Life-Study of 1 Peterby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
First Peter chapter one is a complete section of this book. This section clearly reveals that the Triune God operates upon His chosen people to carry out His economy and to bring them into the full participation of Himself so that they may enjoy Him as grace. When God’s chosen people enjoy the Triune God as grace, they have peace. Peace, therefore, is the result of the enjoyment of grace. The first point covered in chapter one is the operation of the Triune God upon His elect to bring them into the enjoyment of Himself as grace so that they may have peace.
Chapter one goes on to reveal that the operation of the Triune God produces full salvation. First we have God’s operation for His economy, and this operation brings forth God’s full salvation. God’s full salvation includes the Father’s regeneration, the Son’s redemption, and the Spirit’s sanctification. This is the full salvation carried out by the operation of the Triune God.
The full salvation of the Triune God issues, results, in two matters: a holy manner of life for the expression of God, and unfeigned brotherly love toward all the saints. These two matters, a holy manner of life and unfeigned brotherly love, are a picture of the genuine church life. On the one hand, in the real church life we see the expression of God; on the other hand, in such a church life there is unfeigned love for one another. Therefore, holiness and love are the result of the full salvation carried out by the operation of the Triune God upon His elect. This is a clear and complete summary of chapter one.
First Peter chapter one is a complete unit that stands by itself. If we have a bird’s-eye view of this chapter, we shall love it very much. I can testify that in these days I have come to love Peter’s writings more than ever before. I hope that all the saints will come to appreciate Peter even as they appreciate Paul. Furthermore, I hope that all of us will come to love chapter one of 1 Peter and the three major points revealed there concerning the operation of the Triune God for His economy, the full salvation carried out by the operation of the Triune God upon His elect, and the result of this full salvation in a holy manner of life to express God and in unfeigned brotherly love toward the believers. In the church life we need to live a life to express our holy God and to love all our brothers.
In the church life we have a very large family. Our Father has generated us, and all His children are our folks, our brothers and sisters. The church family is universal. This is the church without division or denomination. In the universal family of the church there is not any discrimination. We may say that this is the genuine catholic church. We, of course, have nothing to do with the Roman Catholic Church, but we are the genuine catholics. Furthermore, in our locality we have the practical expression of this unfeigned catholic church, a church where we express the holy Father and love all the saints.
In 2:1 Peter goes on to say, “Therefore, putting away all malice and all guile and hypocrisies and envyings and all evil speakings.” This verse begins with “therefore.” This indicates that the exhortation in 2:1-10 is based upon what is unveiled in chapter one. Three main things accomplished in the believers by the Triune God are emphasized in chapter one: the Father’s regeneration (vv. 3, 23), the Son’s redemption (vv. 2, 18-19), and the Spirit’s sanctification (v. 2) to make the believers a holy people, living a holy life (vv. 15-16). Based upon this, Peter charges the believers to grow in life (2:2) for the building up of a spiritual house (2:5).
Although chapter one is complete in itself, Peter, according to his experiences, still has more to say. Therefore, with chapter one as his basis, he proceeds to give the charge found in chapter two. He begins by telling the saints to put away all malice, guile, hypocrisies, envyings, and evil speakings. Of the hundreds of sinful things, Peter selects five: malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking. I would ask you to spend some time to consider what these are.
According to the sequence of these five matters, malice is the root, the source, and evil speaking is the expression. We may have malice as a root within us. Then there will eventually be evil speaking as the expression of this malice. The development from malice to evil speaking includes guile, hypocrisies, and envyings, three downward steps from malice toward evil speaking. If we have guile, we shall also have hypocrisies; and if hypocrisies, then envyings as well. Hence, the root is malice, the development includes guile, hypocrisy, and envy, and the final expression is evil speaking.
Not even a verse such as 2:1 should be read in a careless way. We should not take any verse for granted or neglect to study it seriously. Rather, we should study every verse with the goal and expectation of getting into the depths of it. Actually, the depths of the Word are the reality of the Word. This reality is the truth. If we consider verse 1 carefully, we shall see the root, the development, and the expression. In the light of this verse we see that all malice needs to be uprooted.
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