Other Facets of Truth
Through lack of space it was impossible to insert the complete exposition “Other Facets of Truth” in the February issue. “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and “The Servant’s Work” are sections necessary to cover the whole of chapter two. It is hoped that these will be read together in conjunction with the material in the former number so that the full benefit of this message may be received. — Ed.
The Epistles Of Peter
More Facets of Truth from the First Epistle —Chapter two
The Pilgrims’ Progress
There are three things which will impede our progress on the journey home: a soiled conscience (V. 11), a marred testimony (Vv. 12-14), and a lack of fellowship with the Lord (Vv. 15-17). We shall look at these briefly.
By the grace of God we are to master the passions of our wild nature that wars against the nobler faculties of the soul. If fleshly lusts are indulged in the heart, they will appear somewhere in the life. We can be blameless in life only when the heart within is pure. We must be right with our own conscience. The world has no accusation against the testimony of character. This is expressed in honesty and good works, in submission to civil authority, in well-doing, in honouring all men, in loving the brethren, in fearing God, and in enduring grief with patience amidst misrepresentation (Vv. 2, 5, 11, 16, 25). We must be right with the world.
To fear God and obey Him is the whole duty of man (E cc. 12:13). The fear of the Lord should be the governing principle of our lives. It will affect our every relationship and produce proper attitudes toward ourselves, the world, and our brethren. The fear that should thus control us is the fear that, as a servant, one might misrepresent God.
Lives that are lived in the fear of God will produce two results in the world. They will put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (V. 15), and they will lead many to glorify God in the day of visitation (V. 12). The day of visitation may be the day in which God draws near to a man to urge upon him the claims of the gospel. Many who formerly were prejudiced against Christ, on their acceptance of Him, will glorify God that some lives reflected His character to the extent that prejudice was destroyed. The greatest hindrance to the progress of the gospel in an ungodly world is the un-Christlike lives of some who preach the Word.
The Servants’ Work
Comparing verse one with verses 21 and 23, we see in Christ the very antithesis of those lives in which spirituality has been lost through the influence of five evils. There was no malice in Christ, He suffered to save and not to destroy. There was no guile in His mouth, no evil speaking; when He suffered He threatened not. There was no envy, when He was reviled He reviled not again. There was no hypocrisy, He did no sin, He was inwardly and outwardly pure.
In chapter 1:18 we have the blood of the Lamb shed for our security. In verses 21-25 we are shut in to feast upon the roast Lamb, to imbibe His holy character. We feed upon the Head, “He knew no sin,” here is food for the thought-life. We feed upon the legs, “He did no sin,” here is food for the active life of the servant. We feed upon the purtenance thereof, “In Him was no sin,” this is food for the heart. As we feed upon Christ as the Lamb of God, features of His character will be reproduced in us which will fit us for the service of God.
As wandering sheep, we have returned to the One Who feeds and rules us, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.