WHO ARE PROTECTED: tous en dunamei theou phrouroumenous
2:9; Ps 37:23,24; Ps 37:28, 103:17,18;125:1,2; Pr 2:8; Isa 54:17; Jer
32:40; Jn 4:14; 5:24; 10:28, 29, 30; 17:11, 17:12, 17:15, Ro 8:31, 32,
33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 Php1:6; Jude1:24)
(phroureo) is derived from phrouros which means
a sentinel. Phrouros in turn is derived from pro = before, toward +
horao = behold, take special notice of, stare at more. The verb
phroureo therefore means
to pay attention to something, thus giving us a clear picture of the action involved in
guarding or protecting.
Peter's use of this term which was
used in the military implies that those who have been born again are
in a war and are under enemy attack. (cp similar military metaphor in
Phroureo is used 4x in the NT (2
Cor 11:32; Gal 3:23; Phil 4:7; 1 Pet 1:5) and in the
NAS is translated guard, 1; guarding, 1; kept in custody, 1;
protected, 1. Phroureo is found in the
Septuagint (LXX) 4 times but only in the apocryphal books.
Phroureo has three primary
(1) to maintain a watch, guard.
Phroureo was was a
military term used to describe the guarding performed by posting
sentries. It carries the idea of setting a protective guard. It also
conveys the idea of a garrison keeping watch over a town either in
order to prevent hostile invasion or to keep the inhabitants of a
besieged city from flight. Phroureo described the soldiers
guarding Damascus when Paul made his escape:
In Damascus the ethnarch under
Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in
order to seize me, (2
(2) to hold in custody, detain,
confine as in Galatians where Paul explained that...
"before faith came, we were kept
in custody (phroureo) under the law, being shut up to the faith
which was later to be revealed." (Galatians
This meaning was consistent with
the Roman use of prisons principally for holding of prisoners until
disposition of their cases, just as the Law supervised us until we
could place our faith in Christ.
(3) to provide security, guard,
protect, keep, this being the primary meaning in the present context.
It is encouraging to examine three
of the four uses of phroureo. In the past, the Lord kept us safe until we heard the
Gospel and responded to it (Galatians 3:23). In the
peace of God keeps our hearts and minds at peace in troubled times (Php
4:7-note). Finally as Peter
teaches, the Lord keeps us
and will reveal His glory in us when Christ returns (1 Peter
1:5). The keeping power of our Lord is awesome. It is as strong
as His strength and as eternal as His person. No Christian should ever
doubt this providential care of the Lord.
Spurgeon expresses the
encouraging truth of God's guarding providence writing that...
As sure as ever God puts His
children in the furnace He will be in the furnace with them."
John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)
founder of the Christian Brethren movement speaking of God's
protective care said that...
God's ways are behind the scenes,
but He moves all the scenes which He is behind.
Phroureo is in the
present tense which emphasizes our need for continual protection in
our struggle in this present life as we await the next life of glory. We are constantly being kept guarded by the power of God
which guarantees every believer's final victory even what may seen to
them now as "against all odds"! The
passive voice in the present
context indicates that the "guarding" was being carried out by an
outside force, specifically God, Whose power was continuously
guarding us. Peter's point is that we will make it to heaven no matter
what trials we experience here, so hangeth thou in there.
Barnes adds that
the idea of phroureo is that
"there was a faithful
guardianship exercised over them to save them from danger, as a castle
or garrison is watched to guard it against the approach of an enemy (see
expositional notes on Psalm 121 describing our Helper and
Keeper). The meaning is, that they were weak in themselves, and
were surrounded by temptations; and that the only reason why they were
preserved was, that God exerted His power to keep them. The only
reason which any Christians have to suppose they will ever reach
heaven, is the fact that God keeps them by His own power. If it were
left to the will of man; to the strength of his own resolutions; to
his power to meet temptations, and to any probability that he would of
himself continue to walk in the path of life, there would be no
certainty that anyone would be saved." (Barnes' Notes on the
While our inheritance is being kept
guarded in heaven under the watchful eye of God, we are being
garrisoned about by God’s protecting care for it. The Almighty God
stands sentinel over us all our days guarding our "going out and
our coming in from this day forth and forever" (see notes on
The Guard is never changed. He is on duty 24 hrs/day ("24/7"), year in
and year out until we arrive safely home.
Believers are not kept by their own power, but by the power of God.
Our faith in Christ has so united us to Him that His power now guards
us and guides us. We are not kept by our strength, but by His
faithfulness. How long will He guard us? Until Jesus Christ returns We
are in His hand (Jn 10:29).
The story is told of a Scotsman,
who was typically economical, leaving instructions that only one word
should be engraved upon his tombstone. That word taken from this verse
was the single word KEPT
Eternal security is not based on the faith of men, but on the
faithfulness of God. Aren't we all thankful for this truth!
J Vernon McGee: in his quaint
My friend, do you think He can keep you? Oh, I am
weary of the emphasis being put on the work of the flesh. We are being
told that if we follow some little set of rules, we can become
“adequate Christians.” I wonder if the fellows who are giving all
these messages have reached some celestial level which the rest of us
have not been able to attain. They ask, “Are you sufficient, are you
satisfied?” My answer is, “No—I am pressing on the upward way, I am
pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in
Christ Jesus. I am not satisfied. I have not found life sufficient.”
My friend, let me add a strong statement that may startle you: You
cannot live the Christian life! Perhaps you are asking, “Do you
really mean that?” Yes, I do. I would challenge you to show me a verse
or any Scripture where God has asked you to live the Christian life.
He has never done that...The only way in the world that you can live
the Christian life is by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the fact
that you are kept by the power of God—right on through until the day
when you will be delivered to Him in heaven. (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson
BY THE POWER
OF GOD THROUGH FAITH: tous en dunamei theou dia pisteos:
By the power of God - The
guard on duty is not like a human guard who might fall asleep and fail
to guard us from the enemy. Perhaps you might want to "refresh" your
mind regarding the "Guard" Who is protecting you until the last
1 I Will lift up my eyes to the
mountains; From whence shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time
forth and forever. (See
verse by verse commentary on site
121: A Commentary)
dunamai [word study]
= to be able, to have power) is the capability as well as
power. Inherent power residing in something (God in this case) by
virtue of its nature (His Omnipotence among other attributes)
especially to achieving power, to intrinsic power or inherent ability,
the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for
functioning in some way (power, might, strength, ability, capability),
the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature.
Dunamis is the implied ability or capacity to perform. It conveys
the idea of effective, productive energy, rather than that which is
raw and unbridled.
Through (dia) refers
the instrument, the intermediate or efficient cause of activating the dunamis (inherent power) of God...it is faith.
In other words this
is God’s response to our faith which we exercised in the Lord
Jesus as Saviour and which now rests in Him as our Preserver. Our
faith lays hold of this power, and this power strengthens our faith,
and thus we are preserved.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
J C Philpot...
The elect are preserved in Christ,
BEFORE they are called by grace. They are kept by the power of God
from perishing in their unregeneracy. Have not you been almost
miraculously preserved in the midst of dangers, and escaped when
others perished by your side—or been raised up as it were, from the
very brink of destruction and the very borders of the grave? Besides
some striking escapes from what are called 'accidents,' three times in
my life—once in infancy, once in boyhood, and once in manhood—I have
been raised up from the borders of the grave, when almost everyone who
surrounded my bed thought I would not survive the violence of the
attack. Were not these instances of being kept by the power of God? I
could not die until God had manifested His purposes of electing grace
and mercy to my soul.
But the elect are also kept by the mighty power of God AFTER they are
called by grace—for they are in the hollow of His hand, and are kept
as the apple of His eye. I will not say they are kept from all sins.
Yet I will say that they are kept from damning sins. They are kept
especially from three things—from the dominion of sin, from daring and
final presumption, from lasting and damnable error. They are never
drowned in the sins and evils of the present life so as to be
swallowed up in them—for it is impossible that they can ever be lost!
They are therefore preserved in hours of temptation, for they are
guarded by all the power of Omnipotence, shielded by the unceasing
care and watchfulness of Him who can neither slumber nor sleep.
Looking back through a long vista of years, can you not see how the
hand of God has been with you—how He has held you up, and brought you
through many a storm, and preserved you under powerful temptations?
How gently He sometimes drew you on, or sometimes kept you back? "I
give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall
any man pluck them out of My hand!" Having chosen us, God begets us
with His word, regenerates us by a divine influence, and makes us new
creatures by the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.
FOR A SALVATION READY TO BE REVEALED
IN THE LAST TIME: eis soterian hetoimen
apokaluphthenai (APN) en kairo eschato: (Heb 9:28) (1Pe
1:13; 1Ti 6:14,15; Titus 2:13; 1Jn 3:2 Job 19:25)
soter [word study]
= a savior or deliverer) means safety, deliverance, preservation
from danger or destruction.
Stated another way In the salvation
referred to here is "future tense" (see
Three Tenses of Salvation), the consummation referred to as
glorification of our mortal bodies,
free from corruption, free from the presence of sin, free from the
pleasure of sin. Oh happy day!
The salvation spoken of here is "future
tense salvation" culminating in the glorification of
our bodies. We received our justification at the moment we believed
(past tense salvation). We are receiving our sanctification, namely
victory over sin and growth in the Christian life now (present tense
salvation). We will yet receive that part of salvation which awaits us
in Glory (future tense salvation). (See
Three Tenses of Salvation)
Soteria - 46x in 45v - Mark
16:8; Luke 1:69, 71, 77; 19:9; John 4:22; Acts 4:12; 7:25; 13:26, 47;
16:17; 27:34; Rom 1:16; 10:1, 10; 11:11; 13:11; 2 Cor 1:6; 6:2; 7:10;
Eph 1:13; Phil 1:19, 28; 2:12; 1 Thess 5:8f; 2 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 2:10;
3:15; Heb 1:14; 2:3, 10; 5:9; 6:9; 9:28; 11:7; 1 Pet 1:5, 9f; 2:2; 2
Pet 3:15; Jude 1:3; Rev 7:10; 12:10; 19:1. NAS =
deliverance(2), preservation(1), salvation(42).
Salvation is a many-sided thing. In
it there is deliverance from danger, deliverance from disease,
deliverance from condemnation and deliverance from sin. And it is
that, and nothing less than that, to which the Christian can look
forward at the end.
from an old noun heteos = fitness) means ready, prepared, in a
state of readiness.
is a stronger word than "about to be", or "destined to be", as it
implies a state of waiting or preparedness and thus harmonizes well
Hetoimos - 17x in 17v - Matt
22:4, 8; 24:44; 25:10; Mark 14:15; Luke 12:40; 14:17; 22:33; John 7:6;
Acts 23:15, 21; 2 Cor 9:5; 10:6, 16; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet 1:5; 3:15.
NAS = accomplished(1), opportune(1), ready(15).
THE BEST IS
YET TO COME
from apó = from +
kalúpto = to cover, conceal) (See
study of related word
apokalupsis) means literally to remove the
cover from. To make manifest or reveal a thing previously secret or
Apokalupto - 26x in 26v -
Matt 10:26; 11:25, 27; 16:17; Luke 2:35; 10:21f; 12:2; 17:30; John
12:38; Rom 1:17f; 8:18; 1 Cor 2:10; 3:13; 14:30; Gal 1:16; 3:23; Eph
3:5; Phil 3:15; 2 Thess 2:3, 6, 8; 1 Pet 1:5, 12; 5:1
The veil or covering will one day be removed exposing to open view for
all to see what was before hidden...our "future tense salvation" or
world does not understand who we are as believers nor the future glory
we shall experience. But one day that will all change. In the meantime
"hangeth thou in there."
apokalupto is in the passive voice indicating that the action is
performed by an outside force, in context referring to God Himself.
last time comprises the period
between Christ’s first and second comings. "Last" (eschatos)
is the source of our English word eschatology.
The assurance of heaven is a
great help to us today.
As Dr. James M. Gray expressed it in one of
his songs, “Who can mind the journey, when the road leads home?”
And like the Steven Curtis Chapman song says "We Are Not Home Yet!"
The idea that we are not home yet is one we all would do well to keep
foremost in our mind as illustrated by the true story of Henry C.
Morrison a little known "hardworking
farmer" in God's missionary
fields, toiling some forty years in the difficult fields of Africa. As
the story is told, he became sick and had to return home to America,
and as providence would have it, the boat he returned on was also
carrying a well known guest. As the great ocean liner docked in New
York Harbor there was a great crowd gathered to greet President Teddy
Roosevelt who received a grand welcome-home-party after his widely
publicized African Safari. Resentment seized the "hardworking
farmer", Henry Morrison, and
he turned to God saying "I have come back home after all this time and
service to the church and there is no one, not even one person here to
welcome me home." Then a small voice came to Morrison reminding him
"You're not home yet." Our ultimate harvest is yet future and our
future reward is out of this world! Ready to be revealed in the last
time! Praise the Lord.
we can get the truth firmly planted in our mind that suffering today
means glory tomorrow, then suffering becomes a blessing to us.
The unsaved have their “glory” now, but it will be
followed by eternal suffering away from the glory of God (2Th 1:3, 4,
5, 6, 7,8, 9, 10).
In the light of this, ponder (2Co
4:17, 18)—and rejoice!
For momentary, light affliction is
producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things
which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but
the things which are not seen are eternal.
- Evening Thoughts
This salvation takes in all the
circumstances of a child of God. It is not only a salvation from wrath
to come—that were an immeasurable act of grace—but it is a present
salvation, anticipating and providing for every exigency of the life
that now is, including deliverance from all evil, help in all trouble;
comfort in all sorrow, the supply of all want, and through all
conflicts, assaults, and difficulties, perfect safety and final
triumph. The present and certain security of the believer is provided
for in the covenant of grace, made sure in Jesus the covenant Head,
and revealed in the glorious covenant plan of salvation. May the Holy
Spirit unfold to us this great and consoling truth, that in the midst
of all their weakness, waywardness, and tendency to wander, the Lord
is the keeper of His people, and that they whom He keeps are well and
The Lord could not in truth be said to be the keeper of His people, if
there were anything of self-power in the believer, any ability to keep
himself—if he were not weakness, all weakness, and nothing but
weakness. Of this the believer needs to be perpetually put in
remembrance. The principle of self-confidence is the natural product
of the human heart; the great characteristic of our apostate race is a
desire to live, and think, and act independently of God. What is the
great citadel, to the overthrow of which Divine grace first directs
its power? what is the first step it takes in the subjection of the
sinner to God? what, but the breaking down of this lofty, towering,
independent conceit of himself, so natural to man, and so abhorrent to
God? Now, let it be remembered, that Divine and sovereign grace
undertakes not the extraction of the root of this depraved principle
from the heart of its subjects. The root remains to the very close of
life's pilgrimage; though in a measure weakened, subdued, mortified,
still it remains; demanding the most rigid watchfulness, connected
with ceaseless prayer, lest it should spring upward, to the
destruction of his soul's prosperity, the grieving of the Spirit, and
the dishonoring of God. Oh how much the tender, faithful discipline of
a covenant God may have the subjection and mortification of this
hateful principle for its blessed end, who can tell? We shall never
fully know until we reach our Father's house, where the dark and, to
us, mysterious dealings of that loving Father with us here below shall
unfold themselves in light and glory, elevating the soul in love and
What an affecting confirmation do the histories of some of the most
eminent of God's saints afford to this most important truth, that the
creature, left to itself, is perfect weakness! If the angels in their
purity, if Adam in his state of innocence, fell in consequence of
being left, in the sovereign will of God, to their own keeping, what
may we expect from a fallen, sinful, imperfect creature, even though
renewed? Do we look into God's blessed word, and read what is there
declared, touching the power of a renewed creature to keep itself? How
affecting, and at the same time conclusive, these declarations are:
"Having no might;" "Without strength;" "Weak through the flesh;" "Out
of weakness were made strong"! Could language more forcibly set forth
the utter weakness of a child of God? An what are their own
acknowledgments? "The Lord is the strength of my life;" "Hold You me
up, and I shall be safe;" "Hold up my goings in Your paths, that my
footsteps slip not;" "Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with
me;" "By the grace of God I am what I am." And what are the examples?
Look at the intemperance of Noah, the unbelief of Abraham, the
adultery and murder of David, the idolatry of Solomon, the
self-righteousness of Job, the impatience of Moses, the
self-confidence and trimming, temporizing policy of Peter. Solemn are
these lessons of the creature's nothingness; affecting these examples
of his perfect weakness!
But why speak of others? Let the reader, if he is a professing child
of God, pause and survey the past of his own life. What marks of
perfect weakness may he discover, what evidences of his own
fickleness, folly, immature judgment, may he trace, what outbreakings
of deep iniquity, what disclosures of hidden corruption, what
startling symptoms of the most awful departure and apostasy from God,
does the review present! And, this, too, let it be remembered, is the
history of a believer in Jesus, a renewed child of God, a partaker of
the Divine nature, an expectant of eternal glory! Holy and blessed are
they who, relinquishing all their fond conceit of self-power and
self-keeping, shall pray, and cease not to pray, "Lord, hold You me
up, and I shall be safe!" "Let him that thinks he stands, take heed
lest he fall."
J C Philpot -
Those who are kept by the power of
God through faith, are often in their minds troubled and anxious,
fearing whether this salvation will ever reach their souls--whether
they may not prove castaways--whether the work upon their heart is
genuine--whether they are under divine teachings. But the Lord says
they are "kept by his power through faith unto salvation"--kept as in
this garrisoned city, until salvation shall come in all its glory,
sweetness, bliss and blessedness into their heart; preserved and
encompassed by all the attributes of God from making shipwreck of
faith, until they "receive the end of their faith, even the salvation
of their souls."
Then poor, doubting, distressed, fearing, guilty sinner--this promise
is for you. Your soul is bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord
your God; your character and your name are contained here. And it is a
promise suitable to you--yes, it is a promise suitable to us all.
Suitable to us when we meet together, suitable when absent from each
other, suitable for town, suitable for country; suitable for a child
of God in a state of trial and temptation, and suitable when he enjoys
a temporary respite from them; suitable for him in war, suitable for
him in peace; suitable for him when the cannons roar and the earth
trembles, suitable for him when he seems to have no enemy near, for
the enemy then may be approaching by stratagem.
Yes, could you point out a single moment when this promise is not
suitable to you, that would be the very moment in which the promise
would be needed by you most. Could you ever arrive at such a spot as
to say, "Now I need the promise no more," that very feeling would show
that you were on the brink of a fall, and therefore never needed the
promise so much as then. (Devotional)
Pastor Steven Cole...
We are securely guarded by God’s
power through faith (1Pe 1:5). “Protected” is a military term (see
2Co 11:32) that implies that those who are born again are under enemy
attack. Satan wants to keep us from gaining our inheritance. But we
are surrounded by a garrison of troops conducting us with safe passage
to the place where our eternal inheritance awaits us. But it is no
vulnerable earthly army that protects us—it is the very power of
God! What could be more powerful than the power of the God who
spoke the universe into existence! Thus we are guarded for our
When Peter says that our salvation
is “ready to be revealed in the last time,” he means that we now only
enjoy a small part of what God has laid in store for us. We couldn’t
even begin to comprehend it all, but we can trust God that it will be
far better than we can imagine. Heaven will not be the boring picture
you see in cartoons—sitting around on clouds in white robes strumming
harps forever. The creative God who made such a complex universe that
modern science cannot even begin to figure it out can keep us
creatively engaged throughout eternity. Our salvation is ready to be
revealed, like a statue waiting to be unveiled.
The word “ready” is also
used in 1Peter 4:5 (note)
to warn that God is ready to judge the living and the dead. The future
holds one or the other for every person: Either you wait to see the
veil lifted on your salvation, or you wait to face God in judgment.
Both are prepared. What determines your future is seen in the phrase,
“through faith.” We receive God’s salvation and live the
Christian life through faith.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I only wish
I could have that kind of faith, but I don’t!” Ah, but you do! You
have plenty of faith. The problem is, you’re putting it in the wrong
object if it is not in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for you
on the cross. If your faith is not in Him, then it is in yourself or
in some god of your own making. If your faith is in yourself, then
you’re saying, “I believe that I’m a good enough person to get to
heaven by my own efforts.” That’s tremendous faith, but it’s placed on
a very faulty and inadequate object. God says that no flesh will boast
in His sight. If you could get to heaven by your own good works, then
you could boast in yourself. But God alone is worthy of glory. So He
humbles us by making us let go of all trust in ourselves. We must cast
ourselves completely on His great mercy. We cannot do this in and of
ourselves. He must impart saving faith to us, which humbles our pride
and gives all the glory to what God has done in Jesus Christ. Thus God
has ordained that we receive His salvation by faith, not in ourselves,
but in Christ alone. We live the Christian life in the same manner,
trusting each day in what Christ is to us and what He has done for us.
Those who have tasted of His mercy will persevere in faith until that
great day when faith becomes sight.
Conclusion - Many years ago
a team of mountain climbers began the dangerous descent of one of the
peaks in the Swiss Alps. The first man in the line lost his foothold
and slipped over the ledge. The next two men were dragged after him,
but the experienced climbers above braced themselves and stood firm to
bear the shock. But when the rope ran its length, rather than bearing
the weight, it snapped like a string. Horrified, the climbers saw
their friends fall to their deaths on the glacier 4,000 feet below.
For half an hour the other three stayed immobilized with fear. Finally
they nerved themselves to continue their perilous descent. Hours later
they arrived in Zermatt to tell their sad story. When the climbers
examined the rope to find out why it failed, they were shocked. True
Alpine Club rope has a red strand running through it, but this rope
did not. It was a weak substitute. (“Our Daily Bread,” 6/82.) The
death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only thing
strong enough to save us from our sins. If your faith is in yourself
or your own goodness, the rope will snap and you will perish. If your
faith is in what God has done through Christ because of His great
mercy, then no matter what problems you face now, you can join Peter
in proclaiming, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, because He has saved me according to His great mercy. Because
my salvation is not from myself, but from God, I am saved unto
eternity!” It’s far better than inheriting $100 million! (Read
the full sermon - Mp3's also available on many sermons)
J H Jowett
April The Eighth
MY INHERITANCE IN THE RISEN LORD
1Peter 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
IN my risen Lord I am born into “a living hope,” a hope
not only vital, but vitalizing, sending its mystic,
vivifying influences through every highway and by-way of
In my risen Lord mine is “an inheritance incorruptible.”
It is not exposed to the gnawing tooth of time. Moth and
rust can not impair the treasure. It will not grow less as
I grow old. Its glories are as invulnerable as my Lord.
In my risen Lord mine is “an inheritance ... undefiled.”
There is no alloy in the fine gold. The King will give me
of His best. “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on
him.” The holiest ideal proclaims my possibility, and
foretells my ultimate attainment. Heaven’s wine is not to
be mixed with water. I am to awake “in His likeness.”
And mine is “an inheritance ... that fadeth not away.” It
shall not be as the garlands offered by men—green to-day
and to-morrow sere and yellow. “Its leaf also shall not
wither.” It shall always retain its freshness, and shall
offer me a continually fresh delight. And these are all
mine in Him!
“Thou, O Christ, art all I want.”