Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
The Chosen Stone and His Chosen People
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame." Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense. "They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy".
Living Before the World
"Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation".
Submission to Government(cf. Romans 13:1-5)
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Submission to Masters (Isaiah 53:7-9)
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (NKJV)
In the second part of this series on faith, we are going to examine the many ways how to resurrect a person’s faith that has been severely shaken by the many and varied types of intense trials they’ve faced in this life. And we will talk in detail about the importance of having a faith that is active and endures the trials of a Christian’s life. There are times when our faith tends to waver, especially after a prolonged period of suffering and seemingly, no relief is anywhere in site. Let’s take a quick at Job's situation.
Job said in Job 14:14:
“If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
Here’s a man that was going through intense and prolonged suffering of a great magnitude. The devil was given permission by God to test and afflict Job in every area of his life. Without taking his life because God prohibited him from doing so, Satan had caused the death of Job’s 10 children. He had caused the destruction and seizure of Jobs cattle and field workers, and the estrangement of Job’s wife, yet, up to this point in the first assault, Job still didn’t curse God nor denounce his relationship with the Almighty. Being proved a lie the first time, the devil asked for another shot at Job, this time attacking Job’s health with puss running boils all over his body. So excruciating was the pain and misery of these boils, Job took broken pot sheds and scraped the running puss off his body and sat on an ash pile. Even the dogs licking his sores granted him some form of relief.
So in the midst of this persecution from the devil, coupled with the constant criticism and scathing accusations from the mouths of 3 men who were “friends” of his, Job makes this bold statement. Job declared: “All the days of my appointed time, I will wait until my change come.” Of course you know how this story ends; Job was completely healed and all that was taken in this tremendous trial was completely restored. At some point, found in Job 38, God began His intervention in Job’s situation and by the end of Job 42, we see a different Job; a fully restored Job dying at a ripe old age. (full of days)
Job exemplified an “enduring faith”. Not knowing when or where God would bring an end to his trial and persecution, Job just believed that God would, so he maintained his innocence, and held to his faith. Job’s faith wavered at times to the point that he wished that he was never born and in other instances that God would take his life.
That is, how God expects us to live each day of our lives in obedience to the Word of God, having a faith that endures the hardships and trials we encounter throughout the course of our lives. An “enduring faith” is a “no matter what happens, I will trust in the Lord faith”. When we hold on to the end we trust and believe that God rewards faithfulness in our enduring the hardships of the Christian walk.
An Enduring Faith Requires an “Enduring Attitude” 1 Peter 2:1-3
“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
To endure resistance of any kind, you have to have the right attitude toward the principles, precepts and truth found in the Word of God. Jesus told us we would experience tribulations in our lives, but to be of good cheer, HE has overcome to world.
It has been said that a faith that has not been tested in reality isn't faith at all. There are 3 key behaviors that are produced whenever our faith is tested. The first is patience. Patience is necessary because there is a waiting period between labor and reward. The second is endurance. Endurance is needed because between labor and reward, the devil attempts to ambush you and weaken your faith in the promises of God. He launches attack after attack in a blatant attempt to cause you to doubt the WORD and promises of God and from believing God rewards those that diligently seek him. It's in the endurance phase of faith testing where we learn valuable lessons about life, ourselves, and the ways God operates in and outside the life of both believers and non-believers.
Endurance is more than a “mindset”. It’s also a “outward” behavior that’s the result of an inward change of getting rid of 5 detrimental attitudes within that hinders us from both being in total submission to the Lord as well as submitting to God sanction authorities, especially when they do not operate in godly principles but live and operate out of a satanic attitude towards you as a child of God. Endurance is that part of the Sanctification Process is designed to both cleanse the Christian of the influence of the power of SIN and fill them with the holiness and righteousness of Jehovah (Jesus).
In order to have the ability to submit to all authority yet stand against those areas where their rules and actions run contrary to the Word of God and His principles, these 5 things that are needed daily to be in the process of dismantlement from our character in order to truly “SUBMIT” to every authority. For the Cause of Christ, the Apostle Paul said he died daily, that is, he yielded and let the will of God be done in him and through him, rather than act on his own accord and do things his way.
The Apostle Peter in the 1st verse shares with us those 5 following “behaviors” (attitudes) that need to die everyday in order to fully be in submission: for the “Cause” of Christ..
All Malice – Malice by definition is having extreme enmity of heart, ill-will, resulting in a disposition to injure someone without cause.Malice is “evil” done from mere personal gratification, or from a spirit of revenge. A person that has malice in their heart get some degree of sick pleasure out of deliberately hurting an innocent person and causing injure or harm to that person. Malice is a deadly behavior that reveal the venom in the heart of a person who's heart is not right before God. As a result, we are admonished in Colossians 3:8 to do the following:
“ But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips”.
All guile- Guile is describes as a person that’s deceitful in every way that does things with a hidden agenda.
Romans 1:29 gives us a detail description of what constitutes “guile”: Guile embodies many other wicked behaviors Guile is a behavior found in people who are full of mischief: The “mischievous” person will exemplify the following wicked behaviors:
The Bible says they will also be filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,. Here are the definitions of each behavior
Unrighteousness- The promotion of injustices, or iniquity in general These injustices and iniquities include the following offenses:.
Fornication- Engaging in sexual intercourse outside of the bonds of a marital relationship. This was a common and almost universal sin among the ancients, and is rampart in this modern society among people who want to live sexually open lives having multiple partners and having no regard for the chastity God requires for unmarried people. The word applies to all illicit sexual intercourse. This was a common crime among the ancient pagans. This immoral act was found prevalent even among the most learned and influential men and women.
Wickedness- Wickedness, as it is applied here implies a desire of injuring others or, as we should express it, “malice”. It is the depravity and obliquity of mind which strives to produce injury on others.
Covetousness- Defined as the desire of obtaining what belongs to others. This vice is common in the world; but it would be particularly so where the other vices enumerated here abounded, and people were desirous of luxury, and the gratification of their senses. Rome was particularly desirous of the wealth of other nations, and hence, its extended wars, and the various evils of rapine and conquest.
Licentiousness- Defined as either evil in general or rather the constant act of doing evil things to others.
Full of envy- This is the emotional pain, uneasiness, mortification, or discontent, triggered by seeing another person’s prosperity. Because it fosters in the mind of the envious person, it is usually accompanied with some degree of hatred or malignity. Left unchecked, the envious person will develop a desire to and actually make an effort to depreciate (slander) the person and their gifts or accomplishments, deriving pleasure in seeing them depressed". Because the Bible revealed that the heart of an unregenerate man is full of evil desires and intentions, it’s an integral part of the nature of their heart to harbor ill will against anyone who possesses gifts, talents, beauty, etc.
Murder- Murder is the taking of another human life by “premeditated malice.” act of premeditation is necessary to constitute murder now, but the word used here also includes all manslaughter, or taking human life, except when the death of another occurs as the punishment of crime It has prevailed in all communities, but it was particularly prevalent in Rome.
Debate- The word debate originally meant contention, strife, altercation, with anger and heated zeal. Apostle Paul describes it in Romans 13:13-14 “deeds” of darkness; behaviors that people delve in at night time; orgies, drunkeness, sexual immorality, debauchery, dissensions and jealousies, satisfying the desires of sinful flesh. The contentions and behaviors that bring forth strife would be the results of that person(s) being full of malice and being guilty of covetousness.
Deceit- Deceit is the act of perpetrating a fraud or a falsehood, a liar.
Malignity- The act of misinterpreting the words or actions of others, or putting the worst construction on their conduct.
Whisperers- Whisperers are people who secretly, and in a sly manner, by hints and inuendoes, detract from others, or excite suspicion of them. A “whisperer does not openly calumniate, but is a more dangerous class of person because they spread true or false hints of evil of others, to other people, communicating the evil report under a promise of the information to remain a secret between the whisperer and the one or ones they divulged the evil report to, yet knowing what was said in secret will be revealed publicly. The Whisperer can be found everywhere in any class of people and there is scarcely any one more dangerous to the peace or happiness of society than those rumor spreaders.
Hypocrisy- The word means, ”perpetrators” Presenting ourselves publicly to be what we are really not; A Hypocrite in the church displays a false appearance of religion (being sincere); but hides a wicked purpose under the appearance of piety.
Envies- Having hatred of others because of they possess gifts (talents), inward and or outward beauty, positions of power, financial or social status or other stand-out qualities. Envy is one of the most common manifestations of wickedness, and shows clearly the deep depravity of man. Benevolence rejoices at the happiness of others, and seeks to promote it. But envy exists almost everywhere, and in almost every human bosom:
All Evil speaking- “backbiting” or "speaking against others. This would include all unkind or slanderous speaking against others.
Here is some important things to know about our Human Behavior
a. Evil Speaking is a common fault in the world. One of the designs of living a Christian life is following the principles, precepts and sincere truths of the WORD of God as well as living a life led by faith, having heard the WORD of God and took heed to it in order to guard against it. Reason?
b. “Out of your mouth can come forth either blessings or curses. We are to bless with our mouths and not put people on blast just because we have issues with them.
c. The Christian religion teaches us to lay aside whatever guile, insincerity, and false appearances we may have acquired, and to put on the simple honesty and openness of children.
Things we need to know about what inappropriate behaviors we accumulate in the course of our lives:
1. We all acquire more or less of guile and insincerity in the course of life.
2. We all (grown-ups) learn to conceal our sentiments and feelings, (We learn how to perpetrate) and almost unconsciously we all at some point come to appear different from what we really are.
3. It is not so with children. In the child, every emotion of the bosom appears as it is. Every emotion is expressed; every feeling of the heart is developed; and in the cheeks, the open eye, the joyous or sad countenance. What you see in a child in their formative years is genuine and innocence. What you see in children beyond adolescence is learned and influenced by Grown-ups and peers.
4. Now, it is one of the “primary” purposes of pure religion (Christianity) to bring us back to the place where, God, the WORD, and the Holy Spirit can strip off all the subterfuges which we have acquired in life. Here’s what we all need to know and take heed to:
5. Whoever lives a life of subterfuge and will not change or has not changes as of yet is not and has never been converted in the eyes of God. In short, a person that’ possesses and operate their life in a deceitful, cunning, and crafty way, cannot be a Christian.
What did Jesus have to say about all this?
"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven," Matthew 18:3. So, as little children (for those who are new converts and have not been on the Christian journey long) The Apostle Peter gives a quick review
Desire the “sincere” milk of the WORD of God (vs.2)
This desiring of the “milk” of the Word pertains to “new” converts in the faith. The preaching and teaching of the Word of God must be presented without guile or falsehood; then unadulterated, pure, genuine. It’s the gospel in its purest and most simple form, adapted to nurture the new-born soul.
There are 2 types of preaching and teaching: simple truth; the other, truths which they were to desire were the more elementary truths of the gospel, such as would be adapted to those who were babes in knowledge.
What Christ is to us as believers:
We are “CHOSEN” by GOD, who is gracious, mighty to save; as a living stone (Chief corner stone) (verse 6). The foundation of all truth: Jesus said: You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Jesus also said: I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and The LIFE. No man comes unto the Father but by ME. Yet rejected and disallowed by men (vs. 3-4)
What Believers are to God (Christ):
We are “Lively” stones, “Spiritual” houses, a “holy priesthood” designed to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (vs. 5)
Peter Reminds us: “We also are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood a holy nation, a peculiar people chosen (saved) picked out of darkness to show forth praises to our God (Jehovah) through Jesus Christ because He brought us out of darkness into HIS marvelous light….places our feet on Straight Street and gave us eternal life”.
What Christ is to Sinners:
The way of Salvation to all that will believe, but the Right judge at the Great White Judgment to those who refuse in HIM and die unbelieving
He the “stone “ which the builders disallowed to the disobedient. He the stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the WORD, being disobedient.
Christian Relationship to Others:
We are both “Strangers” and “Pilgrims”. For this reason we are to abstain from fleshy lusts because they war against our soul. (psyche) We are to have a honest conversation among the Gentiles (Non believers) so if they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works glorify God in the day of visitation: (Their day of conversion in Jesus Christ).
Christian Relationships to Government
"Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, Or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king". (NKJV)
It's a Biblical principle to give honor where honor is due.
Here in verses 13 through 17, Peter reveals to us for the Lord's sake that we are to "submit" to every ordinance of man, whether it is a mandate from a king or other government officials. That being said, Christians are under God's mandate (command) to obey human laws and rulers with one exception: The "exception" is as long as the human laws or ruler does not transgress against the Laws of God. Where there is a discrepancy in the Laws, we are to voice out objection in a peaceful manner and if we are treated as violators of the law and arrested, we are to allow the "due process" of standing up for God and standing against an ungodly law or ordinance to go forth, while praying to God to correct the injustice done towards us because we chose to stand against the law or laws that if followed would have put us in disobedience to God, who being the "intrinsic" authority laws superseded any man made laws or ordinances. We are living in a time of increased civil disobedience worldwide and unrest yet. we are required to be law biding citizens. However, be rest assured in the present spiritual climate, there may come a time you may have to stand against injustice that you just might be labeled an "enemy of the state" due to your stance.
The Apostle Paul shared the explanation with us concerning submission in this case in 'Romans 13:1-7:
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
Paul said this why you pay taxes, because the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (NIV)
This may have seemed an odd command coming from Peter, given the fact that at this time in history, Christians were being persecuted with veracity and their rights were violated as well as their freedom of religion. Despite the situation, they were still admonished to give honor to the government of Rome.
Peter said by doing so, Christians were showing God honor by their submission and proving they were truly free in Christ Jesus. They were not free to sin against others. They had to realized they didn't need to agree with the government's views, laws or the actions of its officials. It wasn't predicated on that. It was predicated on being in obedience to God who gave the commandment to submit to legal authority.
Remember, the government was established by God. in fact, Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6) tells us that ultimately, government is on the shoulders of Jesus Christ and the day will come when there will be righteousness in every branch of government because Jesus will establish it in the new Millennium when He is seen coming back to earth, riding a white horse in Revelation 19:11 through chapter 20:15. The Christians in the early history church realized they were spiritual free because of their new relationship in Jesus Christ, and as a result, they were not to have hateful attitudes, not to spew out venomous words of slander and guile and refrain from promoting or participate in actions against those officials they didn't agree with. The "latter" was a major issue with the Jews in this time in history because they thought it was unlawful to obey any non-Jewish government officials and they had outright hatred toward the Roman Empire.
Peter conveys to us 2 important principles that are the result of submission to authority:
a. The purpose of human government and civil rulers, was to control and eradicate lawlessness wherever it occurred, so it is only right that all good people cooperate and assist in putting lawlessness down.
b. It's the will of God, that it would be well with you and in your well doing, you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. When Christians obey the Eight Commands for Servanthood, (submitted servants) they not only are doing the will of God, "but they put to silence" all the enemies of Christianity. What are the 8 Commands for Servanthood?
1. Abstain from fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11).
2. Live honest lives before men (1 Peter 2:12).
3. Submit to human civil rulers (1 Peter 2:13-15).
4. Be free, but live godly (1 Peter 2:16).
5. Honor all men (1 Peter 2:17).
6. Love the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:17).
7. Fear God (1 Peter 2:17).
8. Honor the king (1 Peter 2:17).
The Purpose and Point of Christian Freedom
"The purpose of Christian freedom and submission in general is to honor God through obedience. So we as Christians aren't supposed to tear others down, even government officials no matter how corrupt they might be".
"The Point? We are to trust God in every circumstance and avoid having a slanderous evil tongue that can be used by Satan".
It has been said that a wise servant of God are those who will trust HIM as the protector of their freedom and will refuse to return to the slavery of fear.
We are called to do what's right because in our daily living, we are representing members in the family of God. Not only that, by doing so we show confidence that God will bring truth to light. We show confidence that even if God does permit falsehoods to levied against us, these falsehoods do not in any way change the truth of Romans 8:1:
"There is therefore now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" and by walking in the Spirit of Christ and obedience to Christ, we belong to HIM no matter what happens to us in this world because in our obedience to HIM, we show that we will not deny HIM. Only God can truly condemn you".
How Do You Trust God in Every Circumstance?
"Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward". (vs. 18)
What does this really mean in modern terms?
It means those who are servants or employees are to submit to the authority of your supervisors and overseers in respect to performing the duties of employment The word here means properly "domestic workers - those employed about a house, or living in the same house. as it pertains to Biblical history, at the time these verses were written and applied the people this applied to might have been actual slaves, or not. The word would apply to them, whether they were hired, or whether they were owned as slaves.
Important: The word should not and cannot be employed to prove that slavery existed in the churches to which Peter wrote, and still less to prove that he approved of slavery, or regarded it as a good institution.
This exhortation would be, and still is, strictly applicable to any persons employed as domestics, even if they had voluntarily hired themselves out to be such. It then becomes incumbent on them, while they remained in that condition, to perform their duties as Christians with fidelity, and with Christian meekness bear all the wrongs which they might suffer from those in whose service they were indebted to. The people whom this verse applied to were Christians. The implication here is the servants were not involved in a mutiny and not pursuing such a course because it would be inconsistent with real piety. Those who were under them are represented as suffering grievous wrongs. They were to do so with all proper reverence and respect. They were to submit across the board of authority not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward This included those leaders who were "crooked, bent;" that were perverse, wicked, unjust, peevish. Anyone who is a servant or domestic is liable to be employed in the service of such a master; As long as the relation continues, the servant should perform his duty with fidelity, regardless the character of the person Why?
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (vs. 19)
You will find favor in God for standing in Jesus name. If a man for conscience toward God has to endure grief, that is, in performing the conscientious discharge of his duty, or if, in the endurance of this wrong, he regards himself as serving God.
What this means is if he feels that God, by providence, placed him in the circumstances in which he is in, and that it is a duty which he owes to the Lord to bear every trial and incident to that condition with a submissive spirit. If he does this, he will evince the true nature of religion, and will be graciously accepted of God. That being said, the servant of God must be aware of the following:
(1) As a servant of the Lord, there always stands the possibility that you might be abused.
The slaves of yesteryear had very little to no security against being wronged; and that it was a special and very desirable characteristic of those who were in that condition, to be able to bear wrong with a proper spirit. It is impossible so to modify slavery that this shall not be the case; for the whole system is one of oppression, and there can be nothing that shall effectually secure the slave from being ill-treated.
(2) It would follow from this passage, if this refers to slavery, that that servant hood is a very hard and undesirable condition of life; for that is a very undesirable condition where the principal virtue. which they who are in it are required to exercise, is "patience under wrongs." Sometimes, as a servant of God, your stewardship requires that you bear heavy burdens and face fiery trials and suffer great wrongs. Such a condition cannot be in accordance with the gospel, and cannot be designed by God to be permanent. The relation of parent and child is never thus represented. It is never said or...
(3) It is acceptable to God, if we bear wrong with a proper spirit, from whatever quarter it may come.
Our proper business in life is, to do the will of God; to display the right spirit, no matter others may treat us; and to show, even under excessive wrong, the sustaining power and the excellence of true religion.
Main Point: Every one who is oppressed and wronged, therefore, has an eminent opportunity to show a spirit which will honor the gospel; and the servant and the martyr may do more to honor the gospel than if they were both permitted to enjoy liberty and life undisturbed. We also glorify God in death.
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. (vs. 20)
For what glory is it What honor or credit would it be. If, when ye be buffeted for your faults That is, if you are punished when you deserve it. The word "buffet" - means, to strike with the fist; and then to strike in any way; to maltreat, Matt 26:67; Mark 14:65; 1 Cor 4:11; 2 Cor 12:7. Perhaps there may be a reference here to the manner in which servants were commonly treated, or the kind of punishment to which they were exposed. They would be likely to be struck in sudden anger, either by the hand, or by anything that was accessible. The word rendered "for your faults," is sinning, That is, "if being guilty of an offence, or having done wrong." The idea is, that if they were justly punished, and should take it patiently, there would be no credit or honor in it.
Take Persecution and Suffering patiently.
"If, even then, you display an non-complaining spirit, and bear your burden and suffering with the utmost calmness and patience, it would be regarded as comparatively no virtue, and as entitling you to no honor. The feeling of all who saw it would be that you deserved it, and there would be nothing to excite their sympathy or compassion. The patience it may create might be as great as in the other case, but there would be the feeling that you deserved all that you received, and the spirit evinced in that case could not be regarded as entitled to any particular praise. If your masters (bosses and supervisors) are inflicting on you only what you deserve, it would be in the highest degree shameful for you to rise up against them, and resist them, for it would be only adding to the wrong which you had already done. Take solace in knowing that
this is acceptable with God. It is that which is agreeable to him, or which pleases Him..
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
The same Spirit that was in Jesus is required by the very nature of your Christian calling; you were called into the church in order that you might evince it. (1 Thessalonians 3:3). The object is, to hold up the example of Christ to those who were called to suffer, and to say to them that they should bear their trials in the same spirit that he evinced in his. (Philippians 3:10).leaving us an example an outline or sketch a pattern for imitation. That ye should follow his steps our lives should resemble the example Jesus set before us both in what He taught and the life He led that we should follow him, as if we travel in the same type steps (exactly along behind him), and should place our feet precisely where his were. The meaning is, that there should be the closest imitation or resemblance of how Jesus
Christ lives in character and conduct in each one of us..
The things in which we are to imitate him are specified in the following verses.
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth (vs. 22)
Jesus was perfectly holy.
There is an allusion here to Isaiah 53:9; and the sense is, Jesus was entirely innocent, and suffered without having committed any crime. We are to be careful that, if we suffer, it should be without committing any crime, or because we were guilty of some type of sin. We should so live, as the Savior did, as not to deserve to be punished, and thus only shall we entirely follow his example.
Our Christian Duty
It is as much our duty our responsibility to live in a way that warrant the reproaches of others, as it is to bear them (sufferings) with patience when we are called to suffer them. The first thing in regard to hard treatment from others is so to live in such a way that there shall be no justification for hard treatment from anyone. If reproaches come upon us when we have not deserved them, we are to still bear them as the Savior did. If he suffered unjustly, (and we know He did) unjustly suffer) we should esteem it to be no strange thing that we should; if he bore the injuries done him with meekness, we should learn that it is possible for us to do it also; and we should learn also that we have not the spirit of his religion unless we actually do it.
Peter said: "Neither was guile found in his mouth." Peter said in so many words the following: Jesus was not a master of deception. There was no deceit, hypocrisy, or insincerity in His character. He was in all respects everything he professed to be, and he imposed on no one by any false and unfounded claims. All this is in reference to the time of the crucifixion of Jesus when the Savior was put to death; and the sense is, that though he was condemned as an impostor, yet that the charge was wholly unfounded. As in his whole life before he was perfectly sincere, so he was eminently on that solemn occasion.
Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Jesus did not use harsh and opprobrious words in return for those which he received: Jesus didn’t return evil for evil. Jesus was reviled. He was accused of being a seditious man; spoken of as a deceiver; charged with being in league with Beelzebub, the "prince of the devils" and condemned as a blasphemer against God.
Who dared to make such railing accusations against Jesus?
These accusations were done: by the great and the influential of the land; in the most public manner; with the design to alienate his friends from him; with most cutting and severe sarcasm and irony; and in reference to everything that would most affect a man of delicate and tender sensibility. YET…..Jesus did not revile those who had reproached him. He asked that justice might be done. He demanded that if he had spoken evil, they should bear witness of the evil; but beyond that he did not go. He used no harsh language. He showed no anger. He called for no revenge. He prayed that they might robe forgiven. He calmly stood and bore it all, for he came to endure all kinds of suffering in order that he might set us an example, and make an atonement for our sins. When he suffered injustice from others, in his trial and in his death, he did not threaten punishment. He did not call down the wrath of heaven. He did not even predict that they would be punished; he expressed no wish that they should be.
"But committed himself to him (Jesus) that judges righteously."
The meaning is, that Jesus committed His “whole” self: his cause, his name, his interests, the whole case, to God. The meaning of the phrase "that judgeth righteously" here is, that God would do him (Jesus) exact justice. Though wronged by people, Jesus felt assured that he would do right.. He would rescue his name from these reproaches; he would give him the honor in the world which he deserved; and be given a name that is above all names.
It means Jesus would bring upon those who had wronged him all that was necessary in order to show his disapprobation of what they had done, and all that would be necessary to give the highest support to the cause of virtue Luke 23:46. This is the example which is set before us when we are wronged.
The whole example of Jesus Christ embraces these following points:
(1) We should see to it that we ourselves are guiltless in the matter for which we are reproached or accused. Before we make the claim that we are suffering as Christ did, we should be very sure that our lives are lived in such a manner that does not deserve reproach. We cannot hope to be as pure in all things as he was; but we can live in such way that if we are reproached and reviled we may be certain that it is not for any wrong that we have done to others, or that we do not deserve it from our fellow-men.
(2) When we are reproached and reviled, we should feel that we were called to this by our profession. This was one of the things we were taught to expect when we became Christians. The type of sufferings we endure in these modern times is what the prophets and apostles endured, and what the Master himself suffered in an eminent degree; and that if we meet with the scorn of the great, the frivlous, the rich, the powerful, it is no different than the Savior did, and no more than we have been taught to expect will be our lot in the Christian life.. It may be well, too, to remember our unworthiness; and to reflect, that though we have done no wrong to the individual who reviles us yet that we are sinners, and that such reproaches may not be a useless admonisher of our being guilty before God. So David felt when reproached by Shimei: "So let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?" 2 Samuel 16:10.
(3) When suffering and persecution does occur, we should calmly and confidently commit our cause to God. Our name, our character, our influence, our reputation, while living and after we are dead, we should leave entirely with him. We should not seek nor desire revenge. We should not call down the wrath of God on our persecutors and slanderers. We should calmly feel that God will give us the measure of reputation which we ought to have in the world, and that he will suffer no ultimate injustice to be done us. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass; and he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon-day," Psalms 37:5-6.
Peter continuing concerning Jesus further said:
"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."
The meaning is, that Jesus volunteered Himself in His own body. He did not make expiation by offering a bloody victim, but was himself the sacrifice. In reference to bearing our sins, there is an allusion here undoubtedly to Isaiah 53:4,12. This cannot mean that Christ so took upon himself the sins of people as to become himself a sinner, it must mean that he put himself in the place of sinners, and bore that which those sins deserved; that is, that he endured in his own person that which, if it had been inflicted on the sinner himself, would have been a proper expression of the divine displeasure against sin, or would have been a proper punishment for sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus was treated as if he had been a sinner, in order that we might be treated as if we had not sinned; that is, as if we were righteous. There is no other way in which we can conceive that one bears the sins of another. In the natural world, sins cannot be literally transferred to another; and all that can be meant here is, Jesus took the consequences of the penalty of sin on himself, and suffered as if he had committed the transgressions himself.
Jesus was treated as he would have been if he had been a sinner. He was treated as a criminal; crucified as those most guilty were on a Roman built cross; and endured the same kind of physical pain that guilty men do when punished for their own sins; and passed through mental sorrows like the guilty themselves experience when they are left to distressing anguish of mind, and are abandoned by God.
The suffering of the Savior was in all respects made as nearly like the sufferings of the most guilty, as the sufferings of a perfectly innocent being could be. While on the cross, Jesus bore all the sorrows which our sins deserved. While it does not mean that he conveyed our sorrows there, it does mean while there he suffered under the intolerable burden, and was by that burden crushed in death. The phrase "on the tree," literally "on the wood," means the cross.
It was his being put to death as our atoning sacrifice that became the means by which we become dead to sin, and live our lives dedicated to God. The phrase "being dead to sins" literally meant: "to be absent from sins."The overall meaning of this phrase is, we have been separated from sin to the extent that it no longer influences us, thus, we should live unto God. In regards to sin, we are to be, as if we were dead; and sin is to have no more influence over us than if we were in our graves. (Romans 6:2-7). The death of Christ on the cross brought this about. (Romans 6:8) For as he died literally on the cross on account of our sins, the effect has been to lead us to see the evil of our transgressions, and compel to lead new, and holy lives.
Even though we are dead in respect to sin, we have real life in another respect. We are made alive unto God to righteousness and to true holiness. We are now "new creations" in Christ Jesus. "Old things" are passed away and behold, "all things" are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Romans 6:11( (Galatians 2:20).
When the Savior was scourged or whipped; the effect on us was the same in producing spiritual healing, and in recovering us from our faults, as if we had been scourged ourselves. By faith we see the bruises inflicted on him, the black and blue spots made by beating; we remember that they were on account of our sins, and not for his; and the effect in reclaiming us is the same as if they had been inflicted on us.
[Ye were healed] Sin is often spoken of as a disease, and redemption from it as a restoration from a deadly malady. (Isaiah 53:5.)
"For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
This verse refers back t to Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray...".
We were like a flock without a shepherd. because of sin, we had wandered far away from the true fold, and were following our own paths. We were without a protector, and were exposed to every kind of danger. This aptly and forcibly expresses the condition of the whole race before God recovers people by the plan of salvation. A flock wandering without a shepherd, conductor, or guide, is in a most pitiable condition; and so was man in his wanderings before he was sought out and was brought back to the true fold by the Great Shepherd.
"But are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls"
In other words, return to Christ, who came to seek and save those who were lost. He is often called a Shepherd. (John 10:1-16.) The word "bishop," means "overseer." It may be applied to one who inspects or oversees anything, as public works, or the execution of treaties; to anyone who is an inspector of wares offered for sale; or, in general, to anyone who is a superintendent. It is applied in the New Testatment to those who are appointed to watch over the interests of the church, and especially to the officers of the church. Here it is applied to the Lord Jesus as the great Guardian and Superintendent of his church; and the title of universal Bishop belongs to him alone!
Dr. William Edward Boddie