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  • The name Peter denotes Peter's regenerated and spiritual man, whereas the name Simon denotes his natural man by birth (John 1:42; Matt. 16:17-18).

  • An apostle to the Jews (Gal. 2:8).

  • Or, pilgrims. Strictly, in this book this term refers to the Jewish believers who were pilgrims, foreigners, dispersed in the Gentile world (1 Pet. 2:11-12). However, the principle of being sojourners could be applied to all believers, both Jewish and Gentile, because all are heavenly sojourners, sojourning as foreigners on this earth. These sojourners are God's elect, chosen by God out of the human race, out of all the nations (Rev. 5:9-10), according to His foreknowledge (v. 2).

  • A term familiar to all the Jews scattered among the nations, indicating that this Epistle was written to the Jewish believers. It is from the Greek word that means to scatter or spread abroad; its root means to sow. This implies that the scattered Jews were sown as seeds among the Gentiles.

  • All five provinces mentioned here were in Asia Minor, between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

  • Both of Peter's Epistles (2 Pet. 3:1) are concerned with the government of God. God's government is universal and deals with all His creatures that He may have a clean and pure universe (2 Pet. 3:13) in order to express Himself. In the New Testament age this dealing begins from His chosen people, His elect, His own household (1 Pet. 4:17), and especially from His chosen sojourners who are dispersed and are sojourning among the nations, the Gentiles, as His testimony. Hence, these two books emphasize the believers' being chosen (1 Pet. 2:9; 5:13; 2 Pet. 1:10). As God's chosen race, God's choice, God's particular possession, the dispersed and chosen sojourners need to see that they are under God's governmental dealing for a positive purpose, regardless of the situation and environment they are in. Anything and everything that happens to them, whether persecution or any other kind of trial or suffering (v. 6; 5:9), is just a part of God's precious governmental dealing. Such a vision will perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground them (1 Pet. 5:10) that they may grow in grace (2 Pet. 3:18).

  • Here, the divine economy through the operation of the Trinity of the Godhead for the believers' participation in the Triune God is unveiled. God the Father's selection is the initiation; God the Spirit's sanctification carries out the selection of God the Father; and God the Son's redemption, signified by the sprinkling of His blood, is the completion. Through these steps the believers have been selected, sanctified, and redeemed to enter into the enjoyment of the Triune God — the Father, the Son, and the Spirit — into whom they have been baptized (Matt. 28:19) and whose virtues they are enjoying (2 Cor. 13:14).

  • God chose us before the foundation of the world, in eternity past (Eph. 1:4). Hence, the divine foreknowledge was exercised.

  • I.e., by the sanctification of the Spirit. This denotes that God the Father's selection is applied to and carried out in God's chosen ones in and by the sanctification of the Spirit, which means that the Spirit sanctifies man by causing him to repent unto God, thus making him a chosen one of God.

  • Here the sanctification of the Spirit is not the sanctification of the Spirit that comes after justification through the redemption of Christ (the latter sanctification is revealed in Rom. 6:19, 22; 15:16). Here the sanctification of the Spirit, as the main emphasis in this chapter, an emphasis on holiness (vv. 15-16), comes before obedience to Christ and faith in His redemption, i.e., before justification through Christ's redemption (1 Cor. 6:11), indicating that the believers' obedience unto faith in Christ results from the Spirit's sanctifying work. The Spirit's sanctification in its various aspects is revealed in an all-inclusive way in 2 Thes. 2:13, and its goal is that God's chosen people may obtain God's full salvation. God's full salvation is carried out in the sphere of the Spirit's sanctification.

  • Three different prepositions are used in relation to the three steps taken by the Triune God to bring His elect into participation in His full salvation: according to denotes the ground, the base; in, the sphere; and unto, the end, the result. The believers' obedience of faith (Rom. 1:5; 16:26) in the redemption of Christ and the applying to them of the sprinkling of the blood are the result of the Spirit's sanctification, which is based on God the Father's selection.

  • The New Testament dispensation has the blood of Jesus Christ. That blood is in contrast to the blood of animals, which the Old Testament dispensation had. The Jewish believers were familiar with the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of animals under the Old Testament dispensation, but now they had to realize that the dispensation had been changed and that under the New Testament dispensation the law of Moses and the blood of animals had been replaced by the person of Christ and the blood of Christ. The result of such a realization is that the believers obey Jesus Christ and are sprinkled by His blood.

  • In typology the sprinkling of the propitiating blood ushered the sprinkled people into the old covenant (Exo. 24:6-8). Likewise, the sprinkling of Christ's redeeming blood brings the sprinkled believers into the blessing of the new covenant, that is, into the full enjoyment of the Triune God (Heb. 9:13-14). This is a striking mark that separates the sprinkled people from the common people, who are without God.

  • The blood for sprinkling denotes redemption. See vv. 18-19.

  • Multiplied grace corresponds with varied grace (1 Pet. 4:10) and all grace (1 Pet. 5:10). The believers have received the initial grace, yet this grace needs to be multiplied in them that they may participate in all grace.

  • Regeneration, like redemption and justification, is an aspect of God's full salvation. Redemption and justification solve our problem with God and reconcile us to God; regeneration enlivens us with God's life, bringing us into a relationship of life, an organic union, with God. Hence, regeneration issues and results in a living hope. Such regeneration is accomplished through the resurrection of Christ from the dead. "The resurrection of Christ, bringing in life and the gift of the life-giving Spirit, is that which potentiates the new birth into a living hope" (Alford).

  • Issuing in, resulting in, with a view to.

  • A hope for the future in our sojourning today — not a hope of objective things but a hope of life, even eternal life, with all the endless divine blessings. Such a hope should cause us to set our hope perfectly on the coming grace (v. 13).

    The living hope, the hope of life, brought to the regenerated believers through regeneration, can be likened to the various expectations for the future brought to parents through the birth of a newborn babe; all such expectations hinge on the life of the newborn child. Likewise, the life that we, the believers, have received through regeneration enables us to have a hope, with numerous aspects, for this age, for the coming age, and for eternity. In this age we have the hope of growing in life, of maturing, of manifesting our gifts, of exercising our functions, of being transformed, of overcoming, of being redeemed in our body, and of entering into glory. In the coming age we have the hope of entering into the kingdom, of reigning with the Lord, and of enjoying the blessings of the eternal life in the manifestation of the kingdom of the heavens. In eternity we have the hope of being in the New Jerusalem, where we will participate fully in the consummated blessings of the eternal life in its ultimate manifestation in eternity. This living hope, the hope of life, hinges on the eternal life, which we received through regeneration. Only the divine life can enable us to grow in the divine life until we grow into the reality of the hope that is brought to us by that life. Thus we will obtain the various blessings mentioned above as our inheritance, which is incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading and is kept for eternity (vv. 3-4).

  • When Christ was resurrected, we, His believers, were all included in Him. Hence, we were resurrected with Him (Eph. 2:6). In His resurrection He imparted the divine life into us and made us the same as He is (see note John 20:173). This is the basic factor of our regeneration.

  • Unto an inheritance here is in apposition to unto a living hope in v. 3. The living hope, resulting from regeneration, is our expectation of the coming blessing; the inheritance is the fulfillment of our hope in the coming age and in eternity.

  • See note Acts 20:323d and note Acts 26:186. The inheritance here comprises the coming salvation of our souls (vv. 5, 9), the grace to be received at the revelation of the Lord (v. 13), the glory to be revealed (1 Pet. 5:1), the unfading crown of glory (1 Pet. 5:4), and the eternal glory (1 Pet. 5:10). All these items of our eternal inheritance are related to the divine life, which we received through regeneration and which we are experiencing and enjoying throughout our entire Christian life. "This inheritance is the full possession of that, which was promised to Abraham and all believers (Gen. 12:3 see Gal. 3:6 ff.), an inheritance, as much higher than that which fell to the children of Israel in the possession of Canaan, as the sonship of the regenerate, who have already received the promise of the Spirit through faith as a pledge of their inheritance, is higher than the sonship of Israel: compare Gal. 3:18, 29; 1 Cor. 6:9; Eph. 5:5; Heb. 9:15" (Wiesinger, quoted by Alford).

  • Incorruptible in substance, indestructible, not decaying; undefiled in purity, unstained; unfading in beauty and glory, not withering. These are the excelling qualities of our eternal inheritance in life. These qualities should be related to the Divine Trinity: incorruptible relates to the nature of the Father, which is like gold; undefiled, to the condition preserved by the Spirit's sanctifying work; and unfading, to the glorious expression of the Son.

  • Kept as the result of being guarded.

  • A military term; lit., garrisoned.

  • Lit., in. In virtue of; hence, by.

  • The power of God is the cause of our being guarded. Secondarily, faith is the means through which the power of God becomes effective in guarding us.

  • Three prepositions are used here concerning our coming salvation: by, through, and unto. By refers to the cause, through to the means, and unto to the result.

  • Not salvation from eternal perdition but the salvation of our souls from the dispensational punishment of the Lord's governmental dealing (v. 9 and note 1 Pet. 1:92b). The full salvation of the Triune God is in three stages and comprises many items:
    1) The initial stage, the stage of regeneration, which is composed of redemption, sanctification (positional — v. 2; 1 Cor. 6:11), justification, reconciliation, and regeneration. In this stage God justified us through the redemption of Christ (Rom. 3:24-26) and regenerated us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit (John 3:3-6). Thus we received God's eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9) and His eternal life (John 3:15) and became His children (John 1:12-13), who shall not perish forever (John 10:28-29). This initial salvation has saved us from God's condemnation and from eternal perdition (16, John 3:18).
    2) The progressing stage, the stage of transformation, which is composed of freedom from sin, sanctification (mainly dispositional — Rom. 6:19, 22), growth in life, transformation, building up, and maturing. In this stage God is freeing us from the dominion of indwelling sin — the law of sin and of death — by the law of the Spirit of life, through the subjective working of the effectiveness of the death of Christ in us (Rom. 6:6-7; 7:16-20; 8:2); sanctifying us by His Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:16), with His holy nature, through His discipline (Heb. 12:10) and His judgment in His own house (1 Pet. 4:17); causing us to grow in His life (1 Cor. 3:6-7); transforming us by renewing the inward parts of our soul by the life-giving Spirit (2 Cor. 3:6, 17-18; Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23) through the working of all things (Rom. 8:28); building us together into a spiritual house for His dwelling (1 Pet. 2:5; Eph. 2:22); and maturing us in His life (Rev. 14:15 and notes) for the completion of His full salvation. In this way we are being delivered from the power of sin, the world, the flesh, self, the soul (the natural life), and individualism into maturity in the divine life for the fulfillment of God's eternal purpose.
    3) The completing stage, the stage of glorification, which is composed of the redemption (transfiguration) of our body, conformity to the Lord, glorification, the inheritance of God's kingdom, participation in Christ's kingship, and the topmost enjoyment of the Lord. In this stage God will redeem our fallen and corrupted body (Rom. 8:23) by transfiguring it into the body of Christ's glory (Phil. 3:21); conform us to the glorious image of His firstborn Son (Rom. 8:29), making us wholly and absolutely like Him in our regenerated spirit, transformed soul, and transfigured body; and glorify us (Rom. 8:30), immersing us in His glory (Heb. 2:10) that we may enter into His heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. 4:18; 2 Pet. 1:11), into which He has called us (1 Thes. 2:12), and inherit it as the topmost portion of His blessing (James 2:5; Gal. 5:21) — even that we may reign with Christ as His co-kings, participating in His kingship over the nations (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:4, 6; 2:26-27; 12:5) and sharing His royal, kingly joy in His divine government (Matt. 25:21, 23). In this way our body will be freed from the slavery of corruption of the old creation into the freedom of the glory of God's new creation (Rom. 8:21), and our soul will be delivered out of the realm of trials and sufferings (v. 6; 4:12; 3:14; 5:9) into a new realm, one that is full of glory (1 Pet. 4:13; 5:10), and will share in and enjoy all that the Triune God is, has, and has accomplished, attained, and obtained. This is the salvation of our souls, the salvation that is ready to be revealed to us at the last time, the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Christ in glory (v. 13; Matt. 16:27; 25:31). This is the end of our faith. The power of God is able to guard us unto this that we may obtain it (v. 9). We should eagerly expect such a marvelous salvation (Rom. 8:23) and prepare ourselves for its splendid revelation (Rom. 8:19).

  • The time of the Lord's coming (v. 7).

  • Referring to the last time, mentioned in v. 5.

  • Sufferings that become trials to test the quality. The purpose of this book is to establish and strengthen the suffering believers, who have been chosen by God, sanctified from the world unto God by the Spirit, sprinkled by the redeeming blood of Christ, and regenerated by God the Father unto a living hope, unto an inheritance kept in the heavens for them (vv. 1-4), yet are sojourners still sojourning on this earth (vv. 1, 17; 2:11). In their sojourn, sufferings are unavoidable. These are used by God to prove and try the believers' faith (v. 7), to see whether they will follow Christ in suffering for doing good (1 Pet. 2:19-23; 3:14-18). The sufferings are used to arm them with a mind against the flesh that they may live not in the lusts of men but in the will of God (1 Pet. 4:1-2), that they may share the sufferings of Christ and rejoice at the revelation of His glory (1 Pet. 4:12-19), that they may be witnesses of the sufferings of Christ (1 Pet. 5:1), and that they may be perfected, established, strengthened, and grounded for the eternal glory into which God has called them (1 Pet. 5:8-10). This is wholly under God's government, that He may judge His chosen people (v. 17), beginning His judgment from His own house (1 Pet. 4:17). Hence, this book can also be considered a book concerning God's government.

  • I.e., testing for approval. It is the trying, the proving, of faith, not the faith itself, that may be found unto praise. (This is like the school's examination of the student's studying: what is found to be approved is the examination, not the student's studying itself.) Of course, the approval of faith comes out of the proper faith. The stress here is not on faith but on the proving of faith by trials that come through sufferings.

  • Much more precious than of fire modifies not your faith but proving.

  • In his two Epistles Peter presents to us five precious things:
    1) the precious stone, which is the Lord Himself (1 Pet. 2:4, 6-7);
    2) the precious blood (v. 19);
    3) the precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4);
    4) the precious faith (2 Pet. 1:1);
    5) the precious proving (v. 7).

  • The various trials in v. 6 come upon us so that the proving of our faith will result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of the Lord.

  • The Lord is with us today (Matt. 28:20), but in a hidden, veiled way. His coming back will be His revelation, when He will be seen openly by all. At that time not only He but also the proving of our faith will be revealed.

  • It is a wonder and a mystery that the believers love One whom they have not seen.

  • Into whom modifies believing.

  • We love Him whom we have not seen because of believing, because of the very faith that has been infused into us through our hearing of the living word (Gal. 3:2). Hence, this faith is under the proving, the trying, mentioned in v. 7.

  • Joy full of glory is joy immersed in glory; hence, joy that is full of the Lord expressed.

  • According to grammar, this word continues v. 8, but according to fact, it is connected with v. 7. The proving of our faith being found unto praise, glory, and honor results in the receiving of the end of our faith, that is, the salvation of our souls.

  • We are of three parts: spirit, soul, and body (see note 1 Thes. 5:235c and note Heb. 4:122d). Our spirit was saved through regeneration (John 3:5-6). Our body will be saved, redeemed, through the coming transfiguration (Phil. 3:21; Rom. 8:23). Our soul will be saved through sufferings into the full enjoyment of the Lord at His revelation, His coming back. For this we must deny our soul, our soulish life, with all its pleasures in this age, that we may gain it in the enjoyment of the Lord in the coming age (Matt. 10:37-39; 16:24-27; Luke 17:30-33; John 12:25). At the Lord's revelation, through His judgment seat, some believers will enter into the joy of the Lord (Matt. 25:21, 23; 24:45-46) and some will suffer in weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 25:30; 24:51). To enter into the Lord's joy is the salvation of our souls (Heb. 10:39 and note Heb. 10:393a). This salvation is more precious than the salvation of the body, which the children of Israel expect to receive.

  • Like the Lord (Luke 24:25-27, 44-46), Peter used the Old Testament prophets to confirm his teaching concerning the New Testament salvation.

  • A synonym for salvation in this verse. See note 1 Pet. 1:134c. For grace, see note John 1:146d and note 1 Cor. 15:101a.

  • The searching of the prophets was the Spirit's pre-application of God's salvation in the Old Testament.

  • The Old Testament prophets were searching into what time and what manner of time the Spirit in them was making clear concerning Christ's marvelous accomplishment through His sufferings and glories. Eventually, it was revealed to them that they ministered those marvelous things not to themselves but to the New Testament believers (v. 12).

  • The highly respected Vaticanus MS omits of Christ. This omission fits into the New Testament revelation concerning the Spirit. However, the other authoritative MSS have of Christ in their text. In the New Testament revelation the Spirit of Christ denotes the Spirit after Christ's resurrection (Rom. 8:9-11). Before Christ's resurrection, the Spirit who is not only the Spirit of God but the Spirit of Christ was not yet (John 7:39). The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God constituted through and with the death and resurrection of Christ for the application and impartation of Christ's death and resurrection to His believers. Although the constituting of the Spirit of Christ is dispensational — i.e., the Spirit of Christ was constituted dispensationally through and with Christ's death and resurrection in the New Testament time — the function of the Spirit of Christ is eternal, because He is the eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14). This is like the cross of Christ: as an event, it was accomplished at the time of Christ's death, yet its function is eternal; hence, in the eternal sight of God, Christ was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). In Old Testament times the Spirit of God, as the Spirit of Christ, made the time and the manner of time concerning Christ's death and resurrection clear to the prophets who were seeking and searching diligently concerning the sufferings and glories of Christ.

  • Christ first suffered and then entered into glory (Luke 24:26). We should follow Him in the same steps (1 Pet. 4:13; Rom. 8:17). The sufferings of Christ, as revealed to the prophets and prophesied by them in Psa. 22:1, 6-8, 12-18; Isa. 53:2-10, 12b; Dan. 9:26 and Zech. 12:10; 13:6-7, are for the accomplishing of God's redemption, which, on the negative side, has solved all the problems between man and God and terminated the old creation, and, on the positive side, has released the eternal life of God for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose.

    The glories of Christ (see note 1 Pet. 1:116) are for His glorification, which He asked of the Father before His crucifixion (John 17:1) and which is for the executing of God's New Testament economy for the carrying out of God's eternal purpose. The sufferings of Christ and the glorification of Christ with the glories in different steps — the factors of God's full redemption and salvation — being applied to and experienced by us equal the salvation mentioned in vv. 5, 9, and 10. This is what the prophets in the Old Testament sought and searched for diligently, what the Spirit of Christ revealed to them, what the apostles preached in the New Testament by the Holy Spirit, and what the angels long to look into (v. 12).

  • Lit., unto. The sufferings that Christ endured were sufferings assigned to Him by God (Isa. 53:10); hence, they are of Him, belonging to Him.

  • The glories in different steps: the glory in His resurrection (Luke 24:26; Acts 3:13), the glory in His ascension (Acts 2:33; Heb. 2:9), the glory in His second coming (Rev. 18:1; Matt. 25:31), and the glory in His reign (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:4, 6), as revealed in Psa. 16:8-10; 22:21-22; 118:22-24, 118:26; 110:1, 4; Zech. 14:4-5; Dan. 7:13-14 and Psa. 24:7-10; 72:8-11.

  • Referring to the sufferings of Christ and His glories, mentioned in v. 11.

  • The preaching of the apostles is the Spirit's practical application of God's salvation in the New Testament.

  • The Greek word portrays one who is stooping and stretching his neck to look at some wonderful sight. This shows how interested the angels are in observing the things concerning Christ for God's salvation. They declared and celebrated the Savior's birth (Luke 2:8-14), they rejoice over the sinners' repenting to receive salvation (Luke 15:10), and they are happy to serve those who inherit salvation (Heb. 1:14; Acts 12:15; Matt. 18:10).

  • Verses 1 Pet. 1:3-12 are a long sentence of blessing (well speaking) concerning God the Father, disclosing to us His marvelous and excellent salvation, beginning from the regeneration of our spirit (v. 3) and consummating in the salvation of our soul (v. 9), accomplished through the sufferings and glories of Christ (v. 11) and applied to us by the Holy Spirit (v. 12). Based on this, v. 13 begins an exhortation to those who are participating in the full salvation carried out by the Triune God according to His economy.

  • Calm and clear in mind, able to realize God's economy in His salvation, as revealed in vv. 3-12, without being disturbed by fear, anxiety, or any care.

  • The living hope obtained through regeneration (v. 3).

  • I.e., the salvation of the soul (vv. 5, 9-10), which will be the consummation of God's full salvation. Grace was brought to us by the Lord's first coming (John 1:17). It will be consummated by His second coming. On such grace we should set our hope.

  • As in Rom. 12:2. Do not be fashioned denotes a state that is a path on which God's elect, as sojourners, walk.

  • The Holy One is the Triune God — the choosing Father, the redeeming Son, and the sanctifying Spirit (vv. 1-2). The Father regenerates His elect, imparting His holy nature into them (v. 3); the Son redeemed them with His blood from the vain manner of life (vv. 18-19); and the Spirit sanctifies them according to the Father's holy nature, separating them from anything other than God (v. 2) that they, by the holy nature of the Father, may be holy in all their manner of life, even as holy as God Himself (vv. 15-16).

  • Through the sanctification of the Spirit (v. 2), based on regeneration (v. 3), which brings us the holy nature of God and issues in a holy life.

  • The Holy One, who as the Father has called us, has regenerated us to produce a holy family — a holy Father with holy children. As holy children, we should walk in a holy manner of life. Otherwise, the Father will become the Judge (1 Pet. 4:17) and will deal with our unholiness. He begot us with life inwardly that we might have His holy nature; He disciplines us with judgment outwardly that we may partake of His holiness (Heb. 12:9-10). His judgment is according to our work, our conduct, without respect of persons. Hence, we should pass the time of our sojourning in fear. If we call Him our Father, we also should fear Him as our Judge and live a holy life in fear.

  • Peter "is not speaking of the final judgment of the soul. In that sense `the Father judgeth no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son' [John 5:22]. The thing spoken of here is the daily judgment of God's government in this world, exercised with regard to His children. Accordingly it says, `the time of your sojourn[ing]' here" (Darby). This is God's judgment on His own household (1 Pet. 4:17).

    Since these two Epistles are concerned with the government of God, the judgment of God and of the Lord is referred to repeatedly (1 Pet. 2:23; 4:5-6, 17; 2 Pet. 2:3-4, 9; 3:7) as one of the main items. God's judgment began from the angels (2 Pet. 2:3-4) and passed through the generations of man in the Old Testament (2 Pet. 2:5-9). In the New Testament age it begins from the house of God (v. 17; 2:23; 4:6, 17) and continues until the coming of the day of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:10), which will be a day of judgment on the Jews, the believers, and the Gentiles before the millennium (see note 2 Pet. 3:123). After the millennium all the dead, including men and demons, will be judged and will perish (1 Pet. 4:5; 2 Pet. 3:7), and the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire (2 Pet. 3:10, 12). The results of the various judgments are not the same. Some judgments result in a disciplinary dealing, some in a dispensational punishment, and some in eternal perdition (see note 2 Pet. 2:15, point 2). However, by all these judgments the Lord God will clear up and purify the entire universe that He may have a new heaven and a new earth for a new universe filled with His righteousness (2 Pet. 3:13) for His delight.

  • I.e., conduct, behavior; as in Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16.

  • A holy fear, as in Phil. 2:12 i.e., a healthy, serious caution that leads us to behave holily. Such fear is mentioned a number of times in this book (see c-r.) because this book's teaching concerns the government of God.

  • Lit., something silver or something gold (e.g., a coin).

  • The vain manner of life is in contrast to the holy manner of life in v. 15. As a general principle, the blood of Christ has redeemed us from sins, transgressions, lawlessness, and all sinful things (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:15; Titus 2:14). Here is an exception: Christ's blood has redeemed us from our old, vain manner of life, because the emphasis here is not on sinfulness but on the manner of life. The whole chapter emphasizes the holy manner of life that God's chosen people should have in their sojourn. Not only is the Spirit's sanctification for this, even Christ's redemption is for this — to separate us from our vain manner of life handed down from our fathers. Knowing that this was accomplished with the highest price, the precious blood of Christ, we should pass the days of our sojourning in fear (v. 17).

    Our old manner of life, a life in lusts (v. 14), had no meaning and no goal; hence, it was vain. But now our goal is to live a holy life that we may express God in His holiness (vv. 15-16).

  • The blood of Christ, by which we are sprinkled and thus marked out from the common people, is more precious than silver and gold. The highest price was paid for our redemption that we might be redeemed from a vain manner of life to a holy life (15, vv. 18). For this we should have a holy fear, a healthy, serious caution before God, so that, as God's elect, redeemed with such a high price, we will not miss the purpose of this most high redemption of Christ.

  • Christ was foreordained, prepared, by God to be the redeeming Lamb (John 1:29) for His elect according to His foreknowledge before the foundation of the world. This was done according to God's eternal purpose and plan; it did not happen accidentally. Hence, in the eternal view of God, from the foundation of the world, that is, from the fall of man as part of the world, Christ was slain (Rev. 13:8).

  • Referring to the end of the Old Testament times. See note Heb. 1:21.

  • Our believing into Christ brought us into an organic union with Him (Gal. 3:26-27). Then through Him we believe into God to be one with Him and participate in all His riches.

  • This is to glorify Him with glory (v. 11) and is the Father's answer to His prayer (John 17:1).

  • The purifying of our souls is the Spirit's sanctifying of our disposition that we may live a holy life in God's holy nature (vv. 15-16). It is deeper than the purifying of our sins (Heb. 1:3) and the cleansing of sin (1 John 1:7). The latter two are the purifying of our outward doing; the former is the purifying of our inward being — the soul. This purifying is like the washing of the water in the word in Eph. 5:26 (see note Eph. 5:263).

  • Our soul is composed of our mind, emotion, and will, which are also parts of our heart. To have our soul purified is to have our mind, emotion, and will, as parts of our heart, purified from any kind of defilement or contamination (Acts 15:9; James 4:8). Actually, this means to have our mind, emotion, and will delivered from all things other than God and fixed on God as the sole object and unique goal. This kind of purification is accomplished by our obedience to the truth, which is the content and reality of our faith (see note 1 Tim. 1:11, point 2). When we obey the truth, the content and reality of our faith in Christ, our entire soul is concentrated on God and is thus purified from all things other than God. This is to have our souls saved from all filthiness by our receiving the implanted word (James 1:21), which is the sanctifying truth (John 17:17).

  • The sanctifying truth, which is God's word of reality, i.e., of truth (John 17:17 and notes).

  • Since the purifying of our souls causes our entire being to be concentrated on God that we may love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind (Mark 12:30), such purifying issues in unfeigned brotherly love, our loving from the heart fervently those whom God loves. First, God's regeneration issues in a holy living (vv. 15-16); then God's sanctification (purification) issues in brotherly love.

  • Some MSS read, from the heart fervently.

  • This verse modifies v. 22. Having been regenerated, we have purified our souls unto brotherly love. Regeneration with the divine life is the base, the ground, for the purifying, sanctifying, of our souls unto unfeigned brotherly love. This section of the Word begins and ends with regeneration, which issues in a holy living toward God and brotherly love toward the saints.

  • A seed is a container of life. The word of God, as the incorruptible seed, contains God's life. Hence, it is living and abiding. Through this word we were regenerated. It is God's living and abiding word of life that conveys God's life into our spirit for our regeneration.

  • Referring to fallen man. The entire fallen human race is like withering grass, and its glory like the falling flower of grass. The believers were once like that, but the living and abiding word of the Lord, as the seed sown into them through regeneration, has changed their nature, making them living and abiding forever.

  • Word in v. 23 refers to the constant word; word here (used twice) refers to the instant word. When the constant word is spoken to us, it becomes the instant word.

  • Referring to God in v. 23, indicating that the Lord Jesus is God.

  • The word announced by the apostles is the gospel that regenerates the believers.

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