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The Book of 1 Peter
The Suffering Of The Saints And The Suffering Of Christ
In chapters 2 - 4, Peter deals with the suffering of God's children and the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ. In these three chapters we will see what suffering accomplishes in the lives of believers: Suffering produces separation (1Pet.ch.2); suffering produces Christian conduct (1Pet.ch.3); and suffering produces obedience to the will of God (1Pet.ch.4).
Real separation rests upon the fact that we have been born again, we now have a new nature, and we love Christ Jesus. Your love for Him makes you want to please Him.
The great purpose of God is to save people, not only from judgment and the lake of fire, but from the present evil world. He wants us saved, not only for our inheritance in Heaven some day (1 Pet.1:4-5), but for the heart of Christ now. The work Christ did on the cross settled every question that sin has raised between God and our souls. The future is bright with the glory of God, and we have been brought into the family of God (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; Rom. 8:15-17, 23; 2 Cor. 6:18; Gal. 4:5-7; Eph. 1:5) by being redeemed by Christ. We have been born again, into God's family, and NO one . . . not even Satan . . . can change that.
But, how are we doing today in our Christian lives? How is our relationship with our fellow men and with the Lord Jesus Christ?
Suffering Produces Separation
1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, (KJV)
We cannot expect God to do everything for us; He has certain things that we must do for ourselves. First, there are certain things that we are to lay aside. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 4:22, 25), likens it to the taking off filthy clothing. Paul uses a different way to describe it to the Corinthians (1 Cor.5:7-8), telling them to "Purge out therefore the old leaven."
Peter says to lay aside all malice . . . What is malice? It is suppressed anger, it is an unforgiving spirit, it is bitterness you carry in your heart, it is an "I'll get even with you" attitude. Even though a person says they are born again and that they love Jesus, NO person is a TRUE Christian if they are carrying that horrible burden of malice in their heart.
And all guile . . . guile is using sly, deceptive and devilish cleverness to get even or to try to make a good impression on someone. Ananias and Sapphira used guile when they tried to represent themselves as being very generous givers to the church. That old nature that we have is a vicious nature which is bent on doing harm to others.
And hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings . . . hypocrisy is play acting, pretending to be what you are not. Evil speaking means gossip, slander and outright lies.
This verse continues from chapter 1:22. A person who loves other people will want to help them and say good things about them. The words that people use show what their heart and spirit are like (Mat. 12:33-37). All the behavior in this verse is evil. ‘Stop’ means remove it from your life. Peter lists 5 evil things that Christians should remove from their lives.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (KJV)
As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word . . . just as a hungry baby reaches for the bottle, a TRUE believer will reach for the Word of God. Without a hunger for the Word of God you will NOT grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. You will NOT develop as a mature Christian (father, 1 John 2:13-14) you will always be a spiritual baby. A little baby needs milk so he can grow up to become a man. HOW does a Christian grow? He studies the Word of God. You cannot grow apart from the Word of God.
1 Peter 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (KJV)
If so be . . . since ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious . . . at the moment of salvation, a spiritual child is born with an appetite for the Word of God, just as a newborn infant immediately starts to eat. Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (KJV) . . . ‘Taste’ means to discover by experience. TRUE Christians realize how kind God is. This makes them hungry in their spirit and they want to know more and more about God. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (KJV)
Peter states that the Word of God is as ‘pure spiritual milk’. A Christian should want God’s Word as much as a baby wants milk. Milk makes a baby grow big and strong physically, and the Word of God makes a born again believer grow big and strong spiritually.
1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, (KJV)
To whom coming as unto a living stone . . . my friend, we do NOT come to a little Baby in Bethlehem; we come as little babies to a Living Stone, JESUS! The Living Stone is Christ Jesus. After the confession of Simon Peter, the Lord Jesus said, "...upon this rock I will build my church..." (Mat. 16:18). Simon Peter makes it very clear here that he is NOT the living stone because the Living Stone is Jesus Christ.
Jesus refers to Himself as a Stone. Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? (KJV) . . . Here He quotes from Psalm 118:22. Again, speaking of Himself He says: Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (KJV)
Christ Jesus is that Foundation Stone of the church. He is that Stone today. Paul writes: 1 Cor.3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (KJV)
When you come as a sinner and fall on that Stone, you are broken. BUT, in your brokenness that Stone becomes a Foundation for you, your salvation. BUT, if you reject that Stone, as millions do today, you are NOT through with the Stone. Daniel, in his vision, saw a "stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet" (Dan. 2:34). THAT is the Stone of Judgment which will come to smite the Earth. This Stone that Peter speaks of is a symbol of Christ. He also will be the Stone of Judgment to this Earth. What a factual picture of the Lord Jesus is given to us here!
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (KJV)
Ye also, as lively stones . . . lively is an old English word for living. HOW are we living stones? We have been "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Pet.1:23).
Ye also, as living stones are built up a spiritual house . . . after Peter's confession, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," the Lord Jesus said to him, "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church" (Mat. 16:16, 18). The name Peter means "rock," and what the Lord Jesus was saying to him was: "You are going to be a little stone, a pebble, but on this living foundation stone (Christ) I am going to build My church." The Lord Jesus is the Foundation Stone, and we know that is how Peter understood it, because here he says, "Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house." Just as Simon Peter was one of the little stones, you and I are little stones which are built into this spiritual house. When we are born again, and become children of God, we are put into this building of God.
Peter says that Christians are like ‘living stones.' Jesus makes us alive in our spirit, by His Spirit (Rom.8:9; 1 Pet.1:11). God lives in Christians. God does NOT live in a physical building (1 Cor.6:19). When the builders made the temple, they built the walls with stones. God builds a spiritual house with people. When people become Christians, they become part of the church. God is holy, so He wants us to live as holy people (1 Pet.1:15-16).
An holy priesthood . . . to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ . . . another picture that Peter gives us is that of a holy priesthood. Peter says that all TRUE believers are living stones and all TRUE believers are priests, an holy priesthood, and later Peter calls it a royal priesthood. As priests we are to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God in Jesus Christ. Praise to God is such a spiritual sacrifice. Hebrews 13:15-16 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (KJV)
‘Spiritual sacrifices’ are what Christians offer to God. This shows God that they love him. In the New Testament there are 4 ways by which Christians offer sacrifices to God:
(1) They give their whole life to God (Rom.12:1).
(2) They praise and thank God (Heb.13:15).
(3) They do good work and share what they have with other people (Heb.13:16).
(4) They support people who bring the good news about Jesus (Phil.4:18).
1 Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (KJV)
This is a quotation from Isaiah 28:16. This stone is symbolic of Christ. Scripture makes this fact very clear.
Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious . . . Christ is called a chief corner stone here, as in Eph.2:20, because He not only adorns and strengthens the building, but unites all the parts, and keeps them together. This Stone is precious both to God and man. It is a Stone, not of men's laying, but of God's laying in His wisdom, covenant, promises and prophecies. Behold, I lay in Sion (Isa.28:16; Rom.9:33). Zion is the name of the hill where the Jews built the temple. Zion is also another name for Jerusalem. God wanted all the Jews to believe in Jesus. He wanted them to be part of the church. In Matthew 21:42-45 Jesus says that the ‘builders’ were the Jewish leaders. They did not accept Jesus, so they are not part of His church.
Shall not be confounded . . . or ashamed or disappointed of the Foundation and Cornerstone Christ, nor of his faith in Him. We shall not be confounded or confused by men or demons, but shall have confidence before Christ, and not be ashamed at His Coming. We shall be safe now, for we are being laid on this Stone; and we shall not be removed from it, or intimidated by any enemy, so as to flee from it. We shall not make haste to lay on any other foundation (1 Cor.3:10-15), for we can be safe only by building on the Cornerstone, Christ Jesus, for we do not want our works to be burnt up.
1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, (KJV)
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious . . . for all who believe there is the awesome preciousness of Christ. Only a TRUE believer thinks Christ is precious! An unbeliever wants no part of Him. Rough and rugged Peter uses the word precious. Whenever Peter speaks of Christ or of His Blood or any thing about Him, he uses the word precious (1 Pet.1:7,19; 2:4,6).
Precious . . . Christ Jesus is most precious to TRUE believers! He is so in all His names and titles, such as Immanuel, God with us, and that group of them in Isaiah 9:6, and particularly His Name Jesus, our Saviour, which draws the love of believers to Him.
Christ is precious in both His divine and human natures. The precious perfections of deity in Him, His being in the form of God, and equal to Him, the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His Person, render Him very precious indeed!
1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (KJV)
This quote from Psalm 118:22 is a very important Passage of Scripture.
The Stone, which the builders (Jews) rejected, has become the Head of the Corner. The Stone is the Lord Jesus Christ. When He came into the world He was rejected by His own people . . . "He came unto his own, and his own received him not" (John 1:11). Not only then was He rejected, but my friend, we live in a Christ-rejecting, Christ-denying world today!
The apostle refers to the following, which is a prophecy of the Messiah: Isaiah 8:14-15 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, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. (KJV) Psalms 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. (KJV) . . . Also see: Rom.9:33.
This had its fulfillment in the unbelieving and disobedient Jews; who stumbled at His birth and the manner of His birth, being born of a virgin (Isa.7:14); at the commonness of His parents, His earthly father being a carpenter, and His mother, Mary, a poor peasant woman, when they expected the Messiah would come from some rich and noble family. They stumbled at His poverty, when they expected the Messiah would be a rich, powerful and glorious monarch in charge of His Kingdom.
They stumbled at His ministry, and at the doctrine that He preached, especially the doctrine of His being God (John 10:30-31). They stumbled at the spiritual union with Him, by eating His Flesh, and drinking His Blood (John 6:51-56). They stumbled at His death, at the notion that Christ abideth for ever (Ps.125:1; John 8:35; 12:34; 1 Pet.1:23), and especially at the manner of His death, the death of the cross; wherefore the preaching of Christ crucified always was, and still is, a stumbling block unto them.
Not only do the Jews stumble at the Word (John 1:1), the essential Word, Christ Jesus, but also at the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; at that part which teaches a trinity of Persons in the Godhead; and at the part where the Bible says JESUS is the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:10-12).
Whereunto also they were appointed . . . both to stumble at the Word of the Gospel, and at Christ Himself, the Sum and Substance of it . . . He being set in the counsel and purpose of Almighty God . . . for the rising of some, but for the stumbling and falling of SO many others, because of the disobedience and disloyalty which causes their stumbling. There are those whom God has appointed and foreordained to believe in Christ (Eph.1:4-6), on whom He has decided to bestow true faith to receive eternal life, and who have it as a free gift (Eph.2:8-9; Rom.6:23), and there are those appointed to stumble at Christ, both Jews and gentiles.
This brings us to a very wonderful passage of Scripture which reveals that a Christian's life is to be equal with his position in Christ. And until we live that life, we are not experiencing TRUE Christian living.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (KJV)
#1. A chosen generation (Deut. 7:6). We are an elect race. In the Old Testament God chose Israel as His people, and in the Scriptures there are two elect groups of people: the nation Israel, called an elect nation, and the church, called an elect nation and an elect people. IF you have come to Christ, you are a chosen generation, you are an holy nation, just as the children of Israel were elect. The keys of the kingdom have been given to the church, and we today are to give out the Gospel because the church is the chosen instrument. This honor has been conferred upon ALL believers. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..." (John 15:16).
# 2. A royal priesthood (Ex. 19:6). We are "a royal priesthood." In the Old Testament God first chose the entire nation of Israel to be His priests. I think that in the Millennium the whole nation of Israel will be priests here on this Earth. BUT. . . they sinned, and so God chose one tribe out of that nation. The priests came from this one tribe, Levi. Today there is NO priesthood on Earth which God recognizes . . . except one, and that is that EVERY believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is a priest. Israel HAD a priesthood . . . today the church IS a priesthood.
# 3. An holy nation (Ex. 19:6). We are "an holy nation." Israel was never holy in conduct, and my friend, the church is NOT holy in its conduct either. Israel's failure is clear; the church's failure is inexcusable. But because of the grace of God, we are holy in our relationship with Him because Christ is our righteousness (Rom.3:22; 1 Cor.1:30). If you have any standing before God, it is not in yourself; it is in Christ.
#4. A peculiar people, a special purchased people (Ex.19:5; Deut. 7:6). We are "a peculiar people" . . . a people of His own, a people for God's own possession. We belong to Him. In the high priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus, He says, "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me..." (John 17:6). Also He said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). How wonderful it is that the Father has given us to Christ!
Who hath called . . . according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Out of darkness . . . the darkness of ignorance, unbelief, sin and misery.
Into his marvellous light . . . the light of knowledge, faith, holiness, comfort and peace (Eph. 5:8). It is called marvellous because men see what they never saw before, wonderful things out of God's law (Ps. 119:18).
1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (KJV)
Which in time past were not a people . . . we did not belong to God but were far from Him.
But are now the people of God . . . we really are God's people, restored to their old covenant state and church privileges, by believing in Christ.
Which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy . . . we receive God's mercy for being His people. We enjoy great privileges, such as being justified and at peace with God (Rom.5:1). The gift of mercy comes in a BIG box, because God is SO rich in abundant mercy (Eph.2:4; 1 Pet.1:3).
1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; (KJV)
Strangers and pilgrims . . . not only were the Jews strangers in the several countries where were, being out of your own land, but strangers in the world, as are ALL believers today (1 Chron. 29:15; Ps. 39:12; 119:19; Heb. 11:13-14).
Abstain from fleshly lusts . . . not only sensual desires, but all the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21), for the carnal mind is enmity against God (Rom. 8:7).
Which war . . . as enemies, oppose and fight against (Rom. 7:23; Jam. 4:1-2).
Against the soul . . . meaning the inner man, or the new regenerated part, or spirit, which is highly opposed to fleshly lusts (Gal. 5:17-18).
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (KJV)
Having your conversation honest . . . your lifestyle and conduct should be honest, blameless and fruitful (Phil. 1:27; 4:8).
Among the Gentiles . . . who, by reason of their differing from your religion, are the more likely to observe you. This proves this letter was written to the Jews. The heathen who surround you will certainly observe your conduct (Rom. 13:13; 1 Thes. 4:12).
They may by your good works . . . people watch what you do. We must be careful that what we do glorifies God. Not only so they think more favorably of you, but of your love for God; and acknowledge the grace of God in you, and more readily subject themselves to Him because of you, (the best way of glorifying him). It is usual for God to make way for the conversion of sinners by the holy conversation of saints.
The day of visitation . . . the "visitation" here referred to is undoubtedly that of God; and the reference is to some time when He would make a "visitation" to men for some purpose. A gracious visitation, is when God calls them by the Gospel to the knowledge of Christ (Luke 1:68; 7:16; 19:44). A grievous visitation is completely different (Isa.10:3; 13:9; Joel 1:15; Mat.25:41).
TRUE Christian separation is not a Godly position that is unclear. It is not just refraining from doing worldly things. It is positive action that includes honesty and good works. ALL believers must reveal their love for God and their honesty by the way they live.
1 Peter 2:13-14 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. (KJV)
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man . . . TRUE Christians must obey the laws set in place EXCEPT when they go against Almighty God (Acts 4:19; 5:27-29).
Nero was just coming to the throne in Rome as the new emperor at that time. The Roman Empire boasted itself that it gave justice to man . . . but it was like every other government, including our own. The poor man has never had a fair chance. The rich man has always been able to buy his way with lawyers who were smart enough to get around any law. The poor man is the one who has the problems with the law. But, we must also obey our leaders. Government is supposed to appoint leaders to punish criminals and to praise good citizens, but it is not always like that.
1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: (KJV)
For so is the will of God . . . it is His command. Our obedience by well-doing is a must. It is God’s will, that by our behaving well, and our honorable lives will silence those ignorant, foolish people who make foolish accusations against us.
1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (KJV)
As free . . . the Jews pretended that they were a free people, and owed allegiance only to God, and they were continually rebelling against the Roman government, to which God had subjected them because of their rebellion against Him. They used their liberty "for a cloak of maliciousness" as an excuse for rebellion, trying to justify their seditious and rebellious conduct.
But as the servants of God . . . they were free from sin and Satan, BUT . . . they were the servants of God, and bound to obey Him, and as He had made it their duty to obey the civil authority. Peter said they must serve God by submitting to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake.
The believer in Christ has a liberty which the man outside of Christ does not have. Believers have a marvelous liberty in Christ Jesus. We must not use our liberty as "a cloak of maliciousness" meaning that we don't want our weaker brother to be hurt by what we do.
1 Peter 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. (KJV)
Honour all men . . . according as honor is due to them, according to their dignity, power, gifts (Rom.12:10; 13:7; Phil. 2:3-5). A TRUE Christian should respect other human beings.
Love the brotherhood . . . while we respect all men, we are to love the brotherhood, meaning other believers.
Fear God . . . we as believers are to reveal by our lives that we are God-fearing people. Fear of God = love, honor, respect, reverence, worship.
Honour the king . . . we owe honor to the office of the people who rule over us. I have never voted for a president whom I really thought was capable of the job. I have always voted AGAINST the person I thought was wrong. But, regardless of who is president and regardless of his inability, he should be honored, once he is president because of his office. Perhaps God places ungodly men in as president because of the rebellion of the people against God. America certainly is NOT a "nation under God" any more. Perhaps God is trying to tell America something!
1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, . (KJV)
Servants . . . be subject, be obedient . . . obey (Eph. 6:5; Col.3:22; Titus 2:9).
With all fear . . . be submissive and reverent. Not only reverence of masters, and fear of offending them, is to be understood, but fear of God (Col 3:22-23; Eph. 6:5-7).
Not only the good and gentle,but also to the froward . . . we are to obey the good rulers and the bad ones, unless they go against God. We are to obey in every thing that is not sinful.
1 Peter 2:19-20 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (KJV)
For this is thankworthy . . . this is acceptable to God, and will be graciously rewarded by Him; or, this is praise-worthy for your glory.
For conscience toward God . . . out of respect to God, and a desire of pleasing him.
For what glory is it? . . . what glory is it, if, when you are buffeted (beaten) for your faults . . . which you have committed, and are guilty of? BUT . . ."But if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." Our natural reaction in all of us is to strike back when we have been unjustly treated. We must learn to let God take care of it. God says in Romans 12:19, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay," and He does a much better job of it than we can.
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (KJV)
Hereunto were ye called . . . we were called to a state of suffering when we were called to be Christians. The world (unbelievers) cannot endure the yoke of Christ (Mat.11:28-30). They that will live godly 'in Christ' (1 Cor.1:2; 15:22) will suffer persecution (Mat.5:11-12). We all will meet with it in one form or other in our lives, many times.
Christ also suffered for us . . . and left us the example of His meekness and gentleness; for when He was reviled, He reviled not again (verse 23). We cannot expect to fare better than our Master. We must imitate His example, and His Spirit shall comfort and sustain us (John 14:16-18; 1 Pet.1:11).
1 Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (KJV)
Who did no sin . . . Jesus suffered, NOT because of any evil that He had done or said. His deeds and words were spotless! Yet He was exposed to suffering. We must expect the same, and when it comes, we must bear it in the same spirit that our Lord did! It is possible that Peter mentions guile, because those who do wrong generally try desperately to protect themselves by deception and lies. Peter's words seems to be a quotation. Isaiah 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (KJV)
1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (KJV)
But committed himself . . . Jesus could have inflicted any kind of horrible punishment on His persecutors, but He did not do that. He leaves us with this example that we should follow His steps, His way of doing things. He committed His cause to Him who is the righteous Judge. We should avoid evil tempers, and the danger of avenging ourselves, for it is a great advantage in all such cases to be able to refer our cause to Almighty God, and to be assured that the Judge of all the Earth will do right by us (Gen.18:25).
1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (KJV)
This is not an example that is set for us. You and I CANNOT suffer to wash away our own sins, much less suffer for the sins of the world. Peter is talking here about redemption. "That we being dead to sins" . . . that was our condition.
By whose stripes ye were healed . . . Healed of what? I notice that when so-called faith healers use the words, "by whose stripes ye were healed," they refer to Isaiah 53:5 rather than to this verse in 1 Peter, because Peter makes it evident that the healing is of sins, NOT physical ailments! YES! The Lord Jesus came to be our Great Healer . . . the Great Healer of SINS! No human physician can handle that problem. And Peter's use of these words from Isaiah 53:5 reveals that the prophet Isaiah was NOT speaking of physical healing but of that which is MUCH more important and MUCH more profound, healing from SIN!
1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (KJV)
For ye were as sheep going astray . . . before Jesus, we were in the same moral condition as our oppressors . . . vile sinners (Rom.3:10,23). We were like stray sheep, in the wilderness of ignorance and sin, until Christ, the true and merciful Shepherd, found us and called us back from our wanderings, by sending us the Gospel of His grace. Thank You Jesus!
Bishop of your souls . . . the word bishop means an overseer, an inspector, or one that has the oversight. Jesus Christ is the Overseer of souls! He has us continually under His watchful eye (Job 34:21; 36:7; Ps.33:18; Pro.5:21); He knows our wants, our wishes and dangers facing us, and He provides for them all. As our Shepherd, He leads us to the best pastures and best water (Psalm 23), defends us from our enemies, and guides us with His counsel (Ps.73:24). Jesus is the good Shepherd that laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:11).
All human souls are VERY dear to Him, for they are the purchase of His Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19). He is still supreme Bishop or Overseer in His Church today.
Humanity, both lost and saved, is called sheep. "Ye were as sheep going astray." This, too, is a quotation from Isaiah 53; "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6).
As you can see, the suffering of Christ is actually the theme of the last part of this chapter. Christ suffered to set us an example, and He suffered a vicarious, substitutionary death for our sins.
For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
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