1 Peter 1:17 (and) If you address (PMI) as Father the One who impartially judges (PAP) according to each one's work, conduct (APM) yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as foreigners here on earth. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: If you pray to a Father Who judges men by their actions without the slightest favoritism, then you should spend the time of your stay here on earth with reverent fear. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And in view of the fact that you call on as Father Him Who judges, not with a partiality based upon mere outward appearance, but with impartiality in accordance with each individual’s work, in fear order your behavior during the time of your residence as a foreigner (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and if on the Father ye do call, who without acceptance of persons is judging according to the work of each, in fear the time of your sojourn pass ye
AND IF YOU ADDRESS AS FATHER THE ONE: kai ei patera epikaleisthe (2PPMI): ( Zeph 3:9; Mt 6:9; 7:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; 2Co 1:2; Eph 1:17; 3:14)
And - Marks continuance of a thought. Here Peter continues the idea that believers have a new family relationship to God. His goal is to give us motivation for conducting ourselves as obedient children during our short stay on earth.
Spurgeon - Be not presumptuous. Ever remember that, as there is a God who is to judge every man, you ate to be judged; and oh, that you might, through his grace, be in such a condition of heart that you shall stand the last test, and be found to be full weight when you are put into the balances of the sanctuary which God shall hold with steadfast hand!
In the Greek text, this verse begins with kai ("and"), which links it with the preceding section (especially 1Pe 1:13-note, 1Pe 1:14-note, 1Pe 1:15-note, 1Pe 1:16-note) and continues the call to a lifestyle that is different from that of non-Christians.
If introduces what is referred to in Greek as a First Class Condition which means the statement is not a hypothesis but a fulfilled condition. One can often translate the first class condition by inserting the words Since or in view of the fact. In the present context if assumes that Peter's readers (who are believers) will call God their Father and will call upon Him because He is their Father. In other words, the if alludes to the reality of the the child of God's prayer life and worship of the Almighty One. The Greek does not suggest a hypothetical prayer life but assumes that they do in fact pray.
How is this facet of your Christian life? Is the "if" somewhat "iffy" when it comes to your prayer life?
Even though He is our Father, believers must still approach His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16-note) through the Son, in the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18-note) as explained in Scripture. As Jesus declared...
Not only do children have continual access but the Son, our "Brother", is continuously interceding for us even now with the Father for
As an aside, remember that if your prayers are not being answered, you might want to scan the verses in this checklist.
Address (1941) (epikaleomai = middle voice of epikaleo from epí = upon + kaléo = call) literally means to call upon and was often used in secular Greek to refer to calling upon deity for any purpose, especially for aid. It also means to invoke (to petition for help or support, make earnest request) a deity for something (Acts 7:59).
Epikaleo is used 30 times in NAS (Mt 10:25; Acts 1:23; 2:21; 4:36; 7:59; 9:14, 21; 10:5, 18, 32; 11:13; 12:12, 25; 15:17; 22:16; 25:11,12, 21, 25; 26:32; 28:19; Ro 10:12-note, Ro 10:13-note, Ro 10:14-note; 1Co 1:2; 2Co 1:23; 2Ti 2:22-note; Heb 11:16-note; James 2:7; 1Pe 1:17-note) and is translated: address, 1; appeal, 2; appealed, 4; call, 7; called, 14; calling, 1; calls, 1.
Vine explains that epikaleo "has the meaning appeal in the middle voice, which carries with it the suggestion of a special interest on the part of the doer of an action in that in which he is engaged." (Vine's Expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words)
Epikaleomai was used as in this verse to call upon deity for some purpose, as in Peter's quotation from Joel 2:32...
Stephen with his dying words called upon the Lord...
Ananias addressing Paul after his conversion declared
The idea of calling on God includes includes calling upon Him in the sense of prayer...
In Acts 15 James addressed the Jerusalem counsel in which the Jewish leaders were discussing the fate of the Gentiles who were coming to faith in Christ...
Epikaleo - 134 times in the Septuagint (LXX) = Ge 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 21:33; 26:25; 33:20; 48:16; Ex 29:45, 46; Nu 21:3; Deut 4:7; 12:5, 11, 21, 26; 14:23, 24; 15:2; 16:2, 6, 11; 17:8, 10; 26:2; 28:10; 33:19; Jos. 21:9; Jdg 6:24; 15:19; 1Sa 12:17, 18; 23:28; 2Sa 6:2; 20:1; 22:4, 7; 1Ki. 7:21; 8:43, 52; 13:2, 4; 16:24; 17:21; 18:24, 25,26; 2 Ki. 5:11; 23:17; 1 Chr. 4:10; 13:6; 16:8; 2 Chr. 6:20, 33; 7:14; 28:15; Esther 4:8; 5:1; 9:26; Job 5:1, 8; 17:14; 27:10; Ps. 4:1; 14:4; 18:3, 6; 20:9; 31:17; 42:7; 49:11; 50:15; 53:4; 56:9; 75:1; 79:6; 80:18; 81:7; 86:5; 89:26; 91:15; 99:6; 102:2; 104:35; 116:2, 4, 13; 118:5; 138:3; 145:18; 147:9; Pr 1:28; 2:3; 8:12; 18:6; 21:13; Is 18:7; 43:7; 55:5, 6; 63:19; 64:7; Je 4:20; 7:10, 11, 14, 30; 10:25; 11:14; 14:9; 15:16; 20:8; 32:34; 34:15; Lam 3:55, 57; Ezek 10:13; 20:29; Da 2:26; 9:18, 19; 10:1; Ho 7:7, 11; Joel 2:32; Amos 4:5, 12; 9:12; Jon. 1:6; Mic. 6:9; Zeph. 3:9; Zech. 13:9; Mal. 1:4.
The first 5 uses of epikaleomai are fascinating (What is the focus?)...
These uses of epikaleo in Genesis "speaks volumes" about the priority of worship in the life of this great man of God (used with a similar meaning in Ge 13:4). In fact epikaleomai is used in the LXX to describe all three great patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac in Ge 26:25 and Jacob in Ge 33:20 where Lxx into English is not "called it" but "called on the God of Israel") calling on God.
And so we see that addressing God as Father includes the idea of worship.
In a famous encounter with the prophets of Baal hopping around and calling out to their "god" Elijah
Asaph sings "Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon (Lxx = epikaleomai) His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples." (1Chr 16:8) (Comment: As an aside, have you obeyed this injunction beloved? If you have given thanks from the heart, the natural outflow of such a life is to let others know His great and mighty works in your life and the life of your family.)
Epikaleomai also means to to address or characterize someone by a special term, to call or to give a surname (see Mt 10:25)
Epikaleomai is used most often in the NT in the sense of calling someone by name (Lk 22:3, Ac 4:36, 10:5, 18, 32, 11:13, 12:12, 25, 15:22).
Epikaleomai was a technical legal term which referred to putting a request before a higher judicial authority for review of a decision of a lower court and so to make an appeal. Paul was cognizant of the fact that an appeal to the Roman emperor was the right of a Roman citizen and so he ended his defense in Jerusalem before Festus with the words "I appeal to (epikaleomai) Caesar." (Acts 25:11), to which Festus answered "You have appealed to (epikaleomai) Caesar, to Caesar you shall go." (Acts 25:12, cp Acts 25:21, 25, 26:32, 29:19)
Epikaleomai was also used as a legal term to invoke an oath or to call on someone as a witness. Paul in explaining to the Corinthians why he said he was coming but did not (he wanted them to have time to repent and correct their sinful behavior) declared "I call (epikaleomai) God as witness to my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth." (2Cor 1:23)
Here in first Peter, epikaleomai describes praying saints whose habitual practice was to call upon their Father (address is present tense indicating continual action). They appealed to God as one would appeal to an earthly father for help. Peter alluded to this blessed truth of God as their Father in (1Peter 1:14 [note]) when he referred to his recipients as "obedient children". In (1Pe 1:15 ([note]) God called them to be His own so that now they have the privilege of calling upon Him as their Father. Peter's acknowledgement of God as their Father is even more notable in view of the fact that in Judaism (and the OT) God is rarely referred to as "Father".
Address as Father - All who are by faith in Christ are sons of God the Father. The call is not so much an appeal, but a claim of kindred and an acknowledgment of close, tender relationship (cp Abba - Mark 14:36, Ro 8:15-note, Gal 4:6). The fact that the readers acknowledge God as their Father clearly indicates that Peter is writing primarily to believers "See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (1John 3:1-note).
Cambridge on Father - if you worship not an arbitrary Judge, but one of whom Fatherhood is the essential character. The sequel shows that this attribute of Fatherhood is not thought of as excluding the idea of judgment, but gives assurance that the judgment will be one of perfect equity. (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)
John writes that "as many as received (and welcomed) Him, to them He gave the right (authority, power, privilege - see word study of exousia) to become children of God (in the full spiritual sense, not as mere offspring of God which is true of all men as in Acts 17:28-note), even to those who believe (see word study on pisteuo) in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (Jn 1:12, 13)
Jesus taught His disciples "When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. (Lk 11:2)
One of the most beautiful passages in the Bible records God's declaration that "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me" says the Lord Almighty. (2Cor 6:18)
As Wuest says "What a blessed thought to give us encouragement in our praying, faith that the answer is sure, and a sweet feeling of nearness to God. To think that He is our Father and we are His children. To think that He regards us as His children, and thus the objects of His special care and love. (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
F B Meyer in his exposition of 1Peter entitled "Tried by Fire" has the following section on 1Pe 1:17 (see note) which relates to the Bema Seat of Christ...
Now Peter makes the point that if believers have such a special relationship with God by virtue of His effectual call and gift of new birth, it is all the more urgent that they not become complacent in their conduct but that they remember their Father is also the Judge of both believers and non-believers.
Edwards adds that "Because of our position in Christ, we should live according to our family heritage, i.e., in holiness. "'For you were once darkness, but now are you light in the Lord, walk as Children of light" (Eph 5:8). It has been well said that the goal of the Christian life is "to practice your position."
Alexander Maclaren sermon on 1Peter 1:17 The Father and Judge...
WHO IMPARTIALLY JUDGES: ton aprosopolemptos krinonta (PAPMSA): (1 Peter 2:23, 4:5, Dt 10:17; 2Chr 19:7; Job 34:11, 19; Ps 62:12, Je 17:10, Mt 22:16; Acts 10:34,35; Ro 2:10,11; Gal 2:6; Eph 6:9; Col 3:25)
Moses in his exhortation to Israel to circumcise their hearts (referring to spiritual circumcision = not relying on works or sacrifices to attain righteousness, but personally expressing faith in God's promised, prophesied Messiah - see discussion of meaning of circumcision related to Covenant) spoke the following words to motivate them to seek the LORD while He could be found...
In a similar passage Jehoshaphat the king of Judah warned the judges he appointed throughout Judah to think carefully before pronouncing judgment and to "let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness, or partiality, or the taking of a bribe." (2Chr 19:7)
God is a righteous Judge, as Peter declares in explaining how Jesus did not seek to revenge evil for "while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously." (1Pe 2:23-note)
And again Peter alludes to God as Judge writing that "they (those who are surprised you as a new creation in Christ no longer desire to join them in their unrighteous activities) shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living (believers) and the dead (spiritually dead [Eph 2:1-note], born into Adam [Romans 5:12-note], but never born again, John 3:3).(1Pe 4:5-note)
The fact that God is going to judge all of us ought to cause us to become very sober minded and to give a little more attention to the life that we are living. (cp 2Ti 4:1-note)
As J Vernon McGee says "My friends, we need to make sure that we are not superficial. The Gospel does not sprinkle rosewater on a bunch of dead weeds. The Gospel transforms lives and brings us into a living hope which rests upon the resurrection of Christ. (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Cambridge on impartiality - We note the prominence of this thought, derived originally from the impression by our Lord’s words and acts (Matthew 22:16), as presenting a coincidence (1) with the Apostle’s own words in Acts 10:34; and (2) as in other instances, with the teaching of James (James 2:1-4). (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)
Impartially (678) (aprosopoleptos from a = not, without + prósopon = face + lambáno = receive) (this verse is only Scriptural occurrence) literally means "not receiving face" which then came to mean “without respect of persons”.
Aprosopoleptos is derived from a Hebrew idiom "to receive the face" of someone which meant to show partiality or favoritism. This word reflects the respectful oriental greeting in which one humbly turns one’s face to the ground upon meeting another person. If the person greeted raised the face of the man, this was a sign of recognition and esteem. Here the word is the opposite or negative aspect of this well known practice and thus means “does not receive face.” That is, God does not receive anybody’s face. He is impartial. Outward appearance, wealth, culture, social position, family background, education, beauty, intellect, all things that more or less sway the opinions of man, do not count with God when it comes to appraising a person’s character or worthiness.
Paul has a similar thought in Romans 2 - There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Ro 2:9-10) Then Paul explains that "there is no (absolute negation) partiality (prosopolepsía = literally "to receive a face") with God. (Ro 2:11-note)
Jeremiah conveys a similar thought asking "O LORD, do not Thine eyes look for truth? (Jer 5:3)
In first Samuel the author reminds us that "The Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1Sa 16:7).
Peter came to understand that God's favor was not limited to the nation of Israel but that He desired an honest and contrite heart, whether Jew or Gentile. And so He prefaced his message to the Gentile Cornelius with the declaration that "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him." (Acts 10:34, 35)
God does not receive a face or give consideration to someone simply because of his position, wealth, influence, popularity, or appearance. Because it is God’s nature to be just, it is impossible for Him to be anything but impartial. God judges everyone by the same standard. He does not play favorites! God deals with obedience and disobedience impartially.
God judges each man’s work with impartiality. We should however not misinterpret this statement as implying that God is a critical judge trying always to find a defect or flaw in our conduct or service (a common misconception of our benevolent and just Judge). We would all stand accused countless times each day if this were true. The Greek word is found more often in a good than in a bad sense. That is, God’s impartiality is an honest appraisal of things, while His heart is always with His child and goes out to him in a spirit of love. That truth is beautifully brought out in the use of the Greek verb (dokimazo) in 1Cor 3:13, which in context refers to the judgment of the believer’s works at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
There are two Greek words which mean “to put to the test,” one (peirazo [note]) meaning “to put to the test in order to discover what evil or good there may be in a person” and the other, (dokimazo [note]) meaning “to put to the test in order to sanction or approve the good one finds in that person.”
The latter (dokimazo) is used in (1Cor 3:13 and also in 1 Peter 1:7 [note]). God expects to find in the life of each saint "works" upon which He can put His approval, for the Holy Spirit produces good ("holy") works in every saint (see study on good deeds), albeit in greater number in those saints who are fully subjected to His control.
Judges (2919) (krino) primarily means to separate, distinguish, discriminate between good and evil, select, choose out the good. Krino is present tense indicating the Father is continually judging the conduct of His children and this ongoing, "present tense" judging should serve as a strong motivation to goad us on to holiness (see 1Pe 1:14-note; 1Pe 1:15-note; 1Pe 1:16-note)
Lincoln comments on the continual aspect of God's impartial judgment that "He is looking on, taking notice of all, whether there is integrity of purpose, intelligence of mind, and desire of heart to please Him."
There is thus a sense in which believers are now being "judged", even as they are disciplined and chastened by their Father they sin (I have found this is not a popular topic to teach on! Don't be surprised it these important truths are not graciously received!).
The writer of Hebrews reminds his readers that "you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; 6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES." 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Heb 12:5-11-See notes Hebrews 12:5; 12:6; 12:7; 12:8; 12:9; 12:10; 12:11).
Someone has wisely written that years of obedience cannot purchase an hour of disobedience. We will all be judged impartially.
ACCORDING TO EACH MAN'S WORK: kata to hekastou ergon: (Job 34:11, Ps 62:12-notes, Pr 24:12, Is 40:10, 11, Jer 17:10, 32:19, Da 12:3, Mt 16:27, Lk 14:12,13, 14, Jn 4:36, Ro 2:6-note, 1Co 3:13, 14, 15, 2Co 5:10, Col 3:22,23, 24, 25; 1Jn 2:28 Rev 2:23-note, Rev 22:12-note)
Each man's (1538) (hekastos) means each one of an aggregate. The idea is every single person! All judgment will be according to works and each man means there will be no exceptions. No one will get a pass in regard to God's perfect judgment.
Topics Related to "Each Man's Work" especially as it relates to believers...
Scripture clearly distinguishes between the judgment of believers and the judgment of unbelievers.
Unbelievers will be judged impartially by God at the Great White Throne (after the 1000 year reign of Christ) as described by John...
This judgment of unbelievers was also seen in Psalm 1...
Obviously in the present context Peter is referring primarily to the future judgment of believers and specifically to the Bema or Judgment Seat of Christ (see note)
The Bema Seat (See synopsis of end time judgments) has nothing to do with salvation, except that salvation ought to produce good works (see Ephesians 2:10-note, Titus 2:12-note) and if one does not bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance (Mt 3:8), it may well be that one's repentance is not genuine for as Jesus said we are to know the tree by its fruit (see Matthew 7:20-note) (See related study on good deeds)
At the Bema Seat of Christ, believers sins will not judged, for Christ has once and for all borne every sin we have committed or will commit, having paid the price in full (Is 53:4, 5, Jn 3:18, Jn 19:30, Romans 8:1-note, 1Peter 2:24- note).
So what will Christ judge in regard to believers? Scripture teaches that Christ will judge...
In other words He will judge us in order to find something good for the purpose of determining each believer's rewards rewards. At that time God will search even every motives of our heart
Jesus has a good word on good works...
Edward Veal (Morning Exercises) has these pithy words on according to each man's works - Learn to admire the grace of God in rewarding your works. It is much that he accepts them; and what is it, then, that he rewards them? It is much that he doth not damn you for them, seeing they are all defiled, and have something of sin cleaving to them; and what is it, then, that he crowns them? You would admire the bounty and munificence of a man that should give you a kingdom for taking up a straw at his foot, or give you a hundred thousand pounds for paying him a penny rent you owed him: how, then, should you adore the rich grace and transcendent bounty of God in so largely recompensing such mean services, in setting a crown of glory upon your heads, as the reward of those works which you can scarcely find in your hearts to call good ones! You will even blush one day to see yourselves so much honoured for what you are ashamed of, and are conscious to yourselves that you have deserved nothing by. You will wonder then to see God recompensing you for doing what was your duty to do, and what was his work in you; giving you grace, and crowning that grace; enabling you to do things acceptable to him, and then rewarding you as having done them.-- Edward Veal in "The Morning Exercises."
Look Who's Reading You - I heard about a judge who used bumper stickers to encourage better driving. He gave two options to people guilty of driving while intoxicated.
The first option was to attach this message to their bumper: "This car owned by a convicted drunk driver." Almost all offenders preferred the judge's second option: Enroll in an alcohol treatment program. The majority of people cared about what others thought of them and wanted to maintain a good image.
The fear of embarrassment applies to other kinds of unacceptable behavior as well. For example, not many of us would be willing to walk around with a sign on our backs that read something like this: "Danger: I'm a Christian who doesn't spend time in prayer or Bible study." Nor would we want to wear a sign that read: "Warning: I'm a child of God who gossips too much," or "Be careful: I am controlled by lust rather than love."
If God required us to display such a sign, would our desire for the respect of others keep us from revealing our true spiritual condition? The way we answer that question says a lot about our sense of shame before the Lord, who always judges us accurately (1Pe 1:17). Is it possible that we fear His opinion less than we fear the opinion of others? — Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Conduct yourselves in fear - As discussed below, not in a shaking trembling fear (for Ro 8:1-note, Ro 8:38, 39-note apply to believers), but a reverential awe, a dread of displeasing God my Father, the One I can now (because of Christ's sacrificial blood) called "Abby, Daddy"! This type of "fear" motivates a holy love, out of which flows a heart felt obedience, a sincere Spirit enabled desire and power to obey which is in stark contrast to a legalistic burden to obey.
Another meaning of anastrepho is to turn back or to return to a place (Acts 5:22, 15:16-return here alludes to Second Coming).
Anastrepho conveys the idea of "turning" back and forth in a place and so to spend time there (Mt 17:22). In secular Greek anastrophe meant turning back and forth in a place or dawdling around and lingering.
Finally, the figurative meaning of anastrepho describes one's whole manner of life, behavior, conduct or deportment (Ep 2:3-note = "lived", 2Cor 1:12, Heb 13:18-note, 1Ti 3:15 = "behave" speaking of moral/ethical behavior in the household of God; 2Pe 2:18-note). And so anastrepho describes the general ordering of one’s conduct in relation to others.
In the present context anastrepho specifically refers to their conduct in the sphere ("atmosphere") of godly fear.
Wuest writes that the verb means " In classical Greek, the verb meant among other things “to turn one’s self about, to turn back, round, or about, to dwell in a place,” the noun, “a turning back or about, occupation in a thing, a mode of life, behaviour.” One can see that the ideas of “a mode of life” and “one’s behaviour” are derived from the fact of one’s activity. (Anastrepho means) to conduct or behave one’s self, to walk,” the latter meaning not referring here to the physical act of walking but to the act of determining our course of conduct and the carrying out of that determined course of action. The noun (anastrophe) means “one’s walk, manner of life, conduct.” In the biblical use of the word, the moral and spiritual aspect of one’s manner of life is in view. (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Anastrepho - 9x in the NT - translated as conduct(3), conducted(1), live(1), lived(1), return(1), returned(1), treated(1).
There are 80 uses of anastrepho in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Ge 8:11; 14:7, 17; 18:14; 22:5; 32:6; 37:29, 30; 49:22; Ex. 24:14; Jos. 5:6; 7:3; 19:12, 29; Jdg. 7:13; Ru 1:15; 1Sa 3:5, 6, 9; 6:16; 9:5; 15:25, 26, 30, 31; 17:53; 23:28; 24:1; 25:12; 26:25; 27:9; 29:7; 2Sa 1:1; 2:26, 30; 3:16, 26; 10:14; 12:23; 17:20; 22:38; 1Ki. 11:22; 12:5, 12, 24; 13:10; 15:21; 19:15, 20, 21; 20:5; 22:17; 2Ki 2:18; 9:18, 20; 1Chr 20:3; 2Chr 18:16; Job 10:21; Pr 2:19; 8:20; 20:7; 26:11; Je 3:7; 15:19; 22:11; 37:8; 40:4; 41:14; 46:5, 16, 27; Ezek 3:15; 19:6; 22:7, 29, 30; 46:9; Da 11:9; Zec 3:7; 7:14
Paul's uses the related verb anastrepho to contrast what believers were before they were regenerated by Christ as he reminds his born again audience that...
In Fear - Note that in the Greek sentence Peter places in fear before conduct which is the Greek way of adding emphasis. In this context Peter is emphasizing the importance of the atmosphere in which one conducts his or her daily life (See below for Torrey's list of Scriptures on this too often neglected topic of godly fear)
A life dominated by a wholesome, healthy, reverential awe of a holy God Who does not "wink" at sin, even in His saints, will (or at least should) motivate a life of God honoring choices and Spirit empowered denial of fleshly indulgences (cp parallel thought in 2Cor 7:1-note).
Barclay - The Christ-filled life is the life of reverence (Ed: Holy Fear) (1 Peter 1:17-21). Reverence is the attitude of mind of the man who is always aware that he is in the presence of God. In these five verses Peter picks out three reasons for this Christian reverence. (a) The Christian is a sojourner in this world. Life for him is lived in the shadow of eternity; he thinks all the time, not only of where he is but also of where he is going. (b) He is going to God; true, he can call God Father, but that very God whom he calls Father is also he who judges every man with strict impartiality. The Christian is a man for whom there is a day of reckoning. He is a man with a destiny to win or to lose. Life in this world becomes of tremendous importance because it is leading to the life beyond. (c) The Christian must live life in reverence, because it cost so much, nothing less than the life and death of Jesus Christ. Since, then, life is of such surpassing value, it cannot be wasted or thrown away. No honorable man squanders what is of infinite human worth. (Daily Study Bible)
Spurgeon - In holy fear; — not in servile, slavish fear, but in a blessed state of sacred timidity and awe lest you should offend your God and Savior.
The Pulpit Commentary writes that "In fear does not mean in dread or in terror; that meaning is contradicted by the whole tenor of this Epistle, and by the very name of God in this verse, Father. Fear is synonymous with “piety” in Old Testament language, and might be rendered “reverence,” or better still by the less frequently used, but fine Saxon word “awe.” You are in the midst of great things, of stupendous realities; cherish awe. This is not to be a passing paroxysm, but an abiding, settled habit of soul. U.R.T. (The Pulpit Commentary – Volume 22)
Fear (5401) (phobos) in the present context is not a shaking fear or dread (if you are experiencing this type of fear click study on How to Handle Fear), but a reverential (not slavish), filial fear of our God and Father Who is also our Righteous Judge.
Jesus explained Whom we should rightly fear - And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid (aorist passive subjunctive functioning like an aorist passive imperative) of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear (aorist imperative) the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear (aorist imperative) Him! (Lk 12:4, 5)
James reminded his readers - Do not complain (present imperative + negative = stop an action already in progress!), brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; (When we are tempted to judge others, what should continually be our motivation?) behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. (James 5:9).
The writer of Hebrews used this truth about reverential fear to exhort and motivate his readers reminding them that "since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence (holy or godly fear = eulabeia = idea of being devoutly submissive. An internal attitude of reverence toward God. A careful reverence which pays regard to every circumstance - this person something spiritually dangerous and proceeds with caution) and awe (He 12:28-note)
In sum, godly fear is a good thing and strongly commended in Scripture. An absence of godly fear is a bad thing and ultimately describes all unregenerate mankind for as Paul declared...
Practically speaking, this fear the unregenerate lack and the regenerate should seek to live in is a godly carefulness which includes a distrust of self, a tender conscience, a vigilance against temptation, a constant avoidance of things which would displease God, a continual apprehension of the deceitfulness of our old nature (flesh) which still indwells us (albeit now by the Cross of Christ having been rendered ineffective - see Romans 6:6-note) and has the insidious power of inward corruption.
A wholesome reverence and respect for God is the basis for all godly living...
Lange's Commentary note on fear...
Spurgeon commenting on Proverb 28:14 writes that...
Godly fear is reflected in a circumspection which timidly shrinks from whatever would offend and dishonor God (cf Ge 39:9) This is not the cringing fear of a slave before a master, but the loving reverence of a child before his father. It is not fear of judgment (1Jn 4:18), but a fear of disappointing Him or sinning against His love. It's the mindset that Joseph had when he was tempted by Potiphar's wife and declared
One aspect of holy fear includes an awareness of the truth that the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth (cp 2Chr 16:9), so that all we think, say or do is as if He were present (because He is!). Such a truth should motivate to some degree our choices to turn from evil and toward good. It's like the story of the town that placed fake police cars along the side of the road with the result (to no one's surprise) that speeders slowed down (and even those going the speed limit slowed down!?)
Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) put "godly fear" in proper perspective when he stated "I fear God, yet am not afraid of Him."
Bishop Trench adds "In that mingled fear and love which, combined, constitute the piety of man toward God, the OT placed its emphasis on the fear, the NT places it on the love (though there was love in the fear of God's saints then, as there must be fear in their love now).
The godly preacher F. B. Meyer said it well - There is no fear like that which love begets. We do not fear God with the fear of the slave or felon, but with the fear of the love that cannot endure the thought of giving pain to the one loving and loved.
Eugene Asa Carr - The only sure way to take fear out of living is to keep a respectful fear of God in our lives, which means to maintain a reverent attitude toward his place and influence. This brand of fear is a healthy ingredient, a deterrent to want, a spur to courage and confidence, an insurance against loss, and source of comfort and understanding.
A W Tozer - Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God." (implying that such a one has no reverential fear of God)
DURING THE TIME OF YOUR STAY (sojourn) UPON EARTH: ton tes paroikias humon chronon: (See Torrey's Topic below -- Pilgrims & Strangers)
Upon earth - This is not in the original Greek but has been added by the translators)
Spurgeon - You are only here for a while, you are sojourners, foreigners, pilgrims passing through a country where you have no abiding place; be therefore careful and even fearful lest you should become like the people among whom you dwell, have a holy dread of the contaminations of sin: “Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” Not in unbelieving fear, but in that holy carefulness which watches against sin of every kind lest in any way you should spoil your holy work for God.
The time of your stay - Time is chronos not kairos.
Only one life
Time (5550)(chronos) perceives time quantitatively as a period measured by the succession of objects and events and denotes the passing of moments. Kairos in contrast refers to a season within time and is viewed as a space during which something happens or can potentially be accomplished. Chronos embraces all possible kairos "times", and is often used as the more inclusive term as in the present passage. Now that you've digested all that, what is the practical application? If we think of our birth to our death in terms of chronos, the time is all the time in our life. However within that all encompassing time period, there are (for the believer) many kairos times or opportune times, times we can redeem and which will pay dividends throughout eternity.
Paul spoke about kairos time this way -
See Related Study:
Stay upon the earth (3940) (paroikia = pará = near, at + oíkos = dwell) means literally to dwell near and thus to have a home alongside of. It refers to a person living in a foreign land alongside of people who are not of his kind or to a period spent in a foreign land without taking out or being granted rights of citizenship. In short it refers to dwelling at a place only for a short time. The idea is that of a sojourn which describes one's stay in a foreign place as a temporary resident. Today we say something like believers are "short timers", dwelling temporarily and not being tethered to this terra firma on which we currently reside.
It is interesting that while believers are referred to as sojourners on earth, the very opposite description is applied to unbelievers (especially in the Revelation) who are categorized as Earth Dwellers (see note) (katoikeo = take up permanent above + ge = earth)!
Dear saint, would your choices this past week (month, year, etc) give evidence that your are living more like a a "short timer" or an "earth dweller"?
BDAG writes that paroikia describes "the state of being in a strange locality without citizenship, sojourn, stay, also in transferred sense of the foreign country itself."
The related verb paroikeo is used to describe Abraham who "By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise."
Peter pictures our Christian life as a brief pilgrimage life on earth, an concept that occurs throughout Scripture...
The writer of Hebrews sums up the lives of the men and women of faith declaring that...
Isaiah reminds us of the brevity of our life on earth writing that...
James reminds us of the evanescent nature of our life declaring...
In another Psalm, the author speaks of the brevity of life...
In the opening verse of this epistle Peter used a similar word parepidemois (see study) (see 1 Peter 1:1-note, 1Pe 2:11-note, Hebrews 11:13-note - Abraham in Heb 11:9-note, Heb 11:13-note. Believers are "short timers" on planet earth and are not to become attached to the passing pleasures of this world (Heb 11:25-note), the lusts of which are even passing away (1Jn 2:17).
Paroikia is found 2 times in the NT and 8 times in the Septuagint (LXX) (Ezra 8:35; Ps 34:4; 55:15; 65:1; 119:54; 120:5; Lam 2:22; Hab. 3:16)
Believers are not at home yet and this world is not our home. It is as if we were living in a foreign country, exiled from our eternal home heaven. Having these truths in mind we should not settle down as if this world were our permanent dwelling and likewise neither should we imitate the behavior of earth-dwellers. It will do all believers great good to frequently ponder thoughts of our heavenly destiny and then behave as citizens of heaven while on earth.
Sojourning refers to believers living far from their heavenly home, in foreign territory, on a planet that has a usurper, Satan, as reigning monarch, the people of which are his subjects. The Christian must always live in the consciousness of the fact that he is being watched by the unsaved and that his responsibility is to bear a clear testimony of the gospel, of His heavenly Father and of His glorious Savior by the manner in which he spends his time during his short time on earth. It was when Lot stopped being a sojourner, and became a resident in Sodom, that he lost his consecration and his testimony. Everything he lived for went up in smoke! And he even lost his wife! We must each continually remind ourselves that we are “strangers and pilgrims” in this world.
Richards adds this interesting note "In the Roman Empire ALIENS were subject to the state and paid heavy taxes, but were viewed as subject to their own national laws. We cannot expect concern for our “rights” from pagan society. But we can live as citizens of heaven, subject to its laws and protected by God."
Jewish communities throughout the Roman empire generally enjoyed a resident alien status, and although some Jews could achieve citizen status, in other places like Alexandria the Greeks met their attempt to do so with hostility.
Edwards astutely notes that believers "tend to back off of these sharp warning passages in scripture, yet we ought to take even "more earnest heed" to them. We know that the day will come in which we must all give account of our lives since we became Christians (Ro 14:12-note; 1Cor 3:13; 2Cor 5:10). On that day no amount of remorse or regret will recover the time lost for eternity. Jeremy Taylor once wrote, "God has given man but a short time here on earth, but upon this time, eternity depends." The Russian scholar, Berdyeaw wrote, "Life in time remains without meaning if it does not find its meaning in eternity." Just as Eve forfeited the entire garden for a piece of fruit, we likewise will forfeit the eternal significance of our lives by reaching out for various frivolous fruits of this world. One can only lay up treasures on heaven or else on earth; there is no happy medium though many Christians would have us believe. And we need to seriously consider the awesome significance of the day of the Lord. "Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light" (Amos 5:18). No wonder Peter exhorts us to "pass the time of our sojourning in fear."
Illustration - During the depression of the early 1930's, many men became tramps. They hopped freight trains to travel from place to place, slept in empty boxcars, and obtained a little money by working at seasonal jobs. When they could find no employment, they resorted to begging. My mother was a "soft touch" for any such drifters who came to our door for food. These men wandered about aimlessly, depriving themselves of family blessings. They had lost the comfortable security of a home.
A pilgrim, like the tramp, may be without the comfort and protection of a home, but he knows where he is going. His hopes and aspirations are set upon a goal. The Christian is that kind of wayfarer! Therefore, in today's Scripture reading Peter gives the exhortation, "Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear" (1 Pet. 1:17). Why should a believer live in reverential awe? The answer is clear: he is a pilgrim on his way to Heaven, not an aimless wanderer!
Christian friend, God has purchased you at tremendous cost, and your life is a sacred trust. The Lord is preparing you and me for eternity, and everything we do is full of significance. Therefore, though this earth is not our permanent place of habitation, we do not look upon ourselves as vagabonds, but as sojourners who live responsibly as we travel to our prepared destination. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us and will soon welcome us into that Home made ready by our Savior. We are part of a great spiritual family—a multitude of brothers and sisters in Christ — who are journeying to the "promised land." Indeed, we are not tramps but pilgrims! (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
A few more watches keeping,
Pilgrims, don't drive your stakes too deep; we're moving in the morning!
Torrey's Topic - Pilgrims and Strangers