Hebrews, James, Peter, John, Jude

Southern Christian University

Lesson on I Peter #2

James A Turner


Read all the references and they will help you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.”


When our time was up last time, we were still talking about the foreordination and predestination of God. You remember we read several passages about some of the things that God has foreordained and predestined, and we know from these passages that God foreordained and predestined to send Christ as an offering for sin, and Ephesians 1:3-5 says that those Ephesian brethren had been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.  Now, the old Calvinist's doctrine, the worst form of that false doctrine, contends that God foreordained and predestined individuals that would be saved.  And those individuals that God had foreordained and predestined to be saved would be saved regardless, and those that were not, God just didn't choose them!  A well‑informed Primitive Baptist preacher is hard to beat in public discussion on one tenet of this false doctrine, “Once Saved Always Saved  They would beat the ears down on some of our preachers to day with that false doctrine.


But if God foreordained and predestined individuals, that would be out of harmony with so many other passages of scripture.  One basic rule of proper interpretation is that it's got to be in harmony with everything else the Bible has to say, and the Bible sets forth man as being a free moral agent.  Adam and Eve had the power to choose, and they chose wrong when they ate the forbidden fruit.  Of course, such a doctrine would be contrary to such passages as II Peter 3:9 where Peter says, "God is not slack concerning his promises, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us‑ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  Well, if it is not God's will that any should perish, and he wants them to come to repentance, then God surely provided the way that they can come to repentance and be saved.  And in Romans chapter two, Paul talks about how that the long‑suffering of God is for the purpose of bringing men to repentance.  But if men despise his longsuffering, then there is stored up for them wrath in the day of wrath.  He says, "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for thyself wrath in a day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his works."  So God wants all men to be saved.  I Timothy 2:4 reads that God “would have all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”  Such a doctrine, of course, denies so many passages like John 3:14‑18.  So that old doctrine we know is a false doctrine. 


But God has foreordained and predetermined to save man, but how?  Remember Ephesians 1:3‑5, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  Even as he hath chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself according to the good pleasure of his will."  The verse that we are still on I Peter 1:20 says, that Christ “was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of the times (Christian age) for your sake  You also remember Acts 13:48 says concerning the Gentiles, “And as many as were ordained  to eternal life believedRomans 8:29-30 reads, “For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained  to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the first born (of the resurrection of the dead) among many brethren: and who he foreordained  , them he also called : and who he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified: them he also glorified.  II Timothy 1:9 says that God “who saved us, and called us with a holy calling ------ before times eternal  II Thessalonians 2:13-14 says of those brethren, that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation --- where unto he called you through our gospel ---.”  Ephesians 3:10-11 tells us that the church is to make known the “Manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


All of these references tell us very plainly that God has foreordained, or predestined, or predetermined some things in regard to the salvation of man. So when we put these references together, what did God in His infinite wisdom foreordain? God in his infinite wisdom knew that if he made man a free moral agent that in process of time man would sin. He also determined that only Christ as a perfect sacrifice and offering for sin, could satisfy his justice (Isaiah 53:7-10; Romans 3:23-28; Hebrews 10:4-9), and when man sinned the first promise of the Savior was given (Genesis 3:15).God also foreordained that in process of time he would send Christ to this world of sin and sorrow (Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 3:16-19, 4:4; II Corinthians 8:9) as a way of salvation for all men. God also predetermined that all who would believe and obey Christ would be saved from sin (John 3:16-18, Hebrews 5:8-9), and that all who faithfully serve Christ in his church will receive eternal salvation.


Now, those Ephesians brethren were dead in their trespasses and sins until Paul preached the gospel to them (Ephesians 2:1-6). God called them to salvation (II Thessalonians 2:13-14) by the preaching of Paul, and they believed and obeyed the gospel and were saved from sin. So there is a sense in which every person who is saved is saved by the foreordination and predestination of God in that God had a plan for man’s salvation before he made man, and that plan included Christ and his church.


When man sinned God instituted that the blood of animals (Genesis 4:2-5; Leviticus 17:10-15) could make temporary atonement for sin until according to his infinite wisdom it was time to send Christ (Galatians 3:16-25, 4:4). When Christ died on the cross his cleansing blood (Zechariah 13:1) reached back and completely cleansed those that had died in covenant relationship with God by the offering up of animal sacrifices (Hebrews 9:15).


Do you think that you now have real understanding of what God has foreordained, and do you see that the Calvinist doctrine is absolutely a false doctrine? If you do not please send me E-mails for further instruction on this vital subject. It is a very fundamental subject that you need to have a clear understanding of.


Back to I Peter 1:21 "who through him, (Christ) are believers in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing that you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth  unto unfeigned love of the brethren love one another from the heart fervently."  So all of these brethren that Peter is writing to covering this large area of territory made up of many, many churches, all of them had purified their souls by their obedience to the truth, and that is the only way that souls have ever been purified is by obedience to God's truth.  God's truth must be preached, and men must believe it and obey it to purify their souls. The alien sinner purifies his soul when he obeys the requirements of the gospel for his salvation which requires faith (Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24) repentance (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30), and baptism for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).  Christians purify their souls by that second law of pardon as given in Acts eight, when they learn that they have done wrong, they are to repent and ask God for forgiveness.  In I John 1:7- 9, "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we make him a liar, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is just and righteous to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 


It is by obedience to the commands of God that souls are purified today.   Peter says, since “you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth and unto unfeigned, (unpretended), love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently.” So let your love be intense,  “Love one another from the heart fervently  In the average church today, there is a great lack of love.  There is not anything that causes more trouble in the church today than a lack of love.  And we need to heed the admonition given here that we are to love one another from the heart fervently.  We need to keep before us the words of Jesus as given in John 13:34-35.


Verse twenty- three, "Having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth."  Note, the word begotten, before there can be a birth there must be a begetting.  Some of the translations use the word begotten, some of them born again.  The King James Version says, “having been born again”.  "Not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible."  Of course, that is talking about the word of God.  Luke 8:11, "The word is the seed of the kingdom." People cannot be saved, and the kingdom of God cannot be established unless the seed is sown, but just as surely as we do a good job of sowing the seed, it results in people being saved and the kingdom of God being enlarged.  In Romans 1:16 Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."  So the word of God is the “incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth for ever."  And then Peter quotes from Isaiah 42:14 where Isaiah said, "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory thereof is the flower of grass; the grass whithereth and the flower falleth, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever.  And this is the word of good tidings which was preached unto you."  So the word of God is going to be with us, it “abideth forever.” 


Chapter Two

Then Peter exhorts his brethren to long for spiritual food and grow up.  "Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation:  If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious."  I believe that in the last Class Session we called attention to how there are several passages where the writers of the New Testament would say “if you have,” but it means a little different from setting forth a condition.  It means that you have tasted that the Lord is gracious and you know that he is, that with great kindness, he gives you unmerited favor.  "Unto whom coming, a living stone, (Christ) rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, and precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."


 During the patriarchal dispensation and then during the entire Jewish dispensation, they offered up animal sacrifices as a way of atonement for sin, but Christians are to offer up living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2). Christ was the living stone that was predicted by the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 8:13-14, 28:16), and Christians are to be living stones in the church or the temple that he has established.  "Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, and be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."  We may well conclude that everything that we do in the way of proper Christian living is reckoned as a spiritual sacrifice to God.  Surely when we pray with the right spirit and attitude, we are offering a sacrifice to God, when we sing, and all the other things that we participate in the way of worship, and when we give to the poor or whatever good works we may be engaged in, then we are offering a sacrifice well‑pleasing to God.  Hebrew 13:15‑16, "Through him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips which make confession to his name. But to do good and communicate forget not:  For with such sacrifices God is well pleased."  The word communicate in the more recent versions would be share.  When we do good and share what we have with others who are in need, then with such sacrifices, the passage says, God is well‑pleased, it is a spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  Christ is our high priest, and we approach God through Jesus as our high priest.  And we are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 


Verse six, "Because it is contained in scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, and precious:  And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame."  That is a quotation from Isaiah 28:16.  The Old Testament reference reads a little different to what is recorded here.  "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation of stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation:  And he that believeth on him shall not make haste."  "For you therefore that believe he is preciousness:  But for such as disobedient. The stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner."  Verse eight is a quotation in part of Isaiah 8:14.  The passage says, "And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel."  When the prophet Isaiah wrote that by the inspiration of God, Israel was divided into two kingdoms, the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom.  The northern kingdom consisted of ten tribes, and the southern kingdom consisted of Judah and Benjamin, and so the prophet said that Christ would be a stumbling stone to both of the houses of Israel.  Of course, he would be a sanctuary to those who believe and obey him (Hebrews 5:8-9). 


Well, I left out verse seven, "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner," That is Psalms 118:22, and Jesus used this passage when he gave the parable of the wicked husbandman as given in Matthew chapter twenty‑one.  If you will turn with me to Matthew chapter twenty‑one beginning with verse thirty‑three, "There was a man that was a householder, who planted a vineyard."  He did everything to make the vineyard a good vineyard.  "And then he turned the vineyard over to husbandmen," verse thirty‑eight.  And when it came time for him to receive his fruits from the vineyard, he sent his messengers to receive the fruit and they beat one and killed another and stoned another.  And, again, he sent other servants and they did in like manner to them.  Finally, he decided he would send his son.  He said they will reverence my son.  Verse thirty‑eight, "When the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and take his inheritance."  God had sent his beloved Son, to die as a sin offering for us, and Jesus knew that they were going to kill him.  And he says, and they took him and cast him forth out of the vineyard and killed him.  That is what they were going to do, Jesus knew it.  "When therefore the Lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do unto those husbandmen?  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures."  And here is the same passage, "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner:  This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  And he that falleth on this stone shall be broken to pieces:  But on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust.  And when the chief priests and the Pharisees had heard this parable, they perceived that he spake of them.  And when they sought to lay hold on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet."  They were ready to kill him then, and they sought to lay hold on him, but they were afraid of the multitude. 


Verse nine, But ye are an elect race."  Here he is talking about the Christians in all of those churches, that you “are an elect race  The King James Version and The New King James Version says, “But you are a chosen generation,” but most of them say an elect race.  The Contemporary English Version reads, “ But you are God’s chosen and special people.” Are not Christians of every generation “a chosen generation, “an elect race,” and “God’s chosen and special people?”  "A royal priesthood."  Our priesthood under the law of Christ is a greater priesthood than that which belonged to the law.  Christ is our high priest, and we can approach God directly through Christ.  Back there they had to approach God through the Leviticus priesthood during the period of the law.  In the first few chapters of Leviticus, we read about how that they were to carry the animal as specified by the law to the place where the tabernacle was, and the sinner was to lay his hand upon the animal and kill the animal, and then the priest was to take over and perform the things that the law required in regard to offering up the animal in the proper way as the sacrifice.  In other words, they had to approach God through the medium of an earthly priesthood.


Every child of God today is a priest, and as this passage plainly states, “you are a royal priesthood” which means that every Christian is a priest and can approach God directly through Christ.  When a child of God has learned that he has sinned, he does not have to wait until the church meets in order to get forgiveness of sin.  But just as soon as he learns that he has sinned and repents and prays to God for forgiveness, he receives forgiveness (I John 1:8-9).  So you are a royal priesthood, a holy nation.  The church is a holy nation in the sense that we have a heavenly citizenship.  In Philippians 3:20-21 Paul said to the Philippians that, "Our citizenship is from heaven; from whence we look for a Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall fashion anew, the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory."  So every child of God is a citizen of the heavenly country, and we have a heavenly citizenship!  And in this sense, Christians of each generation constitute a holy nation.  "A people for God’s own possession that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who call you out of darkness into his marvelous light:  Who in times past were no people, but now are the people of God:  Who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."  Verse ten shows in a very good way that most of these brethren were Gentile brethren because it says, "Who in times past were no people, but now are the people of God."  This could not properly be said of the Jewish people as a people, because they were under the law, the chosen people of God.  And so this letter is directed to some Jewish believers in this great area of territory but most of them were Gentile people as shown by this passage and several others in the book. 


Verse eleven, "Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul."  Peter is beseeching and pleading with them to turn away from all the lusts and passions of the flesh and “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul  Any time a person gives way to the lust of the flesh, then that is a way of warfare against the soul.  Most of these brethren living in these areas were Gentiles, living in such an environment where it was the common thing to live according to all fleshly lusts.  But Peter wants them to turn away from them.  "I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims."  Now, remember the book is written to the sojourners of the dispersion, but I think here he is speaking of it especially from the standpoint of how that we as Christians are to count that we are just sojourners and pilgrims here.  As the Hebrew writer said in Hebrews chapter thirteen, "For we have not here an abiding city, but we seek one to come."  In Hebrews eleven, you remember how it talks about how that the patriarchs confessed that they were sojourners and pilgrims on the earth, for they looked for a better city, whose builder and maker is God.  So we are to confess that we are sojourners and pilgrims that we are just journeying toward a better country.  And in our journey, we need to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.  "Having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles:  That, wherein they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."  The day of visitation would be that day when Christ comes again, the Second Advent, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.  Peter is telling them to live in such a way that your influence on these Gentile people that they will obey the gospel and be prepared for the coming of Christ and glorify God in the day of visitation. 


Verse thirteen, In this paragraph Peter talks about several relationships, and this is another area which this book has several things very much like Paul's epistle to the Ephesians.  In Ephesians Paul discusses several relationships, and here Peter discusses several relationships.  He first discusses our relationship to civil government.  And he said, "Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake:  Whether to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evildoers, and for praise to them that do well."  So we are to be subject to all of the laws that are passed, and all of the requirements of civil authority,  and notice that Peter says, for the Lord's sake.  Why does he say it is for the Lord's sake?  Because God has ordained civil authorities, and especially he has ordained them for the punishment of the evil doers.  Do you remember how that in Romans 13:1-7, Paul teaches in his letter to the Romans the same thing that Peter teaches?  Paul said, "Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers:  For there is no power but of God:  And the powers that be are ordained of God.  Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God:  And they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment."  So God has ordained that under the New Testament, the civil authorities are to take care of the criminals, and we are to obey civil authority, civil law.  The only exception would be if we are commanded by civil law or authority to do that which is contrary to what God has commanded.  Do you remember when Peter and John were commanded not to teach any more in the name of Christ, they said “Whether it is right to hearken unto you than unto God judge ye, for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard (Acts 4:19-20)”.  The second time they said, “we must obey God rather than man.”  So if God's law is contrary to the civil ordinance or civil law, then we are to obey God's law because His law is supreme.  Under all other circumstances, whether we think the civil ordinance or requirement is good or not, we are to go ahead and obey the law of the land. 


Peter says, "Whether to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, sent by him for vengeance on evil doers, and for praise of them that do well."  Governments in the main take vengeance on evil doers and praise those that do well.  Sometimes we may have bad men in government, and there may be exceptions to the over riding rule of things, but regardless of what land you go to in the main, the governments take vengeance on evil doers and praise them that do well.  "For so is the will of God, that by well doing ye shall put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:  As free (In Christ)  and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God."  This statement in verse sixteen is much like Paul's statements in Galatians chapter five and verse thirteen where he talks about that they were free, "But only use not your freedom for an occasion of the flesh; but through love be servants one to another."  We are not to use our freedom in the wrong way, but we are to use our freedom in service to one another, and we are not to use it as stated here in well doing, that we may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.  We are not to use our freedom in Christ as a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God, as slaves of God.  "Honor all men.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the king."  All men possess an immortal soul and are made in the image of God and likeness of God, and we are to honor all men. 


God is no respecter of persons, the Bible says a number of times, and that in every nation, he that fears God is acceptable with him.  So honor all men.  Love the brotherhood.  It is very important that we know something about what is happening in the brotherhood.  We need good fellowship between congregations, and we need those religious journals that tell us about what is happening in the brotherhood and keep us informed.  We need to love brethren everywhere.  "Fear God.  Honor the king."  And, of course, to us that would mean honor the president, honor the governor of our state, honor whoever is in authority in all areas of civil authority. Even if the person in office may not be the proper one to be in office, we are to respect the office.  We are to honor the office, and think what would happen if we did not.  Anarchy would soon prevail if we do not respect established government.  We are in a very dangerous time in respect to some people not having proper respect for civil authorities.  Think of the O. J. Simpson case, so many bad statements were made about the police officers until I am afraid more and more people are frowning upon the police instead of having proper respect for the police, but what would happen if we didn't have police officers.  As Paul stated in Romans 13:4, a police officer is “a minister of God to thee for good,” and we need to respect them always as such.  So our relationship with civil authority as stated by Peter is in perfect accord with what Paul had to say in Romans 13:1-7. 


Verse eighteen, the second relationship that he discusses is, "Servants be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward."  When the New Testament law went into effect, slavery was the economic system of the day.  And instead of the Holy Spirit, giving instruction that the servants were to leave their masters, they were taught to be in subjection to their masters, and that their masters were to treat them well.  Peter does not deal with the master's part, but he does deal with the servants.  He says to be in subjection to your “masters with fear,” meaning, have proper respect and obey them, and not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.  And the froward would be those contrary to the good and gentle.  They would be those masters that were harsh and cruel and maybe crooked along with it, but they were still to be in subjection to them. 


There are a number of New Testament passages that have given instructions about how that the servants were to serve their masters, and the masters were to serve their servants well.  We do not have a slave‑master relationship today, but we have an employer‑employee relationship, and the instruction given in the New Testament about the slave and master relationship, these principles are to be heeded on the part of employees and of employers today.  In Ephesians, Paul talks about this relationship.  Ephesians 6:5-9 he says, "Servants, be obedient unto them that according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not in the way of eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,” That applies today to all Christian employees, they are not to serve their employer with “eyeservice as menpleasers,” but they are to be good workers, a good servant of the company, or the employer, as the case may be.  "With good will doing service, as unto the Lord, and not to men:  Knowing that whatsoever good thing each one doeth, the same shall he receive again from the Lord, whether he be bond or free.  And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening:  Knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."  So you masters, do not threaten your servants.  You be good to your servants.  God is your master and your servant's master, and there is no respect of persons with him.  And in the Colossian letter, he speaks of the servant‑slave relationship. 


In Colossians 4:1 he says, "Masters, render unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven."  That would mean that if the crops were plentiful, then the servants would have more, right? You masters remember render unto your servants that which is just and equal, and so in regard to companies and employers, if the business is doing well, then the employees are to receive more benefits.  "Knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven."  But coming back to Colossians 3:22, he has already talked about servants.  "Servants obey in all things them that are your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:  And whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance:  Ye serve the Lord Christ.  For he that doeth wrong shall receive again for the wrong that he hath done:  And there is no respect of persons." 


In I Timothy 6:1-3 reads, "Let as many as are servants under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and the doctrine be not blasphemed.  And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but let them serve them the rather, because they that partake of the benefit, are believing and beloved.  These things teach and exhort."  So when we take everything that is said by the inspired writers about the master‑servant relationship, we can see that if those instructions were followed, it would just very naturally do away with those harsh things that were sometimes true of a master‑servant relationship and would come near to being just an employer‑employee relationship much like we have today. 


But back to I Peter 2:19.  And so here the instruction is a little bit different from those passages that we read from the epistles of Paul.  Servants were not only be in subjection to good masters, but to those old, cruel, harsh, mean masters.  Verse nineteen, "For this is acceptable, if for conscience toward God a man endures grief, suffering wrongfully." Well, today a person can change places of employment.  If an employee cannot endure the forward employer properly, then the thing he needs to do is find another place of employment.  But as long as he is employed to a company or to another person, he is to serve according to a good conscience, doing everything that the employers are trying to require of him as long as it meets the proper standards according to God's law.  "For what glory is it, if, when ye sin and are buffeted for it, ye shall take it patiently?  But if, when we do well, and suffer for it, ye shall take it patiently, this is acceptable with God."  Surely there would be no glory in being buffeted for doing the wrong thing, but when we do well, suffer for it, this is acceptable or this is ‑‑ the footnote says this is grace.  In other words, this is the thing that makes us, very favorable with God that we take it patiently. 


Verse twenty-one, "For even hereunto were ye called:  because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow in his steps:  who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth."  Now, some are ready to reason that Christ as the Son of God could not have sinned, but the Bible teaches that he was subject to sin.  In Hebrews 4:15 reads, "For we have not high priests that cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."  That is verse fifteen.  So the writer says that Christ was tempted as we are tempted but without sin.  And then he says, "Let us come therefore boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help us in time of need."  So Christ was tempted in all points like we are.  And when we turn and read how that Satan tempted Christ after he fasted forty days and forty nights, he tested Christ through the three avenues through which temptation comes, as stated in I John 2:15‑16, "Love not the world, neither things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but of the world." 


Satan tempted Christ in all three of those areas after he had hungered for forty days and forty nights, Jesus surely must have been hungry, and Satan wanted him to turn the stones into bread to prove that he was the Son of God.  You remember how Jesus said each time that it is written.  In that case, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  So Christ was subject to temptation, “ he was tempted in all points like we are yet without sin  And here Peter is emphasizing that just as Christ suffered, we may expect to suffer.  He says, "Leaving you as an example, that ye may follow in his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."  I think surely Peter must be thinking about what Isaiah said of Christ in Isaiah fifty‑three.  And let us turn to Isaiah fifty‑three and look at what the writer said relative to the death of Christ.  Isaiah fifty‑three beginning with verse one, "Who hath believed our message?  And to whom hath the arm of Jehovah revealed?  For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of the dry ground:  He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  And one from whom men hide their face; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and yet when he was afflicted, he opened not his mouth:  As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.  By oppression and judgment he was taken away?  And as for his generation who among them considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living:  For the transgression of my people was he stricken."  Notice the number of things that was fulfilled in respect to Christ.  "And they made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:  When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. (Christ being a proper atonement for sin) By the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death:  And was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." 


The gospel accounts, show very plainly that when Jesus was reviled, he reviled not again, when he suffered he threatened not but committed himself to him that judgest righteously.  "Who in his own self bare our sins in his own body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness:  By whose stripes we are healed." Both Paul (Acts 13:29; Galatians 3:13) and Peter speak of Christ being crucified on a tree rather than a cross as in the King James Version and The American Standard Version. "Bare our sins in his own body on the tree."  I really think that that gives a better meaning than on the cross, although it does mean the cross too. Why do I say that?  Because from Deuteronomy 21:22-23 we learn that there were certain criminals that they hanged instead of stoning them to death according to the law (Deuteronomy 13:8-11).  From the reading of those two verses we learn that they hanged them on a tree, and instructions were given that their bodies were to be taken down from the tree.  I guess we need to turn and read that passage, Deuteronomy 21:22‑23, "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou shalt hang him on a tree:  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the same day; (for a hanged man is accursed by God;) you shall not defile your land, which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."  So the criminal was to be taken down from the tree before the sun went down.  He was counted as a criminal in a very special way, it looks like, of being cursed of God.   Paul refers to this in Galatians 3:13 that all that were under the law were under a curse, the law says, "For it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (Deuteronomy 27:26)  And then he says, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."  It is significant that Peter and Paul as given in  the King James Version and American Standard Version use the word tree instead of the cross.  In Acts 5:30 Peter was talking about the death of Christ and said, “that they hanged him on the tree  And, again, in Acts 10:39, when he was preaching to Cornelius and his household, he said that the people had hanged him on the tree.  In Acts 13:29, Paul when he was preaching in the Jewish synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia was talking about the death of Christ, said that they hanged him on a tree. 


When we consider those passages, they give us a little better understanding than “bare our sins in his body upon the cross  “On a tree” emphasizes that Christ has become the curse for us as stated in II Corinthians 5:21, "For him who knew no sin; he hath made to be sin in our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God through him."  In other words, Christ died as a sinner.  Do you remember one of those seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross, “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  So Jesus died with the sins of the world upon him.  Verse twenty‑four again, "Who in his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, have died to sins might live unto righteousness:  By whose stripes were healed.  For we were going astray."  Peter’s words are like Isaiah 53:5-6. "For we were going astray like sheep; but now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls."  So Christ is the chief shepherd and bishop of our souls. 


Chapter Three

The next relationship that Peter talks about is the relationship of wives to their husbands and husbands to their wives.  "In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives;  as they behold your chaste behavior coupled with fear."  Now, when he says may without the word, of course, we know that no one is saved apart from obedience, but the primary thing that would be leading them to give proper respect to God's word would be seeing what it had done for their wives and seeing the good behavior of their wives they would be led to obedience of the gospel. Next, he talks about the adorning of godly women.  "Whose adorning let not be the outward adorning of the braiding of the hair, and the wearing of jewels, and gold, or of putting on of apparel."  Now, Peter is not saying here, and Paul is not saying in I Timothy 2:9-10 that women are not to adorn themselves, but both references emphasize the fact that there is something more important than the outward adornment. Some of the rich women of that day would adorn themselves with the braiding of silver or gold in their hair, and adorn themselves with jewels of gold and expensive apparel, much like some movie stars do today.  And the New Testament writers emphasize that that adorning is not the proper adorning for Christian women, that there is something much more important than that. 


Now, if they are not supposed to do any adorning at all, then look at the latter part of verse three, they would not be supposed to put on any apparel either if they are not supposed to do some adorning.  "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."  So there is nothing that will take the place of that inward adorning of the meek and quiet spirit.  And what man would not want to live ‑‑ especially, a Christian man would not want to live with a Christian woman who  manifests the meek and quiet spirit in daily Christian living. Peter says, “which is in the sight of God of great price  Verse five, “For after this manner aforetime the holy woman, who hoped in God, adorned themselves: as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: In that day and time, that was a way of just showing proper respect and being in subjection to her husband, Abraham.  "Whose children ye now are, if ye do well, and are not put in fear by any terror."  All of us as Christians are not put in fear by any terror and punish. That kind of fear causes people to do the wrong thing rather than the right thing (Matthew 10:28).  I Timothy 2:9-10 is a parallel to I Peter 3:3-4. It reads, “In like manner, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel."  Modest apparel would not be very expensive and costly apparel.  "But with shame facedness and sobriety; not with braided hair."  And, again, that would have to do with braiding gold and silver in their hair.  "And gold, or pearls, or costly raiment; but (which becometh women professing godliness) through good works.  Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection.


I Peter 3:7, Back to chapter three and verse seven, "Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives, according to knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered."  And so husbands are to give honor unto their wives as unto the weaker vessel.  The primary way in which women are to be regarded as weaker is physically.  In our society today more and more husbands may, unless they are very careful, follow the pattern of the day.  A husband and wife are both working, and then so many husbands expect the wife, when they get home, to do everything in regard to preparing the meals and keeping the house while they sit and watch TV.  That is contrary to this passage.  "Give honor unto the woman as unto the weaker vessel."  Surely, he ought to be ready to take all of the harder things to do off of his wife that he can.  "And as joint heirs for the grace of life."  In other words, they are on equal footing with you before God, they are joint heirs of the grace of life.  "To the end that your prayers be not hindered."  Well, if husbands are not treating their wives properly, first the fact that they do not have that proper consideration for one another would cause their prayers to be hindered, and further they just would not pray as much; plus it might be that when they pray that their prayers will not be answered because they are not treating their wives properly.  So Peter is saying every husband who is able to do so, give honor to your wife as the weaker vessel and take those harder jobs off of her. Now, there are some women that are stronger than some men,  but the overriding rule is that men are stronger physically than women. 


Verse eight, "Finally, be all like minded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tender‑hearted, humble minded, not rendering evil for evil or reviling for reviling."  You see when Christ was reviled, he reviled not again, and when he suffered, he threatened not, so we are to follow in his steps.  He left us an example, going back to 2:21 that we should follow in his steps.  "Not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling:  but contrariwise blessing; for hereunto were ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing."  And then it gives a quotation from the book of Psalms about the person who will be blessed.  "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:  Let him turn from evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it."  So a righteous man refrains his tongue from evil and his lips that they speak no guile, and turns away from evil.  That is the negative side, the positive side would be he does good.  Even the Old Testament writers emphasize turn away from the wrong way and do good.  Let a man learn to do what's just and right.  "Let him seek peace, and pursue it."  So it is not enough just to turn away from evil, but the positive side of Christian living is to seek peace and pursue it.  In Romans 12:19 the writer says, "Follow after the things which make for peace, and the things by which we may edify one another."  In I Thessalonians 5:22 it says, “abstain from every form of evil.”  The King James Version, “abstain from all appearance of evil  So we are to stay away from evil doing.  It is very dangerous to try to see how close we can get to evil without doing evil. The Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament, admonishes us to turn away from evil and do good.  Another good Old Testament passage is Proverbs 16:17 which says that “the highway of the upright is to depart from evil.”  So we need to travel the highway of the upright, departing from evil and doing  good.  "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are unto their supplication:  But the face of the Lord is upon them that do evil." 


And here I think I need to call attention to how that some few of our brethren still try to teach something about alien sinners that the Bible does not teach.  They teach that an alien sinner does not have the right of prayer.  And I have heard some of our preachers of past days say that “if you are not a Christian and you pray to God, your prayer would not get any higher than the ceiling of this building.  About sixty years ago a number of good brethren sincerely came to such a conclusion! Why? Because that was a day when the mourner’s bench religion was very popular in many of the denominational churches, when people would go up to be “prayed through” or to be saved by prayer only. This tenet is still a popular tenet, but it had more drama back there. Our brethren knew that such teaching was false, but they went to a bad extreme. They joined John 9:31 and Ephesians 1:3 and I Peter 3:12, and came with the false teaching that an alien sinner’s prayer will not be heard. No one is saved by “prayer only” but the Bible teaches that God may see to it that they will have opportunity to hear the truth. He did this for Cornelius (Acts 10:31) and for Lydia and her household (Acts 16:8-15) and neither Jesus or Ananias rebuked Saul because of his praying (Acts 9:10-11, 9: 15-17, 22:16).


The Bible teaches that God will hear a man who is humble and trembles at his word.  Isaiah 66:2 reads, "but to this man will I look.  Even to him  that is poor and of contrite spirit and that trembleth at my word."  Please find a place to write all of these references close to I Peter 3:12. Proverbs 28:9 and 28:13, Psalms 32: 1-5, 66:18, Acts 9:10-11, Acts 9:15-17, 10:31, 22:16.  Proverbs 28:9 says, "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination unto the Lord."  And that holds whether a man is a Christian or one who is not a Christian.  A child of God that will not hear the word of the Lord, the Lord will not answer his prayer, the writer says it is an abomination unto the Lord.  Proverbs 28:13 says, "He that covereth his transgression shall not prosper:  But whosoever confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy."  So a child of God that tries to cover his transgression shall not prosper.  But if he “confesses and forsaketh them,” he will obtain mercy.  From Psalms 32:1-5 we learn that God’s “hand was heavy” on David until he confessed his transgression and then God forgave him, verse five. Psalms 66:18 reads, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."  Meaning that a child of God regards iniquity in his heart, or   he wants to hold on to the way of wrong doing rather than repent and do right, then God will not hear him. 


Please remember there is always a danger of going from one extreme to another extreme, and let us not let the pendulum swing too far. Always take time to study all of the references on the subject before you try to answer false doctrine. If we answer false doctrine with false doctrine our false doctrine  in some cases may be worse than the doctrine that we are trying to answer. Do not be ashamed to say that you do not know an tell the person that I need to study more on this subject. 


Christian parents teach their children how to pray, and then when they get to the age of accountability are they to tell them “you should not pray any more until you have obeyed the gospel”? Does not nearly every person, if not every person, do some praying before they become Christians?


Now, back to I Peter 3:13, "And who is he that will harm you if ye be zealous of that which is good?"  The overriding rule is that those who are zealous for that which is good receive praise from the government, but sometimes there may be exceptions to the rule, and a Christian may have to suffer for well doing.  And thus Peter said, "But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, blessed are ye and fear not their fear, neither be troubled."  Peter must have been remembering the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:10, "Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake:  For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  So blessed are ye.  Fear not their fear, neither be troubled.  Jesus also said," Fear not him that can destroy the body, not able to destroy the soul:  But fear him rather who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).."  We are to trust in God and be ready to give the right kind of answer.  "But sanctify in your hearts Christ  as Lord:  Being ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you yet with meekness and fear."  We need therefore to be prepared to give a right answer with a kind and gentle spirit. A harsh answer may do more harm than good. .  We need to know the will of the Lord well enough that we can go with a straight course to answer questions on all of the major subjects of the Bible.


Verse sixteen, "Having a good conscience; that wherein you  are  spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ."  This may have been one of the primary ways in which some were being persecuted at this time, reviling them for their good manner of life.  And later he talks about that further.  They thought it was strange that those Gentile Christians would no longer  revel with them in that old lustful way that they had been accustomed to before they became Christians.  "For it is better, if the will of God should so will, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.  Because Christ also suffered for sins, once the righteous for the unrighteous."  Please write down in the margin of your Bible by verse eighteen II Corinthians 5:21, "Him who knew no sin; him he made to be sin in our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God through him."  "Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit."  Now, the New King James version reads, "Made alive by the Spirit."  And spirit is capitalized, which would mean that the translators think that Christ was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit or made alive by the Spirit.  The New International Version, I think it reads about the same way. STUDENT:  "By the Spirit." BROTHER TURNER:  "By the Spirit made alive," and spirit is capitalized.  And I think that that must be the meaning of it. 


Somebody might say, how could it be right that Christ was made alive by the Spirit when several passages say that he was raised from the dead by the power of God.  Actually, the three persons of the godhead are given credit for the resurrection of Christ.  A number of passages state that he is raised from the dead by the power of God.  And this passage, if we can go according to the reading, "Made alive by the Spirit," that Christ was made alive by the Holy Spirit, the third person of the godhead.  We need to turn and read Romans 8:11.  It reads, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead."  Spirit is capitalized, which means the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ.  "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you."  So that passage is saying that the Spirit raised up Jesus from the dead.  In John the tenth chapter, "My Father loves me, because I lay down my life for the sheep."  And he goes ahead to say in John 10:18, that “no one taketh it from me, I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again."  So Christ is affirming that I have the power to raise myself from the dead.  Romans 8:11 reads, “But the Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised Jesus from the dead shall give life to your mortal bodies through the Spirit that dwelleth in you.” 


I Peter 3:18-20. this passage has been used by the Mormons and other religious people to get a false doctrine of a second chance after death. Some Mormons are baptized for dead relatives. This passage and I Corinthians 15:29 are the two primary references they use to support their false claims. These verses, I Peter 3:18-20 in the American Standard Version read, “Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous; being put to death in the flesh,, but made alive in the spirit; in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison that a foretime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in days of Noah while the ark  was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved through water:”  According to the proponents of the doctrine of a second chance Christ during the three the three days that he was in the grave went and preached to that great host of people who were destroyed by the flood and gave them a second chance. Brother Moss is that not a Bible based, wholesome doctrine, and full of a lot of comfort?


Does not this sound good and right on the surface? But this interpretation violates a basic rule of proper interpretation of the scriptures. When a passage of scripture is properly interpreted it is in harmony with all other passages for God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). He does not say one thing in one passage and then contradict what it says in another. There are many, many, passages that teach that there is no second chance after the soul leaves the body. A few of the passages are: Daniel 12:2; John 5: 28-29; II Thessalonians 2: 7-10; Matthew 13:40-43, 13:49-50, 25:31-32, 25:45-46; Luke 16:19-31; Romans 2:4-10, 14:11-12; II Corinthians 5:10-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; Revelations 6:15-16, 20:11-15, 21:6-8. You should write some of these references in a margin of your Bible to help you to explain I Peter 3:18-20.


“But made alive in spirit”  in verse eighteen spirit is capitalized in the King James Version and in The New King James Version which means that the translators thought that is the Holy Spirit. The New International Version also has it Spirit and the New American Version has it Spirit in a footnote.


What is the meaning of this difficult passage? Is it not logical to conclude that Christ through the Spirit, through Noah during the one hundred and twenty years when he was building the ark, and preaching righteousness? That great host of people were disobedient to the preaching of Noah, “when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing.” II Peter 2:4-5 reads, “For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and preserved  not the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.” The spirits of those ungodly people are still in prison like the devil and his angels as stated in II Peter 2:4. Verse six of Jude reads, “And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day 


Now back to the latter part of I Peter 3:20, “ wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved through water: which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; having gone into heaven; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” So evidently for a hundred and twenty years, Noah was a preacher of righteousness and successful in saving only himself and his wife and his three sons and their wives, eight souls.  Sometimes my brethren need to turn and read about Noah.  Some seem to think that unless a child of God has converted a lot of people, there is no way he can get to heaven.  Well, Noah preached for one hundred and twenty years and was not successful in saving anyone except members of his own household, and we may do well if we do that.  "Who is on the right hand of God, gone into heaven; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."  The Bible teaches that everything has been made subject to Christ, as given in Matthew 16:18, “all authority has been given unto me in heaven and on earth.  Go ye therefore and teach all nations.”  As recorded in Ephesians 1:19-23, Paul wanted the Ephesians to understand the greatness of God's power, that he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and set him at his right hand, “far above all rule and authority, and power, and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world but that which is also to come  So Christ is now reigning at the right hand of God, and over everything. 


Chapter Four

In this chapter Peter gives more details about how those brethren needed to be prepared to suffer for the name of Christ.  He says,  "For as much then as Christ suffered in the flesh, arm ye yourselves also with the same mind:  For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin."  When a man loves the Lord well enough to suffer for his cause and suffer for being a Christian, that man can put away the way of sin.  There is no stumbling block in his way.  And so Peter is saying that just as you know that Christ suffered, prepare yourself to suffer.  Jesus told his apostles in the last long discourse that he gave to them how that if the world hates you, remember that it hated me before it hated you, and the disciples not above his Lord, and if they hated me, they will hate you.  If they would believe me, they would believe you. So the Bible teaches that the children of God are going to suffer.  And you might want to write down II Timothy 3:12, "Yea, all of those that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."  Not maybe, but shall.  Now, our persecution today may be a little different from what others in previous generations have suffered.  But the Bible plainly teaches that we need to be prepared to suffer. 


In Acts 14:22‑23 when Paul and Barnabas on that first missionary journey among the Gentiles, they returned back and revisited the churches that they had established and appointed elders in all the churches.  And Luke says that they exhorted them ‑‑ that may not be the right word, but, anyway, that through many tribulations they would enter into the kingdom of God, talking about the eternal kingdom of God.  In Revelation chapter seven after the numbering of those saved from the tribes of Israel as set forth in that chapter, John in the vision saw a great multitude which no man could number out of every nation tribe and tongue.  And they were wearing white garments with garlands in their hands.  And one of the elders said to John, “who are these, and whence came they  And John responded, My Lord thou knowest.  “And then the elder answered, these are they that have come out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.”  So the faithful are going in some way to suffer for the cause of Christ, and Peter is saying that just as surely as Christ suffered you are going to suffer. You need to arm yourselves also with the same mind, with the same attitude that he had, and be ready to suffer.  He has already talked about in 2:21 that he suffered for us, “leaving us an example that we should follow in his steps, who did no sin neither was guile found in his mouth, when he was reviled, he reviled not again,  when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” 


Verse three, is another passage that indicates strongly that most of these people that Peter is writing to are Gentile people.  "For the time passed may suffice to wrought the desire of the Gentiles, and to have walked in lasciviousness, lusts, wine bibings, revelings, carousing, and abominable idolatries."  In other words, sex was very much a part of the idolaters' religion, and they practiced various forms of sex in the worship to their idol gods.  And some of them would pray that their god would give them more prostitutes, and I get the idea that just about all forms of unnatural sex they practiced back there; and that was an abomination to the Lord.  They offered up their children like they were offering up an animal in sacrifice to the idol gods.  One of the primary things that caused the carrying away of Judah into Babylonian captivity was the blood of the innocents   which polluted the land (Psalms 106:37-41) and that included the matter of their offering up their children as sacrifices to their idol gods.  Is abortion polluting the land of America? When some of those Gentiles obeyed the gospel, the idolatrous Gentiles thought it very strange that they would not continue to run with them in that way of wrong doing. 


Verse four, "Wherein think they it strange that ye run not with them and to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you."  And those who are opposed to the way of right are going to find some way to try to speak evil of those who go the way of right, because the way of right always reproves their wrong doing (John 3:19-21).  "Who shall give an account to him (Christ) that is ready to judge the living and the dead."  God has committed all judgment to Christ (John 5:22).  Verse six, "For unto this end was the gospel preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."  The gospel is good news and the good news is that God has always had a way of salvation for man, and God's good news was preached to them. 


Verse seven, "But the end of all things is at hand:  Be ye therefore of a sound mind, and be sober unto prayer."  Several of the commentaries will count verse seven and verses seventeen and eighteen as referring to the destruction of Jerusalem.  Jesus plainly taught that Jerusalem would be destroyed, the temple would be completely destroyed; and that would be a terrible time.  And he told his disciples, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, then let him on the housetop not go down to take anything out of the house but flee to the mountains and other like statements that he made.  Luke says, “But when you see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her desolation is at hand (Luke 21:20).”  The armies were the Roman armies, and so very definitely Jesus taught that Jerusalem would be destroyed, but as I have already mentioned, I think some brethren have made a mistake of going through and every passage that has anything like this in it they make it refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. In Romans 13:12 Paul says to the Romans, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand:  Let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light."  Is he not just saying, you have wasted too much time in sin already now rise up and work for the Lord.  “Let us cast off the works of darkness and let's put on the armor of light.”  Do you remember that James told them be patient “for the coming of the Lord is at hand,” James 5:8 and here in Peter.  And in Philippians 4:4-7, Paul said to the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord always:  And again I say, Rejoice.  Let your forbearance be made known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand.  In nothing be anxious; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."  Well, in that passage, the context shows that, he is saying the Lord is at hand to hear and answer your prayers.  So instead of being anxious or worried call on the Lord for help. This could mean the destruction of Jerusalem, but it looks like that is a little extreme according to the reading, “but the end of all things is at hand.”  Think how far removed these people were from Jerusalem, I doubt very seriously if the destruction of Jerusalem affected them very much.  The day of the Lord is at hand from the standpoint of the brevity of this life!  The day of judgment, because when man dies his destiny is sealed.  Do you see any way that, the end of all things is at hand could refer to the destruction of Jerusalem?


Verse eight, "And above all things being fervent in love among yourselves:  For love covereth a multitude of sins."  Notice that Peter says, above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves.  In other words, put that at the top of the ladder, above all things.  You remember the words of Jesus about the new commandment as given in John 13:34-35  "For love covereth a multitude of sin."  Peter may be referring to Proverbs 10:12 which reads, "Hatred stirreth up strifes, but love covers all transgressions  Some have been ready to take this to mean that if you love your brother ‑‑ you love him so much that you do not see his wrong doing.  The Bible teaches that sins are not covered apart from repentance and the power of the cleansing blood of Christ for forgiveness.  One passage you need to write down beside of verse eight is Luke 17:3, "If thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times turns and says I repent, forgive him."  So for the love of a brother when he does wrong, we should exhort him to repent in the proper way. James used this wording, “he that converteth his brother from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and shall hide a multitude of sin.”  But sins are not covered apart from repentance and confession (I John 1:8-9).


Verse nine, "Using hospitality one to another without murmuring."  Many people today have the wrong idea of what true hospitality is.  Some think that if you prepare a big feast for some of your close friends and invite them over and let us feast this Friday night, and in a few weeks you expect them to return the favor, and they return the favor.  Enjoying a big feast together surely may provide for some good fellowship, but New Testament hospitality is primarily of helping those especially strangers that were in need of help (James 1:27; Hebrews 13:2; III John 5-8). It looks like they were living in difficult days, and some were in great need, and Peter exhorts, “using hospitality one to another without murmuring.” There were very few places of public accommodation in that day, and most of them would not have been a proper place for Christians to stay; so there was a special need of hospitality to other Christians.  And so when we study III John, the beloved Gaius was receiving into his home those that had gone forth for the sake of the name and was setting them forward on their journey which the apostle John commended him for.  It is that kind of thing that fits in the category of real hospitality. Hebrews 13:2 reads, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:  For there by some have entertained angels unawares."  That surely included Abraham and Lot, that they entertained angels unawares. 


Verse ten, "According to each has received a gift."  Now, it may be referring here in this day and  time to miraculous gifts.  Miraculous gifts were given by the laying on of the apostles’ hands. In Acts we read about Peter and John going down and laying hands on the Samaritans that they might receive gifts (Acts 8:14-24).  In I Corinthians 12:4-11 those gifts are enumerated.  And whatever gift a man had then, he was to use it as a good steward in the manifold grace of God.  He was to use it in the proper way to encourage and help those fellow travelers.  We do not have any miraculous gifts today, but all of us do have natural gifts or abilities, and whatever ability we have we are to be a good steward of that gift.  Another passage very similar to this one is in the twelfth chapter of the book of Romans, I think in verses three or four or somewhere along there.  "So according as each hath received the gift, ministering among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."  We do not possess anything on our own.  We have not received any gift on our own.  Everything that we have that are possessions which belong to the Lord, and we are going to have to give account of our stewardship. 


Verse twelve, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which cometh upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you."  Christians are not to count suffering as a strange thing but part of their lot of being faithful to Christ.  "But in as much as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; rejoice, that, at the revelation of his glory (Second Advent)   "also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy."  Because they are ready to suffer for Christ, then they would be judged faithful at the coming of Christ.  "If ye are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are ye; because the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God resteth upon you."  Remember how Jesus talked about this in the Sermon on the Mount, blessed are they that are persecuted for the kingdom of heaven's sake, for great is their reward in heaven.  "For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or an evil doer, or as a meddler in other men’s matters."  We know that under no circumstances should a Christian be a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or a lawbreaker of any kind, and he is not to be “a meddler in other men's matters 


We are not to go around trying to get our nose in everybody's business unless it is a case  where we can help.  There were those in the church at Thessalonica that had never worked for a living, and Paul told them to go to work while he was with them, and he told them in that first letter, and then in the second letter he said there are some that “work not at all, but he says they are busy bodies  and walking “disorderly  It is usually the person that is idle that wants to attend to somebody else's business, and so we are not to be criminals in any way,  nor meddlers in other people's matters.  Now, a person could carry this too far.  Sometimes there will be serious problems where we can help individuals or families, and that would not be meddling.


Verse sixteen, "But if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name."  The name Christian is used only three times in the entire New Testament,  and this is one of them.  In Acts 11:26, in that first Gentile church, Luke tells us that “the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch  And in Acts twenty‑six when Paul reasoned with king Agrippa, king Agrippa said, “almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian,” according to the King James reading in Acts 26:28.  The name Christian was the new name that was to be given. Write down by verse sixteen Isaiah 56:4-6, 62:2, 65:15.  In Isaiah 56:5 reads,  "To them will I give in mine house and within my walls a memorial and a name that will be better than that of sons and daughters:  I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."  Well, God's house is the church (I Timothy 3:14-15).  Isaiah 62:2 says, "the nations shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name."  It was in the first Gentile church that they were called Christians first at Antioch.  The word called in Acts 11:26, Young's Analytical Concordance gives the word for called to mean “to declare by an oracle.”  And that is in agreement with Isaiah 56:5 and Isaiah 62:2.  Some are ready to say that they were called Christians by the enemies, but no such thing.  The name which the mouth of the Lord shall name. 


Verse seventeen.  "For the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God:  And if it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel?"  This passage is applied by some to the destruction of Jerusalem.  The destruction of Jerusalem was an “intime” judgment on the Jewish nation. But there is another sense in which judgment begins at the house of God, John3:18 reads, "He that believeth on him is not judged.  He that believeth not on him is judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the begotten Son of God."  Paul and Barnabas told the unbelieving Jews at Anioch of Pesida, “It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing you thrust it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo we turn to the Gentiles Acts 13:46. So a man who refuses to believe on Christ is judged already, and judgment, in that sense begins with the house of God.  Most of these brethren were Gentiles far removed from Jerusalem, and how would it affect them in any way?

Verse eighteen, "And if the righteous is scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?" One writer called attention to II Peter 1:11 which says,  "For thus shall be richly supplied unto you the entrance into the eternal kingdom." And then said that it could not refer to eternal judgment, because it says if the righteous is scarcely saved.  Well, I personally believe there is still a sense in which the righteous will scarcely be saved.  Without the grace and mercy of God, no man will be saved.  No man will be saved on the basis of his own merit or on and the basis of his own goodness (Luke 17:7-10). .  And Jesus said, enter ye in by the straight gate.  “For straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life and few there  be that find it.”  So the way to heaven is the straight and narrow way, and only a few, in comparison to the many traveling the broad way are going to find it.  And many of those that get in the way according to the parable of the sower are going to turn away from the narrow way and be in a lost condition (Matthew 13:20-22; Luke 8:13-14).


In Ezekiel chapter fourteen it is stated at least twice in that chapter, if God saw fit to bring some kind of calamity upon the land because of their sin it says if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in the land, they would but save themselves, they would save neither son and daughter, but by their own righteousness they would only save themselves. STUDENT:  Which chapter? BROTHER TURNER:  Ezekiel chapter 14:13-20.  Think of those great men Noah, Daniel, and Job and what they endured!  Verse nineteen, "Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls in well doing unto a faithful creator."  That is what Christ did and we are to follow him (I Peter 2:21-22).


Chapter Five

Chapter five, "The elders therefore among you I exhort, who am a fellow elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, who am also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed."  The first time that we read of elders is Acts 11:30.  The prophet Agabus went to that Gentile church at Antioch of Syria, and told them that a famine was coming.  And they determined every man according to his ability to send relief to the disciples in Judaea, and they sent it to the elders by the hands of Paul and Barnabas, and in Acts 14:22‑23 Paul and Barnabas on that first missionary journey revisited the churches and they appointed elders in all the churches.  The New Testament pattern is that all of the churches were to have, in the process of time  their own elders.  I wonder if the apostles did not make up the first eldership of the Jerusalem church.  Peter speaks of himself as being a fellow elder and an apostle, Could not this have been true of the other apostles? "Who am also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed."  Every faithful child of God is a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed when Christ comes.


 "Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint."  Now, elders are to tend to the flock of their own congregation and not a congregation somewhere else.  Occasionally, they may be able to give some kind of help to another church, but they are to be overseers of the flock of the church that they are the bishops or elders of.  They are to be like a good shepherd in the way that he tends the flock, and sees that they have good pasture and protection. Elders of the church are to feed and oversee the flock (Acts 20:28-32). "Exercising the oversight, and not of constraint."  They are not to do their work unwillingly or because members are insisting and they do it just out of a sense of duty.  "But willingly according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind." The New International Version says, “not greedy for money, but eager to serve.” The New Revised Standard Version says, “Not for sordid gain but eagerly.”  The New American Standard reads, “and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness” The Contemporary English Version reads, “Let it be something you want to do, instead of something you do merely to make money.”


I Timothy 5:17‑18 teaches that, “elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those that labor in word and in teaching  The double honor that is given in the context is pay.  Because it says as it is written, “thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn, and the laborer is the worthy of his hire.”  It joins an Old Testament passage and a New Testament passage together.  And God gave the law that they were not to muzzle the ox when he is treading out the corn or thrashing the grain, that he had a right ‑‑ in working he had a right to eat.  According to Paul in I Corinthians nine, that law was given to teach man that the laborer has a right to have reward for his labor.  So those that were giving their time in labor and teaching deserved pay.  And the other part of the passage, when Jesus sent forth the twelve under the limited commission, he told them not to carry anything with them that “the laborer is worthy of his hire.”  In other words, they went forth teaching under that limited commission with miraculous powers to heal the sick, and they were not to carry anything with them, because the labor is worthy of his hire.  What then is the meaning of “ nor yet for  filthy lucre, but of a ready mind?” STUDENT:  Greed for money. BROTHER TURNER:  Or just doing it for the pay that they get. We surely do not need preachers or elders who serve only for pay, but please remember that they would be getting their pay from the church. Would it be filthy because it was from brethren or is it because so many want money for wrong motives (I Timothy 6:10, 3:3; Titus 1:7) that money is spoken of as filthy lucre? So elders are not to serve just for pay.  And it  would be shameful if the church, was paying them and they were just trying to get as much pay as they could get but not serving with a willing spirit, that would in deed be shameful. 


"Neither as lording it over the charged allotted to you, but making yourselves ensamples to the flock."  So the elders are to rule primarily by being good examples, just like good men are supposed to lead their families primarily by good example, not by a strong arm but primarily by being a good example for all the members of the family to follow.  Elders are only under shepherds under Christ.  Christ is the chief shepherd, and he has given all of the instruction, and elders do not have a right to try to bind anything the Lord has not bound,  or to try to loose anything that the Lord has bound.  "And when the chief Shepherd shall be manifested, ye shall receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away." 


Verse five, "Likewise, ye younger, be subject unto the elder.  Yea, all of you gird yourselves to serve one another, for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.   Humble yourselves therefore unto the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you."    Younger people are to be subject to those that are older, not referring necessarily to the elders of the church, but younger people in the church need to be subject unto the older people in the church.  They need to listen to them and serve them in a proper way.  All of us need to remember that Jesus came not to be ministered unto but to minister and give his life for many (Matthew 20:28) and that is what we are to do. Peter says, “gird yourselves with humility to serve one another, for God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble.” 


There are a number of passages that teach us that we are to cast all of our anxiety upon the Lord, and the more we cast our care upon him, and ask him for help, the more we can do (I Corinthians 3:16-17; Philippians 4:4-7; Matthew 6: 25-34). 


Verse eight, "Be sober, be watchful; your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."  The lion is usually counted as one of the strongest beasts of prey of the forest, not afraid to make an attack, and the devil is spoken of as a roaring lion.  The lion roars when he is ready to pounce upon his prey, and the devil is always ready to pounce on a Christian and destroy his faith if he can.  He is walking about seeking whom he may devour, “who withstand steadfast in your faith.”  Remember Jesus resisted by saying it is written, it is written, it is written.  "Who withstand steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world."  So whatever the suffering is, it must have been many places where brethren were going through a similar kind of suffering.  "And the God of all grace."  Notice that statement, God of all grace, grace is unmerited favor, and God is the God of all grace. 


Verse ten, "And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory of Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, and strengthen, you."  And so it looks like Peter is expecting most of them to live through the fiery trial.  And after you have suffered a little while, the Lord will perfect, establish, strengthen you. "To him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.  By Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I account him, I have written unto you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God stand ye fast therein."  In other words, I am an eyewitness of Christ, and I have written unto you , and everything I have told you is true, Silvanus has helped me, and  Silvanus is the same as Silas of Acts fifteen.  Paul had chosen Silas to go with him on that second missionary journey.  Of course, Silas was a faithful coworker with Paul, he must have been also with the apostle Peter, and he probably did the actual writing of the epistle. 


"By Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I account him, I have written unto you briefly, exhorting, testifying that this is the true grace of God stand ye fast therein.  She that is in Babylon elect together with you, saluteth you; so doth Mark my son."  Some try to reason that “She” is referring to the church in Babylon. Such reasoning is not logical. Do you think that it would be proper to put a church, and an individual together in the same sentence? Peter must be referring to his wife. She was evidently traveling with him as she did in days past. Paul said as recorded in I Corinthians 9:4, "Have we not a right to lead about a  wife that is a believer, even as Peter and the other apostles."  So it must be talking about his wife, and she sends her greetings along with Mark that he speaks of as his son. Mark must have fitted in the category to Peter as Timothy to Paul.  Paul speaks of Timothy as his son, because he had converted him on that first missionary journey.  "Salute one another with the kiss of love.  Peace be unto you all that are in Christ."  Do you think we ought to reinstitute the kiss of love or the holy kiss as Paul speaks of it in Romans 16:16 and I Corinthians 16:20 and II Corinthians 13:12? Paul says salute one another with a holy kiss, and Peter says, salute one another with a kiss of love, but kissing was the primary way of greeting in that day in time, and it still is in many of the middle eastern countries. The purpose of such a statement is let it be pure, let it be holy, and not a lustful kiss, or a betraying kiss.