Tuesday, December 1, 2020

98. 1 Peter (Thru the Bible #54)

1 Peter. (Thru the Bible #54) J. Vernon McGee. 1975? 108 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: My own opinion is that Simon Peter never did go to Rome. I think he was in Asia Minor, the great heart of the Roman Empire, but he was not the apostle who opened up that territory. I think he followed Paul. Paul would not have gone to Rome if Peter had already been in Rome preaching the gospel there, because Paul made it very clear that he went into places where the gospel had not been preached before.

I am reading the Bible in 2020 using the daily M'Cheyne (Robert Murray M'Cheyne) plan. I thought it would add a layer of substance to in addition to the four chapters a day, to also read commentaries for those chapters. For that I am using Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. But the plan goes through the New Testament (and Psalms, I believe) twice. So now that I've finished Henry's commentary for the New Testament, I am tackling the New Testament commentary section of J. Vernon McGee's series.

This is not my first time reading J. Vernon McGee. I've read probably thirty or so of his commentaries. Most recently James.

I really am LOVING McGee. This has been the best idea--to correspond my Bible reading with commentary reading.

I mentioned that James had a big, big bite--that its small size doesn't mean it doesn't pack a hard-hitting punch. Same true of 1 Peter. McGee has a LOT to say about this little book. 

I really truly thought this would be a commentary discussing both 1 Peter and 2 Peter--but both epistles have their own commentaries by McGee.

  • I would never argue with you about whether honey is sweet or not. If you don’t think it is sweet, that is your business. I had some this morning for breakfast, and I know it is sweet. That is the knowledge that comes from experience.
  • God is moving according to His plan. There must have been an infinite number of plans before Him, but He chose this one. Why? Because He knew it was the best possible plan, and little man is in no position to challenge His choice. He is the Creator and we are only creatures. You and I didn’t even determine the time we would be born, or the family into which we would come, or our height, or the color of our eyes, or our IQ. Whatever we are today is by the grace of God.
  • I don’t know why we find fault with God for having a plan. Perhaps some folk imagine that He is up to some dirty tricks—but He is not. Oh, my friend, God is good and gracious and long-suffering. He wants to save us, and He wants us to have happy lives. God is the one we can trust. How strange it is that some folk object to God’s having a plan when they are perfectly happy to have men follow a plan.
  • I say hallelujah for election which is according to the foreknowledge of God. God is able to carry out His plan exactly because He knows everything.
  • Let me remind you that when the word sanctification is identified with Christ, it means that He is our sanctification; we will never be any better, as far as our position is concerned, than we are at this moment because we are complete in Him, and we are accepted in the beloved. We cannot add to that; it is our position in Christ.
  • However, when the word sanctification is identified with the Holy Spirit, it means something else. When Peter says, “Through sanctification of the Spirit,” he is talking about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the world who not only converts us—is responsible for our New Birth—but He also begins to work in our lives to bring us up to the place of maturation where we become full, mature Christians. Unfortunately, there are many Christians who have been saved for fifty years or more and yet will be going into heaven as babes in Christ. They haven’t matured at all. It will be embarrassing to go into the presence of God as still a burping baby!
  • My friend, I hope you never get to the place where you do not feel your inadequacy and your dependence upon Jesus Christ as your Savior.
  • You and I today have a living hope because of the blood of Christ shed for us. He died that you and I might live—because He paid our penalty. It is “a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
  • “Kept by the power of God” emphasizes the keeping power of God. Kept is probably one of the most wonderful words we have here—“kept by the power of God through faith.” The story is told of a Scotsman, who was typically economical, leaving instructions that only one word should be engraved upon his tombstone. But that one word, taken from this verse, is one of the greatest I know. It was the single word KEPT. He was “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
  • We can no more change that old nature than we can take a gallon of perfume out to the barnyard, pour it on a pile of manure, and make it as fragrant as a bed of roses. My friend, you have that old nature, and you cannot change it. The only way in the world that you can live the Christian life is by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the fact that you are kept by the power of God—right on through until the day when you will be delivered to Him in heaven.
  • We should stop this attempt to improve our old nature through the power of the flesh. God is the one who is in the business of improving us. He is the one who is trying to bring us to a maturity in our Christian life. God’s way of improving us is through manifold trials.
  • We have nothing to offer to God. He has everything to offer to us.
  • Loving Christ brings rejoicing to your heart. Are you a rejoicing Christian, my friend? You should be. You are a child of the King, and you have an inheritance coming to you some day. How wonderful it is to be His child!
  • The Word of God not only brings us hope, but it also leads to our obedience. The Word of God is to be obeyed; we are to yield to its instruction.
  • To put it very simply, the cross of Christ was not an ambulance sent to a wreck. Christ was the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world because God knew all the time that Vernon McGee would need a Savior, and He loved him enough to provide that Savior.
  • My friend, the only true miracle cleanser in this world is the Word of God. It is the best bar of soap that you can get. The Word of God will really take spots out, and many of us need to get closer to it.
  • You cannot be saved, you cannot be born again apart from the Word of God. This Book is the miracle that is in the world today.
  • Don’t ever think that there is something of value in us that we can offer to God. All the glory of mankind is like the fragile flower of grass. In other words, mankind is like the grass which I can see from my window. It is nice and green in the summertime, but it is brown and dead in the wintertime.
  • We have been brought into a loving relationship with the one whom, having not seen, we love. Simon Peter saw Him and loved Him, and although you and I have not seen Him, the Holy Spirit can make Him real to us so that we love Him in that way also.
  • The great object in the purposes of God is to have folk saved, not only from judgment and the lake of fire, but saved from the present world. He wants them saved, not only for heaven by and by, but for the heart of Christ now. The work of Christ on the cross settled every question that sin has raised between God and our souls. The future is bright with the glory of God, and we have been brought into the value of that work of redemption. We have been born again, and no one—not even Satan—can change that.
  • What is malice? The best definition I have found is congealed anger. It means to have an unforgiving spirit. My friend, are you carrying bitterness in your heart and a chip on your shoulder? Although you witness about being born again and about loving Jesus, nobody around you will be able to distinguish that if you are carrying malice, congealed anger, in your heart.
  • Just as a hungry baby reaches for the bottle, a believer is to desire the Word of God.
  • My friend, without a hunger for the Word of God you will not grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. You will not develop as a Christian—you will always be in your babyhood.
  • We must remember that a little baby and a full-grown man are both human beings, but they are in different stages of growth and development. The little one needs milk so he can grow up to become a man. Now, how does a Christian grow? He grows by studying the Word of God. There is no growth apart from the Word of God.
  • We don’t come to a little Babe in Bethlehem; we come as little babes to a living stone. The living stone is Christ.
  • God has guaranteed to hear the prayers of those who are His own. He has not guaranteed to hear the prayers of those who are not His own. The only prayer that a sinner can pray is, “Lord, I admit that I am a sinner, and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, and ask that You accept me in Him.” That is a prayer that God will hear and that God will answer.
  • Many people today have the idea that an old reprobate can live any kind of life he wants and then come to God in prayer when he is in trouble and expect God to hear and answer him. It is a false idea today to think that you can call on God under any circumstances whether or not you are His child. My friend, He has not promised to hear the prayers of those who are not His own.
  • The tragedy of the hour is that there are so many folk who say they are Christians, but the sceptic is able to tie them up into fourteen different knots like a little kitty caught up in a ball of yarn—they cannot extricate themselves at all. Why? Because of the fact that they do not know the Word of God.
  • May I say to you, suffering will give a new direction to life. David discovered this and wrote in Psalm 66:10, “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.” God puts us through the test that it might draw us to Himself and give us a new direction and drive for life. Such is the purpose of suffering.
  • The Spirit of God using the Word of God will produce a son of God. And that son of God now has a new nature, a new nature that is not going to live in sin.
  • Do you think, my friend, if you have really been born again, if you are really a child of God with a new nature, that you can go on living in sin? Now I am a Calvinist and I emphasize the security of the believer.
  • However, I think that there is such an overemphasis on that point that many of our Arminian friends also need to be heard today.
  • My friend, you cannot be a child of God and go out and live in the pigpen. Let’s face it—if you do, you are a pig. Pigs live in pigpens and they love it, but sons do not love the pigpen.
  • A child of God with a new nature longs to please Christ in all things. This is the reason that I believe the study of the entire Word of God is essential today.
  • My friend, you cannot live in sin and have fellowship with God. Sin is what is keeping people away from the Word of God today. I have to confess that Christians are a minority, and in teaching through the entire Bible as I do, I appeal only to the minority of the minority.
  • After we have been converted, we would be very foolish to spend our lives in the things which we did before. In fact, we cannot do that. We are now joined to Christ; we are united to Him, and we cannot run with the world to sinning. We must live today for God. What a tremendous truth this is!
  • Either you are going to please God or you’ll please men. And if you are pleasing men, you will not please God. The Lord Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). If the world does not hate you, then there is something radically wrong.
  • The world is not going to appreciate you very much when as a Christian you try to continue on with them.
  • We have no business saying we are teaching the Bible when we are not really teaching it.
  • God has a purpose in our suffering, my friend. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy [1 Pet. 4:13]. Why are we to rejoice in trials? Because suffering prepares us for the coming of Christ.
  • Let me repeat, the Christian life is a banquet—because He has invited us to the table of salvation—but it is not a picnic. We are to suffer for Him and with Him. And we will know the reason for each testing when we stand in His presence someday.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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