Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Study of 1 Peter 1:1-25

1 Peter Chapter One

1 Peter 1:1-2
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Note: All Greek & Hebrew word references with definitions are taken from Strongs Talking Greek and Hebrew dictionary.

The apostle Peter addressing the saints of God as strangers, scattered through various cities and/or countries. Later in the epistle, chapter 2:11 he writes, “Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” Peter is ascribing that we are strangers in this present world. That Christ would pray that “They are not of the world….” (John 17:16), makes us strangers and foreigners to this world, its ways, attitudes and customs. The word stranger, from the Greek word parepidēmos means ‘resident foreigner,’ and the base of the word is epidemeo, meaning ‘to reside in, dwelling (as in a foreign country).

• ‘Elect’, from ‘eklektos’, meaning to be chosen, select or favorite. Referencing that we are a chosen, favored people. 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation.” All persons have the opportunity to be chosen if they receive the call of Christ. John 3:16For God so loved the world……that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.Matthew 2:14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen. Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. God loved the ‘world’ all the lost and Christ came to save all that are lost. He gives the call to ‘all’ but only those that choose to receive the call and obey his ‘commandments’ are chosen to be children of the king, a royal priesthood and holy nation.

1 Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

How blessed it is for me that the supreme, divine deity would give have compassion and extreme mercy to call me his son. Luke 15:24, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found…” God gives each of us the promise of a ‘lively hope.’
Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

• ‘Inheritance,’ from klēronomia meaning heirship and/or patrimony. Heirship; one who inherits or is entitled to inherit. Patrimony; an estate inherited from one's father or ancestor. God according to his mercy give us the promise and hope, as a son the ‘entitlement’ to inherit from him, the father, the incorruptible and undefiled in heaven. ‘Incorruptible’, from aphthartos, meaning undecaying, immortal. ‘Undefiled’, from amiantos, meaning unsoiled, pure.

But the writer qualifies it not as a blanket promise that will happen regardless of any other requirements. But continues in vs. 5, “Who are kept by the power of God….” How? The answer is through faith? This is faith unto salvation.

1 Peter 1:6-9
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. In 1 Peter 1:6-8 we see that we must have works of obedience through the distress of various types of adversity to our soul yet being kept by the power of God. Not giving in to the trial but going through and coming out as pure gold. 1 Cor. 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; continuing vs 15, “If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:..” Wood, hay & stubble will burn up when the fire is applied to it. When fire is applied to gold, it will purify it. Apply ‘hot fire’ (temptations) to gold will cause the gold to become pliable. Keep the fire hot enough it turns to liquid. We may be put through the fire to the point of us becoming spiritually like liquid gold. Liquid will find it’s way through any crack, crevice of outlet that it can find to escape. 1 Cor. 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful,……but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. Gold when having gone through the fire, having the dross (impurities) removed, shapen and beaten into whatever form the ‘goldsmith’ (GOD) wants us to be in will be pure. Gold is consistent. There are no different grades of gold, so there is no danger of being stuck with an inferior quality. Gold is the most malleable (capable of being shaped by the beating of a hammer) of all metals. Jeremiah 23:29 [Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces? When we’ve come through the fire and have been hammered by the word of God, if we are pure gold we won’t fall to pieces like a rock, but will come out pure, malleable and shaped into a vessel of praise and ‘honor and glory.’

Verse 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
• The apostle Peter describes the trial of your faith, as ‘more precious than of gold.’
The word trial, from dokimion is a time of testing, trustworthiness. Faith, in this scripture, from the word pistis means persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth). Though my belief, conviction of the truth, persuasion of salvation of my soul is tested and tried, by God’s grace and strength, I might be found a vessel unto praise and honour.

1 Peter 1:10-13

10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Though there were many ‘messianic prophecies’ by the prophets, the grace that came with the advent of Christ, never became a reality to them. Many scriptures, that we won’t look up but note here, prophecies of the messiah: Psalms 68:18, Psalms 69:19-21, Psalms 110, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 52:13-14, Isaiah 53:1-10, Isaiah 61:1-3 [Matt. 3:16], Jeremiah 23:5, Daniel 2:34,44, Daniel 9:25, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 6:12-13 and Zechariah 9:9 [Matt. 21:2-9]. These Old Testament prophets sought the glory that Christ brought. The wrote many ‘testimonies’, before they ever happened (prophesied) of Christ, his sufferings and the glory that followed, the gospel (good news) and the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Even the angels in heaven, with all of its splendor, desire to look into this promise of glorious salvation and infilling of the Holy Ghost.

1 Peter 1:13-16

13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

We must ‘bind up’ the loins of our mind. Loins, from the Greek word ‘osphys’, the hip, procreative power. The mind is where our creative power is that we need to ‘bind up’ and brought into subjection of the truth of Gods word and the Holy Ghost. Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth. What will be the result? Isaiah 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. Continuing in vs 13 “…be sober and hope to the end..” we see Peter admonishing us to be ‘sober’, abstain (as from wine), discreet and hope to the end. Hope, from the Greek word elpizō, meaning ‘expect, confide trust’. The phrase ‘to the end’, in this context is not what our minds may comprehend. ‘To the end’, from the Greek teleiōs, meaning completely, without wavering (to the end). The apostle is admonishing us to expect and put our complete trust, without wavering in the grace that the coming of Jesus Christ brought to us.

14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.

To many times we see a child obey their parents but in observing the child we can see they are not doing it willingly but grudgingly. The word ‘obedient’ in this scripture, from the Greek word hypakoē, meaning attentive hearkening, compliance or submissive. It is clear that the English word does not do the real meaning of the sentence justice. Here we see the description that we need to be attentive and harkening to be submissive to God’s word and leading of the Holy Ghost. ‘…., not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.’ Fashion, not meaning style of clothing, hair or other worldliness, but from Greek word syschēmatizō to fashion alike, i.e. conform to the same pattern. ‘Lusts’ from the Greek word, Epithymia, longing (especially for what is forbidden). Now that we are attentive and submissive children to God and his word, we will not conform to or ‘fashion ouselves’ alike to our past. We won’t conform ourselves to the former things, places, people, lusts, ideas or philosophies that we did prior to salvation ‘in ignorance.’ Why? We are no longer ignorant!

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

God, who has called us is HOLY! The word holy, from the Greek word hagios, means: sacred (physical pure, moral blameless). In context, spiritually we are called to be holy, pure and morally blameless in all manner of conversation. Again the English language fails us because the word conversation has a greater meaning than our speech that we have between one another. The word conversation, from the Greek word anastrophē, meaning behavior :- conversation. Our conversation between one another is included in our behavior but our behavior extends to the way we act, attitudes, reaction to others and circumstances, deeds and anything we do or say, with or without anyone else around. It extends to our private moments. God sees whether our ‘conversation is Holy’ whether others around see or not. Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. The word ‘corrupt’ from ‘sapros’ which is derived from two Greek words ‘sepo’ and ‘poneros.’ Sepo meaning; rotten, i.e. worthless (literal or moral) and poneros meaning; hurtful, i.e. evil (properly in effect or influence). We must ask ourselves is our communication (talk or writing) foul, rotten in nature, worthless, hurtful or evil? Or is our communication good, beneficial, building up, encouraging to fit the spiritual need that it may be a blessing to those that hear? Remember even if no human is around, God still hears and knows what we say.

1 Peter 1:17-21

17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
God, the father, judges each of us impartially according to our deeds. He is NOT a respect of persons. Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. God is going to judge each of us, without impartiality, according to our works and deeds that we do ‘passing’ the time in this temporary home on this earth. Sojourning from the Greek word paroikia, meaning; foreign residence. Reference 1 Peter 2:11, previously written about in the first commentary paragraph concerning being ‘strangers and pilgrims.’
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

Thank God we are not ‘ransomed’ from our sinful life by things that are perishable and corrupt. We do not follow the traditions of Babylonian false religion or the law, that puts their trust in their good deeds (that corrupt), gifts of money or earthly sacrifice (in any way) whether literal of figuratively, because we have no sacrifice for sin but the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed once, for our sin. Hebrews 10:11-12 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; In the old testament the ‘priests’ ministered through physical sacrifice for the sins of the people. It never ‘cleansed them of their sin’ just pushed the sin forward until the time came when Christ came and died once for our sin. We no longer have to continue to ‘repent of our sins,’ because we are redeemed (ransomed) from the useless, unfruitful way of living (unholy & sinful). If we commit an willful act of sin after receiving the ‘once sacrifice for sin’, Hebrews 10:26 tells us, “…….there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” The only way there can be a sacrifice for sin, is to repent and do our first works over. Hebrews 6:1,3- 6 warns each of us of the dangers of ‘presumptuous sin’. Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, continuing though verse 3-6; 3 And this will we do, if God permit.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

The sacrifice brought, a lamb, was a type of Christ in the Old Testament. Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. The description “of the first year” means so much more than a young lamb. The reference from the Greek word bēn actually means, a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc. What a wonderful type of Christ! The ‘son’ (male child), builder of the family name of GOD. We are sons of God, “..ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation…..”
(2 Peter 2:9).

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

It is stated that God new before the world was created, that Christ was CHOSEN to be revealed as the ‘Son of God’, the Messiah, in these last days, at the end of time. When we believe in God (complete trust in, have faith and rely on), that raised Christ from the dead, he gives us faith, from the Greek word pistis meaning persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth) and hope, from the word elpis, primary word elpo meaning to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation or confidence. Us that really believe are persuaded, with a deep moral conviction of truth and anticipate with great confidence in God. This confidence is in the power that God can (and will) keep us to the end with victory over sin and one day see Christ and God in eternal Glory .

2 Timothy 1:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

1 Peter 1:22-25
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God sees that we having made our souls clean, sanctified (set apart) our soul in harkening, listening and being attentive to the truth that the Holy Spirit reveals to us. No we have not ‘cleansed ourselves from sin’, only Christ’s blood and unmerited favor (Grace) can perform that work. But we see in Ephesians 5:25 – 26 26 “…..Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” After we are saved (cleansed from SIN) and now are part of the family of God (his CHURCH), we must make the effort to read (and hear) the word of God so he (God) can cleanse us from our ways, our ideas and anything that we do not know is wrong. Thereby, we see the Apostle Peter, referring to this process as us purifying our souls through obedience to what Gods word and the Holy Spirit reveals to us is wrong. It is extremely important that we obey God in this matter for having done so it gives us a real, non-hypocritical love for our brethren in Christ. We cannot have this without being born again, not of the seed that decays (earthly, sinful) but being re-born by the truth of Gods word, first through the cleansing (regeneration) power of the blood of Jesus Christ and the obedience through the washing of the water by the word and listening (harkening) to and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

This earthly man is like ‘grass and the flower that dies.’ We are corruptible in our body and our ideas and ways are just as corrupt. It is only when we totally turn our corruptible mind and heart over to God’s have hope of life eternal, spiritually in this life and in heaven to come. The word of God, it’s divine instruction, endures forever. It is this word of the ‘Good News’ (gospel) that is preached to us that we are to take heed to for the rest of our life if we want to continue in this hope that only God gives.