A Call to Continued Spiritual Growth (vv.1-3)

Prerequisite to GAP (v.1)

VERSE 1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander (VApoqe,menoi [{imper.}m.p., avpoti,qhmi, apothithemi, take off {clothes}; "putting aside"] ou=n [conj.] pa/san [adj.acc.f.s., pas, all] kaki,an [acc.f.s., kakia, evil; hateful feelings, malice] kai. [conj.] pa,nta [adj.acc.m.s., pas] do,lon [acc.m.s., dolos, deceit] kai. [conj.] u`pokri,seij [acc.f.p., u`po,krisij, hupokrisis, hypocrisy] kai. [conj.] fqo,nouj [acc.m.p., phthonos, envy] kai. [conj.] pa,saj [adj.f.p., pas, all] katalalia,j [acc.f.p., katalalia,, katalalia, slander]),


  1. The conjunction "therefore" is resumptive, referring back to 1:22ff.
  2. Since we are to love one another as members of a new order of humanity, we must continually overcome the indwelling STA.
  3. The reality is that we continue to sin and fail due to the inherent weakness of the ISTA.
  4. The verb "putting aside" is a participle used as an imperative.
  5. The verb evokes the metaphor of taking off clothes (Acts.7:58, where the vb. avpoti,qhmi occurs).
  6. The idea is the isolation of the ISTA, which is accomplished via the Rebound Technique.
  7. We are to lay aside the old wardrobe, which characterizes our former manner of life.
  8. The following verses use this verb in the same way as v.1 (Rom.13:12; Eph.4:22,25; Col.3:8; Heb.12:1; Jam.1:21).
  9. Since the items mentioned are sinful, it follows that the "putting aside" is based on the consistent use of 1Jn.1:9.
  10. Peterís list of STA vices is confined to things that are pervasive among men.
  11. The list is not intended to be inclusive by any means.
  12. All sin should be put aside as one would an unacceptable piece of clothing.
  13. The list consists of five vices, three of which are preceded by the adjective "all".
  14. The adjective "all" draws attention to all possible instances and variations of "malice", "deceit", and "slander" respectively.
  15. The noun "malice", or "ill will" (kaki,a), has to do with a mental attitude that is resentful of others.
  16. Malice is the desire to cause harm or see harm come to others.
  17. It is used in this connection in Mt.22:18, Rom.1:29, 1Cor.5:8, Eph.4:31, Col.3:8, Ti.3:3, and 1Pet.2:1.
  18. The nursing and acting out of grudges against particular people or society as a whole characterizes this STA vice.
  19. The temptation to fall into this sin was fueled by the mistreatment these believers were suffering at the hands of their persecutors.
  20. "Guile", or "deceit", would also be a temptation in the face of persecution.
  21. Jesus refused to engage in deceit to make His path easier (cf. 2:22).
  22. Deceit is the practice of deceiving.
  23. It is a form of dishonesty.
  24. It is the attempt to cause another to believe an untruth.
  25. The synonyms for the verb "to deceive" include: mislead, delude, and beguile.
  26. Deceit implies the imposing of a false idea or belief that produces bewilderment in the victim.
  27. Deceit is a common temptation for believers, among themselves or in relation to the cosmos.
  28. Both "malice" and "deceit" were common temptations brought on by persecution.
  29. The remainder of the list shifts from the singular to the plural.
  30. In other words, the reading is "hypocrisies", "jealousies" (envy), and "slanders".
  31. Hypocrisy comes from the Greek plays in which an actor plays a part.
  32. It is faking to be what one is not, or to believe what one does not.
  33. It is the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion (cf. Mt.23:28).
  34. This sin especially characterized the Pharisees of Jesusí time (Lk.12:1).
  35. Hypocrisy is incompatible with Christian love (Rom.12:9).
  36. Peter fell into this sin at Antioch (Gal.2:13).
  37. False teachers are guilty of this sin (1Tim.4:2).
  38. Pretense is not compatible with sound wisdom (Jam.3:17).
  39. Envy, or jealousy, is a mental attitude sin, a manifestation of the ISTA (Gal.5:21).
  40. The religious leaders were jealous of Jesus, which lead to mental attitude murder (Mt.27:18).
  41. The last item on the list is, literally, "all slanders".
  42. This particular noun occurs only here and in 2Cor.12:20.
  43. It refers to maligning or speaking ill behind oneís back (the old word is "backbiting").
  44. This is a sin of the tongue.
  45. The absence of this sin is a mark of maturity (Ps.15:3).
  46. Those who spread slander are fools (Prov.10:18).
  47. This sin was strongly denounced under the Law (Lev.19:16).
  48. There is a curse upon those who practice this sin (Ps.140:11).
  49. Slander destroys friendships (Prov.16:28).
  50. We are to separate from those who practice slander and gossip (Prov.20:19).
  51. David was the object of this sin (Ps.35:15).
  52. We are commanded to isolate this sin (Eph.4:31; Col.3:8).
  53. Slander is sponsored by the STA (Mk.7:21-23).
  54. We should especially avoid the spreading of unsubstantiated rumors and talk.
  55. The implementation of v.1 is essential to the intake of BD.
  56. James 1:21 presents a parallel to 1Pet.2:1,2.
Importance of Basic Doctrine (v.2)

VERSE 2 like newborn babes (w`j [conj./compar.] avrtige,nnhta [adj.nt.p., avrtige,nnhtoj, artigennetos, newborn; hapax] bre,fh [n.nt.p., bre,foj, brephos, baby]), long for the pure milk of the word (evpipoqh,sate [aor.act.imper.2.p., evpipoqe,w, epipotheo, long for, yearn] a;dolon [adj.nt.s., a;doloj, adolos, pure; hapax] ga,la [acc.nt.s., gala, milk] to. logiko.n [ w/adj.acc.nt.s., logiko,j, logikos, spiritual; 2X: Rom.12:1; "of the word"]), so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation (i[na [conj./result] evn auvtw/| [prep.w/, autos, "by it"] auvxhqh/te [aor.pass.subj.2.p., auvxa,nw, auzano, grow] eivj swthri,an [prep.w/acc.f.s., soteria, salvation]),

BD is Only for Believers (v.3)

VERSE 3 if you have tasted (eiv evgeu,sasqe [part./condit. + aor.mid.ind.2.p., geu,omai, geuomai, taste; first class condition]) the kindness of the Lord (o[ti crhsto.j o` ku,rioj [conj./coord. + adj.n.m.s., chrestos, kind, +, kurios, lord; literal translation: "that the Lord is kind"]).


  1. Peter introduces a metaphor to underscore the importance of building a strong spiritual foundation through the assimilation of basic doctrine.
  2. The words "like newborn babes" presuppose the previous mention of the doctrine of regeneration (1:23).
  3. The metaphorís point of comparison is a babyís strong and instinctive longing for a motherís milk.
  4. The imperative "long for" is recognition of strong positive volition towards that which in necessary to spiritual growth and survival.
  5. To a newborn baby such longing is totally natural and inevitable.
  6. But the longing for the "pure milk" of which Peter speaks is something which must be commanded (not so with a baby), and something on which believers must fasten their attention and effort, like Ph3 hope or righteous conduct or fear of God or love for each other (cf. 1:13,15,17,22).
  7. The "pure milk" to which Peter calls them is basic doctrine.
  8. As newborns are suited only to milk, so spiritual newborns are in need of the ABCs of BD (cf. Heb.6:1).
  9. More advanced doctrine corresponds to solid food (cf. Heb.5:12,14).
  10. The milk (basic doctrine) of which Peter speaks is further described as "pure".
  11. This adjective emphasizes the purity of the doctrine that results in good spiritual health and growth.
  12. "Pure milk" is a metaphor for the expression "sound doctrine", or "sound wisdom", mentioned in Scripture (Job.11:6; 12:16; Prov.2:7; 3:21; 4:2; 8:14; 18:1).
  13. A steady diet of basic doctrine results in spiritual growth to the next stage and beyond.
  14. Basic doctrine enables the new convert to grow through the stages of childhood to adolescence.
  15. Growth depends upon the purity of the doctrine learned and the willingness to grow based on application.
  16. The noun "salvation" refers to Ph1 adjustment to God.
  17. The believers to whom Peter wrote were in various stages of growth.
  18. All believers, regardless of spiritual level, should "long for" basic doctrine.
  19. Verse 3 carries the implication that only believers can assimilate or comprehend BD.
  20. What is taught explicitly in 1Cor.2:6-14 is implied here.
  21. The phrase "if you have tasted" is a first class condition, which means "if you have tasted (and you have)".
  22. The verb "tasted" means to experience and is use here and in Heb.6:4,5 of experiencing salvation.
  23. The verb is also used of Christís experience in bearing sin (Heb.2:9).
  24. Tasting is also analogous to GAP (Job.34:3).
  25. The object of the verb here is "the kindness of the Lord".
  26. Their first experience with doctrine was when they heard and believed the pure milk of the gospel.
  27. The message of salvation is basic doctrine.
  28. You cannot know if a thing is good unless you taste it.
  29. The noun translated "kindness" is also used as a synonym for "good/goodness".
  30. The Hebrew for the LXX of crhsto,j is tobh (cp. Ps.34:8a "O taste and see that the LORD is good").
  31. Peter had in mind Ps.34:8a when he wrote v.3.
  32. In alluding to Ps.34:8a he is applying the verse to the favorable experience his readers had when they first heard and believed in the gospel of their salvation.
  33. Peter changes the aorist imperative of the LXX of Ps.34:8a to an aorist indicative.
  34. Instead of inviting his readers, as the psalmist did, to "taste and see (learn by experience) that the Lord is good", he assumes that they have already done so in their recent history (first class condition).
  35. Plato uses the word for food also, and Peter carries out the metaphor in milk, as in Lk.5:39 where the noun "good" is chrestos.
  36. Those who have heard and believed know that the Lord is "good/kind".
  37. Only those who have tasted Ph1 "milk" (the gospel) have experienced the "kindness" of the Lord.
  38. God in His mercy, or kindness, is revealed specifically in Jesus Christ (cf. Ti.3:4-6).
  39. Negative volition repudiates the sensation upon the palate of their ears (cf. Rom.2:4).
  40. Peterís audience had indeed tasted, and the experience excited the appetite for more, to which he exhorts them in v.2.
Participation in an Elite Community (vv.4,5)

VERSE 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone (proserco,menoi [, proserchomai, come to, approach] pro.j o]n [prep.w/acc.m.s., hos, "to Him"] li,qon zw/nta [acc.m.s., lithos, stone, +, zao, live; "living stone"]) which has been rejected by men (me.n avpodedokimasme,non [part./contrast; as in: on the one hand, followed by "but", +, avpodokima,zw, apodokimazo, reject {after evaluation}]), but is choice and precious in the sight of God (de. [conj./advers.] evklekto.n e;ntimon [adj.acc.m.s., eklektos, chosen; "choice", + adj.acc.m.s., entimos, valuable; precious; esteemed] para. qew/ [prep.w/dat.m.s., theos; "in the sight of God", or "before God"]),

VERSE 5 you also (kai. auvtoi. [conj./adjunc. + pro.n.m.p., yourselves]), as living stones (w`j li,qoi zw/ntej [conj./compar. + n.m.p., lithos, stone, +, zao, live]), are being built up as a spiritual house (oivkodomei/sqe oi=koj pneumatiko.j [pres.pass.ind.2.p., oivkodome,w, oikodomeo, build, + n.m.s., oikos, house, + adj.n.m.s., pneumatikos, spiritual]) for a holy priesthood (eivj i`era,teuma a[gion [prep. + acc.nt.s., hierateuma, priesthood, + adj.acc.nt.s., hagios, holy]), to offer up spiritual sacrifices (avnene,gkai pneumatika.j qusi,aj [aor.act.infin., avnafe,rw, anaphero, offer up, + adj.acc.f.p., pneumatikos, spiritual, + acc.f.p., thusia, sacrifice]) acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (euvprosde,ktouj [adj.acc.f.p., euprosdektos, acceptable] Îtw/|Ð qew/| [, theos] dia. VIhsou/ Cristou [prep.w/gen.m.s.]).


  1. The author now comes to his main thought, that as Christians they form an elite community assured of Godís protection for time and eternity.
  2. His opening words, "And coming to Him" ( of proseuchomai), are a further echo of Ps.34:5a, of which the LXX reads "Come to Him and be enlightened".
  3. So, suddenly switching from his picture of Christ ("the Lord") as being the Christianís spiritual sustenance, he represents Him as "a living stone".
  4. The "coming to" he speaks of is their initial experience of salvation.
  5. It corresponds to the "tasting" of. v.3.
  6. There is an apparent and intended contradiction between "living" and "stone" (cf. "living hope" in 1:3 and "living word" in 1:23).
  7. Peterís metaphor is based on his understanding of certain O.T. texts (Ps.118:22 and Isa.28:16, quoted in vv.6,7) and upon the teaching of Jesus in Mt.16:17-19 and Mk.12:10.
  8. Christ is the "living stone" based on who He is and on the fact of His resurrection.
  9. Peter goes on to describe the Lord as a "stone which has been rejected by men".
  10. This is, of course, based on Jesusí treatment at the First Advent when the leaders of Judaism and the Roman authority rejected His claims and crucified Him.
  11. This occurred in fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy of Ps.118:22, which was appealed to as a major proof text by the early Church (cf. Acts.4:11) to document Jesusí identity as the chosen Messiah.
  12. The contemptuous discarding of "the stone" directly alludes to the Lordís rejection and execution and, by implication, to the sufferings of the Asian Christians.
  13. Though "rejected by men", God had a sovereign and eternal purpose with respect to "the stone", which Peter develops more fully in the verses to follow.
  14. In contrast to human judgment, the "stone" is characterized as "choice and precious in the sight of God".
  15. The adjective translated "choice" (evklekto,j) means "chosen/elect" and refers to the eternal purposes of God for His Son.
  16. "Choice" is an unacceptable translation.
  17. The adjective "precious" (e;ntimoj) could better be translated "esteemed/distinguished" (cp. Lk.7:2; 14:8; Phil.2:29).
  18. It is not the same word found in 1Pet.1:19, translated "precious".
  19. A better translation of this phrase is: "chosen and highly esteemed in the sight of God".
  20. The center of interest is Jesus Christ as the Stone, but not (at least at this point) as either the cornerstone or foundation of the building.
  21. In v.5 Peter moves on with the words "You also" to include the Asian Christians in the metaphor.
  22. They, too, are "living stones", and like Christ, the "living stone", they are chosen and precious.
  23. The shift from the singular to the plural of this phrase comes as naturally to Peter as a shift from Christ the eklektos to Christians as eklektoi (cf. 1:1).
  24. The basis for the shift is the statement of v.4 that says "coming to Him".
  25. To believe in Jesus Christ and belong to Him is in some sense to be like Him.
  26. Only momentarily does Peter focus attention on believers individually (i.e., as a plurality of "stones"), for his real interest is in their corporate identity.
  27. The corporate identity of the readers is summed up in the phrase "a spiritual house".
  28. "Spiritual house" (oi=koj pneumatiko.j) is a predicate nominative because it is only in being "built up" that the many "stones" are identifiable as one "spiritual house".
  29. The building material of this house is made up of stones that are living.
  30. The words "are being built up" refers to incorporation into this "spiritual house".
  31. As the individual "stones" come into existence in connection with personal regeneration, they are immediately and passively incorporated into "a spiritual house".
  32. So the phrase "are being built up" (pres.pass.ind.2.p.) has its fulfillment in current positional sanctification.
  33. In an ordinary building the stones do not build themselves up, they require human effort.
  34. Within this extended metaphor the stones require a builder, who in this case is God who, via the BHS, enters believers into union with Christ.
  35. The prepositional phrase "for (eivj) a holy priesthood" indicates the purpose of the "house".
  36. What is the relation between "spiritual house" and "holy priesthood"?
  37. The use of "priesthood" in v.9 as a distinct designation for the people of God argues for a close connection between "spiritual house" and "holy priesthood".
  38. Verse 9 interprets or clarifies v.5.
  39. In the metaphor the "spiritual house" and the "holy priesthood" are one and the same.
  40. Under the Law the Temple was the place for the priesthood.
  41. In the metaphor believers of the CA are both the house (the "Temple") and the primary occupants of the house (the priesthood).
  42. So Peter identifies all believers of the present dispensation as having full membership in a special priesthood.
  43. The phrase "spiritual house" is matched by the phrase "spiritual sacrifices".
  44. To offer up such sacrifices the recipients of this letter must first be constituted a "spiritual house" and a "holy priesthood".
  45. By the way, our connection with Christ, the "living stone", which "stone" happens to be the chief cornerstone (vv.6,7), is that we share in all that He is, including the fact that He is a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb.7).
  46. A distinct corporate identity with Jesus Christ is essential to the offering of authentic Christian worship.
  47. The work of priesthood is to offer sacrifices.
  48. The phrase "spiritual sacrifices" draws attention to sacrifices that are not actual ceremonial observances, just as the "house" is not an actual physical structure.
  49. What is the reality behind this aspect of the metaphor?
  50. If "spiritual sacrifices" are not actual ceremonial sacrifices, what are they, and how are they offered?
  51. The two most pertinent N.T. parallels to the offering of "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God" is Rom.12:1 and Heb.13:15,16.
  52. Romans 12:1 calls believers to an all-out commitment to do the will of God.
  53. The Hebrewís text references a two-pronged testimony of praise to God and good deeds toward those in need.
  54. From these two citations it is apparent that "spiritual sacrifices" refers to a wide range of divine good production and not just things that are traditionally associated with formal worship, such as praise and giving of money.
  55. So the "spiritual sacrifices" that we, the members of the royal priesthood, are to "offer up" are inclusive of all acts of divine good.
  56. This is especially apparent from the Rom.12:1 citation.
  57. Just being filled with God the HS fulfills the requirement of "a living and holy sacrifice".
  58. That is what it means "present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice".
  59. The adjective "acceptable" (euvprosde,ktouj) has to do with both that which is offered up and the manner in which it is offered up.
  60. The thing offered up must be Biblically prescribed and the individual believer priest must be in fellowship.
  61. Terminology similar to "acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" is similar to several N.T. passages that speak metaphorically of sacrifice (Rom.12:1; Phil.4:18; Rom.15:16; Heb.13:16).
  62. The concluding phrase "through Jesus Christ" corresponds to the "through Him" of 1:21 (cp. 4:11).
  63. Everything we do as a part of service and worship is through our great high priest.
Appeal to Scripture (vv.6-8)

VERSE 6 For this is contained in Scripture (dio,ti [conj.] perie,cei [pres.act.ind.3.s., perie,cw, periecho, contain {document}] evn grafh/[prep.w/loc.f.s., graphe, Scripture]):"BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION (VIdou. [interj.] ti,qhmi [pres.act.ind.1.s., tithemi, lay] evn Siw.n [prep.w/pr.n.]) A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone(li,qon avkrogwniai/on evklekto.n e;ntimon [acc.m.s., lithos, stone, + adj.acc.m.s., akrogoniaion, cornerstone, + adj.acc.m.s., eklekton, chosen, + adj.acc.m.s., entimos, valuable; esteemed]), AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM (kai. [conj.] o` pisteu,wn [, pisteuo, believe] evpV auvtw/ [prep.w/pro.loc.m.s., autos]) WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED (ouv mh. kataiscunqh/|Å [double negative + aor.pass.subj.3.m.s., kataiscu,nw, kataischuno, put to shame, disappoint])."

VERSE 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe(h` timh. [, time, honor; value, price] ou=n [conj./inferen.] u`mi/n [pro.dat.m.p., su, you; "for you"] toi/j pisteu,ousin [, pisteuo, believe]); but for those who disbelieve(de. [conj./advers.] avpistou/sin [, apisteo, refuse to believe]), "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED (li,qoj [n.m.s., stone] o]n [, hos, which] oi` oivkodomou/ntej [, oivkodome,w, oikodomeo, build] avpedoki,masan [aor.a.ind.3.p., avpodokima,zw, apodokimazo, reject {after evaluation}]), THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone (ou-toj [, houtos, this] evgenh,qh [aor.pass.ind.3.m.s., ginomai, become] eivj kefalh.n [prep.w/acc.f.s., kephale, head] gwni,aj [gen.f.s., gonia, corner-stone, keystone]),"

VERSE 8 and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING (kai. [conj.] li,qoj [n.m.s., stone] prosko,mmatoj [gen.nt.s., proskommatos, that which causes stumbling quite by accident), AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; (kai. [conj.] pe,tra [n.f.s., petra, rock] skanda,lou\[gen.nt.s., skandalon, that which causes offense and is put there on purpose]), for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word (oi] prosko,ptousin [pres.act.ind.3.p., prosko,ptw, proskopto, stumble] avpeiqou/ntej [, avpeiqe,w, apeitho, disobey] tw/| lo,gw| [dat.m.s., logos]),and to this doom they were also appointed(eivj o] [prep.w/, hos; "to this"] kai. [conj./ascen.; "also"] evte,qhsan [aor.pass.ind.3.p.p., ti,qhmi, tithemi, place, put; appoint, destine]).


  1. "For this is contained in Scripture" (cp. causal use of dio,ti is weakened here in introducing a scriptural quotation, as it is in 1:16,24) adds O.T. support for vv.4,5 by introducing the source of some, although not all, of Peterís teaching.
  2. The meaning of "is contained in Scripture" (perie,cei evn grafh/|) is simply a variation of "it is written" (pf.pass.ind., grapho) of 1:16.
  3. The prepositional phrase "in Scripture" (evn grafh/) occurs only here in the N.T. (although compare Jn.19:36; 2Tim.3:16; 2Pet.1:20).
  4. The first quotation is a modified rendition of the LXX of Isa.28:16.
  5. This citation establishes the positive aspect of the laying of the stone for those who esteem Him as God does.
  6. The words "Behold I lay in Zion" refers to the place from which Christ will rule the nations.
  7. This is clear from the original context of Isa.28, that the situation goes beyond the time of the Assyrian crisis to the last days.
  8. Christ will reign in Zion because God has sovereignly decreed it.
  9. Christ is the "choice" or "chosen stone" and the "precious" or "esteemed cornerstone" within the community of believers (both Israel and the Church).
  10. New Testament writers apply these verses to Godís new spiritual house, the Church.
  11. The words "stone", "chosen", and "esteemed" in this quotation were anticipated already in v.4, but Peter retains the "cornerstone" (avkrogwniai/oj) because of its implication that the "stone" is a stone on which other stones are built.
  12. The "being built up" of v.5 virtually required that the "living Stone" to which the other "living stones" are "coming" (v.4) be a cornerstone or foundation stone, even though this is not made explicit in the three quotations of vv.6-8.
  13. The only other use of "cornerstone" in the N.T. is Eph.2:20, which serves to support the notion that Jesus Christ is the unique foundation stone upon which the Church is built (cf. 1Cor.3:11).
  14. In fact, He is the foundation stone from which the entire foundation and superstructure derives its point of reference.
  15. The metaphor is taken from the ancient Jewish Temple (cf. Eph.2:21).
  16. The last part of the Isa.28:16 quotation abandons the metaphor of the building with its cornerstone to show the relationship between the "living stone" and the "living stones".
  18. This text constitutes one of the rare (as compared to the many N.T. texts) O.T. citations dealing with the mechanics of the salvation adjustment (cf. Gen.15:6).
  19. For this is precisely how individuals come to be "living stones" through belief in the "living stone".
  20. Those who esteem the "stone" as God does are promised vindication, as noted in the phrase "WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED", or "ASHAMED".
  21. All who put their faith in Christ as the Savior will enjoy vindication in Ph3.
  22. For those who suffer for their allegiance to Jesus Christ, the vindication will be especially sweet.
  23. The second and third quotations (Ps.118:22 and Isa.8:14) are presented as a single unit to define what the implications are for unbelievers.
  24. Peter frames the two citations with his own interpretative analysis (vv.7a and 8b).
  25. To his readers (positive, enlightened believers), Christ the "Stone" is of inestimable value.
  26. The words "for you who believe" refers to their continued belief in the reality, which is Christ the "living stone".
  27. Their Ph2 positive volition in the face of their persecutors and testing has not dissuaded them.
  28. They know that even though they are persecuted for the cause of Christ, they have much to gain by enduring in the Angelic Conflict.
  29. The words "But for those who disbelieve" set the stage for the second and third quotations.
  30. Having dealt with the fate of those who esteem the "stone" as God does, Peter presents the fate for their negative counterparts.
  31. For those who have faith (Ph1 and Ph2), the honor and glory belongs to them under Ph3 vindication.
  32. "The stone" is opposite things to the believing and unbelieving world.
  33. When the "stone" appeared at His First Advent, He experienced corporate rejection by His own people, the Jews (Jn.1:11).
  34. More precisely, those of all humanity who should have received Him, rejected him Ė the Jewish leaders, called "THE BUILDERS".
  35. Psalm 118:22 is the proof text for Peterís observation in v.4.
  36. Historically Christís principal opponents were the Jewish religious leaders.
  37. This verse is quoted in the synoptic parallels (Mt.21:42; Mk.12:10; Lk.20:17), and in each case follows the LXX word for word.
  38. "The builders" in the psalm are identified as the religious leaders (Mt.21:45; Mk.12:12; Lk.20:19).
  39. The verse is also paraphrased in Acts.4:11 in Peterís speech before the Sanhedrin in his defense of healing a lame man.
  40. They had everything necessary to evaluate the claims and works of Christ.
  41. They had the Scripture and they saw His miracles and signs.
  42. But being negative and apostate, they chose to go up against this body of evidence.
  43. And so, they persecuted and eventually martyred Him, fulfilling the prophecy of Ps.118:22.
  44. However, the "stone" was "choice and esteemed" in the sight of God, and so Christ "BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone".
  45. To demonstrate this fact, God raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand.
  46. The words "THE VERY CORNER stone" are, literally, "THE HEAD OF THE CORNER (eivj kefalh.n gwni,aj)".
  47. This makes unequivocal what the corner stone of Ps.118:22 is.
  48. When Christ returns and establishes His kingdom, the prophecy of "THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone" will be enforced.
  49. The third quotation is from Isa.8:14 and is introduced simply by "and".
  50. Peter continues to supply evidence from Scripture for the implication of this metaphor for unbelievers.
  51. The previous citation (Ps.118:22) is primarily a preface to Isa.8:14.
  52. Although the quotation from Ps.118 defines unbelief as rejection of the "chosen and esteemed stone", in itself it makes no statement about the fate of unbelievers.
  53. The third quotation does.
  54. To negative volition Christ is "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE".
  55. The noun "stone" is the same as in the previous verses (lithos), while the noun for "rock" is petra.
  56. "Stone" refers to a cut stone, while "rock" refers to a stone found in nature (cf. 1Cor.10:4; Mt.16:18).
  57. Negative volition stumbles over the "stone" and falls into disaster.
  58. The noun "offense" is ska,ndalon, and strictly refers to the trigger in a trap.
  59. By extension it refers to the trap itself.
  60. Figuratively it is used of enticement to sin (Mt.16:23; 18:7).
  61. Figuratively it is also used of that which causes negative volition to stumble (1Cor.1:23).
  62. It is both good and bad to cause people to stumble (give offense), depending on the object.
  63. Peter, in the last part of the verse, gives commentary on why the Jews of Jesusí day stumbled, and the disastrous consequences of their stumbling over "THE STONE OF STUMBLING AND THE ROCK OF OFFENSE".
  64. Unbelief was the reason they stumbled, not lack of Scriptural or experiential verification.
  65. They had the WOG by which they could validate or invalidate Jesusí claims.
  66. In other words, did He fulfill the Messianic checklist, or was He just another Messianic pretender?
  67. And, they were eyewitnesses of His signs and miracles.
  68. The phrase could be translated: "Who ( stumbled (pres.act.ind.3.p., proskopto) being negative (, apeitheo) to the word (dat.m.s.)".
  69. The verb "stumble" picks up the cognate noun "stumbling" from the quotation, with the understanding that "stumbling" (or "stumbling block") and "offense" are part of a parallelism (synonymous).
  70. The metaphor of stumbling is immediately explained by the words "because they are disobedient to the word".
  71. The point is that stumbling is the consequence of rejection of the WOG.
  72. People can stumble and the consequences can be everything from a minor inconvenience to a deadly fall.
  73. Here "the word" refers to the gospel.
  74. In the simplest terms, it is the opposite of divine vindication, the negative equivalent of the "honor" reserved for Christians of not being "disappointed." (cf. vv.6,7).
  75. While those who stumble have not yet fallen victim to divine punishment, from Godís point of view their "doom" is assured based on the divine decrees.
  76. This is the meaning of Peterís final observation.
  77. The words in the final phrase "and to this" (eivj o] kai.) has as its antecedent the "stumbling", expressed in the verb "they stumble".
  78. Negative volition at gospel hearing was "appointed" to stumble.
  79. It must be understood that it was not decreed that they became "disobedient", but that they come under judgment for their unbelief.
  80. Otherwise God would be the author of their unbelief.
  81. God is the agent of their fall into eternal condemnation.
  82. The verb "appointed" (aor.pass.ind.3p., tithemi) is the same verb translated "I lay" in v.6 in the quotation from Isa.28:16.
  83. Both uses of the verb represent two distinct sovereign acts of God.
  84. The word "doom" is not in the original, but is implied.
  85. So the "stumbling" is the "doom" of v.8.
  86. God, in His foreknowledge, anticipated all who would believe and not believe in Christ.
  87. Negative volition is "appointed" to stumble and fall into eternal judgment.
  88. The destiny of the individual throughout time is related to attitude towards the "stone", not just the Jews of Jesusí day.
  89. These verses apply to the readers and to their assailants in Ph3.
  90. Just as the crucified Christ seemed abandoned but was raised to glory, so His people in Asia Minor, whom their opponents sought to humiliate, will be vindicated.
  91. Like the antagonistic builders, their persecutors will suffer mortification as they face the "stone" at the last judgment (cf. Mt.21:44: "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust").
Pedigree of CA Believers (vv.9,10)

VERSE 9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE (de. [conj./advers.] ~Umei/j [pro.n.m.p., emphatic position] evklekto,n [adj.n.nt.s., eklektos, elect, chosen] ge,noj [n.nt.s., genos, race, kind]), A royal PRIESTHOOD (basi,leion [adj.n.nt.s., basileios, royal] i`era,teuma [n.nt.s., hierateuma, priesthood]) , A HOLY NATION (a[gion [adj.acc.m.s., hagios, holy] e;qnoj [n.nt.s., nation]), A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION (lao.j [n.m.s., laos, people] eivj peripoi,hsin [prep.w/acc.f.s., peripoiesis, possession]), so that you may proclaim the excellencies (o[pwj [conj./purpose] evxaggei,lhte [aor.act.subj.2.p., evxagge,llw, exangello, proclaim] ta.j avreta.j [, avreth,, arete, excellency; 4X: Phil.4:8; 2Pet.1:3,5]) of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (tou/kale,santoj [ w/, kaleo, call] u`ma/j [pro.acc.m.2.p.] evk sko,touj [prep.w/abl.nt.s., skotos, darkness] eivj to. qaumasto.n [prep.w/adj.acc.nt.s., thaumastos, marvelous, wonderful] fw/j\ [acc.nt.s., phos, light] auvtou/ [pro.gen.m.s., autos, "His"]);


  1. So much for the fate of the unbelieving persecutors of the Asian Christians.
  2. In contrast to this ("But you" is an emphatic adversative, ~Umei/j de.), Peter now focuses in heightened terms on the status of these, Godís new elect people, expanding on his remark in v.7 that "honor" ("This precious value" is h` timh., which means "the honor") belongs to them.
  3. "The honor" that is their heritage is based on their "coming" (v.4) to the "living stone rejected by men".
  4. Salvation brings to all those who have believed in Christ this side of His resurrection surpassing status and elitism.
  5. Salvation in the present dispensation confers the highest standing among saints of all ages.
  6. Verses 9 and 10 unfold the present and future aspects of this "honor".
  7. The four titles of honor are adaptations of titles from Ex.19:6 and Isa.43:20 (LXX).
  8. These titles apply to both Israel and the Church.
  9. Here Peter applies these to CA believers who have come to Christ in this dispensation.
  10. Peter views his readers as a new people of God, or a new Israel (cf. Gal.6:16).
  11. The first of these titles of honor (cf. v.7 "This precious value", or "This honor") is "chosen race".
  12. Clearly, Israel of old is the "chosen race", beginning with Abrahamís call from Ur.
  13. Abraham was the first Jew and founder of the Hebrew race.
  14. Church Age believers are constituted a "chosen race" in connection with regeneration.
  15. The adjective "chosen", or "elect", is used of believers in the N.T. (Rom.16:13; Col.3:12; Ti.1:1; 1Pet.1:1; 2:4,9).
  16. The noun is genos and means "race/kind/descent/offspring/stock" (cf. Mt.13:47; Acts.4:6; 7:19; 13:26; Phil.3:5).
  17. There is a cognate noun (genea) which means generation (cf. Mt.24:34).
  18. The Church is made up of members of every genetic race to form one new race.
  19. The melting pot of the U.S.A. constitutes a modern illustration.
  20. Racial identification is currently not a barrier to membership in Godís new and special people (cf. Col.3:11).
  21. The designation "chosen race" echoes the LXX of Isa.43:20 (to. ge,noj mou to. evklekto,n).
  22. "Chosen race" became a collective term for Christians throughout the world.
  23. We have a parallel in the Jewish Diaspora.
  24. The "race" in question is destined to rule the world.
  25. Satan has advanced the notion of super race.
  26. The second designation of honor is "royal PRIESTHOOD".
  27. It follows exactly the LXX of Ex.19:6 (basi,leion i`era,teuma).
  28. The Hebrew of Ex.19:6 has "a kingdom of priests" (~ynIh]Ko tk,l,m.m;).
  29. The entire nation of Israel was a "priest nation" (cf. Hos.4:6).
  30. The specialized priests to the nation at large were from the tribe of Levi.
  31. This selection took place at Sinai.
  32. The designation "royal PRIESTHOOD" has especial meaning to the Church, as our priesthood is after the order of Christís priesthood (Heb.7).
  33. He is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, the king-priest of ancient Jerusalem.
  34. Via positional sanctification we share in His order of priesthood, making all believers royal priests.
  35. Christ is royalty derived from the fact that He is God and He is a descendant of the house of David.
  36. We share fully in His priesthood and royalty.
  37. As His bride we share in His royal status and destiny (cf. Rev.1:6; 5:10).
  38. The third designation, "HOLY NATION", follows "royal PRIESTHOOD", just as it does in Ex.19:6 of the LXX.
  39. Israel officially became a nation at Sinai.
  40. As Godís "HOLY NATION" we are to take the gospel and the teachings of Christ to the nations of the earth (Mt.28:18-20).
  41. The qualifier "HOLY" denotes both position and conduct (cp. "holy priesthood" in v.5).
  42. As such, we are members of a heavenly citizenship (Phil.3:20).
  43. Each believer has a dual citizenship, the one temporary and the other eternal (cf. Acts.22:28).
  44. If there is a conflict, the latter takes priority.
  45. We are a kind of supra nation amidst the nations.
  46. Our destiny is to be the ruling elite (on earth) over the Millennial nations.
  47. "RACE", "NATION", "PRIESTHOOD", and "PEOPLE" are timeless and familiar designations.
  48. The fourth designation is "A PEOPLE FOR Godís OWN POSSESSION" (lao.j eivj peripoi,hsin).
  49. This phrase, together with the whole clause that follows to the end of v.9, is an adaptation of Isa.43:21 of the LXX, translated "my people whom I have preserved to tell forth my praise".
  50. The Greek is lao,n mou o]n periepoihsa (pres.mid.inf.) mhn avreta,j mou dihgei/sqai ta.javreta,j.
  51. The NAS reads: "The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise".
  52. "People" means human beings made up of a group who are united by a common culture and tradition, and normally have common language, institutions, and beliefs.
  53. They form an aggregate of human beings.
  54. The KJV translation "peculiar people" is wretched, as it does not communicate the essence of the noun "POSSESSION".
  55. The noun "POSSESSION" occurs with the preposition (eivj) and has a future look (as does "for a holy priesthood" in v.5).
  56. The noun means "property", or "possession".
  57. While it is true that we became Godís property when He granted us Ph1 redemption (cf. 1Cor.6:20; 7:23), we are not fully disposed of until we are in our resurrection bodies.
  58. This interpretation is supported by the fact that three of the other four N.T. occurrences of peripoi,hsij (possession) use the word similarly as the object of eivj and with a future reference (cf. Eph.1:14 [eivj avpolu,trwsin th/j peripoih,sewj]; 1Thess.5:9 [eivjperipoi,hsin swthri,aj]; 2Thess.2:14 [eivj peripoi,hsin do,xhj]; Heb.10:39 [eivj peripoi,hsin yuch/j]).
  59. In each instance peripoi,hsij means simply "acquisition".
  60. The phrase is synonymous with eivj swthri,a of Heb.9:28 and 1Pet.1:5 (cf. 1Pet.2:2).
  61. Of the four titles comprising v.9a, "A PEOPLE FOR GODíS OWN POSSESSION" is the only one pointed distinctly toward the future.
  62. Once this is recognized, such renderings as "Godís own people" (RSV) or "a people belonging to God" (NIV) or "peculiar people" (KJV) are shown to be inadequate.
  63. To Peter, it is already the case that the Christian community belongs to God as a unique possession (cf. "you are THE PEOPLE of God" of v.10), which still awaits its final disposition and vindication against the unbelieving cosmos.
  64. The words "that you may proclaim the excellencies" echoes "to tell forth my praises (ta.j avreta,j mou dihgei/sqai)" of the LXX of Isa.43:21b.
  65. Peter refers to the function of communicating the truth of the WOG to men.
  66. The verb "may proclaim" (aor.act.subj., evxagge,llw) occurs only here in the N.T.
  67. It is a strong word for communication.
  68. "Excellencies" (avreth,) refers to anything that is pre-eminent.
  69. It is used in the sense of moral worth or virtue in Phil.4:8 and 2Pet.1:5.
  70. It is used here and in Isaiah of praise to God for His works.
  71. It refers to Godís accomplishments on behalf of His people and His surpassing promises.
  72. Anything God has accomplished on our behalf or will accomplish is included in this plural noun.
  73. All believer-priests have a responsibility to share these "excellencies" with others.
  74. They are uncovered via the ICE hermeneutic.
  75. This is referred to as the literal-grammatical school of interpretation versus the allegorical.
  76. God is referred to in terms of the One who "called" them "out of darkness into His marvelous light".
  77. This is a reference to conversion from paganism ("darkness") to Biblical Christianity ("light").
  78. "Calling" refers to their hearing of the gospel.
  79. It follows foreknowledge and predestination/election and occurs in time.
  80. Just as light is the opposite of darkness, so BD (divine truth) is the opposite of satanic doctrine/doctrine of demons.
  81. Spiritually, these converts groped in the darkness of paganism and philosophy.
  82. Another way of describing the "darkness" is ignorance (cf. Acts.3:17; 17:23,30; Eph.4:18; 1Pet.1:14).
  83. Light and darkness is a common metaphor for truth and error in the WOG.
  84. Why "marvelous light"?
  85. The reason is that it is extraordinary/wonderful/astonishing/amazing to those who come into it, so to speak (cf. Mt.21:42; Jn.9:30; Rev.15:3, where this noun [qaumasto,j] occurs. The cognate verb is often used of the amazement on the part of those who witnessed Jesusí miracles).
The New Chosen People (v.10)

VERSE 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE (oi[ [; "you"] pote [adv., once, formerly] ouv [neg.] lao.j [n.m.s., people]), but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD (de. [conj., but] nu/n [adv., now] lao.j [n.m.s.] qeou/ [gen.m.s.]); you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY (oi` [; "you"] ouvk [neg.] hvlehme,noi [, evlea,w, eleao, receive mercy] de. [conj.] nu/n [adv.] evlehqe,ntej [, eleao, receive mercy]).


  1. In v.10 Peter concludes this presentation of their exalted calling and election to the place of unequalled "honor" (cf. v.7) by affirming that his readers were not previously a "people of God".
  2. The background to all of this is the temporary setting aside of Israel due to extreme apostasy and unbelief.
  3. Israelís extended fall into hardcore unbelief opened the door for a new priest nation to assume the position of pre-eminence.
  4. Jesus, Himself, taught this in the parable of the absentee vineyard owner in Mt.21.
  5. The acme of Jewish unbelief and apostasy was their repudiation of their Messiah.
  6. Jesus prophesied His rejection and Israelís replacement by a new "nation" (cf. Mt.21:43).
  7. That priest nation is the Church of Jesus Christ made up of believers from potentially every nation, race, and language of the CA.
  8. Besides Jews, the Gentile peoples were accorded the status of "Chosen People".
  9. Two things made this possible:
  1. Israelís defection.
  2. Christís glorification.
  1. The apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 9 and 10 that this was the clear, if not prevalent, teaching of the O.T. prophets.
  2. In Romans 9 and 10 Paul cites the prophets Moses and Isaiah to support the dispensational emergence of a new or replacement people in lieu of Israelís fall (Deut.32:21, quoted in Rom.10:19; and Isa.65:1, quoted in Rom.10:20).
  3. So it was revealed in the O.T. Scriptures that Israel would so apostatize that God would call forth a new nation to represent His name before the peoples of the earth.
  4. What was not revealed was the identification of the new race/nation/people (cf. Eph.3:4-6).
  5. Paul was the principal apostle through whom the mystery of the Church was revealed which had been "hidden in God" (cf. Eph.3:8-10).
  6. The key word in Eph.3:5 is "as", indicating it was previously revealed but the specifics were hidden.
  7. Peter also understood that the O.T. prophets knew of the existence (but not the nature) of this new people (cf. 1Pet.1:12).
  8. Peter also cites Hos.1:10 and 2:23 in 1Pet.2:10.
  9. Israel became the Chosen People with the call of Abraham.
  10. They became the Chosen Nation at Sinai.
  11. They still are the Chosen People, but they are on probation.
  12. They will once again assume the active role of Chosen People when the CA ends.
  13. The temporary setting aside of Israel in no way overrides the unconditional promises contained in the Abrahamic Covenant.
  14. In the Tribulation and onward Israel will once again assume their role as Priest Nation.
  15. At this point letís try and sort out the manner in which Peter applies the words of Hosea to the Church.
  16. In Hosea there is no prophetic reference of the existence of a people who would replace Israel, while there is in Deut.32:21 and Isa.65:1.
  17. The prophet Hosea deals with the fact that God divorced His people for their spiritual infidelity.
  18. The divorce never became official until the First Advent of Christ.
  19. Over the centuries, between the advents, Israel fulfills the words of Hos.1:9,10 and 2:23: "you are not My people"/"who were not My people".
  20. Israel in captivity is an estranged wife not living under her husbandís authority and blessing.
  21. As applied to the Gentile world, they were not at any time Godís chosen people.
  22. So Peter applies the words "NOT A PEOPLE" to the Gentiles, going all the way back to the Dispersion at Babel.
  23. God permitted the nations to go their own ways (Rom.1).
  24. In the course of their history God made the Hebrew race His chosen people.
  25. But they, in the course of time, so apostatized that He was compelled to replace them with a people who were, to date, "NOT A PEOPLE".
  26. The words "but now" direct our attention to the dispensational shift from Israel to the Church.
  27. The words "you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD" apply the fact of Israelís restoration to pre-eminence to the incorporation of Gentile peoples into the place of maximum honor.
  28. Hosea 1:10 reads, "Where it is said to them, ĎYou are not My people,í It will be said to them, ĎYou are the sons of the living Godí" (MT).
  29. In Hos.2:23 it says, "And I will say to those who were not My people, ĎYou are My people!í And they will say, ĎYou are My God!í".
  30. Again, Peter applies the reference from Hosea to the new dispensational reality.
  31. The words "you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY" are taken from Hos.2:23b, which reads: "I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion" (MT).
  32. The LXX reads: "and will love her that was not loved, and will say to that which was not my people, You are my people, and they shall say, You are the Lord my God".
  33. God granted the peoples of the earth this dispensational mercy against the background of Rom.1:18-32 and Acts.17:30.
  34. Salvation has always been available to the nations.
  35. But the nations were never in a position of special spiritual pre-eminence dispensationally.
  36. The Age of the Gentiles had no chosen people.
  37. The Age of Israel elevated a new race above all others (cf. Eph.2:12; Rom.9:4).
  38. Israelís fall has opened the door to universal equality in Christ where race or any other factor is irrelevant to union with Christ (cf. Rom.11:12).
  39. Believers enjoy a high position never before available, even higher than Israel under the unconditional covenants (cf. Jam.1:9, "high position").
  40. So exalted is the Body of Christ that believing Israel of the future will be provoked to jealousy (Rom.11:11; cp. 10:19).
  41. There are three categories of redeemed humanity.
  42. They are Jews, Gentiles, and the Church.
  43. The Church enjoys the highest position.
  44. Jews are related to the Age of Israel, starting with the first Jew, Abraham.
  45. It also encompasses the Tribulation and Millennium (Israel will be pre-eminent among the nations).
  46. The Church is made up of believing Jews and Gentiles (Eph.2:15-18).
Christian Responsibility Before the Cosmos (2:11Ė4:11)

Preliminary Requirement (v.11)

VERSE 11 Beloved (VAgaphtoi, [adj.voc.m.p., avgaphto,j agapetos, beloved]), I urge you as aliens and strangers (parakalw/ [pres.act.ind.1.p.s., parakaleo, encourage, exhort; "urge"]w`j [adv./compar.] paroi,kouj [adj.acc.m.p., pa,roikoj, paroikos, alien; 4X: Acts.7:6,29; Eph.2:19; 1Pet.2:11] kai. parepidh,mouj [conj. + adj.acc.m.p., parepi,dhmoj, parepidemos, temporary resident; 3X: Heb.11:13; 1Pet.1:1; 2:11;"stranger") to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul (avpe,cesqai [pres.midd.infin., avpe,cw, apecho, hold back; "abstain"] tw/n sarkikw/n evpiqumiw/n [, sarkiko,j, sarkikos, fleshly, carnal; 7X: Rom.15:27; 1Cor.3:3; 9:11; 2Cor.1:12; 10:4; 1Pet.2:11] ai[tinej [, o[stij hostis, which] strateu,ontai [pres.mid.ind.3.p., strateu,w, strateuo, wage war] kata. th/j yuch/j\[prep.w/, psuche, soul]).


  1. Peter concludes the first major section of his letter (1:3Ė2:10) by drawing the lines of confrontation.
  2. Two groups are differentiated - "unbelievers" and "you who believe - on the basis of their opposite responses to Who and What "the Chosen and Esteemed Stone" is.
  3. The former (unbelievers) "stumble, being disobedient to the word" (i.e., the gospel); the latter (believers) attain to "honor" and "vindication".
  4. The contrast between the two groups, with its consequent social tensions, will absorb Peterís interest through the remainder of the correspondence.
  5. Of the two groups, believers are the more clearly defined.
  6. To Peter they are simply the new "Israel" scattered as "aliens and strangers" in a suspicious and, at times, hostile world.
  7. They are a priesthood responsible to witness by word and deed the "excellencies" of the God who "called them out of darkness into His marvelous light".
  8. Peterís focus to this point primarily has been on who Christians are before God.
  9. Now he proceeds to define how they must conduct themselves in Roman society.
  10. His earlier instruction to "be holy in all your conduct" is a harbinger of this long section of the letter.
  11. Obviously he is concerned with how believers relate to one another, but his primary interest here is how they are supposed to relate to negative volition.
  12. He addresses them as "Beloved", a term of endearment.



  14. This descriptive term is used of Godís love for His people (Rom.1:7; 9:25; Col.3:12; 1Thess.1:4; 2Thess.2:13; Jude.1); of Godís love for His Son (Eph.1:6; Col.1:13; 2Pet.1:17); and of the love believers have for one another (Acts.15:25; Rom.16:5,8,9,12; 1Cor.4:14,17; 10:14; 15:58; 2Cor.7:1; 12:19; Eph.5:1; 6:21; Phil.2:12; 4:1; Col.1:7; 4:7,9,14; 1Tim.6:2; 2Tim.1:2; Philm.1,16; Heb.6:9; Jam.1:16,19; 2:5; 1Pet.2:11; 4:12; 2Pet.3:1,8,14,15,17; 1Jn.2:7; 3:2,21; 4:1,7,11; 3Jn.1,2,5,11; Jude.3,17,20).
  15. At the end of the letter, Peter will characterize all he has written as an "exhortation" and "testimony" (5:12).
  16. The verb is parakaleo (to exhort, encourage, urge).
  17. Here it is a pres.act.ind.1.pers.sing.
  18. He does this in his capacity as "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ" (cf. 1:1).
  19. The basis of this appeal, however, is not his identity or status (as in 5:1), but that of his readers.
  20. Their new spiritual identity as "aliens and strangers" in the cosmos is what should motivate the moral demands that will follow.
  21. Peter characterizes them metaphorically "as (w`j, comparative part.) aliens and strangers" (cf. his use of hos in 1:14; 2:2,16; 3:7).
  22. The expression recalls Abrahamís words to the sons of Heth (Gen.23:4), "I am a stranger and a sojourner among you".
  23. The association of "aliens" (paroi,kouj) and "strangers" (parepidh,mouj) was taken from the LXX of Ps.39:12.
  24. The noun "aliens" occurs 4X in the N.T.: Acts.7:6,29; Eph.2:19; 1Pet.2:11.
  25. The noun "strangers" occurs 3X: Heb.11:13; 1Pet.1:1 and 2:11.
  26. "Resident alien" seems to best fit the first word and "foreigner" the second.
  27. Taken strictly, the two terms are mutually exclusive.
  28. "Alien" connotes a person who is a permanent resident in a foreign land, as in the case of the Jews in Egypt.
  29. "Stranger" suggests a visitor making a brief stay in a foreign land.
  30. Both have metaphorical applications to believers.
  31. Our transfer from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light has made us "aliens and strangers" in the cosmos.
  32. This took place when we first believed in Jesus Christ for salvation.
  33. Our birthright granted us citizenship in heaven (Phil.3:20).
  34. So while we are domiciled in a foreign land (cosmos diabolicus), our stay is but a brief one compared to our lasting homeland (Ph3).
  35. Old Testament saints were occupied with this doctrine (Heb.13:14; cp. 11:10; 12:22).
  36. Whatever legitimate allegiance we have to the land of our temporary residency, we should remember that all the kingdoms of the world are passing away and that we have a homeland which lasts beyond the vicissitudes of time.
  37. We should not derive from this some "escapist" philosophy of living, as Scripture is against it.
  38. Rather, we should make our modus vivendi that of our heavenly country/city.
  39. This is the background to the exhortation "to abstain from fleshly lusts" that immediately follows.
  40. So, since our lasting and true homeland is elsewhere, we are "to abstain" (pres.infin. used as an imperative) from STA "lusts".
  41. Otherwise, we betray our birthright and undermine our future glory.
  42. The phrase "abstain from passions" (avpe,cesqe evpiqumi) was long familiar in Greek ethical instruction (e.g., Plato, Phaedo, 82C, 83:b; Laws 8.835E).
  43. Because they are "aliens and strangers" in Graeco-Roman society by virtue of their election, Peter urges them to forego STA lusts belonging to the "darkness" out of which they have been called (cf. 2:9).
  44. Enslavement to these "lusts" was a part of their past (cf. epithumia in 1:14; 4:2).
  45. With the adjective "fleshly" (sarkiko,j), attention is drawn to the genetic flaw that indwells all mankind (cf. 4:2).
  46. Peter is telling them to overrule the lust pattern of the IOSN.
  47. This is the only way that they can attain to Ph2 sanctification and the blessings associated therewith.
  48. Loss and shame await those believers who do not overrule the STA with its lusts.
  49. Peter goes on to state that there exists within man an inner conflict in which the STA seeks to impose its agenda upon the soul, or the "Real You".
  50. The imagery of an inner struggle between the "Old You" and the living soul is paralleled in Rom.7:23.
  51. There is a plurality of impulses which lay siege against the soul of each individual.
  52. The closest parallel to this observation is Gal.5:17.
  53. It is clear from Rom.7 and Gal.5 that positive believers do not win every battle, but that they should make it their goal to win the war.
  54. The tension between manís spiritual or rational nature and his appetites is reflected in Greek and Jewish literature (Philo, Plato, and Aristotle).
  55. Continued exposure to sound teaching and the resultant building up of the "New You" supplies the wherewithal to effectively fight back and prevail over the pre-salvation function of the ISTA.
  56. The WOG is replete with documentation of the functional existence of the STA (called "flesh") after salvation (see the Doctrine of the STA).
  57. So Peterís teaching is in complete agreement with Paulís.
Countering Gentile Slander (v.12)

VERSE 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles (e;contej [{imper.}2.m.p., echo, have, hold; "keep"] u`mw/n [pro.gen.p.] th.n avnastrofh.n [, avnastrofh,, anastrophe, behavior, manner of life; cf. 1Pet.1:15,18; 2:12; 3:1,2,16; 2Pet.2:7; 3:11] kalh,n [adj.acc.f.s., kalos, good, proper; "excellent"] evn toi/j e;qnesin prep.w/, ethnos, nation; Gentiles]), so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers (i[na [conj./result] evn w- [prep.w/, hos; "in the thing"] katalalou/sin [pres.act.ind.3.p., katalaleo, slander] u`mw/n [gen.p.] w`j kakopoiw/n [conj./compar. + adj.gen.m.p., kakopoio,j, kakopoios, evil doer]), they may because of your good deeds (evk tw/n kalw/n e;rgwn [prep.w/, kalos, good, + abl.nt.p., ergon, deed), as they observe them (evpopteu,ontej [, evpopteu,w, epopteuo, observe, scrutinize; 2X: 1Pet.3:2), glorify God in the day of visitation (doxa,swsin [aor.act.subj.3.p., doxazo, glorify; "they mayÖglorify"] to.n qeo.n [acc.m.s., theos, God] evn h`me,ra| [prep.w/loc.f.s., hemera, day] evpiskoph/j [gen.f.s., evpiskoph,, episkope, visitation; from the vb. episkopeo, inspect; 4X: Lk.19:44; Acts.1:20; 1Tim.3:1; 1Pet.2:12]).


  1. Peter follows a negative exhortation with a positive exhortation.
  2. Peterís appeal is directed toward the social life of the Asian Christians.
  3. He had already mentioned daily "conduct" in 1:15,17, in which they were to imitate God in holiness and fear.
  4. The emphasis here is on conduct that can be seen and appreciated as "excellent" (kale, good) even by those who are unbelievers.
  5. The verb "Keep" is a of echo, meaning "have", and is used as an imperative.
  6. The noun "behavior" (avnastrofh,) means "conduct", or "manner of life".
  7. Of the 13X it occurs in the N.T., it occurs 8X in Peterís epistles (1Pet.1:15,18; 2:12; 3:1,2,16; 2Pet.2:7; 3:11).
  8. With the adjective "good", it occurs in Jam.3:13.
  9. It is used of Ph2 in Heb.13:7.
  10. It is used of the pre-salvation life (Gal.1:13; Eph.4:22).
  11. And it is used of the example to be set by the P-T (1Tim.4:12).
  12. Peter refers to the Gentile Christian readers as though they were Jews by designation and to those outside their fellowship as "the Gentiles".
  13. The term traditionally applied by Jews and Christians alike to non-Jews is transferred to non-Christians, so as to be equivalent of such English words as "heathen" or "pagan" (cf. Mt.5:47; 6:7).
  14. The group so designated is a very broad one, as broad as "people generally".
  15. The "good conduct" Peter calls them to is spelled out in detail in 1Pet.2:13Ė4:6.
  16. The conjunction "that" (hina) introduces the potential result when Christians apply BD before their antagonists.
  17. The phrase "in the thing" (evn w-) is equivalent to the English "in a case (or situation) where".
  18. Peter introduces a hypothetical situation (as in 3:16) in which Christians are accused by unbelievers of wrongdoing.
  19. Their accusations are not formal legal indictments, but simply malicious gossip and slander, labeling Christians as "evildoers".
  20. The new and very different sect, which advocated total separation from pagan practices, engendered suspicion and malicious hatred.
  21. Malicious slander was spread among the Gentiles, labeling the Christians as all sorts of things.
  22. They were called anti-patriotic, anti-family, and anti-social.
  23. This came as a result of their doctrine of separation from evil.
  24. As a result, Christians came under undeserved suffering.
  25. Peter gives the antidote to the social persecution, which is the production of divine good.
  26. The "good deeds" correspond to the "excellent behavior" (adj. kalos or kale).
  27. The most effective way to refute accusations of wrongdoing is to engage in "good deeds".
  28. This is a notion characteristically expressed in First Peter by the synonymous expression avgaqopoie,w (2:15,20; 3:6,17; cp. 3:11,13).
  29. The verb "observe" (, evpopteu,w, epopteuo, observe) is used only in the N.T. here and in a similar context in 3:2.
  30. The verb suggests an act of observing that has the potential of producing a change of mind.
  31. This was only a potential, as seen in the verb "they mayÖglorify" (, doxazo).
  32. The scenario was that some of their enemies would be converted as they observed the witness of the life.
  33. The witness of the life gives credibility to the witness of the lips.
  34. By observing the "good behavior", or "good works", of the Christians, their accusers would come to acknowledge the faith of the Christians as true and the God of the Christians as worthy of worship (a scenario played out between a believing wife and an unbelieving husband, according to 3:1,2).
  35. They would "glorify God in the day of visitation".
  36. Were such lofty hopes reasonable or realistic?
  37. What makes them so is that they do not represent for Peter the only possible scenario.
  38. In the unfolding discussion of this matter, he entertains a quite different outcome (cf. 3:16).
  39. He begins, however, with the more positive possibility, because he has in mind Mt.5:16: "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven".
  40. The words "Let your light shine before men" are equivalent to "Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles".
  41. The phrase "they may see your good works" is parallel to "because of your good deeds, as they observe them".
  42. Finally, "and glorify your Father which is in heaven" supports "they may glorify God in the day of visitation".
  43. The prepositional phrase "in the day of visitation" refers to a decisive intervention of God in human affairs, whether for judgment (Isa.10:3; Jer.6:15; 8:12; 10:15) or for blessing (Lk.19:44).
  44. The reference here is to the coming of Christ to receive the Church to Himself.
  45. The motivation or final result for the "good deeds" is that it will bring about the conversion of enemies (at least some), who will "glorify God" at the Rapture.
  46. The conversion of persecutors (some, at least) is consistent with Scripture (Saul/Paul) and history.
  47. These two verses (vv.11,12) sketch Peterís "battle plan" for the on-going confrontation between Christians and Roman society.
  48. As battle plans go, it is gentle, in the tradition of Paulís advice to the Romans not to "be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good" (Rom.12:21).
  49. Peter starts with the assumption that the first and most immediate conflict is within the believer.
  50. Unless the believer is willing to override the ISTA with its lusts, he will not be able to overcome the external enemies of his faith.
  51. The external conflict is not won by aggressive behavior, but by "good deeds" yet to be defined in the letter.
  52. Peterís vision is that the exemplary behavior of Christians has the potential of convincing some of the error of their accusations and bring them to a change of mind.
  53. How, or under what circumstances, this will happen is left up to God and the positive volition of people.
Respect for Authority (2:13Ė3:7)

To Rulers (vv.13-17)

VERSE 13 Submit yourselves (~Upota,ghte [aor.pass.imper.2.p, u`pota,ssw, hupostasso, subject, subordinate]) for the Lord's sake (dia. to.n ku,rion [prep.w/, kurios, lord; "for the Lordís sake"]) to every human institution (pa,sh| avnqrwpi,nh| kti,sei [adj.dat.f.s., pas, + adj.dat.f.s., avnqrw,pinoj, anthropinos, human, + dat.f.s., ktisis, creation; "institution"]), whether to a king as the one in authority (ei;te [conj./subor., whether] basilei/ [dat.m.s., basileus, king] w`j u`pere,conti [conj./compar. +, u`pere,cw, hupecho, be better than; govern, have authority over]),

VERSE 14 or to governors (ei;te h`gemo,sin[conj., whether, + dat.m.p., h`gemw,n, hegemon, governor, ruler; 20X: Mt., Mk., Lk., Acts., and here in the epistles]) as sent by him (w`j [conj./compar.] pempome,noij [, pe,mpw, pempo, send] diV auvtou/ [prep. + pro.gen.m.s., autos, him {king}]) for the punishment of evildoers (eivj evkdi,khsin [prep.w/acc.f.s., evkdi,khsij, ekdikesis, punishment] kakopoiw/n [adj.gen.m.p., kakopoio,j, kakopoios, evildoer]) and the praise of those who do right (de. [conj.] e;painon [acc.m.s., epainos, praise] avgaqopoiw/n [adj.gen.m.p., avgaqopoio,j, agathopoios, one who does what is right; 1X]).


  1. The imperative "Submit yourselves" (~Upota,ghte, aor.pass.imper.2.p., hupotasso) directs our attention to the establishment chain of command (ECC).
  2. It is used of the subjection:
  1. of demons to the power of God (Lk.10:17; 1Pet.3:22).
  2. of children to parents (Lk.2:51).
  3. of wives to husbands (Eph.5:24; Col.3:18; Ti.2:5; 1Pet.3:1,5).
  4. of employees to bosses (Ti.2:9; 1Pet.2:18).
  5. of believers to the RCC (1Cor.14:34; 16:16; Eph.5:21; 1Pet.2:18; 5:5).
  6. of believers to God (Jam.4:7).
  7. of all things to Christ (Rom.8:20; 1Cor.15:27,28; Eph.1:22; 5:24; Phil.3:21; Heb.2:5,8).
  8. of Christ to the Father (1Cor.15:28).
  9. of believers to the government (Rom.13:1,5; 1Pet.2:13).
  10. of the fact that the STA is not subject to +R (Rom.8:7).
  1. The other principle verb used in the N.T. with respect to authority is u`pakou,w (hupakouo, 21X).
  2. It is used of:
  1. Godís power over nature (Mt.8:27).
  2. Godís power over demons (Mk.1:27).
  3. the salvation adjustment (Acts.6:7; Heb.5:9; cp. Rom.10:16; 2Thess.1:8).
  4. following the ISTA (Rom.6:12).
  5. application of BD (Rom.6:16,17; Heb.11:8).
  6. children to parents (Eph.6:1; Col.3:20).
  7. employees to bosses (Eph.6:5; Col.3:22).
  8. believers to their under-shepherd (Phil.2:12; 2Thess.3:14).
  9. wives to husbands (1Pet.3:6).
  10. events to exhale faith (Lk.17:6).
  1. The cognate noun (u`pakoh,, hupakoe) occurs 15X:
  1. of positive volition to BD (Rom.1:5; 15:18; 16:19; 1Pet.1:2,14,22; Philm.21).
  2. of Christ to His kenosis (Rom.5:19; Heb.5:8).
  3. of believers to the ISTA or HS (Rom.6:16).
  4. of saving faith (Rom.16:26).
  5. of spiritual leadership (2Cor.7:15).
  6. of bringing the strongholds of human viewpoint to the captivity of divine viewpoint (2Cor.10:5).
  1. The object of the imperative "Submit" is "every human institution".
  2. The adjective "human" (avnqrwpi,nh|) occurs with the noun kti,sij, which in every other N.T. use refers to a creature or creation of God.
  3. Peterís phrase is in reference to human authorities within the ECC.
  4. The reference includes the laws that individuals appointed to various offices are commissioned to uphold.
  5. Any officer of the government is in view in this expression.
  6. These individuals are worthy of respect because the authority of DI #4 (nationalism) is ordained of God (Rom.13).
  7. The phrase "for the Lordís sake" (dia. to.n ku,rion) references the real basis of Peterís appeal.
  8. When believers honor those responsible for law and order within a civilization, they are honoring the One who authored nationalism.
  9. Without the ECC we could not live quiet and peaceful lives.
  10. The final phrase of v.13 directs our attention to the chief officer within the ECC.
  11. For the readers, this refers to the emperor, or Caesar.
  12. The noun "king" is used in the Bible for the man at the top of the ECC.
  13. The Romans did not refer to their leaders as kings.
  14. When Peter mentions the "the king (emperor)" as sovereign ("the one in authority), there is no doubt who he means.
  15. The emperor at the time of Peterís letter (63AD) was none other than Nero.
  16. In 64AD the Great Fire in Rome was blamed on the Christian community.
  17. During this decade, Peter and Paul were martyred.
  18. The Roman emperors were absolute dictators who were corrupted by their lack of accountability and immense power.
  19. Yet, believers are told to "Submit" to these men "for the Lordís sake".
  20. The ECC derives its authority from God (Rom.13:1).
  21. To resist officers within the ECC is to go up against God (Rom.13:2).
  22. In v.14 Peter continues to be specific as he brings his appeal closer to where his readers actually live.
  23. It is often easier to honor the emperor from a distance than to respect the authority of his local representatives.
  24. The term "governors" was applied to provincial magistrates within the empire, variously called legates, procurators, or consuls (e.g., Pliny, the governor of Bithynia, who sought counsel from the emperor Trajan on the question of how he should deal with Christians accused of subversion: Epis. 10.96).
  25. Christians are told to submit to the emperor because he is sovereign and to the magistrates because they are commissioned by him within the ECC.
  26. For the responsibility of civil government to punish "evildoers", compare Paulís statement in Rom.13:4 "Öan avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil".
  27. Civil government exists for the express purpose of punishing crime.
  28. The use of "evildoers" (kakopoiw/n) provides the opportunity to introduce its opposite, "those who do right" (avgaqopoiw/n).
  29. In agreement with Paul (Rom.13:3 "Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same"), Peter mentions praise as well as punishment.
  30. It was important to Peter (and Paul) that Christians who were conspicuous in the empire gain a reputation as law-abiding before the Roman authority.
  31. The "praise" is the result of the good reputation Christians earn before the governing authorities in the face of reckless charges of sedition.
Overcoming Slander (v.15)

VERSE 15 For such is the will of God (o[ti [conj.] ou[twj [adv., such] evsti.n [pres.act.ind.3.s., eimi] to. qe,lhma [, thelema, will] tou/ qeou/ []) that by doing right (avgaqopoiou/ntaj [, avgaqopoie,w, agathopoieo, do good, do what is right]) you may silence the ignorance of foolish men (fimou/n [pres.act.infin., fimo,w, phimoo, silence] th.n avgnwsi,an [, agnosia, ignorance; 2X: 1Cor.15:34] tw/n avfro,nwn avnqrw,pwn [, a;frwn, aphron, foolish, ignorant, + gen.m.p., anthropos, man]).


  1. Peter gives a reason for, and adds to, what he has just said.
  2. "For such is the will of God" refers back to the injunction to "submit" to the governing authorities.
  3. Godís will for Christians is the same as for all men with respect to DI #4.
  4. All men are to obey the laws of the land and respect those appointed to administer them.
  5. The "will of God" is the standard of conduct required of believers before the authorities.
  6. Peterís teaching is that "by doing right" Christians will expose the lie that they are subversive to Roman rule and good order.
  7. Peter still has the accusations of 2:12 in view.
  8. What must be "silenced" is the reckless talk of that verse.
  9. Peterís confidence is that the good works of Christians will bring some to saving faith.
  10. Peterís best hope, short of that, is to shut the mouths of those who make trouble for the Christians.
  11. The means are the same: "doing right" corresponds to "your good deeds" in 2:12.
  12. The only way to "silence the ignorance of foolish men" is with the help of the emperorís appointed representatives.
  13. At some point, they will affirm the good character of the Christian community.
  14. The "ignorance" of the accusers is their inability to appreciate the beliefs and practices of the Christians over against their pagan frame of reference.
  15. "Ignorance" here corresponds to the ignorance of the Christians before their conversion (1:14).
  16. In itself, the term is descriptive, not derogatory.
  17. It becomes derogatory only in association with "foolish".
  18. There is nothing wrong with ignorance of a particular tradition or subject, but on subjects on which one is ignorant one ought not to speak, and "foolish" makes it clear this was an ignorance in which men were quick to speak.
  19. Reckless speech was what made it for Peter "the ignorance of foolish men".
  20. Although avgnwsi,a is not derogatory, a;frwn is.
  21. This is about as close as Peter comes in trading insults with his readersí enemies (something he expressly forbids in 3:9).
  22. Peter is counting on Roman justice to resolve any problems raised by reckless charges leveled against the Christian community.
  23. Believers should take heart in the knowledge that what is "good behavior" in Godís sight also benefits society; even more to the point, it will be recognized as such by the emperor and his appointed magistrates.
  24. Two factors should be taken into account before this view is dismissed as naively optimistic.
  25. First, Peter is aware that his readersí difficulties are with unruly elements in the general population, not with the governing authorities.
  26. These authorities are his readersí first recourse, and Peterís strategy is to view them in a positive light.
  27. Second, he wants to foster in his readers a pattern of behavior that gives the lie to all possible charges of subversion.
  28. In their service to God, they must be careful not to offend needlessly the civil authority.
  29. To start with the assumption that their responsibilities to God and to the empire must inevitably come into conflict is the surest guarantee that this will be the case.
  30. Should it happen that these obligations conflict, the last recourse is before the head of the ECC - God.


The Paradox of Freedom (v.16)

VERSE 16 Act as free men(w`j [conj.] evleu,qeroi [adj.n.m.p., evleu,qeroj, eleutheros, free]), and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil (kai. mh. [conj. + neg.] e;contej [, echo, have, hold; "use"] th.n evleuqeri,an [, eleutheria, freedom] w`j evpika,lumma [conj. + acc.nt.s., epikalumma, covering; pretext] th/j kaki,aj [, kakia, evil]), but use it as bondslaves of God [avllV [conj.] w`j [conj.] dou/loi [n.m.p, doulos, slave] qeou/ [gen.m.s., theos]).

Social Obligations (v.17)

VERSE 17 Honor all people (timh,sate [aor.act.imper.2.p., timao, honor] pa,ntaj [adj.acc.m.p., pas]), love the brotherhood (avgapa/te [pres.act.imper.2.p., agapao, love] th.n avdelfo,that [, avdelfo,thj, adelphotes, brotherhood; 2X: 1Pet.5:9]), fear God (fobei/sqe [pres.mid. or pass.dep.imper.2.p., phobeo, fear] to.n qeo.n [, theos, God]), honor the king (tima/te [pres.act.imper.2.p., timao, honor] to.n basile,a [ w/acc.m.s., basileus, king]).


  1. These two verses, with their corresponding imperatives, round out this section dealing with believersí social and civic responsibilities.
  2. Peter has in mind not political or social freedom (which for slaves and wives was limited), but spiritual freedom in Christ from the "ignorance" (1:14) of paganism.
  3. They were free from all in their past that had bound them spiritually.
  4. Truth sets men free (Jn.8:32,36).
  5. They were free from enslavement to idolatry, superstition, STA lusts, and legalism.
  6. Grace freed them from the curse of the law.
  7. Christians in the early church spoke with assurance of their "freedom in Christ" (Gal.2:4).
  8. Perhaps Peter interjected this particular injunction sensing a need for balance with the stress on submission to the civil power of pagan rule.
  9. "Act as free men" has in the Greek no verb; the nominative adjective "free" stands on its own.
  10. But liberty can easily be abused into license.
  11. Peterís concern is that they do not use their freedom in Christ as an excuse to retaliate when slandered (cf. 3:9).
  12. Their new life in Christ was not to be used as an excuse for antisocial behavior.
  13. The "and" (kai) introduces a contrast and is equivalent to "and yet".
  14. The comparative particle w`j occurs in three phrases in v.16.
  15. It is used to represent freedom, qualified or responsible freedom, and slavery to God, respectively.
  16. The expression "covering" could refer either to something before the fact (i.e., an excuse or pretext for evil) or after the fact (i.e., a cover-up).
  17. The context supports the former.
  18. Peterís concern is that they do not use their freedom as an excuse to engage in antinomian behavior.
  19. They are not to rationalize rebellion against pagan authority.
  20. Peter wants his readers to make absolutely certain that no charges of misconduct leveled against them are ever actually true.
  21. When freedom becomes the believerís watchword, there is as much danger of antinomianism in relation to the laws of the state as there is in relation to the laws of God.
  22. Paul, who defended the freedom of Gentile Christians from the burden of the Jewish law, warned his readers against the opposite extreme (Gal.5:13; Rom.6:1,15-22).
  23. Peterís fear is that because they are free from the ignorance of their pagan past, they might assume that they are also free of their legitimate obligations to pagan society.
  24. True freedom demands responsibility.
  25. The blessings of freedom demand restraints.
  26. This is the paradox of freedom.
  27. We are not free to do anything we want, or we intrude on the freedom of others.
  28. The freedom and blessing to drive a car demands that we obey the rules of the road or there would be no orderly transportation system in the country.
  29. For Christians, the exploitation of their newfound freedom is in their subjection to God and His laws.
  30. Through the work of Christ, believers are set free from the power of the Law, from sin, and from the evil that is in the world.
  31. To be set free and to remain free are two different things.
  32. The fulfillment of "freedom in Christ" is service to God.
  33. Paradoxically, only when we serve God as slaves can we fully appreciate our freedom.
  34. All believers are free to serve God and reap the surpassing blessings in time and in Ph3.
  35. Those who elect to serve the dictates of the flesh and the lure of the cosmos, while free to do so, are slaves to unrighteousness.
  36. In the end, such enslavement brings loss and shame.
  37. Either kind of freedom brings with it enslavement (Rom.6:16-20).
  38. Enslavement to righteousness brings vindication and eternal reward to those who deny the other kind of freedom.
  39. The paradox: freedomís realization is slavery to BD.
  40. So choose your freedom (or slavery); the one brings life, the other death.
  41. The four imperatives of v.17 follow closely on the preceding.
  42. It is as "bondslaves of God" that believers are to "Honor (show respect for) all people, love the brotherhood, fear (reverence for) God, and honor (show respect for) the king (emperor)."
  43. Of the four imperatives, the first ("Honor") is an aorist imperative, and the other three ("love", "fear", and "honor") are present imperatives.
  44. The single aorist imperative at the beginning of the series gives the entire series an unambiguous imperatival quality (by themselves the present imperatives could be read as indicatives).
  45. The aorist does not have to be repeated because the single use of it governs the entire series.
  46. Peterís concern is to foster deference and respect toward everyone ("all people" is simply the acc.m.p.adj., pas).
  47. This leaves room for the very group with which Peter is most concerned - the enemies, or accusers, of the Christian community.
  48. The first imperative could be translated: "Respect everyone".
  49. Even though pa,ntaj timh,sate is not a heading for the whole series, it does function as a kind of heading for th.n avdelfo,thta avgapa/te ("love the brotherhood").
  50. "All people" obviously includes the brotherhood (cf. "your brethren in the world," 5:9, the only other use of this noun in the N.T.).
  51. Peter is not unaware of Jesusí command to love even oneís enemies (cf. Mt.5:44; Lk.6:27,35).
  52. His point in using different verbs is to qualify the gospel tradition by setting some priorities for his audience.
  53. He avoids telling them in so many words to "love your enemies", emphasizing instead their responsibility to love the Christian brotherhood.
  54. Peter distinguishes respect from love, which he seems to define as the cement that binds Christians together into a brotherhood (avdelfo,thj occurs here and in 5:9 in the N.T.).
  55. For other concise N.T. expressions of the concurrent duties of a Christian to fellow Christians and to everyone, see 1Thess.5:15 and Gal.6:10.
  56. The posture Peter urges toward God is one of reverent fear (cf. 1:17).
  57. Such posture fits the present context, where Peter addresses them as Godís bondslaves.
  58. God is to be feared because He is the Holy One, our Creator and Judge.
  59. The civil power is on a different plane and it calls for our loyal respect, hence the words "honor the king".
  60. Jesus differentiated between our duties to God and to Caesar (Mt.22:21).
  61. Proverbs 24:21 provides an O.T. model for this exhortation.
  62. Like Rom.13:1-7, Mt.22:21, 1Tim.2:1-3, and Ti.3:1, this passage (vv.13-17) has had a determining effect upon the Churchís teaching about the duties Christians owe the state.
  63. The command to "honor the king" is especially illuminating, considering who held the office of "king" when this letter was written.
  64. Nero was hated in the capital except by the masses with whom he curried favor.
  65. Its supposition was that God established shepherds to watch over the masses under their domain.
  66. This command is for both good and bad leaders (many are a combination of both).
  67. The most conspicuous feature of this section is its optimism.
  68. Christians who are slandered should defer to the state, because the purpose of civil authority is to punish wrongdoers and reward those who do what is right.
  69. Under normal circumstances, loyalty to God and loyalty to the state will not come into conflict.
  70. As far as Christians are concerned, a danger exists that believers may use their freedom they have in Christ as an excuse for malice or misconduct.
  71. The section ends with a series of imperatives targeting their responsibilities to others, to each other, to God, and to the state.
Responsibility of Servants (vv.18-25)

To the Reasonable and the Unreasonable (v.18)

VERSE 18 Servants (Oi` oivke,tai [, oivke,thj, oiketes, servant, house servant]), be submissive to your masters with all respect (u`potasso,menoi [{imper.}n.p., u`pota,ssw, hupotasso, be subject] toi/j despo,taij [, despo,thj, despotes, master] evn panti. fo,bw| [prep.w/adj.instr.m.s., pas, + instr.m.s., phobos, fear]), not only to those who are good and gentle (ouv mo,non [neg. + adv., only] toi/j avgaqoi/j [, agathos, good] kai. evpieike,sin [conj. + adj.dat.m.p., evpieikh,j, epieikes, gentle]), but also to those who are unreasonable (avlla. [conj.] kai. [conj., also] toi/j skolioi/j [, skolio,j, skolios, perverse, crooked; 4X: Lk.3:5; Acts.2:40; Phil.2:15; 1Pet.2:18]).

Suffering that Wins Favor (vv.19-20)

VERSE 19 For this finds favor (ga.r [expan.part.] tou/to [pro./demons.n.nt.s., houtos, this] ca,rij [n.f.s., charis, grace, favor]), if for the sake of conscience toward God (eiv [part., if] dia. sunei,dhsin [prep.w/acc.f.s., suneidesis, conscience] qeou/ [gen./objective.m.s.]) a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly (tij [pro./indef.n.m.s.; goes with the particle "ei"= "if a person", anyone] u`pofe,rei [pres.act.ind.3.s., u`pofe,rw, hupopero, endure; "bears up under"] lu,paj [acc.f.p., lupe, sorrow] pa,scwn [, pa,scw, pascho, suffer] avdi,kwj [adv., unjustly]).

VERSE 20 For what credit is there if (ga.r [conj.] poi/on [pro./interrog./qualitative, what] kle,oj [n.nt.s., honor; "credit", 1X] eiv [part./condit.]), when you sin and are harshly treated (a`marta,nontej [, hamartano, sin] kai [conj.] kolafizo,menoi [, kolafi,zw, kolaphizo, beat; noun: kolafoj, fist; 5X: Mt.26:67; Mk.14:65; 1Cor.4:11; 2Cor.12:7; 1Pet.2:20; "harshly treated"]), you endure it with patience(u`pomenei/te [fut.act.ind.2.p., u`pome,nw, hupomeno, put up with; "you endure it with patience"])? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it(avllV eiv [conj. + part.] avgaqopoiou/ntej [, avgaqopoie,w, agathopoieo, do good, do what is right] kai. [conj.] pa,scontej [, pascho, suffer] u`pomenei/te [fut.act.ind.2.p., hupomeno, endure]), this finds favor with God (tou/to [pro./demon.n.nt.s., houtos, this] ca,rij [n.f.s., charis, favor, grace] para. qew/ [prep. + dat.m.s., theos]).


  1. Christian responsibility before the social order continues with guidelines for the conduct of domestic servants (cf. Col.3:22Ė4:1; Eph.6:5-9).
  2. A huge portion of the work force of the Roman world was indentured servants/slaves.
  3. This growing and massive population explains one of the reasons for the prosperity of the empire (cheap labor).
  4. The household duty code contains a set of guidelines for the behavior of domestic servants.
  5. The noun "Servants" is the vocative masc. pl. of oivke,thj (oiketes), occurring here and in Lk.16:13, Acts.10:7, and Rom.14:4.
  6. The exhortation proper (v.18) is supported by appeals to the divine viewpoint (vv.19,20) and to the moral example and sufferings of Jesus (vv.21-25).
  7. When Peter reaches the end of this section, it is easy to forget that he is still addressing slaves in relation to their masters.
  8. Much of the section is applicable to Christians generally, especially under undeserved suffering, and to household domestics in particular.
  9. The basic command "be submissive" is a participle used as an imperative, representing a further specific instance of the verbal imperative of v.13 (hupotasso).
  10. Christian slaves are enjoined to deference to his or her master, as is the wife to her unbelieving husband.
  11. Peter begins to generalize immediately after the exhortation proper with the "if clause" of v.19.
  12. Because Peter has just referred to all Christians as "bondslaves" (douloi) in v.16, he switches to oiketai in order to focus on domestic servants as a particular social group.
  13. He chooses despo,thj (despotes) instead of the more common kurios to refer to slave masters (cf. 1Tim.6:1; Ti.2:9).
  14. The effect of "all" (pas) in the phrase "with all respect" is to intensify the reverence of which Peter speaks (as in "with deep reverence").
  15. Although the word order could suggest that the reverence is directed toward slave masters, the clear distinction in v.17 between fear toward God and respect for the emperor demands that here, too, fear means reverence toward God and not human masters.
  16. In the admonitions to slaves in Paulís presentation of the household duty codes, fear is directed toward God or Christ and not human masters (Col.3:22; Eph.6:5).
  17. The implication is that they somehow stand in Christís place, where reverence is urged toward masters as Godís representatives.
  18. Peter makes is clear that obedience is not to be limited to just those "who are good (or just) and gentle", but to those who are unreasonably cruel as well.
  19. He recognizes that some masters treat their slaves fairly, however, and he does not assume that these "good" slave owners are necessarily Christians.
  20. Peter does not address Christian slave owners, as he evidently had no information that there were any in the provinces he writes to.
  21. They are addressed in Eph.6:9 and Col.4:1.
  22. Peter is not classifying slave masters on the basis of their spiritual convictions but on the way they treat their slaves.
  23. Peter does not tar all unbelievers with the same brush.
  24. Submission is to be rendered to all who are masters regardless of how they conduct themselves within the ECC.
  25. This is consistent with the teaching with regard to respect to government leaders and husbands.
  26. In v.19 Peter now generalizes what he has just said by imagining a case in which "a man" (literally, "someone"), perhaps a slave or perhaps not, endures unjust suffering.
  27. "Favor" (charis, grace, favor) refers to that with which God is pleased.
  28. Peterís point is that there is no merit in enduring deserved punishment but there is credit with God reserved for the patient endurance of unjust punishment.
  29. God is free to bless those who suffer unjustly with SG3, but not in the case of divine discipline.
  30. Believers who suffer under duly-established authority unjustly do so on the basis of the doctrine within, hence the phrase "for the sake of conscience toward God".
  31. The conscience is where the doctrinal norms and standards reside.
  32. The good conscience recognizes the value of patient endurance when suffering unjustly.
  33. The expression "for the sake of conscience toward God" (dia. sunei,dhsin qeou/) has "God" in the genitive of reference.
  34. The conscience that is "of" or "toward God" is a conscience that is programmed with the will of God.
  35. Resentment, bitterness, and rebellion occur when men suffer unjustly.
  36. The adjusted believer rises above all that and "bears up under sorrows", knowing that God will vindicate him.
  37. The noun "credit" occurs only here in the N.T.
  38. It is a cognate of the verb kaleo, to call.
  39. It is a synonym for honor or praise.
  40. There is no honor when we suffer under DD for our sins.
  41. While DD is necessary and beneficial, there is no honor attached to those who so suffer.
  42. Undeserved suffering under abusive authority brings honor to the one so suffering.
  43. This teaching is brought out in the two rhetorical questions of v.20.
  44. There is no merit or honor attaching itself to the believer who suffers for disobedience, but there is when the suffering is strictly the result of the abuse of authority.
  45. Peter is not saying that we should not endure deserved suffering with patience, he is only saying that no honor/credit/merit attaches itself to the believer so suffering.
  46. Of course, we should rebound and ride out our DD, but there is no honor in suffering for sin in the life.
  47. Two times in two verses Peter affirms that undeserved suffering "finds favor with God".
  48. The believer who Faith-Rests ("patiently endures") what is noble, and walks in fellowship with what is righteous, will find favor with God in time and Ph3.
The Example of Jesus Christ (vv.21-25)

In Undeserved Suffering (v.21)

VERSE 21 For you have been called for this purpose (ga.r [conj.] evklh,qhte [aor.pass.ind.2.p., kaleo] eivj tou/to[prep.w/pro./demon.acc.nt.s., houtos; "for this purpose"]), since Christ also suffered for you (o[ti [conj., for; "since"] Cristo.j [n.m.s.] kai. [conj./ascensive] e;paqen [aor.act.ind.3.m.s., pascho, suffer] u`pe.r u`mw/n [prep.w/, su; "for you"]), leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps (u`polimpa,nwn [, u`polimpa,nw, huppolimpano, leave behind] u`mi/n [, su] u`pogrammo.n [acc.n.s., hupogrammon, an example; hapax] i[na [conj./purpose] evpakolouqh,shte [aor.act.subj.2.p., evpakolouqe,w, epakoloutheo, follow after] toi/j i;cnesin [, ichnos, footstep] auvtou/ [pro.gen.m.s.]),

No Resort to STA Expediency (v.22)

VERSE 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN (o]j [pro./rel.n.m.s.] evpoi,hsen [aor.act.ind.3.m.s., poieo, do; "committed"] a`marti,an ouvk [neg. + n.f.s., hamartia, sin]), NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH (ouvde. [conj., nor] do,loj [n.m.s., dolos, deceit] eu`re,qh [aor.pass.ind.3.m.s., heurisko, find] evn tw/| sto,mati auvtou/( [prep.w/dat.nt.s., stoma, mouth +pro.gen.m.s.]);

Avoidance of Sins of the Tongue (v.23)

VERSE 23 and while being reviled (o]j [pro./rel.n.m.s., hos] loidorou,menoj [, loidore,w, loidopeo, insult; 4X: Jn.9:28; Acts.23:4; 1Cor.4:12; 1Pet.2:23]), He did not revile in return (ouvk avnteloido,rei [neg. + impf.act.ind.3.s., avntiloidore,w, antiloidopeo, reply with a threat; "revile in return"]); while suffering, He uttered no threats (pa,scwn [, pascho, suffer] ouvk [neg.] hvpei,lei [impf.act.ind.3.s., avpeile,w, apeileo, threaten; 2X: Acts.4:17]), but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously (de. [conj.] paredi,dou [impf.act.ind.3.s., paradi,dwmi, paradidomi, hand over, betray, entrust] tw/| kri,nonti dikai,wj [, krino, judge + adv., dikaios, justly]);


  1. The pronoun "this" (tou/to) looks backward rather than ahead, for it corresponds to the repeated tou/to with which Peter framed vv.19,20.
  2. The verb "called" points to their conversion from paganism (cf. 3:9).
  3. If the ultimate goal of that calling is His "eternal glory" (5:10), its nearer goal is experiential righteousness (1:15).
  4. The doing of "good deeds" (2:15) even in the face of persecution is a part of the divine good we have been called to.
  5. Our calling to the POG includes both the Ph2 and Ph3 aspects.
  6. Peter proceeds to reassure them by citing the "example" of Christ.
  7. He was unique in His sufferings in that He suffered on behalf of all believers.
  8. Jesus suffered persecution throughout His life, but especially noteworthy are His sufferings in connection with His Passion.
  9. His sufferings were, of course, undeserved.
  10. The verb "leaving" (, u`polimpa,nw, hupolimpano; lX) means to leave behind.
  11. Peter looks back to the historical figure and the legacy He "left behind" in the Gospel record.
  12. The noun "example" (u`pogrammo.n, hupogrammon) is also a hapax (1X) and means "a copy".
  13. It is used outside the N.T. of the copy-head at the top of a childís penmanship exercise book for the child to imitate, including all the letters of the alphabet.
  14. The papyri give many examples of upografh (hypographe) and upografw (hupographo) in the sense of copying a letter.
  15. A modern equivalent would be a carbon copy.
  16. It is used here of a model or example in a moral sense.
  17. The phrase "for you to follow in His footsteps" is a metaphorical expression.
  18. The point is not that of wooden literalism, in that we reproduce all the details, but that when we are the objects of verbal and physical abuse we conduct ourselves as He did.
  19. All believers are in view here, not just those who are the most vulnerable to abuse, like household slaves.
  20. The noun "steps" (toi/j i;cnesin, tois ichnesin) is also used in Paulís declaration of Abraham as the father of those who "follow in his footsteps" (Rom.4:12).
  21. There the emphasis is on making the adjustments to God (Ph1 and Ph2).
  22. The details of oneís life will vary significantly, but the doctrinal principles applied are universal and timeless.
  23. In v.22 Peter appeals to prophetic support for the manner in which Christ conducted Himself during His final ordeal.
  24. The quotation is taken verbatim from the LXX of Isa.53:9b, except for the introductory "WHO" and Peterís "SIN" instead of Isaiahís "lawlessness" (sin is lawlessness, cf. 1Jn.3:4).
  25. The point of the statement that Christ "COMMITTED NO SIN" is not simply to assert His sinlessness (asserted in 1:19), but also to emphasize that His sufferings were unprovoked and undeserved.
  26. He suffered not because of any sin he had committed, but rather for standing for what was in accordance with truth and righteousness.
  27. The second half of the quotation focuses special attention on sins of the tongue, as does the verse that follows.
  28. "Deceit" as a sin coming to expression in human speech is seen also in Ps.34:13b, which is quoted in 3:10.
  29. This form of lying is also mentioned in 2:1 as an example of STA-sponsored speech that believers are to isolate in connection with GAP.
  30. The resort to deceit in the face of opposition is designed to deflect the full wrath of persecution.
  31. Jesus did not resort to any action or statement that would have sidetracked or lessened the abuse He came to suffer.
  32. The truth of Who and What He was, was not compromised in order to achieve a lesser sentence.
  33. The reference is a reminder to maltreated Christians that they are not to compromise any doctrine in order to deflect the wrath of their enemies.
  34. To do so is to deny Christ and to fail the test that is before them.
  35. We are to be honest in the face of hostile interrogation whatever the cost.
  36. Had Christ resorted to guile to lessen His fate, He would not have set the example He did, and He would have disqualified Himself to be the Savior of mankind.
  37. Peter continues in v.23 to concentrate on sins of the tongue.
  38. Peterís attention continues to concentrate on the sins of the tongue, probably because verbal abuse was the most common manifestation of pagan antagonism to these believers.
  39. Jesus suffered verbal abuse during the ordeal of His Passion that included insults and threats.
  40. Not once did He return insult for insult or threat when suffering.
  41. The verb "being reviled" (loidore,w, loidoreo) occurs 4X in the N.T. (cf. Jn.9:28; Acts.23:4; 1Cor.4:12; 1Pet.2:23).
  42. And the verb "revile in return" (imperf.act.ind., avntiloidore,w, antiloidoreo) occurs only here.
  43. Adjusted believers followed His example (1Cor.4:12).
  44. In response to insults, we are to return a blessing, if we respond at all.
  45. The usual response to insulting comments is to lash out in kind.
  46. But this does not accomplish the righteousness of God and brings the person down to the level of the revilers.
  47. Remember that bad-mouthing has no validity and means nothing.
  48. Even though Christ knew that wrath would come upon all that abused Him and remained unrepentant, He did not threaten His enemies.
  49. The verb "uttered no threats" (imper.act.ind., avpeile,w, apeileo) occurs here and in Acts.4:17.
  50. Rather, He prayed for them, when He said: "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing".
  51. Through it all He put His trust in God, who would in His time vindicate His Son.
  52. Remember, God is the righteous judge who will bring every man and every deed into account cf. 1:17).
  53. In the end the afflicted will be vindicated and their opponents will be put to shame.
  54. In the face of verbal abuse, cease from your own sinful response and put the matter in Godís hands.
  55. He will bring all parties into judgment and it will be forever noted who was in the right.
  56. The trading of insults is a real temptation that is to be avoided.
  57. Jesusí response to insults, according to the Gospel tradition, was silence (Mt.26:63; 27:14; Lk.23:9; Jn.19:9).
  58. There is also the teaching of Jesus which tells believers to respond with a blessing (Lk.6:28; cp. 1Cor.4:12; 1Pet.3:9).
  59. The imperfect tense, with the negative, points to Jesusí constant refusal to retaliate in kind even after repeated provocation.
  60. We should renounce all such threats, even threats that are in keeping with BD.
  61. In Jewish literature threats are attributed to the Maccabaean martyrs in 4Macc.9:5-9 ("You seek to terrify us with your threat of death by tortureÖBut you, because of your foul murder, will suffer at the hand of divine justice the everlasting torment by fire you deserve").
  62. While Jesus predicted His own vindication (Mk.14:62), nowhere did He threaten divine vengeance on those who made Him suffer.
  63. He simply kept quiet about the judgment to come.
  64. He left them in the hands of God and trusted His person and cause to God.
  65. What our detractors and persecutors say and do has no bearing on the final outcome.
  66. Our vital interests are not in the least affected by the actions of our foes.
The Goal Accomplished (v.24)

VERSE 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross (o]j [pro./rel.] auvto.j [pro.n.m.s., "Himself"] avnh,negken [aor.act.ind.3.s., avnafe,rw, anaphero, bear the burden of] h`mw/n [pro.gen.p.] ta.j a`marti,aj [acc.f.p., hamartia, sin] evn tw/| sw,mati [prep.w/ w/dat.nt.s., soma, body] evpi. to. xu,lon [prep.w/, zulon, cross]), so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (i[na [conj./result] avpogeno,menoi [aor.mid./, avpogi,nomai, apoginomai, have no part in; "we might die"; hapax] tai/j a`marti,aij [dat.f.p., hamartia, sin] zh,swmen [aor.act.subj.1.p., zao, live] th/| dikaiosu,nh| [, dikaiosu,nh, dikaiosune, righteousness]); for by His wounds you were healed (ou- [pro./rel.gen.m.s., "for by His"]| tw/ mw,lwpi [, mw,lwy, molops, wound {singular translated as a plural} iva,qhte [aor.pass.ind.2.p., iva,omai, iaomai, cure]).


  1. Having specified the way in which Christ is our moral example under undeserved suffering, Peter passes quite naturally to the redemptive value of Christís sufferings in v.24.
  2. The moral example qualified Christ to be the Savior.
  3. Had He not handled the testing brought upon Him by His persecutors, He would not have been qualified to bear our sins.
  4. For Him the requirement was absolute perfection.
  5. At no moment did He resort to volitional sinning.
  6. The temptation to sin was thoroughly resisted.
  7. In v.24 Peter returns to the Isaiah citation (Isa.53, especially vv.4 and 12e) with o]j ("and He" or "Who").
  8. For the "many" of 53:12e, Peter substitutes the "our sins" (ta.j a`marti,aj h`mw/n) of Isa.53:4 of the LXX (the MSS has "our griefs").
  9. This free handling of the citation serves to bring the text to apply specifically to the common experience of himself and his readers.
  10. With this he shifts back from the second person plural to the first person plural ("our").
  11. The phrase "in His body" (evn tw/| sw,mati auvtou/) interprets the emphatic "Himself" (auvto,j) of Isa.53:12e.
  12. The Isaiah text reads: "Yet He Himself bore the sin of many".
  13. Peterís evpi. to. xu,lon (acc.w/ is literally upon the wood/tree (cp. Rev.22:14: "tree of life").
  14. The noun zulon is a synonym for the Cross (cf. Acts.5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Gal.3:13).
  15. The Cross was the place where Christ "bore our sins".
  16. This occurred in connection with the three hours of darkness.
  17. The phrase "in His body" suggests that the sins of mankind were imputed to Christ.
  18. He suffered divine wrath for the sins of all humanity as per the doctrine of unlimited atonement (cf. 1Jn.2:2 "and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world").
  19. Apart from His willingness to suffer undeservedly without sin He would not have been qualified to be the Sin Bearer.
  20. His work toward sin frees God to grant eternal life and imputed righteousness to any and all that believe in Him.
  21. The words "bore our sins" are parallel to the words "died for our sins" of 1Cor.15:3 (cp. Heb.9:28).
  22. Christ died spiritually while bearing the sins of mankind; He did not die physically while bearing sins.
  23. A further purpose of Christís work on the Cross towards believers is the isolation of the ISTA; this is seen in the words: "that we might die to sin and live to righteousness".
  24. Christís saving work is the avenue and challenge to a new spiritual existence that sees the believer dead to the STA and alive to righteousness.
  25. This is parallel to other N.T. declarations, like Rom.6:11: "For so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (cf. 2Cor.5:15).
  26. The verb translated "might die to sin" is the aorist mid.part. of avpogi,nomai (apoginomai), occurring only here in the N.T.
  27. It means to "have no part in".
  28. The noun "sin" is a dative of reference and occurs with the definite article.
  29. It is technical for the ISTA/OSN.
  30. The verb "live" is an aorist active subjunctive (potential) of zao ("to live").
  31. Whether we "live for righteousness" depends upon our understanding of the grace mechanics of spirituality and our willingness at any point in time to isolate the STA.
  32. There are two potential rulers of the "Real You" (the soul).
  33. We are at any moment either ruled by the flesh (STA) or the Spirit (both residents of the body).
  34. We are enjoined not to let the STA rule us (Rom.6:12-14).
  35. Time under the STA produces sin and human good (called "dead works").
  36. Such a state is called "death".
  37. The alternative is called "life", in which we produce divine good and glorify God, avoiding DD and the SUD.
  38. Rebound puts us back under the controlling ministry of God the HS.
  39. When we are out of fellowship, we are said to be "quenching", or "grieving", the HS (Eph.4:30; 1Thess.5:19).
  40. Peterís statement in the form of a purpose clause is characteristic of Paulís argument in Romans (6:12,13,16-23; 8:10) and suggests that he was acquainted with Romans.
  41. Returning to the text of Isa.53:5d (prophecy of the Suffering Servant), Peter adapts the words "for by His wounds you were healed" to His readers.
  42. Like Isaiah, Peter uses the metaphor of physical healing for spiritual conversion.
  43. The wounding, or wound, of Christ (instr.m.s., molops) refers to the agony of bearing sins, and not to the wounds associated with the crucifixion ordeal.
  44. What man did to Him did not propitiate the Righteousness of God, only what God did when the sins of man were poured out on Him in judgment.
  45. The question is: "What were they healed from?".
  46. The answer is the terminal condition called spiritual death and all it implies.
  47. Sin in its broadest sense produces a fatal condition if not arrested.
  48. There is spiritual healing in the atonement.
  49. There is not the promise that there is physical healing in the atonement, as taught by some.
  50. Otherwise believers of this persuasion should never succumb to disease or death by disease, which is not the case.
  51. The verb "you were healed" is an aorist passive indicative, indicating the absolute reality of the cure.
Restored Sheep (v.25)

VERSE 25 For you were continually straying like sheep (ga.r [conj.] h=te [impf.act.ind.2.p., eimi] planw,menoi [, plana,w, planao, stray] w`j pro,bata [adv./compar. + n.nt.p., probaton, sheep]), but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls (avlla. [conj.] nu/n [adv.] evpestra,fhte [aor.pass.ind.2.p., evpistre,fw, epistrepho, return] evpi. to.n poime,na [prep.w/, poimh,n, poimen, shepherd] kai. evpi,skopon [conj. + acc.m.s., evpi,skopoj, episkopos, overseer, guardian] tw/n yucw/n u`mw/n [gen.f.p., psuche, soul, + gen.p., su]).


  1. The section that began with admonitions to Christian slaves ends with the metaphor of the Shepherd and the sheepfold.
  2. The metaphor of physical healing (v.24) is immediately followed with the metaphor of Isa.53:6.
  3. The thought of Isa.53:5d directs Peterís attention to Isa.53:6, which he paraphrases in such a way that only the simile "as sheep" (w`j pro,bata) remains from the Isaiah text.
  4. His insertion of a connecting ga.r (gar) links the metaphor of the straying sheep more closely to the metaphor of healing that was the case in Isa.53.
  5. In effect, v.25 defines what Peter means (and what he thinks Isaiah means) by healing.
  6. So the "For" is explanatory in nature.
  7. The "you were" (imper.act.ind., eimi) looks back to their pre-salvation past.
  8. Where Isaiah saw the straying sheep as Jewish people alienated from their God (e.g., Ezek.34:5,6; cf. Mt.9:36; 10:6; 15:24, where they are the "lost sheep of the house of Israel"), Peter applies this to the Gentile converts.
  9. Peterís perspective is similar to that of Johnís Gospel, with its vision of "other sheepÖnot of this fold" (Jn.10:16).
  10. Once more Peter adapts to his Gentile readers the terminology of Israelís ancient relationship to God (cf. his application of Hos.1:6,9 to Gentile Christians in 2:10).
  11. Domestic sheep left to themselves wander all over the place, exposing themselves to all sorts of dangers (basically they are stupid animals in need of the supervision and protection of a shepherd).
  12. This is what the Anatolian Christians were before they came to saving faith.
  13. The words "but now" (avlla. nu/n) introduce the new reality that was the result of their incorporation into Godís sheepfold.
  14. The verb "have returned" (aor.pass.ind., evpistre,fw, epistrepho) means to turn/turn to/turn around/turn back/return.
  15. Their turn around was the result of their positive volition and exposure to the gospel.
  16. "The Shepherd" is Jesus Christ (cp. "the Chief Shepherd" in 5:4), now viewed as risen from the dead and exercising Lordship over all humanity (cf. Jn.17:1-2).
  17. He was last mentioned as wounded and bearing sins after much abuse (vv.22-25), while the recipients of the letter were compared to a straying flock of sheep.
  18. After laying down His life for the sheep, He is alive again, and over the course of time brings all who were foreknown into the flock of God (cf. Jn.10:11,14-18).
  19. Now the sheep are being regathered, with Christ (very much alive) as the Shepherd who reunites them.
  20. Other N.T. passages teach via this metaphor (Jn.10:17; Heb.13:20; Mk.14:27,28).
  21. Peter adds the more functional term "Guardian" (evpi,skopoj, episkopos) to interpret the metaphorical "Shepherd" (poimh,n, poimen; cf. 5:2).
  22. Episkopos combines the ideas of Godís close and tireless scrutiny of the human heart on the one hand, and the protecting care of His people on the other.
  23. The greatest thing He does for us is to bring us to a knowledge of eternal salvation.
  24. He knows all that are His and preserves their lives until they hear and believe.
  25. He will do whatever it takes to secure the eternal safety of all who are positive (Lk.15:4-7).
  26. As Shepherd, He has died for the sheep so that they can live forever.
  27. Once saved, He keeps them in His saving power (Jn.10:27-29).
  28. In addition to all this, He provides Ph2 information for those sheep that desire it.
  29. Those who have what it takes He watches over so that they can make the maturity adjustment and secure "the prize".
  30. Our Shepherd provides everything we need to accomplish the three adjustments.
  31. He provides under-shepherds who teach and shepherd us in local churches (5:1,2; Eph.4:11,12; Jn.10:1-5).
  32. The living soul is our most important possession and its well-being is under His care.
  33. These believers under the pressures of persecution were proof positive that their "Shepherd and Guardian" was more than equal to the task.


MARCH, 1999

© Copyright 1999, Maranatha Church, Inc.