I marvel that Peter can say as much so plainly to the common and intellectual both in one chapter as most men would take in volumes of books. We often think as Paul and John as the writers and Peter as the doer. If you were to go back over what he has just said and how much he just said floods of tears would suddenly flow. These are not the words of human genius, they are the words of a man who has lived this faith face to face with his Lord. He speaks of tremendous desire in the end to see Him again, to be willing to endure this present tribulation to see Him return in the glory that he himself has briefly seen in a transfiguration moment, and his love for those of 'like precious faith' who not having seen as he yet believe. If we were barely able to model our approach to life and faith similar to this man we would be all the better off.
Peter is rarely quoted by the prosperity preachers as much as the others because these earthly things were of little importance to him. This coming from a productive business man. Of the many things more likely important to him tops would be unfeigned love toward God and brethren, the testing and trying of faith to its precious purification, the furtherance of the commission of the spreading of the Gospel to the vast world beyond. The prosperity message more times than not is a direct hindrance to these types of things.
Peter sketches out what it looks like to live outwardly in faith. Essentially it is to live as Christ who had committed Himself entirely to Him (The Father) that judges righteously, not reviling nor threatening, baring the sins of others. Having then this picture of Christ's submission to the Father, we likewise behave in all of our outward dealings not reviling nor threatening, baring the sins of others. Listed are some examples of that kind of living.
Healing in the larger passage context more likely refers to the soul's restoration back to God, the removing of enmity. Healing of the broken hearted for instance is not so much a healing of the physical heart/arteries. Healing of the nations is not so much a physical healing of diseased people within those nations. Restoration (healing in this case) surely has more to do with proximity or position or good standing; the returning to the Bishop of our souls.
Again Christ is given as the absolute example. Not only how He acted, but, how He saw Himself in the role of obeying The Father. Having this mindset more naturally produces these particular actions and influences this certain outlook. The picture is complete in the symbolism of water baptism, the good conscience answers to God, dying to the flesh and alive to the Spirit, fully immersed in sanctification. In the same way, whether in marriage, or business, or fellowship, conducting all daily activity being willing to suffer unjustly for His good rather than be condemned for participating in their bad. To the hope of perhaps saving some of their souls along with.
You can see just how much the subject of trials and suffering for Christ play into Peter's theology. He sees it as the necessary cleansing and separating agent in the believers life, thus the will of God. This leads him to conclude that the end judgment begins with the house of God and works outward. Essentially, it is suffering in Christ that shapes us and our reaction to and obedience in that we are judged by. It is the measure of just how faithful we believe Him to be.
So should we go out a stir up some suffering? The gospel is preached that men dead to Christ might be judged as men of the flesh. They are this to begin with, their reaction once presented condemns them all the more. One does not have to go out purposely to stir things up, the Gospel of Christ does this by itself. By presenting the Gospel in it's truest form man's very nature is stirred against Him/Us.
Though addressing church elders initially, the message here applies to each of us. Humbling ourselves, casting our cares, subjecting ourselves to one another, being sober and diligent to resist the Devil, suffering willingly to the ends of perfection. Peter, I feel, is driving the point home that these worthy things are brought about by the constant feeding the flock and taking oversight.
Peter's motivation by now should be clear. It should be our motivation as well. Peter considers himself a witness of Christs suffering and a partaker in the glory to be revealed. Peter is this in the truest sense perhaps like no other having been there with Him. Thanks in great part to His testimony/obedience we are/can be this as well. The sufferings of Christ are so crucial to our proclamation because they point to the hands of those for whom He willingly suffered for. The glory to be revealed is equally crucial because it tells us that this was no ordinary man that suffered these things on our behalf, it was the very son of God, the promised one of Israel, the name above all names, Jesus Christ and Savior the King of all kings. Those that are thus inspired and motivated will be partakers of both the sufferings of and later the Glory of.
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