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Volume 8 - Page 138 of 141 Index | Zoom | |
Christ Himself passed through the testing fires of temptation, and can succour those who
seek to follow Him. In chapter 5: 8 we are told the wonderful fact that He "learned
obedience" by His sufferings, and as in 2: 10 these sufferings "perfected" Him,
constituting Him the "cause" of not merely salvation from sin and death, but that
salvation which, participating in the glories of the coming kingdom, is spoken of as
"aionian salvation". Again, this is not a salvation granted to faith, but to "all them that
obey Him", and by the parallel from verse 8 their obedience was at the price of suffering,
and eventuated in their perfecting. The last reference links His sufferings with His
reproach, and on to the future day of His glory; outside the city now, but inside the city in
that day! These passages will (D.5:) receive fuller exposition in our proposed series on
Hebrews, but sufficient is on the surface to show the line of teaching that is associated
most with the sufferings of Christ.
There remains for consideration the first epistle of Peter to complete our
investigations. Peter's epistle is so interwoven with the theme of suffering, that we must
give it an article by itself. We will therefore reserve any further comment upon the
general line of teaching on this subject until the first epistle of Peter has been examined.
The Sufferings of Christ (I Peter).
In our last paper we reviewed the N.T. references to the sufferings of Christ with the
exception of those passages which occur in the first epistle of Peter. So intimately
connected with the theme of that epistle is the subject of suffering, that to understand the
import of the several passages containing the word, necessitates a review of the whole
epistle; and vice versa, a careful study of the contexts of each reference to suffering will
throw a deal of light upon the book as a whole.
We must first of all consider the literary structure of the epistle as a whole, which we
set out as follows:--
The Structure of I Peter as a whole.
A | 1: 1, 2. Introduction. The elect dispersion at Pontus, etc.
B | 1. 3-13-. Glory after suffering for a season (oligon).
C | D | 1: -13 - 2: 10. The End. Grace at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
E | 2: 11 - 4: 6. Sufferings followed by glory.
C | D | 4: 7-19. The End. Joy at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
E | 5: 1-9. Sufferings followed by glory.
B | 5: 10, 11. Glory after suffering awhile (oligon).
A | 5: 12-14. Conclusion. The elect at Babylon.
The first reference to be considered is I Pet. 1: 11, which according to the A.V. reads,
"the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow". The R.V. calls attention in
the margin to the fact that the word rendered "of" is in the Greek "unto". J. N. Darby