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
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
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
(pascho) means to undergo an experience or experience a
painful, usually difficult circumstances. Peter had used this same
verb to describe the suffering of Christ in (1 Peter 2:21-
speaks of past completed action and
is the mood of reality.
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
I am continually with Thee. Thou hast taken hold of my right
hand. With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me to
glory. (Ps 73:23-24)
In Jesus high priestly prayer He declared
And the glory which Thou hast
given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are
one... Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be
with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou
hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the
world. (Jn 17:22, 24)
In chapter 1 Peter used oligos in a similar statement
reminding his suffering readers that
In this (a salvation
ready to be revealed) you greatly rejoice, even though now for a
little while (oligos) if (since it is)
necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. (1Pe 1:6-note)
is an adjective which can have several nuances depending on the
(1) Small in number ("few" -
few workers = Mt 9:37, few fish = Mt 15:34, a few sick people = Mk
(2) Small in regard to the
amount of time (little, small, short) and short in reference to
amount or duration ("short time" Rev 12:12, Acts 26:28, Heb 12:10=of
duration of paternal discipline, James 4:14, 1Pe 1:6; "rest a while" =
Mk 6:31, Eph 3:3 = "in brief").
(3) Small in terms of distance
(4) Slight or little
("something on a small scale, such as a disturbance"- Mounce;
"relatively low on a scale of extent or existing only to a small
degree" - BDAG. Acts 12:18, 19:23, Luke 7:47)
(5) Small in size (James
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
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
we do not lose heart, but though our outer man
is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by
momentary (cf to Peter's "after a little while"),
light affliction is producing for us an eternal
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.
Even a lifetime of suffering
is only a little when measured by the standard of “eternal
Phillips paraphrases it
These little troubles (which are
really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious, and
solid reward out of all
proportion to our pain
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
- 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).
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
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."
Comment: This is in the
context of Jesus speaking to the Jews. The word called in this
instance refers to being “invited,” not to the divine call to
salvation as Paul used the word (Ro 8:28, 29 cp 1Cor 1:9 1Th 2:12).
All Israel had been
invited, but only a few would accept and follow Jesus. Not all those
invited will be among the chosen of God, for not all will believe.
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
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."
Comment: The more we are
forgiven, the more we should love. We have all been forgiven an
unspeakable number of sins, a number which increases daily. The
realization of this truth should make every believer a great forgiver,
not an "oligos" forgiver!
Which phrase best describes you dear brother or sister in Christ?
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
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."
Comment: NIV is more
accurate "“Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me
to be a Christian?” In this context "short time" (oligos)
conveys the sense of something that can be accomplished without much
difficulty or trouble.
Mounce: Oligos can
also refer to a “short” time. Agrippa sarcastically asks Paul whether
in a “short amount of time” he thinks he can make Agrippa a Christian
(Acts 26:28, 29; cf. Heb 12:10; Rev 12:12; 17:10).
MacDonald: There is
considerable disagreement as to exactly what Agrippa meant. Those who
follow the King James tradition feel that the king had actually been
brought to the threshold of decision for Christ (Acts 26:28KJV). They
feel that Paul’s answer in Acts 26:29KJV substantiates this. Others
think that Agrippa was using irony, asking Paul, as it were, “Do you
think that with a little persuasion you can make me a Christian?” In
other words, he was evading the pressure of the apostle’s words with a
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."
that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote
before in brief.
= Paul is explaining why we should
be diligent to discipline ourselves spiritually 1Ti 4:7-note)
bodily discipline is
only of little (oligos) profit, but godliness is profitable for
all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for
the life to come.
Comment: Beloved, as
believers we will enter into eternity either as eternal "paupers"
(relatively speaking of course!) or as those who are eternally "rich"!
Are you paying the price
by seeking to live a godly life (only possible of course as you are
enabled by the Spirit of Christ)? But what is godliness? Jerry
Bridges give a practical definition as "“the attitude of regarding God
in everything all the time.” How are you doing? Are you adding to your
heavenly "bank account" by making choices that continually take God
into account? Paul wanted Timothy to know that this was so important
that he told him "for it is for this we labor and strive"! (1Ti 4:10-note)
Godliness is work but it is ultimately God's Spirit working in us
continually to give us both the desire and the power to pursue
godliness (Php 2:13-note).
1 Timothy 5:23 No longer drink
water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your
stomach and your frequent ailments.
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.
Comment: God is sovereign
over our every breath beloved! The word "vapor" can in fact refer
one's breath as it appears for a moment in cold air! Our life is short
and could end at any breath (Scripture is trying to "get our
attention" repeatedly saying in one way or another that our life is
short - Shortness of our lives: Job 7:6, 7 9:25, 26 14:1, 2 Ps 37:2
39:5, 6 Ps 90:4-6, 9, 10 Ps 102:3, 11, Ps 103:15,16 Ps 144:4 Isa
38:12,13 40:6,7 Jas 1:10, 11 4:14 1Pe 1:24 2Ki 19:26). The truth that
our life is "oligos", should prompt us to "redeem the time" (Eph 5:16-note)
that we have been allocated.
Are you investing your life in
"ventures" that will yield fruit for eternity (Jn 15:16) or are you
ensnared by the deceptive pleasures (not even necessarily sins, but of
no spiritual value) of this passing world?
1 Peter 1:6-note
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little
(since it is)
necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
Comment: It is notable that
Peter uses "oligos" as "bookends" in his letter, speaking of "various
trials" which are "now for a little while" (1Peter 1:6) and here in
1Peter 5:10 of suffering "for a little while". When we are in the
"Refiner's fire" the trials and/or suffering do not "feel" short but
long. Peter knows that is our nature and wants us to think of our
trials and suffering in the context of eternity. Trials and suffering
will end one day (soon), but eternity and glory will continue forever
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
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!
Comment: Oligos in this
passage means in essence "in a few words."
'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.
'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.
"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."
Comment: Satan is cast out
of heaven at the midpoint of
Daniel's Seventieth Week
leaving him a "short time" or only 3.5 years (42 months, 1260
days) to inflict his woe on planet earth.
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
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
Deuteronomy 4:27 (A prophecy given
through Moses predicting their corrupt behavior and idol worship, both
of which transpired. Here is the punishment) "The LORD will scatter
you (Jews) among the peoples (Gentiles), and you will be left few
in number among the (Gentile) nations where the LORD drives you.
Psalm 37:10 Yet a little while
(oligos) and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look
carefully for his place and he will not be there.
Psalm 37:16 Better is the little
of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked.
TDNT comments on the
importance of oligos in the
The idea of “little” is
important in the
God can work with few means (1 Sam. 14:6), and so can the righteous
with God’s help (cf. Job 8:7). A poor man who is wise can do much with
little (Eccl. 9:14-15), and a little wisdom means much (Ecc 10:1).
Such sayings may express practical experience, but they also denote
the eschatological transvaluation of all values. Rather different is
the thought that we are limited by a short span of life (Job 10:20).
This is a punishment for sinners (Ps. 37:10). It is also a punishment
that only a few remain in times of distress (Dt. 4:27), or that little
is left of the harvest (28:38). The suffering of the righteous,
however, is of little account (Zech. 1:15).
A PROPER PERSPECTIVE
According to Peter and Paul
5:10, 2Cor 4:17-note;2Cor
Be encouraged especially by the
contrast between the "eternal glory" with the "temporal trials".
Regarding a "little while",
Barton writes that
"For believers, suffering will not last forever.
If you’re under stress, if food is scarce, if disease is spreading,
God promises that suffering will last “just a little while more.” No
matter what trouble you face, hard as it is, God has stamped your life
“temporarily out of order,” with emphasis on “temporarily.” A
day is coming when the Great Repairman will wrench evil from the world
and restore your life so that it works as God intended. You will be in
mint condition, guaranteed to function as God designed. Many times all
we can do is trust God and look forward to Jesus’ return, when God
will restore us. Our hope is in him!" (Barton,
B, et al: The NIV Life Application Commentary Series: Tyndale)
You may be called to suffer for
a season, but it will soon be over.
The psalmist writes
O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness
Thou hast afflicted me." (Ps
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."
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)
- always check
to see what the author is
explaining - Ps 84:9,10) the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD
gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those
who walk uprightly. (Ps 84:11-note
= This is a great verse to
on it and be blessed - Ps 1:1-note,
- 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...
But Thou, O Lord, art
a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant
in lovingkindness and truth. (Ps 86:15) (Spurgeon's
Who is a God like Thee, who pardons
iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His
possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights
in unchanging love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread
our iniquities under foot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins Into the
depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18,19)
And the Law came in that the
transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace
abounded all the more, that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace
might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord. (Ro 5:20, 21-note)
The God of
all grace is also the God of hope...
Now may the God of hope fill
you with all joy and peace in believing, that (term
of conclusion) you may abound in hope
by the power (dunamis) of the Holy Spirit. (Ro
The God of
all grace is also the God of peace...
Now the God of peace, who
brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the
blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
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.
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
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!)
helps give us a proper understanding of grace...
Grace stands in direct opposition
to any supposed worthiness on our part. To say it another way: Grace
and works are mutually exclusive. As Paul said in Romans 11:6, “And if
by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no
longer be grace.” Our relationship with God is based on either works
or grace. There is never a works-plus-grace relationship with Him.
Furthermore, grace does not first rescue us from the penalty of our
sins, furnish us with some new spiritual abilities, and then leave us
on our own to grow in spiritual maturity. Rather, as Paul said, “He
who began a good work in you [by His grace] will [also by His grace]
carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians
1:6). John Newton captured this idea of the continuing work of grace
in our lives when he wrote in the hymn “Amazing Grace,” “Tis grace
hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” The
apostle Paul asks us today, as he asked the Galatian believers, “After
beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to obtain your goal by
human effort?” (Galatians 3:3). (Transforming Grace: Living
Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love)
In the preceding section Peter has
instructed his readers that it is their responsibility to
(their) salvation with fear (not of the devil but reverence for
God) and trembling" but now he reminds them that is the God of all grace "Who is at work in (them), both to
will and to work for His good pleasure. (see
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."
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
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
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
Jehovah, the LORD
God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in
lovingkindness and truth; Who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, Who
forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no
leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the
children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."
Alexander Maclaren writes
surrounded by difficulties, crushed by sorrows, assaulted and battered
by all the artillery of temptations, when faint of heart and conscious
of one’s own weakness, when dull torpor seems to have taken all warmth
of feeling out of us, and many defeats to have robbed us of hope, —
there is one strong tower into which we may run and be safe
(see study on
Name of the LORD a Strong Tower).
The Name of the Lord, the thought of his revealed character as
the God of all grace, is enough to scatter all the black-winged
brood of cares and fears, and to bring the dove of peace into our
hearts, though they be lonely as the ark, and all be one waste of
waters around. For that great Name proclaims that his love is
inexhaustible. Grace is love exercised to inferiors and undeserving
persons; and, if he is the God of all grace, boundless love for
the lowliest and foulest is in his heart. Anything short of such
Divine fullness of love would be tired out by our slowness and
repeated sin. Impatience steals into the most long-suffering heart,
and the most liberal hand will shut fast at last when the ragged
good-for- nothing comes for the hundredth time with the old story of
shiftless improvidence and misery, and the old whining petition for
help already so often given and squandered. But there is no wearying
out his patient love, and no past misuse of his gifts can ever prompt
him to deny us more. The God of all grace has grace for all.
The Name, too, proclaims the infinite fullness of his resources.
That great storehouse is inexhaustible, after all giving full. He
works and is not weary. He bestows and is none the poorer. The stream
has been pouring for ages with a rush like Niagara, and the flood
to-day is as mighty as at the beginning. It is fed from the eternal
fountains in the “mountains of God,” and cannot cease. Shall we fear
drought whilst we are borne on its broad bosom? The coins in
circulation, though enough to enrich the world, are as nothing to the
masses of bullion stored in the depths. The sun itself will die by
self-communication, and that great hearth-fire will grow cold, and all
the family of worlds that move around it cease to be united and warmed
by its beams; but the God who is our Sun burns and is not consumed.
Shall we fear freezing or darkness while we walk in the light of his
face? And that great Name implies an infinite variety of
resources. All diversities of grace are his, that they may be ours.
Grace is not only love in exercise to inferiors, but is also the gifts
of that love, which are so inseparable from it that they are called by
the same name. These take the shape of every man’s need, and of all
the needs of every man. The bread-fruit tree to the South Sea
Islanders is a storehouse from which they get all they require. Its
fruit is their food, its juice their beverage, from its bark they
prepare their clothing, from its wood they build their houses and
fashion their weapons, its leaves make their thatch, its fibers their
cordage. So the grace of God is all-sufficient — Protean in its forms,
fitting each necessity as it arises, and shaped so as to give to every
one of us the very thing which character and circumstances at the
moment require. Shall we fear to be ever left to fall before enemies
or to be crushed by our sorrows, when we have such an ever-full
fountain of various grace to draw from?"
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
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
I Am...anything and everything you will need now and
through all eternity!
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
My grace is
sufficient for thee. (See
on 2Cor 12:9)
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
Paul says that
God is able to make all grace abound to you, that
sufficiency in everything,
you may have an abundance for
good deed. (2Cor 9:8)
Comment: Notice all the all's
of this verse! And all from the God of all grace!
James writes that God
a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed (military term
depicting a full army ready for battle) to the proud (idea of
disdainfully & arrogantly supposing oneself above others)
(pride = the basic sin from which all others issue), but gives
grace to the humble. (James 4:6-note)
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
us therefore draw near (most ancient rulers were unapproachable by
common people) with confidence to the throne of grace (because
grace is dispensed there), that we may receive mercy
(covers the things we should not have done) and may find grace
(empowers us to do what we should do but do not have the power to do) to help in time of need (“in the nick of time” - grace just
when and where you need it!). (see note
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
We are saved by grace through faith
The Holy Spirit who indwells us is called “the Spirit of grace”
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
we have obtained our
introduction (into an indescribable position of favor with God
accepted in the Beloved One, near and dear to God as His Own Son!)
by faith into this grace in which we stand (perfect
= carries the idea of
permanence, of standing firm and immovable -- embraces every aspect of
our position before God, a position as perfect and permanent as
Christ’s because we are in Him) (see note
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
having proved Himself rich in His bestowal of grace in the past,
Christians can rest assured that God will supply all their present
needs. (Hiebert, D. E. 1 Peter. page 317. Moody)
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
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)
For this reason
(Always pause to ask something like "What reason?" see context - 2Ti
2:9) I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they
also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it
eternal glory." (2Ti 2:10-note)
reminds the Thessalonians that
Faithful (utterly trustworthy) is He who calls you, and He also will bring it (the
sanctification and preservation of the Thessalonians) to pass.
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.
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
are those who have been summoned by God...called...
according to His purpose (Romans
to salvation (Romans 8:30
saints by calling (1Cor 1:2)
both Jews and Greeks (1Cor 1:24)
having been called "with a holy" (2 Timothy 1:9
heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1
out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9
to walk worthy (Ephesians 4:1
by grace (Gal 1:6)
not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles (Romans 9:24
through the "gospel" that we "may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus
Christ" (2Th 2:14)
and be brought "into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord"
and return in triumph "with Him" at the end of this age (Revelation
The Christian’s holy calling
is described in some detail in Ephesians 1-3, especially Ephesians
we see the truths that saints are chosen (see note
predestined (Eph 1:5, 1:11see notes
adopted as sons (Ephesians 1:5
accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6
redeemed through His blood (Ephesians 1:7
forgiven (Ephesians 1:7
sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13
and given the earnest of our inheritance (see note
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
"we should always give thanks to
God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you
from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit
and faith in the truth. And it was for this He called you
through our gospel,
that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2Th 2:13-14)
Peter has already reminded his
"like the Holy One who called you, be holy
yourselves also in all your behavior." (see note
1 Peter 1:15)
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
His divine power has
granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the
true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and
excellence." (see note
2 Peter 1:3)
The writer of Hebrews states that
And for this reason He is the
mediator of a (entirely) new covenant, in order that since a
death has taken place for the redemption (John MacArthur writes
that "Jesus’ death retroactively redeemed all those who had
believed in God under the Old Covenant") of the transgressions
that were committed under the first covenant (Mosaic Covenant =
the Covenant of Law), those who have been called
(looking back to those under the Old Covenant who were called to
salvation by God on the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to come
long after most of them had died) may receive the promise of the
eternal inheritance. (see note
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
the one summoned
is constituted (or appointed) willing to obey the summons, not
against but with his free will and accord." The theologians refer
to this call as "an effectual call.
The one called always responds through the
enablement of the Holy Spirit. This effectual call is with a view
(in the Greek the preposition "eis" used here means "with a
view to") to God’s eternal glory. That is, God calls
us into salvation in order that He may derive glory for Himself by
virtue of our being saved. He Who has called us in His grace
will supply all needed grace until we are ushered into
the Glory. God’s eternal glory is involved in His keeping a
believer in salvation. Thus we see the eternal security of the
Christian. The words “in Christ Jesus” are to be
construed with the word “called.” Christ Jesus is the sphere in which
that calling takes place. That is, in order that God might call
sinners with a view to His eternal glory, they need to be saved, and
salvation is found only in the Lord Jesus. Therefore, this calling is
in the sphere of or within the scope of the Saviour’s saving power and
Word Studies from the Greek New Testament)
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
credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure
it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it
you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have
been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps." (see
1 Peter 2:20;
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.
"God called us “in Christ;”
that is, through spiritual union with Christ; the glory is
promised to these who are one with Christ; for the glory is
Christ’s, and His members will share it. The very end and purpose of
our calling was that we might inherit that glory. This is the
apostle’s great topic of consolation." (The
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
"children (we are) heirs also, heirs of God and fellow
heirs with Christ, if (since) indeed we suffer with Him in
order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider
that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory that is to be revealed to us...and whom He
predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also
justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
><> ><> ><>
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
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Have we trials and
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged--
Take it to the Lord in prayer. --Scriven
What a Friend We Have in Jesus)
Life's challenges are
designed not to break us
but to bend us toward God.
><> ><> ><>
Doug Goins comments that in
10, that we are dealing with the God of all grace,--the God of
all resource, all adequacy, all provision. This
is like a doxology, building in intensity, in volume, in enthusiasm.
If it were set to music there would need to be a great crescendo.
Tympany rolling, it would be getting louder and fuller and stronger.
It's hope that we hang on to! The promises, in verse 10, tell us that
God will do four things for us as we go through times of suffering.
MacArthur says that the
words all speak of strength and resoluteness. God is working through
the Christian’s struggles to produce strength of character."
(MacArthur, J. The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word Pub)
PERFECT: autos katartisei (3SFAI), sterixei (3SFAI), sthenosei
(3SFAI), themeliosei (3SFAI): (2Cor 13:11; 2Th 2:17; Heb 13:21;
In the Greek sentence this pronoun (autos) is emphatically placed before
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
while you are being personally attacked by the enemy,
you are being personally perfected by God. It's personal,
Himself He's doing it. Marvelous thought. He is intimately involved
in the suffering of our lives."
The Psalmist writes...
accomplish what concerns me.
Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting. Do not
forsake the works of Thy hands." (Ps
to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand
in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy" (Jude
Selwyn writes that
It is no
merely fortuitous or instrumental helps that are promised, but God's
own active intervention and personal presence." (Selwyn, Edward
Gordon. The First Epistle of St. Peter. London: Macmillan Press, 1946)
The Textus Receptus from which the KJV (and NKJV) was translated has
and the three associated verbs each in the optative mood, expressing a
wish or prayer. Here for example is the NKJV rendering
But may the God of all grace, who called us to
His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while,
perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
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 -
(manuscript) copies have the future tense, as though a promise is
made; but the other reading is more commonly received.
Stibbs states flatly that
verbs here are not optative. They express a promise not a wish. Peter
is not praying that God may, but making an affirmation that God
will, in order to give his readers assurance.” (Bolding
added. Stibbs, A. M., The First Epistle General of Peter. Tyndale
NT Commentaries: Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
The manuscripts vary between
the future and the optative in these four verbs; the preponderance of
evidence seems in favor of the future." (The
Pulpit Commentary: New Testament;
Old Testament; Ages Software
In one manuscript reading, a prayer, in the other reading, a promise. We are blessed either way
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).
(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;
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
has in it the idea of equipping something or preparing it for
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
Vincent says that katartízō
signifies to readjust, restore, set to rights, whether in a
physical or a moral sense." (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in the New
Testament. Vol. 1, Page 3-317)
Westcott writes that the
the thoughts of the harmonious combination of different powers, the
supply of that which is defective, and the amendment of that which is
Hiebert notes that katartízō
can also mean
to bring to completion a process of making whole
already begun" as in Jesus statement that "A pupil is not above
his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained
(katartízō), will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40)
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,
God will not allow the work He has
begun in them to fall short of His perfecting grace. (Hiebert, D. E. 1
Peter. page 319. Moody)
was sometimes used metaphorically of restoring harmony among
quarreling factions in a dispute.
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).
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
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.
TRAINING FOR REIGNING
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.”
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
restore you as a physician restores a broken bone. So if you
humbly accept suffering from the hand of God, you can by God's grace
have your weakness of character healed, and the greatness now missing
but deeply desired in your life will be added to you.
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)
does not necessarily imply, that that to which it is applied has been
damaged. For example, in Hebrews we read that
by faith we understand that
the worlds were prepared (put in order, equipped for
the world might be made ready to fulfill its intended purpose) by
the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which
are visible." (Heb 11:3-note)
Katartízō was used in
Hellenistic literature to describe the act of creation.
Mark described James and John
the boat mending (katartízō) the nets." (Mk 1:19,
same use by Matthew in Mt 4:21)
Paul uses katartízō
in his exhortation to the Galatians writing
Brethren, even if a
man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a
one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you
too be tempted." (Gal 6:1)
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
we night and day keep praying most earnestly that
we may see your face, and may complete (katartízō) what is lacking in your faith?"
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
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.
exhorted the Corinthians writing...
exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you
all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made
complete (thoroughly equipped) in the same mind and in the
same judgment” (1Cor 1:10)
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:
Now the God of peace,
who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through
the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip (equipping so that they might be made ready to fulfill their
purpose for which they were saved) you in every good thing to do
His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through
Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (Heb
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"
(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).
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
- 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.
God will "confirm" you. He will
make you as solid as granite and enable you to stand against the fiery
ordeal and the storms of life. (Ron
MacDonald writes that
Suffering makes Christians more stable, able
to maintain a good confession, and to bear up under pressure." (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Barclay writes that
means to make as solid as granite. Suffering of body and
sorrow of heart do one of two things to a man. They either make him
collapse or they leave him with a solidity of character which he could
never have gained anywhere else. If he meets them with continuing
trust in Christ, he emerges like toughened steel that has been
tempered in the fire. (The
Daily Study Bible)
Doug Goins writes that
We're being hardened and solidified and toughened through suffering,
like fired and tempered steel."
Stērízō is used with
a similar meaning in Second Thessalonians, Paul writing that when
perverse and evil men, for
all have faith,
the Lord is faithful (trustworthy, worthy of confidence,
dependable, reliable) and He will strengthen (stērízō)
and protect (military
term - of a sentinel keeping guard, of the garrison of a city guarding
it against attack from without > to guard against robbery or loss,
watch over and defend, keep a person so that they remain safe) you
from the evil one. (2Th 3:2-3)
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
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,
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
according to the gospel (Ro 16:25
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
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
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
it is worth noting that Paul’s uses of the
same verb, in contexts of pastoral care of ethical admonition,
consider it sometimes as a work of God (1Th 3:13-note;
2Th 2:17; 2Th 3:3;
note), sometimes as a responsibility of believers to each other
1Th 3:2; cf.
(Bolding added. Michaels, J. R. Vol. 49: Word Biblical Commentary: 1
Peter. page 303. Dallas: Word).
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
hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him and he
sat on it and Aaron and Hur supported (stērízō
- imperfect tense - over and over they would support) his hands,
one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady
(stērízō - perfect tense - they continued in a state of
steadiness) until the sun set. (Ex 17:12-note)
To get an added sense of the
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
Simon, Simon, behold, Satan
has demanded permission to sift (literally to shake but here
of inward agitation to test and prove his faith by trials
and afflictions, which would separate good from bad in Peter's
character) you like wheat (wheat was winnowed, the shaking
being in order to separate the good part from the chaff which the wind
would blow away) but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not
fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen
(stērízō - aorist active imperative - command to do it even conveying
sense of urgency) your brothers. (Lk 22:31-32)
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
it came about, when the days were approaching for
(Jesus') ascension, that He resolutely
(steadfastly and determinedly) set (stērízō) His face ("set his face" is a Hebrew idiom, common in the OT as
illustrated in next note and implies fixedness of purpose, especially
in the prospect of difficulty or danger) to go to Jerusalem. (Luke
In the Septuagint (LXX), Greek translation of the Hebrew OT, God
commanded His prophet Ezekiel
Son of man, set
aorist active imperative - do it now, command, with urgency)
your face (this Hebrew
idiom "set your face" is used 11x in Ezekiel!) toward the
mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them. (Ezek
In the perfect tense
means established permanently or
stands fixed as in the description of Hades (which one day will be
thrown into the Lake of fire, Re 20:13; 20:14 see notes
Re 20:13; 14)
Luke recording Abraham's words to
the rich man that
besides all this, between us and you
there is a great chasm fixed (perfect
in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be
able, and that none may cross over from there to us. (Lk 16:26)
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 his second
epistle Peter wrote
Therefore, I shall always be ready to remind
you of these things, even though you already know them, and have
been established (stērízō
speaks of permanence)
in the truth which is present with you." (see note
2 Peter 1:12)
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.
For I long
to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that
you may be established (stērízō)"
Vine has an interesting note on this verse in his discussion of
to establish is to cause to lean by
supporting. Ministry of God’s Word which leads us into fuller
dependence on God, is ministry which establishes us. The Hebrew word
for “believe” literally means “to lean upon” (cp 2Chr. 20:20); “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be
established,” where “believe” and “established” represent the same
word. The means of this constant confirmation, then, is the
impartation of spiritual benefit, and the response of faith."
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
beautiful doxology, Paul emphasizes like Peter that saints are
stabilized by God...
Now to Him Who is (continually) able to
establish (stērízō) you according to (in agreement with)
my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the
revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages
past. 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets,
according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known
to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith 27 to the only wise
God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen." (see
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.
We sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel
of Christ, to strengthen (stērízō) and encourage
you as to your faith." (see note
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.
the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one
another, and for all men, just as we also do for you; so that He
may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our
God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints."
Again Paul teaches that is is the Lord who establishes and makes firm
may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who
has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace
comfort and strengthen (sterizo) your hearts in
every good work and word." (2Th 2:16-17)
MacDonald writes that
Paul is praying not just for
encouragement in the midst of
distress, but strength to move forward in the battle. The word
“retreat” wasn’t in the apostle’s vocabulary, and it shouldn’t be in
ours either. Don’t miss the expression every good word and work. Truth
on our lips is not enough; it must be worked out in our life. So in
our lives there should be the order of teaching and doing, doctrine
and duty, preaching and practice. (Believer's
(like "the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil") be
patient; strengthen (stērízō - aorist active imperative - command to do this now - it is
your hearts, for the coming of
the Lord is at hand (The imminency of Christ’s return is a
frequent theme in the NT and is that promised time when your "eternal
glory in Christ" will come to fruition)." (James 5:8)
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
Jesus warns the church at Sardis
up (gregoreuo as in 1 Peter 5:8
- note "be on the alert" - there was no time
for indifference; they could not just go with the flow, they had to
reverse it), and strengthen (stērízō -
aorist imperative - command to do this now - it is
the things that remain,
which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in
the sight of My God. (see note
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
cannot have (this confirmation and establishment) until after we have
suffered a while. We cannot be established except by suffering. It is
of no use our hoping that we shall be well-rooted if no March winds
have passed over us. The young oak cannot be expected to strike its
roots so deep as the old one. Those old gnarlings on the roots, and
those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of many storms that
have swept over the aged tree. But they are also indicators of the
depths into which the roots have dived; and they tell the woodman that
he might as soon expect to rend up a mountain as
to tear up that oak by
the roots. We must suffer a while, then shall we be established. (from his sermon
"A New Year's Benediction" on 1 Peter 5:10)
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.
(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
suffering God will strengthen a man. The Greek is sthenóō,
which means to fill with strength. Here is the same sense again. A
life with no effort and no discipline almost inevitably becomes a
flabby life. No one really knows what his faith means to him until it
has been tried in the furnace of affliction. There is something doubly
precious about a faith which has come victoriously through pain and
sorrow and disappointment. The wind will extinguish a weak flame; but
it will fan a strong flame into a
still greater blaze. So
it is with faith." (The
Daily Study Bible)
Commenting on sthenóō
MacDonald writes that
Persecution is intended by Satan to
weaken and wear out believers, but it has the opposite effect. It
strengthens them to endure. (Believer's
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
literally, we will be "filled with bodily strength." It's like
bodily discipline through exercise which
toughens up a flabby
body, replacing fat with muscle. That's what God's doing to us through
suffering. In our suffering we have the perspective of the Olympic
athlete who is in training because he is shooting for the gold medal.
He knows that's where he's headed, he knows that's the purpose in all
of his pain and difficulty.
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.
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
notion of (themelióō) is, therefore, to ground
securely. (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in
the New Testament. Vol.
1, Page 3-672)
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
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
On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
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
Commenting on themelióō
MacDonald writes that
This verb is related to the word
“foundation” in the original. God wants every believer to be firmly
planted in a secure place in His Son and in His word.
(Believer's Bible Commentary)
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
Therefore everyone who hears (so as to
heed) these words of Mine,
and acts (present
tense - as a way of life) upon them (hearing is not enough - we must obey), may
be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock.25 And
the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst
against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded
(themelióō - pluperfect tense - this tense emphasizes
permanence or continuance of the founding) upon the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does
not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house
(externally this house looked secure) upon the sand.27 And the
rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst
against that house; and it fell (severe testing revealed the true
quality of the builders’ work), and great was its fall. (see
The house founded on the rock withstood the storm.
Wiersbe - The foundation in this
parable is obedience to God’s Word—obedience that is an evidence of
true faith (James
me the “Way” and walk me not,
Ye call me the “Life” and live me not,
Ye call me “Master” and obey me not,
If I condemn thee, blame me not.
Ye call me “Bread” and eat me not,
Ye call me “Truth” and believe me not,
Ye call me “Lord” and serve me not,
If I condemn thee, blame 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)
For this reason
(because our new identity makes us the dwelling place of God), I bow my knees
before the Father,15 from Whom every family in heaven and on earth
derives its name,16 that He would grant you, according to the riches
of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the
inner man;17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
and that you, being rooted and grounded (themelióō
- perfect tense - speaks of the permanence or continuance of this
strong foundation of love, here an attitude of selflessness - as a
consequence of the strengthening of the Spirit and of Christ’s
indwelling) in love. 18 may be able to comprehend with all the
saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,19 and to
know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be
filled up to all the fulness of God. (see notes
As a result of a believer's
permanent union with Christ his or her position before God is
and blameless and beyond reproach, if (this "if" is a first
class conditional = emphasizes that they will continue = it
could be translated "since") indeed you continue in the
faith (not the Christian system of doctrine but their faith as
exercised in the gospel message) firmly established (themelióō
- having been firmly placed upon a foundation, well-grounded like
a building on the firm foundation of the Rock, the Lord Jesus -
perfect tense speaks of permanence - ) and steadfast and not moved away
(not shifting - Colossae was in a region known for earthquakes) from the
hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all
creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister."
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
"I give eternal life to them,
and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My
hand." (Jn 10:28)
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)
is used some 35 times in the Septuagint (LXX, Greek of OT Hebrew), for
example we read that King Solomon
"commanded and they quarried
great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation (LXX
= themelióō) of the house with cut stones." (1Ki
"Thus all the work of Solomon was carried
out from the day of the foundation (LXX = themelióō)
of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. So the house of
the LORD was completed." (2Chr 8:16)
Jehovah asks Job
"Where were you when I laid the foundation (LXX = themelióō)
of the earth? Tell Me, if you
have understanding." (Job 38:5)
consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars,
which Thou hast ordained (LXX = themelióō)
4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man,
that Thou dost care for him? (Ps
8:3-4) (Spurgeon's notes -
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
"when the builders had laid the foundation
(LXX = themelióō) of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in
their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with
cymbals, to praise the
LORD according to the directions of King David of Israel." (Ezra
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
"For it is good to
sing praises to our
God, for it is pleasant and praise is becoming." (Ps 147:1)
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
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.
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,
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,
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
(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
MY HOPE IS BUILT
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.