BibleTools.info

Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Loading...

1 Peter 5:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The elders which are among you - In this place the term πρεσβυτεροι, elders or presbyters is the name of an office. They were as pastors or shepherds of the flock of God, the Christian people among whom they lived. They were the same as bishops, presidents, teachers and deacons, Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17. And that these were the same as bishops the next verse proves.

Who am also an elder - Συμπρεσβυτερος· A fellow elder; one on a level with yourselves. Had he been what the popes of Rome say he was - the prince of the apostles; and head of the Church, and what they affect to be - mighty secular lords, binding the kings of the earth in chains, and their nobles in fetters of iron; could he have spoken of himself as he here does? It is true that the Roman pontiffs, in all their bulls, each style themselves servus servorum Dei, servant of the servants of God, while each affects to be rex regum, king of kings, and vicar of Jesus Christ. But the popes and the Scriptures never agree.

A witness of the sufferings of Christ - He was with Christ in the garden; he was with him when he was apprehended. and he was with him in the high priest's hall. Whether he followed him to the cross we know not; probably he did not, for in the hall of the high priest he had denied him most shamefully; and, having been deeply convinced of the greatness of his crime, it is likely he withdrew to some private place, to humble himself before God, and to implore mercy. He could, however, with the strictest propriety, say, from the above circumstances, that he was a witness of the sufferings of Christ.

A partaker of the glory - He had a right to it through the blood of the Lamb; he had a blessed anticipation of it by the power of the Holy Ghost; and he had the promise from his Lord and Master that he should be with him in heaven, to behold his glory; John 17:21, John 17:24.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The elders which are among you I exhort - The word “elder” means, properly, “one who is old;” but it is frequently used in the New Testament as applicable to the officers of the church; probably because aged persons were at first commonly appointed to these offices. See Acts 11:30, note; Acts 14:23, note; Acts 15:2, note. There is evidently an allusion here to the fact that such persons were selected on account of their age, because in the following verses (1 Peter 5:4) the apostle addresses particularly the younger. It is worthy of remark, that he here refers only to one class of ministers. He does not speak of three “orders,” of “bishops, priests, and deacons;” and the evidence from the passage here is quite strong that there were no such orders in the churches of Asia Minor, to which this Epistle was directed. It is also worthy of remark, that the word “exhort” is here used. The language which Peter uses is not that of stern and arbitrary command; it is that of kind and mild Christian exhortation. Compare the notes at Philemon 1:8-9.

Who am also an elder - Greek: “a fellow-presbyter,” ( συμπρεσβύτερος sumpresbuterosThis word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means that he was a co-presbyter with them; and he makes this one of the grounds of his exhortation to them. He does not put it on the ground of his apostolical authority; or urge it because he was the vicegerent of Christ; or because he was the head of the church; or because he had any pre-eminence over others in any way. Would he have used this language if he had been the “head of the church” on earth? Would he if he supposed that the distinction between apostles and other ministers was to be perpetuated? Would he if he believed that there were to be distinct orders of clergy? The whole drift of this passage is adverse to such a supposition.

And a witness of the sufferings of Christ - Peter was indeed a witness of the sufferings of Christ when on his trial, and doubtless also when he was scourged and mocked, and when he was crucified. After his denial of his Lord, he wept bitterly, and evidently then followed him to the place where he was crucified, and, in company with others, observed with painful solicitude the last agonies of his Saviour. It is not, so far as I know, expressly said in the Gospels that Peter was pre sent at the crucifixion of the Saviour; but it is said Luke 23:49 that “all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things,” and nothing is more probable than that Peter was among them. His warm attachment to his Master, and his recent bitter repentance for having denied him, would lead him to follow him to the place of his death; for after the painful act of denying him he would not be likely to expose himself to the charge of neglect, or of any want of love again. His own solemn declaration here makes it certain that he was present. He alludes to it now, evidently because it qualified him to exhort those whom he addressed. It would be natural to regard with special respect one who had actually seen the Saviour in his last agony, and nothing would be more impressive than an exhortation falling from the lips of such a man. A son would be likely to listen with great respect to any suggestions which should be made by one who had seen his father or mother die. The impression which Peter had of that scene he would desire to have transferred to those whom he addressed, that by a lively view of the sufferings of their Saviour they might be excited to fidelity in his cause.

And a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed - Another reason to make his exhortation impressive and solemn. He felt that he was an heir of life. He was about to partake of the glories of heaven. Looking forward, as they did also, to the blessed world before him and them, he had a right to exhort them to the faithful performance of duty. Anyone, who is himself an heir of salvation, may appropriately exhort his fellow-Christians to fidelity in the service of their common Lord.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle Peter does not command, but exhorts. He does not claim power to rule over all pastors and churches. It was the peculiar honour of Peter and a few more, to be witnesses of Christ's sufferings; but it is the privilege of all true Christians to partake of the glory that shall be revealed. These poor, dispersed, suffering Christians, were the flock of God, redeemed to God by the great Shepherd, living in holy love and communion, according to the will of God. They are also dignified with the title of God's heritage or clergy; his peculiar lot, chosen for his own people, to enjoy his special favour, and to do him special service. Christ is the chief Shepherd of the whole flock and heritage of God. And all faithful ministers will receive a crown of unfading glory, infinitely better and more honourable than all the authority, wealth, and pleasure of the world.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 126

Paul says further: “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Verses 14, 15. One of the lessons that we are to learn in the school of Christ is that the Lord's love for us is far greater than that of our earthly parents. We are to have unquestioning faith and perfect confidence in Him. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Verses 16, 17. 8T 126.1

May the Lord help you, as a diligent student in the school of Christ, to learn to lay your burdens on Jesus. And if you are free in His love, you will look above and away from these annoying trials. Think of what Jesus has endured for you, and never forget that it is part of the legacy that we have received as Christians, to be partakers with Him of His sufferings, that we may be partakers with Him of His glory. 8T 126.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 354.3

I want to say to whomsoever the glory of God has been revealed, “You will never have the least inclination to say, ‘I am holy, I am sanctified.’” 3SM 354.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 339.1

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was ever prophesying the coming of the Lord. This great event had been revealed to him in vision. Abel, though dead, is ever speaking of the blood of Christ which alone can make our offerings and gifts perfect. The Bible has accumulated and bound up together its treasures for this last generation. All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days. There is Moses still speaking, teaching self-renunciation by wishing himself blotted from the Book of Life for his fellow men, that they might be saved. David is leading the intercession of the church for the salvation of souls to the ends of the earth. The prophets are still testifying of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. There the whole accumulated truths are presented in force to us that we may profit by their teachings. We are under the influence of the whole. What manner of persons ought we to be to whom all this rich light of inheritance has been given. Concentrating all the influence of the past with new and increased light of the present, accrued power is given to all who will follow the light. Their faith will increase, and be brought into exercise at the present time, awakening an energy and an intensely increased earnestness, and through dependence upon God for His power to replenish the world and send the light of the Sun of Righteousness to the ends of the earth. 3SM 339.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 154

Now his self-confidence was gone. Never again were the old boastful assertions repeated. COL 154.1

Christ after His resurrection thrice tested Peter. “Simon, son of Jonas,” He said, “lovest thou Me more than these?” Peter did not now exalt himself above his brethren. He appealed to the One who could read His heart. “Lord,” he said, “Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” John 21:15, 17. COL 154.2

Then he received his commission. A work broader and more delicate than had heretofore been his was appointed him. Christ bade him feed the sheep and the lambs. In thus committing to his stewardship the souls for whom the Saviour had laid down his own life, Christ gave to Peter the strongest proof of confidence in his restoration. The once restless, boastful, self-confident disciple had become subdued and contrite. Henceforth he followed his Lord in self-denial and self-sacrifice. He was a partaker of Christ's sufferings; and when Christ shall sit upon the throne of His glory, Peter will be a partaker in His glory. COL 154.3

Read in context »
More Comments