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5. To Elders and Young Men

1The elders among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, who am also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves ensamples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd shall be manifested, ye shall receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5Likewise, ye younger, be subject unto the elder. Yea, all of you gird yourselves with humility, to serve one another: for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. 6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; 7casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you. 8Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, 9whom withstand stedfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world. 10And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen you. 11To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 12By Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I account him, I have written unto you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand ye fast therein. 13She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son. 14Salute one another with a kiss of love. Peace be unto you all that are in Christ.

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10 But the God of all grace After having sufficiently dwelt on admonitions, he now turns to prayer; for doctrine is in vain poured forth into the air, unless God works by his Spirit. And this example ought to be followed by all the ministers of God, that is, to pray that he may give success to their labors; for otherwise they effect nothing either by planting or by watering.

Some copies have the future tense, as though a promise is made; but the other reading is more commonly received. At the same time, the Apostle, by praying God, confirms those to whom he was writing, for when he calls God the author of all grace, and reminds them that they were called to eternal glory, his purpose no doubt was, to confirm them in the conviction, that the work of their salvation, which he had begun, would be completed.

He is called the God of all grace from the effect, from the gifts he bestows, according to the Hebrew manner. 5656     We read in 1 Peter 4:10, of “the manifold grace of God,” which may be viewed as explanatory of “the God of all grace.” — Ed. And he mentions expressly all grace, first that they might learn that every blessing is to be ascribed to God; and secondly, that one grace is connected with another, so that they might hope in future for the addition of those graces in which they were hitherto wanting.

Who hath called us This, as I have said, serves to increase confidence, because God is led not only by his goodness, but also by his gracious benevolence, to aid us more and more. He does not simply mention calling, but he shews wherefore they were called, even that they might obtain eternal glory. He further fixes the foundation of calling in Christ. Both these things serve to give perpetual confidence, for if our calling is founded on Christ, and refers to the celestial kingdom of God and a blessed immortality, it follows that it is not transient nor fading.

It may also be right, by the way, to observe that when he says that we are called in Christ, first, our calling is established, because it is rightly founded; and secondly, that all respect to our worthiness and merit is excluded; for that God, by the preaching of the gospel, invites us to himself, it is altogether gratuitous; and it is still a greater grace that he efficaciously touches our hearts so as to lead us to obey his voice. Now Peter especially addresses the faithful; he therefore connects the efficacious power of the Spirit with the outward doctrine.

As to the three words which follow, some copies have them in the ablative case, which may be rendered in Latin by gerunds (fulciendo, roborando, stabiliendo) by supporting, by strengthening, by establishing. 5757     It seems that the preponderance as to readings is in favor of this construction, for Griesbach has introduced into his text these three words as nouns, στηρίξει, σθενώσει, θεμελιώσει, but it is a harsh construction. The probability is, that this reading has been introduced because of the sense, as it was not seen how these words could come after “make perfect.” But the order is according to the usual style of the prophets, examples of which are also found in the New Testament: the ultimate object is mentioned first, and then what leads to it. The writer, as it were, retrogrades instead of going forward. See on this subject the preface to the third volume of Calvin’s Commentaries on Jeremiah.
   Divested of this peculiarity, the words would run thus: “may he establish, strengthen, confirm, perfect you;” that is, to give the words more literally, “may he put you on a solid foundation, render you strong, render you firm, make you perfect.” — Ed.
But in this there is not much importance with regard to the meaning. Besides, Peter intends the same thing by all these words, even to confirm the faithful; and he uses these several words for this purpose, that we may know that to follow our course is a matter of no common difficulty, and that therefore we need the special grace of God. The words suffered a while, inserted here, shew that the time of suffering is but short, and this is no small consolation.




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