Daily Archives: January 30, 2021

January 30 Evening Quotes of the Day

Nothing Can Be Known Rightly Without Knowing God
1 Corinthians 15:28; Colossians 1:15–17; Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13

Nothing can be rightly known if God be not known; nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, where God is not studied. We know little of the creature till we know it as it stands in its order and respects to God; single letters and syllables uncomposed are nonsense. He who overlooks the Alpha and Omega and does not see the beginning and end, and Him in all, who is the all of all, sees nothing at all.


Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

God Is Nearer Than We Think
Deuteronomy 4:7; Psalm 34:18; 145:18; Isaiah 57:15; 65:24; Lamentations 3:41; Philippians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:17

He lays no great burden upon us—a little remembrance of Him from time to time, a little adoration; sometimes to pray for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sorrows, sometimes to return Him thanks for the benefits He has bestowed upon you and is still bestowing in the midst of your troubles. He asks you to console yourself with Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him even at your meals, or when you are in company—the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to Him. You need not cry very loud; He is nearer to us than we think.


Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

January 30 Evening Verse of the Day

1. The Bible says we are to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (1Co 9:24–27; 2Co 13:5). There is nothing wrong, and everything right, with a Christian stopping from time to time and asking the question “Am I doing okay, spiritually?” We are not looking for perfection at such times, just signs that God is making a difference.[1]

3:1 John marveled at God’s love because of its effect—sinners can be called God’s children.[2]

3:1 love the Father has given to us God demonstrates His love by allowing the community (and all true believers) to be known as His children.

children of God Refers to membership in God’s spiritual family (compare John 1:12).[3]

3:1 the world does not know us. There is built-in friction between those who know and serve Christ and those who do not.[4]

3:1 how great a love the Father has bestowed on us. This outburst of wonder introduces the third feature of the believer’s hope in 2:28–3:3. The believer’s hope is strengthened by the fact that God’s love initiated his salvation (Eph 1:3–6). Christ’s return will unite the believer with the heavenly Father who loves His child with an immeasurable love. John expresses utter astonishment at God’s love for believers in making them His children (Ro 8:17). the world does not know us. The real aliens in the world are not extra-terrestrials but Christians. Having been born again, given a new nature of heavenly origin, Christians display a nature and lifestyle like their Savior and heavenly Father; a nature totally foreign (other worldly) to the unsaved (1Co 2:15, 16; 1Pe 4:3, 4). No wonder Scripture describes Christians as “aliens,” “exiles,” and “strangers” (Heb 11:13; 1Pe 1:1; 2:11). The Lord Jesus was unearthly in origin, and so are those born again. Our true transformed lives have not yet been manifested (see notes on Ro 8:18–24).[5]

3:1 Behold what manner of love: John stands in amazement of God’s love. But the greater amazement and appreciation is for the fact that God’s love is expressed to human beings, that Christians are included in His family. God loves all believers, the weak as well as the strong. John describes Jesus on the night of His betrayal as “having loved His own who were in the world,” and writes that “He loved them to the end” (John 13:1). God’s love is in stark contrast to the love of the world. The world loves those who love them, while God loves even those who disobey Him.[6]

3:1. The mention of new birth (2:29) draws from John an exclamation of wonder. The Greek word translated what manner of (potapos) sometimes conveys intensification (“how great,” or “how wonderful”). How truly magnificent is the love of the Father that makes believers His children!

The visibility of God’s love in the church is a crucial theme in 2:29–4:19. Obviously there must be something visible to see. As v 29 has demonstrated, the performance of Christian righteousness makes the child of God visible. As a child of God is seen acting in Christian righteousness, he makes God’s love for him visible as well.

This perception of the child of God is not available to the world, which is as ignorant of believers as it was of Him, the Lord Jesus. Thus the “beholding” urged here by the apostle is a uniquely Christian experience.[7]

3:1 The thought of being born of God arrests John with wonder, and he calls on his readers to take a look at the wonderful love that brought us into the family of God. Love could have saved us without making us children of God. But the manner of God’s love is shown in that he brought us into His family as children. “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”

Now as we walk about from day to day, the world does not recognize us as children of God. The people of the world do not understand us nor the way we behave. Indeed, the world did not understand the Lord Jesus when He was here on earth. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” Since we have the same characteristics as the Lord Jesus, we cannot expect the world to understand us, either.[8]

3:1. This verse begins with the word idete (“behold, look at”), not translated in the NIV. The writer had just told the readers how to see the reality of new birth in righteous behavior; now he invited them to contemplate the greatness of the divine love which that reality displays. Behold how great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. (The words and that is what we are, rightly omitted by most mss., are probably a scribal addition.) In the Bible the word “called” indicates that this is what one actually is (cf. “called to be holy,” lit., “called saints” [1 Cor. 1:2]). Believers are “called children of God” because they are the born-ones (tekna) of “the Father.”

The perception to which John invited his readers is, however, lost on the world. Since the world … did not know Him (God or Christ), it can hardly be expected to recognize believers as His children. This kind of discernment about others is a distinctively Christian perception.[9]

3:1 “see how great a love” The terms for love used here and throughout I John are agapaō (verb) or agapē (noun, cf. 2:5, 15; 3:1, 16, 17; 4:7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18; 5:3). This term was used in Classical Greek, but not often. It seems that the early church redefined it in light of the gospel. It came to represent a deep abiding love. It is unfair to say “a God kind of self-giving love” because in the Gospel of John it is used synonymously with phileō (cf. 5:20; 11:3, 36; 12:25; 15:19; 16:27; 20:2; 21:15, 16, 17).

However, it is interesting that it is always used (in I John) in connection with believers loving believers. Faith and fellowship with Jesus changes our relationship with deity and mankind!

© “The Father has bestowed on us” This is a PERFECT ACTIVE INDICATIVE. The use of this tense connected to God’s gift of salvation in Christ is one biblical basis for the doctrine of the security of the believer (cf. John 10; Eph. 2:5, 8; 3:14; 5:1).


It is based on

1.    The character of the Father (cf. John 3:16), the work of the Son (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21), and the ministry of the Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:14–16) not on human performance, not wages due for obedience, not just a creed

2.    It is a gift (cf. Rom. 3:24; 6:23; Eph. 2:5, 8–9)

3.    It is a new life, a new world-view (cf. James and I John)

4.    It is knowledge (the gospel), fellowship (faith in and with Jesus), and a new lifestyle (spirit-led Christlikeness) all three, not just any one by itself


© “that we would be called” This is an AORIST PASSIVE SUBJUNCTIVE which is used in the sense of an honorific title (“children of God”) given by God.

© “children of God” This is the focus of 2:29–3:10. It confirms God’s initiative in our salvation (cf. John 6:44, 65). John uses familial terms to describe the believer’s new relationship with deity (cf. 2:29; 3:1, 2, 9, 10; John 1:12).

It is interesting that John (cf. John 3:3) and Peter (cf. 1 Pet. 1:3, 23) use the familial metaphor “born again” or “born from above,” while Paul uses the familial metaphor of “adoption” (cf. Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:15; Eph. 1:5) and James uses the familial metaphor of “birth” (cf. James 1:18) or “bringing forth” to describe the believer’s new relationship with God through Christ. Christianity is a family.

© “and such we are” This is the PRESENT INDICATIVE. This phrase is not found in the King James Version of the Bible because it was not included in the later Greek manuscripts on which the KJV is based. However, this phrase does appear in several of the most ancient Greek manuscripts (P47,א, A, B, and C).

© “the world does not know us” The term “world” is used in a theologically similar way as 2:15–17. The world denotes human society organized and functioning apart from God (cf. John 15:18–19; 17:14–15). Persecution and rejection by the world is another evidence of our position in Christ (cf. Matt. 5:10–16).

© “because it did not know Him” This is apparently a reference to God the Father because in the Gospel of John Jesus says again and again that the world does not know Him (cf. John 8:19, 55; 15:18, 21; 16:3). The PRONOUNS in I John are ambiguous. In this context the grammatical antecedent is the Father, but the theological reference in v. 2 is the Son. However, in John this may be purposeful ambiguity because to see Jesus is to see God (cf. John 12:45; 14:9).[10]

God’s Love


Children of the heavenly Father

Safely in his bosom gather;

Nestling bird nor star in heaven

Such a refuge e’er was given.

—Carolina V. Sandell Berg

trans. Ernst William Olson

1. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Note the following:

  • The love of God

In the Greek, John begins this sentence with a command: “See.” He wants the readers to observe the manifestations of the Father’s love. He introduces the subject of the love of God in the preceding chapter (2:5, 15), briefly discusses it in this chapter (3:1, 16, 17), and fully explains it in the next chapter (4:7–9, 10, 12, 16–18). The readers ought to fathom the kind of love the Father gives his children. That love is great. The Greek word translated “how great” or “what kind of” occurs only six times in the New Testament and “always implies astonishment and generally admiration.”

John does not say “the Father loves us.” Then he would describe a condition. Instead, he writes, “the Father has lavished [his love] on us” and thus portrays an action and the extent of God’s love. John has chosen the word Father purposely. That word implies the Father-child relationship. However, God did not become Father when he adopted us as children. God’s fatherhood is eternal. He is eternally the Father of Jesus Christ and through Jesus he is our Father. Through Jesus we receive the Father’s love and are called “children of God.”

  • Children of God

What an honor! God calls us his children and gives us the assurance that as his children we are heirs and co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). God gives the right to become children of God (John 1:12) to all who in faith have received Christ as Lord and Savior. God extends his love to his Son Jesus Christ and through him to all his adopted children.

John underscores the reality of our status when he writes that already, at present, we are children of God. “And that is what we are!” In other words, God does not give us a promise which he will fulfill in the future. No, in fact we are already God’s children. We enjoy all the rights and privileges our adoption entails, because we have come to know God as our Father.

  • Knowledge of God

God’s children experience the love of God. They profess him as their Father, for they have an experiential knowledge of God. They put their trust and faith in him who loves them, provides for them, and protects them.

The hostile, unbelieving world, however, does not know the children of God. Unbelievers cannot understand us, says John, because they do not know God (compare John 16:2–3). “The world does not recognize us because it never recognized him.” The unbelieving world lives separated from God and will never know the significance of our spiritual relationship with God. If we were to become worldly, we would forfeit our status as children of God. By rejecting us, however, the world confirms our relationship with God the Father.[11]

1. Recipients of the love of God (verse 1a). Although John could look back on a long life filled with the most amazing experiences, he still found the love of God to be an utterly astonishing thing: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us. Conditioned by the Christian message, we are inclined to take the love of God for granted. The ancient world, however, found the wrath of God much easier to grasp than His love.

A sense of adoring wonder is expressed in the phrase “what manner of.” A single word in Greek, it always connotes surprise mingled with wonder and astonishment. A good illustration of this is Matthew 8:27: “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (See also Mark 13:1; Luke 1:29; 7:39; 2 Pet. 3:11, the only other New Testament passages in which the word occurs.) Originally it meant “of what country,” but it came to mean “of what sort.” Arndt and Gingrich point out that in some contexts the term should be translated “how great” or “how wonderful.” Here they prefer “how glorious.” Phillips uses the word “incredible.” Blaiklock attempts to convey something of the original flavor of the word by rendering the whole phrase “what unearthly love.” The suggestion is that God’s love is unlike anything else in this world.[12]

3:1. The mention of being ‘born of him’ leads John to an outburst of wonder at God’s love in making us his children (tekna, derived from tekein, ‘to beget’), the allusion being to the divine nature we have received through being born of God rather than to our filial status. The expression how great translates potapēn which meant originally ‘of what country’. It is as if the Father’s love is so unearthly, so foreign to this world, that John wonders from what country it may come. The word ‘always implies astonishment’ (Plummer). This love God has not only ‘shown’ us, but actually lavished on us. For children of God is no mere title; it is a fact. True, we are called ‘children of God’. But God gives us this privileged designation only because that is what we are by his grace, whatever other people may think or say. The ‘children of God’ and the ‘world’ are so different from each other, that the world does not know us (cf. 1 Cor. 2:15–16). The reason for this is that it did not know him, which must surely here refer to Christ, as in verse 6. As his glory was veiled in flesh, so our ‘life is now hidden with Christ in God’ (Col. 3:3). Our filial status, though real, is not yet apparent (Rom. 8:19).[13]

3:1 / The idea of being born of God is so inspiring to the Elder that he exclaims (lit.), “Behold! What great love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God!” He explores this theme for three verses before returning to the contrast between sin and righteousness begun in 2:29.

It is love which has motivated God to claim us as his children. While the two previous references to love (agapē; 2:5, 15) were to human love, this is the first reference to God’s love. (God’s love will be the author’s main focus in 4:7–10, 12, 16–18.) God’s love has been lavished on us. The perfect tense connotes love which has been and continues to be given to us, with the continuing consequence that we are called children of God. People are born into God’s family (2:29; John 1:13) and are given the right to become children of God because they have “received” the Word and have “believed in his name” (John 1:12–13). These are the people for whom Jesus died, including believers from “the Jewish nation,” as well as “the scattered children of God” (future Gentile believers), that he might make them one (John 11:52; 17:20–23; cf. John 10:16). Such people “do what is right” (1 John 2:29) and thereby show that they are in reality what God called them to be (and that is what we are!).

The Elder reinforces the divine origin of the believing community because its status as God’s children is unknown to the world; the surrounding culture does not see it and confirm it. The Johannine Christians must hold on to their true identity “against the stream.” But, in being unknown to the world and in having a secret identity, the community can take special pride, for prior to them Jesus (niv, him) was also “unknown” to his contemporaries John 1:10–11; 8:19; 14:7, 9; 15:18–21; 16:3; cf. 3:32; 4:10; 7:27–28; 14:17; 17:25).[14]

3:1 John now proceeds to bring the ideas of the new birth and the parousia into conjunction with each other. He describes the wonder of the present status of believers as God’s beloved sons, and then comments on their even higher position which is to be revealed at the parousia. This status is no less real for being unrecognized by the sinful world. And the thought of “such amazing bliss” in store for us should not only “constant joys create” but also act as an incentive to holy living.

From the thought of the new birth, then, John’s thought moves to the great love shown by God, as a result of which we have become his children. The train of thought has an interesting parallel in John 3 where the conversation with Nicodemus about the new birth from above through which alone men can enter the kingdom of God is followed by the magnificent declaration of the divine love which sent God’s only Son so that we might have eternal life. John’s appeal to his readers to consider the greatness of God’s love has been lost in the NIV; contrast the TEV, “See how much the Father has loved us!” A slightly unusual word is used to express the sense “how great,”20 and John speaks of the Father “giving” his love, as if it were a gift to be received. The NIV catches the sense well by using the verb “lavished” to express the meaning, but it is perhaps given most felicitously in a Scottish paraphrase, based on a rendering by Isaac Watts:

Behold the amazing gift of love

The Father hath bestowed

On us, the sinful sons of men,

To call us sons of God!

The “love package” contains our title to be called children of God. Jesus promised a blessing for those who make peace: “they will be called sons of God” (Mt. 5:9). This blessing is now generalized, and covers all disciples. (We may legitimately argue in the opposite direction that if all disciples are sons of God, then all disciples ought to be makers of peace.) The picture is that of legitimation: by naming the child as his son, the father acknowledges that it is indeed his child. There is no legal fiction in this. But, lest any readers might draw this false conclusion, John emphasizes that those whom God names as his children really are such. The new birth is a reality. Once again, John is expressing the assurance which believers can possess here and now of their standing in God’s sight.

Because we are God’s children the world does not recognize us, since it did not recognize him either. In fact the world hates the children of God (3:13), just as it hated Jesus (Jn. 15:18f.), since they do not belong to the world. This very fact is a further proof that the readers are children of God: the way in which the world does not recognize them as being on its side is proof that they belong to God. Thus this comment, which at first sight may seem irrelevant, has a part to play in strengthening the readers’ assurance. Christians who are persecuted sometimes feel cut off from God because they are in a difficult and unpleasant situation, and they may be tempted to give up their faith; on the contrary, the very fact that they are being persecuted should strengthen their faith since it is an indication that the evil world recognizes that they have passed from death to life.[15]

3:1 The first three verses of ch. 3 elaborate the status of the person who passes the test of love at 2:29. Childhood has both disadvantages and eschatological benefits. The disadvantages are explored at 3:1 in language that echoes several passages from the fourth gospel, most notably the prologue (Jn 1:1–18) and the farewell (Jn 13–17). Jesus came to his own, but the world did not “know him” (Jn 1:10; 1 Jn 3:1) and does not know his disciples either. Because of this ignorance the world hates God and Jesus and will also hate anyone born of God (Jn 15:18–16:4; 17:14–15). The difficulties this creates for believers are, however, far outweighed by the eschatological benefits of childhood, which John explores in vv. 2–3.[16]

Hope Is Established by Love

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (3:1)

John was overcome with wonder by the fact that sinners by divine grace became God’s children. The opening phrase of this verse, see how great a love, reflects the apostle’s amazement. The word translated see (idete) is both a command and an exclamation that exhorts readers to give close attention to the rest of the statement. How great (potapēn) is a seldom-used term that has no precise parallel in English. Concerning this word, D. Edmond Hiebert wrote,

The adjective rendered “what manner” [“how great”] (potapēn) occurs only seven times in the New Testament and implies a reaction of astonishment, and usually of admiration, upon viewing some person or thing. The expression conveys both a qualitative and quantitative force, “what glorious, measureless love!” (The Epistles of John [Greenville, S.C.: Bob Jones University Press, 1991], 133; cf. Matt. 8:27; 2 Peter 3:11)

God loves believers with a love that is impossible to articulate in any human language and that is utterly foreign to normal human understanding and experience. This is agapē love, God’s volitional love that He, of His own free and uninfluenced choice, has bestowed on all whom He has called to savingly believe in Jesus Christ. The Lord summarized it this way: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). And later in this letter, John notes,

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (4:9–10; cf. vv. 16, 19; John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 8:39; Eph. 2:4; Titus 3:4)

Such love seeks, at a great cost to itself, but only to give freely and spontaneously for the benefit of another, even if that person is not worthy of such an expression (cf. Deut. 7:7–8).

Since all of God’s attributes work in perfect harmony, His love necessarily operates in conjunction with each of His other attributes. He is lovingly holy (Rev. 4:8; 15:4), just (Isa. 30:18; Rom. 3:26; 1 Peter 3:18), merciful (Ps. 86:15; Luke 6:36; 2 Cor. 1:3), gracious (Ps. 103:8; 1 Peter 5:10), patient (2 Peter 3:9, 15), omniscient (Ps. 147:5; Rom. 11:33–34), omnipotent (Rom. 1:20; Rev. 19:6), omnipresent (Ps. 139:7–10; Jer. 23:23–24), and even wrathful (Ps. 7:11; Rev. 19:15). With regard to mankind, God’s love has a twofold expression: it is general toward unsaved humanity (common grace; Ps. 145:9; Matt. 5:45; cf. Mark 10:21a) and specific toward believers (special grace; cf. John 13:1; Rom. 5:8; 8:38–39; 9:13–15; Eph. 5:25). It is this specific and unique love of God for His own that stands as one of the unshakeable foundations of eternal hope.

In other words, believers can live in hope because they have experienced God’s love in an eternal, saving way—having been adopted into His family (Rom. 8:16) and called children of God (John 1:12; cf. 2 Peter 1:4). They became His children solely because He lavishly bestowed on them a gracious, unmerited, sovereign love apart from any that has human merit. Such love is inexplicable in human terms. It is not surprising, then, that the world does not know the nature of the relationship between God and His children (cf. Heb. 11:38a), because it did not know Him. Those outside of Christ cannot fathom (1 Cor. 2:15–16; 1 Peter 4:3–4) the true essence and character of believers, which shines forth in their likeness to the heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, their Savior and Lord (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:15; 1 Peter 2:12; cf. 1 Cor. 14:24–25). Even for believers it is a challenge “to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:18–19a). Because Christians are so intrinsically different from the world around them, having been transformed by the Father who adopted them, the New Testament appropriately describes them as “strangers and exiles” (Heb. 11:13), “aliens” (1 Peter 1:1), and “aliens and strangers” (1 Peter 2:11). They are those who, in hope, “desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them” (Heb. 11:16). And having declared them righteous in justification, He is making them righteous in sanctification and will perfect that righteousness in glorification when hope is realized.[17]

[1] Akin, D. L. (2017). 1 John. In T. Cabal (Ed.), CSB Apologetics Study Bible (p. 1562). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Yarbrough, R. W. (2017). 1 John. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1996). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Jn 3:1). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2433). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Jn 3:1). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1710). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[7] Hodges, Z. C. (2010). The First Epistle of John. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 1205). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2316). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Walvoord, J. F., & Zuck, R. B., Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 893). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[10] Utley, R. J. (1999). The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John (Vol. Volume 4, pp. 217–218). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[11] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 292–294). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[12] Vaughan, C. (2011). 1, 2, 3 John (pp. 73–74). Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press.

[13] Stott, J. R. W. (1988). The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 19, pp. 121–122). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[14] Johnson, T. F. (2011). 1, 2, and 3 John (pp. 67–68). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[15] Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Epistles of John (pp. 169–171). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[16] Thatcher, T. (2006). 1 John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 458). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[17] MacArthur, J. (2007). 1, 2, 3 John (pp. 114–116). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

January 30 Afternoon Quotes of the Day

Humility an Essential Part of the New Creature
Philippians 2:3

Humility is not a mere ornament of a Christian, but an essential part of the new creature. It is a contradiction to be a sanctified man, or a true Christian, and not humble.


Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Sin Is Not Giving God His Due
Psalm 29:2; 96:8; Matthew 18:23–35; Romans 6:23; 13:7

If man or angel always rendered to God his due, he would never sin.… Therefore to sin is nothing else than not to render to God his due.


Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

January 30 Afternoon Verse of the Day

2:17 Honor everyone. The exhortation is either to recognize the value of every person as a bearer of the image of God, or what is more likely in this context, to respect all those in positions of authority.[1]

2:17 Honor all people All people are deserving of respect, for all are created in God’s image (see Gen 1:26–27 and note).

fear God Respecting God is the hallmark of wisdom (Prov 1:7; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 19:23; Eccl 8:12; 12:13).

honor the king Although the emperor may cause them to suffer, believers must respect his position. Like Christ, believers are to be respectful even in the face of insult and hardship, for this gives them the opportunity to show the true character of Jesus.[2]

2:17 everyone. All people deserve the same honor and respect as the emperor. Only God is to be feared. Believers should have a tender love for each other as members of the same family.[3]

2:17 Honor. Highly esteem is the idea, and it refers not just to obedient duty but inner respect. brotherhood. The church. Cf. 1:22; 3:8; 4:8; 5:14.[4]

2:17 Honor all people: We need to treat all people with great respect. Love the brotherhood: We are to have a special relationship with those who are our fellow Christians (Gal. 6:10). Fear God: Our reverence for God should be the basis of our relationships with others. All people are created in His image, and He is the One who has placed some people in authority over us. Therefore, we should treat everyone with love and respect. Honor the king: We are to demonstrate great respect to those who are in positions of authority.[5]

2:17. By the command honor all people, Peter is saying to show respect. To Love the brotherhood shows how Christians are to treat each other. Fear of God is expressed in a lifestyle of reverence for God. The king (or the president of a nation), too, is to be treated with respect, regardless of his character (cf. Romans 13).[6]

2:17 No relationship of life can be left outside the sphere of Christian responsibility. So Peter here runs the gamut with four crisp commands.

Honor all people. We cannot always honor their words or their behavior, but we can remember that every single life is of more value than all the world. We can recognize that every person was made in the image and likeness of God. We must never forget that the Lord Jesus bled and died for even the most unworthy.

Love the brotherhood. We are to love all men, but we are especially obligated to love the members of our spiritual family. This is a love like God’s love for us. It is utterly undeserved, it goes out to the loveless, it looks for no reward, and it is stronger than death.

Fear God. We fear Him when we reverence Him as the supreme Lord. Glorifying Him then becomes our number one priority. We fear doing anything that would displease Him and we fear misrepresenting Him before men.

Honor the king. Peter returns to the subject of human rulers for a final reminder. We are to respect our rulers as officials appointed by God for the maintenance of an ordered society. This means we must pay “taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear” (Rom. 13:7). Generally speaking, the Christian can live under any form of government. The only time he should disobey is when he is ordered to compromise his loyalty or obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.[7]

2:17. This section concludes with a four-point summary of Christian citizenship. First, Christians are to respect (timēsate, “honor, value, esteem”; cf. timēn, “respect, honor,” in 3:7) … everyone (cf. Rom. 12:10; 13:7). Believers should be conscious of the fact that each human has been uniquely created in God’s image. Second, Christians are to love the brotherhood of believers, their brothers and sisters in Christ. God’s family members should love each other. Third, Christians are to fear God. The verb “fear” (phobeisthe) here does not mean to be in terror, but awe and reverence that leads to obedience (cf. phobō in 1 Peter 1:17, phobou in 3:16, and phobon in 2 Cor. 7:11). One will never truly respect people until he reverences God. Fourth, believers are to honor the king. “Honor” is from timaō, the verb used at the beginning of this verse. The respect or “honor” due to all is especially to be given to those God has placed in authority (cf. “the king” in 1 Peter 2:13 and “governors” in v. 14; cf. Rom. 13:1).[8]

2:17. Before returning to the subject of slaves in verse 18, Peter offered a summary word of counsel. Respect for everyone indicates that we should approach relationships with others with a positive point of reference. We should see others as having value or honor. In the culture of that day, this could easily have been missed. The Roman Empire included sixty million slaves. Roman law considered slaves not as persons but as commodities with no rights. In effect, Peter calls us to “remember the rights of human personality and the dignity of every person. Don’t treat people as objects.” With this as an operating principle, we have a special obligation to each other as believers: to love each other (cf. 1:22).

The next summary counsel is to fear God. This is the reverent fear that leads to obedience, introduced in 1:17. The last summary counsel concludes concisely the subject introduced in verse 13, adding that in our submission to authorities, we must do so with an honoring, valuing attitude. Otherwise, our submission is cheapened and it bears little positive testimony to the character of God.[9]

2:17 “Honor all people” This is an AORIST ACTIVE IMPERATIVE, the first of four stark summary commands in v. 17. This means to recognize the worth of all humans in God’s sight and to live so as to attract them to faith in Christ.

“love the brotherhood” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. Christians must continue to love each other (cf. 1:22; John 13:34, 15:12, 17; Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:9; Heb. 13:1; 1 John 2:7–8, 3:11, 23; 4:1, 11; 2 John 5). Love is the true evidence that we know God, that we have trusted Christ, and that we are guided by the Spirit. It is the family characteristic of God. Believers are to love all humans for the sake of the gospel and love other Christians because they are part of the family of God.

“fear God” This is a PRESENT MIDDLE (deponent) IMPERATIVE (cf. Job 28:28; Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 15:33). We get the English word “phobia” from this Greek word. It is used in the sense of awe and respect. All believers’ actions must issue from their relationship with and respect for God!

“honor the king” These last two PRESENT IMPERATIVES may be an allusion to Prov. 24:21. Remember in Peter’s day that the Emperor was Nero (cf. 2:13).[10]

Ver. 17. Honour all men.

Various political duties:

  1. Personal courtesy. It is our duty to make manners a part of religion. 1. Respect. 2. Consideration. Put yourself in others’ ways and plans and difficulties. 3. Kindness.
  2. Affectionate brotherhood. It is only reasonable we should “love the brotherhood,” for we are—1. Sharers of the same discipline. 2. Heirs of the same blessings. 3. Travellers along the same road.

III. Dutiful worshippers. “Fear God.”

  1. Sanctified loyalty. “Honour the King.” 1. Independently of the ruler’s character. 2. Independently of personal distinction. (1) Loyalty is the essential of national well-being. (2) Loyalty is the secret of national happiness. (3) Loyalty is the principle of national prosperity. (J. J. S. Bird, B.A.)

Honour all men:—First, the duty, what it is, and then how that duty is either extended or limited in regard of the object. The duties are honour and love. The first, by opening the duty, and what we are to do. The next, by inquiring into the obligation, and why we are so to do. The last, by examining our performance, and whether we do therein as we ought to do or no. And first of the former precept, Honour all men. Honour, properly, is an acknowledgment or testification of some excellency in the person honoured, by some reverence or observance answerable thereunto. Thus we honour God above all as being transcendently excellent, and thus we honour our parents, our princes, our betters, or superiors in any kind. The word honour in this place imports all that esteem or regard, be it more or less, which is due to any man in respect of his place, person, or condition, according to the eminency, merit, or exigency of any of them respectively, together with the willing performance of such just and charitable offices upon all emergent occasions as in proportion to any of the said respects can be reasonably expected. In which sense it is a possible thing for us to honour, not only our superiors that are over us or above us, but our equals too that are in the same rank with us, yea, even our inferiors also that are below us or under us. And in this latitude you shall find the word honour sometimes used in the Scriptures, though not so frequently as in the proper signification. You have one example of it in the seventh verse of the next chapter, where St. Peter enjoineth husbands to give honour to the wife as to the weaker vessel. It was far from his meaning doubtless that the husband should honour the wife with the honour properly so called, that of reverence or subjection, for that were to invert the right order of things and to pervert God’s ordinance. In like manner we are to understand the word honour here in the text, in such a notion as may include all those fitting respects which are to be given to equals and inferiors also, which is a kind of honour too but more improperly so called. And then it falleth in, all one with that of St. Paul (Rom. 13:7). “Render therefore to all their dues, tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.” Now we see in the meaning of the words both what duty we are to perform and to whom. It may next be demanded upon what tie we stand thus bound to honour all men? I answer—there lieth a threefold tie upon us, to wit, of justice, of equity, of religion. A tie of justice first, whose most proper office it is to give to every one that which of right appertaineth to him. It is a thing not unworthy the observing that all those words which usually signify honour in the three learned languages do either primarily signify or else are derived from such words as do withal signify either a price or a weight. Now by the rules of commutative justice the price of every commodity ought to be according to the true worth of it. A false weight is abominable, and so is every one that tradeth with it; and certainly that man maketh use of a false beam that setteth light by his brother whom he ought to honour. The next tie is that of equity. “Whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.” We care not how much honour cometh to ourselves from others, how little goeth from ourselves to others. Let every man therefore in God’s name take to himself that portion of honour and respect that is due to him, and good luck may he have with his honour. Provided always that he be withal sure of these two things—first, that he take no more than his due, for this is but just; and then, that he be as willing to give as to take, for that is but equal. He that doth otherwise is partial and unreasonable. And thus we are tied in equity to honour all men. There is yet a third tie, that of religion, in respect of that image of God, which is to be found in man. All honour is in regard of some excellency or other, and there is in man no excellency at all of and from himself, but all the excellency that is in him is such only as God hath been pleased to put upon him. And that excellency is twofold—natural and personal. The natural excellency is that whereby man excelleth other creatures. Personal that whereby one man excelleth another. Of the natural first which ariseth from the image of God stamped upon man in his creation. Besides this natural, God hath put upon man a personal excellency which is an effect of His Providence in the government of the world, as the former was of His power in the creation of it. And here first beginneth the difference that is between one man and another. We have seen hitherto both the duty and obligation of it. What are we to perform, and why? We come now to examine a little how it is performed among us. Slackly and untowardly enough no doubt as all other duties are. Are there not some first, who are so far from honouring all men as the text requireth that they honour no man at all, at least, not as they ought to do? No, not their known superiors? But how much less then their equals or inferiors? There are others, secondly, that may perhaps be persuaded to yield some honour to their betters (that may be but reason) but that they should be bound to honour those that are not so good men as themselves, or at the most but such like as themselves are they see no great reason for that. But there is no remedy; St. Peter here telleth them that must be done too. There is a third sort that corrupt a good text with an ill gloss as thus. The magistrate shall have his tribute, the minister his tithe, and so every other man his due honour, if so be he carry himself worthily and as he ought to do in his place, and so as to deserve it. In good time! But I pray you then, first, who must judge of his carriage and whether he deserve such honour, yea or no? But, secondly, how durst thou distinguish where the law distinguishes not? Where God commandeth He looketh to be answered with obedience, and dost thou think to come off with subtilities and distinctions? Least of all, thirdly, with such a gloss as the apostle hath already precluded by his own comment in the next verse, where he biddeth servants to be subject to their masters, not only to the good and gentle but to the froward also, and such as would be ready to buffet them when they had done no fault. Such masters sure could challenge no great honour from their servants. But tell me, fourthly, in good earnest, dost thou believe that another man’s neglect of his duty can discharge thee from the obligation of thine? Lastly, when thou sayest thou wilt honour him according to his place if he deserve it, dost thou not observe that thou art still unjust by thy own confession? For where place and merit concur there is a double honour due (1 Tim. 5:17). There is one honour due to the place and another to merit. (Bp. Sanderson.)

The honour of humanity:—It has been observed that more attention is commonly given to the specific than to the general precepts of Holy Scripture. Thus, in the verse there is a particular precept, to “honour the king,” which has attracted more notice than the wider principle “honour all men.” The reason is this: The vast field of action which opens before us, when contemplating a general precept, is so fatiguing to the imagination, that we are tempted to give up the task of considering it in something like despair. Nor is this the only reason for the practical disadvantages of general, as compared with specific precepts. As morality is too often taught, these general precepts are rested upon considerations too abstract to exert a real influence upon average men. A general precept, like that before us, must be based on an energetic conviction, in order to give it the needful vividness and force. Of this the precept before us is an eminent illustration. We only bring it down from the neglected region of moral proprieties, we only learn its living and working power, and give it a clothing of flesh and blood, when we place it in the light of the great Christian doctrines of which it is the practical and animated expression. What is honour? It is, first of all, a sentiment which prompts us to acknowledge, and to do homage to, some form of truth. It must spring from a sense of merit of some kind in the object which provokes it; and, therefore, it must begin from within. Honour, then, in the first place, is a genuine movement of the soul; but, secondly, it is often a substantial expression of that movement in the outward visible world of sense. Whether it be embodied in a gesture, or in a title, or in a gift of money, it is at bottom an acknowledgment of superior worth, attaching, it may be, to an individual, or to an office, or to an institution. It is a practical expression of the sentiment of honour, quickened into activity by a worthy object. When, then, St. Peter says that we are to “honour all men,” he means, no doubt, that if opportunity arises we are to give practical expression to the disposition to honour them. But he means, first of all, that this disposition should itself exist. And it is here that we reach the point at which the need is felt of basing the precept upon a conviction. Why should we thus be disposed to “honour all men”? It is clear that if man is left to himself, he is by no means disposed to “honour all men.” Why is he bound to make head against this natural inclination? Is it in deference to a sense of self-interest? to a belief that courtesy is a cheap thing, which if it does not make friends, yet keeps clear of making enemies? No! The honour which the apostle prescribes is not an insincere conventionalism, but a true expression of inward respect. Are we then to honour all men in deference to the mere instinct of race? You say that, at least, in this case man should honour his brother man as a reproduction of himself. Does then one brute, nay, the most intelligent of the brutes, honour other brutes? There is nothing in a second animal, who is a mere reproduction of my animal self, which properly commands this tribute of honour; while there is much in him which might incline me to refuse it. But here comes a teacher who repeats the injunction under a new formula. Humanity is the god of Positivist thinkers; man is the highest being whom the consistent philosophy of experience can consent to recognise. Man in his collective capacity, the organism “humanity,” is to be worshipped by each individual man. And from this new cultus, we are told, there is to flow forth a morality, which, in its spirits and its objects, shall be enthusiastically human; against which, as we are further assured, the inferior ethics of Christendom, weighted with the dogmatic teaching of the creeds, will struggle in vain for supremacy in the Europe of the future. But what is the real meaning of this cultus of humanity? Taking humanity as an actual whole, it is to worship that, in which the immoral decidedly preponderates over the moral, the false over the true, the bad over the good.

  1. What, then, are the motives which should lead a Christian to honour all men? 1. The first is, that all men are made in the image of God. “God created man in His own image, after His likeness.” This image and likeness consist in the fact that, first of all, man is an intelligent being, conscious of, and able steadily to reflect upon, his own existence; and, next, that his will is free. In each of these respects he is unlike any one of the lower creatures; in each he is like God. All men are endued with an immortal, conscious, self-determining principle of life. Or rather that principle is each man’s true self, around which all else that belongs to him is clustered, and to which it stands in the relation of a property, or it may be of an accident. 2. Our Lord’s death upon the Cross is a second reason for honouring all men. His death was indeed a true sacrifice offered to the justice and majesty of God, but it was also an act of homage and honour to the worth of the human spirit. It was to enlighten the conscience of man, it was to purify man’s soul from the stains, and to free it from the burden of sin, it was to restore man to his true and native dignity among the firstborn of creation, that our Saviour died. 3. From these two motives a Christian will gather a third, which must lead him to honour all men, both in feeling and in act. I refer to the capacity of every man, be he who or what he may, while in this world, for improvement, for goodness. This generous faith in humanity is a creation of the gospel. The glory, the sinlessness, the ineffable majesty of the ascended Christ is the measure of the hopes of man. And from that throne of His in the highest heavens there descends upon the race which He has ennobled, and which He yearns to glorify and to save, an interest, a radiance in Christian eyes, an inheritance of a title to honour, which has made the precept of the apostle one of the main factors of the moral life of Christendom.
  2. But is the precept to be understood literally? Does “all men” mean all members, all classes of the human family? Let me ask, in return, Why not? Let us look at some of the barriers which have been raised against man’s universal right to honour by the prejudices of man. 1. There is, first of all, and, morally speaking, lowest of all, the barrier of wealth. Wealth honours wealth; income pays respect to income; but it is wont to cherish, in its secret heart, an unmeasured contempt for poverty. To believe that a man with £60 a year is just as much deserving of respect as a man with £6,000, you must be seriously a Christian. 2. A second barrier is the spirit of station or of class, founded whether upon success in life, or upon the circumstances of birth. That an aristocracy has, in God’s providential government of society, distinct and great functions to perform, is a position which is not for one moment to be denied; since the experience of history seems to show that society creates a higher class by a natural process, and we in England know how largely such a class may, if it will, serve its country. But when it develops an exclusive spirit, which divides humanity into two sections, those within and those without the imaginary barrier, it comes into collision with the teaching of the gospel. The Divine image, expressed in man’s intelligence and freedom; the atoning blood, giving the measure of man’s preciousness in the eyes of God; the glorified manhood of Jesus, revealing to man his capacity for glory;—these are the privileges of no class or station; they are the right and the possession of humanity. 3. A third barrier is that of race or country. Patriotism, no doubt, has its providential purpose; and the instinct of race is but an expansion of the instinct of the family. Both are based upon a natural foundation and have a Divine sanction; but in their exaggeration both may foster sentiments which are crimes against humanity. When we hear of the African savage who a few months since floated his canoe in a lake of human blood, that he might fitly observe his father’s obsequies, we may for a moment look hard at the precept to honour all men. Yet, all crime being, in the eyes of absolute justice, strictly relative to opportunities, it may well be that this pagan prince stands higher before heaven than do you or I, when we lose our tempers in conversation, or say our prayers without thinking of the solemn work in which we are engaged. 4. The absence of intelligence is often held to constitute a fourth barrier against this honour of man as man. To make intelligence, in the sense of cultivated intellect, the real test of a claim to honour, would secure such honour to Voltaire, and (may we not add?) to Satan, while denying it to the apostles of Christ. To make intelligence, in the sense of the common faculty which is capable of reflecting on self and of knowing God, the ground of that claim, is to own that a debt of honour is due to the whole human family. The precept before us, however, is not adverse to our recognising the specific titles to honour which individuals or classes may possess. It only insists upon a broader basis of such right to honour than that which any of these titles suggest. It is entirely in harmony with the honourable recognition of moral worth, because moral worth enriches and intensifies what is best in humanity, namely, the freedom and power of man’s will. It does not force us to condone either the wilful propagation of error or the guilt of crime. It does not imply indifference to the interests either of truth or virtue.

III. The practical bearings of this suggestive precept are so numerous that it will be necessary to confine ourselves to the following, by way of conclusion. 1. “Honour all men” is a fitting motto for the spirit of much of our study. 2. Here is the Christian rule for social intercourse. Honour high station, honour authority, honour genius, honour courage, honour even success, if you will; but do not limit your honour to these things. If you honour the representative men of humanity, those who embody and intensify its great qualities or interests, do not forget that that which you honour in them is shared in a measure by all. 3. Lastly, in this precept we may discover the true spirit of Christian works of mercy. All the plans which Christian charity really devises and sets on foot are based on the principle of respect for man. Christian charity relieves poverty, not as conferring a favour, but as satisfying what is in some sense a right—the right of humanity to live, and to ask in God’s name at the hands of property the means of livelihood. (Canon Liddon.)

The honour due to all men:—There is no need of argument to prove the kindliness of Christianity, compared with every other system of belief. Its regard for life and its sympathy with human weakness may be seen upon the surface of every Christian land. To this we owe our hospitals and refuges, and all the multitude of charitable institutions which mitigate human suffering. But it is by no means sufficient merely to notice this as a fact. It is of great moment that we search into the principle from which it springs, and that principle is shortly but forcibly brought out in the precept of St. Peter—“Honour all men.” Now it is important that we should see why this precept was confined to Christianity. It was so, first, because its teaching made it for the first time possible, truly, and with reason, to fulfil it. Before this, dark shades rested upon the nature of man. Different qualities of man might be honoured, but right reason could scarcely honour man—poor, fallen, wretched, debased man. So it was of old. But so it was not after Christ our Lord had come upon the earth. His incarnation has dispelled this darkness. For it clearly showed that the sin which dwelt in man and mocked him, by pretending to be a part of himself, was no true part of himself. For in that very humanity, the Son of God had tabernacled without spot of sin. But besides this Christianity alone made all men brothers. Its blessed communion makes all equal, not by putting down the distinctions of earth, confounding the ranks of society, but by raising the manhood in each of us to its true worthiness, by teaching the master to treat the servant “not now as a servant” but “above a servant,” as a “brother beloved”; by showing all that as “partakers of the benefit,” as members of Christ, they have a unity which the petty distinctions of earth cannot dissever; a true dignity, which its seeming degradations cannot obscure. See, then, how great a part of Christianity is contained in this precept. How growth in its spirit is a necessary and certain accompaniment of growth in true, living, practical religion, as it stands opposed to the sickliness of sentimentality. But to see this still more clearly, look at the example of our Master, Christ; see in Him the perfection of this grace. How did He look at man? Who ever saw so far into all the feebleness, uncertainty, and wickedness of those who came around Him, as He did whilst He walked up and down this crowded wilderness? Who ever read the hidden evil of men’s hearts as He did? Yet, how did He look upon all? Was there one over whom, as being a man, He did not yearn; was there one sharer of humanity whom, as man, He did not honour—one lost one whom He did not “seek,” and was not ready “to save”? And this was the secret of His deep tenderness towards sinners, His unwearied forbearance—His most compassionate love, His sympathy with every one of the fallen but redeemed race. And we, if we would have these graces in our measure, must seek for their spring head—we must strive for this great power of “honouring all men”—of seeing in all the true manhood; seeing in all the true value of life; earnestly believing that in all is that which Christ our Master took unto Himself, and in taking to Himself sanctified and purified and made capable of a true and real worthiness. And if we would make any progress in this high grace, we must not hide from ourselves the difficulties which will surely beset its exercise. For these are many and great and will be too much for us, if without counting the cost, we endeavour to encounter them. First, there is selfishness, that deep root of inner corruption which is the absolute antagonist of such a spirit—for this, which leads every man to “mind his own things,” to grasp at everything within his reach, to rate himself, his own plans, his own pleasures, first, must of necessity rob him of the power of “honouring others.” But besides selfishness, there is the whole current of worldly society to be withstood. In spite of the great healing which the gospel of Christ has wrought, its waters are still bitter and turbulent, and they flow for the most part right against the stream of heavenly things. 1. Then let me say, if you would “honour all men,” begin by truly honouring yourselves. A true Christian honour of ourselves leads us to feel most deeply the taint and degradation of the sin which dwells in us, which is so unworthy of our redeemed station. Instead of feeling self-sufficient, we see that only in Christ, only as one of the ransomed family, as dwelt in by Him, as justified through Him, can we have hope. And thus we join ourselves to our brethren in Christ; we and they are one in hope, only we know more of our own loss and misery than we can know of theirs: and therefore we are lowly, and honour them in Christ, their God and ours. So also does a Christian honour of ourselves oppose itself to vanity. How to such an one can the ignorant applause of his fellows be anything but a mockery? Again, his reverence for the redeemed manhood in himself makes him fear lest sensuality should cloud it; lest it should be turned into the heaviest curse by separation from Christ. This makes him most tender of the welfare of the souls of others—he yearns over them; he would “eat no meat while the world lasteth,” rather than make “a brother to offend.” 2. And as honouring ourselves is the first rule that I would give, so the second is—seek to practise yourselves in honouring others. God has so formed us that our spiritual and moral cure is to be wrought by the blessing of His grace upon our practical efforts. We must gain tender, sympathetic hearts, hearts which indeed honour our brethren, not by cultivating abstract sensibilities, but by practising kindly actions. (Bp. S. Wilberforce.)

Honour all men:—“Honour all men.… Honour the king.” It is the same word in both cases. Honour is the thing due to king and to man. But in the Greek the tense is different; honour all men as various occasions arise for it; but in the other three cases the object and the occasion are known; give present love and fear and honour to a visible brotherhood, and a present God, and a known ruler. It is as though the apostle prefaced the special precepts with this more general one. Honour all men everywhere; nothing is to annul this, the charter of the whole redeemed race; but specially love the Christian brotherhood, and fear the God so visibly present among them, and honour the appointed king. 1. Man is honourable among the creatures of God for his knowledge and power of thought. By the light of God that is in him, man sees God in the world of matter and life. The finger-point of the most wise Artificer is upon every part. 2. But that which is at once the glory and the shame of man, is his power to choose, his will. 3. And this power of action is also a power of obedience to the law of God. 4. And, lastly, man is immortal. “God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” We are immortal, for the hope of a future life, awakened and fostered by our Lord, cannot be meant to end in a delusion. Honour all men, then; honour those to whom God has given the discerning soul, and the deciding will, and the guiding conscience, and the inheritance of eternal life. (Abp. Thomson.)

Honour all:—This was one of the rules which St. Peter gave to the Christians of his day. They were placed in the midst of Jews and heathens, On every side there were enemies, slanderers, persecutors; they were surrounded by foolish men living in fleshly lusts, froward and hard tempered—and yet with all this they were to honour all men. These were not excluded. It is a common thing for men to say that the rich and the clever despise the poor, ignorant, hard-working classes below them. Often that way of speaking is false. There are many exceptions to it. But often, we must confess with pain, it is true. Younger men among those classes have their favourite words of contempt by which they try to set themselves up above others, and to mark off those who are as much heirs of God’s kingdom as they are themselves, as people to be laughed at or insulted. And so they do not honour all men. And this want of the will to honour affects all relations of life. It disturbs the peace and happiness of families. No position of life affords greater opportunities for exercising kindness than that of the master or mistress of servants—the employer of workmen. And yet everywhere we find the duties of that position neglected. Men do not “honour” those who are thus placed, by the providence of God, in dependence on them. Do not think that this commandment is easier for one class of men to perform than for others. Those who look up to most other men as being above them in rank and riches, are just as faulty in this matter as the haughtiest and highest. Many of you must feel in your heart of hearts that all the time when you have seemed outwardly most respectful, there has been no reality, no truthfulness in it. You have honoured not the man, but his money, or his station, or his opinions, or you have hoped to gain some thing from him, or you have been afraid of his displeasure. And that want of true honour which we note in these instances is seen yet more in the acts and the speech of poor men, too often even towards each other. Go into the streets and courts of any of our great cities; listen to the disputes which are to be met with at every corner, and what strikes one most is the abuse and scorn which men of the same class, who are fellow-workers often, and have a common interest, pour out upon each other. They show no respect, no consideration, no “honour.” One step further we must go to reach the worst form of the evil. In all ranks of society you will find men who ought to know better, who pride themselves on reading their Bibles, and keeping out of the sins of their neighbours, and caring for their own souls. They, we might think, will surely “honour all men,” and that not with a false show of honour, but in earnest. A man’s knowledge of the Bible may serve not to make him truer, better, severer in judging himself, but to give him greater cleverness in picking out texts against his neighbours. He loves to think of himself as chosen, saved from hell, and sometimes seems almost as if he liked to think also of other men as going the wrong way, so that he sees them led captive by the devil without any effort to save them, without doing anything to gain their affection and respect. I do not say that this evil is universal. Can you not imagine what a man would be in whose soul the words, “honour all men—all without exception—the youngest, the poorest, the most sinning,” had been traced as with the finger of God, never to be blotted out? Would there not be in such a man an unequalled courtesy, a gentleness and yet openness of speech which would win all men’s confidence? I can think of such an one in any station of life, as a man himself to be loved, trusted, honoured. Read St. Paul’s Epistles, take that single letter even, which he wrote to Philemon, and tell me if you do not find there precisely such a character as that which I have tried to describe. See how he behaves to governors and kings and centurions, and captains of ships and gaolers and peasants, and everywhere you find the same freedom from all violence and selfishness and rudeness. And this, doubtless, was the secret of the wonderful power which he had over the hearts of other men, winning their respect even in spite of them, gaining affection and love from the roughest hearts which seemed at first dead to all such feelings. But there is a higher example in this matter, even than St. Paul’s. Was there not in Jesus of Nazareth one Who was meek and lowly in heart, taking upon Himself the form of a servant that He might save all who were willing to come to Him? Here then, once for all, is an example of the width and depth of this commandment of God. And this which supplies the example furnishes also the motive. Do not think that St. Peter would have enforced the rule of honouring all men on those grounds on which we sometimes try to persuade our children or our dependents to be respectful. It was not because that was the way to lead a quiet life, to get on in the world: to gain the favour of the great, to avoid persecution and ill-will; but much rather because Christ had taught him to think of a Father in heaven, who was inviting all men to become His children; because he believed that Christ had come to redeem all men, to manifest Himself as their brother and their friend. How could he despise those whom the Lord had not despised? How could he refuse to honour one for whom Christ had not refused to suffer and to die? (Dean Plumptre.)

No man to be despised:—No nobler tribute could be paid to a memory than that which was written of the martyred bishop, Pattison, by one of his simple converts in the Southern seas—“He did not despise any one, nor reject any one with scorn, whether it were white man or black man; he thought of them all as one, and he loved them all alike.” (Canon Duckworth.)

The respect due to human nature:—Among the many blessings of Christianity, I regard as not the least the new interest which it awakens in us towards everything human, the new importance which it gives to the soul, the new relation which it establishes between man and man. Christianity has as yet but begun its work of reformation. Under its influences a new order of society is advancing, surely though slowly; and this beneficient change it is to accomplish in no small measure by revealing to men their own nature, and teaching them to “honour all” who partake it. The soul is to be regarded with a religious reverence hitherto unfelt. There is nothing of which men know so little as themselves. Men have as yet no just respect for themselves and of consequence no just respect for others. The true bond of society is thus wanting, and accordingly there is a great deficiency of Christian benevolence. It may be said that Christianity has done much to awaken benevolence, and that it has taught men to call one another brethren. Yes, to call one another so, but has it as yet given the true feeling of brotherhood? Do we feel that there is one Divine life in our own and in all souls? Here is a tie more sacred, more enduring, than all the ties of this earth. Is it felt, and do we in consequence truly honour one another? Sometimes, indeed, we see men giving profound respect to their fellow creatures; but to whom? To great men; to men distinguished by a broad line from the multitude. But this is not to “honour all men,” and the homage paid to such is generally unfriendly to that Christian estimate of human beings for which I am now pleading. The great are honoured at the expense of their race. They absorb the world’s admiration, and their less gifted fellow beings are thrown by their brightness into a deeper shade, and passed over with a colder contempt. To show the grounds on which the obligation to honour all men rests, I might take a minute survey of that human nature which is common to all, and set forth its claims to reverence. But leaving this wide range, I observe that there is one principle of the soul which makes all men essentially equal, which places all on a level as to means of happiness, which may place in the first rank of human beings those who are the most depressed in worldly condition. I refer to the sense of duty, to the power of discerning and doing right, to the inward monitor which speaks in the name of God, to the capacity of virtue or excellence. This is the great gift of God. We can conceive no greater. Through this the ignorant and the poor may become the greatest of the race; for the greatest is he who is most true to the principle of duty. The idea of right is the primary revelation of God to the human mind, and all outward revelations are founded on and addressed to it. He in whom the conviction of duty is unfolded, becomes subject from that moment to a law, which no power in the universe can abrogate. He forms a new and indissoluble connection with God, that of an accountable being. He begins to stand before an inward tribunal, on the decisions of which his whole happiness rests; he hears a voice, which, if faithfully followed, will guide him to perfection, and in neglecting which he brings upon himself inevitable misery. We little understand the solemnity of the moral principle in every human mind. Did we understand it, we should look with a feeling of reverence on every being to whom it is given. I proceed to observe that, if we look next into Christianity, we shall find this duty enforced by new and still more solemn considerations. This whole religion is a testimony to the worth of man in the sight of God, to the importance of human nature, to the infinite purposes for which we were framed. Men viewed in the light of this religion are beings cared for by God, to whom He has given His Son, on whom He pours forth His Spirit and whom He has created for the highest good in the universe, for participation in His own perfections and happiness. I estimate political revolutions chiefly by their tendency to exalt men’s conceptions of their nature, and to inspire them with respect for one another’s claims. (W. E. Channing.)

Honour all men:—Honour in a narrower sense is not universally due to all, but peculiar to some kinds of persons. Of this the apostle speaks (Rom. 13:8). We owe not the same measure of esteem to all. We may, yea, we ought to take notice of the different outward quality or inward graces and gifts of men; nor is it a fault to perceive the shallowness and weakness of men with whom we converse, and to esteem more highly those on whom God hath conferred more of such things as are truly worthy of esteem. But unto the meanest we do owe some measure of esteem, first, negatively. We are not to entertain disdainful thoughts of any, how worthless and mean soever. We are also to observe and respect the smallest good that is in any. Although a Christian be never so base in his outward condition, in body or mind, yet they who know the worth of spiritual things, will esteem the grace of God that is in him, in the midst of all these disadvantages, as a pearl in a rough shell. The Jews would not willingly tread upon the smallest piece of paper in their way, but took it up, for possibly, said they, the name of God may be on it. The name of God may be written upon that soul thou treadest on. It may be a soul that Christ thought so much of, as to give His precious blood for it; therefore despise it not. Wheresoever thou findest the least trait of Christ’s image, if thou lovest Him, thou wilt honour it. Or if there be nothing of this to be found in him thou lookest on, yet observe what common gift of any kind God hath bestowed on him, judgment, or memory, or faculty in his calling, or any such thing, for these in their degree are to be esteemed, and the person for them. Or imagine thou canst find nothing else in some men, yet honour thy own nature, esteem humanity in them, especially since humanity is exalted in Christ to be one with the Deity. Account of the individual as a man. The outward behaviour wherein we owe honour to all, is nothing but a conformity to this inward temper of mind; for he that inwardly despiseth none but esteemeth the good that is in the lowest, or at least esteemeth them in that they are men, will use no outward sign of disdain of any. He will not have a scornful eye nor a reproachful tongue to move at any, not the meanest of his servants, nor the worst of his enemies; but, on the contrary, will acknowledge the good that is in every man, and give unto all that outward respect that is convenient for them and that they are capable of, and will be ready to do them good as he hath opportunity and ability. (Abp. Leighton.)

The duty of honouring all men:—All mankind are to be honoured—1. Because all men are the children of one Almighty Father, and were made originally in His glorious image. 2. Because all men were made of one blood. 3. Because all men are gifted with the same common immortality. 4. Because all men have been redeemed by one common Saviour. 5. Because all men are susceptible of the same spiritual and everlasting life. (H. Stowell, M.A.)

The honour due to all men:

  1. To different classes. 1. Superiors. (1) In office. (2) In rank and station. (3) In talent and attainments. 2. Equals (Rom. 12:10). 3. Inferiors. I remember to have heard a friend once say, after passing and noticing a poor man, “When I meet a human being I always wish to consider that I meet a brother.”
  2. To different characters. 1. The good. “Go and do likewise.” You cannot honour a good man more than by treading in his steps. 2. The bad. (1) By sincere pity and kind concern. (2) By advice and counsel. (3) By your prayers. (4) By readiness to do them good.

III. Different ages. 1. Old age. The ancient Spartans were famous for the respect they paid to the aged; so that it was not unusual to say, “It is a pleasure to grow old in Lacedemon.” Let this pleasure be enjoyed by the aged among us. 2. The young are to be honoured by tender and faithful solicitude for their welfare; by a concern for the right formation of their characters, and the fixing of right principles in their minds. And if they are yet under authority, by affectionate care of them, their persons, their morals, their company, their habits, and especially their souls.

  1. Different situations and circumstances. 1. The afflicted. Bear one another’s burdens. Mutual sympathy is mutual honour. 2. The prosperous. You will honour yourself, as well as your neighbour, when you rejoice in his prosperity, and feel your own happiness increased by witnessing his. 3. The perplexed. Feel for and assist them. 4. Relations and strangers, countrymen and foreigners, those who belong to our own party or denomination and those who belong to others, all have some claim upon us. More especially let us honour an upright conscience wherever it exists, although its conclusions may be different from our own. (Essex Remembrancer.)

The value of man:—Both creation and redemption teem with evidences that God sets a high value on His creature man. All the relations and uses of minerals, plants, and animals have been arranged for man’s benefit; for no other creature is capable of observing or turning them to account. But the grandest evidence of the value which God sets on man appears in the mission, ministry, and sacrifice of Christ. So high in heaven was the estimate of even ruined man, that when no other price could buy the captive back the Son of God gave Himself, the just for the unjust. Value highly immortal beings made in their Creator’s likeness, and capable yet of living to His praise. We act according to our estimates. Estimate humanity aright in the habit of your hearts, and your conduct will fashion itself naturally accordant, as a river finds its way to the sea. Value the whole man, and not merely a part. In particular, and for obvious practical purposes, value his soul as well as his body, and his body as well as his soul. So did Christ; and therefore so should we. The body’s sufferings did not occupy His attention to the neglect of the soul’s sins; the soul’s sins did not occupy His attention to the neglect of the body’s sufferings. (W. Arnot.)

Value all men:—There is no respect of persons with God, and there should be none with men. When you fail to value aright any man or class of men, you are fighting against God, and will certainly be hurt. Nothing is gained by a false estimate of the value of any man. The circles of Providence, like the celestial bodies, correct aberrations, and right themselves as they go round. Value the young. How precious these germs are! They will be the men and women of the generation when we become children again. Value the poor and ignorant. In that state Christ valued you, believer. He did not pass you because you were worthless. Value the rich. He is as precious as the poor, and will be as worthy, if he is redeemed, when he walks with his Redeemer in white. Value the vicious. Although they wallow in a deep mire to-day, they have fallen from a high estate, and may yet regain it. That poor staggering drunkard is worth more than worlds, if he were won. They who hope in Christ should not count any case hopeless. Value yourself. Do not hold yourself cheap, ye who may have Christ for your brother and heaven for your home. (Ibid.)

Honour all men:—1. As made in the image of God. 2. As capable of heaven. 3. As having some special talent to trade with. (J. Trapp.)

The poor—two ways of treating:—Dr. Joseph Parker says there are two ways of accosting a poor man—one which tells him he is a man, and another which only tells him he is poor.

Dignity of man:—M. Boudon, an eminent surgeon, was one day sent for by the Cardinal du Bois, prime minister of France, to perform a very serious operation upon him. The cardinal, on seeing him enter the room, said to him, “You must not expect to treat me in the same rough manner you treat your poor miserable wretches at your hospital of the Hotel Dieu.” “My lord,” replied M. Boudon with great dignity, “every one of those miserable wretches, as your Eminence is pleased to call them, is a prime minister in my eyes.” (J. Percy.)

Respect for manhood:—It is said of Burns the poet, that walking along the streets of Edinburgh with a fashionable acquaintance, he saw a poorly dressed peasant, whom he rushed up to and greeted as a familiar friend. His companion expressed his surprise that he could lower himself by speaking to one in so rustic a garb. “Fool!” said the poet, with flashing eye, “it was not the dress, the peasant’s bonnet and hodden gray, I spoke to, but the man within—the man who beneath that bonnet has a head, and beneath that hodden gray a heart better than a thousand such as yours.” (J. C. Lees, D.D.)

Honour all:—At this time the great majority of human beings was neglected and despised by the wise and learned, as well as dishonoured and oppressed by the rich and powerful and governing classes. With feelings of reverence and awe the traveller gazes, not only on the crumbling shrine and hallowed dust of Iona, but on the ruins, accursed and hopeless though they be, of wicked Nineveh and proud Babylon. But here is a ruin in which God once dwelt, and in which He desires yet again, and eternally, to dwell. Surely it is not for those whom grace, and grace alone, has saved from a like degradation, to exult over the desolation, or even to pass it by with indifference. “Honour all men”—if not for what they have made themselves, at least for what the Creator and Redeemer designed them to be. Honour that kindly thought of God toward them by striving, as best you may, for its realisation. And, when all your efforts seem to prove abortive, still honour it, and the objects of it, by your prayers and tears. (J. Lillie, D.D.)

Love the brotherhood.

Love the brotherhood:—As the clouds which soar in the air are to the universal mass of waters, so are the brotherhood of God’s renewed children to the whole human family. Of mankind these brothers are in origin and nature; but they have been drawn out and up from the rest by an unseen omnipotent law. 1. Love to the brotherhood is an instinctive emotion. It is not an accident, but a nature. It springs in renewed hearts, as love of her offspring springs in a mother’s breast. It is the result not of an artificial policy, but of a natural law. The new creature exercises instincts as well as the old. 2. The Lord Jesus was not satisfied with the measure of this affection which existed among His followers during His personal ministry. “That they all may be one,” was His prayer; “Love one another,” was His command. 3. Those who are destitute of this affection themselves are acute enough to observe the want or weakness of it in Christians. 4. Brotherly love among Christians, when it really exists, honours the Lord and propagates the gospel. It has convinced many who resisted harder arguments. 5. It is the most pleasant of all emotions to the person who exercises it. 6. Love of the brotherhood is the command of God, and, consequently, the duty of men; but another thing goes before it to prepare its way. Before you can love the brotherhood, you must be a brother. It is the new creature that experiences this hallowed affection. (W. Arnot.) The brethren and the brotherhood (with chap. 1:22):—There is a great difference between loving “the brethren” and loving “the brotherhood.” “The brotherhood” is the society of “the brethren”—the Church. Each needs the other. “The love of the brotherhood” divorced from “the love of the brethren” will always lead to superstition, to an undue reverence for form and custom, to some sort of tyranny. “The love of the brethren” separated from “the love of the brotherhood” will always minister to foolish divisions, to confusion of faith, to ecclesiastical anarchy. St. Peter, who said “Love the brotherhood,” said also “Love as brethren.” 1. We ought to love the brethren. Religion is for men. The mission of the Church is to help everybody who needs help. There is constant need of humanising the work of the Church, that is, of emphasising the supreme purpose for which the Church exists—to make the world better. 2. On the other hand, while we ought to love the brethren, we ought also to love the brotherhood. Christ Himself directs us to “hear the Church.” The customs of the ancient society, the ways of the Church, ought not to be readily laid aside. The probability is that the brotherhood is wiser than any of the brethren. (Bp. Hodges.)

Love the brotherhood:—Now of the obligation of this duty there are two main grounds—goodness and nearness. 1. We must love the brotherhood for their goodness. All goodness is lovely. There groweth a love due to every creature of God from this, that every creature of God is good. Some goodness God has communicated to everything to which He gave a being: as a beam of that incomprehensible light, and a drop of that infinite ocean of goodness, which He Himself is. But a greater measure of love is due to man than to other creatures, by how much God hath made him better than them. And to every particular man that hath any special goodness in him there is a special love due. He that hath good natural parts, if he have little in him that is good besides, yet is to be loved even for those parts, because they are good. He that hath but good moralities only, leading a civil life, though without any probable evidences of grace appearing in him, is yet to be loved of us, if but for those moralities, because they also are good. But he that goeth higher, and by the goodness of his conversation showeth forth the graciousness of his heart, deserveth by so much a higher room in our affections than either of the former, by how much grace exceedeth in goodness both nature and morality. Since then there is a special goodness in the brethren in regard of that most holy faith which they possess, and that blessed name of Christ which is called upon them, we are therefore bound to love them with a special affection. The other ground of loving the brotherhood is their nearness. The nearer, the dearer, we say; and there are few relations nearer than that of brotherhood. But no brotherhood in the world is so closely and surely knit together, and with so many and strong ties, as the fraternity of Christians. 1. We are brethren by propagation. Children of the one eternal God, the common Father of us all, and of the one Catholic Church, the common mother of us all. And we have all the same elder brother, Jesus Christ, the firstborn among many brethren. 2. We are brethren by education—foster brethren; as Herod and Manaen were. They that have been nursed and brought up together in their childhood for the most part have their affections so seasoned and settled then that they love one another the better while they live. 3. We are brethren by covenant, sworn brothers at our holy baptism, when we dedicated ourselves to God’s service as His soldiers by sacred and solemn vow. Do we not see men that take the same oath pressed to serve in the same wars and under the same captains? 4. We are brethren by cohabitation. We are all of one house and family; not strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. Lastly, we are brethren by partnership in our Father’s estate. Co-partners in the state of grace; all of us enjoying the same promises, liberties, and privileges whereof we are already possessed in common; and co-heirs in the state of glory, all of us having the same joy, and everlasting bliss in expectancy and reversion. Having all these obligations upon us, and being tied together in one brotherhood by so many bands of unity and affection, I presume we cannot doubt but that it is our bounden duty thus to love the brotherhood. There remaineth now no more to be done but to look to our performances that they be right. Not but that we may make a difference between one brother and another in the measure and degree of our love, according to the different measures and degrees, either of their goodness considered in themselves or of their nearness in relation to us. (Bp. Sanderson.)

Love the brotherhood:—No one will deny that these emphatic words express a great leading principle of the gospel. But in order to respond, in heart and conduct, to this teaching of St. Peter we must understand what the brotherhood is; we must know something of its institution; we must be assured of its continued existence; we must be instructed in the purposes which it has to fulfil, and in the powers and privileges with which it is endowed. On all these points the first Christians had a more perfect, because a more practical, knowledge than Christians in general have now. To them the brotherhood was not an abstract speculation, but a thing of life and reality. They were required to consider it, act towards it; and they did so. But now the case is different, In the present state of the Christian world the generality of Christians have no practical acquaintance with the brotherhood as such; at least they are not conscious of any. It is to them a thing invisible, inaudible, unapproachable; and so indeed they call it. They cannot therefore act towards the brotherhood as a whole, but only towards individuals. When they see a man leading a holy life, sound in the faith, they love him as a brother in the Lord. And they do well. But it is one thing to love a brother, or a number of brethren, as individuals, and another thing to love the brotherhood itself. And the difference is most important. For on the one hand, though we should love numberless individuals, on account of their personal graces, yet this would never lead us on to the love of the brotherhood as such; whereas if we begin by loving the brotherhood, then our love will manifest itself towards all those who belong to it. But we are to observe another vast difference, in a practical point of view. Consider the many good offices which Christians are encouraged to seek at each other’s hands, and of which they stand so greatly in need in their present condition as strangers and pilgrims upon earth—exhortation, admonition, edification in the truth, guidance, governance, consolation, reproof, intercession, co-operation. All these most necessary offices would, if faithfully discharged, keep alive in us a constant sense of mutual dependence, and quicken mutual love. But how lamentably are they neglected. And why are they neglected? We think of each other not as members and representatives of our holy brotherhood, but as individuals. The feelings of love which would lead us to seek whatever help we severally require, are not indeed destroyed in us; but for the most part they now spring from nothing deeper than our own opinion (based on our own limited experience) of each other’s character; and therefore one while they are powerless, bearing no fruit at all, and another while they are mischievous and their fruit unwholesome. What, then, is to become of those strong affections which are ever seeking some object whereon to rest in peace and security? He who knows our wants has also abundantly provided for them. He has taught us not to place our hope of guidance and protection in this man or that, or in any number of men; but to seek a nobler alliance, and make a more exalted choice. It is not the might, nor the multitude, nor the wisdom, nor the talents, nor the piety of men, which He hath set before us as the best object of our present love and confidence; but it is communion with Himself our Heavenly Father, and with the holy angels, and with the spirits of the just made perfect, and with all good men on earth, by the Holy Ghost, in the mystical body of Christ. Here is an object worthy of our hearts, and able to satisfy their wants; here is the brotherhood which St. Peter bids us love—the great Christian brotherhood, the communion of saints, the Church of the living God. But this brotherhood being so high and holy a thing, how and where can it be seen on earth? The first Christians loved the brotherhood in its outward and visible parts—in its members, its ministers, its sacraments, its ordinances, and its laws; loved it, I say, and sought it, revered, believed, obeyed it, for the sake of the Awful Presence which they knew to be dwelling in it, and acting by and through it. In its weak, despised, and suffering appearance, they saw the marks of the Lord Jesus, the humiliation of His Cross; in its energy and holiness, its victories and conversions, they beheld the power of His resurrection. Him they beheld in all its ways and works; and therefore all its ways and works were precious in their sight. No wonder that they loved the brotherhood; for in its prayers, its sacraments, its ministry, they heard the prevailing intercession, the pardoning voice, the life-giving truth—they saw the dispensing hand, the protecting arm, the all-judging eye, the gracious yet most awful form of their ascended Saviour. In a word, they saw in it His chosen representative—the Apostolic Church, by which He completes on earth His threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King. So when those early believers came themselves to be admitted into this glorious brotherhood, though men were the instruments by whom the gate of baptism was opened to them, yet were they well assured that their election was of God. Well might they set themselves in earnest to follow their heavenly profession, knowing the grace to which they had been called, labouring to make their calling and election sure, trembling at the bare imagination of letting slip so great salvation. For truly they found themselves in the midst of heavenly sights and heavenly sounds, which many prophets and kings had desired to see and hear, but had not seen or heard: they found themselves called to the enjoyment of those promises which the saints of old had seen afar off. Such was the Christian brotherhood to the first followers of Christ, when its members were few, its outward condition weak, despised, oppressed. Now it has gone forth into all lands, and gathered into itself many people, and it is oppressed no longer. Is it then to us the same inestimable treasure which it appeared to the first Christians? Alas! far otherwise. The world, in drawing near to it, has too often flung over it the shadow of its own bad principles and unrighteous practices, and thereby has partially obscured its brightness. Many even of its own children regard it rather as a useful instrument of man than as a great unsearchable mystery of God. But still, we humbly trust, the presence of the Lord abideth in it. Still it has peace and plenteousness for those who will repose in it with calm believing hearts. Only let us have faith to use the light and strength which yet remains—and more may perhaps be given us. Only let us “love the brotherhood” in the day of its humiliation, and show our love by eschewing those things that are contrary to our profession, and following all such things as are agreeable to the same; and then, unworthy as we are, we may even be allowed to contribute something, if it be but a prayer, towards the renewal of its life and vigour. (R. Ward, M.A.) Fear God.

Fear God:—There are two principal species of fear, as we may readily perceive by consulting our own emotions—the fear of apprehension, and the fear of respect. The first has for its foundation that evil which he who is feared can inflict; the second arises from the high idea we have of him for whom we entertain this sentiment. The first is exercised towards a being who, we suppose, has the will and the power to hurt us; the second is felt when, apprehending nothing from his anger, we entertain esteem and veneration for him. 1. Let us commence with the fear of respect. This is always felt by the true believer. Can he avoid feeling it, when he views on one hand the splendour of the perfections of God, and on the other his own littleness and baseness? 2. With respect to the fear of apprehension, which has as its foundation the evils which God can inflict on us, it is of two different kinds; we may fear to offend and displease God, and we may fear to be punished for it. When the former is the motive of this fear, it is called filial fear, because it is the sentiment of an affectionate child towards its parent. This fear has as its source love and gratitude. 3. With respect to the other kind of fear of apprehension, that which is founded only on the dread of future punishment, it is (considered absolutely and in itself) neither morally good nor evil. Not morally good, since we see it every day felt by the most wicked, and since the devils themselves tremble under it. Not morally evil, since it is a sentiment that reason would require; since God has used the threatenings of this punishment to deter men from sin. It becomes morally good only when united with filial fear. It is morally evil when accompanied with love of sin, with distrust, and despair. It then acquires the name of servile fear. (H. Kollock, D.D.)

The fear of God:—1. There is, first of all, a fear of God which to me appears to be a reproduction, measure, or colour of the national life, different as the nations differ. I believe it to be impossible to bring a Frenchman and a German, or a Scotchman and an Irishman, or any two men that reach back into a radical difference of race, to regard God in the same way. 2. But, in our own nation, where so many nativities centre, the idea of God and the consequent fear of God differ very greatly. The first and lowest form is a fear of God as a gaoler and executioner, who stands and waits until that sure detective, Death, shall hunt the criminal down and bring him into court. The pagan, on this plane of belief, is wiser than the Christian. He says boldly that the doer of this is the evil spirit, and so he tries to be on good terms with him. But wherever such a fear has a real place in the soul of man or woman, African, Indian, or Saxon, in that soul the love of God, or even a true fear of God, is utterly out of the question. It destroys every fair blossom of the soul; it leaves nothing to ripen, nothing beautiful even to live. 3. Then, to the eye of the resolute Christian thinker—who dares not, as Coleridge has said, “love even Christianity better than the truth, lest he shall come to love his own sect better than Christianity, and at last himself better than all”—there is another form of the fear of God, not the best by far, but far better than this utterly slavish fear. I mean that in which God becomes the embodiment of pure bargain, exacting from us to the uttermost penny whatever is due. Here God appears with tie guards and sanctities of the law about Him, self-imposed and self-respected. The man need not contract the debt if it does not please him, but if he does contract it he must pay, or another must pay for him. Then the Son of the Great Creditor gives His own body to the knife, and bears the intolerable agony instead of the debtor. Now there is a touch of sublimity in this conception. Yet when we come to question the system it will not stand. The moment you open the idea with the master-key of the Fatherhood of God you begin to see that it cannot be true. 4. But a far higher fear of God is to fear Him as we fear the surgeon who must cut out some dreadful gangrene in order to save the life. Such a fear as this really touches the outskirts of love—it is love and fear blended. When I went to Fort Donelson to nurse our wounded men, it was my good fortune to be the personal attendant of a gentleman whose skill as a surgeon was only equalled by the wonderfully deep, loving tenderness of his heart, as it thrilled in every tone of his voice and every touch of his hand. And it all comes up before me now how he would come to the men, fearfully mangled as they were, and how the nerve would shrink and creep, and how, with a wise, hard, steady skill he would cut to save life, forcing back tears of pity only that he might keep his eye clear for the delicate duty, speaking low words of cheer in tones heavy with tenderness; then, when all was over, and the poor fellows, fainting with pain, knew that all was done that could be done, and done only with a severity whose touch was love, how they would look after the man as he went away, sending unspoken benedictions to attend him. Now a fear like this is almost the loftiest fear of God that has come to the human soul. 5. Then, finally, there is a fear of God which is more of love than fear—a fear that has no torment. There is an inspiration by which our duties rise up before us, vested in a nobleness like that which touches the landscape for a great painter. The true artist works ever with a touch of fear. He stands at his task, his heart trembling with the great pulses of his conception. He is fearful exactly as he sees the perfection of the thing he is trying to embody. Now, believe me, God hides some ideal in every human soul. At some time in our life we feel a trembling, fearful longing to do some good thing. (R. Collyer, D.D.) Honour the king.

Good subjects:—For the coherence of these words with the former, note—1. That the duties to God and our neighbours, the duties of the first and second table, are to accompany one another; they must not be sundered (1 John 4:21). (1) This rebuketh such as make show of great zeal in the duties to God and of His worship, but in the meantime make no conscience of deceiving, oppression, falsehood, backbiting, idleness, &c. (2) This rebuketh also such as are very civil and just in their dealings, sure of their word, and kind neighbours, and yet make no conscience of the duties of the first table. 2. That the knowledge and fear of God is the fountain of all our duties to men in their several places. None can be a good servant, one to be entrusted with business of weight, with hope of blessing, but such a one as feareth God; so no man can truly honour the king and be an absolute good subject except he fear God. Uses: 1. Let all that fear God show it in their several places by the performance of their duties to men, especially of subjection to their governors, that so they may bring the same in esteem, and procure credit thereto. 2. Would any be good subjects, let them begin at the right end, perform their duties in the right manner, even for conscience sake, as being required of God. 3. Magistrates are to trust those most which do most fear God, and accordingly to use them kindly and countenance them as being indeed their most loyal subjects; yea, to further the gospel what in them lies, whereby people may be brought to fear God. (John Rogers.)

A royalty free from dispute:—The most unreasonable things in the world become most reasonable because of the unruly lives of men. What is less reasonable than to choose the eldest son of a queen to guide a State? For we do not choose as steersman of a ship that one of the passengers who is of the best family. Such a law would be ridiculous and unjust, but since men are so themselves, and ever will be, it becomes reasonable and just. For would they choose the most virtuous and able, we at once fall to blows, since each asserts that he is the most virtuous and able. Let us then affix this quality to something which cannot be disputed. This is the king’s eldest son. That is clear, and there is no dispute. Reason can do no better, for civil war is the worst of evils. (Blaise Pascal.)[11]

17. Those who would live ‘as servants of God’ (v. 16) have differing obligations to all men generally, other Christians, God, and the emperor. The first phrase, Honour all men, may be taken as one command among four (rsv, nasb) or as a summary statement to be explained by the other three statements (niv: ‘Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honour the king’; similarly neb).

For several reasons the niv’s understanding of it as a summary statement is unpersuasive. (1) The categories ‘believers’, ‘God’, and ‘the king’ do not include ‘all people’ (Gk. pantas), for unbelievers are omitted, and in the very context where relationships to unbelievers are prominent (vv. 12, 15). Thus, on this reading the following three statements do not fully explain the first, as they ought to do. (2) On the other hand, it would seem somewhat unnatural to include God in the same category as men in the Greek pantas (‘all persons’)—no example like this is found in the 1,244 instances of ‘all’ in the New Testament. (3) The verb honour (timaō) does not seem to be so wide in range as to mean ‘proper respect of various sorts’ and include both ‘love’ and ‘fear’: one might well ‘honour’ or ‘show proper respect’ to a weak and evil king, for example, without either loving or fearing him. Moreover, this interpretation must give timaō a different sense at the end of the sentence than it has at the beginning, something unlikely if the first instance is meant as a summary of the second.

It is better therefore to take this verse as four separate commands. Honour all men means ‘honour all people’; ‘men’ is not in the Greek text. ‘All’ (pantas) is common in reference to all people generally (cf. Matt. 10:22; Luke 2:3; John 1:7; Rom. 3:23; Jas 1:5). Consistent with their good conduct among unbelievers (vv. 12–16), Christians should be courteous and respectful to all people. This principle condemns much of man’s treatment of his fellows both in the political and in the industrial world’ (Stibbs/Walls, p. 112).

Love the brotherhood indicates a higher obligation to fellow Christians (note ‘brotherhood’ also in 5:9), not only to respect them but also to show strong, deep love to them (see note on agapaō, ‘love’, at 1:22).

Fear God indicates a still higher obligation. Christians are not only to honour and love God (1:3, 8; 2:5, 9); they are also to fear him, something they should not do toward unbelievers (3:14) or toward other believers (see note at 1:17 on fear of God).

Peter now returns to ‘honour’, the same word with which the verse began: Honour the emperor. In what is apparently mild irony Peter has put the emperor on the same level as ‘all people’. The progression seems to be as follows:

Fear God.

Love the brotherhood.

Honour all people. Honour the emperor.

While positively affirming the obligation to honour the emperor (consistent with vv. 13–15), he also subtly implies that, contrary to the claims of Roman emperors to be divine, the emperor was by no means equal to God or worthy of the fear due to God alone. Christians have obligations to the state, but their obligations to God and to the brotherhood of believers are higher.[12]

17. This is a summary of what is gone before; for he intimates that God is not feared, nor their just right rendered to men, except civil order prevails among us, and magistrates retain their authority. That he bids honour to be rendered to all, I explain thus, that none are to be neglected; for it is a general precept, which refers to the social intercourse of men. The word honour has a wide meaning in Hebrew, and we know that the apostles, though they wrote in Greek, followed the meaning of words in the former language. Therefore, this word conveys no other idea to me, than that a regard ought to be had for all, since we ought to cultivate, as far as we can, peace and friendship with all; there is, indeed, nothing more adverse to concord than contempt.

What he adds respecting the love of brethren is special, as contrasted with the first clause; for he speaks of that particular love which we are bidden to have towards the household of faith, because we are connected with them by a closer relationship. And so Peter did not omit this connexion; but yet he reminds us, that though brethren are to be specially regarded, yet this ought not to prevent our love from being extended to the whole human race. The word fraternity, or brotherhood, I take collectively for brethren.

Fear God. I have already said that all these clauses are applied by Peter to the subject he was treating. For he means, that honour paid to kings proceeds from the fear of God and the love of man; and that, therefore, it ought to be connected with them, as though he had said, “Whosoever fears God, loves his brethren and the whole human race as he ought, and will also give honour to kings.” But, at the same time, he expressly mentions the king, because that form of government was more than any other disliked; and under it other forms are included.[13]

A Summary of Christian Duty

1 Peter 2:17

Honour all men; love the brotherhood; fear God; honour the king.

Here is what we might call a four-point summary of Christian duty.

(1) Honour all men. To us, this may seem hardly needing to be said, but when Peter wrote this letter it was something quite new. There were 60,000,000 slaves in the Roman Empire, every one of whom was considered in law to be not a person but a thing, with no rights whatever. In effect, Peter is saying: ‘Remember the rights of human personality and the dignity of every individual.’ It is still possible to treat people as things. An employer may treat employees as so many human machines for producing so much work. Even in a welfare state, where the aim is to do so much for their physical welfare, there is a very real danger that people may be regarded as numbers on a form or as cards in a filing system.

John Lawrence, in his book Hard Facts: A Christian Looks at the World, says that one of the greatest needs in the welfare state is ‘to see through the files and forms in triplicate to God’s creatures who are at the other end of the chain of organization’. The danger is that we fail to see men and women as persons. This matter comes nearer home. When we regard people as existing solely to minister to our comfort or to further our plans, we are in effect regarding them not as persons but as things. The most tragic danger of all is that we may come to regard those who are nearest and dearest to us as existing for our convenience—and that is to treat them as things.

(2) Love the brotherhood. Within the Christian community, this respect for every individual turns to something warmer and closer; it turns to love. The dominant atmosphere of the Church must always be love. One of the truest definitions of the Church is that it is ‘the extension of the family’. The Church is the larger family of God, and its bond must be love. As the psalmist had it (Psalm 133:1 from the Metrical Psalter):

Behold, how good a thing it is,

And how becoming well,

Together such as brethren are

In unity to dwell!

(3) Fear God. The writer of the proverbs has it: ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge’ (Proverbs 1:7). It may well be that the translation should not be that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but that the fear of the Lord is the principal part, the very foundation of knowledge. Fear here does not mean terror; it means awe and reverence. It is the simple fact of life that we will never honour one another until we honour God. It is only when God is given his proper place in the centre that all other things take their proper place.

(4) Honour the king. Of the four instructions of this verse, this is the most amazing—for, if it was really Peter who wrote this letter, the king in question is none other than Nero. It is the teaching of the New Testament that the ruler is sent by God to preserve order in society and must be respected, even when that ruler is a Nero.[14]

2:17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. Of these four parallel phrases, the first and the last use weaker terminology, that of “showing proper respect” and “honoring” (both use the same word in Greek). The middle two phrases use stronger terminology: “love” and “fear.” While Christians show proper respect to all humans because every living person is created in the image of God, Christians’ responsibility toward other believers is characterized by sacrificial love. This is not to say that Christians are free from loving non-Christians, but it is similar to Paul’s command in Galatians 6:10, where Christians do good to everyone, but they are to go above and beyond with others of the household of faith.

Likewise, Peter uses the stronger term of “fear” to describe Christians’ responsibility toward God, in contrast to the weaker term of “honor” for his readers’ relationship to the governing authorities. (On the fear of God, see the comments on 1 Pet. 1:17.) While it can be said that Christians should fear governmental authorities (Rom. 13:3–5), believers have a stronger obligation, allegiance, and response to God than to the state. This leaves room for the rare occasions of civil disobedience, in which Peter himself engaged (e.g., Acts 4:19; 5:29).

Because “honor” is used for both everyone and the emperor, the idea is to treat those in leadership the way that everyone should be treated: with respect; avoiding slandering, gossiping and being divisive; and treating them as you would want to be treated if you were in a position of leadership.[15]

2:17 / Show proper respect to everyone (pantes timēsate). The Greek imperative is in the aorist tense, yet it is followed by three present imperatives, love … fear … honor. The meaning seems to be: Take up once for all (aorist imperative) as a permanent stance the attitude of respect for all. In practice this works out as continuously (present imperatives) loving the brotherhood of believers, fearing God, and honoring the king. Christians may increasingly appreciate their special status and privileges as children of God, but that is no reason for looking down on others. All that believers are and can become is solely by God’s grace. To guard against such false suppositions of superiority, they are to make sure that they show proper respect to all. Respect is due to others as fellow human beings irrespective of any particular position they may hold. And, in any case, what right has one person to judge the spiritual condition of another? “Trample not on any: there may be some work of grace there that thou knowest not of” (Leighton, vol. 1, p. 367).[16]

17  Rulers are to be honored, but Peter nuances this command carefully as he sums up his section on government. We find here two double statements, the two pairs bound together by “honor” on either end, a beautiful literary summation (i.e., a chiastic A B B A pattern).  The first pair is “honor everyone; love fellow-Christians.” Not just the king but every human being is due honor, from noble to slave, for all are created in the image of God (cf. Jas. 3:10–12). “Ben Zoma said: Who is wise? He that learns from all men.… Who is honored? He that honors mankind, as it is written, For them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” This Jewish saying surely expresses Peter’s thought as well.But in contrast to non-Christians who are to be honored, fellow-Christians are to be loved. Peter alone in the NT uses the specific term found here for “fellow-Christians” (translated “brotherhood” in many translations, cf. 5:9), but love for community members is a constant stress of the NT (John 13:34–35; Rom. 12:9; Eph. 1:15; Phil. 2:2; etc.). While nothing in this passage should be construed to deny the demand to love one’s neighbor, whoever he or she might be (Matt. 5:43–46; Luke 10:25–37; Rom. 13:8–9), the NT is very aware that the church (a term never used by Peter) is family, brothers and sisters, and therefore has a call upon the Christian’s love in a way others do not.

Having reached a high peak with love, Peter continues at that level with “reverence God,” before dropping to “honor the king.” This pair may in fact stem from Prov. 24:21 (“Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious”), but if so, Peter has made a change, for he makes it clear that only God is to be reverenced or feared, for God alone is ultimate, a belief that was not shared by non-Christians of that age, who honored the Caesar (or other monarch) as at least semidivine.

In contrast to the reverence to be accorded to God, Peter ends on a lower note with “honor the king.” Jesus also made a distinction between God and Caesar (Matt. 10:28; Mark 12:13–17), but this did not mean a disdain for Caesar. While Caesar is only put on a level with “everyone” here, he still receives his honor. The Jews were aware that God controlled history and used even pagans to do his will. This did not mean that God approved of their means or would not punish them, but it did mean that they were not outside his purpose (Isa. 1:20; 5:23–29; 10:5–11; 45:1; Jer. 5:15–17; 16:3; 21:4–7; 25:9; 27:6; 43:10). As a result, even though the Jews in general believed that the Messiah would come and destroy their Roman rulers, they offered sacrifices and prayers for the Emperor (Philo, Legatio 157.355-56; Josephus, Wars 2.197; C. Ap. 2.77). Even Roman order was better than anarchy. Christians also followed this pattern, as Matt. 22:21, 1 Tim. 2:1–3, and Tit. 3:1 show. But, while due appropriate honor and rightly to be prayed for, the Emperor was human and therefore neither to receive blanket approval nor ultimate reverence, both of which were reserved for God alone. This balance made the church of the next few centuries refuse both revolution (e.g., the Jerusalem church fled Jerusalem rather than take part in the war against Rome in a.d. 66–70) and participation in the army; she would also both speak respectfully and appreciatively of Roman order, and refuse to give even a pinch of incense to the Emperor in worship (their equivalent of the practice of saluting the flag in the United States). Pagans would think them foolish for their obedience to law in general (which they often tried to avoid), and more foolish for their disobedience to the command to take part in a simple and relatively meaningless patriotic ceremony of worship. But it was that balance that Peter felt best expressed the truth to which Christians bear witness.[17]

The Application of Submission

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. (2:17)

Peter summarized his demand for submission to all authority—his citizenship theology—into four practical, applicatory dimensions of life. First, believers are to honor all people. Every person was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26; 9:6b; James 3:9b; cf. Ps. 100:3a) and therefore is due some degree of respect. In the first century, most people viewed slaves as nonpersons with no rights. But Peter told his readers they were not to treat anyone that way (cf. Col. 4:1). Christians are not to discriminate against any class of people because of race, nationality, or economic status (cf. Rom. 2:11; Eph. 6:8–9; James 2:1–9). That does not mean they ignore different levels of authority and social structure or that they engage in a mindless tolerance for everyone’s conduct, but it does mean they show proper respect for everyone as individuals made in the image of God.

The second application is that believers love the brotherhood. They are to show the world that they love their fellow believers. The apostle John also wrote of this principle a number of times:

A new commandment I [Christ] give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34–35; cf. 15:12)

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (1 John 3:23; cf. 4:7, 21)

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. (1 John 5:1)

Third, believers are to fear God (Deut. 13:4; Ps. 111:10; Prov. 9:10; Eccl. 12:13; Heb. 12:9, 28; Rev. 15:4), which includes trusting Him in all circumstances (Ps. 36:7; Prov. 3:5; 14:26; 16:20; Isa. 26:4), no matter how difficult they are (cf. 5:7; Ps. 34:22; Prov. 29:25; Nah. 1:7; 2 Cor. 1:10; 2 Tim. 1:12). Christians must worship Him as the sovereign One (Matt. 6:33–34; Rom. 8:28; 11:33) who orchestrates everything according to His perfect will (1 Sam. 2:7–8; Ps. 145:9; Prov. 19:21). Such fear also encourages believers to submit to all earthly authorities, because they have the utmost respect for the One who has commanded them to do so.

Finally, believers are to honor the king, which brings the issue full circle, back to the basic command of verse 13. This application again echoes Paul’s teaching in Romans 13, particularly verse 7, “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” As God’s agent for carrying out the purposes of government, the monarch, president, premier, or prime minister is worthy of the respect God mandates.

When believers obey the principles of this passage, it gives genuine credibility to their faith. Submission to civil authority is an implementation of what might be called “evangelistic citizenship,” along the lines of Jesus’ declaration in the Sermon on the Mount:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 5:14–16)[18]

[1] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1813). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Pe 2:17). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2408). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Pe 2:17). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1682). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[6] Derickson, G. (2010). The First Epistle of Peter. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 1155). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[7] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2264). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[8] Raymer, R. M. (1985). 1 Peter. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 847). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[9] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, p. 34). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[10] Utley, R. J. D. (2000). The Gospel according to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter (Vol. Volume 2, pp. 232–233). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[11] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: I. Peter (pp. 197–210). London: James Nisbet & Co.

[12] Grudem, W. A. (1988). 1 Peter: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 17, pp. 129–131). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[13] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 85–86). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[14] Barclay, W. (2003). The Letters of James and Peter (3rd ed. fully rev. and updated, pp. 240–242). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.

[15] Samra, J. (2016). James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 139). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books: A Division of Baker Publishing Group.

[16] Hillyer, N. (2011). 1 and 2 Peter, Jude (p. 80). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[17] Davids, P. H. (1990). The First Epistle of Peter (pp. 102–104). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[18] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter (pp. 152–153). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

30 Jan 2021 – News Briefing

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30 Jan 2021

China is trying to collect Americans’ DNA and more, fmr. US intel official says
A former U.S. intelligence official warned this week that the world’s largest biotechnology firm, a Chinese company called BGI Group, is trying to collect Americans’ DNA for China, and could use the data to monopolize critical medical supplies. “This shows the nefarious mindset of the Communist Party of China, to take advantage of a worldwide crisis like COVID,” Evanina told CBS. “We put out an advisory to not only every American, but to hospitals, associations, and clinics. Knowing that BGI is a Chinese company, do we understand where that data’s going?”

NBC News Covers the Biden Administration
Welcome to a new era of selective scrutiny. Just like the old one.

Impeachment Follies: Why the Senate Cannot Try Trump
By defining those three categories, Article II limits removal and future ineligibility only to current officeholders. After all, the 20th Amendment defines the president’s term as four years (with a possible second term). Once a president leaves office, as a matter of law, he or she is no longer president and, therefore, cannot be “removed” from that office.

AOC’s incendiary attack on senator lands in Pelosi’s lap
Cortez claimed on Thursday that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tried to have her killed, blaming him and other lawmakers for the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 Now, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, has asked Pelosi to discipline the New York lawmaker. “It has come to my attention that Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez sent out a tweet a few hours ago in which she accused Senator Ted Cruz, in essence, of attempted murder,”

White House press secretary: Iran must resume compliance with nuclear constraints
White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated on Friday that the Biden administration’s stance is that Iran must resume compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement before any negotiations can take place on an improved deal.

Sirens heard in Iran
Sirens were heard in western Tehran on Friday night. It was a rainy and cold evening there and the sirens can be heard in the distance in several videos posted online. They began around midnight apparently Tehran time and videos appeared online just after that.

Top Biden Official Received Big Bucks from Firm at Center of GameStop Controversy
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen earned over $800,000 from a hedge fund firm at the center of the GameStop financial controversy, but the White House says that is no big deal.

Two more coma patients’ brains jump-started with ultrasound
Five years ago, we heard how a team at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) had used ultrasound to seemingly “jump start” a patient out of a coma. At the time, the scientists wondered if such results could be repeated, or if their success was just a one-off. They have now done it two more times.

Terror group claims responsibility for attack on Israeli embassy in India
A terrorist organization called Jaish-ul-Hind has taken responsibility for the attack on Israel’s embassy in New Delhi, according to Indian media. An explosion occurred near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday. Indian police said that the explosion was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

Turkey seeks to cement Iran alliance
Turkey hosted Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Ankara on Friday in a sign of Turkey’s growing relations that seek to work closely with Tehran against US interests in the Middle East. The meeting illustrated that Turkey’s recent push for Azerbaijan to fight Armenians in the Caucasus now will end with Ankara, Moscow and Tehran cooperating in the Caucasus region to carve it up into spheres of influence…

Kosovo to establish diplomatic relations with Israel on Monday
Israel and Kosovo will establish mutual diplomatic relations on Monday, Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Relations Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla wrote on her official website. The signature will be done in a virtual event attended by Foreign Affair Minister Gaby Ashkenazi. Haradinaj-Stubla thanked the US and called Israel’s recognition of the Balkan state “one of the greatest achievements of the Republic of Kosovo.”

Moroccan delegation to visit Israel, ‘region-changing cooperation’
A Moroccan delegation is expected to visit Israel by the end of February, and an Israeli one to visit the North-African kingdom providing COVID-19 infections rates in Israel do not rise. The decision was reached during a Friday conversation between National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat spoke with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

Major winter storm brings damaging mudslides to California, may become a potential Nor’easter
A major winter storm fueled by an atmospheric river unleashed damaging mudslides in Northern California on Thursday, January 28, 2021, after dumping heavy snow and downpours to the region over the past days. The threat of flash flooding continues into Friday morning, January 29, as the storm persists in Central California and through the day in Southern California, the National Weather Service (NWS) warned.

Victoria drenched by a month’s worth of rain in 12 hours while historic rains hit NSW, Australia
Parts of Victoria, Australia, have seen a month’s worth of rain in 12 hours into Friday, January 29, 2021, while New South Wales was hit by historic rainfall, and is set for further heavy downpours and damaging winds, with severe thunderstorm warning in place.

Tropical depression near Fiji to intensify into a tropical cyclone
Tropical depression 05F developed near Fiji on January 28, 2021, and is forecast to slowly track towards Fiji over the next 24 hours and develop into a tropical cyclone Category 1 on January 30, affecting the Fiji Group.

‘President’ Joe Biden Attempts Speaking But Winds Up Saying That He’s Going To Give ‘200 Million Doses’ Of COVID-29 Coronavirus Vaccine To 300 Americans
If you have any doubts at all that ‘President’ Joe Biden is suffering from serious and rapidly-progressing cognitive decline, let me reassure you that he absolutely is not only declining, he has descended into meaningless gibberish. Even for those of you used to trying decipher what comes out of his mouth, this will be something new indeed. He almost sounds like he’s having a mild stroke while he’s talking, and I don’t mean that meanly. The video is at the bottom, take a look for yourself and see. It’s stunning, actually.

FBI says pipe bombs planted night before Capitol riot
The two pipe bombs discovered at the Republican and Democratic national committees offices before the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 were planted the night before, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said Friday, the Associated Press reported.

The UK government admits that covid vaccines are pointless and offer zero protection
The UK government admits that covid vaccines are pointless and offer zero protection

MEDIA BLACKOUT: Antifa Riot at Portland ICE Facility Overnight, Throw Mortar Explosives at Federal Police Officers (VIDEO)
There is a virtual media blackout after Antifa terrorists rioted at the Portland ICE facility overnight. Nearly 60 Antifa terrorists burned American flags and threw projectiles and mortar explosives at federal police officers last night.

Health freedom advocates file informed consent lawsuit to exempt all persons from mandatory vaccination
Attorneys Greg Glaser and Ray Flores are taking on the vaccine industry with a new lawsuit. If successful, all Americans will have the right to exempt themselves from forced vaccination if they so choose, regardless of the reason.

America becomes a terror state as governments wage terror campaigns against their own people
…The order has gone out, and human beings are to be exterminated by the billions. This explains the engineered food scarcity, deadly vaccine injections, engineered bioweapons, deliberate economic collapse and more.

Biden hands over control of America’s power grid to communist China – DC Clothesline
Hunter’s dad has already revoked an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that barred communist China and other hostile foreign entities from gaining access to America’s power grid.

Biden refuses questions as executive order criticism grows
..In a bid to undo many of the initiatives of the previous Trump administration, Biden has signed a record 40 executive actions in his first week in office. The legally binding orders have set new guidelines around racial equity, sought to squash America’s fossil fuel emissions, ended the Muslim travel ban, and introduced a 100-day federal mask mandate.

The left keeps accusing conservatives of “The Big Lie” – a term invented by Hitler as he prepared to persecute German Jews
For example: President Joe Biden has accused President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Sen. Josh Hawley of a “Big Lie” ; Rep. Mazie Hirono went on Anderson Cooper to accuse the Republican senators of a “Big Lie”; Dominion Voting Systems has alleged a “Big Lie” in their lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani; Jake Tapper has used the term repeatedly on Twitter and on air to describe allegations of fraud in the 2020 election.

After 440,000 Americans are Dead – Facebook and American Journal of Medicine Admit Their Stand on HCQ was Wrong
The liberal mainstream media can’t hide this truth from the American public forever. The latest international testing of hydroxychloroquine treatment of coronavirus shows countries that had early use of the drug had a 79% lower mortality rate than countries that banned the use of the safe malaria drug.

Beijing Uses Anal Swabs To Detect COVID-19 Strains 
Just as the WHO acknowledges (in time for the start of the Biden Administration) that the high-cycle PCR tests routinely lead to far higher numbers of false positives than the world had expected, Li Tongzeng, a doctor at Beijing’s You’an Hospital, and a proponent of anal swab tests, claims that “the coronavirus survives longer in the anus or excrement than those taken from upper body tracts.”

source: 30 Jan 2021 – Rapture Ready

Headlines – 1/30/2021

Blast outside Israel’s New Delhi embassy damages cars; security raised worldwide

Kosovo says it will formally establish diplomatic ties with Israel on Feb. 1

US Embassy in Jerusalem plans ambitious expansion

Mossad head to visit US next month to meet White House officials – report

ISIS ‘Deputy’ Killed in Iraq, Says Iraqi Prime Minister

Turkey seeks to cement Iran alliance

Antony Blinken Says U.S. Will Defend the Philippines From Attacks in South China Sea

New grid threat: Russia deploys ‘first-strike weapon,’ and China ready too

FBI Lawyer Who Forged Email in Carter Page FISA Process Sentenced to Probation

White House: Biden has privately warned associates about using his name in business amid ethical controversies

Biden Regime Embraces ‘Great Reset’ Plan to Destroy Capitalism

Six AGs Threaten Suit Over Biden’s Flurry of Immigration Orders

Eric Holder urges Democrats to pack Supreme Court; Schumer considering it

Lindsey Graham says calling ‘QAnon Shaman’ as impeachment witness would turn trial into ‘circus’

FBI: Pipe Bombs Found In DC Planted Night Before Capitol Riot

Growing evidence Capitol assault was planned weakens incitement case against Trump, experts say

While Mike Lee opposes impeaching Trump, he suggests censuring liberal congresswoman

Gabbard: Pelosi’s ‘enemy is within the House’ claim is like ‘match into a tinderbox’

Bill Maher nervous about Trump’s ‘radio silence’ since leaving office: ‘Does that not alarm you a little?’

Georgia’s Raffensperger Caught in Another Scandal – After His Claims that “Audits” of Georgia’s Voting Machines and Election Were Performed by a Certified Auditor Come into Question

Washington Post writer says Trump should never be allowed to have a presidential library

Pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood refuses Bar’s order to undergo psychiatric exam

Commentary: Hitler’s Censorship and Propaganda Machine Invades America

UN chief calls for regulating social media companies

Reddit’s CEO has a colorful nickname for the Redditors who ruin it for everyone

GameStop traders outsmart the smart guys, leaving an indelible mark on Wall Street

Gamestop and AMC trades restricted: ‘How free exactly is the market?’ asks WallStreetBets founder

GameStop short sellers are still not surrendering despite nearly $20 billion in losses this month

Texas AG Ken Paxton announces probe into Robinhood, Discord and hedge funds

Google Deletes Over 100,000 1-Star Reviews, Restores Robinhood’s App Rating

Dow drops more than 600 points Friday, suffers worst week since October amid GameStop trading frenzy

Black Lives Matter Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

International police effort takes down ‘world’s most dangerous’ malware network

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits northwest of Australia

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Puerto Armuelles, Panama

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Puerto Armuelles, Panama

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova, Russia region

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Amahai, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near the South Shetland Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near the South Shetland Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits off the coast of Central America

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 11,000ft

Karangetang volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Tropical depression near Fiji to intensify into a tropical cyclone

Victoria drenched by a month’s worth of rain in 12 hours while historic rains hit NSW, Australia

26 Senate Republicans Request Meeting With Biden Over Actions Affecting Energy Workers

John Kerry family private jet emitted estimated 166 metric tons of carbon over past year

Virginia County Passes Resolution Condemning Forced Organ Harvesting in China

Annual ‘March for Life’ Goes Virtual in Washington: We Are Not Going Away

200 House Republicans Declare ‘Unified Opposition’ to Tax-Funded Abortion

Twitter suspends Christian magazine for saying Biden’s trans nominee is a man, not a woman

Another Epidemic: Family Gaps Widen over Sex, Tech, Trump & COVID

Researchers develop smartphone-based COVID-19 test that delivers results in about 10 minutes

CDC orders sweeping U.S. transportation mask mandate as COVID-19 rages

New clinical trials raise fears the coronavirus is learning how to resist vaccines

Cuomo blames nursing home scandal on ‘political attack’ by Trump admin

Cuomo callously addresses COVID nursing home report: ‘Who cares!’

Stimulus: Lawmakers urge Biden to offer recurring $2,000 ‘survival checks’

Source: Tracking the Birth Pangs – News and Links (trackingbibleprophecy.org)

Weekend Snapshot – Top Stories This Week · Jan. 30, 2021

Myriad Problems With Post-Presidency Impeachment Trial

The trial is set for the week of February 8, but that’s just the beginning of the problems.

The Impeachment Sham Is Also a Chess Match

With an unconstitutional Senate trial on the horizon, both parties believe they can benefit.

The Trump Presidency: A One-Term Postmortem

No president has ever been more relentlessly assailed by the enemies of Liberty than Donald Trump.

GameStop: Gamer Culture Hits Wall Street

After a run on an obscure company, the stock market moves to protect its own.

Biden Wrecks Economy to Fight ‘Climate Change’

“It is an existential threat,” he says. “There is a climate crisis.” And that justifies anything.

Killing Jobs and Raising Energy Prices

The Biden administration has plans for your gas tank, and you’re not going to like it.

Nazis Everywhere

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Leftists take note.

Demo Fraidy Cat Cries Murder

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once again shows us that no degree of hyperbole is beneath her.

The FBI’s Disgraceful Prosecution of a Joke

A man faces 10 years in prison for posting a humorous voting message on Twitter.

Teachers Unions Are Hurting Our Kids

Despite overwhelming evidence that teachers are safe from COVID, unions are keeping kids out of the classroom.

Joe Biden’s Californication of America

Will our 46th president do to America what his fellow Democrats have done to California?

Equity Isn’t Equality

The Biden administration’s obsession with race-based policies is built around a single troubling word.

The Media’s COVID Failures

Contradictory reporting has left Americans distrusting media, government, and each other.

Lockdowns Stymied Economy, Not COVID

Unemployment shot up in blue states due to draconian lockdowns, whereas red states’ rates remain much lower.

‘Missing Context’ Is a ‘Fact-Checking’ Catch-All

These folks are as dishonest as they are troublesome for conservative media.

The Democrats’ War on ‘Domestic Terrorism’

Using the Capitol riot as a pretense, the Left and Big Tech are declaring war on their political enemies.

The Most Violent Year Ever

The carnage was sadly predictable in a year marked by nonstop demonization of law enforcement.

Leftmedia Gives Biden Halo of ‘Most Religious’ President

Joe’s regular Mass attendance is the only measure the Leftmedia uses in judging his religious commitment.

Chinese Propaganda at The Wall Street Journal

A weekend essay might as well have been written by Beijing’s apparatchiks.

Real Coups and Fake Ones

New revelations in the Crossfire Hurricane case show that FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith didn’t act alone.

Trump’s Legacy: Political Impact

Donald Trump is responsible for huge changes.


For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.


For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.


“Biden has reverted to an old and meaningless excuse when he says he doesn’t want to ‘impose’ his faith on others. The question then becomes why have a faith at all, if he won’t apply what his church teaches as truth? How is Biden different from a person who is about to witness a murder but doesn’t try to stop it, or call the police, because he doesn’t want to impose his moral views about the value of life on a man about to commit an illegal and immoral act?” —Cal Thomas

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 01/30/2021

Biden Commits to Codifying Roe Into Law on 48th Year Since Supreme Court Abortion Decision   Jan 25, 2021 09:11 am

WASHINGTON — Referring to abortion as “reproductive health care,” President Joe Biden reiterated his commitment to codifying Roe v. Wade into law on Friday, the 48th year since the U.S. Supreme Court issued the decision that resulted in more than 60 million deaths of unborn children — and counting. “In the past four years, reproductive health, including the…

Continue reading the story 

Satanic Temple Sues City of Boston to Obtain ‘Equal Opportunity’ to ‘Invoke Satan’ at Council Meetings   Jan 27, 2021 07:12 pm

BOSTON — The Satanic Temple (TST) has filed suit against the City of Boston to challenge its practice of allowing council members to choose those who present the invocation during public meetings rather than accepting requests from community members. The group’s legal challenge comes after it was denied requests to participate in 2016 and 2017. “This case is…

Continue reading the story 

Biden Rescinds Mexico City Policy Prohibiting Foreign Aid From Being Used to Perform, Promote Abortions   Jan 28, 2021 05:52 pm

Photo Credit: Javier de la Maza/Unsplash WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy on Thursday, which prohibits taxpayer money from being used by foreign aid recipients to perform, promote or refer women for abortions. The policy, created by Ronald Reagan in 1984, has been reversed by every Democratic president ever since and reinstituted…

Continue reading the story 

Honduran Lawmakers Vote to Lock in Bans on Abortion, Same-Sex ‘Marriage’   Jan 24, 2021 04:12 pm

Photo Credit: Jarin Dominguez/Unsplash TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) — Members of the Honduran Congress voted on Thursday to amend the Constitution, making it much harder to reverse existing hard-line bans on abortion and same-sex “marriage,” as lawmakers double down on socially conservative priorities. Lawmakers voted to require a three-quarters super-majority to…

Continue reading the story 

Study: Nearly Half of Pastors Have Heard Church Members Repeat Conspiracy Theories   Jan 28, 2021 02:16 pm

Photo Credit: Clay Lindner/Unsplash (Evangelical Focus) — Between September and October 2020, Lifeway Research collected the answers of 1,007 Protestant pastors of churches around the United States. 49% of the respondents agreed with the sentence: “I frequently hear members of my congregation repeating conspiracy theories they have heard about why something…

Continue reading the story 

Arizona Rep. Files ‘Equal Opportunity to Life Act’ to Outlaw Abortion in State, Criminalize as Murder   Jan 27, 2021 01:08 pm

Photo Credit: Han Myo Mtwe/Unsplash PHOENIX — A Republican lawmaker in Arizona has proposed a bill to protect the unborn at all stages of development, without exception, and to prosecute abortion in the state as murder. House Bill 2650, also known as the “Equal Opportunity to Life Act,” presented by Rep. Walt Blackman, R-Snowflake, amends current penal law to…

Continue reading the story 

Oklahoma Bill Would Prohibit State From Classifying Church Gatherings as ‘Nonessential’   Jan 25, 2021 04:22 pm

Photo Credit: Luis Quintero/Pexels OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A Republican senator in Oklahoma has introduced a bill that would amend the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to add a provision ensuring that churches cannot be closed or classified as “nonessential.” “The closure of a religious institution or the declaration of a religious institution…

Continue reading the story 

Florida Rep. Files Bill to Allow Baby Receptacles at Hospitals, Fire Stations in Effort to Save Newborns   Jan 26, 2021 05:58 pm

Photo Credit: Peter Beukema/Unsplash TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Republican lawmaker in Florida has filed a bill that would allow the installation of “newborn infant safety devices,” also known as “baby boxes” at hospitals and fire stations in an effort to save newborns who might otherwise be abandoned in dumpsters or killed by their mothers. Rep. Joe Hardin,…

Continue reading the story 

Scottish Teachers Reporting Parents Non-Affirming of Their Child’s ‘Transgenderism’ to Social Services   Jan 27, 2021 10:48 am

(The Christian Institute) — Schools across Scotland have been reporting parents to local authorities if they are unsupportive of their child’s desire to “swap gender.” The Sunday Times reports that dozens of referrals have been made on the back of publicly-funded guidance produced by pro-trans lobby group LGBT Youth Scotland. The Scottish government…

Continue reading the story 

Biden Lifts Ban on ‘Transgenders’ in the Military   Jan 25, 2021 06:39 pm

WASHINGTON — President Biden signed an executive order on Monday reversing the Trump administration’s ban on “transgenders” serving in the military, allowing men who identify as women and vice versa to serve in the nation’s Armed Forces if they are otherwise qualified. “his is reinstating a position that previous commanders as well as the secretaries have…

Continue reading the story 

Larry Kings’s last never-before-aired interview with RT America

Larry King, an absolute legend of both radio and television, passed away last week, at the age of 87. The impact he had on the entire field of broadcast media cannot be overstated. He may not have died in the way he had hoped, but he spent every waking moment living the way he wanted, guided by his desire for truth and a profound interest in people.

The story of the Signal app and the CIA | #PollyBites

The Signal App – suddenly billed as the panacea to all your digital encryption woes. Now that end-to-end…whatever is ALL the rage, everyone’s downloading it. But before you persuade your grandad that it’s the best thing since sliced bread, you might want to check out its origins. Here’s a hint, there may have been some involvement from none other than the US government. Don’t worry, Polly Boiko can explain.

Stage Set for Possible Israel-Iran Clash, How Will Biden Respond? 01/29/21

Stage set for possible Israel-Iran clash; and Judea, Samaria want Washington to stay Trump’s course in biblical heartland; plus do South Africans think Israel is an Apartheid state? And Holocaust remembrance at Israel’s heart-wrenching memorial.

Moral relativism is the ‘majority opinion’ of Gen Z, new study reveals

Moral relativism is the “majority opinion” of Gen Z, with most teens and young adults holding to the belief that many religions can lead to eternal life, a new study has found.

Source: Moral relativism is the ‘majority opinion’ of Gen Z, new study reveals

William Lane Craig lectures on naturalism at the University of St. Andrews


Lets take a closer look at a puzzle Lets take a closer look at a puzzle

Note: even if you have heard Dr. Craig’s arguments before, I recommend jumping to the 48 minutes of Q&A time, which starts 72 minutes in.

About Dr. William Lane Craig:

William Lane Craig(born August 23, 1949) is an Americananalytic philosopher,philosophical theologian, andChristian apologist. He is known for his work on thephilosophy of timeand thephilosophy of religion, specifically theexistence of Godand the defense of Christiantheism. He has authored or edited over 30 books includingThe Kalam Cosmological Argument(1979),Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology(co-authored withQuentin Smith, 1993),Time and Eternity: Exploring God’s Relationship to Time(2001), andEinstein, Relativity and Absolute Simultaneity(co-edited with Quentin Smith, 2007).

Craig received aBachelor of Artsdegree in communications fromWheaton College, Illinois, in 1971 and twosumma cum laudemaster’s degreesfromTrinity Evangelical Divinity SchoolinDeerfield, Illinois, in 1975, inphilosophy of religionandecclesiastical history.He earned aPh.D.in philosophy underJohn Hickat theUniversity of…

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January 30 Morning Quotes of the Day

Come Nearer to God by Virtue
James 4:8; 2 Peter 1:5–7

It is not by change of place that we can come nearer to Him who is in every place, but by the cultivation of pure desires and virtuous habits.


Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Vicegerents of God
John 17:6–19; Acts 4:23–31; Ephesians 2:8–10

Praying men are the vicegerents of God; they do His work and carry out His plans.


Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Modern church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Worldview and Apologetics in the News — Truthbomb Apologetics

The Equality Act Accelerates Anti-Christian Bias

Joe Biden Signs Executive Order Forcing Americans to Fund Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Podcast: Casey Luskin Returns, Teases a New Book, Celebrates ID 3.0

Podcast: Outgrowing God? with Peter S. Williams 

Sewell: Top Five Evidences for Intelligent Design

Twitter suspends Christian magazine for saying Biden’s trans nominee is a man, not a woman

Victim of alleged sexual misconduct asks to be released from NDA with Ravi Zacharias

‘Christian’ Antisemitism Raises Its Head Again

Baylor University Newspaper Apologizes After Calling Professor ‘Transphobic’

New ‘Students for Life’ Poll Finds Younger Generation Could be Most Pro-Life Ever

Tolkien Fans Hope to Make Oxford Home a ‘Rivendell’ for Writers

A Different Kind of March for Life

Courage and Godspeed,Chad
Here is our last edition.

Worldview and Apologetics in the News — Truthbomb Apologetics

January 30 Morning Verse of the Day

3:10 The hour of testing refers to “the great tribulation” (7:14). Though the wording may sound like a reference to all who will inhabit the world at that time, those who live on the earth (“earth dwellers” from this point on in the notes) is a phrase used repeatedly in Revelation (6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8), speaking of the non-elect, “whose names have not been written in the book of life” (17:8). To “keep … from the hour of testing” has been taken to mean: (1) removed before the time of tribulation, or (2) supernaturally protected within the tribulation. Since the word hour suggests a period of time, and the purpose of the hour of testing is to test the non-elect “earth dwellers” rather than believers, it seems more likely that believers will be removed before the hour of great tribulation begins.[1]

3:10 Among other promises, no promise has been more precious to the churches in subsequent years than this promise to Philadelphia. The substance of the pledge is clearly that of deliverance from the Great Tribulation which shall eventually envelop the whole earth. The church, i.e., all true believers, will be taken out of the world prior to the cataclysmic upheavals of the Tribulation judgment (cf. chs. 6–19).[2]

3:10 the hour of testing Refers to the outpouring of God’s wrath on the world (beginning in Rev 6:1). Believers will be spiritually protected from various demonic attacks and plagues (see 9:4; 11:1 and note), and those who persevere will obtain eternal life (see 14:12–16) and admittance to the new Jerusalem (see chs. 21–22).[3]

3:10 To those who have kept his word, Christ promises, “I will keep you” from the coming hour of trial, which will put those who dwell on the earth to the test. Because this trial is coming on the whole world, it seems that before the final consummation, Revelation envisions a brief future period of intensified persecution for the church (see 19:19; 20:7–9) and of escalating manifestations of God’s wrath against “those who dwell on the earth,” a phrase designating rebellious humanity (6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 17:2, 8). Jesus does not promise to spare believers from suffering or martyrdom but to shield them from his wrath and to transform martyrdom into triumph (6:10–11; 12:11). Many who hold a “pretribulation rapture” position believe that this verse means Christ will take them out of the world before a literal “great tribulation” period begins. Other interpreters, however, see this as God’s promise to safeguard and remain faithful to believers who endure patiently in the midst of “the hour of trial that is coming,” though it does not imply that he will take believers out of the world at that time (cf. a similar but not identical Gk. expression in James 1:27, where it does not imply removal from the world).[4]

3:10 keep you from the hour of testing. Christ’s description—an event still future that for a short time severely tests the whole world—must refer to the time of tribulation, the 7 year period before Christ’s earthly kingdom is consummated, featuring the unleashing of divine wrath in judgments expressed as seals, trumpets, and bowls. This period is described in detail throughout chaps. 6–19. The latter half is called “the great tribulation” (7:14; Mt 24:21) and is identified as to time in 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5. The verb “keep” is followed by a preposition whose normal meaning is “from” or “out of”—this phrase, “keep … from” supports the pretribulational rapture of the church (see notes on Jn 14:1–3; 1Co 15:51, 52; 1Th 4:13–17). This period is the same as Daniel’s 70th week (see notes on Da 9:24–27) and “the time of Jacob’s distress” (see notes on Jer 30:7).[5]

3:10 Christ’s promise to keep the believers from the hour of trial is most likely a promise that He will remove them before the period of unparalleled tribulation. However, some take this promise to mean that believers will not be removed but rather protected, during the trial. The hour of trial is another way of referring to the unparalleled judgment of “the great tribulation” (7:14) predicted in Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21.[6]

3:10 Because the Philadelphians had maintained God’s truth by living it before men, the Lord would keep them from the hour of trial which is to come upon all who dwell on the earth. This is a promise of exemption from the Tribulation Period described in chapters 6–19. Note that they will be kept from the hour of trial, that is, from the whole time period. Also they will be kept out of that period (Gk., ek), not through it.

“Those who dwell on the earth” is a technical term, meaning those who make this earth their home, “men of the world who have their portion in this life” (Ps. 17:14b).[7]

3:10. The church in Philadelphia received no rebuke from Christ. Instead they were commended and given a promise because they had been willing to endure patiently. The promise was, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. This is an explicit promise that the Philadelphia church will not endure the hour of trial which is unfolded, beginning in Revelation 6. Christ was saying that the Philadelphia church would not enter the future time of trouble; He could not have stated it more explicitly. If Christ had meant to say that they would be preserved through a time of trouble, or would be taken out from within the Tribulation, a different verb and a different preposition would have been required.

Though scholars have attempted to avoid this conclusion in order to affirm posttribulationism, the combination of the verb “keep” (tērein) with the preposition “from” (ek) is in sharp contrast to the meaning of keeping the church “through” (dia), a preposition which is not used here. The expression “the hour of trial” (a time period) makes it clear that they would be kept out of that period. It is difficult to see how Christ could have made this promise to this local church if it were God’s intention for the entire church to go through the Tribulation that will come on the entire world. Even though the church at Philadelphia would go to glory via death long before the time of trouble would come, if the church here is taken to be typical of the body of Christ standing true to the faith, the promise seems to go beyond the Philadelphia church to all those who are believers in Christ (cf. Walvoord, Revelation, pp. 86–8).[8]

10 The hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world denotes not the clock time when the Messianic judgments come on the world, but the trials themselves. A comparable use of hour is seen in the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane, where it represents the horrors of the crucifixion and all it signified for him (Mk. 14:35; Jn. 12:27). The tribulation is to test those who live on the earth. This phrase is regularly used in Revelation for the unbelievers of the world (see 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 14; 17:8). The preservation of the church from the effects of these judgments is set forth in various images in this book of the judgments of God (see 7:1–8; 11:1; 12:6) and has a close parallel in Jn. 17:15.[9]




“Because you have kept the word of My perseverance”




“Because you have kept My command to persevere”




“Because you have kept my word of patient endurance”




“Because you have kept my command to endure”


This may be a reference to John 8:51 or 17:6. Jesus is not promising to keep His church from persecution because in the letters to the seven churches persecution, even death, was occurring.

Verse 10 refers to a world-wide judgment of God on unbelievers. It is crucial to distinguish between the “tribulations” believers endure in faith and “the wrath of God” that falls on an unbelieving world.

Interpreters differ over how the church will be spared amidst this eschatological judgment: (1) some see the church as going through it protected by God (cf. John 17:15); (2) others see this as pointing toward a secret rapture of believers before this period. I prefer #1. God’s people were not spared persecution and death during the first few centuries in a Greco-Roman culture or the continuing persecution and death as the gospel spread, nor will they be spared the end-time birth pains of the New Age. Persecution has always purged and strengthened the church!

The literary unit of chapters 2–3, in which the Church experiences persecution, is followed by the literary unit of heaven, in which the martyred Church prays for revenge. This “wrath of God” is given in stages of severity (seals-1/4, trumpets-1/3, bowls-total destruction), each stage given for the purpose of calling the lost to salvation. God’s ultimate wrath, the second death, the lake of fire (cf. Rev. 20), is no longer for redemption, but is totally punitive.

The persecuted church becomes the victorious church and the persecuting unbelievers experience persecution! God is in control!

© “to test those who dwell on the earth” This phrase is used repeatedly throughout to refer to a settled state of rebellion by unbelievers (cf. Rev. 6:10; 18:13; 1:10; 12:12; 13:8, 12, 14; 17:8). God wants them to repent and believe (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9), but they will not, even amidst the expanding judgments of the seals, trumpets, and bowls. See Special Topic: Greek Terms for Testing at 2:2d.[10]

10. The slightly unusual position of the reason for action, Since you have kept, lends it emphasis. The following phrase could be understood in one of three ways: the word of Jesus’ own patient endurance; a particular word from Jesus asking for patient endurance; or the word about Jesus (i.e. the good news) which requires patient endurance from those who respond. Given the sevenfold repetition of the word, and its application to all the people of God including John himself (1:9; 13:10; 14:12), the last is the most likely—though of course this can never be detached from the example of Jesus himself (1 Pet. 2:21).

The hour of testing (AT) might appear to be a contrast with the ‘ten days of suffering’ (tribulation) faced by those in Smyrna, but in fact both terms signify a time period that is limited, and given both the general and the widespread nature of such test[ing] or suffering, should be understood as characteristic of this age in contrast to the age to come; elsewhere in Revelation it is designated by the time period of three and a half days (‘time, times and half a time’) adapted from Daniel. To be [kept] … from such a time of trial could, conceivably, suggest being removed from this testing or protected from it. But the language through the entire book about the suffering that the people of God will experience (both in the messages and in the main body of the text) makes such a reading impossible.

The word for whole world is neutral, and refers primary to humanity rather than the non-human created order. But the term inhabitants of the earth (AT) comes ten times (3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10 twice; 13:8; 13:14 twice; 17:2, 8) and describes those who are deceived by the beast and follow him and who are opposed to the people of God, that is, those whose true dwelling is in the presence of God in heaven (13:6). The testing and suffering that comes upon the world highlights the difference between these two groups and their respective loyalties—but not in the sense of fixed and unchanging division, since the possibility of repentance, change and a switch of allegiance is always in view.[11]

10. Since introduces the reason, but grammatically it might be the reason for the preceding (the triumph of the Philadelphians over them of Satan’s synagogue), or the following (Christ’s keeping them in the hour of temptation). There seems no way of deciding the point. My command to endure patiently is more literally ‘the word of my steadfastness’ (see on ‘perseverance’, 2:2). It is a curious expression and seems to mean ‘the teaching which was exemplified in my steadfastness’ (so Swete; cf. 2 Thess. 3:5; Heb. 12:1–2). The same verb (tēreō) is used of Christ’s keeping the Philadelphians as of their keeping his word. There is a justice about it all. He does what is right.

Keep you from (ek) the hour of trial might mean ‘keep you from undergoing the trial’ or ‘keep you right through the trial’. The Greek is capable of either meaning. The trial is a very thoroughgoing test, for it will come upon the whole world, and test those who live on the earth. John usually uses this expression to mean the heathen world (see note on 6:10). Its use here accordingly may be another indication of compassion. The heathen are not simply judged and punished, but tested. God is giving them another opportunity.[12]

3:10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. Here Jesus promises spiritual protection for those who have kept his command to persevere (cf. the same obedience stressed in 3:8b). The same verb and preposition combination (“keep you from,” or tēreō ek) is used elsewhere only in John 17:15, where Jesus says, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (cf. Matt. 5:37; 2 Pet. 2:9).

The “hour of trial” represents the trials/tribulation associated with divine judgments, both in the seven messages as well as the three series described later in the book: seals, trumpets, and bowls. This period of trials includes God’s judgment on unbelievers (i.e., the pouring out of God’s wrath). During this time, believers will be present on earth and may experience physical persecution (e.g., 6:9–11), but they will never experience God’s wrath (7:1–8). Since God’s judgment often involves allowing evil to run its course, believers are here promised protection from demonic assault.[13]

3:10 / For the phrase, hour of trial, see S. Brown, “ ‘Hour of Trial’ (Rev. 3:10),” JBL 86 (1966), pp. 308–14. In a recent unpublished study, “The Day of the Lord, the ‘Hour’ in the Book of Revelation, and Rev. 3:10,” Allen Kerkeslager has argued that John’s use of hour throughout Revelation (8:1; 9:15; 11:13; 14:7; 17:12; 18:10, 17, 19) is theologically important: it is a catchword that reminds the readers of the “day of the Lord” in prophetic tradition and of the second coming in Christian tradition. More specifically, it refers to the eschatological clash between the powers of evil and of God at the parousia and implies God’s final triumph over sin and death takes place in a literal hour—so powerful is the might of God. Kerkeslager further argues that John’s use of hour organizes and frames his vision of the trumpets, thus relating that series of judgments to the final victory of God.[14]

10 Because the believers at Philadelphia had kept “Christ’s command to endure patiently for His sake,” he will keep them from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world. The major question is whether Christ is promising deliverance from the period of trial or safekeeping through the trial. The preposition “from” (Gk., ἐκ) is inconclusive. Walvoord holds that “if this promise has any bearing on the question of pretribulationism, however, what is said emphasizes deliverance from rather than deliverance through” and “implies the rapture of the church before the time of trouble referred to as the great tribulation.” The thrust of the verse is against this interpretation. It is precisely because the church was faithful to Christ in time of trial that he in turn will be faithful to them in the time of their great trial. The promise is consistent with the high-priestly prayer of Jesus, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15). It is their preservation in trial that is taught. That the martyrs of 6:9–11 are told to wait for vindication until their full number would be killed indicates that the issue is not physical protection. The spiritual protection of the church is presented elsewhere in Revelation under such figures as sealing (7:1ff.) and flight to the wilderness (12:6).

The hour of trial is that period of testing and tribulation which precedes the establishment of the eternal kingdom. It is mentioned in such passages as Dan 12:2, Mark 13:19, and 2 Thess 2:1–12. It is the three and a half years of rule by Antichrist in Rev 13:5–10. In fact, all the judgments from 6:1 on relate to this final hour of trial. It is during this period that Christ will reward the faithfulness of the Philadelphian church by standing by to ward off all the demonic assaults of Satan. The text indicates that the hour of trial comes upon the “whole world” to test “those who live on the earth.” In the other places in Revelation where the latter phrase occurs (6:10; 8:13; 11:10 [twice]; 13:8, 14; 17:8) the enemies of the church are always in mind. The hour of trial is directed toward the entire non-Christian world, but the believer will be kept from it, not by some previous appearance of Christ to remove the church bodily from the world, but by the spiritual protection he provides against the forces of evil.26[15]

10 This is another promise given to the church in Philadelphia. Though not part of the promise to the overcomers in Philadelphia (v. 12), as with the special promises to Smyrna and Sardis (2:10; 3:4), it may be taken as a promise to all the churches. The words “since you have kept my command to endure patiently” (lit., “kept the word of my patience”) refer to the condition under which the promise is valid. Some translate the phrase as in the NIV, inferring that the “word of my patience” means the command of Christ to endure suffering, or to endure until he returns (Lk 21:19; cf. Heb 10:36). Others translate it as “the word enjoining Christ’s patient endurance” (Ladd, 61). In that case, it would refer to an apostolic teaching (such as Paul’s) encouraging Christians to endure the contrariness of a sinful world after the pattern of Christ’s own endurance (2 Th 3:5; Heb 12:3). The Greek text slightly favors the latter translation, though the former is also possible.

Related to the promise “I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth” are two problems: (1) the identification of the “hour of trial” and (2) the precise sense of the phrase “keep you from the hour of trial.” Both involve the ongoing debate among evangelical eschatologists over the tribulation/rapture question.

We can dismiss the view that the “hour of trial” refers to some general or personal distress that will come upon the Philadelphian community and from which the church will be delivered (so J. Barton Payne, The Imminent Appearing of Christ [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962], 78–79). Though the universality of the expression “the whole world” is reason enough to refute Payne’s view, the phrase “those who live on the earth” is repeated in Revelation a number of times and refers not to believers but to unbelievers who are the objects of God’s wrath—i.e., the “beast-worshipers” (6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 12:12; 13:8, 12, 14; cf. Isa 24; Jer 13:12–14; cf. 1QH 16.19–36).

According to some interpreters (Ladd, Mounce, Walvoord, Thomas), the “hour of trial” (hōras tou peirasmou, “time of temptation,” GK 6052, 4280) is better understood as the time known to the Jews as the “messianic woes,” a time of intense trouble to fall on the world before the coming of Christ and known as the eschatological “day of the Lord,” or the “great tribulation” (Da 12:1; Joel 2:31; Mk 13:14; 2 Th 2:1–12; Rev 14:7). This “hour of trial,” then, will be the one described in such detail in the following chapters of the book. In that case, what, then, is the effect of the promise, “I will also keep you from the hour of trial”? There are two possibilities. Some argue, with reference to the same Greek expression (tēreō ek, “keep from”) in John 17:15, that the sense is preservation while in the trial, since to be kept from evil or the evil one does not mean to be removed from his presence but simply to be kept from his harmful power. Therefore, the church universal will experience preservation from harm in the trial of persecution and suffering and will not be raptured until the end of the period (so Ladd; cf. 1 Th 4:13–5:11).

On the other hand, some writers offer objections to this exegesis: (1) The “hour of trial” John describes is a judgment from God on the unbelieving inhabitants of the world, not a form of evil such as John 17:15 describes (cf. Thomas, 1:284–85). (2) It is not true that the saints of the tribulation period are exempt from harm during this period; a great group of them will be martyred (6:9–11; 7:9–14; etc.). (3) In the gospel of John, preservation is from the devil; in Revelation, from a time period—the “hour” of trial (cf. Smith, 88–89).

Ladd, 62, offsets some of this criticism by advocating that the hour of trial has two aspects—(1) the fierce persecution of believers by the beast and (2) the outpouring of divine judgments on a rebellious world represented in the trumpet and bowl plagues. Believers are kept from the harm of the latter but not the former. The difficulty in this view lies in Ladd’s failure to identify clearly the hour of trial in this verse. It cannot refer to both the great tribulation (7:14) on believers and the wrath of God.

In my opinion, this confusion may be avoided by clearly identifying “the hour of trial” as the wrath of God, deliverance from which is promised to every one of Christ’s overcomers. As a matter of fact, the expression tēreō ek (“keep out of”) cannot be proved exegetically to be different from tēreō apo (“keep from”). In the LXX of Proverbs 7:5, the sense of this latter expression is to deliver the man from contact with or the presence of the adulteress. In James 1:27, the same expression means to be kept from the pollution of the world. In both instances the sense is that of exemption from something. Can one, then, be exempt from the “hour of trial” that will try the whole world by famines, earthquakes, wars, floods, etc., and still be present on the earth? Yes, but removal is still a possible method of protection.

The above discussion shows that v. 10 does not settle the question of the time of the rapture in relation to the tribulation. Rather, it remains ambiguous. One might be on the earth and yet be exempt from the “hour of trial” if (1) the “hour of trial” is an equivalent derived from the briefer term “trial,” and (2) this “trial” is directed only at the unbelievers in the world, while the believers are divinely immune not from trial or persecution in general but from a specific type of trial (God’s wrath) aimed at the rebellious on the earth. To this writer, the most natural way to understand the expression to be “kept from the hour” of something that is universal in the world is not to be preserved through it but to be kept from being present when it happens. In any event, we have here a marvelous promise of Christ’s protection (tēreō, “keep”) for those who have protected (tēreō) his word by their loving obedience.[16]

[1] Luter, A. B. (2017). Revelation. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 2023). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Re 3:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 3:10). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2468). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Re 3:10). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1740). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2359). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[8] Walvoord, J. F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 939–940). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[9] Beasley-Murray, G. R. (1994). Revelation. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1432). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[10] Utley, R. J. (2001). Hope in Hard Times – The Final Curtain: Revelation (Vol. Volume 12, p. 44). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[11] Paul, I. (2018). Revelation: An Introduction and Commentary. (E. J. Schnabel, Ed.) (Vol. 20, pp. 107–108). London: Inter-Varsity Press.

[12] Morris, L. (1987). Revelation: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 82). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[13] Duvall, J. S. (2014). Revelation. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (pp. 72–73). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[14] Wall, R. W. (2011). Revelation (p. 88). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[15] Mounce, R. H. (1997). The Book of Revelation (pp. 102–103). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[16] Johnson, A. F. (2006). Revelation. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 632–633). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.