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THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER - Chapter 4 - Verse 14

Verse 14. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye. That is, in his cause, or on his account. See Barnes "Mt 5:11".

The sense of the word happy here is the same as blessed in Mt 5:3,4, etc. It means that they were to regard their condition or lot as a blessed one; not that they would find personal and positive enjoyment on being reproached and vilified. It would be a blessed condition, because it would be like that of their Saviour; would show that they were his friends; would be accompanied with rich spiritual influences in the present world; and would be followed by the rewards of heaven.

For the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. The glorious and Divine Spirit. There is no doubt that there is reference here to the Holy Spirit; and the meaning is, that they might expect that that Spirit would rest upon them, or abide with them, if they were persecuted for the cause of Christ. There may be some allusion here, in the language, to the fact that the Spirit of God descended and abode on the Saviour at his baptism, (Joh 1:33;) and, in like manner, they might hope to have the same Spirit resting on them. The essential idea is, that, if they were called to suffer in the cause of the Redeemer, they would not be left or forsaken. They might hope that God would impart his Spirit to them in proportion to their sufferings in behalf of religion, and that they would have augmented joy and peace. This is doubtless the case with those who suffer persecution, and this is the secret reason why they are so sustained in their trials. Their persecutions are made the reason of a much more copious effusion of the Spirit on their souls. The same principle applies, doubtless, to all the forms of trial which the children of God pass through; and in sickness, bereavement, loss of property, disappointment in their worldly plans, and death itself, they may hope that larger measures of the Spirit's influences will rest upon them. Hence it is often gain to the believer to suffer.

On their part. So far as they are concerned; or by them.

He is evil spoken of. That is, the Holy Spirit. They only blaspheme him, (Greek;) they reproach his sacred influences by their treatment of you and your religion.

But on your part he is glorified. By your manner of speaking of him, and by the honour done to him in the patience evinced in your trials, and in your purity of life.

{f} "If ye be" Mt 5:11

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