The Berean Expositor
Volume 28 - Page 205 of 217
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Instead, therefore, of looking upon trial as so much waste of valuable time, we are
taught to realize that it accomplishes an important work and that nothing less than our
Before we consider this important fact, let us return to I Pet. 1: 6, and its "manifold"
temptations. The Greek word translated "manifold" is poikilos, rendered "divers" in
James 1: 2, already quoted. The word is also found in the LXX version of Gen. 30: 39,
where our version reads "straked", and in 37: 3, where it describes the "coat of many
colours" made for Joseph. It is found also in Ezek. 16: 10 as "broidered work". The
meaning of the word poikillo was expanded to include not only the variegated work of
"art" (the Poecile was the picture gallery at Athens) but also of "artfulness"; not only a
design in the innocent sense, but a "design" in the evil sense. The Lexicon gives: "To
variegate, diversify; to change, alter; to paint, embroider; to adorn, arrange; to feign,
counterfeit, dissemble, deceived."
Temptation and trial are as variegated as life itself. To one, temptation may come
with brute force; to another with cunning craftiness. To one, Satan may come as a
"roaring lion"; to another as "an angel of light". How comforting, therefore, for the
harassed saint to realize that, however, varied the trial may be, there is varied, manifold
grace to meet it:
"As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good
stewards of the manifold grace of God" (I Pet. 4: 10).
No trial or temptation can ever be devised that can possibly outmatch the
all-sufficiency of manifold grace. If we need strength, grace can make us strong. If we
need wisdom, grace can make us wise. Whether the temptations come from the world or
from the flesh, there is manifold grace to enable us to conquer. It is true, of course, that
this grace is ours only because of the finished work of Christ. For the moment, however,
we are not considering this fundamental aspect, but simply the glorious fact that
"manifold temptations" are perfectly matched by "manifold grace".