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17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.


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17. if ye call on—that is, "seeing that ye call on," for all the regenerate pray as children of God, "Our Father who art in heaven" (Mt 6:9; Lu 11:2).

the Father—rather, "Call upon as Father Him who without acceptance of persons (Ac 10:34; Ro 2:11; Jas 2:1, not accepting the Jew above the Gentile, 2Ch 19:7; Lu 20:21; properly said of a judge not biassed in judgment by respect of persons) judgeth," &c. The Father judgeth by His Son, His Representative, exercising His delegated authority (Joh 5:22). This marks the harmonious and complete unity of the Trinity.

work—Each man's work is one complete whole, whether good or bad. The particular works of each are manifestations of the general character of his lifework, whether it was of faith and love whereby alone we can please God and escape condemnation.

passGreek, "conduct yourselves during."

sojourning—The outward state of the Jews in their dispersion is an emblem of the sojourner-like state of all believers in this world, away from our true Fatherland.

fear—reverential, not slavish. He who is your Father, is also your Judge—a thought which may well inspire reverential fear. Theophylact observes, A double fear is mentioned in Scripture: (1) elementary, causing one to become serious; (2) perfective: the latter is here the motive by which Peter urges them as sons of God to be obedient. Fear is not here opposed to assurance, but to carnal security: fear producing vigilant caution lest we offend God and backslide. "Fear and hope flow from the same fountain: fear prevents us from falling away from hope" [Bengel]. Though love has no fear IN it, yet in our present state of imperfect love, it needs to have fear going ALONG WITH It as a subordinate principle. This fear drowns all other fears. The believer fears God, and so has none else to fear. Not to fear God is the greatest baseness and folly. The martyrs' more than mere human courage flowed from this.




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