1 Peter 2* A temper suitable to the Christian character as born again, isrecommended. (1-10) Holy conversation among the Gentilesdirected. (11,12) Subjects exhorted to pay all proper obedienceto their civil governors. (13-17) Also servants to theirmasters, and all to be patient, according to the example of thesuffering 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 needssuitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavoursfor it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian'sdesires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is verymerciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace.But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only ataste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, toteach his servants that he is their protection and security, thefoundation on which they are built. He is precious in theexcellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and theglory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood;sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenlygifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the bestin prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through JesusChrist. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the wholenumber of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears theweight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundationthat is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that cangive worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; butin this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is,nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he haswrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces,that man who is built on this foundation may hear it withoutfear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes hasteto Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All trueChristians are a chosen generation; they make one family, apeople distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle,and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosenin Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their firststate is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out ofdarkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; thatthey should show forth the praises of the Lord by theirprofession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast theirobligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shownmercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, thougha man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that sokindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and loveof God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace ofGod, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would befound among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people. 11,12 Even the best of men, the chosen generation, the peopleof God, need to be exhorted to keep from the worst sins. Andfleshly lusts are most destructive to man's soul. It is a sorejudgment to be given up to them. There is a day of visitationcoming, wherein God may call to repentance by his word and hisgrace; then many will glorify God, and the holy lives of hispeople will have promoted the happy change. 13-17 A Christian conversation must be honest; which it cannotbe, if there is not a just and careful discharge of all relativeduties: the apostle here treats of these distinctly. Regard tothose duties is the will of God, consequently, the Christian'sduty, and the way to silence the base slanders of ignorant andfoolish men. Christians must endeavour, in all relations, tobehave aright, that they do not make their liberty a cloak orcovering for any wickedness, or for the neglect of duty; butthey must remember that they are servants of God. 18-25 Servants in those days generally were slaves, and hadheathen masters, who often used them cruelly; yet the apostledirects them to be subject to the masters placed over them byProvidence, with a fear to dishonour or offend God. And not onlyto those pleased with reasonable service, but to the severe, andthose angry without cause. The sinful misconduct of onerelation, does not justify sinful behaviour in the other; theservant is bound to do his duty, though the master may besinfully froward and perverse. But masters should be meek andgentle to their servants and inferiors. What glory ordistinction could it be, for professed Christians to be patientwhen corrected for their faults? But if when they behaved wellthey 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 asa distinguishing effect of his grace, and would be rewarded byhim. Christ's death was designed not only for an example ofpatience under sufferings, but he bore our sins; he bore thepunishment of them, and thereby satisfied Divine justice. Herebyhe takes them away from us. The fruits of Christ's sufferingsare the death of sin, and a new holy life of righteousness; forboth which we have an example, and powerful motives, and abilityto perform also, from the death and resurrection of Christ. Andour justification; Christ was bruised and crucified as asacrifice for our sins, and by his stripes the diseases of oursouls are cured. Here is man's sin; he goes astray; it is hisown act. His misery; he goes astray from the pasture, from theShepherd, and from the flock, and so exposes himself to dangerswithout number. Here is the recovery by conversion; they are nowreturned as the effect of Divine grace. This return is, from alltheir errors and wanderings, to Christ. Sinners, before theirconversion, are always going astray; their life is a continuederror.
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