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Benson Joseph

1 Peter 1

1. [This is being written by] Jesus’ apostle Peter, to God’s people who are scattered throughout the countries of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. [Note: These places are located in present-day Turkey].

2. These people have been [specially] selected, and [their acceptance was] pre-planned by God the Father, and they were set apart through [the work of] the Holy Spirit. This resulted in their obedience and sprinkling [Note: This is a figurative reference to the Old Testament practice of cleansing, See Exodus 24:7-8] by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God’s unearned favor and peace be continually upon you.

3. God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is to be praised for being so merciful as to have given us a new birth, which provides for us a hope of never ending life through the means of Jesus Christ’s return from the dead.

4. Through Him we have an inheritance that cannot be corrupted or contaminated, and will never disappear; it is reserved in heaven for you.

5. Through God’s power you are protected by [your] faith, so that you can expect to be saved in the end.

6. Because of this you can be very joyous, even though it is necessary for you to have suffered many trials for a little while.

7. But these will only test your faith, which is more valuable than gold which, though refined by fire, eventually perishes. Your faith, [however], will [endure and eventually] prove to be praiseworthy and honorable when Jesus returns.

8. Although you have not seen Jesus, you [still] love Him and believe in Him, and this causes you to have an indescribable, glorious joy.

9. Your faith will [finally] bring about the salvation of your souls.

10. The prophets [of old], who spoke of this salvation, asked about and searched diligently concerning the unearned favor [God provided] for you people.

11. They studied [their own prophecies] to learn what, or which [person or] time the Holy Spirit in them pointed to, in predicting the sufferings of Christ and the glories yet to come.

12. It was revealed to these prophets that you people, not they, were the ones being ministered to in the matters now being announced to you by those who preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven. [This message contained] things which angels would like to look into.

13. So, gather your thoughts together for action, take control of yourselves and focus your hope completely on God’s unearned favor, which will be brought to you by Jesus Christ when He returns.

14. As obedient children, do not pattern your lives after the evil desires you formerly had when you were ignorant,

15. but according to the Holy One, who called you [i.e., God], you people also should become holy [i.e., separated for God’s service] in all your conduct,

16. because it is written [Lev. 11:44f], “You shall be holy [i.e., separated from sin] even as I am holy.”

17. And if you call upon [God as your] Father, who judges each person’s work impartially, [then] conduct yourselves during the time you spend in this life showing reverence [to God].

18. You [should] know that you were bought back [from Satan], from your useless way of life, inherited from your forefathers, not with such perishable things as silver and gold,

19. but with [the] precious blood of Christ, who represents an unblemished lamb, without defect.

20. For Christ was previously known [by God, even] before the world was created, yet was not fully revealed for your benefit until [these] final times.

21. [It is] through Christ, whom God raised from the dead and honored, that you people have become believers in God, so that your faith and hope could rest in God.

22. [Since] you have purified your souls by [your] obedience to the truth [i.e., the Gospel message], which produces a genuine love for your brothers, [now] you should have this kind of fervent, heartfelt love for one another.

23. You have experienced new birth, not from seed that can decay, but from seed that cannot decay, through the living and enduring word of God.

24. For all forms of flesh are similar to grass, and all the splendor of [a person’s] flesh is like the flower [which blossoms] from the grass. [But as with] grass, [a person’s flesh] withers, and its flower [i.e., his splendor] falls off.

25. But the word of the Lord continues to live on and on [forever]. And this word is the good news that was preached to you people.

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1 Peter 1

1Pe 1:1. Peter, &c., to the strangers — Or sojourners, as παρεπιδημοις more properly signifies; that is, to the Jewish or Gentile Christians sojourning on earth: see on 1Ch 29:15; Psa 39:12; Heb 11:13. Scattered — Διασπορας, of the dispersion, or dispersed, partly, probably, by the persecution mentioned Act 8:1; or the expression may merely signify, that they lived at a distance from each other, being scattered through the widely-extended regions here mentioned; through Pontus, &c. — He names these five provinces in the order wherein they occurred to him, writing from the east. All these countries lie in the Lesser Asia. The Asia here distinguished from other provinces, is that which was usually called the Proconsular Asia, being a Roman province.


1Pe 1:2. Elect — Called out of the world, and from a state of ignorance and sin, guilt and depravity, weakness and wretchedness, by the word, the Spirit, and providence of God; and in consequence of obeying the call, by turning to God in true repentance, living faith, and new obedience, chosen — Or accepted of God. For all true believers, or genuine Christians, whose faith works by love, have continually the title of God’s elect in the New Testament. See notes on Rom 8:28; Rom 8:33; Eph 1:4-5. “Election,” says the Rev. J. Wesley, “in the Scripture sense, is God’s doing any thing that our merit or power has no part in. The true predestination, or fore-appointment of God, Isaiah , 1 st, He that believeth shall be saved from the guilt and power of sin. 2d, He that endureth to the end shall be saved eternally. 3d, They who receive the precious gift of faith, thereby become the sons of God; and being sons, they shall receive the Spirit of holiness, to walk as Christ also walked. Throughout every part of this appointment of God, promise and duty go hand in hand. All is free gift; and such is the gift, that the final issue depends on our future obedience to the heavenly call. But other predestination than this, either to life or death eternal, the Scripture knows not of. Moreover, it Isaiah , 1 st, Cruel respect of persons; an unjust regard of one, and an unjust disregard of another. It is mere creature partiality, and not infinite justice: 2d, It is not plain Scripture doctrine, (if true,) but, rather, inconsistent with the express written word, that speaks of God’s universal offers of grace; his invitations, promises, threatenings, being all general. 3d, We are bid to choose life, and reprehended for not doing 2:4th, It is inconsistent with a state of probation in those that must be saved or must be lost. 5th, It is of fatal consequence; all men being ready, on very slight grounds, to fancy themselves of the elect number. But the doctrine of predestination is entirely changed from what it formerly was. Now it implies neither faith, peace, nor purity. It is something that will do without them all. Faith is no longer, according to the modern predestinarian scheme, a divine evidence of things not seen, wrought in the soul by the immediate power of the Holy Ghost; not an evidence at all, but a mere notion. Neither is faith made any longer a means of holiness; but something that will do without it. Christ is no more a Saviour from sin; but a defence, a countenancer of it. He is no more a fountain of spiritual life in the souls of believers, but leaves his elect inwardly dry, and outwardly unfruitful; and is made little more than a refuge from the image of the heavenly; even from righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. According to the foreknowledge of God — That is, speaking after the manner of men; for, strictly speaking, there is no foreknowledge, any more than after-knowledge, with God; but all things are known to him as present from eternity to eternity.” As none but the truly penitent and believing have in Scripture the title of God’s elect, so such may be properly styled, elect according to the foreknowledge of God, because God knows beforehand from eternity who will turn to him in repentance and faith, and who will not; but, as Milton observes, “Foreknowledge has no influence on their fault, Which had no less proved certain unforeknown.” Nor is there any inconsistency between the divine prescience and human liberty; both are true, according to the Scripture; and doubtless God can reconcile them, if we cannot. Macknight explains the clause thus: “The persons to whom the apostle wrote were with propriety said to be elected according to the foreknowledge of God, because, agreeably to the original purpose of God, discovered in the prophetical writings, Jews and Gentiles indiscriminately were made the visible church and people of God, and entitled to all the privileges of the people of God, by their believing the gospel,” namely, with a faith working by love to God and man: “God’s foreknowledge of all believers to be his people,” [that is, true, genuine believers, possessed of living, loving, and obedient faith; for only such are God’s people,] “was revealed in the covenant with Abraham. This the apostle mentions to show the Jews that the believing Gentiles were no intruders into the church of God. He determined, from the beginning, to make them his people. See Rom 11:2, where God is said to have foreknown the whole Jewish nation; and 1Pe 1:20, where the sacrifice of Christ is said to be foreknown before the foundation of the world.” Through sanctification of the Spirit — Through the renewing and purifying influences of the Spirit on their souls; for sanctification implies an internal change wrought in the heart, the first part of which is termed regeneration, Joh 1:13, or a new creation, 2Co 5:17; Tit 3:5; producing, 1st, Power over sin, 1Pe 4:1-2; Romans 6.; over the world, 1Jn 5:4; and the flesh, Rom 8:2. 2d, Devotedness to God and his service in heart and life. 3d, A continually increasing conformity to the divine image. Unto obedience — To engage and enable them to yield themselves up to all holy obedience; namely, both internal, to the great law of love toward God and man, with every holy disposition connected therewith; and external, to all God’s known commands. And sprinkling of the blood of Jesus — That is, through his atoning blood, which was typified by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices under the law, in allusion to which it is termed, (Heb 12:24,) the blood of sprinkling. This is the foundation of all the rest, for by this we are, 1st, Introduced into a state of justification and peace with God, being freed from a condemning conscience, put in possession of the Holy Spirit, and rendered capable of obeying, Heb 9:13-14; and hereby, 2d, Our obedience is rendered acceptable to God, which it would not be if it were not sprinkled with his blood, or recommended by his mediation. Grace unto you — The unmerited favour and love of God, with those influences of the Spirit, which are the effect thereof; and peace — All sorts of blessings; be multiplied — Possessed in great abundance.


1Pe 1:3-4. Blessed be the God and Father, or, God even the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ — His only-begotten and beloved Son; who, according to his abundant mercy — His compassion for us in our state of ignorance and guilt, depravity and weakness; his undeserved love and goodness, the source of all our blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal: hath begotten us again — Regenerated us; to a lively — Ζωσαν, living, hope — A hope which implies true spiritual life, is the consequence of repentance unto life, living faith, justification by faith, and a birth from above, by which we pass from death unto life; a hope which revives the heart, and makes the soul lively and vigorous: by the resurrection of Christ — Which not only proved him to be the Son of God, (Rom 1:4,) and demonstrated the truth and importance of his doctrine, which brought life and immortality to light, but manifested the acceptableness and efficacy of the sacrifice he offered for sin, opened an intercourse between God and man, made way for our receiving the Holy Ghost, and is a pledge and earnest of our resurrection, he having risen the first-fruits of them that sleep in him. To an inheritance — For if we are children, then are we heirs; incorruptible — Not like earthly inheritances or possessions, of whatever kind, which are both corruptible in themselves, tending in their own nature to dissolution and decay; and are possessed by that which is corruptible, even through the medium of the body, with its senses and members, all tending to decay and dissolution. But the inheritance we expect is neither corruptible in itself, nor shall we that enjoy it be corruptible, either in soul or body. Undefiled — Every thing here is therefore corruptible, because it has been defiled with the sin of man, and laid under a curse, so that vanity and misery are attached to the enjoyment of every thing; and we ourselves, having been defiled in soul and body, have all the seeds of vanity and misery sown in our frame. But the inheritance reserved for us has not been defiled by any sin, and therefore has no curse, vanity, or misery attached to it: Rev 22:3. And we ourselves, when admitted into that world, shall be perfectly pure, and shall have in our frame no hinderance to the most perfect enjoyment. And fadeth not away — As every thing in this world does, decaying in lustre and glory, in sweetness, or the pleasure it yields in the enjoyment, and in value to us, who can only have a life estate in any thing; whence, whatever we possess is continually decreasing in value to us, as the time approaches when we are to be dispossessed of it. But the inheritance above, on the contrary, will not decay in any of these respects: its value, its glory and sweetness, or the pleasure it yields in the enjoyment, will continue the same to all eternity; or rather, will continually increase; new glories opening upon us, new pleasures offering themselves to our enjoyment, and new riches not ceasing to be conferred upon us from the inexhaustible stores of divine and infinite beneficence. Reserved in heaven — And therefore not subject to such changes as are continually taking place here on earth; for you — Who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, honour, and immortality.


1Pe 1:5. Who are kept — Who, though now surrounded with many apparent dangers, are not left defenceless, but are guarded, kept as in a garrison, as the word φρουρουμενους signifies; by the power of God — Which worketh all in all; or secured from all real harm, under the observation of his all-seeing eye, and the protection of his almighty hand; through faith — Through the continued exercise of that faith, by which alone salvation is both received and retained. The clause is very emphatical: “It represents,” says Macknight, “believers as attacked by evil spirits and wicked men, their enemies, but defended against those attacks by the power of God, through the influence of their faith, (1Jn 5:4,) just as those who remain in an impregnable fortress are secured from the attacks of their enemies by its ramparts and walls.” Ready — Ετοιμην, prepared, to be revealed — In all its glory; in the last time — The time of Christ’s second coming; the grand period, in which all the mysteries of divine providence shall beautifully and gloriously terminate. Some have thought that by the salvation here spoken of, the apostle meant the preservation from the destruction brought on the Jewish nation by the Romans, which preservation the disciples of Christ “obtained, by observing the signs mentioned in their Master’s prophecy concerning that event. For, when they saw these signs take place, they fled from Jerusalem to places of safety, agreeably to their Master’s order, Mat 24:16. But what is said, 1Pe 1:9-12, concerning this salvation; that it is a salvation, not of the body, but of the soul, to be bestowed as the reward of faith; that the prophets, who foretold this salvation, searched diligently among what people, and at what time, the means of procuring it were accomplished; that it was revealed to the prophets that these means were to be accomplished, not among them, but among us; and that these things were to be preached by the apostles as actually come to pass: I say, the above- mentioned particulars concerning the salvation to be revealed in the last time, do not agree to the deliverance of the Christians from the destruction of Jerusalem, but are applicable only to the salvation of believers in general from eternal death, by a resurrection to an immortal life in heaven, at the time of Christ’s coming, when this salvation is to be revealed; and that time is called the last time, because it will be the concluding scene of God’s dispensations relating to our world.” — Macknight.


1Pe 1:6. Wherein — In which living hope of such a glorious inheritance, and in being so kept to the enjoyment of it, ye, even now, greatly rejoice — Αγαλλιασθε, ye are exceeding glad, or leap for joy, though for a season, ολιγον αρτε, now — A little while: such is our whole life compared to eternity! if need be — When God sees it needful, and the best means for your spiritual profit; ye are in heaviness — Λυπηθεντες, grieved, or in sorrow; but not in darkness: for they still retained both faith and hope, 1Pe 1:3; 1Pe 1:5; yea, and love, 1Pe 1:8. From this we learn that the people of God are never afflicted except when it is either necessary for, or conducive to, their spiritual improvement. What a consolation is this to the afflicted! That the trial of your faith — The trying whether it be genuine, or the proof of it upon trial; being much more precious — Or much more important, or of greater consequence, than the trial of gold — Or that your faith, being tried, and proved to be genuine upon trial, which is more precious than gold, (for gold, though it bear the fire, will yet perish with the world,) may be found, though it doth not yet appear, unto praise — From God himself; or may be approved and commended by him; and honour — From men and angels; and glory — Assigned by the great Judge; at the appearing of Jesus Christ — At the time of the restitution of all things, when he shall appear for the perfect and final salvation of his followers. One reason why the Christians, in the first age, were subject to persecution and death was, as Macknight observes, “that their faith being put to the severest trial, mankind might have, in their tried and persevering faith, what is infinitely more profitable to them than all the gold and silver in the world; namely, such an irrefragable demonstration of the truth of the facts on which the Christian religion is built, as will bring praise, and honour, and glory, to God, and to the martyrs themselves, at the last day. For what can be more honourable to God, than that the persons, whom he appointed to bear witness to the resurrection of Christ, and to the other miracles by which the gospel was established, sealed their testimony with their blood? Or what greater evidence of the truth of these miracles can the world require, than that the persons who were eye-witnesses of them, lost their estates, endured extreme tortures, and parted with their lives, for bearing testimony to them? Or what greater felicity can these magnanimous heroes wish to receive than that which shall be bestowed on them at the revelation of Jesus Christ, when their testimony shall be put beyond all doubt, their persecutors shall be punished, and themselves rewarded with the everlasting possession of heaven?”


1Pe 1:8-9. Whom having not seen — Ειδοτες, known, that is, personally in the flesh; ye love — Namely, on account of his amiable character, and for the great things he hath done and suffered for you, and the great benefits he hath bestowed on you. It is very possible, as Doddridge observes, that among these dispersed Christians, there might be some who had visited Jerusalem while Christ was there, and might have seen, or even conversed with him; but as the greater part had not, St. Peter speaks, according to the usual apostolic manner, as if they all had not. Thus he speaks of them all as loving Christ, though there might be some among them who were destitute both of this divine principle and of that joy which he here describes as ανεκλαλητω και δεδοξασμενη, unutterable and glorified; that is, such joy as was an anticipation of that of the saints in glory. Receiving — Even now already, with unspeakable delight, as a full equivalent for all your trials; the end of your faith — That which in your faith you aim at, and which is the seal and the reward of it; the salvation of your souls — From the guilt and power of your sins, and all the consequences thereof, into the favour and image of God, and a state of communion with him; implying a qualification for, and earnest of, complete and eternal salvation. The Jews thought that the salvation to be accomplished by the Messiah would be a salvation from the Roman and every foreign yoke; but that would only have been a salvation of their bodies: whereas the salvation which believers expect from Christ is the salvation of their souls from sin and misery, and of their bodies from the grave.


1Pe 1:10-11. Of which salvation — That is, concerning the nature and extent of it, and the way and means of attaining it, namely, by believing and obeying the gospel, to be preached among all nations: (see the margin:) the prophets have inquired — Εξεζητησαν, sought with accuracy, or were earnestly inquisitive about; and searched diligently — (Like miners searching for precious ore,) after the meaning of the prophecies which they delivered; who prophesied — Long ago; of the grace of God toward you — Of his abundant overflowing grace to be bestowed on believers under the dispensation of the Messiah: searching what, or what time — What particular period; and what manner of time — By what marks to be distinguished; or in what age of the world, and what events should then take place. From this it appears that in many instances the prophets did not understand the meaning of their own prophecies, but studied them, as others did, with great care, in order to find it out. See Dan 7:28; Dan 12:8. This care they used more especially in examining the prophecies which they uttered concerning Christ. The Spirit of Christ which was in them — The Holy Spirit, as a Spirit of prophecy communicated to them by Christ, who therefore then existed, and that not as a creature, for no creature can give the Holy Ghost but a person properly divine. Here then we learn that the inspiration of the Jewish prophets was derived from Christ; it was his Spirit (see Gal 4:6) which spoke in them. The same Spirit he promised to the apostles, Joh 16:7; Joh 16:13. Wherefore, the prophets and apostles being inspired by one and the same Spirit, their doctrine must be, as in fact it is, the same. When it testified beforehand — Moved them to foretel and show; the sufferings of Christ, (see the margin,) and the glory that should follow — Τας μετα ταυτα δοξας, the glories that should succeed these sufferings; namely, the glory of his resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and the effusion of his Spirit; the glory of the last judgment, and of his eternal kingdom; and also the glories of his grace in the hearts and lives of true believers.


1Pe 1:12. Unto whom — So searching; it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us — Not so much for their own benefit as for ours, to whose time the accomplishment of their prophecies was reserved; they did minister the things which are now reported unto you — Performed the office of foretelling the things, the accomplishment whereof has been declared unto you. In other words, that they did not so much by their predictions serve themselves or that generation, as they have served us, who now enjoy what they only saw afar off. With the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven — Confirmed by the inward powerful testimony of the Holy Ghost, as well as the mighty effusion of his miraculous gifts. Which things the angels desire to look into — To obtain a more perfect insight into, and knowledge of, as being matters of their admiration and delight, because in them the manifold wisdom of God is displayed, and by them the salvation of men is procured and effected, which they rejoice in. The expression, the angels desire to look into, is literally, to stoop down to. “But stooping being the action of one who desires to look narrowly into a thing, it properly means to look attentively. The omission of the article before αγγελοι, angels, renders the meaning more grand. Not any particular species of angels, but all the different orders of them, desire to look into the things foretold by the prophets, and preached by the apostles. See Eph 3:10. This earnest desire of the angels to contemplate the sufferings of Christ, was emblematically signified by the cherubim placed in the inward tabernacle, with their faces turned down toward the mercy-seat, Exo 25:20. To that emblem there is a plain allusion in the word παρακυψαι here, to stoop. The apostle’s meaning is, If our salvation, and the means by which it is accomplished, are of such importance as to merit the attention of angels, how much more do they merit our attention, who are so much interested in them!” — Macknight. Here is a beautiful gradation: prophets, righteous men, kings, desired to hear and see the things which Christ did and taught, Mat 13:17; but what the Holy Ghost taught concerning Christ, the very angels long to understand.


1Pe 1:13-16. Wherefore — Since your lot is fallen into these glorious times, wherein you enjoy such high privileges above what the people of God formerly enjoyed; since the blessings which are set before you are so invaluable, and are so freely offered you, and you have such great encouragement to believe you may attain them; gird up the loins of your mind — Prepare to pursue them with vigour, constancy, and perseverance, and to perform the various duties which they lay you under an indispensable obligation steadily to practise. The apostle alludes to the manners of the eastern countries, in which the men’s garments being long and flowing, they prepared themselves for travelling, and other active employments, by girding them up with a girdle put round their loins, to prevent their being encumbered by them. The loins of the mind, therefore, is a figurative expression for the faculties of the soul, the understanding, memory, will, and affections, which the apostle signifies must be gathered in and girded, as it were, about the soul by the girdle of truth, so as to be in a state fit for continual and unwearied exertion in running the Christian race, fighting the good fight of faith, and working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Our mind must not be overcharged at any time with surfeiting and drunkenness, or the cares of this life: our affections must be placed on proper objects, and in a just degree; and especially must be set on the things that are above, which are to be our portion and felicity for ever: our various passions must be under the government of reason and religion, of the truth and grace of God. Be sober — Or rather, watchful, as νηφοντες properly signifies, as servants that wait for their Lord; and hope to the end — Τελειως ελπισατε, hope perfectly, namely, with the full assurance of hope; for the grace — The blessings flowing from the free favour of God; to be brought unto you at the final and glorious revelation of Jesus Christ — At the end of the world. As obedient children — As children of God, obedient to him in all things; not fashioning — Or conforming; yourselves — In spirit and conduct; according to — Or, as if you were influenced by; your former desires in your ignorance — When you were unacquainted with those better things which now claim the utmost vigour of your affections. But as he which hath called you — To be his children and his heirs; is holy — A being perfectly pure and spiritual; be ye holy — In imitation of him, your heavenly Father; in all manner of conversation — Εν παση αναστροφη, in your whole behaviour, in all your tempers, words, and works, from day to day.


1Pe 1:17. And if ye call on the Father — With an expectation of being heard; or, as you desire or expect audience and acceptance at God’s hands; who, without respect of persons — Which can have no place with God; see note on Rom 2:11; judgeth according to every man’s work — According to the tenor of his life and conversation; pass the time of your sojourning — The short season of your abode on earth; in fear — In the reverential and awful fear of God, in an humble and loving fear of offending him, in a watchful fear of your spiritual enemies, and in a jealous fear of yourselves, lest a promise being left you of entering into his rest, you should, through lukewarmness, sloth, and indolence, or through levity, carelessness, and negligence, after all, come short of it. This fear is a proper companion and guard of hope. The word παροικια, here rendered sojourning, properly signifies the stay which travellers make in a place while finishing some business. The term, therefore, is applied with great propriety to the abode of the children of God in the present world, as it signifies that this earth is not their home, and that they are to remain in it only a short time. See on Heb 11:13.


1Pe 1:18-21. Forasmuch as ye know, &c. — That is, be holy in your whole behaviour, because ye know what an immense price your redemption cost; that you were not redeemed with corruptible things — Such as all visible and temporal things are; even silver and gold — Highly as they are prized, and eagerly as they are sought; from your vain conversation — Your foolish, sinful way of life, a way wholly unprofitable to yourselves, and dishonourable to God; received by traditions from your fathers — Which you had been engaged in by the instruction or example of your forefathers. The Jews derived from their fathers that implicit regard for the traditions of the elders, by which they made the law of God of none effect, with a variety of other corrupt principles and practices. In like manner the Gentiles derived their idolatry, and other abominable vices, from the teaching and example of their fathers; for, in general, as Whitby justly remarks, the strongest arguments for false religions, as well as for errors in the true, is that men have received them from their fathers. But with the precious blood of Christ — Blood of immense value, being the blood of the only-begotten Son of God, who had glory with the Father before the world was; as of a lamb without blemish and without spot — See on Lev 22:21-22. The sacrifice of himself, which Christ offered to God without spot, being here likened to the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, and of the lambs daily offered as sin-offerings for the whole nation, we are thereby taught that the shedding of Christ’s blood is a real atonement for the sins of the world. Hence John the Baptist called him the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. And to show the extent of the efficacy of his sacrifice, that it reaches backward to the fall of man, as well as forward to the end of time, he is said (Rev 13:8) to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Who verily was foreordained — Προεγνωσμενου, foreknown, before the foundation of the world — Before God called the universe into being; but was manifested — Namely, in the flesh, Joh 1:14; 1Jn 3:8; in these last times — Of the Mosaic economy, or in the times of the gospel, the last dispensation of divine mercy; see note on Heb 1:2; for you — Jews or Gentiles; who by him — Through the virtue of his sacrifice, and the efficacy of his grace; do believe in God — In the one living and true God, as your Friend and Father; that raised him up from the dead — Thereby confirming his doctrine, showing the efficacy of his atonement, procuring for you the Holy Spirit, and assuring you of your resurrection; see on 1Pe 1:3; and gave him glory — Placed him at his own right hand, and invested him with all power in heaven and on earth, for the salvation of his followers, and the destruction of his and their enemies. See Heb 10:13. That your faith and hope might be in God — That you might be encouraged to believe in God as reconciled to you through Christ, that you might hope on good grounds that he will glorify you as he hath done Christ your Head; or, that your faith and hope might terminate in God the Father, or be ultimately fixed on him through the mediation of his Son.


1Pe 1:22-23. Seeing you have purified your souls — By applying to this fountain which God has opened for sin and for uncleanness, and by believing and obeying the truth, which God hath appointed to be the grand means of sanctification, delivering such as obey it from the power, and purifying them from the defilement of sin, Joh 8:32; Joh 17:17; through the Spirit working by the word, unto the unfeigned love of the brethren — For the fruit of the Spirit is love to the children of God, as well as to God their heavenly Father. See that ye love one another with a pure heart — A heart purified from all earthly and sensual affections, and corrupt passions; from all selfish, interested views, designs, and desires; and that fervently as Christ loved the church; and so as to be willing, if called to it, to lay down your lives for the brethren, 1Jn 4:16. Peter’s description of Christian love here is excellent; it springs up in a heart purified by the truth of God, through the influence of his Spirit. It is sincere in its operation, it is unmixed with carnal passions, and it is fervent and increasing. Being born again — Born from above, born of the Spirit of God, and therefore his genuine children; a consideration which lays you under an indispensable obligation to love all your brethren and sisters in Christ, who are born of the same Spirit. See the note on Joh 3:3. Not of corruptible seed — Not by virtue of any descent from human parents; but of incorruptible — Namely, the truth of God, rendered effectual through his grace; which liveth — Is full of divine virtue and vital energy; and abideth for ever — Produces effects which will continue for ever, or begets in us that spiritual life which will issue in life eternal.


1Pe 1:24-25. For all flesh — Every human creature, is transient and withering as grass — The word χορτος, here rendered grass, denotes not only what we generally call grass, but all kinds of herbs; and among the rest, those which have stalks and flowers. And all the glory of man — His learning, wisdom, wealth, power, dignity, authority, dominion; as the flower of grass — Which is yet more frail than the grass itself. The grass withereth of itself, if not cut down by the scythe of the mower; and the body of man gradually wastes away and perishes, even if it be not cut off by some unexpected stroke; and the flower thereof falleth away — Drops its blooming honours, and falls dying to the ground; and thus precarious and uncertain are all the dependances which we can place on perishing creatures. But the word of the Lord — His revealed truth, by which you are regenerated or begotten again to a lively hope of a heavenly inheritance; endureth for ever — Always remains true and infallible, a foundation on which we may safely build our present confidence and future hopes. The reader will recollect that this is a quotation from Isa 40:6-8; “where the preaching of the gospel is foretold and recommended, from the consideration that every thing which is merely human, and among the rest the noblest races of mankind, with all their glory and grandeur, their honour, riches, beauty, strength, and eloquence; as also the arts which men have invented, and the works they have executed, all decay as the flowers of the field. But the incorruptible seed, the gospel, called by the prophet the word of the Lord, shall be preached while the world standeth; and the divine nature, which it is the instrument of conveying to believers, will remain in them to all eternity. James likewise hath illustrated the brevity and uncertainty of human life, with its glory, by the same figures, Jas 1:11.”






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