spoke to John had "a gold reed to measure the city" (Re 21:15). The heavenly city is made partly of that precious substance.

The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass (Re 21:18).

The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass (Re 21:21).

Gold is perishable in that it its softness allows it to be gradually worn away. No doubt the reader has seen where thin gold plate has been completely rubbed away in spots. After twenty years, my mother's engagement ring wore thin. I went with Dad to a jeweler on Grand Avenue in St. Louis where he had the diamond remounted and presented her with a "new" ring.

Though it is tested by fire [is, though it be, tried, proved, with fire].[ 58 ] Gold is refined and purified in a crucible. It is tested in the assayers fire but it will all melt in the intense heat when the earth is burned up. Faith, much more valuable than gold, is tested and purified in the fire of persecution and suffering. Faith comes out of the fire stronger and better. It is by faith that the Christian overcomes the world (1Jo 5:4; compare Re 12:11).

    (1Pe 1:7)

  1. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory (Ps 73:24).
  2. Sufferings . . . not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Ro 8:18).
  3. A far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2Co 4:17).

    (1Pe 1:7)

  1. Riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:18).
  2. Will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body (Php 3:21).
  3. The salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory (2Ti 2:10).

May be found [may redound, might be, will be, found].[ 59 ] Trials test faith and prove it to be genuine. A proven faith is not flimsy and frail. A proven faith results in a stronger hope.

To praise, honor, and glory [unto praise, glory and honor].[ 60 ] In the context of eternal judgment, Paul said that the wicked will be the recipients of wrath and indignation:

But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness -- indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek (Ro 2:8, 9).

Praise, glory and honor accompany eternal life in heaven. Faithful Christians may expect to hear words like:

Well done, good and faithful servant . . . enter into the joy of your lord (Mt 25:21, 23).

At that time, God will praise those entering heaven (see 2Th 1:12; charts PRAISE AND GLORY AND HONOR A and B).

But glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Ro 2:10).

    (1Pe 1:7)

  1. Will come again and receive you to Myself (Joh 14:3).
  2. Then each one's praise will come from God (1Co 4:5).
  3. Will transform our lowly body (Php 3:21).
  4. You also will appear with Him in glory (Col 3:4).

    (1Pe 1:7)

  1. Crown of glory that does not fade away (1Pe 5:4; compare 2Ti 4:8).
  2. When He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1Jo 2:28).
  3. We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1Jo 3:2).

At the revelation of Jesus Christ [in the appearing, revealing, of Jesus Christ].[ 61 ] At the final coming of Christ, faith that has been tried, tested and found true will be rewarded (see note on verse 13; charts THE REVELATION OF CHRIST A and B).


[1:8] Whom having not seen [without having seen him, whom you have not seen].[ 62 ] Peter had seen Christ many times. He was a witness of His sufferings (1Pe 5:1), His resurrection (Ac 2:32) and ascension (Mk 16:14-19; Lu 24:33, 50-52; Ac 1:2, 9). Yet many of his readers in far-off Turkey had never seen Christ in the flesh.

    (1Pe 1:8)

  1. If you love Me, keep My commandments (Joh 14:15).
  2. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me (Joh 14:21).
  3. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word (Joh 14:23).
  4. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love (Joh 15:10).

    (1Pe 1:8)

  1. Whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected (1Jo 2:5).
  2. This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments (1Jo 5:3).
  3. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments (2Jo 6).

You love [ye love, yet you love, him].[ 63 ] Christians feel affection for Christ. However, the kind of love Peter mentions is not that which feeds upon personal affection or touching. Words that declare one's love may be hypocritical (see 1Co 13:1-3). Genuine love is demonstrated by deeds (1Jo 3:18; 5:2). Love for Christ grows out of appreciation. "We love Him because He first loved us" (1Jo 4:19). Genuine love always expresses itself in obedience. It may be possible to love Him just as much today without seeing Him as did his disciples when He was on earth (see charts LOVE LINKED TO OBEDIENCE A and B).

Though now you do not see Him [on whom though, you do not now see him, now ye see him not, not now looking, not having yet seen].[ 64 ] Peter was writing to Gentiles who lived many miles from Jerusalem and Capernaum. They never saw Christ personally. However, their love for Him did not depend upon sight or touch. Jesus alluded to the love one may have for Him after His ascension when He said to Mary Magdalene:

Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, "I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God" (Joh 20:17).

Jesus wanted Mary to "stop clinging" to Him (Joh 20:17 NASB), He was intimating that there was a better and purer kind of love possible after He ascended to heaven. Paul was aware of this concept when he wrote:

Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer (2Co 5:16).

Have you ever wondered why great artists did not follow Christ around painting portrait after portrait? For one thing, Jews were not to make images. Another reason is that it is not according to the will of God for people to become attached to relics and pictures.

Yet believing [you believe in him, in whom, but, you believe].[ 65 ] Recall the appearance of Christ to Thomas. He had crowed:

Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe (Joh 20:25).

After he saw Him, Jesus said to him:

Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (Joh 20:29).

    (1Pe 1:8)

  1. At Samaria: Great joy in that city (Ac 8:8).
  2. The Eunuch: Went on his way rejoicing (Ac 8:39).
  3. Apostles: Also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Ro 5:11).
  4. Paul: Exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation (2Co 7:4).
  5. Christians: Rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1Pe 1:8).

You rejoice [and, so ye exult, rejoice greatly].[ 66 ] Christians are full of joy. Their hearts are transported with gladness (see note on verse 6). External circumstances do not mar the delight they have in the Lord..

With joy inexpressible [with unutterable joy, with joy unspeakable].[ 67 ] Words cannot adequately express the joy Christians experience! (see chart JOY IN CHRIST).

And full of glory [and exalted, and filled with the glory].[ 68 ] A Christian with genuine faith that has been or is being tried has a glorious joy, even when being killed for Christ's sake.

    (1Pe 1:9)

  1. That each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2Co 5:10).
  2. Whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord (Eph 6:8).
  3. After you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Heb 10:36).
  4. Crown of glory that does not fade away (1Pe 5:4).


[1:9] Receiving the end of your faith [as the, obtaining the, outcome of your faith].[ 69 ] The "end" or "outcome" of TEES PISTEOOS the faith is eternal salvation. That is, the final result of following the word of God is eternal salvation. One's personal faith in Christ that comes about by hearing the word leads to obedience which results in eternal life (Ro 10:16, 17; Heb 5:8, 9).

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life (Ro 6:22).

The inexpressible joy of believers on earth is only a foretaste of the joys they will reap when they reach the goal of heaven itself.

            O how sweet 'twill be to meet the Lord,
            When He comes in glory, by and by;
            What a song of praise will be outpoured,
            When He comes in glory, by and by.
                                (A. A. Westbrook)

The salvation of your souls [even, that is, you obtain, the salvation of your souls].[ 70 ] Christ was motivated to come to earth by the prospect of saving mankind. Personal salvation is the goal of every Christian. When one finally receives the heavenly reward of salvation, he has received the greatest blessing in time or eternity (see chart FUTURE SALVATION at verse 5).


1:10, 11 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

Of this salvation [about, concerning, which salvation].[ 71 ] The main thread running through the writings of all the prophets is salvation through Christ (see verses 9, 12).

The prophets [prophets].[ 72 ] The primary definition of "prophet" is one who speaks forth divine counsels. Prophecy does not necessarily mean foretelling coming events. However, in some passages like the present one, it does have reference to the future (see Mt 15:7; Joh 11:51; Jude 24).

Have inquired [they, and, inquired].[ 73 ] NT prophets from John the baptizer through John the revelator did not always understand everything that the Holy Spirit revealed to them. It took a miracle for Peter himself to grasp the true meaning of what he preached on Pentecost (compare Ac 2:39; 10:10-19, 34, 35). OT prophets did not always understand what they wrote either. Various ones sought to explore the meaning of what they had been inspired to speak or write. Daniel, for one, was puzzled. He asked an angel to explain the exact meaning of what had been revealed to him (Da 7:16).

And searched carefully [and searched, and searched out, diligently, and diligently inquired].[ 74 ] The prophets were not permitted to see and hear everything they wanted to see and hear (compare Mt 13:17; Lu 10:24). They studied and prayed. They pondered and inquired. They carefully and intently searched out meanings. If they had the opportunity, they discussed the matter with other inspired men. They asked other prophets about the theme of salvation about which they prophesied.


Who prophesied of the grace that would come to you [who have prophesied of the grace towards you, which is, that should come, unto you, that was to be yours].[ 75 ] "The prophets" are the ones "who prophesied." In this verse, by metonymy, grace means salvation.[ 76 ] The same figure is used in verse 13. When the prophets told about the grace awaiting Christians, they were speaking of salvation in Christ and future glory.

[1:11] Searching what [sought, sought out, seeking to know about, what person, what time].[ 77 ] Prophets tried to find out the meaning of their predictions. It would be fine if everyone would take a cue from their attitude and diligently seek to know the will of God. Daniel studied in "the books" in order to understand what was revealed in "the word of the Lord" to Jeremiah (Da 9:2). He then gave his attention to the LORD in prayer:

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes (Da 9:3).

The prophets knew that they were verbally inspired. Yet they had to read, study and re-read their own writings as well as those of other prophets in order to understand. Modern man is blessed with the same curiosity the prophets had. Witness the many commentaries in various languages.

Or what manner of time [or time was indicated, or what kind of season].[ 78 ] The prophets pondered and reflected on the revealed truths they had. They wanted to know the time and circumstances when fulfillment of their predictions of the Messiah and His church could be expected. Think just how tough a problem Daniel's own prophecy must have been to him. The angel Gabriel explained:

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined (Da 9:25, 26).

The Spirit of Christ who was in them [by the Spirit, of Christ in, within, which was in, them].[ 79 ] The Spirit was active in OT events. He was in the prophets. Peter identifies the Spirit residing within the prophets with Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Christ was in them (compare the spiritual rock that was Christ, 1Co 10:4). Peter thus associated the OT revelation with the NT. The Source of both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ is the same. Paul recognized their unity when he wrote:

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His (Ro 8:9; compare Ga 4:6).

Was indicating [when predicting, did signify, point unto, pointed out, was revealing].[ 80 ] In another passage, Peter alluded to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who made clear the ending of his own earthly life (see 2Pe 1:14). The point he makes in the present verse concerns prophecies that foretold the sufferings of our Lord.

When He testified beforehand [testifying, when it testified, before].[ 81 ] Prophecy and its fulfillment is a profitable study. One great proof that God was back of the prophets is that their predictions came true (see Isa 46:9, 10).

The sufferings [of the suffering, sufferings].[ 82 ] The reference here is to the sufferings of the crucified Christ. Apparently the prophets understood something about the relationship between His sufferings and salvation (see verse 10). Suppose the Savior had died a natural death. What would be your opinion of the OT prophets who predicted a violent death? In such a case, their predictions would have failed. As it is, every one of them came true. In one of Paul's early sermons, he announced their fulfillment (see charts OT PREDICTIONS OF CHRIST'S SUFFERINGS A and B).

For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him (Ac 13:27; compare 3:18).

    (1Pe 1:11)

  1. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? (Ps 22:1).
  2. A reproach of men, and despised of the people (Ps 22:6).
  3. They pierced My hands and My feet (Ps 22:16).
  4. I can count all My bones (Ps 22:17).

    (1Pe 1:11)

  1. For My clothing they cast lots (Ps 22:18).
  2. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted (Isa 53:4).
  3. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed (Isa 53:5).

    (1Pe 1:11)

  1. Serpent of brass (Nu 21:9) [Christ lifted up on cross (Joh 3:14, 15)].
  2. Prophet like Moses (De 18:15-18) [Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote -- Jesus of Nazareth (Joh 1:45; compare 5:46; Ac 3:22, 23)].
  3. Virgin to be with child (Isa 7:14) [Jesus born of a virgin (Mt 1:23)].
  4. Will not cry out, nor raise His voice (Isa 42:2) [Fulfilled (Mt 12:17-21)].

    (1Pe 1:11)

  1. Will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them -- My servant David (Eze 34:23-25) [A horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David (Lu 1:69)].
  2. One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days (Da 7:13) [Jesus given kingdom (Ac 2:36)].
  3. To be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2; Mt 2:6).
  4. Behold, your King is coming . . . lowly and riding on a donkey (Zec 9:9) [Entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:5).

Of Christ [which belonged to Christ].[ 83 ] The Greek EIS for, unto suggests that the sufferings were "for" Christ. They were for Him in the sense that they were in store for Him. It was necessary that He suffer (Mt 26:24; Lu 24:26, 46). His suffering and crucifixion were according to the "determined purpose and foreknowledge of God" (Ac 2:23).

But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled (Ac 3:18).

Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come -- 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles (Ac 26:22, 23).

In spite of the prophecies, sadly, some of the Jews contended that the Messiah would not suffer.

And the glories that would follow [and the subsequent glory, and of the glory, and the glory to follow, that should follow, follow them, after these].[ 84 ] In addition to the glories of Christ, there are glories connected with His church (Eph 3:21). There was glory when the gospel spread into all world (see Col 1:23). There is glory because of the splendid changes it wrought in the hearts and lives of multitudes of men and women (see charts GLORIES OF CHRIST A and B).

    (1Pe 1:11)

  1. God's Spirit upon Him (Isa 42:1; 61:1; Mt 3:16).
  2. Acknowledged by the Father (Mt 3:17; 17:5; Mk 9:7; Lu 9:35).
  3. Not to see corruption (Ps 16:10).
  4. Resurrection (Ac 2:31; Ro 1:4).
  5. Ascension (Isa 52:13; Ac 1:9).

    (1Pe 1:11)

  1. Coronation (Ps 89:27-29, 37).
  2. Heavenly reign (Eph 1:18-23; Col 1:18).
  3. King of kings (1Ti 6:15; Re 1:5; 17:18).
  4. Judgment (Joh 5:22; Ac 17:31).


1:12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven -- things which angels desire to look into.

To them it was revealed [it was revealed to them, unto whom it was revealed].[ 85 ] The prophets were not philosophers who originated a gospel plan. Neither did they figure everything out by searching (see verses 10, 11). God chose to disclose it to them.

That, not to themselves [that not, for, unto, themselves].[ 86 ] What the Holy Spirit revealed to the prophets may have been disappointing to some of them. I am sure they would have liked nothing better than to have personally witnessed the coming of Christ, His miracles, His crucifixion and glorious resurrection. Wouldn't they have enjoyed being present on Pentecost for the establishment of the church. They could have obeyed the gospel along with three thousand others.

But to us [but, you, for you, unto us].[ 87 ] How fortunate were the Gentile readers whom Peter addressed! They lived in the Gospel age. They were also permitted to suffer for Christ (compare Php 1:29).

They were ministering the things which now have been reported to you [they were serving, did, did they, minister, ministered, in the, these, those, things]. Notice how well some translations capture the Greek perfect tense of continued action in past time with "were ministering" or "were serving." The prophets were not serving themselves. The topics they dealt with were not intended for their own time. They were granted a certain amount of information for the future. For instance, they were told that they were "ministering the things" for a coming age, a time that we know as the church age.

Which now have been reported to you [which things are now, have now been, are now being, announced, unto you].[ 88 ] The details about Christ's sufferings revealed to the prophets had already been openly preached to Peter's readers.

Through those who have preached the gospel to you [by them which, that, preached, have preached, have declared, the glad tidings, good news, unto you].[ 89 ]

By the Holy Spirit sent from heaven [through, with, the Holy Ghost sent down, sent forth, from heaven].[ 90 ] Inspired preachers had presented heaven's message to first century hearers.

Things which angels [these, these are, which, into which, things, the, even, that, angels].[ 91 ]

Desire [long, earnestly desire].
[ 92 ] The angels had an insatiable curiosity about God's plan to save mankind. They had an intense desire to understand it.

To look into [to look, to see into].[ 93 ] Angels were allowed to look down upon the birth of the Savior (Lu 2:13). He was "seen by angels" (1Ti 3:16; Lu 24:4, 5; Ac 1:10). Much of the information they sought to know is now revealed in the church of Christ (Eph 3:10; see note and chart at 1Ti 3:16). Angels are genuinely interested in what God is doing for the salvation of people through the church as God is revealing His manifold wisdom to powers in the heavenlies. Some think "the heavenlies" include angelic powers.


1:13-16 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

Therefore [wherefore].[ 94 ] Because of the wonderful privilege of having the inspired gospel preached to them, Peter's readers were motivated to continue to live faithfully.

Gird up [girding up, having girded up].[ 95 ] An ancient traveler along a country lane or path would gird up or carry his flowing robe to prevent it being caught or torn on thorns, barbs and briars along the way. A man preparing for strenuous work or battle would strip off the robe or gird it up out of the way. In like manner, the mind of a Christian needs to be girded up or controlled to keep it from getting caught on harmful of useless ideas and concepts. One needs to carefully self-censor what goes into his mind (see 2Co 10:5). A girded mind is a guarded mind. It will not spend too much time on innocent pastimes or on practices that tend to sin or that might give a bad reputation. A girded mind does not spoil itself with drugs, alcohol, rich foods or sinful thoughts.

The loins of your mind [your minds].[ 96 ] A Christian controls his mind. He girds it with a figurative belt in order to prepare for action. Being overly anxious about life's problems makes for an ungirded mind.

But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly (Lu 21:34).

Be sober [be sober].[ 97 ] The principle idea here is mental and physical self-control. The matter of attaining eternal salvation demands that one keep sober in spirit. The mind ought be perfectly self-controlled. In his second letter, Peter stresses a similar point.

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble (2Pe 1:10).


And rest your hope fully [and hope, set, fix, your hope perfectly, with perfect steadfastness, to the end having your hope set]. [ 98 ] People who were once idolaters were given a substantial hope. Hope is a special blessing in Christ. In idolatry, there was no eternal hope at all. Idols could not even make it rain.

Are there any among the idols of the nations that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are You not He, O LORD our God? Therefore we will wait for You, since You have made all these (Jer 14:22).

A Christian must never divide his hope between God and anything else such as fortune tellers or the horoscope.

"The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" (Lam 3:24).

It is wise for each Christian to evaluate his own hope. When Peter says to fix, rest or set one's hope, he implies that one is to bring the life into harmony with it. What effect does a "rested" or a "fixed" hope have on one's life? John answers.

And every one who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1Jo 3:3 NASB).

Reference is also to the "holy commandment" (compare 1Pe 1:15, 16; 2Pe 2:21). The Christian hope is related to that. Peter desires that his readers make up their minds wholly, completely and unchangeably. They are to make a once-for-all-time decision to be faithful to Christ in order to receive the promised reward at His coming.

Upon the grace [for, on, in, the grace].[ 99 ] In this verse, grace means more than forgiveness. By metonymy, it means the gift of divine grace, that is, the resurrection and eternal heavenly salvation. The same figure was used in verse 10, where the prophets who foretold "of the grace" inquired about "this salvation." The promised grace is to be given when Christ returns (1Jo 2:25; Heb 9:28). It will then be enjoyed by all of God's faithful children (Ac 2:38, Gal 3:26-29; 39; 1Jo 2:25).

That is to be brought to you [that is which will be, coming unto you].[ 100 ] The Greek present participle "being brought" is used very graphically as Peter pictures the final coming of Christ who is bringing the promised salvation to Christians. Jesus also uses a present participle in the closing chapter of the NT. His coming is so certain that it is described as occurring in the present.

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work (Re 22:12).

At the revelation of Jesus Christ [at the revealing of Jesus Christ].[ 101 ] The "revelation of Jesus Christ" is His final coming (see note on verse 5). There may be a secondary allusion to the revelation of Christ to certain of the martyrs as they died for Him (compare Ac 7:56).

    (1Pe 1:16)

  1. Obedience essential to rest one's hope fully upon the grace to be brought at the revelation of Christ (1Pe 1:13).
  2. In sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:2).
  3. Be holy in all your conduct (1Pe 1:15).
  4. Purified your souls in obeying the truth (1Pe 1:22).


[1:16] As obedient children [as children of obedience].[ 102 ] The religion of Christ is one of obeying, so much so that Christians are characterized by it. They are "children of obedience" (see translations by Marshall, Lenski, Vine, NASB). Another of their characteristics is love of the brethren (see notes on verses 22, 23). Obedience to Christ is essential to setting one's hope on the grace to be given. Christians are sanctified to obey. Obedience produces holiness. Souls are purified by obedience. Obedient children are heirs (Ro 8:17).[ 103 ] Gentile Christians are fellow-heirs (Eph 3:6; (see charts CHARACTERISTIC TRAITS A and B).

    (1Pe 1:14)

  1. Sons of pride (Job 41:34).
  2. Children of rebellion, offspring of deceit (Isa 57:4).
  3. Children of harlotry (Ho 1:2; 2:4).
  4. Sons of iniquity (Ho 10:9).
  5. A man of peace (Lu 10:6).

    (1Pe 1:14)

  1. Son of perdition (Joh 17:12).
  2. Sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2; 5:6).
  3. Children of light (Eph 5:8; 1Th 5:5).
  4. Man of sin; son of perdition (2Th 2:3).
  5. Children of obedience (1Pe 1:14 NASB).
  6. Children of the devil (1Jo 3:10).

Not conforming yourselves [not conformed, do not be conformed, not fashioning yourselves].[ 104 ] Most people conform to something. Their characters are shaped by what they study, think about and their associates. In other words, they are molded by what they think, do and say. Christians are no exceptions. It is vain to place one's hope on worldly or material things. An earthly hope tends to bring about conformation to the world (see Ro 12:2).

Obedience to Christ is the opposite of being conformed or fashioned by worldly lusts. The very practice of obedience plays an important role in the shaping of character. This is how faith and hope are translated into life. Ezekiel asked, "How should we then live?" (Eze 33:10 KJV). Peter answers:

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness (2Pe 3:11).

To the former lusts [according to the passions, your former desires].[ 105 ] "Former lusts" are the desires of the flesh, of the eye and the pride of life (1Jo 2:15, 16). If Peter's readers were like the Corinthians, they formerly desired fornication, idolatry, adultery, effeminacy, homosexuality, stealing, coveting, drinking, reviling and swindling (1Co 6:9, 10; compare Ro 1:24-30; Ga 5:19-21; Eph 4:17-19). The Gentiles at Thessalonica who knew not God were governed by "passion of lust" (1Th 4:5). People with no faith in Christ, without hope in the grace to be revealed, tend to conform their lives to the world. Fulfilling worldly desires may bring temporal gratification or prosperity but no eternal hope.

As in your ignorance [in, of, in the time of, which were from, your former ignorance].
[ 106 ] Peter describes the lustful days of unconverted men and women as "your ignorance." This especially depicts the unregenerate lives of idolatrous Gentiles. In Christ, it is just the opposite. In Him "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3). Idolaters do not know God. Their life is one of slavery to "those which by nature are not gods" (Ga 4:8).

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, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart (Eph 4:17, 18; compare Ac 17:23, 30).

Life outside of Christ is a life of spiritual ignorance, darkness and futility. Gentiles had no monopoly on ignorance. According to the Bible, unbelieving Jews also are "fools" (see Ps 14:1; 53:1). Christ was killed because of their ignorance (Ac 3:17). Paul said the legalistic Jews were "ignorant of God's righteousness" (Ro 10:3; compare Joh 16:3). Before the apostle Paul became a Christian, even though highly educated, when he persecuted Christians, he "did it ignorantly in unbelief" (1Ti 1:13).

    (1Pe 1:15, 16)

  1. Holy temple (1Co 3:17).
  2. The whole building, a holy temple (Eph 2:21).
  3. Church without spot or wrinkle, holy, without blemish (Eph 5:27).

    (1Pe 1:15, 16)

  1. Holy manner of life (1Pe 1:15).
  2. Holy priesthood (1Pe 2:5).
  3. Holy nation (1Pe 2:9).
  4. Holy conduct and godliness (2Pe 3:11).

    (1Pe 1:15)

  1. In the grace of Christ (Ga 1:6).
  2. By gospel (2Th 2:14).
  3. With a holy calling (2Ti 1:9).
  4. Out of darkness into His marvelous light (1Pe 2:9).

    (1Pe 1:15)

  1. To follow the steps of Christ (1Pe 2:21).
  2. To His eternal glory (1Pe 5:10; compare Ro 8:30; 9:24; 1Co 7:17; 1Th 2:12).
  3. To inherit a blessing (1Pe 3:9).


[1:15] But as He who called you is holy [but as he, but like as he, which hath, has, called you is holy].[ 107 ] Pagan gods and goddesses were involved in all sorts of unholy activities. By contrast, the God of the Bible is absolutely and unequivocally holy. In His holy calling there is hope (Eph 1:18). The way of Christ is an "upward call" (Php 3:14). Faithful Christians are "partakers of a heavenly calling" (Heb 3:1). Because the One who calls is holy, and because the hope that He holds out is a heavenly hope, Christians need to make an appropriate response to it. They should "walk worthy" of the calling (Eph 4:1), that is, "Walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (1Th 2:12).

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble (2Pe 1:10; compare 1Pe 2:9, 21; 5:10).

You also be holy [be holy yourselves, so be ye, be ye also, be ye yourselves also, holy, you yourselves are to be holy also].[ 108 ] The example set by depraved and immoral pagan gods did not lift the worshippers above their former worldly practices. Idols never inspired men and women to heights of righteousness. On the other hand, pagan worshippers tended to imitate their gods and goddesses, whose actions were often deceptive, immoral or needlessly violent.

Holiness is essential in order to be like Christ. It is essential to have fellowship with, and enjoy the promises of, our Holy God (see Hab 1:13). It is a "family characteristic." God's OT law was similar to the NT on this point.

For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate ourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth (Le 11:44; compare Heb 6:9; 2Pe 3:11).

In all your conduct [in all manner of conversation, of living, your manner of life].[ 109 ] "Conversation" (KJV) is used in an archaic sense. It once included all a person does, not just his speech (see notes on 1Pe 1:18; 2:12). Holiness is not a Sunday garment to be stored in the closet on week-days. All behavior is to conform to God's holy example.

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2Co 7:1).

[1:16] Because it is written [for, since, it is written, just as Scripture says].[ 110 ] What is written in the Holy Scriptures is indispensable. It is vital. It deserves the highest regard and attention (see notes on 1Pe 1:24; 2:6).

Be holy, for I am holy [Be ye, you, ye, shall be, are to be, holy, for I am holy].[ 111 ] This speaks of the motivation of "respected example." People tend to become like what they worship. There is no greater reason for being holy than because God is holy(see Le 11:44, 45; 19:2; 20:7, 26).


1:17-19 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

And if you call on the Father [and if ye invoke as Father, him as Father].[ 112 ] The Great Judge of the universe is the Heavenly Father. Christians are His sons and daughters (see Ga 3:26-28). In the Psalms, Ethan the Ezrahite called Him "Father."

He shall cry to Me, "You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation" (Ps 89:26).

By the Spirit of His Son, Christians call God their Father (Ga 4:6). Peter implies that Christians not only obey Him and love one another, but they approach Him in worship, addressing Him as Father.

Who without partiality judges [who, him who, judges impartially, judgeth, each one impartially, without regard of persons, respect of persons].[ 113 ] God is the judge of all the earth (Ge 18:25) but He judges through the agency of His Son (Joh 5:22). Jesus said, "The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (Joh 12:48). Impartiality is a characteristic of God's nature. He is totally impartial in how He judges people. There is also an implication that He was completely impartial in the matter of predestination. If, by some outside chance, He had shown partiality in predestination, his impartiality in judgment would correct that. Calvinists, please give this special thought.

Men are tempted to show partiality "to gain advantage" (Jude 16). God, who is over all, has nothing to gain from men. He has no motive to be impartial. Besides, it is against His nature (see Ge 18:25; De 10:17; 32:4; 2Ch 19:7; Ro 2:11; Ga 2:6; Eph 6:9; Col 3:25). At the house of Cornelius, Peter perceived that "God shows no partiality" (Ac 10:34). He also told him that Christ is "He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead" (Ac 10:42).

    (1Pe 1:17)

  1. Will reward each according his works (Mt 16:27).
  2. Will render to each one according to deeds (Ro 2:6).
  3. Shall give account of himself to God (Ro 14:12).

    (1Pe 1:17)

  1. Receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2Co 5:10).
  2. Whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord (Eph 6:8).
  3. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience (Col 3:25).

According to each one's work [according to his deeds, every man's work, each man's work, the work of each, [ 114 ] In many evangelical denominations, much is made of the doctrine of salvation "by faith only." The Scripture, however, says people will be judged by their deeds or works. Insofar as I am aware, there is not a single NT verse that teaches judgment will be according to faith. Several passages teach that judgment will be according to the record of ones deeds or works[ 115 ] (see charts JUDGMENT ACCORDING TO WORKS A and B).


Conduct yourselves [pass, live, your lives].[ 116 ] It is imperative that Christians take charge of their lives. They are to "conduct" themselves.

Throughout the time of your stay here [throughout the time of your exile, of sojourn, of your sojourning, sojourning here, while you reside here as strangers].[ 117 ] Peter's readers were sojourning. They were sojourning in a strange place (1Pe 1:1). They were aliens and strangers (1Pe 2:11; compare Heb 11:13). All Christians are sojourners so long as they are on the earth. Let them take care of whatever business God has given them in the short time they live on this planet and get ready to return to God (Ec 12:7; Joh 9:4).

    (1Pe 1:17)

  1. Walking in the fear of the Lord (Ac 9:31).
  2. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2Co 7:1).
  3. Submitting to one another in the fear of God (Eph 5:21).
  4. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12).
  5. A reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (1Pe 3:15).

In fear [with fear, in reverential fear]. The lives of Christians are to be passed in fear because they are children of the Father-Judge. Another reason is given in verse 18. The great price that was paid for their redemption is a cause to live before God in reverent fear. A discussion of fear may be read in the notes at 1 Peter 2:17 (see chart CONDUCT YOURSELVES IN FEAR).


[1:18] Knowing [you know, forasmuch as ye know].[ 118 ] The Christians to whom Peter wrote knew about their redemption. They knew that it was not at all comparable to a heathen ritual. On the contrary, they knew that it was true and real. It was something that God Himself had planned. Not only that, but He had shown His approval of it by raising Christ from the dead (verse 21).

That you were not redeemed [that ye were [not], have [not] been that it was not that you were, ransomed].[ 119 ] The word "redeemed" once meant to buy the freedom of a slave or prisoner. Some writers understand it to take on the meaning of simply being "delivered" from any misfortune without implying the means made use of for that purpose.[ 120 ] However, Jesus said, "Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mt 20:28). The ransom price was Christ Himself (1Ti 2:6).

With corruptible things like silver or gold [not with, not by, perishable things as, such as, with, silver and gold, gold or silver].[ 121 ] Precious things such as gold and silver coins wear thin from use. That stuff is corruptible. The price paid by Christ is eternally valuable and imperishable.

The Greek words for silver and gold are diminutive and suggest little silver and little gold, most likely small silver and gold coins. When slaves were redeemed and allowed to go free, there sometimes was a pagan temple ceremony in which coins were paid to a "god" for his redemption. The price of redemption for sinners is much dearer, much more precious and holier than that.

From your aimless conduct [from the futile, vain, way, ways, conversation, manner of life].[ 122 ] "Aimless conduct" no doubt, has reference to the foolish and empty idolatrous way of life of the Gentiles.[ 123 ] At Lystra, the idolatrous worshippers began sacrificing oxen to Paul and Barnabas. Paul urged them to "turn from these useless things"[ 124 ] (Ac 14:15). The unconverted Gentiles walked "in the futility of their mind" (Eph 4:17). Even unconverted Jewish people "in bondage under the elements of the world" (Ga 4:3). Christians must never turn away from Christ. If do so and deny "the Lord who bought them," they will bring upon themselves "swift destruction" (2Pe 2:1).

Whether idolatrous or not, life outside of Christ is empty, vain, futile and aimless. It has no real purpose (see notes on 1Pe 1:15; 2:12). It is in the domain of darkness (Col 1:13). It is hopeless (Eph 2:12). It leads to eternal loss. Christ redeemed Christians from that.

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's (1Co 6:20).

Received by tradition from your fathers [inherited, handed down, to you, from your ancestors].[ 125 ] Traditions are not sinful just because they have been handed down. In addition to the Law that God gave the Jews, many religious traditions had been added to it (see Mt 15:6). Some were sinful because they were diametrically opposed to the will of God (Mt 15:3). Others, not sinful in themselves, were vain or futile because they were not of God. Gentiles too had idolatrous traditions handed down from their forefathers.

    (1Pe 1:18, 19)

  1. Shed for many for the remission of sins (Mt 26:28).
  2. Church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Ac 20:28).
  3. Justified by His blood (Ro 5:9).
  4. Blood of Christ cleanse your conscience (Heb 9:14).
  5. Sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:2).

    (1Pe 1:18, 19)

  1. Blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1Jo 1:7).
  2. Washed us from our sins in His own blood (Re 1:5).
  3. Redeemed us to God by Your blood (Re 5:9).
  4. Washed robes, made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Re 7:14).
  5. Overcame him [the accuser] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (Re 12:11).

[1:19] But with the precious blood of Christ [but with, but by, precious blood, even the blood, the precious blood, of Christ].[ 126 ] Everyone who believes and obeys the gospel has access to its benefits. The Scriptures plainly teach that people are redeemed by the price of blood. The blood of Christ is precious for several reasons. It is costly. There is no other means of salvation. It is effective in removing sin (see Heb 9:14; 10:12, 19).

The concept of redemption by blood is a little difficult for Gentile readers to understand. Satan has taken advantage of that and has used modern teachers to ridicule the idea of salvation by blood. Christians need to remember that it was in the plan of God that Christ shed his blood. He considered it absolutely necessary in order to provide salvation (see charts REDEEMED BY BLOOD A and B).

The reader may have noticed that "the blood" or "even the blood" is italicized in the text. The reason for this is that the position in the prepositional phrase "of Christ" in the Greek sentence justifies the addition of "the blood" for emphasis at the end of the English sentence. The result is an emphasis on the precious blood that appears at the beginning of verse 19. This may sound complicated but, in my judgment, the translators are correct.

As of a lamb [as, like that of, as it were of, a lamb].[ 127 ]

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth (Isa 53:7).

When John saw Jesus coming, he said, "Behold! HO AMNOS The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (Joh 1:29). The next day, he said, "Behold, HO AMNOS the Lamb of God!" (Joh 1:36). Paul alluded to Jesus as a lamb when he said, "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (1Co 5:7). The slain Lamb deserves our worship.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing! (Re 5:12).

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re 13:8; compare 5:6).

Without blemish [unblemished, without mark].[ 128 ] The Passover lamb was to be "unblemished a male of the first year" from the sheep or from the goats (Ex 12:5; compare Le 4:32; Nu 28:3, 11). Some possible blemishes[ 129 ] in a sacrificial lamb were listed for the benefit of the Jews (see Le 22:21, 22; De 15:21; Mal 1:8). Whether blemished or not, animals were powerless to take away sin (Heb 10:4). The unblemished lambs in OT sacrifices picture the sinless Son of God who takes away our sin.

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:14).

And without spot [without spot, spotless].[ 130 ] Jesus was morally unstained. OT offerings that prefigured Him were to be without spot or defect.

Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf (Le 22:20).


1:20, 21 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

He indeed was foreordained [He was, who was, who verily was, destined, foreknown, foreknown indeed].[ 131 ] Christ was with God, was God and was in the beginning with God (Joh 1:1-3). He was foreknown. The Greek perfect participle denotes the present state that is resultant from past action.[ 132 ] In the distant past, He was chosen and remained so all along during the Jewish age while lambs were being sacrificed.

Before the foundation of the world [indeed before the foundation of the world].[ 133 ] The Father loved Christ before the foundation of the world (Joh 17:24). There is an affiliated love for those in Christ:

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (see note on Eph 1:4).

In the present context, the foundation of the world is synonymous with the beginning of the Jewish age.[ 134 ]

Thus, Christ, before the beginning of the Mosaic age, and before the intricate and detailed system of sacrifices which characterized it was originated, was ordained by the Father to suffer as a sacrificial lamb in expiation of the sins of the world; and the Mosaic age was arranged and its animal sacrifices provided as types and shadows of the redemption awaiting through Christ.[ 135 ]

Jesus died for all (2Co 5:15).

Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began[ 136 ] (2Ti 1:9).


The atonement of Christ is not limited. It makes salvation possible for everyone.

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world (1Jo 2:2).

Paul wrote about the Jews who rejected Christ. He implied that all who would do so, both Jews and Gentiles, may respond to the gospel and become reconciled to God. Notice that he not only taught that the Jews were rejected but that they could be accepted as well.

Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! (Ro 11:12).

For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Ro 11:15).

The offer of reconciliation is worldwide. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2Co 5:19).

But was manifest [who, but, has been made manifest, manifested, revealed].[ 137 ] The manifestation or appearance of Christ began after He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He was manifested when He was born of a virgin, lived among men, died on the cross, was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven (see 1Ti 4:16).

In these last times [at the end of times, the times, in these last days].[ 138 ] Jesus was foreknown before the Mosaic age. He came to earth at the end of the Jewish times. The law of Moses ceased to be the authority when He died on the cross (Col 2:14-16).

For you [for your sake, for your sakes].[ 139 ] Notice the personal nature of the message. "Grace to you and peace be multiplied" (verse 2). The inheritance is "reserved in heaven for you" (verse 4). "The genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold (verse 7). The prophets were not serving themselves, but what they predicted has been reported "to you" (verse 12). He "was manifest in these last times for you" (verse 20; compare Heb 2:14-18).

Dear reader, if you are believing and obedient, the blessings are yours just as much as theirs. If you had been the only sinner on earth, Christ would have died to redeem you just the same.


[1:21] Who through Him believe in God [through him, who by him, you have confidence, do believe, are believers, on God, are faithful to God].[ 140 ] Here is an additional indication that the readers of Peter letter were Gentiles. They became believers and learned to trust God through Christ. This was not particularly true of Jews who already believed in God (see Joh 14:1). To both Jews and Gentiles, Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection of the dead (Ro 1:4). Paul addressed the Romans as those "who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead" (Ro 4:24).

Who raised Him from the dead [that, who has, raised him up from the dead].[ 141 ] The resurrection of Christ was a prominent theme in Peter's preaching. Here are some examples. "Whom God raised up" (Ac 2:24). "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses" (Ac 2:32). "Whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses" (Ac 3:15). "Whom God raised from the dead" (Ac 4:10). "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus" (Ac 5:30). "Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly" (Ac 10:40). It is my opinion that the resurrection of Christ, along with the conversion and life of Saul of Tarsus, inspires more faith than all the other miracles put together.

And gave Him glory [and given him glory].[ 142 ] During His earthly ministry, the glorification of Jesus was prominent in His own thoughts.

But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (Joh 7:39; compare 12:16, 23; 13:31, 32).

Jesus prayed:

And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was (Joh 17:5; compare Joh 17:1; charts GLORIES OF CHRIST A and B at verse 11).

Christ was given glory when He was exalted to God's own right hand (see Ac 2:33; 3:13; Eph 1:20-23; Php 2:9-11; 1Ti 3:16).

So that your faith and hope are in God [that your faith and hope may be, might be, should be, in God].[ 143 ] Faith came into the hearts of the Gentiles by hearing the gospel of the resurrection and glorification of Christ. Salvation was offered to them by the merits of His blood as they obeyed the gospel. Peter said, the Lord has "begotten us again to a living hope" (verse 3). His readers were told to "rest your hope fully" on the grace to be brought at the revelation of Christ (verse 13; compare Ro 5:2; 8:24, 25; 1Co 15:20-23; Col 1:27; 1Th 1:3; 1Ti 1:1; Tit 1:2).


1:22-25 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, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Since you have purified your souls in obeying [having, seeing ye have, purified your souls by obedience, your obedience].[ 144 ] In verses 8-14, we learned that love is linked to faith and obedience (see charts LOVE LINKED TO OBEDIENCE A and B at verse 8). Here, the purification of men's souls occurs in obedience to the truth revealed in the gospel.

Peter said:

And made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith (Ac 15:9).

The individual has a big part in the purifying of his own heart.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (Jas 4:8; compare Jer 4:14; 1Jo 3:3).

Of course, the power that cleanses the heart is the crucified Savior by means of His own precious shed blood.

The truth through the Spirit [to the truth].[ 145 ] Paul links "the word of truth" with the gospel of salvation (Eph 1:13). The truth of the gospel obeyed brings salvation. In the present verse, the truth is God's word (Joh 17:17). It is God's power to save (Ro 1:16). The gospel is called "the faith" that people obey to be saved (Ro 1:5; 6:18; 16:26 Ac 6:7; Ga 3:26, 27). Obeying perversions of the truth does not save (compare Ro 1:25; Eph 1:13; 2Th 2:10).[ 146 ]

    (1Pe 1:22)

  1. By hearing the truth, the word of God (Joh 17:17; Ro 10:17).
  2. By obeying the truth (Mt 7:21; 2Th 1:7, 8; 1Jo 2:4).
  3. Results of obedience: A pure heart; love of the brethren. (Woods 49)

In sincere love of the brethren [for, unto, a sincere love, unfeigned love, brotherly love].[ 147 ] Sincerity is important. James told us that true wisdom from above is "without hypocrisy" (Jas 3:17). Paul spoke favorably to Timothy of "the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois" (2Ti 1:5). Love must not be in word only but in deed and truth (1Jo 3:18; see chart SINCERE LOVE).

    (1Pe 1:22)

  1. Let love be without hypocrisy (Ro 12:9).
  2. By sincere love (2Co 6:6).
  3. Love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith (1Ti 1:5).
  4. In sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart (1Pe 1:22).
  5. Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1Jo 3:18).

It is natural for all those who are born again to love brothers and sisters in Christ (see chart LOVE OF BRETHREN).

Everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him" (1Jo 5:1; compare 2Jo 5).

Pure, sincere and fervent love comes from hearts that have been purified by obedience, that is, through the new birth. The relation of love among the brethren is delightful.

    (1Pe 1:22)

  1. Your love for all the saints (Eph 1:15).
  2. My beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown (Php 4:1).
  3. And your love for all the saints (Col 1:4).

    (1Pe 1:22)

  1. Affectionately longing . . . dear to us (1Th 2:8).
  2. Love the brotherhood (1Pe 2:17).
  3. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death (1Jo 3:14).

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Ps 133:1).

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers,[ 148 ] be tenderhearted, be courteous kind-hearted, and humble in spirit (1Pe 3:8).

Love one another fervently [see that ye love one another earnestly].[ 149 ] The Greek word for "fervently" has to do with stretching. Christians are to love "stretchingly," with vigorous strain or deeply and with strength. In contemporary language, they are to love a lot. The strings of a musical instrument are stretched, tightened and tuned. A fine instrument, properly tuned, makes beautiful sounds. A neglected instrument with loose or broken strings does not. Let each heart be attended to and tuned in order to love fervently. May the music of love from pure hearts always be sweet and genuine.

Whole-hearted love for Christian brothers and sisters is reciprocal. No brother or sister is exempt from practicing it. They are to love each other "strenuously." For a discussion of the shades of meaning of the Greek words translated love, see note on John 21:15.

With a pure heart [from the, out of a pure, heart].[ 150 ] Some Greek texts omit the word "pure." Regardless of whether it belongs in this verse, a pure heart is a requirement (see Mt 5:8).


[1:23] Having been born again [you have been, being, born anew, begotten again].[ 151 ] Sinners come to Christ because they have heard the gospel and believed it. They repent of sins, confess the sweet name of Jesus and are baptized into Him. It all happens because of the word of truth.

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (Jas 1:18).

    (1Pe 1:23)

  1. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy (Ps 126:5).
  2. He who sows righteousness will have a sure reward (Pr 11:18).
  3. Blessed are you who sow beside all waters (Isa 32:20).

    (1Pe 1:23)

  1. Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy (Ho 10:12).
  2. The sower sows the word (Mk 4:14); the word of God (Lu 8:11).
  3. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase (1Co 3:6).

Not of corruptible seed [not of perishable seed].[ 152 ] Gospel seed is the eternal word of God (Lu 8:11). In all purity, the truth brings forth after its kind. That is, it produces Christians, nothing more and nothing less. On the other hand, Catholic doctrine makes Catholics. Baptist doctrine makes Baptists. Mormon doctrine makes Mormons. A certain amount of human doctrine or tradition is bound up in every man-made religion.

Natural seed from human parents may decay. Parentage of non-biblical teachings is corruptible. So is the seed of false doctrine that has its origin with men or Satan. Only the pure Gospel of Christ preached, believed and obeyed makes the converts Christians and nothing more than that (see charts GOD'S WORD, LIVING SEED A and B). The following from Paul has both a temporal and spiritual meaning.

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).

But incorruptible [but of imperishable].[ 153 ] The word of God as seed is immortal and imperishable (see Heb 4:12).

Through the word of God [by the word of God].[ 154 ] Thus far in this chapter Peter has taught us that we must hear, understand, believe, obey and live according to, the living word of God.

Which lives and abides forever [living, that liveth, and abiding, abideth, continues, forever].[ 155 ] People are born again DIA through the agency and instrumentality of the word of God. It is enduring (see verse 25). It has life in it. It abides constantly and unchangingly.[ 156 ] Jesus said:

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life (Joh 6:63).

Paul told the Corinthians:

For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you[ 157 ] through the gospel (1Co 4:15).

On Pentecost, how the Spirit gives life is clearly demonstrated. The Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles. One of them (Peter) preached the gospel. People became believers. They asked what they must do. They were told to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. This many of them did, were saved and added to the Lord's church (see Ac 2:1-47).

    (1Pe 1:24)

  1. In the morning they are like grass which grows up (Ps 90:5).
  2. As for man, his days are like grass (Ps 103:15).
  3. All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field (Isa 40:6, 7; 1Pe 1:24).
  4. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? (Isa 51:12).
  5. As a flower of the field he will pass away (Jas 1:10).


Because [for, as Scripture says].[ 158 ] Peter appeals to the authority of Scripture (see notes on 1Pe 1:16; 2:6).

All flesh is as grass [all flesh is like grass].[ 159 ] The apostle quotes from the prophet Isaiah 40:6-8 (see chart ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS). The Greek word for "grass" includes several kinds of small plants, including flowers and weeds. It may even include shrubs [grass to be thrown into the furnace] (see Mt 6:30). In a certain respect, all mortal men are like grass. The metaphor suggests that man's earthly life is brief and his earthly splendor momentary. His accomplishments are ephemeral and fleeting.

And all the glory of man [and all, all of, its glory, the glory thereof].[ 160 ] Instead of "all the glory" the quotation from Isaiah 40:6 reads, "all its loveliness" (see chart MAN'S FADING GLORY[ 161 ]). The splendor of man includes all the magnificent art, captivating movies, stunning buildings (even cathedrals), beautiful music, automobiles, freeways, ocean liners, planes, space ships, rockets, satellites, recorders, computers, televisions, diagnostic machines, creative foods, beauty aids, medicines, magazines and books (yes, even commentaries on the Bible). All these are impermanent, temporary and transient. The Septuagint reads "of man."[ 162 ] Some NT texts read "of it" or "thereof."

    (1Pe 1:24)

  1. His glory shall not descend after him (Ps 49:17).
  2. Jerusalem's glory . . . descend into [Sheol] (Isa 5:14).
  3. All the glory of Kedar will fail (Isa 21:16).
  4. I Will change their glory into shame (Ho 4:7).
  5. As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird -- no birth, no pregnancy, and no conception! (Ho 9:11).
  6. The pride of the Jordan is in ruins (Zec 11:3).

As the flower of the grass [is as, like, the flower of grass].[ 163 ] The word "grass" is used in a comprehensive sense in various passages and is translated from a number of Hebrew terms but only one Greek term.[ 164 ] Man's brief sojourn on earth is compared to grass or wild flowers of the field. One essential meaning is that men will die (see Mt 6:30; Lu 12:28; see chart ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS).

For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits (Jas 1:11).

The grass withers [the grass withereth, has withered].[ 165 ] In beautiful southern Washington, as I write these words in February, the winter rains have made hillsides green with grass. Chaparral is thriving. Some of the wild flowers are blooming. If events transpire as usual, the rainy season will soon end and grass will begin to turn brown. The danger of fires will increase. In cooler localities, with a little additional rain, the grass may last until frost comes.

And its flower falls away [and the flower, the flower thereof, falls, falleth, falls off has fallen].[ 166 ] Scorching winds bring an end to the beauty of the field flowers.

            As the life of a flow'r, as a breath or a sigh,
            So the years that we live as a dream hasten by;
            True, to-day we are here, but tomorrow may see
            Just a grave in the vale, and a mem'ry of me.
                                    (G. H. Ramsey)

[1:25] But the word of the Lord [but the word of the Lord].[ 167 ] The "word of the Lord" is the message of Christ (see Ro 10:17 ASV). It is interesting how Peter associates Christ with God. When he quotes from Isaiah 40:6, he substitutes the word Lord for the OT term God. Actually, the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to do it. If one believes in verbal inspiration of the NT, he has to agree that the substitution of KURIOU of the Lord for THEOS of God, as in most copies of the Septuagint is significant. It seems clear that the Holy Spirit identifies Christ the Lord as God.

    (1Pe 1:23)

  1. Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven (Ps 119:89).
  2. Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever (Ps 119:152).
  3. Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Mt 5:19).
  4. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lu 21:33).

Endures forever [abides, abideth, endureth, continues, for eternity][ 168 ] (see chart THE WORD ABIDES FOREVER).

Now this is the word which by the gospel [that word, this, and this, but this, is, which in, and which of, good tidings, the good news, the glad tidings].[ 169 ] The Greek term for "word" is not LOGOS as in verse 23, but RHEEMA which means that which is uttered in speech or expressed in writing. It includes the gospel message. Inasmuch as the Greek for "word includes that which is written, it may encompass Peter's letters.

Was preached to you [is, which was, that was, preached unto you].[ 170 ] Evidently, Peter and/or others had preached the word in Asia Minor.[ 171 ] What they preached was not a passing fad or fancy. It was the living and forever abiding word of God. That same that was preached is just as true and powerful in the lives of men and women today as it was then.


[ 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 ]PETROS, an appellative proper name, signifying "a stone," "a rock," "a ledge" or "cliff" . . . Peter, the surname of the apostle Simon . . . metaphorically, a man like a rock, by reason of his firmness and strength of soul: Matthew 16:18 [some interpreters regard the distinction (generally observed in classical Greek . . . between PETRA, the massive living rock, and PETROS, a detached but large fragment, as important for the correct understanding of this passage; others explain the different genders here as due to the personal then (sic) to the material reference (Thayer 507); PETRA denotes a mass of rock, as distinct from PETROS, a detached stone or boulder, or a stone that might be thrown or easily moved; the proper name, Peter, denotes a piece of a rock, a detached stone or boulder, in contrast to PETRA, a mass of rock (Vine 974, 1089).
[ 3 ]The name Simon may have been associated with the meaning "flat-nosed" (Thayer 575).
[ 4 ]APOSTOLOS 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, specially applied to the twelve disciples whom Christ selected, out of the multitude of his adherents, to be his constant companions and the heralds to proclaim to men the kingdom of God (Thayer 68); literally, one sent forth [APO from, STELLOO to send] (Vine 55).
[ 5 ]PAREPIDEEMOIS, to [the] chosen sojourners (Marshall 908); PAREPIDEEMOIS [is an adjective denoting] sojourning, in a strange place, used as a noun, denoting a sojourner, an exile (Vine 1058); [EKLEKTOIS=elect]; join the two words, elect who are sojourners, [not] continuing elect with according to the foreknowledge [KJV]; PAREPIDEEMOIS sojourners, persons sojourning for a brief season in a foreign country . . . a wider, spiritual sense, contemplating Christians as having their citizenship in heaven . . . PARA, in composition, implies a sense of transitoriness, as of one who passes by to something beyond (Vincent 1.627, 628); an adjective, sojourning in a strange place, used as a noun, denoting sojourners, exiles (Vine 1058); to the foreign-born Jews [the dispersion --Jews scattered in other lands (Williams); to [such as are] elect foreigners (Lenski 19).
[ 6 ]DIASPORAS, of [the] dispersion (Marshall 908); a noun, a dispersion, rendered "scattered abroad in James 1:1 (Vine 998); literally, of the dispersion; [from DIASPEIROO, to scatter or spread abroad; SPEIROO meaning, originally, to sow], the preposition PARA, in composition, implies a sense of transitoriness, as of one who passes by to something beyond (Vincent 1.628); a scattering, dispersion . . . in the Septuagint used of the Israelites dispersed among foreign nations, especially of their Babylonian exile . . . abstract for concrete, of the exiles themselves . . . transferred to Christians [that is, Jewish Christians(?)] scattered abroad among the Gentiles . . . sojourners far away from home (Thayer 141, 142); the dispersion --Jews scattered in other lands (Williams); [the] Diaspora; Peter uses the word Diaspora as it is employed in James 1:1. The Diaspora or Dispersion is a Jewish term to designate all those Jews who dwelt outside of the Holy Land in Gentile countries [Joh 7:35]; it implied that the real home of all these Jews was their Holy Land, which alone they could love as such, to which their hearts were ever drawn. When this word is applied to Christians, "Dispersion" implies heaven is their true home, that the earth and the world are to them a foreign land which they would at any time gladly leave for their home above (Lenski 19. 22. 23).
[ 7 ]Jewish as well as Gentile Christians have citizenship in heaven and, in this sense, are both included in "the Dispersion."
[ 8 ]PONTOU, of Pontus (Marshall 908); a large province of northern Asia Minor which lay along the Black Sea (Zondervan 672); a region of eastern Asia Minor, bounded by the Euxine Sea [from which circumstance it took its name], Armenia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Paphlagonia (Thayer 531).
[ 9 ]GALATIAS, of Galatia (Marshall 908); the designation in NT times of a territory in north-central Asia Minor, also a Roman province in central Asia Minor . . . some scholars think the reference [1Pe 1:1] may be to the European Gaul] . . . context seems clearly to indicate that the province is meant (Zondervan 293, 294).
[ 10 ]KAPPADOKIAS, of Cappadocia (Marshall 908); a large inland region of Asia Minor which apparently was given this name by the Persians though its people were called "Syrians" by the Greeks (Zondervan 147).
[ 11 ]'ASIAS, of Asia (Marshall 908); Asia Minor, otherwise Anatolia, the great western promontory of Asia, partially bounded by the three seas, Black, Aegean and Mediterranean, and the site of much of Paul's missionary work (Zondervan 78).
[ 12 ]KAI BITHUNIAS, of Bithynia (Marshall 908); a region along the northern edge of Asia Minor fronting on the Black Sea, the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmora (Zondervan 127).
[ 13 ]EKLEKTOIS, to [the] chosen (Marshall 908); chosen (Arndt 242); believers [Jews and Gentiles] (Vine 351); the people chosen (Williams); to [such as are] elect (Lenski 19).
[ 14 ]KATA, according to (Marshall 908); in accordance with (Williams); in virtue of, in accordance with (Vincent 1.628); in accord with (Lenski 19).
[ 15 ]PROGNOOSIN, [the] foreknowledge (Marshall 908); a foreknowledge [akin to PROGINOOSKOO to know before], used only of Divine foreknowledge (Vine 449); foreknowledge, forethought, pre-arrangement (Thayer 538); according to the predestination of God the Father (Arndt 704); the foreknowledge (Williams); [the Father's] foreknowledge (Lenski 19).
[ 16 ]THEOU PATROS, of God Father (Marshall 908); implying that the relation contemplated by the divine foreknowledge is a new relation of sonship (Vincent 1.628); Christ never associated Himself with [the believers] by using the personal pronoun "our;" He always used the singular, "My Father," His relationship being unoriginated and essential, whereas theirs is by grace and regeneration . . . so the Apostles spoke of God as the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ (Vine 412); of God the Father (Williams); God [the] Father's (Lenski 19).
[ 17 ]EN HAGIASMOO PNEUMATOS, in sanctification of spirit (Marshall 908); the spiritual state in which the being elected to salvation is realized (Vincent 1.628); the sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice, or election, of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual (Vine 989, 990); holiness, consecration, sanctification. . . in consecration through the Spirit (Arndt 9); sanctification wrought by the Holy Spirit (Thayer 6); by the consecration of the Spirit (Williams); in connection with [the] Spirit's sanctification (Lenski 19).
[ 18 ]The word "cavalier" is used in the sense of "offhand dismissal of important matters." A cavalier judge might capriciously ignore evidence to sentence or acquit prisoners according to a momentary whim.
[ 19 ]Vine 989, 990.
[ 20 ]Woods 22.
[ 21 ]EIS HUPAKOEN, to obedience (Marshall 908); note the three prepositions: according to [KATA] the foreknowledge; in [EN] sanctification; unto [EIS] obedience. The ground, sphere, and end of spiritual sanctification (Vincent 1.628); the obedience of one who conforms his conduct to God's commands (Thayer 637); to obey Jesus Christ (Williams); for obedience (Lenski 19).
[ 22 ]KAI RHANTISMON HAIMATOS, and sprinkling of [the] blood (Marshall 908); here in a passive sense -- the being sprinkled (Vincent 1.628); sprinkled, [akin to RHANTIZOO to sprinkle], used of the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, an allusion to the use of the blood of sacrifices, appointed for Israel, typical of the sacrifice of Christ (Vine 1082); and sprinkling of Jesus Christ's blood (Lenski 19); and to be sprinkled with His blood (Williams); cleansing [from RHANTISMOS a sprinkling], figuratively, cleansing, purification (Littrell).
[ 23 ]Littrell.
[ 24 ]CHARIS HUMIN KAI EIREENEE PLEETHUNTHEIE, grace to you and peace may it be multiplied (Marshall 908); the salutation is peculiar by the addition of be multiplied, which occurs in 2 Peter 1:2; Jude 2, and nowhere else in the salutations of the epistles (Vincent 1.629); to be in favor with is to find grace with . . . hence it appears in this sense at the beginning and the end of several Epistles, where the writer desires grace from God for the readers . . . in this respect it is connected with the imperative mood of the word CHAIROO to rejoice, a mode of greeting among Greeks (Vine 500); spiritual blessing and peace to you in increasing abundance [literally, be multiplied] (Williams); grace to you and peace be multiplied! (Lenski 19).
[ 25 ]Greek CHAIRE; see Mt 10:12, 13.
[ 26 ]Hebrew SHALOM; see Ac 15:23.
[ 27 ]EULOGEETOS HO THEOS KAI PATEER TOU KURIO HEEMOON 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, Blessed [be] the God and Father of the Lord of us Jesus Christ (Marshall 908); [EU well, LOGOS a word], well-spoken-of, praised, honored (Vincent 1.629); EULOGEETOS, an adjective [EU well, LOGOS a word] means blessed, praised; it is applied only to God (Vine 125); Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! (Williams; Lenski 29).
[ 28 ]The Holy Spirit through Elizabeth employed a kindred word to Mary: "EULOGEEMENEE Blessed are you" (Lu 1:42). A different word for blessed [MAKARIOI] is used in the beatitudes (see Mt 5:3-11).
[ 29 ]HO KATA TO POLU AUTOU ELEOS, the [one] according to the much [great] of him mercy (Marshall 908, 909; the outward manifestation of pity (Vine 732); in accordance with His great mercy (Williams); the One who according to his great mercy (Lenski 29).
[ 30 ]ANAGENNEESAS HEEMAS, having regenerated us (Marshall 909); [ANA again, or from above, GENNAOO to beget, in the passive voice, to be born] (Vine 101, 102); begot us again (Lenski 29); has begotten us anew (Williams).
[ 31 ]EIS ZOOSAN, to a living (Marshall 909); living (Vincent 1.630); living, the present participle of the verb ZAOO to live (Vine 680); the end which a thing is adapted to attain [that is, a living hope] (Thayer 185); some think this describes the rebirth of hope in Peter and the other apostles when they became convinced that Christ had risen from the dead (see Clarke 6.843); to an ever living (Williams); unto a living (Lenski 29).
[ 32 ]See the next phrase, "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
[ 33 ]ELPIDA, hope (Marshall 909; Williams; Lenski 29); in the NT the word always relates to a future good (Vincent 1.630).
[ 34 ]DI' ANASTASEOOS 'IEESOU CHRISTOU EK NEKROON, through [the] resurrection of Jesus Christ from [the] dead (Marshall 909); through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (Williams); by means of Christ's resurrection from the dead (Lenski 29).
[ 35 ]EIS KLEERONOMIAN, to an inheritance (Marshall 909); [KLEEROS a lot, NEMOMAI to distribute among themselves], an inheritance [was] originally a portion which one received by lot in a general distribution. In the NT the idea of chance attaching to the lot is eliminated. . . the portion or heritage which one receives by virtue of birth or by special gift (Vincent 1.630); the prospective condition and possessions of the believer in the new order of things to be ushered in at the return of Christ (Vine 589); in specific Christian usage [corresponding to the Septuagint] [the possession of salvation [as the inheritance of God's children . . . an imperishable possession (Arndt 435); the eternal blessedness in the consummated kingdom of God which is to be expected after the visible return of Christ (Thayer 349); yes, to an inheritance (Williams); unto an inheritance (Lenski 29).
[ 36 ]APHTHARTON, incorruptible (Marshall 909; Lenski 29); [A not, PHTHEIROO to destroy or corrupt], emphasizes the indestructibility of substance (Vincent 1.630); that is imperishable (Williams); not liable to corruption or decay, incorruptible [A negative, PHTHEIROO to destroy by means of corrupting], of the eternal inheritance of the saints (Vine 236). Note that this Greek word and the next two begin with A [negative in Greek]. Peter describes heaven in terms of what an inheritance is not like on earth.
[ 37 ]Entropy denotes randomness and decay. According to the second law of thermodynamics, the material universe tends toward greater entropy.
[ 38 ]KAI AMIANTON, and undefiled (Marshall 909); [A not, MIAINOO to defile], the verb means to defile by staining, as with color; we might render unstained, though the word is not used with any conscious reference to its etymology (Vincent 1.630); unsullied (Williams); and unstained (Lenski 29); undefiled, free from contamination [A negative, MIAINOO to defile], used of the eternal inheritance of believers (Vine 1180). POLUNOO to besmirch as with mire is also translated defile (1Co 8:7).
[ 39 ]KAI AMARANTON, and unfading (Marshall 909); [A not, MARAINOMAI to wither], exempt from blight which attaches to earthly bloom; [emphasizes the indestructibility] of grace and beauty (Vincent 1.630); unfading [A negative, MARAINOO to waste away], whence the "amaranth," an unfading flower, a symbol of perpetuity, used of the believer's inheritance, "that fadeth not away" (Vine 398); and unfading (Lenski 29; Williams); enduring [from AMARANTOS unfading] (Littrell); notice the similar rhythm in the pronunciation of this Greek word with the preceding one. Reading this part of Peter's letter in Greek has a most agreeable and pleasant sound.
[ 40 ]TETEEREEMENEEN EN OURANOIS,having been kept in heavens (Marshall 909); literally, which has been reserved, a perfect participle, indicating the inheritance as one reserved through God's care for his own from the beginning down to the present. Laid up and kept is the idea. The verb signifies keeping as the result of guarding (Vincent 1.631); guarded, kept, preserved, given heed to (Vine 957); which is kept in heaven (Williams); safeguarded in [the] heavens (Lenski 29).
[ 41 ]EIS HUMAS, for you (Marshall 909; Williams; Lenski 29); the use of this preposition, instead of the simpler dative, is graphic: with reference to you; with you as its direct object (Vincent 1.631).
[ 42 ]PHROUROUMENOUS, being guarded (Marshall 909); present participle, continually guarded; a military term, literally, garrisoned . . . the present participle indicates something in progress, a continuous process of protection. Hence, literally, who are being guarded (Vincent 1.631); a military term, kept by guarding, kept under guard, as with a garrison [PHROUROS a guard or garrison], providing protection . . . of the security of the Christian until the end, "are guarded," and of the sense of that security that is his when he puts all his matters into the hand of God, Php 4:7. In these passages the idea is not merely that of protection, but of inward garrisoning as by the Holy Spirit (Vine 513); who are always guarded (Williams); the ones being protected (Lenski 29).
[ 43 ]EN DUNAMEI THEOU, by [the] power of God (Marshall 909); by the power, indicating the efficient cause (Vincent 1.632); by metonymy, of God (Vine 868); by the power of God (Williams); in connection with God's power (Lenski 29).
[ 44 ]Littrell.
[ 45 ]DIA PISTEOOS, through faith (Marshall 909; Williams); through faith, the secondary agency (Vincent 1.632); primarily, firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing [akin to PEITHOO to persuade], is used in the NT always of faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual (Vine 401); by means of faith (Lenski 29).
[ 46 ]EIS SOOTEERIAN, to a salvation (Marshall 909); unto salvation, the result (Vincent 1.632); of the future deliverance of believers at the Parousia of Christ for His saints, a salvation which is the object of their confident hope, for example, Romans 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:8, and verse 9, where salvation is assured to them, as being deliverance from the wrath of God destined to be executed upon the ungodly at the end of this age (Vine 988); that future salvation may be yours (Thayer 185); in order that you may receive that final [so used in papyri [Deissmann, EGT] salvation (Williams); for salvation (Lenski 29).
[ 47 ]HETOIMEEN APOKALUPSTHEENAI, ready to be revealed (Marshall 909; Lenski 29); stronger than about to be, or destined to be, implying a state of waiting or preparedness, and thus harmonizing with reserved (Vincent 1.632); prepared, ready [akin to HETOIMASIA preparation]; APOKALUPSTHEENAI is an uncovering [APOKALUPTOO (to be) uncovered, unveiled; APO from, KALUPTOO to cover], of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the saints at His Parousia (Vine 922, 964); which will be ready to be uncovered (Williams); parousia=presence.
[ 48 ]EN KAIROO ESCHATOO, at time [the] last (Marshall 909); in 1 Peter 1:5, "the last time" refers to the time of the Lord's Second Advent (Vine 641); of the time nearest the return of Christ from heaven and the consummation of the divine kingdom (Thayer 253); one of the chief eschatological terms [in] the last time (Arndt 395); at the last time (Williams); in connection with the last season (Lenski 29).
[ 49 ]EN HOO AGALLIASTHE, in which ye exult (Marshall 909); always employed in the NT for great or lively joy (Vincent 1.632); rejoice greatly, exult, used in the active voice [middle voice in some manuscripts] in faith in Christ, "ye rejoice greatly" (Vine 943); properly the word signifies to leap for joy (Macknight 610); exult, be overjoyed (Arndt 4); EN HOO herein is neuter gender, and thus requires a neuter antecedent. The word "salvation" is feminine. That which was in the apostle's mind was the whole of the blessings earlier enumerated -- sonship, forgiveness of sins, the divine inheritance and the providential care ot the Father (Woods 28); in such a hope [literally, in which, but hope implied] keep on rejoicing (Williams); in which you continue to exult (Lenski 37); see note on verse 8.
[ 50 ]OLIGON ARTI, a little [while] yet (Marshall 909); the neuter of OLIGOS, used adverbially of a while (Vine 678); more literally and correctly, for a little while (Vincent 1.632); now, at this time; opposite to future time subsequent to the return of Christ (Thayer 75); although for a little while (Williams); though now for a little while (Lenski 37).
[ 51 ]EI DEON, if necessary (Marshall 909); [the neuter of the present participle of DEI it is necessary], used as a noun, signifying that which is needful, due, proper, with the meaning "need," "[if] need [be]," with the verb to be understood (Vine 778); since it is needful (Macknight 610); you must (Williams); if it is necessary (Lenski 37).
[ 52 ]LUPEETHENTES, grieving (Marshall 909); literally, having been grieved (Vincent 1.632); [have] become sad, sorrowful, distressed (Arndt 481); made sorrowful, affected with sadness, caused grief; thrown into sorrow (Thayer 383); be sorrow-stricken (Williams); put to grief (Lenski 37).
[ 53 ]EN, by (Marshall 909); in, the preposition not being instrumental, but indicating the sphere or environment in which the grief operates (Vincent 1.632); with (Williams); in (Lenski 37).
[ 54 ]POIKILOIS, manifold (Marshall 909; Lenski 37); literally, variegated . . . and thence passes into the meaning of changeful, diversified . . . gives a vivid picture of the diversity of the trials, emphasizing this idea rather than that of their number, which is left to be inferred (Vincent 1.632); denotes parti-colored, variegated [POIKILLOO means to make gay; the root of the first syllable is PIK--, found in English picture], hence "divers," manifold (Vine 318, 709); various (Williams).
[ 55 ]PEIRASMOIS, trials (Marshall 909; Lenski 37; Williams); trials, since the word includes more than direct solicitation to evil. It embraces all that goes to furnish a test of character (Vincent 1.633); trials or temptations, Divinely permitted or sent (Vine 1129); plural: adversities, afflictions, troubles . . . sent by God and serving to test or prove one's faith, holiness, character (Thayer 498).
[ 56 ]HINA TO DOKIMION HUMOON TEES PISTEOOS, in order that the proving of you of the faith[,] (Marshall 909); a test . . . the sense here is the result of the contact of faith with trial, and hence the verification of faith. The expression is equivalent to your approved faith (Vincent 1.633); trial; the meaning probably is "that which is approved [that is, as genuine] in your faith;" this interpretation, which was suggested by Hort, and may hold good for James 1:3, has been confirmed from the papyri by Deissman [Bible Studies 259ff]. Moulton and Milligan (Vocabulary) give additional instances (Vine 892, 1173); so that the genuineness [so used in papyri Diessmann EGT] of your faith (Williams); in order that the testing out of your faith (Lenski 37).
[ 57 ]POLUTIMOTERON CHRUSIOU, much more precious [than] gold (Marshall 909); [the Received Text has POLU TIMOTERON] of great value; comparative degree [than gold] (Vine 875); omit the of, and read than gold. The comparison is between the approved faith and the gold; not between the faith and the proof of the gold (Vincent 1.633); very valuable, of great[er] price [than] gold, that which has been smelted and wrought (Thayer 530, 673); which is more precious than gold that perishes (Williams); more precious than of gold (Lenski 37).
[ 58 ]DIA PUROS DE DOKIMAZOMENOU, through fire yet being proved (Marshall 909); proved . . . implies a proof with a view to determine whether a thing be worthy to be received (Vincent 1.633); tried (Vine 1173); tested, examined, proved, scrutinized (Thayer 154); through fire yet being proved (Marshall 909); even after it is shown by the test of fire to be genuine (Williams); though tested out by means of fire (Lenski 37).
[ 59 ]HEURETHEE, may be found (Marshall 909; Lenski 37); discovery as the result of scrutiny (Vincent 1.633); found, either with previous search or without . . . metaphorically, found out by enquiry, or learned, discovered (Vine 430); found out by inquiry, thought, examination, scrutiny, observation, hearing; found out by practice and experience, that is, seen, learned, discovered, understood (Thayer 262); may result (Williams).
[ 60 ]EIS EPAINON KAI DOXAN KAI TIMEEN, to praise and glory and honor (Marshall 909); unto praise and glory and honor (Lenski 37); in your praise and glory and honor (Williams).
[ 61 ]EN APOKALUPSEI 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, at [the] revelation of Jesus Christ (Marshall 909); at the revelation of Jesus Christ; of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the saints at His Parousia (Vine 964); at the unveiling of Jesus Christ (Williams); at Jesus Christ's revelation (Lenski 37); parousia=presence.
[ 62 ]HON OUK IDONTES, whom not having seen (Marshall 909); although you have never [strong negative] seen Him (Williams); whom, not having seen (Lenski 41).
[ 63 ]AGAPATE, ye love (Marshall 909); you love. Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to his commandments (Vine 692); you must continue to love Him (Williams); you continue to love (Lenski 41).
[ 64 ]EIS HON ARTI MEE HOROONTES, in whom yet not seeing (Marshall 909); [do not] see, with bodily vision; HORAOO and BLEPOO both denote the physical act: HORAOO, in general, BLEPOO, the single look; HORAOO gives prominence to the discerning mind, BLEPOO to the particular mood or point (Vine 1009); although you do not now see Him (Williams); now not seeing (Lenski 41).
[ 65 ]PISTEUONTES, believing (Marshall 909); the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of PISTEUOO (Han 417); believe, also are persuaded of, and hence, place confidence in, trust, signifies, in this sense of the word, reliance upon, not mere credence (Vine 108); but because you do believe in Him (Williams); yet believing (Lenski 41).
[ 66 ]DE AGALLIASTHE, but ye exult (Marshall 909); always employed in the NT for great or lively joy (Vincent 1.632); rejoice greatly, exult, used in the active voice [middle voice in some manuscripts] in faith in Christ, "ye rejoice greatly" (Vine 943); properly the word signifies to leap for joy (Macknight 610); you must continue to rejoice (Williams); you continue to exult (Lenski 41).
[ 67 ]CHARA ANEKLALEETOO, with joy unspeakable (Marshall 909); joy, delight [akin to CHAIROO to rejoice]; ANEKLALEETOO denotes inexpressible [A negative, N euphonic, EKDIEEGEOMAI to declare, relate], of the believer's joy (Vine 608, 1187); with an unutterable joy (Williams); with joy inexpressible (Lenski 41).
[ 68 ]KAI DEDOXASMENEE, and having been glorified (Marshall 909); literally, glorified (Vincent 1.634); and triumphant [literally glorified, so triumphant] (Williams); and glorified (Lenski 41).
[ 69 ]KOMIZOMENOI TO TELOS TEES PISTEOOS, obtaining the end of the [your] faith (Marshall 909); the verb originally means to take care of or provide for; thence to receive hospitably or entertain; to bring home with a view to entertaining or taking care of. Hence, to carry away so as to preserve, to save, rescue, and acquire (Vincent 1.634); the final issue or result of a state or process . . . especially [pointing] to the issue or fate of a thing (Vine 356); bringing away the end of your faith (Lenski 41); because you will receive the goal of your faith (Williams); obtaining [from KOMIZOO (middle form here), to bring for oneself, obtain for oneself (Littrell).
[ 70 ]SOOTEERIAN PSUCHOON, [the] salvation of [your] souls (Marshall 909); of the present experience of God's power to deliver from the bondage of sin; PSUCHOON is the equivalent of the second person pronoun (Vine 988, 1067); future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God (Thayer 612); the ultimate [implied from context] salvation of your souls (Williams); salvation of souls (Lenski 41).
[ 71 ]PERI HEES SOOTEERIAS, concerning which salvation (Marshall 909; Lenski 44); future salvation (Thayer 612); about this salvation (Williams).
[ 72 ]PROPHEETAI . . . PROPHEETEUSANTES, prophets . . . [ones] prophesying (Marshall 909); prophets, used [here] of foretelling the future (Vine 894); even the prophets, who prophesied (Williams); prophets, they who prophesied (Lenski 44).
[ 73 ]EXEZEETESAN, sought out (Marshall 909); the OT prophets, as searching their own writings concerning matters foretold of Christ, testified by the Spirit of Christ in them, searched diligently (Vine 1004, 1012); inquired carefully concerning a thing (Arndt 274); searched out anxiously and diligently (Thayer 222); made careful investigation (Williams); there earnestly sought (Lenski 44).
[ 74 ]KAI EXEEREUNEESAN, and searched out (Marshall 909); aorist tense, and searched diligently (Vincent 1.634); [a strengthened form of ERAUNAOO or EREUNAOO to search, examine], searched out; sought out [EK] or after, searched for (Vine 1004, 1012); and persistent research (Williams); and searched (Lenski 44).
[ 75 ]PERI TEES EIS HUMAS CHARITOS, concerning the for you grace (Marshall 909); grace unto you; the salvation offered to Christians is called CHARIS, a gift of divine grace (Thayer 666); the special grace intended for you alone (Woods 33); concerning the grace (Lenski 44).
[ 76 ]Some think that by metonymy, grace denotes the Gospel.
[ 77 ]ERAUNOONTES EIS, searching for (Marshall 909); of the OT prophets, as searching their own writings concerning matters foretold of Christ, testified by the Spirit of Christ in them (Vine 1004); searching, examining into (Thayer 249); earnestly trying to find out (Williams); searching in regard to (Lenski 44).
[ 78 ]TINA EE POION KAIRON, what or what sort of time (Marshall 909); what manner of [time], primarily due measure, due proportion, when used of time, signified a fixed or definite period, a season, sometimes an opportune or seasonable time (Vine 1150, 1221); a fixed and definite time (Thayer 318); what time or what sort of time [unless TINA here=what person (RSV)] (Arndt 394); the time or the nature of the times (Williams); what or what kind of period (Lenski 44).
[ 79 ]TO EN AUTOIS PNEUMA CHRISTOU, the in them Spirit of Christ (Marshall 909); [the] Spirit of Christ in them [note the absence of the article]; since the same Spirit in a peculiar manner dwelt in Jesus (Thayer 521); which the Spirit of Christ within them (Williams); the Spirit of Christ in them (Lenski 44).
[ 80 ]EDEELOU, made clear (Marshall 909); imperfect tense, was declaring, all along through the prophetic age, in successive prophets (Vincent 1.634); was making plain [DEELOS evident] (Vine 1043); pointed to (Williams); was indicating (Lenski 44).
[ 81 ]PROMARTUROMENON, forewitnessing (Marshall 910); testified beforehand; the pronoun "it" should be "He" [the "it" being due to the grammatically neuter form of PNEUMA; the Personality of the Holy Spirit requires the masculine pronoun] (Vine 1132); when testifying in advance (Lenski 44); in foretelling (Williams).
[ 82 ]TA PATHEEMATA, sufferings (Marshall 910; Williams); the sufferings, afflictions (Vine 1104); about the sufferings (Lenski 44).
[ 83 ]EIS CHRISTON, for Christ (Marshall 910); literally, unto Christ, the sufferings destined for Christ (Vincent 1.634); of the Christ (Williams); regarding Christ (Lenski 44).
[ 84 ]KAI TAS META TAUTA DOXAS, and the after these glories (Marshall 910); the glories, the plural is used to indicate the successive steps of his glorification (Vincent 1.635); literally, after these things, said of glories after the sufferings of Christ (Vine 443); and the glory that should follow them (Williams); and the glories after them (Lenski 44).
[ 85 ]HOIS APEKALUPHTHEE, to whom it was revealed (Marshall 910; Lenski 47); it was made known to them (Williams).
[ 86 ]HOTI OUCH EAUTOIS DIEEKONOUN, that not to themselves they ministered (Marshall 910); imperfect tense, were [not] ministering (Vincent 1.635); of attending, in a more general way, to anything that may serve another's interests, as of the testimony of the OT prophets (Vine 745); the imperfect tense denotes continued action in past time (Machen 122); that they were serving not themselves (Williams); that not for themselves they were ministering (Lenski 47).
[ 87 ]HUMIN DE, to you but (Marshall 910); but you (Williams); but for you (Lenski 47).
[ 88 ]AUTA HA NUN ANEENGELEE HUMIN, the same things which now were announced to you (Marshall 910); declared, announced [ANA up, ANGELLOO to report], used especially of heavenly messages (Vine 50); these things that have already been told to you (Williams); the things which now have been announced to you (Lenski 47).
[ 89 ]DIA TOON EUANGELISAMENOON HUMAS, through the [ones] having evangelized you (Marshall 910); by means of those preaching the gospel to you (Lenski 47); by those who brought you the good news (Williams).
[ 90 ]EN PNEUMATI HAGIOO APOSTALENTI AP' OURANOU, by Spirit [the] Holy sent forth from heaven (Marshall 910); literally, sent forth [APO from], akin to APOSTOLOS an apostle, denotes [the Holy Spirit] sent on service, or with a commission (Vine 1015); by the Holy Spirit commissioned from heaven (Lenski 47); through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven (Williams).
[ 91 ]EIS HA ANGELOI, into which things angels (Marshall 910); the angels into these things (Williams); into which things [even] angels (Lenski 47).
[ 92 ]EPITHUMOUSIN, long (Marshall 910; Williams); desire (Lenski 47); intense desire (Vincent 1.635); desire earnestly [as with EPITHUMIA a desire, craving longing], stresses the inward impulse rather than the object desired (Vine 290).
[ 93 ]PARAKUPSAI, to look into (Marshall 910); to look (Lenski 47); a very graphic word, meaning to stoop sideways [PARA] . . . portrays one stooping and stretching the neck to gaze on some wonderful sight (Vincent 1.635); literally, and primarily, stoop sideways [PARA aside, KUPTOO to bend forward], denotes to stoop to look into, of things which the angels desire "to look" into (Vine 685, 686); to take a peep into (Williams).
[ 94 ]DIO, wherefore (Marshall 910; Lenski 51); therefore (Williams).
[ 95 ]ANAZOOSAMENOI, girding up (Marshall 910); literally, having girded up (Vincent 1.636); gird up [ANA up, ZONNUMI to gird], used metaphorically of the loins of the mind (Vine 477); a metaphor derived from the practice of the Orientals, who in order to be unimpeded in their movements were accustom,ed, when about to start on a journey or engage in any work, to bind their long and flowing garments closely around their bodies and fasten them with a leathern girdle (Thayer 37); bind up, gird up the long Oriental robes to facilitate work or walking . . . figuratively, when you have girded the loins of your mind, that is, prepared for action (Arndt 43); as a means of spiritual preparation [implied from context], tighten up (Williams); having girded up (Lenski 51).
[ 96 ]TAS OSPHUAS TEES DIANOIAS HUMOON, the loins of the mind of you (Marshall 910); of girding the loins of the mind; "girding," suggestive of the alertness necessary for sobriety and for setting one's hope perfectly on "the grace to be brought . . . at the revelation of Jesus Christ" [the present participle, "girding," is introductory to the rest of the verse] (Vine 682); the loins of your mind (Lenski 51); the belt about your minds (Williams).
[ 97 ]NEEPHONTES, being sober (Marshall 910); literally, being sober. Primarily, in a physical sense, as opposed to excess in drink, but passing into the general sense of self-control and equanimity (Vincent 1.636); [keeping] 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); keep perfectly calm (Williams); as being sober (Lenski 51).
[ 98 ]TELEIOOS ELPISATE, perfectly hope (Marshall 910); set your hope perfectly: wholly and unchangeably; without doubt or despondency (Vincent 1.636); perfectly, of setting one's hope on coming grace (Vine 358, 847); set your hope completely (Lenski 51); keep your hope (Williams).
[ 99 ]EPI TEEN CHARIN, on the grace (Marshall 910; Lenski 51); on the grace; the salvation offered to Christians is called CHARIS, a gift of divine grace (Thayer 666); on the spiritual blessing (Williams).
[ 100 ]PHEROMENEEN HUMIN, being brought to you (Marshall 910); literally, which is being brought. The object of hope is already on the way (Vincent 1.636); hope for the grace that is proclaimed for you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (Arndt 855); figuratively, a thing is offered [literally "is being brought"] to you (Thayer 650); to be conferred upon you (Williams); being brought to you (Lenski 51).
[ 101 ]EN APOKALUPSEI 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, at [the] revelation of Jesus Christ (Marshall 910); at the revelation of Jesus Christ; of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the saints at his Parousia (Vine 964); in connection with Jesus Christ's revelation (Lenski 51); at the unveiling of Jesus Christ (Williams); parousia=presence.
[ 102 ]HOOS TEKNA HUPAKOEES, as children of obedience [genitive of quality: "obedient children"] (Marshall 910); as obedient children (Williams); literally, children of obedience. (Vincent 1.636); as children of obedience (Lenski 51); characterized by obedience (Vine 796); some of the Jewish leaders were classified by God as "children of rebellion" (Isa 57:4).
[ 103 ]Compare the emphasis on obedience in Romans 1:5; 6:15-18; 16:26.
[ 104 ]MEE SUSCHEEMATIZOMENOI, not fashioning yourselves (Marshall 910; Lenski 51); as SCHEMA is outward, changeable fashion, as contrasted with what is intrinsic, the word really carries a warning against conformity to something changeful, and therefore illusory (vincent 1.636); [not] to fashion or shape one thing like another . . . This verb has more especial reference to that which is transitory, changeable, unstable . . . could not be used of inward transformation (Vine 219); stop molding your character (Williams).
[ 105 ]TAIS PROTERON EPITHUMIAIS, to the formerly longings (Marshall 910); strong desires of any kind . . . your former lusts (Vine 697); by the evil desires you used to cherish (Williams); to the former lusts (Lenski 51); see Jas 1:14, 15; 1Pe 4:2; 2Pe 1:4).
[ 106 ]EN TEE AGNOIA HUMOON, in the ignorance of you (Marshall 910); in the [old] ignorance (Lenski 51); literally, want of knowledge or perception [akin to AGNOEOO to be ignorant], of the former unregenerate condition of those who became believers (Vine 575); when you did know any better (Williams).
[ 107 ]ALLA KATA TON KALESANTA HUMAS HAGION, but according to the having called you holy [one] (Marshall 910); after the pattern of the Holy One who called you (Vincent 1.636); but according to, like, the Holy [One] having called you. The root idea in the word holy is that of separation. God is separate from all uncleanness and evil and so is free from all defilement. As applied to Christians the word signifies that they are separated from evil and consecrated to God (Kelcy 32); in accord with the Holy One who called you (Lenski 51); but in accordance with the Holy Being who has called you (Williams).
[ 108 ]KAI AUTOI HAGIOI GENEETHEETE, also [your]-selves holy become ye (Marshall 910); also yourselves become holy; of things and men, insofar as they are devoted to God. Indeed the quality, as attributed to God, is often presented in a way which involves Divine demands upon the conduct of believers. These are called HAGIOI saints, that is, "sanctified" or "holy ones." This sainthood is not an attainment, it is a state into which God in grace calls men; yet believers are called to sanctify themselves [consistently with their calling, 2Ti 1:9], cleansing themselves from all defilement, forsaking sin, living a holy manner of life (Vine 556); you must prove to be holy too (Williams).
[ 109 ]EN PASEE ANASTROPHEE, in all conduct (Marshall 910); [ANA up, STREPHOO to turn], one's mode of life or conduct (Vincent 1.637); literally, a turning back [ANASTREPHOO to turn back, return, ANA back, STREPHOO to turn] (Vine 105); in all conduct! (Lenski 51); in 1611, when the KJV was translated, conversation meant to turn around [Latin CONVERSARE, to turn round].
[ 110 ]DIOTI GEGRAPTAI, because it has been written (Marshall 910); for the Scripture says (Williams); conjunction, equivalent to DIA TOUTO, HOTI, on this account that, because (Thayer 152); because it has been written (Marshall 910); wherefore it has been written and thus stands on record to this day [perfect tense] (Lenski 57).
[ 111 ][HOTI] HAGIOI ESESTHE, HOTI EGOO HAGIOS, Holy ye shall be, because I [am] holy (Marshall 910); You ought [This idea in verb stem and in aorist] to be holy, Because I am holy (Williams); Holy shall you be because I myself am holy (Lenski 57).
[ 112 ]KAI EI PATERA EPIKALEISTHE KRINONTA, and if Father ye invoke [as] the [one] judging (Marshall 910); if ye call [for yourselves] on him as father, that is, if ye surname him your father (Thayer 239); if ye call on him as Father; the point being that God is to be invoked, not only as Father, but as Judge (Vincent 1.637); [EPI upon, KALEOO to call], denotes in the middle voice, call upon for oneself [that is, on one's behalf]. [KRINONTA judging] primarily denotes separating, selecting, choosing; hence, determining, and so judging, pronouncing judgment (Vine 155, 156, 610); and if you address as Father, him who judges (Williams); and if you call as Father upon him who judges (Lenski 58).
[ 113 ]TON APROSOOPOLEEMPTOOS, the [one] without respect of persons (Marshall 910); [PROSOOPON the countenance, LAMBANOO to receive], the bad sense attaches to it, owing to the secondary meaning of PROSOOPON a mask; so that PROSOOPON LAMBANEIN signifies to regard the external circumstances of a man, his rank, wealth, etc., as opposed to his real intrinsic character (Vincent 1.638); without respect of persons, impartially [A negative] (Vine 851).
[ 114 ]KATA TO HEKASTOU ERGON, according to the of each man work (Marshall 910); in accordance with what he does (Williams); according to each one's work (Lenski 58).
[ 115 ]Of course faith or believing is a work that God desires man to perform (see note on Joh 6:29). One might reason that it will be included in judgment according to works.
[ 116 ]EN PHOBOO, in fear (Marshall 910; Lenski 58); in the fear; reverential fear of God as a controlling motive of the life, in matters spiritual and moral, not a mere fear of His power and righteous retribution, but a wholesome dread of displeasing Him, a fear which banishes the terror that shrinks from His presence [Ro 8:15], and which influences the disposition and attitude of one whose circumstances are guided by trust in God, through the indwelling Spirit of God . . . a comprehensive phrase: the reverential fear of God will inspire a constant carefulness in dealing with others in His fear (Vine 414); reverently (Williams).
[ 117 ]TON TEES PAROIKIAS HUMOON CHRONON ANASTRAPHEETE, the of the sojourning of you time pass (Marshall 910); [pass the time of your] sojourning (Vine 1058); all your fleeting stay on earth (Williams); for the time of your being transients (Lenski 58); reside here as strangers [from PAROIKIA a sojourning, temporary residence in a foreign land] (Littrell).
[ 118 ]EIDOTES HOTI, knowing that (Marshall 910; Lenski 58); because you know (Williams).
[ 119 ]ELUTROOTHEETE, ye were redeemed (Marshall 911); passive voice, you were redeemed from a vain manner of life, that is, from bondage to tradition. of the work of Christ in redeeming men "from all iniquity" (Vine 935); freed by paying a ransom, redeemed . . . figuratively, [not] be ransomed with silver or gold from the futile way of life (Arndt 482); redeemed, liberated by paying of ransom (Arndt 384); that you have [not] been ransomed (Williams); were you ransomed (Lenski 58).
[ 120 ]Macknight 611.
[ 121 ]OU PHTHARTOIS ARGURIOO EE CHRUSIOO, not with corruptible things, silver or gold (Marshall 910, 911); [not] with silver and gold as specimens of corruptible things (Vine 236); literally, with silver or gold money; the words meaning, respectively, a small coin of silver or of gold (Vincent 1.638); as money; silver and gold=money (Arndt 104, 888); silver; gold coin, "gold" (Thayer 673); with things that perish as silver or gold (Williams); not with corruptible things, with silver or gold (Lenski 58).
[ 122 ]EK TEES MATAIAS HUMOON ANASTROPHEES, from the vain of you conduct (Marshall 911); from your vain conduct; manner of life, [ANA up, STREPHPOO to turn], one's mode of life or conduct (Vincent 1.637, 638); void of result, used of manner of life [ANASTROPHEES is] literally, a turning back [ANASTREPHOO to turn back, return, ANA back, STREPHOO to turn] (Vine 105, 1193); from the futile way of living (Williams); out of your vain conduct (Lenski 58).
[ 123 ]The idolatrous Jews "followed vanity and became vain" (2Ki 17:15 NAU) [have followed idols, and have become idolaters, NKJV]. "They went far from Me and walked after emptiness and became empty" (Jer 2:5). They "walked after things that do not profit" (Jer 2:8).
[ 124 ]"Useless" or "vain" things were "foolish idols," "not God" (De 32:21); "futile things" (1Sa 12:21). "We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one" (1Co 8:4).
[ 125 ]PATROPARADOTOU, delivered from [your] fathers (Marshall 911); handed down from your fathers (Vincent 1.638); an adjective, denoting handed down from one's fathers [PATEER a father, PARADIDOOMI to hand down] (Vine 521).
[ 126 ]ALLA TIMIOO HAIMATI CHRISTOU, but with precious blood of Christ (Marshall 911); but with precious blood; precious blood, of the blood of Christ, which betokens His death by the shedding of His blood in expiatory sacrifice (Vine 126, 875); but with the precious blood of Christ (Williams); "of Christ" stands at the end of the sentence, and is emphatic: with precious blood as of a lamb, etc., even the blood of Christ (Vincent 1.638); but with precious blood [namely that] of Christ (Lenski 58).
[ 127 ]HOOS AMNOU, as of a lamb (Marshall 911; Lenski 58); the reference is to a sacrificial lamb (Vincent 1.638); as of [a] lamb; figuratively of Christ; the absence of the article stresses the nature and character of His sacrifice as set forth in the symbolism . . . the lamb of God's providing [Ge 22:8], and the Paschal lamb of God's appointment for sacrifice in Israel (Vine 637); like that of a lamb (Williams).
[ 128 ]AMOOMOU, unblemished (Marshall 911); representing the OT phrase for absence of physical defect (Vincent 1.638); without blemish . . . in the Septuagint in reference to sacrifices, especially in Leviticus and Numbers, the Psalms and Ezekiel of blamelessness in character and conduct (Vine 124); without a blemish (Williams); blemishless (Lenski 58).
[ 129 ]An animal was counted as blemished if it was blind or fractured or maimed or had a running sore or eczema or scabs. If it had testicles that were bruised, crushed, torn or cut, it was not acceptable. If it had an overgrown or stunted member, it could be presented for a freewill offering but not for a vow.
[ 130 ]KAI ASPILOU, unblemished (Marshall 911); in a moral sense (Vincent 1.638); unspotted, unstained [A negative, SPILOS spot or stain] (Vine 1080); blemishless (Lenski 58); without a blemish (Williams).
[ 131 ]PROEGNOOSMENOU MEN, having been foreknown on one hand (Marshall 911); perfect participle, literally, foreknown, has been known from all eternity down to the present: "in reference to the place held and continuing to be held by Christ in the divine mind" [Salmond] (Vincent 1.639); foreknown [PRO before, GINOSKOO to know], of Divine knowledge, concerning Christ (Vine 449); who was foreordained [literally, foreknown] (Williams); foreknown, on the one hand (Lenski 58); redemption was planned, before the world was created. This should impress us with the fact that the entire creation, including Adam and Eve, was for the sole purpose of choosing out a special people for God's own possession [see Tit 2:11-14] (Littrell).
[ 132 ]Machen 451.
[ 133 ]PRO KATABOLES KOSMOU, from [the] foundation of [the] world (Marshall 911); primarily order, arrangement, ornament, adornment, used to denote . . . by metonymy, the human race, mankind (Vine 1245); of a foundation, as that which is laid down, or in the sense of founding; metaphorically, of the foundation of the world . . . looks back to past eternity (Vine 458); a founding [laying down a foundation] from the foundation of the world (Thayer 330); before the world's foundation (Lenski 58); before the foundation of the world (Williams).
[ 134 ]James Macknight (472), Adam Clarke (6.847) and Guy N. Woods (48) and others understand this to mean "before the Mosaic age."
[ 135 ]Guy N. Woods 48.
[ 136 ]Before all eternity in the NASB is "before times eternal" (ASV; Marshall 835) or "before time began" (NKJV). This apparent paradox in which "times" and "eternal" are used together has given translators and commentators some difficulty. Macknight (472) and others interpret it to mean "before the times of the Mosaic dispensation."
[ 137 ]PHANEROOTHENTOS DE, manifested on the other (Marshall 911); appeared; aorist participle, pointing to a definite act at a given time (Vincent 1.639); made visible, clear, manifest, known [akin to PHANEROS open to sight, visible manifest] (Vine 708); but was brought out to public view (Williams); made manifest, on the other hand (Lenski 58).
[ 138 ]EP' ESCHATOU TOON CHRONOON, in [the] last of the times (Marshall 911); literally, at the end of the times (Vincent 1.639); last, utmost, extreme . . . at the end of these days, that is, at the end of the period under the Law, for [KJ] "in these last days;" so in 1 Peter 1:20, "at the end of the times" (Vine 358); at the end of the ages (Williams); at the end of the times (Lenski 58).
[ 139 ]DI' HUMAS, because of you (Marshall 911; Lenski 58); for the sake of you (Williams).
[ 140 ]TOUS DI' AUTOU PISTOUS EIS THEON, the ones through Him believing in God (Marshall 911); who through Him trust in God (Williams); the believers through Him in God (Lenski 58).
[ 141 ]TON EGEIRANTA AUTON EK NEKROON, the [one] having raised Him from [the] dead (Marshall 911); who raised Him from the dead (Williams); the One who raised him from the dead (Lenski 58).
[ 142 ]KAI DOXAN AUTOO DONTA, and glory to him having given (Marshall 911); the glory of God was exhibited in the resurrection of Christ, Romans 6:4, and in His ascension and exaltation (Vine 483); and gave Him glory (Williams; Lenski 58).
[ 143 ]HOOSTE TEEN PISTIN HUMOON KAI ELPIDA EINAI EIS THEON, so as the faith of you and hope to be in God (Marshall 911); so that your faith and hope is with respect to God (Lenski 58); some render, that your faith should also be hope toward God (Vincent 1.639); so that your faith and hope may rest in God (Williams).
[ 144 ]TAS PSUCHAS HUMOON HEEGNIKOTES EN TEE HUPAKOEE, the souls of you having purified by obedience (Marshall 911); HEEGNIKOTES is the perfect active participle, nominative plural masculine of HAGNIZOO (Han 417); a peculiarly NT term unknown in classical Greek; in the moral sense (Vincent 1.639); obedience to the truth, obeying (Vine 976); since you have purified your souls by obeying (Williams); having purified your souls in the obedience (Lenski 70); purified [akin to HAGNOS pure], cleansed from defilement . . . morally, the soul (Vine 905); literally, "having purified" from the perfect participle derived from HAGNIZOO, to purify morally, to reform. The perfect tense places the action in the past, with existing results" (Woods 49); purified [from HAGIAZOO to sanctify; purify; cleanse], make holy; set apart to a sacred use (Littrell); since you have purified your souls (Williams); having purified your souls (Lenski 70); soul (spirit) is purified, sanctified, made holy, by the Lord when the person "obeys from the heart that form of doctrine; being then made free from sin ..." [Ro 6:3-6, 17, 18; Tit 3:5] (Littrell).
[ 145 ]TES ALETHEIAS, of [to] the truth (Marshall 911); the truth (Williams); to the truth (Lenski 70).
[ 146 ]Several of the ideas in this paragraph were contributed by Littrell.
[ 147 ]EIS PHILADELPHIAN ANUPOKRITOU, to brotherly love unfeigned (Marshall 911); ['A not, HUPOKRITEES actor], the latter word is from HUPOKRINESTHAI to answer on the stage, and hence to play a part or to act. A hypocrite is, therefore, an actor (Vincent 1.639); [A negative, N euphonic, and an adjectival form of HUPOKRISIS, acting of a stage player], signifies unfeigned; PHILEOO is to be distinguished from AGAPAOO in this, that PHILEOO more nearly represents tender affection; [from PHILEOO to love and ADELPHOS a brother], fond of one's brother (Vine 147, 316, 693); in sincere love for the brotherhood (Williams); for unhypocritical brotherly affection (Lenski 70).
[ 148 ]PHILADELPHOI, loving as brethren.
[ 149 ]ALLEELOUS AGAPEESATE EKTENOOS, one another love ye earnestly (Marshall 911); [from TEINOO to stretch], signifies intense strain, feeling on the rack (Vincent 1.640); fervently [akin to EKTENEES strained, stretched, EK out, TEINOO to stretch; hence, metaphorically, fervent], said of love (Vine 420); you must love one another earnestly (Williams); love each other from the heart strenuously (Lenski 70); one another, reciprocally, mutually (Thayer 28); fervently [from EKTENOOS intensely, earnestly, fervently] (Littrell).
[ 150 ]EK [KATHARAS] KARDIAS, from [the] heart (Marshall 911); heartily (Williams); from the heart (Lenski 70); the "best texts" omit KATHARAS pure; from the heart (Vincent 1.639).
[ 151 ]ANAGEGENNEEMENOI, having been regenerated (Marshall 911); having been begotten again (Vincent 1.640); [ANA again or from above, GENNAOO to beget, in the passive voice, to be born] (Vine 102); because you have been born anew (Williams); as having been begotten again (Lenski 70).
[ 152 ]OUK EK SPORAS PHTHARTEES, not by seed corruptible (Marshall 911); denoting the origin or source of life; SPORAS, nowhere else in the NT. Primarily, the sowing of seed (Vincent 1.640); not from a germ that perishes (Williams); not from corruptible seed (Lenski 70). corruptible, [akin to destroy by means of corrupting], of natural seed (Vine 236).
[ 153 ]ALLA APHTHARTOU, but incorruptible (Marshall 911); the word of God as incorruptible seed (Vine 236); but from one that does not perish (Williams); but from incorruptible (Lenski 70).
[ 154 ]DIA LOGOU THEOU, through word of God (Marshall 911); the gospel of Christ, not the personal Word, as the term is employed by John (Vincent 1.640); by the word of God (Williams); by means of God's Word (Lenski 70).
[ 155 ]ZONTOS KAI MENONTOS, [the] living and remaining (Marshall 911); by [DIA] the word, the medium through which it imparts itself to the nature (Vincent 1.640); living and abiding (Lenski 70); living and everlasting (Williams).
[ 156 ]Some perceptive minds make a distinction between the word and the seed. It is through the word that begettal takes place. There is a parallel with John 3:6, "That which is born [literally begotten] of the Spirit is spirit," the Holy Spirit is the germinal principle of life.
[ 157 ]EGOO HUMAS EGENNEESA, I you begat (Marshall 666); literally, I have begotten you. Of one who by means of preaching the Gospel becomes the human instrument in the impartation of spiritual life (Vine 101).
[ 158 ]DIOTI, because (Marshall 911); conjunction, equivalent to DIA TOUTO, HOTI, on this account that, because (Thayer 152); for (Williams); introduces a quotation, yet not as a proof but only as a statement of the ancient prophet that says exactly what Peter himself says about the nature of the Word (Lenski 73, 74).
[ 159 ]PASA SARX HOOS CHORTOS, all flesh [is] as grass (Marshall 911); every living creature [is like] grass, herbage, hay, provender: of green grass (Thayer 570, 670); grass, primarily denoted a feeding enclosure [whence Latin HORTUS a garden; English yard and garden], then food, especially grass for feeding cattle (Vine 502); all human life is just like grass (Williams); all flesh [is] as grass (Lenski 74).
[ 160 ]KAI PASA DOXA AUTEES, and all [the] glory of it (Marshall 911); [from DOKEOO to seem], primarily signifies an opinion, estimate, and hence, the honor resulting from a good opinion (Vine 483); AND all its glory (Williams; Lenski 74).
[ 161 ]In the chart MAN'S FADING GLORY, Kedar represents a tribe descended from one of the 12 sons of Ishmael. Ephraim is another name for the northern kingdom of the Jews. The reason for that is that since its first king (Jeroboam I) was an Ephraimite, the entire northern division was often called by the name of that leading tribe.
[ 162 ]AUTEES, of it (Marshall 911); the reading ANTHROOPOU of man in the Received Text follows the Septuagint, Isaiah 40:6, which Peter quotes here (Vincent 1.640).
[ 163 ]HOOS ANTHOS CHORTOU, as a flower of grass (Marshall 911); a blossom, flower [of] grass, primarily denoted a feeding enclosure [whence Latin HORTUS a garden; English yard and garden], then food, especially grass for feeding cattle. There are 90 genera and 243 species of grass in Palestine or Syria (Vine 440, 502); like the flower of grass (Williams); as the bloom of grass (Lenski 74).
[ 164 ]Zondervan 323.
[ 165 ]EXEERANTHEE HO CHORTOS, was dried the grass (Marshall 911); literally, the writer puts it as in a narrative of some quick and startling event, by the use of the aorist tense: withered was the grass (Vincent 1.640); dried up, parched, withered (Vine 1236); the gnomic aorist used in proverbial sayings expresses what generally happens. It gives a vivid statement of general truths, by employing a distinct case or several distinct cases in the past to represent [as it were] all possible cases, and implying that what has occurred is likely to occur again under similar circumstances (Nunn 95; Goodwin, Moods and Tenses 155); withered the grass (Lenski 74); the grass dries up (Williams).
[ 166 ]KAI TO ANTHOS EXEPESEN, and the flower fell out (Marshall 911); literally, fell off, the force of EK, the flower fell (Vincent 1.640); fall out of [EK out, PIPTOO to fall], literally, of flowers that wither in the course of nature (Vine 403); the flowers drop off (Williams); fallen the bloom (Lenski 74).
[ 167 ]TO DE RHEEMA KURIOU, but the word of [the] Lord (Marshall 911); RHEEMA denotes that which is spoken, what is uttered in speech or writing; in the singular, a word (Vine 1242); but the word of the Lord (Williams); but the utterance of the Lord (Lenski 74).
[ 168 ]MENEI EIS TON AIOONA, remains unto the age (Marshall 911); abides, of the word of God, literally, unto the age, "for ever" (Vine 2, 377); lives on forever (Williams); abides for the eon (Lenski 74).
[ 169 ]TOUTO DE ESTIN TO RHEEMA, and this is the word (Marshall 911); that is, the message (Williams); and this is the utterance (Lenski 74).
[ 170 ]TO EUANGELISTHEN EIS HUMAS, preached [as good news] to you (Marshall 911); EUANGELISTHEN is the first aorist passive participle, nominative or accusative, singular neuter of EUANGELIZOO (Han 418) of the good news which has been brought to you (Williams); the one proclaimed as good news for you (Lenski 74).
[ 171 ]Additionally, some Jews and proselytes from Asia Minor heard the gospel on Pentecost in Jerusalem (see Ac 2:5-11).

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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