1 Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, thea God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: o de theos pases charitos o kalesas (AAPMSN) humas eis ten aionion autou doxan en Christo [Iesou], oligon pathontas (AAPMPA) autos katartisei, (3SFAI) sterixei (3SFAI), sthenosei, (3SFAI) themeliosei.
Amplified: And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: And after you have experienced suffering for a little while, the God of every grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, settle you. (Westminster Press)
NLT: In his kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: And after you have borne these sufferings a very little while, God himself (from whom we receive all grace and who has called you to share his eternal splendor through Christ) will make you whole and secure and strong. All power is his for ever and ever, amen! (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But the God of every grace, the One who summoned you in Christ with a view to His eternal glory, after you have suffered a little while, shall himself make you complete, shall establish you firmly, shall strengthen you, shall ground you as on a foundation. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: And the God of all grace, who did call you to His age-during glory in Christ Jesus, having suffered a little, Himself make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you;
AND AFTER YOU HAVE SUFFERED FOR A LITTLE WHILE : oligon pathontas:
Although most of the versions follows the pattern of the NASB and begin this verse with "and", the Greek particle "de" is also just as accurately translated "but" which is reflected in Kenneth Wuest's translation (above) and which better accentuates the contrast between the satanic opposition (in the previous verses) and God's purpose of and enablement in suffering as emphasized in this verse. In other words, in contrast to the devil's purpose which is to disable, discourage and destroy, God uses our suffering to bring about His gracious work in His children and to prepare them to share in His eternal glory.
As someone has well said times of suffering have the potential to make us either bitter or better. Will it be better for you because you cast yourself upon the God of all comfort and grace. I pray so (for you and for me).
Note the word order in this verse: first the suffering, then the glory! First, the Cross, then the Crown. In short, what Peter is saying is that believers are to live with the understanding that God's purpose realized in the future requires some pain in the present.
Suffered (3958) (pascho) means to undergo an experience or experience a sensation including painful, usually difficult circumstances. Peter had used this same verb to describe the suffering of Christ in (1 Peter 2:21- see note)
Deffinbaugh -The very trials which may appear to be the means Satan employs for our destruction are the means God employs for our deliverance and development. Behind the opposition of unbelievers stands Satan seeking to devour us, and behind Satan stands God, sure to perfect and purify us. (1 Peter 5:8-14 Suffering, Satan, and Standing Firm)
The psalmist Asaph recorded that
In Jesus high priestly prayer He declared
In chapter 1 Peter used oligos in a similar statement reminding his suffering readers that
Mounce adds that oligos "typically denotes a small number, a small amount of something, or shortness in size or time. There is significant overlap with mikros (small)."
Luke modifies oligos with a negative particle several times in Acts which most English Bibles translate in a manner opposite of the idea of "few" -- Acts 14:28 (long time =literally "not a little time"), Acts 15:2 (great dissension = literally "not a little"), Acts 17:4 (a number = literally "not a few"), and Acts 17:12 (a number = literally "not a few").
Oligos is used as a prefix in two words in the NT - Oligopistos = little faith (Mt 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8, Lk12:28) and oligopsuchos (literally "little souled") = "fainthearted" (1Thes 5:14-note) which conveys the sense of one who is fretful or worried.
A little while (literally "a little" which could refer to duration and/or degree of the sufferings) (3641) (oligos) one lexicon says means "puny in extent". Our suffering may not feel "little" to us (although it may make us feel "puny"), but we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is of short duration (everything is short compared to eternity) and secondly that there will be an end to the suffering.
Writing to the Corinthians Paul reminds them that
Phillips paraphrases it
Oligos - 40x in 39v - Matt 7:14 (few find eternal life); Mt 9:37 (workers in the harvest fields are few); Mt 15:34 (a few small fish in the hands of Jesus are not oligos!); Mt 22:14; 25:21, 23; Mark 1:19; 6:5, 31; 8:7; Luke 5:3; 7:47; 10:2; 12:48; 13:23; Acts 12:18; 14:28; 15:2; 17:4, 12; 19:23f; 26:28f; 27:20; 2Cor 8:15; Eph 3:3; 1Ti 4:8; 5:23; Heb 12:10; Jas 4:14; 1Pet 1:6; 3:20; 5:10, 12; Rev 2:14; 3:4; 12:12; 17:10.
NAS translation of Oligos depends on the context - brief(1), briefly(1), few(11), few things(3), great*(1), little(7), little way(1), little while(4), long*(1), number*(2), short(3), short time(1), small(3), while(1).
Here are some uses of oligos…
Matthew 7:14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Matthew 15:34 And Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven, and a few small fish."
Matthew 22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."
Matthew 25:21 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
Matthew 25:23 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
Mark 1:19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.
Mark 6:5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
Mark 6:31 And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)
Mark 8:7 They also had a few small fish; and after He had blessed them, He ordered these to be served as well.
Luke 5:3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.
Luke 7:47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."
Luke 10:2 And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
Luke 12:48 but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
Luke 13:23 And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them (Lk 13:24)
Acts 12:18 Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers as to what could have become of Peter.
Acts 14:28 And they spent a long time (literally "not a little time") with the disciples.
Acts 15:2 And when Paul and Barnabas had great (literally "no little") dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
Acts 17:4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number (literally "not a few") of the leading women.
Acts 17:12 Therefore many of them believed, along with a number (literally "not a few") of prominent Greek women and men.
Acts 19:23 About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen;
Acts 26:28 Agrippa replied to Paul, "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian."29 And Paul said, "I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains."
Acts 27:20 Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned.
2 Corinthians 8:15 as it is written, "HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK."
Ephesians 3:3-note that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
1 Timothy 5:23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
Hebrews 12:10-note For they (earthly fathers) disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
James 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
1 Peter 1:6-note In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if (since it is) necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
1 Peter 3:20-note who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
1 Peter 5:10-note After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:12-note Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!
Revelation 2:14-note 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
Revelation 3:4-note 'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
Revelation 12:12-note "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time."
Revelation 17:10-note and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.
Oligos - 45x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Lxx)- Ge 29:20; Lev 25:52; Nu 11:32; 13:18; 26:56; Deut 4:27; 28:38; Josh 7:3; 1 Sam 14:6; 1Kgs 17:10, 12; 2Kgs 10:18; 2Chr 14:11; 24:24; 29:34; Neh 2:12; 7:4; Job 8:7; 10:20; 14:21; 15:11; Ps 17:14; 37:10, 16; 73:2; 109:8; Prov 5:14; 6:10; 15:29; 24:33; Eccl 5:2, 12; 9:14; 10:1; Isaiah 10:7; 21:17; 24:6; Jer 10:24; 42:2; 44:28; Ezek 5:3; Dan 11:23; Hag 1:6, 9; Zech 1:15
TDNT comments on the importance of oligos in the Septuagint…
Be encouraged especially by the contrast between the "eternal glory" with the "temporal trials".
Regarding a "little while", Barton writes that
You may be called to suffer for a season, but it will soon be over.
The psalmist writes
Guzik quips don't we all "wish we were called to His eternal glory on the "no suffering" plan."
Barnes - The Greek is, "having suffered a little," and may refer either to time or degree. In both respects the declaration concerning afflictions is true. They are short, compared with eternity; they are light, compared with the exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
John MacArthur - We're to live with the understanding that God's purpose realized in the future requires some pain in the present… It may seem intense and it may seem long but it's really very brief, just a little while." (Sermon: Fundamental Attitudes for Spiritual Maturity)
THE GOD OF ALL GRACE: ho de theos pases charitos: (Ps 86:5,15; Micah 7:18,19; Ro 5:20,21; 15:5,13; 2Co 13:11; Heb 13:20)
The Psalmist writes…
All grace - No exceptions! The ONLY Source of Grace is the God of Grace! And remember two principles (among others) for partaking of that grace - (1) Humility (James 4:6-note) and (2) Weakness (2Cor 12:9-note).
God is the God of all grace in the Old and New Testaments…
The God of all grace is also the God of hope…
The God of all grace is also the God of peace…
Raymond Ortlund - The Christian life is never just our part! Real Christianity always begins with God, not with us. It is sustained by God, not by us. Our final triumph will be of God, not of us.
Grace (5485) (charis [word study]) is God's unmerited favor made, God's riches at Christ's Expense (i.e., "Jesus Christ has already paid for every blessing you and I will ever receive from God the Father" Bridges), that by which we are saved (justified) but also that divine enabling power ministered by the Holy Spirit by which which we live now as supernatural beings day by day. Grace is (100%) independent of our performance (cp Paul 1Cor 15:10-note). God is indeed the God of ALL grace, grace to save us the first time (justification), grace to save us day after day (sanctification) and grace to save us in that final day (the Day of Christ Jesus- our glorification - Maranatha!)
Jerry Bridges helps give us a proper understanding of grace…
In the preceding section Peter has instructed his readers that it is their responsibility to
The Pulpit Commentary - They were to be steadfast in their faith and in this verse we see the promise on which their faith could rest. The God of the promise is designated the God of all grace, Who could supply grace up to and beyond all their needs. The beginning of his grace was when he called them in Christ; but that beginning was connected with an end for He called them unto his eternal glory. The end was not to be reached, unless by means going before. The foregoing condition was suffering a little while . There is consolation in the manner of stating it, the shortness of the suffering being placed in contrast with the length of the glory. In and through the suffering God would support them, so that they would not fail of eternal glory." (The Pulpit Commentary)
This is one of the great benedictions of the Bible (Click here for Spurgeon's sermon on 1 Peter 5:10 entitled "A New Year's Benediction". Note that Spurgeon interprets the passage as a prayer but see below). Take time to read these other great benedictions: Nu 6:24, 25, 26; Ro 15:5,6,13; 16:25,27; Ep 3:20,21; 1Th 3:12,13; 2Th 2:16,17; 3:12,13; 1Ti 1:17; Jude 1:24,25; Rev 1:5,6.
Peter has finished his exhortations and has told his readers what they must do to fight the good fight. Now; he bids them to look to the God of all grace, declaring to them that in Him they will find strength to resist. God will work within them both to will and to do of His good pleasure, for He is the God of all grace. The grace that saved us out of our sin is the same grace that now saves us out of (or through) our sufferings, and both are received by faith that sees "Him Who is unseen" (Hebrews 11:27-note).
God of all grace is one of the great "Names" of God in Scripture and parallels the OT descriptions like God's Self declaration to Moses that
Alexander Maclaren writes
The God of all grace is also the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2Cor 1:3) where the word for "comfort" (paraklesis) is related to the more familiar word paraclete (parakletos) who is "One Who comes alongside to help." Paul called God the "God of all comfort" because that was his experience. He was saying that God came to him in the midst of his sufferings to strengthen him and give him courage and boldness. And He will do the same for you beloved.
Calvin comments that when Peter "calls God the author of all grace, and reminds them that they were called to eternal glory, his purpose no doubt was, to confirm them in the conviction, that the work of their salvation, which he had begun, would be completed."
How much grace? All the Greek meaning all without exception. All conveys the idea of comprehensiveness and universality. God as the source of all spiritual comfort and help for all occasions. In the OT He tells Moses His Name is Jehovah or "I Am". Practically speaking God is saying
God is the Supplier of every needed grace, of every kind of grace, of every means of grace. Here is the power that overcomes the adversary
God's grace is comprehensive and universally sufficient for every need of any and every believer at any and every time. God has a plan and provision for every situation that you face in life. Every problem you encounter already has a divine solution.
Paul says that
James writes that God
God gives grace to those who put God’s desires first in their lives. He gives grace to withstand the onslaughts of the flesh within and the world without.
As the writer of Hebrews says
In 1Pe 4:10-note Peter described the “multicolored (poikilos -manifold) grace” of God, referring to the varied and diverse gifts given to believers by God empowering them for service in the Church. Peter uses the same adjective to describe trials writing that they will experience multicolored (poikilos) trials. (see note 1 Peter 1:6)
Trouble and the grace to bear it come in the same package! In God’s variegated grace is God’s provision for every "variegated" need.
We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10-see notes Ephesians 2:8; 2:9; 2:10). The Holy Spirit who indwells us is called “the Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10:29-note). God's Word is “the word of His grace” (Acts 20:32-note). It is grace from start to finish! Amazing grace!
God's grace is not a “mystical substance” that God pours into us when we have a need. Grace is God’s bountiful supply of our every need. Paul teaches in fact that through Christ
Law means that I must do something for God, but “grace” means that God does something for me. Grace can never be earned and is not something we will ever deserve. Grace can only be given and received.
Hiebert writes that
Peter knew all too well the futility of trying to face suffering and danger in one's own strength. His own failure taught him the need for constant reliance on God's grace.
WHO CALLED YOU TO HIS ETERNAL GLORY IN CHRIST: o kalesas (AAPMSN) humas eis ten aionion autou doxan en Christo (Iesou) : (1Pe 1:15; Ro 8:28, 19, 30; 9:11,24; 1 Co 1:9; 1Th 2:12; 2Th 2:14; 1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 1:9; 2Pe 1:3) (1Jn 2:25)
Paul reminds the Thessalonians that
God has called us to eventually stand blameless before Him. The only guarantee that any believer will have a worthy report at the final judgment is God’s faithfulness. Having begun this work in us, He will finish it. The God who calls will also bring those whom He calls to glory and none will be lost.
Their calling of course relates to God's gracious actions in the past but in context points the suffering reader to a glorious future forever.
Called (2564) (kaleo) (see study of the called) can refer to an invitation, but as discussed below in this context conveys the idea of an effectual call and emphasizes God's sovereign work. God has invited us to join Him in eternity in incorruptible, sinless, glorified bodies. The aorist tense points to the fact that God effectively had called them into His kingdom and service in the past.
The called are those who have been summoned by God… called…
The Christian’s holy calling is described in some detail in Ephesians 1-3, especially Ephesians 1:3-14 where we see the truths that saints are chosen (see note Ephesians 1:4), predestined (Eph 1:5, 1:11see notes Ep1:5, 1:11), adopted as sons (Ephesians 1:5 note), accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6 note), redeemed through His blood (Ephesians 1:7 note), forgiven (Ephesians 1:7 note), sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13 note) and given the earnest of our inheritance (see note Ephesians 1:14). In addition to a holy calling, saints also have a high ("upward") calling (Philippians 3:14-note) and a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1-note)
The call came to Peter's readers at the time they heard and received the gospel message. Thus Paul writes to the Thessalonians that
Peter has already reminded his readers that
Being called by God is an incredible privilege, but it also entails an immense responsibility to "walk the talk." This was ever Paul's goal for his spiritual children writing for example to Thessalonians saints that they "walk (referring to daily conduct) in a manner worthy of the God Who calls you into His own kingdom and glory." (1Th 2:12 -note)
Calls in this verse is actually present tense, indicating that God Who had called them into salvation (past) is still calling them to the pursuit of holiness.
Peter reminds his readers of their calling in the second letter writing that
The writer of Hebrews states that
Wuest adds that "called" in this passage entails more than simply an invitation. He goes on to say that called is in fact equivalent to "a divine summons" or in other words
God had not only called the saints "out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9-note), delivering them from the penalty and power of sin, but here in 1 Peter 5:10 had turned their faces toward the future calling them to "His eternal glory" which was to be the new goal of their lives.
Peter alluded to our calling again in chapter 2, writing
Who's glory? His! Through all eternity it will be His glory! We share in it but ultimately it is His glory.
McGee - "We will have no glory in ourselves. The church is sort of like the moon which simply reflects the light of the sun. Our glory will be only reflected glory, but we in Christ are going to share in that glory." (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary)
In Christ could be translated "in union with Christ". Click here for more discussion of this great phrase used primarily by Paul.
All the blessings of God’s grace in this life and the next come through the believer’s union with Christ.
Paul tells us that since we are God's
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Troubles And Turns (Our Daily Bread) I once heard Warren Wiersbe say that where you turn when you're in trouble reveals your character.
Think about it. What does it tell us about young kids whose trouble turns them toward gangs or guns or drugs? What do we learn about adults whose difficulties direct them toward alcohol or illicit relationships or the bizarre teachings of a cult?
What does it tell us about ourselves? Where do we turn when we have trouble with a relationship? Do we turn to the Bible for wisdom? Do we pray for direction? And where do we look for help when we are struggling with sin? To the Lord Jesus, the Master of forgiveness? To Scripture for foolproof help? Or to the dark recesses of life for a self-preservation that always leads to destruction?
In 1 Peter 5:10, we see where we can turn when trouble visits us. Wiersbe summarized the verse by saying that we need to look up to the God of all grace, look back and remember that He called us, look ahead and recognize the coming glory, and look within to see how God is equipping us through our difficulties.
Trouble on the horizon? Turn to 1 Peter 5:10 and let it guide you as you turn to God for help. --J D Brannon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Life's challenges are designed not to break us
but to bend us toward God.
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Doug Goins comments that in
MacArthur says that the following
WILL HIMSELF PERFECT: autos katartisei (3SFAI), sterixei (3SFAI), sthenosei (3SFAI), themeliosei (3SFAI): (2Cor 13:11; 2Th 2:17; Heb 13:21; Jude 1:24)
Himself (846) (autos) In the Greek sentence this pronoun (autos) is emphatically placed before the following four verbs. This observation clearly emphasizes God's personal interest and energy in the carrying out of the perfecting, confirming, strengthening and establishing of each of His children. This is amazing - the infinite God of the universe really does care about you and about me! This great truth ought to motivate us to walk in a manner that brings Him glory and honor.
John MacArthur reminds every saint that
The Psalmist writes…
Selwyn writes that
The Textus Receptus from which the KJV (and NKJV) was translated has katartizo and the three associated verbs each in the optative mood, expressing a wish or prayer. Here for example is the NKJV rendering
A T Robertson however notes that the best modern Greek manuscripts have all four verbs in this section in the future tense, indicative mood expresses the firm assurance of what God will personally do for His suffering saints. There is help enough in this one passage for any victory.
John Calvin - Some (manuscript) copies have the future tense, as though a promise is made; but the other reading is more commonly received.
Stibbs states flatly that
In one manuscript reading, a prayer, in the other reading, a promise. We are blessed either way beloved.
Perfect is not the Greek word teleioo (from telos = goal) which means “to perfect” in the sense of to making one spiritually mature and complete (attaining to the goal).
Perfect (2675) (katartízō from katá = with + artízō = to adjust, fit, finish, in turn from ártios = fit, complete) means to fit or join together and so to mend or repair.
Katartízō conveys the fundamental idea of putting something into its appropriate condition so it will function well. It conveys the idea of making whole by fitting together, to order and arrange properly. When applied to that which is weak and defective, it denotes setting right what has gone wrong, to restore to a former condition, whether mending broken nets or setting broken bones.
Katartizo is used 13x in NT (Mt 4:21; 21:16; Mk. 1:19; Lk. 6:40; Ro 9:22; 1Co. 1:10; 2Co. 13:11; Gal 6:1; 1Th 3:10; Heb 10:5; 11:3; 13:21; 1Pe 5:10) The NASB translates katartízō as follows: complete, 1; equip, 1; fully trained, 1; made complete, 2; mending, 2; perfect, 1; prepared, 4; restore, 1. There are 17 uses in the Septuagint - Ezr. 4:12, 13, 16; 5:3, 9, 11; 6:14; Ps. 8:2; 11:3; 17:5; 18:33; 29:9; 40:6; 68:9; 74:16; 80:15; 89:37
Peter is saying that God promises to repair the damage that sin and suffering have wrought. God will make us what we ought to be.
To make fitted or equipped for a duty or function.
To make someone completely adequate or sufficient for something.
To thoroughly prepare something to meet demands.
To supply that which is missing.
Wuest adds that katartízō
Vincent says that katartízō
Westcott writes that the word
Hiebert notes that katartízō can also mean
When the pupil's training is complete, he will be just like his master. Our standard of excellence is the perfection of Christ Himself. Hiebert in fact favors this intent here in 1 Peter 5:10, writing that
Katartízō was sometimes used metaphorically of restoring harmony among quarreling factions in a dispute.
Katartízō was used in secular Greek to describe a trainer who adjusts parts of the body, as a surgical term of the setting of a broken bone or putting a dislocated limb back in place or of the repairing and refitting of a damaged vessel (ship). Katartízō is used in other contexts of the strengthening or sustaining of a worn down people, of the mixing of medicine or of politicians appeasing factions and restoring unity (used by Herodotus for composing civil disorder)
Barclay - Katarizo is "the word commonly used for setting a fracture, the word used in Mark 1:19 for mending nets. It means to supply that which is missing, to mend that which is broken. So suffering, if accepted in humility and trust and love, can repair the weaknesses of a man's character and add the greatness which so far is not there. It is said that Sir Edward Elgar once listened to a young girl singing a solo from one of his own works. She had a voice of exceptional purity and clarity and range, and an almost perfect technique. When she had finished, Sir Edward said softly, "She will be really great when something happens to break her heart." Barrie tells how his mother lost her favorite son, and then says, "That is where my mother got her soft eyes, and that is why other mothers ran to her when they had lost a child." Suffering had done something for her that an easy way could never have done. Suffering is meant by God to add the grace notes to life." (1 Peter 5 - William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)
Like a doctor setting a broken bone, God will mend our broken lives and make us whole.
MacDonald - The final encouragement is that God uses suffering to educate us and mold our Christian character. He is training us for reigning… Trials make the believer fit; they supply needed elements in his character to make him spiritually mature. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
That the God of all grace would perfect them "is a promise that God will supply all that is lacking in the elements of character upon which strength depends." (The Pulpit Commentary: New Testament)
UBS Handbook Series - Perfect" is literally “restore,” denoting the idea of putting something in order, making something complete (compare Jerusalem Bible “will see that all is well again”; Phillips paraphrase “will make you whole”); it is a very fitting promise for Christians whose bodies are broken down because of persecution and whose wills are ever put to the test. A literal rendering of will himself perfect you may be misunderstood as a reference to complete sanctification in the sense of “make you perfect.” The focus here is upon restoration, not upon sanctification. An equivalent in some instances may be “will do for you all that is necessary” or “will fix everything up for you again.” (The United Bible Societies' New Testament Handbook Series)
Mills - Peter, who knew all about mending nets, says, “Do not worry, you think you are being torn apart by the lions in the lions’ den (that could have been a literal concern in his historic context-it certainly was a few years later), but God will put it all together again; He will restore you, don’t worry God will restore you!” 1 Peter : A study guide to the First Epistle by Peter. Dallas: 3E Ministries)
Ron Ritchie writes that after we have suffered the "God of all grace" will
Raymond Ortlund writes that katartízō "translated “restore” is used in Mark 1:19 for the disciples repairing their fishing nets. The point is that, after we have suffered a little while and taken some hits and gotten knocked around, the God who called us into his eternal glory will repair us and restore us. We will not be damaged goods. We will not carry psychological scars. We will be happy and whole. And to that end God himself promises to make us strong, firm and steadfast. God is on a personal mission to prove a point that not even the devil can debate, viz., that the power is his forever and ever. And that power is on our side." (from his sermon entitled Learning to Lose with God: How to defeat the devil)
Alexander Maclaren writes that katartízō "is employed here for that great work of Divine grace by which our defects are made good, the rents which sin has made mended, the tarnished purity given back, the scars effaced. That form of the Divine help answers to the deepest of our needs, and, in its incipient stages, is the first fruits of the great harvest of God’s grace which a believing soul reaps. We need first of all forgiveness and the removal of the guilt of our sins. All restoration of fallen men to the lost ideal of man, which is the likeness of God, must begin there, and then there follows a long process which the patient God carries on, mending us by slow degrees, and step by step supplementing this defect and repairing the results of that sin, till there be no gaps remaining needing to be filled and no flaws in character needing to be corrected. “‘Tis a lifelong task till the lump be leavened.” The restoring grace has to permeate all the crannies and corners of the soul. It must transform and expel, if it is to mend and restore. When we think of our own defects and see how much is lacking in our characters, we may well feel that nothing can ever fill up these. Then the confidence of this brave text may hearten us. It is the God of all grace to whom we look for our perfecting. No emptiness can be so vast and so empty that that “ all ” cannot fill it. No man can have gone so far from the right way, or had his nature so lacerated by sin’s cruel fangs, that that “all” cannot heal and repair the damage. Therefore the more we sound the height, and length, and breadth, and depth of our imperfections and sins, the more joyfully should we think of the completeness of that power which overlaps them on all sides and surpasses them in every dimension, and the more confidently should we exclaim, “ The God of all grace shall restore us and complete us.” (The Pulpit Commentary - Homily)
Katartízō does not necessarily imply, that that to which it is applied has been damaged. For example, in Hebrews we read that
Katartízō was used in Hellenistic literature to describe the act of creation.
Mark described James and John
Paul uses katartízō in his exhortation to the Galatians writing
Believers who are walking by (being controlled by) the Spirit are to restore fallen believers. They are to in a sense help to "mend" them like a torn net that can no longer fulfill its intended function. As an aside note that manifesting the fruit of the Spirit is not a mystical experience.
Paul writes the saints at Thessalonica that
Paul is using katartízō with the idea of completing or making good that which was needed in their faith. He was not criticizing the church but rather acknowledging that their faith had not yet reached full development, which is what he prayed and labored for.
BKC - The Thessalonians were like tender young plants; their tender roots held them firm against the present storm, but they still needed to grow and mature. This is the first explicit reference to deficiencies in their spiritual condition— deficiencies due more to immaturity than to waywardness." (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor)
Paul exhorted the Corinthians writing…
Paul is exhorting the Corinthians to be perfectly joined together in opposition to being divided. In other words he wants the individual members of the church to be knit together, like the medical use describing the knitting together fractured bones. The disunion was unnatural and must be cured for the sake of the health and efficiency of the body of Christ in Corinth.
In one of the great NT prayers, the writer of Hebrews prays for his readers:
In this section God uses the tool of suffering to fully equip His people for life and service.
Peter’s promise is that God will intervene now. Yes, we suffer, but only for a brief moment, which pales to insignificance when compared to the eternal glory that awaits us. And, even as we wait we experience God’s work in our lives, mending us, strengthening us, that we may face life as firm and steadfast followers of our Lord.
CONFIRM: sterixei (3SFAI): (Col 2:7; 2 Th 2:17; 3:3)
The "God of all grace will Himself… confirm us"
Confirm (4741) (stērízō from histemi = to stand as in 1 Pe 5:12 "stand firm in" the true grace of God. Histemi also root of "Resist" - anthistemi and of "firm" - stereos, both used by Peter in 1 Pe 5:9) means to make firm or solid, to set fast, to fix firmly in a place, to establish (make firm or stable), to cause to be inwardly firm or committed, to strengthen. The basic idea is that of stabilizing something by providing a support or buttress (a projecting structure of masonry or wood for supporting or giving stability to a wall or building), so that it will not totter.
Vine feels that stērízō is derived from stērix, a prop (something that sustains or supports).
Stērízō is used 14x in NT (Lk. 9:51; 16:26; 22:32; Ro 1:11; 16:25; 1Th. 3:2, 13; 2Th 2:17; 3:3; James 5:8; 1Pe 5:10; 2Pe 1:12; Re 3:2)and in the NAS is translated as - confirm, 1; determined, 1; establish, 2; established, 2; fixed, 1; strengthen, 6; strengthening, 1.
There are 34 uses of sterizo in the Septuagint (LXX) - Gen. 27:37; 28:12; Exod. 17:12; Lev. 13:55; Jdg. 19:5, 8; 1Sam. 26:19; 2 Ki. 18:16, 21; Ps. 51:12; 104:15; 111:8; 112:8; Prov. 15:25; 16:30; 27:20; Song 2:5; Is 22:25; 59:16; Jer. 3:12; 17:5; 21:10; 24:6; Ezek. 6:2; 13:17; 14:8; 15:7; 20:46; 21:2; 25:2; 28:21; 29:2; 38:2; Da 7:28; Amos 9:4;
In the present verse, stērízō refers to a divine promise that amid their sufferings, God will give the believers the needed fixity and immobility, and thus the inner strength and resolve to continue to resist the onslaughts of their adversary, the devil, and stand fast in their faith. And He will do the same for you, beloved.
Commenting on stērízō MacDonald writes that
Barclay writes that stērízō
Doug Goins writes that
Stērízō is used with a similar meaning in Second Thessalonians, Paul writing that when confronted by
Paul teaches that we are to look away from faithless men to our never-failing God, Who will firmly establish us on the inside and guard us on the outside from the evil one (probably a reference to our "adversary, the devil… a roaring lion" and the ruler over evil men).
Study the following uses of sterizo and note that although God is the One Who confirms or stabilizes us, we as believers also have a responsibility. According to Scripture, saints are stabilized or strengthened -- in our heart (1Th 3:13-note, 2Th 2:17) not physical heart but the center of spiritual activity = the inner self that thinks, feels, and decides = the center of emotions, feelings, moods, and passions), by being reminded of the truth (2 Peter 1:12 note); according to the gospel (Ro 16:25 note); by the certainty of the second coming (Js 5:8); as an answer to the prayers of other godly men and women (1Pe 3:12; 3:13 see notes 1Pe3:12; 13, 2Th 2:16, 17); and by the strengthening ministered through other saints who come alongside (e.g., Peter in Lk 22:31, 32, Timothy 1Thessalonians 3:2 [note], Paul in Ro 1:11 (note). So although Peter teaches that it is the God of all grace Himself Who ultimately stabilizes us, these other NT uses of sterizo teach that God also uses the the encouragement and prayers of other saints and the truth of the gospel to carry out this stabilization.
Michaels adds that regarding stērízō
There is an excellent illustration of the meaning of stērízō in the Septuagint (LXX) where we read in the context of Israel battling the Amalekites that
To get an added sense of the meaning of stērízō, hold your pointer over (or better yet click for context) the following four NT uses of the related verb, epistērizō - "strengthening the souls of the disciples" Acts 14:22; "strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message", Acts 15:32; "strengthening the churches", Acts 15:41; "strengthening all the disciples", Acts18:23.
1 Peter 5:10 is in a sense a fulfillment of a prophecy by Jesus. Stērízō had special meaning for Peter, who had heard his Lord use this word to encourage him even after warning that their adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion would seek to devour him. Jesus declared to Peter
In Luke, we encounter a long section (Lk 9:51-19:44) which introduces a new facet of Jesus' ministry (and which has no counterpart in Matthew or Mark, though much of its material is found in other contexts in those Gospels), Luke gives us a vivid picture of the meaning of stērízō recording that
In the Septuagint (LXX), Greek translation of the Hebrew OT, God commanded His prophet Ezekiel
Luke recording Abraham's words to the rich man that
In short this verse clearly teaches that the choices of this life will determine one's eternal destiny, and once death has taken place, that destiny is fixed. There is no passage from the abode of the saved to that of the damned or vice versa.
In other words, the perfect tense indicates that these saints had become stabilized in the truth at some point of time in the past and were still in a state of being set fast or placed firmly upon it. Their knowledge of the Word and the sound doctrines of the faith were set in their minds as it were. However, there is always the danger of a preoccupied moment or a forgetful hour and so the truth that we have been permanently fixed in the sphere of the truth is one which needs to be constantly reiterated. Perhaps as you read this verse, beloved, you too need to be reminded of your firm and eternally secure position in Christ.
Vine has an interesting note on this verse in his discussion of stērízō writing that
In other words it is through the gospel which Paul preached ("my gospel") that God is able to establish the minds and hearts of believers in the truth, to settle, ground , and make them firm in Him. The point is that God Who uses the proclamation of His Truth to buttress the faith of His children.
Timothy was to buttress their faith with the intent of firmly establishing it. Strong faith is a result of knowing all that God has revealed, and has a firm foundation in sound doctrine. No faith can be strong without knowledge and understanding of the truth.
Again Paul teaches that is is the Lord who establishes and makes firm His saints.
MacDonald writes that Paul is praying not just for
James gives the saints a command to buttress up their hearts like a wall and make them stable. But I thought Peter said God was the One Who would confirm or stabilize us? That's true but in this passage James exhorts those about to collapse under the weight of persecution to shore up their hearts with truth, in this case the great truth that Christ is coming back to bring us home. Our hearts should be buttressed by this sure hope of the second coming.
Jesus warns the church at Sardis
The God of all grace will Himself make you stable, firmly fixed on the Rock of your salvation, resolutely setting your will toward your eternal home. The believer who is established will not be moved by the lion's loud roar.
Spurgeon comments that
STRENGTHEN: autos… sthenosei (3SFAI): (Ps 138:7; Zech 10:6,12; Lk 22:32; Php 4:13; Col 1:22,23)
God's strength to us to meet the demands of life.
Strengthen (4599) (sthenóō from sthénos = strength) denotes the idea of God giving them strength to bear all their sufferings without wavering in their faith. It means to cause someone to be or to become more able or capable, with the implication of a contrast with weakness. This verb is found only in this verse in the NT.
Peter says that the God of grace promises to Himself provide the strength needed to resist the devil, holding one's ground when he roars.
Barclay says that
Commenting on sthenóō MacDonald writes that
Wiersbe says Peter refers to - God’s strength given to us to meet the demands of life. What good is it to stand on a firm foundation if we do not have power to act?… Strengthen means just that: God’s strength given to us to meet the demands of life. What good is it to stand on a firm foundation if we do not have power to act?" (Bolding added) (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
Goins writes that this word is
ESTABLISH: autos… themeliosei (3SFAI):
Note that some manuscripts omit this verb, which accounts for its omission in the ASV, although the majority of texts support it as in the original text.
Establish (2311) (themelióō from themélios = foundational, fundamental, describing that which lies beneath, foundation (stone), base and reference is always to something secure and permanent in itself) means to lay a foundation or provide with a foundation, to place on a firm, secure foundation. The radical notion of themelióō is to ground securely. Figuratively, it refers to providing a firm basis for belief or practice establish, strengthen, settle (place so as to stay, establish or secure permanently), cause to be firm and unwavering.
Themelioo is used 5x in the NT (Matt. 7:25; Eph. 3:17; Col. 1:23; Heb. 1:10; 1 Pet. 5:10) and is translated in the NAS as: establish, 1; firmly established, 1; founded, 1; grounded, 1; laid the foundation, 1. There are 40 uses of themelioo in the Septuagint - Josh. 6:26; 1 Ki. 5:17; 7:10; 16:34; 2 Chr. 8:16; 31:7; Ezr. 3:6, 10; 7:9; Job 38:4; Ps. 8:3; 24:2; 48:8; 78:69; 87:5; 89:11; 102:25; 104:5, 8; 119:90, 152; Prov. 3:19; 8:23; 18:19; Song 5:15; Is 14:32; 44:28; 48:13; 51:13, 16; Amos 9:6; Hag. 2:18; Zech. 4:9; 8:9; 12:1
Vincent writes that
In masonry the "foundation" refers to the underlying base or support or the whole substructure of a building, providing a stable base for any superstructure.
Peter says that the God of all grace Himself promises to place suffering, storm tossed saints on a firm foundation. Unlike the second term ("confirm", "establish") which refers to supports put around, themelióō refers to the secure foundation on which something rests, in this verse referring to the solid spiritual foundation on which God will establish Christians.
The picture conveyed by themelióō is that of a house which is so firmly fixed on a foundation that it is not moved by winds or floods or figuratively by the stormy waves of suffering or the loud howling roar of our adversary, the devil.
The refrain of the great hymn, My Hope is Built, beautifully describes the meaning of themelióō, the refrain declaring
The "aggregation" of four promises from the God of all grace in this single verse, all four unconnected by conjunctions, indicates a strong predisposition by God Himself and forms the ground for an unshakeable confidence in the believer who by faith lays hold of these great promises. One way to "lay hold" of these truths is to memorize this section of Peter (1 Peter 5:8-11) and then periodically "chew over" these truths in your mind (meditate, see the benefits of this spiritual discipline in Psalm 1).
Commenting on themelióō MacDonald writes that
Doug Goins - Finally, Peter says God will settle us. He uses an architectural term in Greek. It means "to lay a foundation for a building." Suffering will drive us to the bedrock of our faith, to our foundation which is Jesus Himself. In suffering we figure out what's superficial in life, what's unnecessary, we're stripped of all the excess baggage and driven to the one thing that we can really build our lives on, Jesus Christ Himself. In that sense, suffering does us all a great service. It evaluates for us what's superfluous and what is essential." (Ref)
Barclay - Through suffering God will settle (establish) a man. The Greek is themelióō, which means to lay the foundations. When we have to meet sorrow and suffering we are driven down to the very bedrock of faith. It is then that we discover what are the things which cannot be shaken. It is in time of trial that we discover the great truths on which real life is founded. Suffering is very far from doing these precious things for every man. It may well drive a man to bitterness and despair; and may well take away such faith as he has. But if it is accepted in the trusting certainty that a father’s hand will never cause his child a needless tear, then out of suffering come things which the easy way may never bring. (Daily Study Bible Series)
Ritchie - God will… will lay in your lives a foundation of truth--a new set of values. In 2Corinthians 1, the apostle Paul wrote that suffering produced in him the knowledge that he should not trust in himself, but in God who raises the dead."
Jesus summed up His Sermon on the Mount, teaching
The house founded on the rock withstood the storm.
Ye call me the “Way” and walk me not,
Ye call me “Bread” and eat me not,
Speaking of the Creation of the universe by the Lord Jesus Christ in order to substantiate the immutability of the Son, the writer of Hebrews (quoting Ps 102:25) states that God Himself declares that "Thou, Jehovah, in the beginning didst lay the foundation (themelióō) of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thy hands" (Heb 1:10-note) Note that in this passage, God the Father addresses His Son as LORD, Jehovah, which leads one to the inescapable conclusion that Jesus of the NT is Jehovah of the Old.
Paul prayed for the saints at Ephesus (a great prayer for us all to pray for our brethren)
As a result of a believer's permanent union with Christ his or her position before God is
Paul is not saying that our salvation depends on our continuing in the faith. That interpretation would counter the truth of "firmly established" which in the perfect tense speaks of having been founded in the past with the present result that they are still founded, which speaks of the permanent condition of their foundation! This verse is not teaching that loss of salvation is possible. The proper interpretation is that a person who has been genuinely born from above is a new creation with a new power (the Holy Spirit) and a new desire (God in us willing and working to God's good pleasure cf Php 2:13 [note]) to persevere in faith which obeys. In other words, we are not saved by continuing in the faith. But we continue in the faith and thus prove that we are saved. Continuance is the proof of the reality. Of course there is always the danger of backsliding, but a Christian falls only to rise again (cf Pr 24:16). He does not forsake the faith. Every true believer will endure to the end, for our Lord declared
Peter himself is a perfect illustration of the truth of this passage, for even though he temporarily denied His Lord, ultimately he endured to the end and by extra-biblical account was martyred by being crucified upside down!
Wuest - In the case of those Colossians who professed to be recipients of this work of God, and who followed the Colossian heresy, this would only go to prove that their profession did not accord with the facts, namely, that they were never placed on that foundation, the Lord Jesus." ( Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament)
Themelióō is used some 35 times in the Septuagint (LXX, Greek of OT Hebrew), for example we read that King Solomon
Jehovah asks Job
Beloved, this same God of all grace, Who flung the stars into the sky is able to set your feet on a firm foundation! In a description of the rebuilding of Solomon's destroyed Temple, Ezra records that
This last verse is an interesting parallel to this section of 1 Peter, as Peter likewise follows up the truth about God laying a firm foundation with a beautiful doxology of praise to Jehovah. This is a good practice to develop
MacArthur sums this section up with the observation that "to perfect means to bring you to wholeness, to confirm means to set you fast, to strengthen means to make you strong, to establish you means to lay you as a foundation. They all speak of strength, resoluteness. And that's what God wants to do in your life through the spiritual battle. They ought to encourage you, those four words, in the spiritual battle. God Himself is there battling and through the battle you become perfect, confirmed, strong and established."
Tom Constable - What Peter has done is pile up a number of closely related terms that together by their reinforcing one another give a multiple underscoring of the good that God is intending for them and even now is producing in their suffering.” (1 Peter 5 - Expository Notes)
Some commentators such as Calvin feel these four verbs are somewhat redundant "there is not much importance with regard to the meaning. Besides, Peter intends the same thing by all these words"
Hiebert - "the use of those four verbs is not redundant rhetoric; there is an orderly thought development. The first assured the readers that God would keep on perfecting His suffering children so that no defect would remain in them. The remaining three verbs suggest different aspects of His work. God will supply believers with the needed support so that they will not topple and fall, impart the needed strength so that they will not collapse, and set them upon an immovable foundation so that they will not be swept away." (Hiebert, D E. First Peter. page 319-320. Moody).
Bengel thus sums up the whole - “Shall perfect, that no defect remain in you: shall stablish, that nothing may shake you: shall strengthen, that you may overcome every adverse force. A saying worthy of Peter. He is strengthening his brethren.” (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament. Vol. 1, Page 3-672)
Lacey - "The inevitable suffering of the Christian life always yields the same blessed result in the character of believers; it will refine the faith, adjust the character, establish, strengthen and settle the people of God." (Lacey, Harry. God and the Nations, p. 92)
Wiersbe - "When an unbeliever goes through suffering, he loses his hope; but for a believer, suffering only increases his hope. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Ro 5:3, 4, niv). God builds character and brightens hope when a believer trusts Him and depends on His grace. The result is that God receives the glory forever and ever." (Bible Exposition Commentary)
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.