1 Peter 1:8-9 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

1 Peter: Trials, Holy Living & The Lord's Coming
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Chart from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
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Source: Borrow Ryrie Study Bible 
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    I. The Opening Salutation (1Pe 1:1-2) 
         A. The Writer (1Pe 1:1a) 
         B. The Readers (1Pe 1:1b-2a) 
             1. True character of the readers (1Pe 1:1b) 
             2. Geographical location of the readers (1Pe 1:1c) 
             3. Spiritual supports for the readers (1Pe 1:2a) 
         C. The Greeting (1Pe 1:2b) 
    II. The Thanksgiving for Our Salvation (1Pe 1:3-12) 
         A. The Description of Salvation (1Pe 1:3-5) 
             1. The author of salvation (1Pe 1:3a-b) 
                  a. His relation to the Savior (1Pe 1:3a) 
                  b. His act of mercy to the saved (1Pe 1:3b) 
             2. The nature of salvation (1Pe 1:3c-4a) 
                  a. The living hope grounded in Christ's resurrection (1Pe 1:3c) 
                  b. The glorious inheritance awaiting believers (1Pe 1:4a) 
             3. The certainty of salvation (1Pe 1:4b-5) 
                  a. The safekeeping of the inheritance (1Pe 1:4b) 
                  b. The preservation of the heirs (1Pe 1:5) 
         B. The Experiences Relating to Salvation (1Pe 1:6-9) 
             1. The paradoxical nature of the experiences (1Pe 1:6-7) 
                  a. The experience of exultation (1Pe 1:6a) 
                  b. The experience of distress (1Pe 1:66-7) 
                      1. The nature of the distress (1Pe 1:6b) 
                      2. The purpose behind the trials (1Pe 1:7) 
                           a. The testing of faith (1Pe 1:7a) 
                           b. The outcome of the testing (1Pe 1:7b) 
             2. The sustaining relations of believers (1Pe 1:8-9) 
                  a. Their dual relation to Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:8) 
                  b. Their experiential relation to their salvation (1Pe 1:9) 
         C. The Magnification of Salvation (1Pe 1:10-12) 
             1. The magnification through prophetic research (1Pe 1:10-12a) 
                  a. Their intensive search (1Pe 1:10a) 
                  b. Their prophetic function (1Pe 1:10b) 
                  c. Their personal perplexity (1Pe 1:11) 
                      1. The time and circumstances (1Pe 1:11a) 
                      2. The sufferings and the glories (1Pe 1:11b) 
                  d. Their restricted ministry (1Pe 1:12a) 
             2. The magnification through Christian proclamation (1Pe 1:12b) 
             3. The magnification through angelic inquiry (1Pe 1:12c) 
    I. Exhortations in View of Our Salvation (1Pe 1:13-2:10) 
         A. The Life Arising from Salvation (1Pe 1:13-2:3) 
             1. The Christian life in relation to God (1Pe 1:13-21) 
                  a. A life of steadfast hope (1Pe 1:13) 
                      1. The supports of hope (1Pe 1:13a) 
                      2. The call to hope (1Pe 1:13b) 
                  b. A life of personal holiness (1Pe 1:14-16) 
                      1. The foundation for personal holiness (1Pe 1:14a) 
                      2. The call to personal holiness (1Pe 1:14b-15) 
                           a. The negative demand of holiness (1Pe 1:14b) 
                           b. The positive call to holiness (1Pe 1:15) 
                      3. The justification of the call to holiness (1Pe 1:16) 
                  c. A life of motivated reverence (1Pe 1:17-21) 
                      1. The basis for reverent living (1Pe 1:17a) 
                      2. The call for reverent living (1Pe 1:17b) 
                      3. The knowledge that motivates reverence (1Pe 1:18-21) 
                           a. The means of our redemption (1Pe 1:18-19) 
                           b. The nature of the Redeemer (1Pe 1:20) 
                           c. The characteristics of the redeemed (1Pe 1:21) 
             2. The Christian life in relation to the brethren (1Pe 1:22-25) 
                  a. The experience of inner purification (1Pe 1:22a) 
                  b. The duty of mutual love (1Pe 1:22b) 
                  c. The foundation in personal regeneration (1Pe 1:23-25) 
                      1. The fact of their regeneration (1Pe 1:23a) 
                      2. The nature of their regeneration (1Pe 1:23b-25a) 
                      3. The evangelization leading to their regeneration (1Pe 1:25b) (D Edmond Hiebert)

1 Peter 1:8 and though you have not seen (AAP) Him, you love (PAI) Him, and though you do not see (PAP) Him now, but believe (PAP) in Him, you greatly rejoice (PMI) with joy inexpressible and full of glory (RPPFSD), (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: on ouk idontes (AAPMPN) agapate, (2PPAI) eis on arti me orontes (PAPMPN) pisteuontes (PAPMPN) de agalliasthe (2PPMI) chara aneklaleto kai dedoxasmene (RPPFSD),

Amplified: Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NJB: You have not seen him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described; (NJB)

NLT: You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: And though you have never seen him, yet I know that you love him. At present you trust him without being able to see him, and even now he brings you a joy that words cannot express and which has in it a hint of the glories of Heaven (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: of whom not having had a glimpse, you love because of His preciousness, in whom, now not seeing, yet believing, you are to be rejoicing with an inexpressible and glorified joy,

Young's Literal: whom, not having seen, ye love, in whom, now not seeing and believing, ye are glad with joy unspeakable and glorified,


Seen (3708) The Greek phrase is "of Whom not having had a glimpse".

The emphasis in this phrase is upon the person of Christ – "Whom". The Greek implies the idea of "toward whom" placing emphasis upon the direction of our faith toward a person

Unlike Peter, these readers were not eyewitnesses of Jesus, but this was not a "spiritual disadvantage." The world says "seeing is believing" but Jesus said "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." (Jn 20:29) Another of those glorious "paradoxes" of Christianity.

Paul reminded the Corinthians that "we look (skopeo - spy out, look towards an object, to contemplate, give attention to - so not merely a description of usual human vision but with the idea of regarding a thing as important) not at the things which are seen (these things are not the goal of their existence), 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." (2Co 4:18-note)

Jowett comments that "to be able to see the first is sight; to be able to see the second is insight. The first mode of vision is natural, the second mode is spiritual. The primary organ in the first discernment is intellect; the primary organ in the second discernment is faith… All through the Scriptures this contrast between sight and insight is being continually presented to us, and everywhere we are taught to measure the meagerness and stinginess of the one, and set it over the fulness and expansiveness of the other." (Jowett, Life in the Heights, pp68, 69)

Peter's readers had fully developed the skill of "spiritual insight" and had learned to "walk by faith, not by sight." (2Cor 5:7)

How do we develop that same "spiritual insight"? By believing what Scripture says and living by that belief.

Michael Card expressed the paradox of not seeing yet seeing in one of his songs…

That's What Faith Must Be
by Michael Card
Play this song

To hear with my heart
to see with my soul
to be guided by a hand I cannot hold
to trust in a way that I cannot see
that's what faith must be.

Peter's readers

never saw the Lord Jesus with the physical sense of sight, but ah, what a vivid portrait of Him did the Holy Spirit paint for them on the canvas of their spiritual vision… The picture of the earthly Lord Jesus in His mortal body, seen by human eyes, is supplanted now by the picture of the glorified Man in the Glory, painted by the Holy Spirit for the spiritual vision of the saint… It is as we free ourselves from the conception an artist may have of what he thinks the Lord Jesus looked like in His life on earth, and depend upon the Holy Spirit through the Word to reveal to us the likeness of our Lord Jesus, that we come to some true conception of Him in His glorified state. We will recognize Him in the Glory over yonder, not by what human artists have conceived Him to be, but by the Holy Spirit’s portrait of Him. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

YOU LOVE HIM: agapate (2PPAI):

Love (25) (agapao [word study] - see related study of noun agape) means to love unconditionally and sacrificially as God Himself loves sinful men (John 3:16), the way He loves the Son (John 3:35, 15:9, 17:23, 24). Love is in the present tense - you continually love Him, and I would submit that love that manifests this perseverance is enabled in our hearts by the Spirit of Christ!

Note that agapao is a verb and by its verbal nature calls for action. This quality of love is not an emotion but is an action initiated by a volitional choice.

MacArthur writes that agapao "expresses the purest, noblest form of love, which is volitionally driven, not motivated by superficial appearance, emotional attraction, or sentimental relationship. (MacArthur, John: 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Moody Press)

Wuest - Agapao speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in an object which causes one to prize it. It springs from an apprehension of the preciousness of an object. It is a love of esteem and approbation (act of approving). The quality of this love is determined by the character of the one who loves, and that of the object loved (Ed: And I would add that such love necessitates divine power supplied by the Spirit Who enables this God-like love.). (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

Vine - Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son, 1 John 4:9, 10. But obviously this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, Romans 5:8. It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself, cp. Deuteronomy 7:7, 8. Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ, 2Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 2:4; 3:19; 5:2; Christian love is the fruit of His Spirit in the Christian, Galatians 5:22. Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10; 1John 2:5; 5:3; 2 John 6. Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson

In short, agapao describes unconditional, sacrificial love which is the love that God Himself is. Agapao is not sentimental or emotional but obedient as an act of one's will which desiring another's highest good (and so is willing to die to the interest of self).

As note above agapao is present tense, picturing their love as the habit of their lives, not an intermittent passing infatuation or emotional high. And if the habit of their life was to "love" Him, they were also "obeying" Him because Jesus taught that "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (Jn 14:15 cf Jn 15:13)

Paul records that "the love (agape) of God has been poured out (lavishly poured out to the point of overflowing - perfect tense = has poured in and still floods our hearts) within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Ro 5:5-note) (Ed: Here we see the "Hoover Dam" power station which enables agape love -- it has flooded our hearts via the Spirit Who indwells us. The Holy Spirit has poured out God’s love into our hearts and we return that love to Him.)

Wiersbe comments that "When you find yourself in some trial, and you hurt, immediately lift your heart to Christ in true love and worship. Why? Because this will take the poison out of the experience and replace it with healing medicine. Satan wants to use life’s trials to bring out the worst in us, but God wants to bring out the best in us. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

It is interesting to note as an aside that the expression those who love Him is often a descriptive name for believers (Ro 8:28-note 1Cor 2:9 Ex 20:6 Ps 97:10 [Spurgeon's comment] Ps 145:20 [Spurgeon's comment]). Their love for Christ was a sure mark that they had been born into the family of God, for as Jesus informed the antagonistic Jewish audience (who initially had expressed an intellectual belief in Him, see Jn 8:30ff)…

If God were your Father, you would love Me (Jn 8:42)

Paul was a bit more direct writing that

If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha. (which means "Come Lord") (1Cor 16:22)

Human love needs the seen presence of the beloved one to complete the fullness of its joy (2Jn 1:12) but Peter's readers love of the unseen Jesus produced joy even amid afflictions unspeakable!

Wuest - It was the clear-cut conception of the Lord Jesus which the Holy Spirit had given these saints through the Word, that caused them to love Him. The distinctive Greek word for “love” here, agape, refers to a love that is called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the person loved. But even the preciousness of the Lord Jesus would not have made these individuals love Him if God in salvation had not produced in them that divine love which He Himself is, with which to love Him (Ro 5:5- note; Gal 5:22, 23-notes). One must have the nature of an artist to really appreciate and love art. One must have the nature of God (2Pe 1:4-note) to appreciate and love the Lord Jesus. It is this ideal combination of a study of God’s Word and a definite subjection to the Holy Spirit that results in the clear, vivid portrait of the Lord Jesus in the spiritual vision of the saint. To know Him is to love Him. To know Him better, is to love Him better. The secret of an intimate, loving fellowship with the Lord Jesus, the secret of knowing Him in an intimate way, is in the moment-by-moment control of the Holy Spirit over the life of the Christian believer." (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

William Lincoln - People talk a lot about love, but the true test of love to God and Christ is, that in the trial it says—“I would not lose the favor and smile of God, so will rather suffer than grieve Him.” Love will be content with a crust and the smile of God, rather than a better position and the popularity of the world without it. Such tests must come to all the true children of God; they winnow the chaff from the wheat. The gold comes out from the fire tried, and purified from its dross."

AND THOUGH YOU DO NOT SEE HIM NOW: eis on arti me orontes (PAPMPN):

This fact points out that their continuing committal is not nurtured by gazing upon His visible presence but by grazing upon the promises in His Word, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ, Who is "the Word" (Jn 1:1). Unlike Thomas Peter's readers had not demanded to see Him before they would believe (John 20:25).

The Life Application Commentary has this interesting note about our "paradoxical" (to the outside world) faith "Christians rejoice despite trials and suffering, have faith in someone they have never seen, and stake their lives on promises. Why? Because they know the Lord." (cp 2Ti 1:12-note) (Barton, B. B., et al. Life Application Bible Commentary. Romans: Tyndale House Publishers)

Now (737) (arti) means at this moment, at the immediate present, or "just now" and has a beautiful implication in the present context. Peter is saying in essence "No "not now" yet yes "one day soon and forever" you will see your Lord and King face to face." (Rev 22:3, 4-see notes Re 22:3; 22:4) This great hope (certainty) must have made them want to shout "Hallelujah!" Does this glorious prospect make you want to shout "glory" or do you want to "shrink back in shame at His coming" (see 1Jn 2:28)

BUT BELIEVE IN HIM: pisteuontes (PAPMPN) de:

But - Identifies a contrast, and it always a good practice to ask "What is the writer contrasting?"

Believe (4100) (pisteuo from pistis; pistos; related studies the faith, the obedience of faith) (1Pe 1:8, 21, 2:6, 7) denotes not just an intellectual assent to the truth of the gospel, but also involves an act of the heart and will of the subject.

Pisteuo is present tense emphasizes the ongoing commitment (in the face of not seeing Him… walk by faith not by sight), and clearly this constancy of belief is empowered by the Spirit Who indwells us.

Pisteuo means to consider something to be true and therefore worthy of one’s trust. To accept as true, genuine, or real. To have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something or someone. To consider to be true. To accept the word or evidence of.

Vincent notes that pisteuo "means to persuade, to cause belief, to induce one to do something by persuading, and so runs into the meaning of to obey, properly as the result of persuasion

In secular Greek literature, as well as in the New Testament, pisteuo (pistis, pistos) has a basic meaning of an intellectual assent or a belief that something is true. Michel says that this use arose during the Hellenistic period. During the struggle with skepticism and atheism, it acquired the sense of conviction concerning the existence and activity of the Greek gods. Thayer calls this the intransitive use of the word which conveys the idea of to be sure or be persuaded that something is a fact. This kind of faith does not require any action on the part of the believer but only an intellectual acceptance. As discussed below, James used this type of faith as an example of a dead faith stating that "The devils also believe, and tremble" (Ja 2:19).

The other secular Greek meaning that is the more common use in the New Testament is the transitive or active use which means to "put faith in" or "rely upon" someone or something. Sometimes it has even stronger meaning: "To entrust something to another." In classical usage it denoted conduct that honored a previous agreement, such as the honoring of a truce between opposing armies (Iliad 2.124). The meaning of entrusting something to someone is found in Xenophon (Memorabilia 4.4.17). An example of this use in the New Testament is 2 Timothy 1:12. Paul said

I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day (see note 2 Timothy 1:12) (Comment: Here pisteuo means to trust in or rely upon Christ to save us)

Did you notice the triad of hope, love and faith in (1Peter 1:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)? Faith means surrendering all to God and obeying His Word in spite of circumstances and consequences. Love and faith go together for when you love someone, you trust him. And faith and love together help to strengthen hope for where you find faith and love, you will find confidence for the future. This faith in the Messiah Whom they had never seen sustained them.

W. H. Griffith Thomas gives us an excellent description of the interrelation of faith, hope and love…

Faith rests on the past, love works in the present, and hope presses toward the future; or, faith looks backward and upward, love looks outward, and hope looks forward. These three constitute the true, complete Christian life and not one of them should be omitted or slighted. We are only too apt to emphasize faith and love and forget hope but, inasmuch as hope is invariably connected with the coming of the Lord, "that blessed hope" (Titus 2:13), it is a vital part of our Christian life.

Faith accepts, hope expects; faith appropriates, hope anticipates; faith receives, hope realizes; faith is always and only concerned with the past and present, hope is always and only concerned with the future.

We know that faith comes by hearing; we shall find that hope comes by experience. Faith is concerned with a person who promises, hope with the thing promised; and faith is the root of which hope is a fruit."

YOU GREATLY REJOICE WITH JOY INEXPRESSIBLE AND FULL OF GLORY: de agalliasthe (2PPMI) chara aneklaleto kai dedoxasmene (RPPFSD):

Greatly rejoice (21)(agalliao [word study]) is the same verb Peter used in 1Pe 1:6 picturing one so filled that they feel like skipping around "jumping for joy." As discussed earlier, agalliao depicts jumping and shouting for joy which cannot be contained. Remember the context - these saints are experiencing fiery trials! And yet the present tense indicates that jumping joy was their continual experience. Peter is not saying that we should rejoice over the circumstances, but that we can rejoice in the midst of them by focusing on Jesus Christ and our future with Him. Joy resides in the unseen Jesus, the Source of joy. Future hope fuels present joy, independent of fiery trials. Stated another way, present joy based on a future hope can fuel steadfast endurance in fiery trials. Every trial we experience can help us learn something new and wonderful about our Savior. If Abraham had refused the trial in (Genesis 22), he would never have come to know God as Jehovah Jireh His Provider.

Joy (5479) (chara) is a feeling of inner gladness, delight or rejoicing.

Secular dictionaries define joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or the emotion evoked by the prospect of possessing what one desires. The world's definition of joy is therefore virtually synonymous with the definition of happiness, for both of these "emotions" are dependent on what "happens".

Certainly there is joy in human life, such as joy when one experiences a victory (" We will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions." Psalm 20:5 Spurgeon's comment) or reaps a bountiful harvest (see Isaiah 9:3), but more often the Bible speaks of joy in a spiritual sense. For example, Nehemiah declared to the down in the mouth (not very filled with joy) Jews that "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). Similarly, David pleaded with God to “restore to me the joy of Thy salvation” (Ps 51:12 Spurgeon's Comment). It is not surprising that joy and rejoicing are found most frequently in the Psalms (about 80 references) and the Gospels (about 40 references).

C. S. Lewis got a bit closer to the Biblical meaning when he called joy an “unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction.” That statement is a bit obtuse but Lewis then goes on to add that joy "must be sharply distinguished both from happiness and from pleasure". Ultimately Lewis' experienced joy when he discovered that Jesus was the wellspring of all joy.

Joy then is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord. It is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances but even occurs when those circumstances are the most painful and severe as Jesus taught His disciples declaring…

Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy. 21 "Whenever a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 "Therefore you too now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you. (Jn 16:20-22)

Believers have the Resident Source of joy within, for as as Paul teaches

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5:22-note)

Emotional fluctuations cannot disturb this Source of joy. Note Paul’s statement of this confidence

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Php 3:20-note).

Chara in some uses can describe the person or thing that actually is the source of the joy. For example when the angel announced the birth of Jesus he referred to this occasion as a great joy (Luke 2:10). Similarly when Paul referred to his beloved saints in Philippi, whom he longed to see, he called them his joy and crown (Php 4:1-note).

Joy is the blessed state that is promised to the bondservants …

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.' (Mt 25:21)

The Christian life is to be a life of joy. It is founded on faith in Jesus, whose life on earth began as "good news of great joy for all people" (Luke 2:10).

The theme of joy is underscored by the 59 uses of "joy" and the 74 uses of "rejoice" in the NT always to signify a feeling of happiness that is based on spiritual realities.

Joy is God’s gift to believers and is thus more than just a mood. This is a deep confidence that was rooted in God’s sovereign control of the universe, His unchanging divine promises and eternal spiritual realities including the assurance of ultimate victory for those who are in Christ by grace through faith.

Joy is a part of God’s own nature and Spirit that He manifests in His children.

Joy is the inevitable overflow of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and of the believer’s knowing His continuing presence and having a sense of well being experienced by one who knows all is well between himself and the Lord.

Biblical Joy not only does not come from favorable human circumstances but is sometimes greatest when those circumstances are the most painful and severe.

God’s joy is full, complete in every way. Nothing human or circumstantial can add to it or detract from it. But it is not fulfilled in a believer’s life except through reliance on and obedience to the Lord.

Although joy is a gift of God through the fruit borne by His Spirit to those who belong to Christ and who are surrendered to His perfect will, the expression of this joy is commanded Paul writing…

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (Php 4:4-note; cf Php 3:1-note)

Because joy comes as a gift from Him, the command obviously is not for believers to manufacture or try to imitate it but to delight in the blessing they already possess (Ro 14:17-note; Php 4:4-note). The command is to gratefully accept and revel in this great blessing they already possess.

Webster's definition of JOY is NOT a good description of JOY that a believer experiences but reflects the world's viewpoint of what brings joy: "the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires"

Warren Wiersbe defines joy as

that inward peace and sufficiency that is not affected by outward circumstances. (A case in point is Paul’s experience recorded in Php 4:10-20.) This "holy optimism" keeps him going in spite of difficulties.

Matthew Henry defines joy as "cheerfulness in conversation with our friends, or rather a constant delight in God

Donald Campbell former President of Dallas Theological Seminary says "Joy (chara) is a deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those who abide in Christ (Jn 15:11). It does not depend on circumstances because it rests in God’s sovereign control of all things (cf. Ro 8:28)

William MacDonald says "Joy is contentment and satisfaction with God and with His dealings. Christ displayed it in Jn 4:34 (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

Adam Clarke defines joy as "The exultation that arises from a sense of God’s mercy communicated to the soul in the pardon of its iniquities, and the prospect of that eternal glory of which it has the foretaste in the pardon of sin."

Beet defines joy as "triumphant overflow of Christian gladness."

Barclay adds that "It is not the joy that comes from earthly things, still less from triumphing over someone else in competition. It is a joy whose foundation is God."

Joy is the byproduct of obedience. (Source Unknown)

Richard Sibbes - Those that look to be happy must first look to be holy.

John Howe really nails down the reason many believers do not experience the joy of the LORD as their strength writing that "God is not otherwise to be enjoyed than as He is obeyed."

Haydn, the great musician, was once asked why his church music was so cheerful, and he replied:

When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap, as it were, from my pen, and since God has given me a cheerful heart it will be pardoned me that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit.

Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found and as you read the list allow the Spirit to search your heart to see there be any hurtful way in it

1) Not in Unbelief — Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born… (and at his death cried out desperately) I am abandoned by God and man! I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six month's life. Then I shall go to hell; and you will go with me. O Christ! O Jesus Christ!”

2) Not in Pleasure — Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”

3) Not in Money — Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”

4) Not in Position and Fame — Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”

5) Not in Military Glory — Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, “There are no more worlds to conquer.”

6) Where then is real joy found? — the answer is simple, in Christ alone. (Adapted from The Bible Friend, Turning Point, May, 1993)

As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend:

It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians—and I am one of them.

The eternal effect of a Christian filled with the Joy of the Lord:

Many years ago when the great missionary Adoniram Judson was home on furlough, he passed through the city of Stonington, Connecticut. A young boy playing about the wharves at the time of Judson’s arrival was struck by the man’s appearance. Never before had he seen such a light on any human face. He ran up the street to a minister to ask if he knew who the stranger was. The minister hurried back with him, but became so absorbed in conversation with Judson that he forgot all about the impatient youngster standing near him. Many years afterward that boy—who could never get away from the influence of that wonderful face—became the famous preacher Henry Clay Trumbull. In a book of memoirs he penned a chapter entitled: “What a Boy Saw in the Face of Adoniram Judson.” That lighted countenance had changed his life. Even as flowers thrive when they bend to the light, so shining, radiant faces come to those who constantly turn toward Christ!

It takes 72 muscles to frown—only 14 to smile!

Acts repeatedly emphasizes joy as a fruit of salvation (Acts 2:43,46; 8:8,39; 13:48,52; 15:3).

MacDonald - The Christian’s joy is not dependent on earthly circumstances but on the risen, exalted Christ at God’s right hand. It is no more possible to rob a saint of his joy than it is to unseat Christ from His place of glory. The two stand together. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

Peter qualifies joy with two unusual adjectives - inexpressible and full of glory

Inexpressible (412) (aneklaletos from a = without + eklaléo = to speak out, to disclose) means literally unable to be told out, what cannot be spoken and so unutterable, unspeakable, ineffable (incapable of being expressed in words). This verse represents the only Biblical use of this adjective. This joy defies all human efforts at understanding or explanation. The joy they experienced could not be adequately expressed in words. This quality of joy contradicts the experience of natural fallen man.

Kelly adds that "This is a mystery of faith contradicting everyday experience, and so the joy is inexpressible.

Christians do not rejoice because of sufferings but because of their present perception of Christ (in the Word) and the certain expectation of His future return and reign. What they believed rightly, radically affected what they experienced.

Albert Barnes comments that

joy inexpressible is a "very strong expression, and yet verified in thousands of cases among young converts, and among those in the maturer days of piety. There are thousands who can say that their happiness when they first had evidence that their sins were forgiven, that the burden of guilt was rolled away, and that they were the children of God, was unspeakable. They had no words to express it, it was so full and so new:

Tongue can never express.
The sweet comfort and peace
Of a soul in its earliest love

And so there have been thousands of mature Christians who can adopt the same language, and who could find no words to express the peace and joy which they have found in the love of Christ, and the hope of heaven. And why are not all Christians enabled to say constantly that they "rejoice with joy unspeakable?" Is it not a privilege which they might possess? Is there anything in the nature of religion which forbids it? Why should not one be filled with constant joy who has the hope of dwelling in a world of glory forever?" (Barnes Notes on the Bible)

Would the majority of the church in America be described this way?

Spurgeon once asked "Why is this joy of the Christian so unspeakable and full of glory? I think it is because it is so altogether divine. It is God's own joy; it is Christ's own joy.

Full of glory (1392) (doxazo - see word study on doxa) means to be give praise, to magnify, to extol.

Doxazo is in the perfect tense (past completed action with present ongoing result or effect) passive voice (action produced from outside source) which pictures Christian joy as suffused ( spread over or through) with glory which is their permanent state and which will culminate when we "gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2Th 2:14). This fact would help explain why this joy is inexpressible. And yet it is a joy that is available now to saints who are steadfastly suffering for their Lord.

The picture brings to mind the writer of Hebrews description of the perfect Man

Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross despising the shame" (Heb 12:2-note) thus "leaving (us) an example… to follow in His steps." (1Pe 2:21-note)

A T Robertson writes that full of glory is like the glorified face of Moses. The Septuagint (Lxx - Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) in fact uses this same verb doxazo recording that

when Moses went down from the mountain, there were the two tables in the hands of Moses,-- as then he went down from the mountain, Moses knew not that the appearance of the skin of his face was glorified (doxazo), when God spoke to him." (Ex 34:39)

Even as Moses' face reflected a glow associated with being in the presence of Jehovah, the joy these believers possessed somehow was infused with heavenly glory, a glory which ultimately gives a proper opinion of the Lord, the only One to Whom glory is due.

The Life Application Commentary agrees adding that that the believer's present joy is

infused with a heavenly glory. While we await Christ’s return, we are already experiencing a touch of heaven through the joy of our relationship with God. (Barton, B, et al: The NIV Life Application Commentary Series: Tyndale)

Barnes explains "full of glory" as speaking (1) Of anticipated glory - of the prospect of enjoying the glory of heaven. (2) of present glory - with a joy even now which is of the same nature as that in heaven; a happiness the same in kind, though not in degree, as that which will be ours in a brighter world. (Barnes' Notes on the Bible)

Jameison adds that this joy full of glory speaks of a joy that is

now already encompassed with glory. The "glory" is partly in present possession, through the presence of Christ, "the Lord of glory," in the soul; partly in assured anticipation.

Gill explains that "full of glory" is "a joy on account of the glory of God, which the believer lives in the hope and faith of; and it is a beginning, a presage and pledge of it; it is a glory begun here; it is the firstfruits, and a part also of it; and by it saints may know a little what heaven itself will be." (And I would add that by this glory, the lost world might also see and come to know something of the heavenly glory of God in the face of the believer who radiates such a joy full of glory!) (John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Matthew Henry adds that this joy is "full of glory, full of heaven. There is much of heaven and the future glory in the present joys of improved Christians; their faith removes the causes of sorrow, and affords the best reasons for joy." (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible)

J Vernon McGee has some pithy comments "Does this set your heart to beating faster? Are you really in love with Him, or do you have a dead religion that is quite meaningless? Oh, my friend, Christ is so wonderful! Simon Peter loved Him. Paul loved Him, and all of those who have genuinely served Him have loved Him. I hope you love Him today. If you do, it will solve a lot of your problems. It will help the husband-wife relationship. It is wonderful how the love of Christ draws our hearts together. Not only will it help you in your home, it will help you in your church. Loving Christ draws believers together. It will help you in all your relationships if you love Him… Are you a rejoicing Christian, my friend? You should be. You are a child of the King, and you have an inheritance coming to you some day. How wonderful it is to be His child! (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

Reasons To Rejoice - READ: 1 Peter 1:1-9- Though now you do not see Him, … you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. —1 Peter 1:8

The New Testament gives us many reasons to rejoice. For example, Jesus said, "Rejoice because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). The apostle Peter spoke of the reasons believers can "rejoice with joy inexpressible" (1Peter 1:8). We're not asked to pretend that problems don't exist but to rejoice even in the midst of them.

The word rejoice reminds me of my friend Carol. She chose to rejoice throughout her long struggle with cancer. Her Christian life began within hours of surgery, when she prayed and trusted the Lord for her salvation. During her recovery she walked the hospital corridors saying to everyone, "Isn't this a beautiful day!"

Because one of her eyes had been removed, Carol had a number of decorative eye patches made to match different dresses. Every day she delighted in choosing an attractive eye patch, especially when sharing her testimony. When she became bedridden, she hung a large sign at the foot of her bed that read, "Rejoice!" On my last visit before she died, she pointed to the sign and whispered, "Rejoice!"

Carol's reason for rejoicing was her deep gratitude to Jesus for loving and saving her. Whatever you're facing today, let Carol's reason for rejoicing be yours too. —Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Amid the thorny trials of life
God's buds of beauty grow;
If we'll rejoice and not complain,
His peace and love we'll know. —Sper

If you know Jesus, you always have reasons to rejoice.

1 Peter 1:9 obtaining (PMP) as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: komizomenoi (PMPMPN) to telos tes pisteoo [humon] soterian psuchon

Phillips: and all the time you are receiving the result of your faith in him - the salvation of your own souls. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: upon the occasion of your receiving the promised consummation of your faith which is the (final) salvation of your souls.

Young's Literal: receiving the end of your faith -- salvation of souls;

OBTAINING AS THE OUTCOME (goal) OF YOUR FAITH: : komizomenoi (PMPMPN) telos tes pisteos (humon):

Obtaining (2865) (komizo [word study] from komeo = to take care of) means to bring bear or carry (used this way only in Lk 7:37) and in the middle voice to receive back (in sense of requital, recompense or reward) or to get what is promised (as in 1Pe 5:4 [note], He 10:36 [note]) or to get back something that is one's own or is owed to one (as in Mt 25:27)

MacArthur explains that in this passage…

Peter is not looking at the future but at the here and now; one could literally render obtaining (komizomenoi), “presently receiving for yourselves.” The root, komizo, means “to receive what is deserved.” Flowing out of believers’ personal fellowship with Christ is the result due them, the present outcome of their faith, namely the salvation of their souls. (MacArthur, J. 1 Peter. Chicago: Moody Press)

Thayer has this note in regard to komizo with the sense of recompense…

Since in the rewards and punishments of deeds, the deeds themselves are as it were requited and so given back to their authors, the meaning is obvious when one is said to be requited that which he has done, i.e. either the reward or punishment of the deed

Peter is explaining the reason for the paradoxical joy just described. Why then do they have this paradoxical joy?

"because you are (already) attaining the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls." (NET Bible - note in parenthesis mine)

Note the present tense of obtaining emphasizes that we are already receiving some of the elements of salvation (Three Tenses of Salvation includes PAST tense salvation or justification in which we have already "obtained" deliverance from the penalty of sin, PRESENT tense salvation or sanctification in which we are in the process of being daily delivered from the power of sin).

Vincent says that komizo "originally means to take care of or provide for; thence to receive hospitably or entertain; to bring home with a view to entertaining or taking care of. Hence, to carry away so as to preserve, to save, rescue, and so to carry away as a prize or booty. Generally, to receive or acquire. Paul uses it of receiving the awards of judgment (2Cor 5:10; Eph 6:8-note; Col 3:25-note).

In Hebrews komizo is used of receiving the promise (He 10:36-note; He 11:39-note), and of Abraham receiving back Isaac (He 11:19-note). Peter uses it thrice, and in each case of receiving the rewards of righteousness or of iniquity. 1Pe 5:4-note; 2Pe 2:13-note

Below are the 11 NT uses of komizo… notice that only the use in Luke 7:37 is in the active voice (gives sense of bring) and all other uses are in the middle voice (sense of receiving back)…

Matthew 25:27 'Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.

Luke 7:37 And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume.

Comment: Louw-Nida state that here komizo means "to carry or bring something to someone, usually implying a transfer".

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Comment: Louw-Nida write that in this use the idea to cause to experience or "to cause someone to experience something on the basis of what that person has already done—‘to cause to experience in return, to cause to suffer for, to cause to experience in proportion to, to be repaid for".

Ephesians 6:8 (note) knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

Colossians 3:25 (note) For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

Comment: Here the master or the slave shall receive back the wrong which he or she did, which reflects the general law of life and of God which is "fair and square" as they say.

Hebrews 10:36 (note) For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Comment: Komizo implies, not mere obtaining, but receiving and carrying away for use and enjoyment.

Hebrews 11:19 (note) He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type.

Hebrews 11:39 (note) And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,

1 Peter 1:9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 5:4 (note) And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

2 Peter 2:13 (note) (KJV is quoted as the Greek text for NAS does not use komizo) And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

Outcome (5056) (telos) means a point of time marking the end of a duration, the last part of a process and the goal toward which a movement is being directed. The outcome in this case refers to the final goal which is conformity to Christ (Ro 8:29-note), Who will Himself

transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself" (Php 3:21-note).

Then we will have obtained the final goal and in our glorified bodies we will be free from the presence and pleasure of sin (This is FUTURE tense salvation).

John sums up this "goal" writing

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is." (1Jn 3:2-note) (Ro 8:23-note, see Spurgeon devotional "Waiting for Adoption")

Life Application Bible adds

The present tense are receiving (obtaining)” indicates the tension between what we received when we accepted Jesus Christ, what we already possess as believers, and what we will yet receive when Christ returns. We received salvation when we accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, yet our salvation will not be complete until Jesus Christ returns and makes everything new. In the meantime, we continue growing in the Christian life and experiencing more and more of the blessings of salvation. As we continue to believe and rejoice, we also continue to grow toward maturity in Christ and to our promised salvation. (Barton, B, et al: The NIV Life Application Commentary Series: Tyndale)

C H Spurgeon - Little faith will take your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.

Faith (4102) (pistis) is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it.

Biblical faith is not synonymous with mental assent or acquiescence which by itself is a superficial faith at best and not genuine (saving) faith. True faith that saves one's soul includes at least three main elements (1) firm persuasion or firm conviction, (2) a surrender to that truth and (3) a conduct emanating from that surrender. In sum, faith shows itself genuine by a changed life. (Click here for W E Vine's similar definition of faith)

As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.

The highly respected theologian Louis Berkhof defines genuine faith in essentially the same way noting that it includes an intellectual element (notitia), which is "a positive recognition of the truth"; an emotional element (assensus), which includes "a deep conviction of the truth"; and a volitional element (fiducia), which involves "a personal trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, including a surrender … to Christ." (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939)

Wuest in his study of pistis and the related words in this family, pisteuo and pistos, explains that…

When these words refer to the faith which a lost sinner must place in the Lord Jesus in order to be saved, they include the following ideas; the act of considering the Lord Jesus worthy of trust as to His character and motives, the act of placing confidence in His ability to do just what He says He will do, the act of entrusting the salvation of his soul into the hands of the Lord Jesus, the act of committing the work of saving his soul to the care of the Lord. This means a definite taking of one's self out of one's own keeping and entrusting one's self into the keeping of the Lord Jesus. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)

William Barclay notes that…

Faith begins with receptivity. It begins when a man is at least willing to listen to the message of the truth. It goes on to mental assent. A man first hears and then agrees that this is true. But mental assent need not issue in action. Many a man knows very well that something is true, but does not change his actions to meet that knowledge. The final stage is when this mental assent becomes total surrender. In full-fledged faith, a man hears the Christian message, agrees that it is true, and then casts himself upon it in a life of total yieldedness. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press)

Faith is relying on what God has done rather than on one's own efforts. In the Old Testament, faith is rarely mentioned. The word trust is used frequently, and verbs like believe and rely are used to express the right attitude to God. The classic example is Abraham, whose faith was reckoned as righteousness (Ge 15:6). At the heart of the Christian message is the story of the cross: Christ's dying to bring salvation. Faith is an attitude of trust in which a believer receives God's good gift of salvation (Acts 16:30,31) and lives in that awareness thereafter (Gal 2:20-note; cf He 11:1-note).

Faith is manifest by not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of consequence. John uses the related verb pisteuo to demonstrate the relationship between genuine faith and obedience writing…

He who believes (present tense = continuous) in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)

A little faith will bring your soul to heaven but a robust faith will even now bring heaven to your soul. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.

THE SALVATION OF YOUR SOULS: soterian psuchon:

The salvation of your souls - John MacArthur interprets salvation in this context as referring…

to believers’ constant, present deliverance from the penalty and power of sin—from its guilt (Ro 6:18-note; Ep 1:7-note; Col 2:13, 14-note), condemnation (see note Romans 8:1), wrath (Ro 5:9-note; 1Th 1:10), ignorance (Ro 10:3-note; Gal. 4:8; 1Ti 1:13), distress, confusion, hopelessness (1Cor. 15:17; 1Pe 1:3 [note]), and dominion (Ro 6:10, 11, 12-see notes Ro 6:10; 11; 12).

There is really no reason for believers to lose their joy when they can tap into all the present and future spiritual realities mentioned in this passage—present proven faith, fellowship with Christ, and deliverance; and a protected future inheritance and promised honor. As Jesus assured the apostles, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11). (MacArthur, J. 1 Peter. Chicago: Moody Press)

Wiersbe adds that…

First Peter 1:9 can be translated,

For you are receiving the consummation of your faith, that is, the final salvation of your souls.

In other words, we can experience today some of that future glory. Charles Spurgeon used to say,

Little faith will take your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.

It is not enough that we long for heaven during times of suffering, for anybody can do that. What Peter urged his readers to do was exercise love, faith, and rejoicing, so that they might experience some of the glory of heaven in the midst of suffering now. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

Salvation (4991)(soteria from soter = Savior in turn from sozo = save, rescue, deliver) (Click here or here for in depth discussion of the related terms soter and sozo) describes the rescue or deliverance from danger, destruction and peril. Salvation is a broader term in Greek than we often think of in English. Other concepts that are inherent in soteria include restoration to a state of safety, soundness, health and well being as well as preservation from danger of destruction.

The idea of salvation is that the power of God rescues people from the penalty of sin, which is spiritual death which is followed by eternal separation from the presence of His Glory. Salvation delivers the believer from the power of sin (see discussion on Romans 6-8 beginning at Romans 6:1-3)

Salvation carried tremendous meaning in Paul’s day, the most basic being “deliverance,” and it was applied to personal and national deliverance. The emperor was looked on as a "savior" as was the physician who healed you of illness.

It is interesting that Collin's (secular) dictionary defines "salvation" as

"the act of preserving or the state of being preserved from harm… deliverance by redemption from the power of sin and from the penalties ensuing from it."!

In short, this "so great a salvation" (Heb 2:3KJV) is not just escape from the penalty of sin but includes the ideas of safety, deliverance from slavery and preservation from danger or destruction.

The ideas conveyed by the term soteria include the following…

(1) A physical deliverance - rescue from danger deliverance, preservation, safety. For example the writer of Hebrews records that…

"By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation (soteria) of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." (see note Hebrews 11:7)

(2) A religious technical term describing safety of the soul and so in a spiritual sense referring to salvation

"(The preaching of John the Baptist was) To give to His people the knowledge of salvation (soteria) by the forgiveness of their sins" (Luke 1:77)

"And Jesus said to him (Zacchaeus), "Today salvation (soteria) has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham." (Luke 19:9)

"And there is salvation (soteria) in no one else (other that Messiah); for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved (sozo)." (Acts 4:12)

(3) A Messianic deliverance at the end of this present age.

"Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation (soteria) without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." (see note Hebrews 9:28)

"And this do (do what? express agape love which is unconditional), knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation (soteria) is nearer to us than when we believed. (see note Romans 13:11) (cf note 1Thessalonians 5:9; Hebrews 9:28; see notes 1 Peter 5:5; 5:10; see note Revelation 12:10)

"But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation (soteria). For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation (soteria) through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Thess. 5:8-9)

(Those "born again to a living hope") are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation (soteria) ready to be revealed in the last time." (see note 1 Peter 1:5)

"And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation (soteria) , and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night." (see note Revelation 12:10)

"After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation (soteria) and glory and power belong to our God." (see note Revelation 19:1)

Souls (5590) (psuche or psyche) (Note Peter uses "soul" psuche, 6x, Click 1 Peter) denotes life in the distinctness of individual existence and thus is often used in the New Testament in its original meaning of life. The psuche is the seat of the feelings and desires. Psuche is that part of man which wills, and thinks, and feels, or in other words, it refers to the will power, the reason, and the emotions, to the personality with all his activities, hopes, and aspirations. God has so created man, that he does not find complete rest and satisfaction until his entire being is swallowed up in the sweet will of God… this goal only being attained when we obtain the salvation of our souls.

Wuest writes that psuche is "that part of man that knows, reasons, wills, desires, and feels. It refers to the will, the emotions, and the reason. Thus, a physical body that is a natural (psuchikos) body is one which is adapted to a life in which the activities of the will, the emotions, and the reason predominate in the sense that these occupy the larger part of the person’s world, the things of time and place, the things of human life as it is lived on this earth. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

Vincent explains that psuche (psyche) or "The soul is the principle of individuality, the seat of personal impressions. It has a side in contact with both the material and the spiritual element of humanity, and is thus the mediating organ between body and spirit receiving impressions from without and from within, and transmitting them by word or sign. Spirit is the highest, deepest, noblest part of our humanity, the point of contact between God and man. The meaning of psuche constantly rises above life or the living individual, and takes color from its relation to either the emotional or the spiritual side of life, from the fact of its being the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions, and the bearer and manifester of the divine life-principle (pneuma). Consequently psuchē (soul) is often used in our sense of heart (Luke 1:46; John 10:24; Acts 14:2); and the meanings of psuchē (soul), and pneuma (spirit), occasionally approach each other very closely.

Henry Alford - The psuchē is the centre of the personal being, the ‘I’ of each individual. It is in each man bound to the spirit, man’s higher part, and to the body, man’s lower part; drawn upwards by the one, downward by the other. He who gives himself up to the lower appetites, is sarkikos (fleshly): he who by communion of his pneuma (spirit) with God’s Spirit is employed in the higher aims of his being, is pneumatikos (spiritual). He who rests midway, thinking only of self and self’s interests, whether animal or intellectual, is the psuchikos (sensual), the selfish man, the man in whom the spirit is sunk and degraded into subordination to the subordinate psuchē (soul).

The salvation of the body is still future (cf note 1 Peter 1:13 below "the grace to brought to us") and will take place when Christ comes for His saints & they are gloried in Him. But as soon as we have been caused to be born again to a living hope by faith in the resurrected Christ (our "Hope"), we receive the salvation of our souls.

The phrase of your souls implies the whole person. Peter is not teaching that the body is excluded from heaven.

The ancient Greeks and many modern Christians thought of the soul as a spiritual component separate from the body, which leaves the body at death. No soul-and-body dichotomy of Greek thought is implied by Peter in this verse. See, for example, 1 Peter 3:20 [note] where Peter says that in the ark eight “souls” were saved.

The "soul" is used in the Semitic biblical sense of "self" or "person." The ancient Jews and first century Christians thought more holistically about human beings and thought in terms of a resurrection of the whole person, including the body, which will then be transformed into a spiritual body (cf. 1Cor 15).

C H Spurgeon has the following notes related to what we obtain of salvation, how we obtain it and how much we can potentially obtain…

THE greater benefits of salvation are usually classed among things to come, but indeed a large portion of them may be received here and now.


1. The whole of it by the grip of faith, and the grace of hope.

2. The absolute and final pardon of sin is ours at this moment.

3. Deliverance from slavish bondage, and from a sense of awful distance from God is a present relief.

Peace, reconciliation, contentment fellowship with God, and delight in God, we enjoy at this hour.

4. Rescue from the condemning power of sin is now complete.

5. Release from its dominion is ours. It can no longer command us at its will, nor lull us to sleep by its soothing strains.

6. Conquest over evil is given to us in great measure at once.

Sins are conquerable. No one should imagine that he must necessarily sin because of his constitution or surroundings.

Holy living is possible. Some have reached a high degree of it. Why not others?

7. Joy may become permanent in the midst of sorrow.

The immediate heritage of believers is exceedingly great. Salvation is ours at this day, and with it "all things."


1. Entirely from Jesus, as a gift of divine grace.

2. By faith, not by sight or feeling.

We believe to see, and this is good. To require to see in order to believe is vicious.

3. By fervent love to God.

This excites to revenge against sin and so gives present purification. This also nerves us for consecrated living and, thus, produces holiness.

4. By joy in the Lord.

This causes us to receive peace unspeakable, not to be exaggerated, nor even uttered. Too great, too deep to be understood, even by those who enjoy it.

Much of heaven may be enjoyed before we reach it.


1. You have heard of salvation, but hearing will not do.

2. You profess to know it? But mere profession will not do.

3. Have you received pardon? Are you sure of it?

4. Have you been made holy? Are you daily cleansed in your walk?

5. Have you obtained rest by faith and hope and love? Make these inquiries as in God's sight.

If the result is unsatisfactory, begin at once to seek the Lord.

Look for the appearing of the Lord as the time for receiving in a fuller sense "the end of your faith."


An evangelist said in my hearing: "He that believeth hath everlasting life. H-A-T-H — that spells 'got it.'" It is an odd way of spelling, but it is sound divinity. — C. H. Spurgeon

This is the certainty of their hope, that it is as if they had already received it. If the promise of God and the merit of Christ hold good, then they who believe in him, and love him, are made sure of salvation. The promises of God in Christ "are not yea and nay; but they are in him yea, and in him amen." Sooner may the rivers run backward, and the course of the heavens change, and the frame of nature be dissolved, than any one soul that is united to Jesus Christ by faith and love can be severed from him, and so fall short of the salvation hoped for in him, and this is the matter of their rejoicing. — Archbishop Leighton

To fall into sin is a serious thing, even though the guilt of it be forgiven. A boy who had often been disobedient was made by his father to drive a nail into a post for each offense. When he was well-behaved for a day he was allowed to draw out one of the nails. He fought against his temper bravely, and at last all the nails were gone from the post, and his father praised him. "Alas, father," said the lad, "the nails are all gone, but the holes are left!" Even after forgiveness it will require a miracle of grace to recover us from the ill effects of sin.

In St. Peter's, at Rome, I saw monuments to James III., Charles III., and Henry IX., kings of England. These potentates were quite unknown to me. They had evidently a name to reign, but reign they did not: they never received the end of their faith. Are not many professed Christians in the same condition? — C. H. Spurgeon