Keys to the Kingdom

19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

A question was asked about this verse the other day which took me to a study and added to my treasure chest.

First, always look at the context. Very important! Establish the context first.

Verses 13-19 are going over the profession of Peter that Christ is the Son of the living God (16). Then Jesus says that it was the working of God that allowed Peter to make that deduction (17). The foundation (rock-petra) of the “church” is that profession, Christ is the Son of the living God. Jesus then tells Peter the gates of Hades will never overpower it (18).

This is what is happening in this passage. Sets the ground for verse 19.

Jesus was talking about the keys of the kingdom that He would give to Peter. These keys are self-explanatory as Jesus states but there are some cross-references to these keys and they speak of the same set of keys, Is 22:22; Rev 1:18; 3:7. These keys also represent the authority that was given to Peter to bind and loose. Peter receives the chief authority and stewardship with these keys over the early church.

As far as the binding and loosing when referring to Christians, it is talking about them making the entrance to God’s kingdom available or unavailable to people through their duties such as a witness, preaching, and ministry. Including the forgiveness of sins, tying this text in closely with John 20:23, which displays a very similar structure, and also with Christ’s use of the phrase “keys of knowledge” in Luke 11:52. Peter’s privilege is found in Acts 1–12, where Peter becomes the forefront of leadership in the early Christian proclamation of the gospel to the Jews in the early church but Peter’s privilege seems to fade as time goes on but Peter still had privilege it was just not documented as the other Pauline writings were being produced. Peter’s role was vital in the establishment of the early church and it was by the power of God that allowed Peter and secured Peter to succeed. There might even be some reference to the keys as a power of heaven to fight off attacks from demons etc..

As far as the language translation of this verse, many commentators had disagreed on this passage with the use of the terms “shall have been”, “having been” and “will be”.

19 δώσω σοι τὰς κλεῖδας τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν,

I will give  you  the keys    of the kingdom   of heaven 

καὶ ὃ ἐὰν δήσῃς  ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἔσται δεδεμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς

 and whatever you bind on earth      shall have been bound in heaven,

καὶ ὃ ἐὰν λύσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἔσται λελυμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

and whatever you loose On earth          shall have been loosed   in heaven

The verbs are in BOLD. The loosed and bound are perfect participles with future verbs (εσται) “will be” before them. To be translated as a future event that is already predestined to be completed. “Shall Have Been” in heaven or better yet, “has already been bound or loosed (predestined by God) in heaven”.

The language with the future perfects has shown to be challenging to some since there are a few different translations but the over conclusion you need to see here is that Peter or any other human has any power to change God’s sovereignty.

KEY: The use of this combination of the future then the present was on purpose to show that whatever is being done it has already been sovereignly completed in the future by God’s plan. God is sovereign and Peter was just the instrument that God used for His purposes. It is God’s plan in His control of the outcome not any of man’s. Peter nor any other man can act outside of God’s will.

Remember that the authority derived from God’s sovereignty. Peter had authority that was given to him in the use of establishing the church. This authority may have included church policy or polity (government). Such church decisions that Peter made must have direct implications as to what may or may not be forgiven, as it does apply to Rabbis on what was or was not permitted (to bind was to forbid, to loose to permit) and this application will be taken up in Matt. 18:18.

Always remember that God’s Word was documented by human authors. The way they used the grammar was exactly how God wanted it to be written down so it would be translated properly as He requires. Each word and sentence structure was not of the human authors but of God. Translation from the original languages is vital and crucial to the understanding of the Bible and interpretation. Grammar, structure, and language are key. We have to get to the original languages and their grammatical structure to interpret Scripture properly. If we do not take the time to take Scripture up to this level of research to determine what the true authorial intent is, we may end up missing the point all together.  

In Christ <><

Bible Reading Challenge

Well we are almost at the day of election 2020. I will not go into what an insane year we have experienced in 2020. Unless you have been under a rock for the last 8 months you are well aware of the changes that we have seen all over the world. The changes have definitely placed many of us in a place we thought we would never find ourselves. Restrictions here and there, up and down left and right, everywhere else move there is a mandate that we must follow. Never in our free country of America we have ever seen anything like this.

Christians have seen the most adversities in this season. Church have government mandates forced upon them that restrict people going to worship the Lord. We understand the illness potential we are facing and should practice safety when needed but we are to worship as it is mandated by God. If you are worshiping under these restrictions, praise the Lord. We in California have it much worse and have our hands tied to rules that almost make it impossible to worship the Lord.

This has taken its toll on the Church. Not the church down your street but the Church of Christ. The lack of fellowship with other believers has taken its toll on the health of individual believers and the corporate body. We are not among our brothers and sisters loving one another and encouraging one another that leads us to a feeling of emptiness and depression. In some cases many have slide away, not lost their salvation but a lack of motivation to study and worship in our own time. Many are wondering what will happen to the future of the church.

No matter what is happening in the world, we can always seek the Lord in His Word. We need to get creative with our fellowship with other believers. We may not be able to do physical meetings but with media as technical as it is now we can use many platforms to fellowship with one another. Zoom calls, Discord or FaceTime can be utilized as ways we can have fellowship. We must look for any opportunity to reach out and help one another.

I have and I urge anyone reading this to do what a friend and I are doing. This is a challenge to all believers. What my friend and I are doing is daily reading assignments. We read 5-6 chapters in a book of the Bible everyday. 5-6 chapters which is about 20 minutes, everyday. We then text or call each other to confirm our reading to one another. This keeps us accountable to each other for our reading. We text some key things we read and that turns into a small text bible study. We are in tough times but we have much in our possessions that we can utilize to our favor.

The challenge is to pick a partner and do a daily reading of a book in the Bible. Chose a few chapters or as much as you can handle. When you and your reading partner select the book and chapters, read daily for the 14 days consecutively. After the time you agree on move on to the next section and so on and so on.

No verses today and it has been awhile since I have posted anything and I apologize. I look forward in posting frequently from now on.

In Christ!

How to Discern Covid-19


Now What?

This is March 24, 2020, and we are in the middle of a pandemic. This is a world wide situation that has gripped all nations of the globe. The Corona Virus has caused fear and panic among the populations across the world and as of today it appears that there is no end in the near future. It will be interesting to read this again in 6 months to see what transpires in the future as we look back.

We know as we were once lost that we place all our faith and hope in the things we can see and feel. We are horizontal minded when we are lost. We have no true means of safety form things we cannot control. The main lesson that has been learned in this whole situation is that we are not in control of anything. We are at the mercy of this virus or the government. This is how the unsaved view the current status. But as followers of Christ we have a different view. We see thing vertically.

In Colossians 3:1-2, we see Paul writes, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, what we are to be looking at when we face trials. Paul writes to the church to encourage the recipients of this epistle that no matter how bad your situation looks here on earth, we need to be looking vertically up to our God. Verse 1 states that we need to be seeking things above. Paul tells us this because Christ is seated at the throne at the right hand of God as this verse tells us. Looking back at the last few verses in chapter 2, Paul tells us that we have died to the world and are only to be following the commandments of Christ not men. So if we are experiencing worldly issues such as natural disasters, illnesses or this virus we need to move away from man made solutions and stay focused on Christ and the Word of God to keep us.

Col 3:1  Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

We see just in these two verses that we have all we need to survive anything. The proper mind is required and as Romans 12:1-2 tells us that we need to have our minds transformed and have it renewed. Our old mind and thinking must be done away with. Paul states the imperative verb command to keep seeking and in verse 3 to set your mind. Two commands are given for all believers here. Keep seeking righteous things and set your mind on heavenly things. The things of the earth are fading away and we need something to believe in that is set in concrete. Foundations built on sand are foundations built to fall apart. So as believers we need to heed to Paul’s writings and the command given by God to continue to seek thing above and the set our minds on thing above. Things above is mentioned twice so we will not forget it.

As followers of Christ we are set on our eternal destination. We are not going anywhere else but to glory in heaven with Christ. This is our peace, our joy and our hope. Our future has been determined and will never change. The world will continue to spiral downward until the Lord returns. There is no hope in things here horizontally, things of the earth or antidotes of man. The hope is only found in Christ! Our King! Our Savior!

So, during these times look up and keep yourself in Scripture to see the truth. We will subdue any false thoughts and false views of this virus. It is among us and we do need to take precautions. We need to be concerned but not fearful or worried. For those who have come across this blog and are not a follower of Christ. I urge you to come to saving faith and begin a loving relationship with Christ. Repenting of your sins and crying our to our Lord with your mouth that you have sinned against a Holy God and asking for forgiveness, and He will hear you. Ask Christ to forgive you and accept you as His own. Seek Him! Call upon His name!


In Christ!

Prayers for the Philippines


My wife and I just returned from the Philippines. She was born there, and we met while I was working there prior to my salvation. It was so refreshing getting away from all the busyness of Los Angeles. We were able to meet with many of Mary’s family members on our vacation. The Lord allowed my wife to minister to some of her family members again. Since she came to saving faith in Christ, she has shared the Gospel with them countless times. But as usual, the seeds fell on hard ground or the wayside. Not much response except we are not interested. On this trip she was approached by a couple of family members who were interested in a bible study where my wife would translate for me and we both walked through Scripture showing them key verses of the Gospel.

This is a sad reality. Close family or friends who refuse the Gospel. The pain we feel when our own family rejects Christ makes us sad and wonder why. But we must remember we too were once in their shoes. Whenever anyone proclaimed the Gospel to me in my early years, I also refused the truth and likewise refused to give up my sin. The main reason anyone rejects the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that their love for their own sin is so deep that they cannot leave it.  We were no different than those we proclaim Christ to. We often forget where we once were.

The Apostle Paul speaks about the depravity of man in Romans. He explains how man is such a wretch and has no possible ability to come to God on his own since man rejects God. Romans 1: 22-28 shows us that man rejects God and as they believe they are becoming wise they are only “fools” and God, in His just and holy character turns them over to a reprobate, depraved or debased mind. We see the progression of this fall of rebellious thinking. First thing they believe in their own selves as to gods. They then fall into sexual immorality then God steps in and turns them over to insanity within their minds. Insane thinking, insane thoughts, insane actions and insane lives. What we see in society today is exactly where we are at. Society has taken on a reprobate mind. Sexual immorality in plain sight and even in mainstream America. This is insanity.

But there is nothing shocking about what we are seeing in front of our very eyes. The Bible shows us exactly what has happened, what is happening and what will happen. Sexual immorality, LGBTQ, and whatever other immorality that will arise in the coming years should not make us angry, but we should see what is happening through Biblical eyes. This is the mission field. If we turn to hate and stay away from these people how then will they hear the Gospel? This what went through my head in the Philippines with my wife’s family. I became bitter and even made points to stay away from them because of their lifestyles of drinking and selfishness and worst their willingness to reject Christ.

As a recent Masters Seminary graduate, my heart has always been burdened with the Philippines. But in the last couple of years the desire and burden to reach and teach these people has grown. In this last trip I spoke to a couple of brothers about ministry opportunities there in the Philippines. To be clear, I want to make it certain that I don’t believe that the Philippines needs America’s Gospel or church style or any Western pragmatic system. My intention is that I could go there to serve and teach the local Filipino to lead his people in a biblical manner and shepherd God’s flock. Our presence in other nations should only be of biblical advisory and teachers of the Bible. We pass along knowledge and they then take this biblical training and then infuse it in their culture in “their” way not any other nations way.

We ask that you keep us in your prayers. We hope you will pray for the Philippines as well. Many, many false teachers are leading people away from Christ and into cult like religions. They need the truth of God’s Word. They need men trained up into shepherds.

Why Women Are Not to Preach

John MacArthur from his sermon last Lord’s Day 11/3/19. He takes a biblical look at the topic of why women cannot preach or be pastors.


Who Are We as Christians?


In 1 Peter 9-12, Peter now turns the corner to show us who we are and how we are to be identified as a Christian.

What Defines Us

Verse 9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

After Peter shows us the outcome of belief and unbelief he makes a point here to believers by saying “But you” He is speaking to the believers.

“But You are a chosen race”.

The term, chosen, or ἐκλεκτό in Greek means the elect or more specific ones who God has chosen to Himself. Matthew uses this same term as he writes what Jesus had said: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14). We see the predestination or election language again.

God has predestined all who would be saved. This does not mean that all who are elect or chosen will be saved. There are many who are called “elect” that never came to faith. By whatever reason, the love of their sin, refusal of the truth of the Gospel or possibly never hearing the Gospel at all, many elect are not in heaven now.

Peter uses the term “race” speaking of the believers. He calls them a chosen race. This term race in Greek is “genos” which means people group or nation. “Genos” is translated race but it does not mean a specific race as we know it today.

There must be some clarity made here today. Since we have been in the Social Justice movement lately, we see that race is a major topic in Social Justice. This movement has impacted the world and has had some major effects on how people view one another. The critical race theory or any other social issue pertaining to racism is a secular world issue. Sadly, it has crept into the church. Now many denominations are fighting within themselves over all these issues of Social Justice. We will not discuss this in-depth the SJ issue but we do need to see what Peter is talking about here.

Race, it is viewed in the Bible, does not single out any specific race or nationality. The best way we can look at this today is how Paul explained it in Colossians. Turn with me to Colossians chapter 3. Here we are going to see what Christians are to be seeing themselves and other believers as. Paul writes in this letter in this chapter how the new Christian life should look like. As Peter is doing the same here we will see many similarities because they are teaching the same thing they were both taught about Christianity.

It is one walk/ by one faith /in One person.

Col. 3:11 explains how we are followers of Christ and our new identity as a race is no longer valid. We are now His chosen race. Our worldly identity does not determine who we are.

11: a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.


So Paul explains this very clear for us. We are not who we were. We are now Christians in a new life in adopted into a new family. We are all the same. Nobody is above anyone else we are all equal. Our identity of where we came from or the color of our skin does not matter anymore. That is a worldly thing and a world view that Christians should not have anymore. We are not from here we are just passing through remember?

So our nationality now is Christian. Our home is in Heaven not earth. So it does not make a difference where you were born or where your family came from or the color of your skin. This means nothing anymore since you came to Christ. We are all the same now in one body. We are all the same, we belong to Christ and are His. We have been bought for a price and we are not our own anymore (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

As we keep moving we see Peter continuing to make references to who we are as believers. But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION.

We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people. Peter explains in these terms who we are just as the OT shows us

Chosen Race: Isa. 43:20 Because I have given waters in the wilderness

            And rivers in the desert,

            To give drink to My chosen people.

Royal Priesthood: Isa. 61:6 But you will be called the priests of the LORD;

            You will be spoken of as ministers of our God.

This royal Priesthood pertains to our status as ambassadors who mediate God’s presence to the world.

Holy Nation: Ex. 19:6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’

A People for His own Possession: Deut. 14:2 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His 1own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

We are of God’s possession because we have been purchased by the blood of Christ.

Gal. 3:13 13 Christ bought us with His blood and made us free from the Law.

1 Cor. 7:23 23 You were bought with a price;

1 Cor. 7:20 0 For you have been bought with a price:

*So why were we saved? *What is the reason that God made it possible for us, who are rebels, to actually be forgiven from our debts? Why?

Peter says: so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

We are to proclaim the excellencies of Him who saved us. 1 John 1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also. Our Great Commission in Matthew 28 commands us to make disciples and to teach them to observe all Christ commanded you. All this is part of proclaiming His excellencies.

As believers, we are all called to minister or proclaim the Gospel to all the creation (Mark 16:15). Also, we see here that Peter illustrates who we once were. We were once in darkness but now in  His marvelous Light. When we were dead in our sins we were in the dark and hated the Light. John tells us that many rejected Him because they could not understand the Light.  John 1:4 4 aIn Him was life, and the life was bthe Light of men. 5 aThe Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not 1comprehend it.

When John writes about comprehension it is not about understanding but better translated as rejection. They rejected the Light and Christ is the Light. Identity is important to who we are. In our lives, we are marked by who we are or who we associate with. Our culture today is growing into a culture of assimilation.

Peter continues in verse 10 explaining who the Christian is by showing a contrast of who we were and who we are now.

Verse 10:

10 afor you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

This analysis of who we are and who we were was also written about by Paul.

1Cor. 6:9   Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? cDo not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will ainherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

As a Christian our life is not reflective of what we were but who we are. In these two verses, Peter makes it a point to show these believers in Asia Minor that we are not the same if we are in Christ. We are different and through sanctification and repentance of sins we are becoming Christ-like.

Now we will look at How we are Identified

The Bible is clear that when we become Christians we are not to be conformed to the world but transformed. Paul tells us this in Rom. 12:1-2.

There is a work that has begun and will not end until Christ is formed in us. Galatians 4:19, Paul writes that he labors as a minister see Christ formed in them, My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.

What Peter is going to do here in the next two verses is to show us what we are to abstain from and what we are to maintain.

1Pet. 2:11   aBeloved, bI urge you as caliens and strangers to abstain from dfleshly lusts which wage ewar against the soul.

Peter begins with a plea or strong exhortation as he uses the term “urge.”

Peter is not telling them but he is trying to get them to understand who they are and what their stand is in the world. What is their position and how they should view themselves? He is telling them you are not of this world anymore. We also need to view ourselves as strangers, aliens, pilgrims, and sojourners. We were once home in this world but now we are just passing through as foreigners, not homeless per se but worldless, we are not of this world.

Lev. 25:23   ‘The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for athe land is Mine; for byou are but aliens and sojourners with Me.

Psa. 39:12               “aHear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry;

            Do not be silent bat my tears;

            For I am ca stranger with You,

            A dsojourner like all my fathers.

So Peter shows us how we are to see ourselves but he also adds that we are to abstain. In this exhortation, Peter uses the term “abstain”. This term is to keep away from, avoid contact, refrain from, not to obtain, not to receive or not to use. We as Christians have to refuse or not be engaging in certain practices of behaviors. Abstain clearly means that we must STAY AWAY!!!!

What are we to abstain from?

Peter is telling them they need to abstain from fleshly lusts. In this chapter, we saw in verse 1, That Peter makes a list of behaviors that all Christians are not to be engaging in.

He says, Therefore, putting aside all 1malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander which are fleshly lusts because these are actions of the flesh and we desire to react in these ways when the world acts against us or even if they themselves act out in these ways.

John writes in his first letter that the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not of the Father but of the world.

Paul writes in Galatians But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Gal. 5:16-17).

So why is Peter saying this here in this verse? The natural man desires to fulfill the flesh but we are not to follow this anymore but abstain from that. This is the war that rages in us. Peter knows this and wants to tell the believers that it is war. The flesh and the Spirit are at odds with one another.

Rom. 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

Rom. 8:8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Rom. 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Gal. 5:16-17 says that the Spirit and the flesh are at odds.

Eph. 2:3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Remember what Paul said, all the sinful things were did were who we once were but we are not that person anymore. Paul wrote after a list of sinful actions we saw earlier in 1 Cor. 6:11, “which were some of you” meaning we are not to be partaking in those sins of the flesh.

As Peter moves ahead in this letter he now addresses what we are to maintain.

In verse 12 Peter writes,

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may 1because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Peter explains to all Christians that we must be aware of our behavior at all times especially around the Gentiles which Peter means the lost. We are separated from the world in order to proclaim the Gospel to the world. Being a Christian means that we are not of the world anymore, Scripture makes it clear we are not from here anymore and have our citizenship in Heaven so there must be some outward external behavior that makes us different from the world.

How is it possible to tell anyone about the Gospel and the changing effects that it had on your life when you are still the same person? Peter is telling them to keep your behavior excellent in the English but if we look at how it was written it is actually saying: “Keeping your behavior among or with the Gentiles” which shows us that this participle keeping is in the present tense which tells us that it is continuously happening. We must all, as Christians, be keeping our behavior excellent. Keep means to maintain. Peter showed us that we are to abstain now he is showing us how to maintain.

This is our application. Abstain and Maintain.

See as Paul writes speaking of maintaining Christian behavior: Phil. 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

Titus 2:8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

Why is Peter writing this? Always asking ourselves why is this in the Bible and why is it so important that God has to tell us this? Peter knows exactly what the church in Asia Minor is going through so he is comforting them. In this time when the Romans were in control of this region under Nero, Christians were being severely persecuted to the point of death.

This was brought upon by Nero. Nero had burned the city down in order for him to rebuild it since he loved building things, and he blamed the XTNs for it. This caused widespread persecution of all XTNs. They were being falsely accused of burning the city down.

They were being spoken of as evildoers, their character was being destroyed. They were being slandered. So Peter writes that, in the thing they slander you as evildoers, Peter is telling mainly of the blaming of the fires and destruction of the city.

But there were other matters that they were being blamed for such as, atheism (no idols or emperor worship), cannibalism (rumors about the Lord’s Supper), immorality (because of their love for one another), damaging trade and social progress, and leading slaves into insurrection.

All these things were being placed on all Christians as being the purpose of all opposition against Rome and their rule.

So we go back and see what Peter had told them earlier in the letter, in 2:1, he says to put aside or away malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. He was telling them that these ways of life which are prevalent in the nonbelievers need to be done away with. We don’t do those things anymore. So, keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles.

Peter shows the “what” of our behavior now we will see the “why”

they may 1because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

They, meaning the Gentiles, because of or a result of, your good deeds, as they observe them, your good deeds, glorify God. If our behavior as Christians, is as Christ acted, being patient and merciful to those who persecuted Him, instead of reacting or retaliating in a manner which they themselves act, we might be able to show them Christ in us. If we witness to the world Christ in our behavior and our actions then we would not be like the world. We would be different. We would be “odd” and even attractive to those who are perishing. The lost observe our actions all the time. What do they see?

Many refuse the Gospel on account of bad witnesses. Hypocrisy and immature believers turn so many away. So it is vital that we are true believing Christians in our speech and our walk. They are observing us. So in doing so, walking in a manner worthy of the Lord as Colossians 1:10 tells us, will allow the Gospel to be seen.

When they observe our actions and they are good in the light of adversity and even persecution, they are observing the working of the Spirit in our lives which in turn will allow them to come to the realization that the Gospel is the “good news”.

This is what will glorify God. Matt 5:16: “let your light shine before others so that when they see your good deeds they may glorify your father in heaven.

How will this bring glory to God? Our good deeds on display do bring Him glory. Our salvation brings Him glory and that is what Peter is telling us here. The conversion of unbelievers due to the observation of good conduct of Christians results in them glorifying God on the day of judgment because they are now part of the company of God’s people. Does this mean we have the power to save people? No, the power is not from us but it resides in us.

Salvation is all God. All we are just tools in His hands. We are just throwing seeds and living as Christians living by displaying good deeds and showing our joy even in times of persecution.

For it is the beginning of our conversion, when God is pleased to look on us with a paternal eye; but when his face is turned away from us, we perish. Hence the day of visitation may justly be said to be the time when he invites us to himself. calvin

Our lives should be models of Christ and all He shows.

The fruits of the Spirit are all attributes that Christ has and all Christians are marked by these fruits. It is our desire to have these fruits developing each day to be put on display for all to observe to glorify God.


We are a race of His people for His purpose

We are to abstain from the flesh

We are to maintain XTN behavior

We are to bring glory to the Father

This is Who we are

And this is How we are identified 

Honor and Shame 1 Peter 2:7-8


1 Peter 2:7-8

7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
8 and,
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

This Cornerstone is the foundation, perfect, set by God that which everything is built from. We spoke of the purpose of the Cornerstone in construction language. We spoke of how the whole building is set off that cornerstone and how it has to be perfect of else the building would fail. But here in our verses today we see how belief brings Honor and where disbelief brings Shame. Our lesson today will show these two outcomes that are set before every human on earth. They are all faced with the question, “Who do you say that I am?”  Everyone will answer that question either in this life or after physical death. Your answer will determine where you will spend eternity.

First we see in verse 7 how the truth of the Gospel and belief in this truth brings honor to Christ.

7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,



We discussed the precious value of this stone. XT is of great value to God as He placed His Son as the Cornerstone that all who would believe is of value since XT being the Cornerstone of our salvation. For those who believe! This is our HONOR!

Peter then turns to the negative and the reality of how many had received XT. Peter uses Ps. 118:22 as a cross reference to support his thought. Bible supports the Bible. Remember this, always that the Bible does not need man to support it with what wisdom he may have. God’s Words were written and are supported by His words. Nothing else.

Looking at the first phrase in this verse, Peter uses value which shows how precious or a thing of price, and collectively,  or referring to precious things. The value, the honor we have in our salvation is beyond any price we can imagine. We do not have any clue how great a salvation we have in Christ. Peter wants to emphasize this to the hearers that those who have faith or believe.

Looking closely at the text we see that this statement says that the builders rejected. This brings us to beg the question of  who are the builders? These builder which the Psalmist was speaking of in Psalm 118, here is the first hint that in the ring of foes were the builders themselves, the men of power, the religious leaders in Israel. Isaiah shows them rejecting God’s cornerstone in his own day for their ‘refuge of lies’

 Isa. 28:15: Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”

As the Psalm refers to the religious leaders of the past, Peter is also addressing the religious leaders of his day. Those who have rejected the message of the Gospel itself and the Messiah Jesus Christ.

But Peter turns the positive mood over to a negative. Peter cross references Psalm 118:22. There is a difference in the verbiage between what was written in the Psalm and what Peter wrote in this reference. The term has become in the Psalm 118 which is different as Peter writes is became. The Psalmist uses the perfect tense of something being completed with continuing effect, where Peter uses the Aorist tense which is an action done in the past without continuing effect. So we can summarize that the Psalmist wrote that the builders rejected the stone which became and is still becoming the Cornerstone. Where Peter writes that the builders rejected the stone which became their Cornerstone. We see the essence of time here. In the Old Testament we see that the Psalmist was telling of something happening with future action of the Messiah coming whereas Peter wrote about the action already has taken place and finished with no future action required. Christ became our Cornerstone and the job is complete with His sacrifice. His work on the Cross satisfied the Father and the plan of redemption was complete. No need for any future Cornerstone at all Christ is it and it is done!

Continuing here we see that this cornerstone was rejected. The Psalmist tells of the rejection of the coming Messiah in the future. Prophecy of what was to come. The point of the quotation is to show that those who rejected Christ have been proved exactly wrong by God’s exaltation of him to the place of greatest prominence, the head of the corner.

In Matthew 21:42       Jesus *said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures,





In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus uses the same reference of the Psalm 118:22. Speaking of the rejection of the corner stone which was Him. Leading up to this verse, Jesus had told a parable of the landowner who planted a vineyard then leased it out to another farmer. The parable ends with the owner of the land sending his slaves and them getting beaten and killed. After sending another larger group the farmer, the farmer’s men did them same killing them. So the landowner sends his son and they killed him as well. They killed his son. Jesus then asks a question of what will the landowner do at this point. The disciples answered in a way that showed they had no idea what the parable was to explain. Their answer was that the landowner would lease it out again then make money with the future profits from the harvests. Jesus then rebukes them by asking them if they had read the Scriptures? He then goes into the Psalm 118. Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees tells them in verses 43-44 43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 44 “And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

The Gospel was meant for the Jews and for them to bring it to the world and glorify God but they rejected Him, the Messiah and by Chapter 11 here in Matthew, Jesus then opened the Gospel to the Gentiles which Jesus already describes how it will be fruitful in the hands of those who did not reject him.

Verse 8 continues to show us the unbelief of Christ. The rejection that unbelievers partake in have eternal consequences. This is what brings shame.


for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

 Peter again uses the OT to support his message. Here he is using Isaiah 8:14:

 “Then He shall become a sanctuary;

            But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over,

            And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Isaiah had been given a prophetic message from God that the people of Jerusalem would reject the Messiah. Christ and the message of the Gospel are a stumbling block and a rock of offense or better translated a cause of sin. What is the most heinous sin we could ever perform? What is worse than adultery? What is worse than murder? Or stealing? Cheating or lying? What is the unforgivable sin? It is the sin of unbelief. The rejection of Christ. This is the unforgivable sin.

Mark 3:28   “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”

Matt. 12:32 32 “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

We see Paul tells us the same outcome about the Gospel. 1Cor. 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

Paul again shows the stumbling of the Jews this time in the letter to the Galatians holds his ground for the Gospel and does not waver but says that even if he preached their law of circumcision would it remove the stumbling block? Nope. Paul was throwing it back in their face because the Judaizers were preaching faith and works especially circumcision as part of their gospel. We see it here:

Gal. 5:11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.

Paul continues to show that the Gospel is a stumbling block as he writes in Rom. 9:32. Paul was talking about the Gentiles having righteousness placed on their account by their faith whereas the Jews were trying to come to righteousness by their works. So Paul says in Romans: Why? Because they did not pursue it 1by faith, but as though it were 1by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, they did not come to faith or belief but rejected the Cornerstone as Peter tells us in verse 7 and what Peter says in verse 8 the stumbled over the stone which was a stone of offense. Both Apostles are saying the same thing. Christ is a stumbling block for those who don’t believe and are in sin because of their disobedience.

Going to the last phrase in verse 8, we see the outcome of the shame brought to those who are unbelieving of the message of the Gospel and reject the Messiah Jesus Christ.

8b: and to this doom they were also appointed.

This is little phrase has and is still causing all sorts of clashing between denomination lines. We have seen that the Gospel is a stumbling block. We have seen that the most the Jews and many Gentiles rejected the cornerstone. We have also seen that the Gospel is a stumbling block and a stone of offense or a cause of the ultimate sin-unbelief.

The final phrase in the verse is dealing with something called predestination. Predestination is the plan that God had in eternity past of all the events that would happen including salvation, the second advent of XT an the new heaven and earth. Predestination does not always pertain to eternal life but also pertains to eternal death.  God is sovereign in all things. We have to remember that He controls all events and does this providentially though people and events He preordained. That was about (3) years of theology classes.

Since God has preordained everything, He predestined or pre-planned all events, He has also predestined all who would be saved. This is called election. Those who are saved are His elect. We see in Ephesians 1 how this spoken of by Paul.

Ephesians 1:4-6just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Acts 13:48   When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Rom. 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

2Th. 2:13   But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

So we get a good idea of how this predestination works and is how this whole plan of salvation works. Always remember Eph. 2:6-8, that you are saved by grace through faith, not by works, you cannot take any credit for it, its all God. But what we see here is Peter not talking about salvation but is talking about death. NASB placed the term doom in italics which denotes that this was not in the original texts that they used in the translation of the NASB. But the meaning is present. The term doom is portraying the impending judgement for disobedience resulting in their unbelief. As we have seen Jesus makes it clear that unbelief equals death eternally. There is no forgiveness for unbelief at all.

Just was those who are predestined for salvation also are those who are predestined to unbelief. This is the plan of God. He already chose who will be saved. But within those who are the elect there are those that will not take the responsibility when the Gospel is presented to them and “Come” as Jesus says. They refuse the Gospel because they love their sin so much. They reject the Cornerstone as well as those predestined for doom.

Rom. 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

Not the instruments of His wrath by which he works destruction but objects of his wrath, whose ‘end is destruction’

Phil. 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

The somber message in this two little verses is a contrast between what is rewarded for belief and what is destined for those who reject Christ. Honor or shame, belief and disbelief, life or death.

Submission Today

th (15)


How Does This Apply Today?

Merriam-Webster defines submission as:

Sub-mis-sion: an act of submitting to the authority or control of another.

When we hear the term submission we think of something that is antithetical to the Western way of life. We think of the loss of freedom that free countries have fought for. There is a belief that you will be subject to the authority of an authoritarian set of rules. Those who enjoy the freedoms of democracy are not so quick to follow anything that resembles submission. But the reality they already have submitted. A society that adheres to any form of government has already submitted in some way. They have already accepted a specific doctrine of leadership, government or rules. The countries that have been ruled by and who are still under some sort of democracy do not believe that they surrender to the government in any way. But they do. The laws in each country have been made by the government to stop the spread of evil in a nation, county or city. This has been ordained by God as all national laws are based upon the Ten Commandments in some way, form or fashion. Break the laws of the government and you face the consequences.

Looking at Islam, we know that this a religion that is based on “surrender” or “submission”. Nations who are not based in Islam look upon them and frown at the submission of their religious laws. The strict requirements are based on the writings of Muhammed in the Qur’an or Koran. Their religion has serious laws in place for those who follow and strict implications of consequences if these religious laws are not kept by Muslims. They are under severe submission to their law. This is taught to followers of Islam at a very early age. Submission in order to please their God, Allah, becomes second nature to Muslims and their drive to follow their teachings in the Qur’an.

If we look at other world religions today, we see that most are based on some sort of submission. Submission to their theology, doctrines, traditions, rituals or leaders. There have been so many cult-like religions that have come and gone and many that are still thriving today. All of which are based on submission. We are not to be fooled by these groups. But as Christians, we too are told to submit. Just as the other religions and governments tell their people God also tells us to submit.

The New Testament tells us that when the term submit is used, the term is translated from the Greek; hupotasso. Looking closer we see that the term hupo means “under” and the tasso means “to arrange.” This can also be translated as subject and subjection. The thrust of the word is “to obey, put under, be subject to or to put in subjection under or be under obedience or obedient to.” It is a military word that means to fall under the command of a leader.” See here how this word is clearly defined to “submit” to God. It means that you must arrange yourself directly under the command of God’s Divine viewpoint rather than to our old way of life-based on a human viewpoint or wisdom. It is a process surrendering, submitting and placing our own will to that of our Father’s will.

In Today’s World

In the postmodern world, we live in today, submission does not have a place. At such alarming rates, Christianity is sliding. People are not desiring to follow Christ. People today, do not want to be told what truth is since the whole postmodern definition is based on no real truth. Your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth, who am I to say your truth is wrong. Even though they reject the relativist theories, postmodernism does hold some sort of relativism. The danger that postmodernism poses on any idea of submission is that this belief targets objective reality, morality, truth, reason, language, and social progress. This movement, which started in the mid-to-late 20th century, has birthed into the movement that has done more damage to society in America and to Christianity as a whole. What has been popularized is the Social Justice Movement. This topic alone speaks volumes and the research found on this would fill any public library.

The Social Justice Movement has crept into the church with no signs of slowing down. We are experiencing denomination after denomination crumbling and being forced to its knees by allowing this to enter the church in an attempt to please the Social Justice Warriors within the church and in the world. For the sake of not offending anyone, tolerance of sinful behavior, sexism, racism, sexual preference discrimination and with a whole plethora of isms, the church today is changing to adhere and become relevant to this movement which has made its mark on society and has a major impression on people’s thought process.

This is important to note because it affects the way the Gospel is understood and needed. If the church allows for the changing of the Gospel message to appease these people, then the Gospel is no longer the true Gospel and is something entirely different. The Apostle Paul tells us; But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (Gal. 1:8) Intentional misinterpretations of the Bible that teach things contrary to Scripture are not to be undertaken. The God, through the Apostle Paul, makes it very clear:

If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.

Changing the biblical interpretation to fit a specific meaning outside of what God intended to tell us is evil and is done for a mean of gain. When I say mean of gain as Paul writes, I am saying that those who are changing in order to allow this ideology in the church which does not fit Scripture. This is an evil agenda for it is only being done for financial gain. The church denomination that stands frim submits and is faithful to God’s Word will suffer in this era we are currently in. This will include a loss of congregants and mostly a loss of money. The whole idea is about keeping money flowing in the coffers. So they fall. So how would it be possible for the members in these churches to submit to God? How is it possible for society as a whole to submit to God when all they see is the church submitting to the world?

Seeking Good: 1 Peter 2:1


1 Pet. 2:1   Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,

When we hear in God’s Word how we are to love one another, what does that look like? What does it actually mean to love one another, to love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ? One of our commands given to us by Jesus Christ is that we love one another as I have loved you (Jn. 13:34). The command is given that we are to love one another but Christ adds “like I have loved you.” Christ is the model and the full expression of how we are to love one another. We are to model ourselves as Christ.

In 1 Peter 2:1, we see Peter expressing this same command to the hearers in Asia Minor. The recipients of this letter and for us today, the command for each believer is that we love one another. As Peter begins this verse, he starts by saying therefore. Each time we see therefore we should always understand that what was being told before in Peter’s letter is now about to be summed up in a way that what was told is placed into action. Peter uses the participle “Αποθέμενοἰ” which means putting away or to put off showing that each believer must have a heart of repentance which is the turning away from the former self and desires and putting on a new self and having a transformed mind and life (Rom. 12:1-2). Putting aside simply is the act of ridding of oneself. We see Luke speaking of this attitude of being dead to self as the mindset of each follower of Christ (Luke 9:23). If we want to be followers of Christ, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross, daily. True repentance is as simple as that, giving up, putting away or putting off of one self.

Peter then goes into a series of 5 sinful actions that each one of us should never partake in in our walk with Christ. Each of these acts are what separates Christians from non-believers. These 5 acts are how non-believers react when they are faced with persecution of their beliefs. It is the natural reaction of man to perform these 5 acts in retaliation against anyone who attacks them. The world does not understand persecution as Christians do but what is meant by worldly persecution is an act against a system of belief. When the non-believer is confronted by another non-believer or even a Christian concerning their way of life for example, their reaction is to fight back and attack in the same manner they are being pursued.

The 5 acts we see Peter tells us are: malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. Each of these acts are things that Peter says that we all need to be putting aside or putting away. Why would Peter be saying this? Peter wants to be sure that the audience understands that we are not of the world and should not act like the world when we are faced with trials as this audience were facing. We are not to react with the same retaliation as we face. When we are faced with wickedness, we are not to react with malice. When we are faced with deceit or lied to, we should not be telling lies back to clear ourselves. When face with hypocrisy, we should never stoop to the level and become hypocrites ourselves. We should never be envious of others and what they may have, we should be happy with what God has provided for us. Finally, we should never be slanderous. The slanderer is the most vocal act against the Christian as they will attack everything that the Christian stands for. Slander is the defamation of character and this is the most popular attack against the believer. They want to defame our character in order for us to look like hypocrites, for us to become envious, for us to be wicked and to finally become like them and partake in defamation of character. Peter says, you be the opposite of this because Christ suffered all of these things and did not retaliate. He stayed true to His character. And we are to be little Christs hence, our title being Christians.

As believers of Christ, we need to put away these things and love one another. We are not to continue in our old ways especially towards one another. Peter knew that there was persecution from outside the church and wanted them to act according to their new birth, but Peter was directing them on how they are to act towards one another as fellow brothers in Christ. The 5 acts specifically have the task of tearing down and harming one another whereas Peter is speaking to them to seek the good in one another. Love seeks the good, it does not seek the bad in people. We must all put aside all our previous ways of thinking towards one another and look for the good and focus on that. As the Church body is one body we need to not be isolated but insulated with one another building one another up in our faith.

The Result: Our Reliance 1 Peter 1:20-21

th (11)

20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.


20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world

The Greek term in English; “foreknown” has the meaning of something that has been chosen beforehand. We see the same exact term used by Paul in Romans as he wrote “for those He foreknew He predestined to conform to the image of His Son. It tells of the knowledge of the Son before the creation of the earth. It has the understanding of eternity past. Christ existed before the creation. We see in John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  The Word is logos in Greek that pertains to Christ. The Hebrews knew that the Word was the coming Messiah as John used this term to signify the arrived Messiah Jesus. But as we see in verse 5 in John that He was light but they did not comprehend it. They rejected the Messiah.

There is more support given to us by John in his Gospel as he wrote about the love the Father gave Him before the foundation of the world (Jn. 17:24). Using the same grammatical structure as John, the Apostle Paul pens the same Greek construction as he wrote concerning our predestination of salvation before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4)[1]. In Revelation, we see John once again speaking of salvation being a predestined act of God as their names being written in the book of life before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8, 17:8).

but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

Peter tells of His existence in eternity past where He was with the Father and all things were created by Him and through Him. But what we see here is the contrast Peter makes. Setting up with the foreknowledge, Peter then tells of the arrival of the Messiah, the life of Christ while He was on earth by stating that He appeared in these last times for the sake of you. These last times signifies the period after the incarnation. The term last days can be found all over the NT as we see in 2 Tim 3:1 in the last days difficult times will come; Heb. 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.; Jas 5:3 James, speaking of gold and silver and earthly treasures says that they will perish and you will be consumed but in the last days you have stored your treasure; 2 Pet 3:3 in the last days mockers will come with their mocking following after their own lusts. We are in the last days. They are also considered the days before the Second Advent of Christ. So from the time of the birth of Christ, till He returns, these are the last days.

It is in these last days that Christ came by virgin birth, lived a sinless life, was crucified, killed, buried and then resurrected in order to save us. This is our Redeemer! Peter goes on to write:

21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

 Our salvation is only found through Christ. Peter writes through Him are believers in God. Faith is directed to God (εἰς θεὸν) “from God” through Jesus. God is the One who both raised Christ and endowed him with glory. For these persecuted communities, hope lies not in the present life, but in the power of God who raised and exalted Jesus and who will soon give them glory as well (vs. 1:7, 13; 5:1, 4). Peter once again encourages the hearers not to fret much over the current circumstances but to know that God, who planned their redemption is now the object of their trust. The word translated have confidence (pistos) can also mean ‘faithful, trustworthy’, but it should not be defined as that in this case because Peter summarizes this confidence as reliance on God: so that your faith and hope are in God. When Peter says that it is ‘through’ Christ that they trust God he rules out any idea that Christians should ‘fear God but trust Christ’. Rather, as Christians trust in Christ they are also through Christ trusting in God.[2]

The main point Peter makes is that our faith is in God through Christ. Peter is reaffirming the truth they already knew and were taught. Peter understood what wavering faith was all about personally as he himself denied Christ 3 times. He knows what it means to waver under persecution. But he also knows that faith will overcome persecution. This only happens when the fear of God is fully understood and fully at work in our lives. Verse 17 showed us why we need to be reverent and fear God. But what we see here is not fear but faith and the faith that comes through Christ with the fear of God. The fear of God as explained is actions that Christians take that produce obedience and submission. The fear of God is the removal of all human logic and the implementing of what God commands and acting this out without question. We see how Noah, Abraham Moses, etc.. The list goes on and on how we see faithful men who feared God displaying such courageous faith that goes beyond any human comprehension. This is real faith!

In Christ

[1] Greg Forbes, 1 Peter, ed. Robert W. Yarbrough and Andreas J. Köstenberger (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2014).

[2] Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2009).