God truly is love! It’s amazing!

We cite many nouns in describing God, the truly existent God of all. God is Spirit, God is One, God is everywhere, and God is Love. Now, in terms of love, it involves human feelings. 1 John 4 describes God as Love twice. God is called agape (God loves humanity). This means that this is one of the characteristics of God. This means that God is the most self-sacrificial being in the universe, for coming down as Jesus and dying on the cross for our sins. Nonetheless, love is not our God, but our God is Love.

He is the perfect picture of what love really means. God chose to love this world, even if it were fallen and in error. We are His Beloved Humans. We respond to His Love, and we are blessed truly with new life. His unconditional self-sacrificial love is all we need to lead a truly awesome life.

GOD LOVES YOU! For John 3:16-18 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

If you know what GOD’s love is, however, you’d see it as unconditional and uncaused. You’d see GOD’s love as encompassing over everything. Love may be described as the most important thing ever in history. Because of love, GOD created the Earth. Because of love, GOD sent His Son (as referenced above), and allowed His Holy Spirit to come and dwell within us (John 20:22). GOD’s ultimate purpose for all this? To fellowship and share with His people, and to do it through love. Love never ends, just as stated above.

We did nothing to initiate this love. And even when we’ve sinned, caused every issue against humanity…GOD STILL LOVES US! So, if people judge you, are hateful toward you, and even despise you – there will still be GOD who LOVES YOU WITH ALL HIS HEART! His love never fails, never gives up, and never runs out (Psalm 107:1-22 and Psalm 136:1-26 and Lamentations 3:22-24).

Apostle John’s relationship with Jesus Christ

  • John had a unique relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • John referred to Jesus as the Word of God.
  • He was known as one of the “sons of thunder.”
  • He was known as “John the Elder and Pastor.”
  • He was ordained in his youth, wherein he learned from Jesus.
  • John was part of “The Inner Circle” (which was Peter, James, and John with Jesus).
  • John refers to himself as the “one whom Jesus loves.”
  • Commissioned to write about many topics, including “The Divinity of Love,” “Real Christianity,” “God’s Will,” etc.
  • He lived through the time of Jesus’ teachings, Transfiguration, Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension.
  • He also lived through the forming of the first Church, as well as the persecution of the Christians.
  • He witnessed his brother James’ martyrdom.
  • He pastored the great Church at Ephesus.
  • He was eventually banished to the Isle of Patmos, wherein he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • He had a flashing temper, which was why he was called one of the “sons of thunder.”
  • He became known as the “Apostle of Love.”

John’s declaration of Jesus was that “He is full of Truth and Glory, He is the Only Begotten of the Father.” This was found in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John had knowledge of foundational truths of Jesus and the Gospel; therefore, he was entrusted to such writings. John bore record of the Word of God, and had a testimony of Jesus Christ and the things, in which, he had seen. John was singled out by God to deliver to us the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

John the Beloved has a unique relationship with Jesus Christ, which was similar to the other Johns. But, what distinguished John the Beloved was that he was filled with the love of Christ. Mark 3:14-19: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

The Inner Circle means to me that it was a small group of people who held a more intimate connection with each other. Although Jesus worked with all His Disciples, He liked also to work with individual things, so having a small group was what He had done. The Inner Circle seemed to be Peter, James, and John, because these three were the most common to be seen with Jesus in a more intimate setting. Some of the examples include being with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37-41), when Jesus raised a ruler’s daughter from the dead (Mark 5:35-38), at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28-29), and during a private consultation about the end times and false christs (Mark 13:3-7). James and John are also noted as being partnered with Simon (Peter) in Luke 5:10, and they followed Christ (Luke 5:10-11).

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The first Truth that we see in this lesson is “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous” (1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”). We confess our sins and He only has the power to forgive and cleanse from sin!

Then, in 1 John 2:3-5, we see evidence that He dwells in us and this is how we know Him. It is a way He perfects us. The Word accompanied by the Holy Ghost gives life. So, if He is perfecting us, it’s because of the Word in us working, which is evidence we’re in Him. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

In 1 John 2:6, we see that we shall abide in Him, walk with Him, and Trust Him in every circumstance in our life – if done, is evidence that He abides in us and that we’re in fellowship with Him. Also, abiding in His Word gives us endurance for every season of our lives. We must portray His footsteps in our life, and that as Jesus is obedience to the Father, we shall be also! “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

Next, we see in 1 John 2:7-11 the evidence of knowing Him is found in our love. When we try to witness or evangelize, the world can sense the true spirit of Love inside us. “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

In 1 John 2:12-14, we see that Jesus Christ has overcome satan, which is evidence that we’re in a relationship with the Lord. We, then, are overcomers also, being children of God. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

For 1 John 2:15-17, we see another evidence that we know God, for our relationship is better for lacking love for the things of the world. We are not to love anything of the world, for the result of such is that the love of the Father isn’t in us. We see issues to avoid that are in the world, which involve the lust of the flesh and of the eyes, and the pride of life. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

More truths we see in 1 John 2:18-23, as this is a Prophetical Word regarding the End-Time. Unity of the Spirit will be the evidence that we know God, and that we’ll not be led astray by the antichrist. We need to let His love surpass our self-will that we can all walk together in the faith of Jesus Christ. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”

Christ in us is apparent when the fragrance of His presence is in our lives. Exodus 29:7 says, “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.” Exodus 30:23-25 says, “Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.” David writes that Jesus is the Anointed One as we see in Psalm 45:7, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

John confirms such truths that he writes and warns us against deception, as we see in 1 John 2:26, “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.” Even more truths are revealed to us in 1 John 2:24-29, as we see that we will remain in the Father and the Son as long as we walk in the light, be honest with ourselves, confess our troubles & deal with sin, speak the truth, walk in integrity, and being an example overall of Jesus Christ. We fulfil such desire for relationship with the Lord if we hide His Word in our heart. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”

In 1 John 2:25, we see a promise that occurs when we abide in Him: “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” Then, we see in 1 John 2:26-27 that John has told us that he writes such things concerning them that seduce you or try to lead one into error – but, we have an anointing that abides in us, that is Jesus the Anointed One, who will teach us – so that we don’t have to worry of new doctrines or false teachers. “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

As we finish out the chapter in the last two verses, 1 John 2:28-29, we see the result of abiding in Him: that we may have confidence and be unashamed before Him at His coming. If we know He’s righteous, then those that do righteousness are born of Him! Abide in Him through everything, because He will bring to us peace and confidence. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”

1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The anointing that we’ve received from the Lord abides in us, therefore, no one else needs to teach us of the anointing but the Anointed One, who is Jesus that lives in us. The anointing, I will say, teaches us to abide in Christ. It also keeps us drawn in to Him!

It’s also to note that many false teachers have a “special anointing” as claimed, so we’re admonished here that God anoints us, and that with Jesus being within us, He teaches us of the anointing so that we don’t have to worry about false teachers coming along and telling us of some “special” ungodly anointing they have (and how we can obtain it). All believers already have the true and correct anointing when they trust and abide in the Anointed One. Last thing to note: we receive this anointing as a gift, which is a graceful gift from the Lord. We don’t squander this gift, because it is part of our salvation. Therefore, we must also realize that we don’t need to “get God” in our lives, for we already have Him. We don’t need to try to get His anointing…we already have it!

We know God by His Word, because His Word is Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:20 says, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” The Son has revealed the Father unto us by helping us understand Him!

The proof of Divine Life as we see in this study is love. God bestowed His love upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Now we are the sons of God, and when He appears, we shall be like Him and see Him as He is! (1 John 3:1-2)

The Manner of Love that the Father bestowed upon us is that we should be called the sons of God. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

Those who abide in Him will not sin, for them that have sin has not seen Him or known Him. In addition, that no man should deceive you, for he that does righteousness is righteous. Therefore, whoever is born of God does not commit sin.

We have two natures; those are “spiritual” and “carnal.” These natures are at war within us. We who have an understanding of the law, spiritually, we know in our experience that the law is spiritual, but that our inner man is carnal. Being carnal, a man is fleshly and incapable of being obedient unto the law – for this is where spiritual and carnal war, because our spiritual man is leading us into things of the law, but the carnal man is leading us away (– because it is incapable of being obedient). We see in Romans 7:5, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Sadly, we cannot escape this carnal way while in our flesh, as we see in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” The flesh naturally does not know how to be obedient or perform good so it therefore wars against the spiritual. It’s a dilemma.

There will be many ways that a person accepts and applies the Word unto their life. Some are by the way side, which are those that hear – and then come the devil that takes it away from their hearts. Those that are on the rock hear and receive the Word with joy, but they have no root – so in the time of temptation, they fall away/sin. Those that are among thorns are they that hear and receive the Word, but go forth and are choked with the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life – to which they bear no fruit. However, those that are on good ground hear and receive the Word in an honest and good heart – keep it and bring forth fruit with patience. Overall, you have most people who are not on good ground, and need shepherded back to the Lord’s ways.

Jesus’ love was His laying down of His life for us, therefore, we should be the same way in our relationships with others. We should be willing to sacrifice. We don’t necessarily have to sacrifice our life, but general sacrifice is what brings love’s true nature. Therefore, if our brother has need, we need to sacrifice our time and help. If our friend calls on us, we should have patience and see to what he/she needs. For Jesus did the greatest sacrifice so that we would not have to deal with the sacrificial system anymore, therefore, we need to apply the principle of sacrifice unto our lives in our relationships with others. The example of family he gives us is that of Cain and Abel. His heart is burdensome for people not to repeat the sin of murder like in the situation of Cain and Abel.

Nonetheless, the Assurance of Jesus’ Love is found in 1 John 3:19-24, “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

God’s commandments are not grievous – this means burdensome in that His Commandments, rather, are an expression of His Love and protection for us. They are not burdensome, especially when they are kept. We receive the love of God when we keep His Commandments (1 John 5:3). The test of our love is loving as Jesus loved! He loved us first while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). When we walk in the love of Jesus, there is love for the saints!

What is required in the Prosperous Road is that we walk in the Truth overall. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 4:1-2, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”

Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Colossians 1:10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 2:6-7, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 2 John 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

6 great Bible affirmations to brighten your mornings

We all have those days in which we struggle to do the Lord’s Will. However, we must continue our fight against evil and do the Lord’s Will anyway. There are different things you can draw from the Bible that will help you in this very thing. These are paraphrased.

  1. “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27).
  2. “Even before I was born, you had written in Your book everything I would do” (Psalm 139:16).
  3. The Lord says, “You are precious to Me. You are honored and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).
  4. “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
  5. “All that matters is your faith that makes you love others” (Galatians 5:6).
  6. “His Divine Power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

It is hoped that this has simply blessed you with joy today and filled your day with hope. Blessings to you with joy and peace in Christ Jesus!

God’s forgiveness is real – Hosea the prophet

The prominent lesson we learn from Hosea is that God will do the same for every sinner, backslider, Jew, or Gentile, who will repent and return, as He has said He would do for Israel. Hosea is called the Suffering Love Prophet. (The text says he’s the Prophet of Suffering Love.) We find Hosea in the New Testament in Romans 9:25 and it relates to us what the Lord will do for the backslider – “As he saith also in “Osee” I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.” The Kings that were on the scene during Hosea’s writing were Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Jeroboam.

All of his writing reflects unfaithful Israel, and he is called upon by God to “live his prophecy.” Hosea was a young man and received a special endowment of soul that caused him to have a keen sensation of God. His sensitive soul gave him a decided advantage of experiencing the deeper mysteries of Grace over other messengers. He was profoundly influenced by Amos, and loved the land, his neighbors, and his beloved Yahweh! He commonly wrote from experience, as well as inspiration.

Gomer, his unfaithful wife, which bore him bastard children, became a parable to the nation of its Spiritual Adultery in forsaking Jehovah and falling down before false gods. She was the daughter of Diblaim, had no way of knowing or understanding the mighty love of Hosea, and many have said this must be an Allegory, however, it’s the truth. Hosea was willing to give his life to be a Message for God to God’s People.

Hosea was called the Prophet of Suffering Love, because he was a broken-hearted man. He was a sufferer, because his wife was unfaithful, but he was faithful. He did his best in the relationship, but his wife decided in her unfaithfulness to have bastard children – which forgone his ability to create heirs.

He lived out the Message as he received Gomer, his wife, back repeatedly, until finally he found her on the slave block in the market, and once more, as Jesus would do, forgave her. He bought her back so she could return to home. Hosea grieves over his love for Gomer; in this we see that God is desperately in love also and keeps sobbing from His heart, as does Hosea, while they continue to repeat their love story and call from their heart, “Come back!” Hosea was of the tribe of Issachar, which would give him the gift of knowing the times and seasons before the normal man; therefore, people were slow to hear, as was the case with the prophecies of Amos.

This is a book of repentance, as backsliders are invited to return to God or suffer the consequences of being cut off. The Lord speaks to Israel through the domestic troubles of the Prophet. Hosea was commanded to take a wife of whoredoms to picture the condition of Israel when God called and married her, bringing her into a covenant relationship with His People.

After having children by him, Hosea’s wife, Gomer, left him to go after old lovers. He was then commanded to buy her back as his wife again, and then to make a contract that she would never do it again. The experience was used to teach Israel that she must now return to God, after forsaking His covenant and going after other gods; He would marry her again and enter into an eternal covenant relationship with her!

The theme could be summed up by two words: “Lo-ammi,” meaning “not my people.” 1:9, “Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God;” and “Ammi,” meaning “My People.” 2:1, “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ru-ha-mah.” Therefore, she bore one daughter and two sons. The Prophetical Message would concern the restoration of Israel to God, 2:14-23, after the many days of 3:4-5, at which time they will be His eternal people. The Message in 6:1-3 concerns the return of Israel to God by repentance and that in 13:14 He will ransom them. In 14:3-9 God is redeeming them eternally.

The underlying purpose overall is to record and predict Israel’s backslidings from God for many days, during which time they were to be scattered among the nations, and be without a King, a prince, sacrifice, image, Ephod, and Teraphim (1:9; 3:4-5); to reveal the final and eternal restoration of Israel; and to assure them of God’s forgiveness and eternal blessing as seen in the above Scriptures 6:1-3 and 14:3-9.

OVERALL LESSON: We are faithless when we sin, because sin is contagious and a trouble for our soul. Sin can destroy one’s spirit and hurt one’s soul, so it is upon genuine repentance that would ensure ourselves of His full forgiveness. However, God loves us nonetheless, whether we sin or not, for there is nothing greater than God’s love. Repentance is necessary for some, as it heals and delivers them. People should aim, however, to lead sinless lives, because it will always bring more peace and joy.

Salvation blessings come from new life in Christ Jesus | 1 Peter commentary

Peter wrote this letter as he worked in the church to help develop it. The first letter from Peter was written around 65 A.D. addressed to the strangers scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Much of this letter is just Peter presenting hope and joy toward believers to help them in their sufferings. The Romans persecuted the Christians around this time, so Peter writes to the Christians that God is still in control, and that they should rejoice because of Jesus Christ’s suffering bring Him unto glory.

Peter begins as he notes that believers should rejoice through the heaviness of temptations, and that the trial of their faith should purify the faith so it can result in praise, glory, and honor unto the Lord. Peter instructs them to be holy as God is holy. Therefore, this talk is about the previous trial of faith and about previous blood. Through the previous trial of faith, the precious blood of Christ redeems us.

Peter identifies many promises in the first couple of chapters: Jesus Christ has begot us, we are heirs subject to an inheritance, we are kept by the power of God, we have salvation, we have a great hope, we are not ashamed, we’re born again by His Word, and we’re a chosen people. Peter advises believers on how to live a godly life. He says to “gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end.” This seems to mean – to be more like Christ. He then tells them to love one another (possibly referring back to the great commandment). Soon, he instructs (chapter 2) to lay aside all wickedness by trusting that God can help you do so. When believers (become a believer), they are like newborn babes, as Peter describes it. As newborn babes, believers can have the milk of the Word (probably rejecting the meat because it is too strong).

Next, Peter calls Jesus a living stone that is rejected by men, but precious unto God. Therefore, believers are stones too… “A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation…” (2:9). Peter then tells them to submit themselves to every ordinance of man, like kings or governors, for example. Believers should “honor all men.” Also, to fear God and honor the king. Servants are charges to be subject to their masters with fear.

Christ should serve as the great example of believers, because He suffered for us, not sinning, but bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Believers are declared to be dead to sins, therefore should – instead of sinning – live unto righteousness. By Jesus’ stripes, we were healed. Notice it says we “were” healed, which means our healing is already complete – we just need to wait for it to come to pass in full circle. As sheep that have went astray, Christ returns believers unto Himself. Christ is the Shepherd and Bishop of believers’ souls.

Next, Peter instructs husbands and wives. He tells wives to be subject to their own husbands, recognizing his own leadership to family. Wives must be gentle and respectful with a quiet spirit. She should attempt to win her husband more by her behavior than her words. Wives need to also remain loyal to the Lord and His Word. Husbands should dwell (in honor) with their wives according to knowledge, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life. Overall, husbands should be considerate and loving also, showing that the wife is a high treasure.

Now, Peter tells believers ways to conduct themselves as Christians: being all of one mind with compassion and love for one another, being pitiful and courteous. People should also not render evil for evil, refrain his tongue from evil, eschew evil, do good, and seek and ensue peace. They should act as such, because “the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (3:12).

Next, Peter talks about those who suffer for doing good, that they are happy, and should not be afraid of their terror or be troubled. Believers should be sanctifying the Lord God in their hearts. As Christ suffered for us in the flesh, believers should have the same mind as Christ, avoiding lusts, excess of wine, lasciviousness, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.

Peter then warns that the end of all things is at hand, so believer should be sober and watch unto prayer. Believers need love and hospitality among themselves without grudging. Therefore, if God love us, we need to love one another. Also, Peter notes that it shouldn’t be strange when Christians go through fiery trials, because they are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.

When Christ’s glory is revealed, we can be glad with exceeding joy. Jesus allows us to share in His sufferings, which is great because His suffering led to great exaltation into Heaven. So, why not us believers? If believers are reproached for His name, Peter writes, happy are you. Christians should not be ashamed in sufferings, but rather glorify God.

We learn from Peter that we should feed the flock of God, and be examples to the flock. Younger believers should act unto elders as subjects with humility. Also, that believers are to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt them in due time. By casting all cares upon God (because He cares), being sober, and being vigilant – we can resist the devil, who parades around like a roaring lion who seeks whom he may devour. God called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, making believers perfect and strengthened. Peter concludes the letter by wishing peace to the people.

Lessons and other notes from Peter

Through the death and resurrection of Christ, God gives Christians new life and promises eternal blessings. We can be assured of our inheritance when it comes, because it is incorruptible (or imperishable). We experience salvation at its fullest through the promised blessing of New Life in Christ. Overall, what inheritance incorruptible means is that there is an inheritance for us called Salvation in Christ, and it will never perish or go away.

Corruptible versus incorruptible seed: Corruptible seed is a seed that is corrupted that anything can grow out of it. Many times, a corruptible seed would be one that is buried in the earth, but quickly dies. Human seed is corrupt, and human nature comes from this corruptible seed – which causes an endless cycle of sin to pass from one to the next. Eventually, corruptible seed dies, especially when it completely weakens to not be able to survive.

Incorruptible seed, that is, God’s seed, is fully pure and can’t be corrupted. When it plants (in the hearts of men), out of it comes grace, love, joy, peace, and even more fruit. Incorruptible seed is imperishable, because there aren’t any vulnerabilities – it’s perfect!

Overall, things born of human origin die, however, things born of God live eternally.

Dealing with envy: Envy can be rooted in a grudge, where a person feels uneasy about the success or happiness of another. Holding a grudge or any other thing against a person – especially anger, can cause hate to flare up – however, we’re commanded in Mark 11:25, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Would we have forgiveness or assurance, if we held something against another?

We also see something directly related to the Great Commandment, however, this is in Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.” Of course, how can you have love if you bear a grudge? How can you let hatred fusion in your heart, and have love dwell as well? Proverb 10:12 says, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Hatred contrasts love in this example, and therefore, we must not envy, for it breeds hatred in albeit mysterious ways.

One of the examples from Scripture is noted in Acts 7:8-10 (which references Joseph’s story in Genesis), “And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.”

Peter’s spiritual transformation: Peter had always ministered to the Jews, especially as a Disciple (Matthew 10:2; Acts 1:15, 2:14); until one day that God had sent him to the Gentiles (Acts 10 vision, especially verse 45). Of course, in his normal attitude, he was disturbed by what the others might say about this, especially ministering outside of the Jewish Nation.

In the Gospels, he is impetuous (Matthew 14:28-31; 16:22-23; 19:27-28; Mark 9:5-7; Luke 5:4-5; John 13:6-11; 18:10-11; 21:7  — these could reflect other traits), courageous especially as a leader (Mark 1:36-37; 10:27-28; Luke 12:41; John 6:67-68; 13:24; 21:2-3; Acts 1:15-16  — these could reflect other traits), buoyant (Acts 4:13 is an example), quick to meet personal slight, and ambitious of Earthly power, however, in Peter’s Letters, we see him patient, restful, forbearing, trustful, loving, and with the old buoyancy and courage purified (we see that he preaches about the love of Christ in 1 Peter 1:22; and sought to glorify God before them in 2:12).

Peter experienced his own personal Pentecost, which came between the Gospel era and the writing of these letters, just as Jesus prophesied would come (this was in the Acts 10 vision account as well, especially verses 9-29). He already began showing transformation in the early days of the Church, to which, he took the lead when important issues came up (Acts 1:15; 5:3, 9). He was confident in the power of Christ (Acts 2:33; 3:6, 16; 4:10, 29-30). He was bold in his commitment to Jesus (Acts 4:8-13, 19-20; 5:18-21, 29-32, 40-42). He was a humble supporter of his fellow Apostles and Christians, especially Paul (as we see in Acts 15:7-11). The glorious Holy Ghost has renewed his mind, and helping him know how to think and act, so that he can preach and teach from a pure heart.

What Peter labels Jesus in his writings:

  • The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world – God foreordained the redeemer for us, because if we were chosen before the foundation of the world, then Christ was destined to be our redeemer after all. He was thinking about me before He made the world – and that is special, just like all my brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • The Chief Cornerstone – as Peter explains, that He is our chosen leader, savior, and helper.
  • The Rock of offense – Christ was the object of the people’s stumbling, but not the cause of it, to which, they are just offended at Christ. This is likely brought on by envy of Christ and His Spirituality (see above on envy).
  • The Example – Christ is the best example for us, because He was perfect in every way and representative of the Father.
  • The Chief Shepherd – He knows how to shepherd people back to the Lord (and He demonstrates the entirety of Psalm 23).
  • The Bishop of Souls – Sin has no power over me, because sin’s power was broken on the Cross. We are cleansed, given new life, and are under His Loving care, to which, He helps us learn, think, grow, and love as He does.
  • The Suffering Savior – Christ suffered for us, left us an example, and showed us that He suffered for us so that we would have new life. He purposely suffered for us, to which, we didn’t have to suffer as hard. He even made a way for us to learn how to love, even in the midst of a chaotic world.

Peter’s Exhortations to living a spiritual life:

  1. Gird up the loins of your mind: When you do this, you take courage in the face of a fiery trial. The loin is the center of our being and the area of procreation. Keep the creative area of your mind intact to produce fruit for the Kingdom of God.
  2. Don’t pattern after your former sin life: We must be in obedience to the revealed Word and live a new life in Him, not as we once did in ignorance. We have been transformed from slavery in sin, to sonship and love in Christ.
  3. Pattern after God – Be holy: We are “called” unto Holiness, which should be in all manner of life, including conversation. Being holy involves knowing that He is holy and taking after His Example! (See just above of Jesus Christ being the Example).
  4. Fervently love one another with a pure heart: Love out of a pure heart, and do it with all that is within you! I love God and people from all that is within me, to which, I declare daily and practice daily!

Peter speaks to Christians as “strangers and Pilgrims,” because he realizes that Christians are no longer of this world, but are Heavenly Citizens – to which, we all belong to the Heavenly Kingdom as well. God’s People then and now are part of His Kingdom, not this world. Therefore, in this verse, we are admonished to flee from worldly lusts.

We use the liberty that we are given as the servants of God for good and love, and not for evil. We have the perfect Law of Liberty upon us that we should be fulfilling in loving our neighbor as ourselves. We do not transgress the Law of Moses, but we should do as we should to not transgress the Law of Liberty by doing evil and other things that are antithesis of love. What we do shall be done in love, for we should only do what’s good unto our neighbor.

The qualities of being hospitable and other instructions:

  • People should have love for each other, for it covers a multitude of sins, meaning, it helps to prevent many sins we might commit against each other.
  • People grumble when offering hospitality to a guest, because they may lack love for others, lack compassion, are lazy, or don’t have the means to offer hospitality (be it money or ability to function). The characteristics to display wisdom in hospitality involve being peaceable, gentle, easily intreated (persuadable), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
  • On verses 10-11 (of 1 Peter 4), we see that those that are given the gift should use their God-given abilities with diligence, whether teaching the Bible or helping others. However, above all, people must work in a way that brings praise and glory unto God (and by all means, do it in love). Referencing Romans 12:6-8, we see that all should be diligent in carrying out the task for which God has assigned for them, no matter where they work – and to do it cheerfully.

We must be sober and vigilant, because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour. (See 1 Peter 5:8)

Sober defined: 1. Temperate in the use of spiritous liquors; habitually temperate; as a sober man. Live a sober, righteous and godly life. 2. Not intoxicated or overpowered by spiritous liquors; not drunken. The sot may at times be sober. 3. Not mad or insane; not wild, visionary or heated with passion; having the regular exercise of cool dispassionate reason. 4. Regular; calm; not under the influence of passion; as sober judgment; a man in his sober senses. 5. Serious; solemn; grave; as the sober livery of autumn.

Vigilant defined: Watchful; circumspect; attentive to discover and avoid danger, or to provide for safety.

Listen would be Elders: Church elders should be sincere, understanding, and hard-working in overseeing the Church that God’s placed in their care, for they too are shepherds who should be interested in the welfare of their flock, and not because they want to make money. Their authority shouldn’t be used to force people to do something, but rather, it should be an example on how Christians should act. Elders should model Christ’s example, and then show that same example, so others can learn how to be more like Christ. They are answerable to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, to which, they will have their work reviewed one day upon His Return!

These exhortations apply to our day, because this was how Peter (and albeit Paul and James, among others) modeled the Church for us. This is how we should act, because they were models of Christ’s work, and therefore, we too should be modeling after Christ’s work. We need to pass on the heritage of love upon each generation; doing it in a Christlike way. These great men of God showed us, and now we’re to do it and keep passing it on to further generations!

The Perspective in light of all this

Peter, just as James did, showed us a great way to be more like Christ, and to model after Him. He showed us so many different things that are remarkable to know about the Church and how it should operate. This was a man who truly knew what persecution was, similarly to Paul, and knew that people were tired and worn – and needed some encouragement and strength. He was also interested in ministering to so many scattered people, and hoping that everyone would be more in unity.

God gives believers new life through the death and resurrection of Christ, and this brings eternal blessings. We are awaiting and assured at the day of the return of the Lord, in hope to enjoy the promised blessings – and this is Peter’s exhortation, is for people to begin budding love between each other, and don’t limit our faith. We are cleansed and given new life through Christ, and therefore, we should live and walk in what Christ has prepared and given to us!

His People are God’s Living Temple, and Christ is the Chief Cornerstone, and we should know that God has chosen us for such a time as this, that we have God’s mercy and grace to tell people about how great He is – and to do it for His glory only! It’s not for our personal gain or achievement that matters, but it is for His Glory that matters in everything that we do. Our sinful ways and others acts in treating each other should be changed and we should repent of things we shouldn’t be doing, and do that things that we are called to do and express love the best.

He taught us that a bad attitude makes no difference, because God can help transform our attitudes, thoughts, and mind overall – especially in budding upon us love, peace, joy, and uprightness. We are part of His Kingdom, and He is giving us all that He desires to give us. We may desire sin, worldly things, or other things – but God desires for us to have love, righteousness, peace, and joy – which are part of the Kingdom of God. He wants to make us love, because we are in His Image and He is love, so we become love as well!

Explanatory guide to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The first place in Scripture to see the existence of the Holy Spirit is in Genesis 1:1-2, where we see God speaking in the midst of the Spirit, who was present at the beginning of time. The usage of Spirit as it moved in Genesis 1:1-2 is “rachaph,” which means “to brood over.” The Holy Spirit brooded over and around God’s men and women. The usage of Ghost as it moved in 2 Peter 1:21 is “phero,” which means “to bear, bring forth, or carry.” I believe this New Testament usage means that the Holy Ghost carries, bears, and brings forth The Word of God, who is Christ.

An important prophecy: Joel 2:28-29 says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

In life, you must find the fullness of the Holy Ghost, we follow Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jesus called the Holy Spirit/Ghost four different titles, which include “Comforter,” “Teacher,” “Spirit of Truth,” and “Convictor.” The Holy Spirit comes and comforts me all the time, helping me through daily trials and teaching me about God’s Love. Whenever I hear lies, I consult the Lord, and He allows the Spirit of Truth to come and comfort me and tell me good things to build me back up. When I do wrong, He convicts me and tells me what I should be doing instead that would bring Him greater joy.

Jesus said that the Holy Ghost would come in power, as we see in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We see the first time the Holy Ghost comes upon someone is in Jesus’ baptism, as we see in Matthew 3:16-17, “and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove…” Who shall receive it? To everyone, as we see in Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Personal benefits of the receiving of the baptism of the Holy Ghost include communication in worship, which involves praying directly to God in the Spirit. You also gain spiritual strength, which comes by knowing you’re a child of God. Intercessory prayer is also a benefit, which allows you to pray in a supernatural way so that the Spirit will pray through us the Will of God. It allows us also to have the mind of Christ when we pray. Another benefit is the boldness or spiritual power we gain, along with rest and refreshment. Another good benefit would be protection from the enemy, for we need protection from all forms of evil. We pray in the perfectness of the Spirit, which is in truth, and since the devil is a liar, we triumph over him with truth!

Spiritual gifts begin with the impartation of the Holy Ghost, so once you have received the Holy Ghost, you already have the start of them. Over time, you’ll understand each spiritual gift and be able to use them as the Holy Ghost helps. “The “Manifestation” of the Holy Spirit/Ghost is the VISIBLE evidence of Him dwelling with us – speaking in an unknown tongue.”

The nine types of “Manifestations,” which are found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, include, The Word of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healing, Working of miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of spirits, Divers kinds of tongues, and Interpretation of tongues. If an individual speaks in tongues in the Church in a solo manner, it is called, “a message in tongues,” and is in order if it is interpreted. An “interpretation,” involves making the meaning of the message in tongues known. Tongues used in our personal prayer life are for strengthening, empowering, edifying, and building up the Spirit within us. Tongues are a “sign” for the unbeliever, actually, as we see in 1 Corinthians 14:22, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.”

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is a part of our salvation, which helps us in our everyday activities – including troubles and trials. Love is the first fruit of the Holy Spirit, and the most important, because everything must be done in love. Everything and everyone is rooted in love, and also God is Love. Everything that comes from God is rooted in Love! We see in 1 Corinthians 13 why love is the most important, especially the first few verses, “1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

Now, we read what the fruit of the Spirit is in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” They are listed: -Peace -Joy -Longsuffering -Gentleness -Goodness -Faith -Meekness -Temperance.

Before we get too far, let’s answer contradictions:

“Doesn’t the Bible say, “Tongues shall cease?”” – This would be a true statement based upon 1 Corinthians 13:12, where it says, “…then shall I know even as also I am known.” This refers to eternity, when we have entered into Heaven. With this, we would be known by each other and will know all things. This would be the perfect state, a more all-knowing position, because we would be like Him.

“I can’t find in Scripture where Jesus spoke in an unknown tongue” – This is because all tongues were known to Him, for He knew all things. He was given dominion and glory, and a kingdom that all languages should serve Him.

“The Baptism of the Holy Ghost was just for the early Church” – Acts 2:39 says, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Ephesians 3:6 says, “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

“Tongues are of the devil” – This is not supported by Scripture or by experience. If it were true, the devil would use tongues, in opposition to Jesus, to curse Him. However, the Scriptures tell us this is impossible, and also the satan and his demons cannot understand tongues, as only the Holy Ghost has the gift of true interpretation.

“Tongues are the least of the Gifts” – Paul stresses the importance of sharing the Word, but he doesn’t demean the gift of tongues. His examples are in 1 Corinthians 14:5, 18, 39. In these verses, he says things such as, “I speak with tongues more than ye all…forbid not to speak with tongues…”

“It is emotionalism” – Emotion is very important, for God gave emotions to us. Love is the greatest of emotions. We are commanded to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. We even see Jesus have many emotions, as we see in Scripture.

“Sure tongues are Scriptural, but I don’t need them for assurance that I have the Holy Spirit/Ghost” – he one manifestation that had satisfied the apostles and other disciples that a person had received the Baptism was speaking in an unknown tongue. Paul felt that praying in an unknown tongue had went far beyond an assurance of having receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is a need in our lives. He will strengthen us.

More Gifts of the Spirit

The Word of Wisdom: This is a portion of the infinite Wisdom of God, made known through the instrumentality of a believer. Jesus promised His followers in Luke 21:15 that He would give them a mouth and wisdom, which adversaries can’t gainsay or resist. The reason for this is in Luke 12:12, where we see that the Holy Ghost shall teach what is needed to say.

The Word of Knowledge: This is the revelation of facts that an individual didn’t know beforehand. The Bible contains numerous examples where men received knowledge of facts that could only have come from a supernatural bestowing. We see much foreshadowing of this gift in the Old Testament, and see Jesus display this gift in His Earthly ministry. We see it was used many times in the early Church.

The Discerning of Spirits: This allows people to know if something is divine or not, but it is not a judgmental, nor a faultfinder. One example is seeing a wrong spirit in someone. The danger of deceiving spirits prior to the return of the Lord were increasingly great. We know through this gift which spirit is at work.

Faith: This gift is necessary to the operation of the Gifts of Healing and the working of Miracles. It is a gift of the Spirit, and we all have a measure of it. However, it is a special power given for special occasion.

The Working of Miracles: This is a gift of power, which cannot be comprehended by humanity, for a miracle is an event or effect in the physical world that deviates from the known laws of nature, or transcending our knowledge of those laws. God uses those humble enough for this gift to work miracles upon people.

Gifts of Healing: In His Church, there is the potential for healing the sick, and the purpose of these gifts is to relieve the suffering of the sick.

Prophecy: 1 Corinthians 14:22, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” Prophesying involves making known a future event that is to help build up the Church, so that the Church can prepare.

Divers kinds of Tongues: Tongues used in our personal prayer life are for strengthening, empowering, edifying, and building up the Spirit within us.

Interpretation of Tongues: If an individual speaks in tongues in the Church in a solo manner, it is called, “a message in tongues,” and is in order if it is interpreted. An “interpretation,” involves making the meaning of the message in tongues known.

Sins of the Spirit

Blasphemy is to utter abusive words against the Holy Spirit and to reject His conviction power of warning about your sins. (See more of the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost)

Believers can also sin against the Holy Ghost, though their sins are of a different nature. It grieves the Holy Spirit when we do something that brings a wrong reflection on the honor of God or Jesus, or when we are involved in things or conversations that harm our spiritual life. We would quench the Holy Spirit by being reserved or stifling His ability to move upon our lives. Quenching implies the illustration of fire, to which a fire is put out by taking away the fuel or by suffocation. When the Spirit finds no fuel of consecration and no atmosphere of prayer, worship, and praise, He cannot work for the fire goes out. The Holy Ghost came as tongues of fire and therefore wants our fuel.

Gifts of Ministry (Romans 12:3-8)

Teaching: The Holy Spirit will be my guide in wisdom so that I can understand the Bible more, and then distribute my knowledge out to people the same way He helped me.

Exhorting: He will help me proclaim the things of the Lord by instructing me, and providing me maybe Word of Wisdom or Word of Knowledge, for example, so I may exhort another.

Ruling: He will give us wisdom based on how His Kingdom is run, because He is interested in making things better through us.

Giving: We shall give with simplicity and as the Lord leads us to do so. He will direct us in how we give.

Showing mercy: He is gentle with us, and He teaches us to be gentle with others; therefore, showing mercy to them and helping them.

Helps: This allows us to learn hospitality from the way that Jesus may have been, or He will lead us on how to be hospitable to people better.

More Spiritual benefits

The Holy Ghost helps us pray as we see in Romans 8:26-27, by making intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. The intercession He makes for us is according to the Will of God, therefore, when we pray in tongues, it will be translated to God through His Will. When we pray to the Will of God, our prayers are much more effective!

The Holy Ghost is used as an instrument in praise and worship through praying, adoring, singing, and making melody in our hearts as we speak or sing to the Lord. Those that speak in unknown tongues speak not to men but unto God, as we see in 1 Corinthians 14:2.

The Sword of the Spirit is the word of God, as we see in Ephesians 6:17, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”