The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 113 of 185
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permitted such to be exposed to trials and testing of their own flesh, the opposition of
rebellious men and the attacks of Satan and his agents. God elected or chose such men
because with His supernatural foreknowledge He knew they would make the required
response being tempered and prepared by their sufferings to be overcomers.
That man might be assured that this path to glory was the will of God He ordained that
His Son should be the first to tread that way:
"Who (Christ) in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and
supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from
death, and was heard in that He feared; though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience
by the things He suffered.  And being made perfect (having been brought to the
consummate goal of His earthly life), He became the author of eternal salvation unto all
them that obey Him" (Heb. 5: 7-9).
"For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing
many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering"
(Heb. 2: 10).
We have given a paraphrase of `being made perfect'. Perfect is an easy word to
misunderstand. Its parts mean "thoroughly to do". Complete for the purpose might be a
good alternative. All the adjectives in the contexts concerned, have to do with the mind.
Consider the saying of Christ:
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5: 48).
We should have the same attitude to the world as God, a loving concern for others for
their true good in harmony with the will of God.
All this may seem a long digression from verses 6 and 7 but many may still be where
Peter was before he was converted, who, when our Lord foretold His sufferings and
rejection rebuked his Lord and said "Be it far from Thee Lord, this shall not be unto
Thee" (Matt. 16: 22). What has been written is an attempt to show that God finds a
severe training of the mind necessary for a place in His presence. We shall have the
cloak of Christ's righteousness but the knowledge of God is also necessary.
We pass on now to verses 8 and 9.
"Whom having not seen, ye love;  in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving the end of your
faith, even the salvation of your souls" (1: 8, 9).
Before we consider their goal and end of their faith "the salvation of your soul" let us
look at the remarkable superlative words that Peter uses "ye rejoice with joy
unspeakable". Would that our worship and praise of God today could be described in
these terms. They were believers mostly in Asia Minor and outside Palestine who had
never met Christ. Their great advantage over us was in the first case nearness of time to
the actual life and sacrifice of our Saviour but also that they had the gifts of the Holy
Spirit to buttress their faith. These included gifts of healing, tongues and most of all
knowledge, that is they needed not any to teach them the hidden riches of the O.T. with
all its prophecies and law pointing to Christ.