1 Peter 2

* A temper suitable to the Christian character as born again, is

recommended. (1-10) Holy conversation among the Gentiles

directed. (11,12) Subjects exhorted to pay all proper obedience

to their civil governors. (13-17) Also servants to their

masters, and all to be patient, according to the example of the

suffering Saviour. (18-25)

1-10 Evil-speaking is a sign of malice and guile in the heart;

and hinders our profiting by the word of God. A new life needs

suitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavours

for it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian's

desires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is very

merciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace.

But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only a

taste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, to

teach his servants that he is their protection and security, the

foundation on which they are built. He is precious in the

excellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the

glory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood;

sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly

gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best

in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus

Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole

number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the

weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation

that is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that can

give worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; but

in this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is,

nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he has

wrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces,

that man who is built on this foundation may hear it without

fear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes haste

to Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All true

Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a

people distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle,

and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosen

in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their first

state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of

darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that

they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their

profession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast their

obligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shown

mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, though

a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so

kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and love

of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of

God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be

found among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people.
11,12 Even the best of men, the chosen generation, the people

of God, need to be exhorted to keep from the worst sins. And

fleshly lusts are most destructive to man's soul. It is a sore

judgment to be given up to them. There is a day of visitation

coming, wherein God may call to repentance by his word and his

grace; then many will glorify God, and the holy lives of his

people will have promoted the happy change.
13-17 A Christian conversation must be honest; which it cannot

be, if there is not a just and careful discharge of all relative

duties: the apostle here treats of these distinctly. Regard to

those duties is the will of God, consequently, the Christian's

duty, and the way to silence the base slanders of ignorant and

foolish men. Christians must endeavour, in all relations, to

behave aright, that they do not make their liberty a cloak or

covering for any wickedness, or for the neglect of duty; but

they must remember that they are servants of God.
18-25 Servants in those days generally were slaves, and had

heathen masters, who often used them cruelly; yet the apostle

directs them to be subject to the masters placed over them by

Providence, with a fear to dishonour or offend God. And not only

to those pleased with reasonable service, but to the severe, and

those angry without cause. The sinful misconduct of one

relation, does not justify sinful behaviour in the other; the

servant is bound to do his duty, though the master may be

sinfully froward and perverse. But masters should be meek and

gentle to their servants and inferiors. What glory or

distinction could it be, for professed Christians to be patient

when corrected for their faults? But if when they behaved well

they were ill treated by proud and passionate heathen masters,

yet bore it without peevish complaints, or purposes of revenge,

and persevered in their duty, this would be acceptable to God as

a distinguishing effect of his grace, and would be rewarded by

him. Christ's death was designed not only for an example of

patience under sufferings, but he bore our sins; he bore the

punishment of them, and thereby satisfied Divine justice. Hereby

he takes them away from us. The fruits of Christ's sufferings

are the death of sin, and a new holy life of righteousness; for

both which we have an example, and powerful motives, and ability

to perform also, from the death and resurrection of Christ. And

our justification; Christ was bruised and crucified as a

sacrifice for our sins, and by his stripes the diseases of our

souls are cured. Here is man's sin; he goes astray; it is his

own act. His misery; he goes astray from the pasture, from the

Shepherd, and from the flock, and so exposes himself to dangers

without number. Here is the recovery by conversion; they are now

returned as the effect of Divine grace. This return is, from all

their errors and wanderings, to Christ. Sinners, before their

conversion, are always going astray; their life is a continued

error.

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