the argument. It would imply that, as a result of their sufferings, their enemies will be evangelized. Such grace is foreign to Peter's epistles. The word here used is not evangelize, but herald or proclaim. It tells us, not that they were blessed, but that He was exalted. And what is more likely than that, after His ascension, He should be proclaimed the universal Suzerain to all creation, obedient or rebellious?
19 Who are these imprisoned spirits ? Are they not the same that Peter mentions in his second epistle (2:4) who were thrust down to the gloomy caverns of Tartarus, and the messengers of Jude's epistle (6), who kept not their own sovereignty and left their own habitation?
The fact that they are called spirits, assures us that they are not human. The proclamation was not made to them during our Lord's death, but after He had been made alive. It was a token of His exaltation. In due time all will be subjected to Him, not only Israel on the earth in the kingdom, and all the rest of humanity in the resurrection, but all sovereignty and authority and power in the spirit realm, so that, at the consummation God may become All in all.
21 Baptism, with repentance, are the two essentials for entrance into the kingdom (Ac.2:38).
6 This difficult passage depends, for its interpretation, on the force of the interjected "indeed", which is usually omitted in translation. Even when present in the English, its force is not readily perceived. It must be evident to all that there is a turn in the argument, for the evangel is not the precursor of judgment from God, nor is it according to men. This judgment, then, is not God's but man's. Men judged them according to their own standards. They are judged, "indeed", but not in the judgment of the living and the dead just mentioned (5). The next statement, that they should be living according to God, makes it evident that the evangel was not preached to them after they had died. Men could not judge them, in flesh, nor could they live according to God, in spirit, after they had died. They are dead now, but the preaching and judging and living were all apart of their experience before they fell asleep.
8 The human love that covers over the sins of those on whom it is placed is but an intimation of the divine love which is the source of all affection. But human love is limited, both in its ideals and its performances. There is a striking similarity, however, between the expression of divine love under the law, before the sacrifice of Christ, and the love here spoken of. In both cases sin was covered, not put away or pardoned, much less justified. As we hide the misdeeds of our loved ones, so the blood of slain animals served to cover over the sins of Israel. Propitiation is not for us. Paul refers to it but once, and then in reference to the sins of the past (Ro.3:25). It is for the Circumcision and the nations in the day of the Lord (lJn.2:2) .
9 All other graces flourish where love is found. It not only stimulates their growth but enhances their quality. To do what is loving is well: to do it in a loving way is better. The manner of hospitality means more than mere hospitality itself. Gracious giving glorifies the gift.
12 Peter is the representative of the suffering saints of the Circumcision, and his ministry is especially intended for such. The persecutions of the first century were foretastes of the terrible time which precedes the coming of the kingdom. Hence these exhortations fit both occasions equally well. Then judgment will begin from the house of God, as detailed in the second and third chapters of the Unveiling.
15 Paradoxical as it may seem, only Jews are Christians in the Scriptures. The term is never applied to the nations, but only to Jews or proselytes. Paul never uses the name in his epistles. It occurs only in Acts, which is concerned with the past rejection of the kingdom, and in Peter, which looked forward to its future realization. It is a notable example of the manner in which Scriptural terms have been utterly perverted from their original use.
2 The beautiful picture of a shepherd with his flock is peculiarly appropriate to God's earthly people. Even In ancient times they alone were the flock of His pasture. In the wllder-