1 Peter 4:14 MEANING

1 Peter 4:14
(14) If ye be reproached.--The form of speech denotes that they were so reproached.

For the name of Christ.--Literally, "in the name of Christ," i.e., on the score of being Christians only. (Comp. 1 Peter 4:16.) Again, see how St. Peter presses the Messianic title: surely they will not abandon the hopes of Israel!

The spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.--He is called the "Spirit of glory" here in the same way as He is called the "Spirit of truth" John 14:17), the "Spirit of holiness" (Romans 1:4), the "Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29), &c. It expresses that glory--i.e., the triumphant manifestation of perfections--is His gift and His distinguishing sign and the atmosphere in which He lives. "Glory" stands in contrast with "reproach." And lest it should be doubted who was meant by the splendid phrase, the Apostle adds, "and of God." All "glory" is His, and therefore the Spirit which is the "Spirit of glory" can be no other than the "Spirit of God;" but as God Himself is greater than His own glory, the words form a climax, and it means more to call Him the "Spirit of God" than to call Him the "Spirit of glory." And this Spirit "resteth" upon the persecuted Christians. It means far more than "remaineth" or "abideth." It expresses the complete repose and satisfaction with which the Spirit of glory abides on men who have the hearts of martyrs. "This shall be My rest for ever: here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein." It is the word which is used of the quiet retreat which our Lord took after John's death (Mark 6:31; of the calm relief which He offers to the weary souls who come to Him (Matthew 11:28-29); of the repose of the blessed dead after the work of life is over (Revelation 6:11; Revelation 14:13). In the Old Testament it is used of the Spirit in Numbers 11:25, and 2 Kings 2:15; but, above all, in Isaiah 11:2, which was probably in St. Peter's mind. And the argument is, that reproach for the name of the Christ is a proof of glory in reserve, or rather, already belonging to the man. Perhaps St. Peter intentionally hints (in speaking of the "Spirit") that all who make themselves partakers of Christ's reproach are made partakers of His chrism.

On their part.--These words, to the end of the verse, are an undoubted interpolation, though of very early date, appearing even in St. Cyprian's works. The clause would bring out the different view taken by believers and unbelievers of the martyr-spirit. Pliny says in his letter that, whatever Christianity itself may be, there can be no doubt such obstinacy ought to be punished. Marcus Aurelius speaks with contempt of the spirit in which Christians suffered themselves to be put to death as mere self-will, unlike the philosophical grace of the Stoics. Gibbon speaks of the "pious obstinacy" of St. Felix of Tibiura.

Verse 14. - If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are ye; rather, if ye are reviled in the -Name of Christ, blessed are ye. There is, again, a manifest quotation of our Lord's words in Matthew 5:11. The conjunction "if" does not imply any doubt: the words mean "when ye are reviled." For "in the Name of Christ," camp. Mark 9:41, "Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my Name, because ye belong to Christ." So here the meaning is, "When ye are reviled because ye belong to Christ, because ye bear his Name, because ye are Christians" (camp, Acts 5:41). For the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. The form of the sentence in the Greek is unusual. Some regard the first clause, τὸ τῆς δόξης, as a periphrasis for δόξα, and translate, "For glory and the Spirit of God resteth upon you." But there is no other instance of such a periphrasis in the New Testament (Winer, 3:18. 3); it is better to supply πνεῦμα. Men revile them, but God glorifieth them. The Spirit of glory, the Spirit which hath the glorious attributes of God, the Spirit which proceedeth from the Father who dwelleth in the glory, in the Shechinah, - that Spirit resteth upon them, and sheds on them the glory of holy suffering, the glory which hung around the cross of Christ. Two of the most ancient manuscripts, with some others, insert the words καὶ δυνάμεως, "the Spirit of glory, and of power, and of God." The Spirit is power from on high (Luke 24:49). (For "resteth," comp. Isaiah 11:2.) Ἐπί with the accusative suggests the thought of the Spirit descending upon them and resting there (comp. John 1:32, 33). The Spirit abides upon those who patiently suffer for Christ. On their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. These words are not found in the most ancient manuscripts, and are probably a gloss, lint a true one. Those who reviled the suffering Christians really blasphemed the Holy Spirit of God, by whom they were strengthened; the Holy Spirit was glorified by their patient endurance.

4:12-19 By patience and fortitude in suffering, by dependence on the promises of God, and keeping to the word the Holy Spirit hath revealed, the Holy Spirit is glorified; but by the contempt and reproaches cast upon believers, he is evil spoken of, and is blasphemed. One would think such cautions as these were needless to Christians. But their enemies falsely charged them with foul crimes. And even the best of men need to be warned against the worst of sins. There is no comfort in sufferings, when we bring them upon ourselves by our own sin and folly. A time of universal calamity was at hand, as foretold by our Saviour, Mt 24:9,10. And if such things befall in this life, how awful will the day of judgment be! It is true that the righteous are scarcely saved; even those who endeavour to walk uprightly in the ways of God. This does not mean that the purpose and performance of God are uncertain, but only the great difficulties and hard encounters in the way; that they go through so many temptations and tribulations, so many fightings without and fears within. Yet all outward difficulties would be as nothing, were it not for lusts and corruptions within. These are the worst clogs and troubles. And if the way of the righteous be so hard, then how hard shall be the end of the ungodly sinner, who walks in sin with delight, and thinks the righteous is a fool for all his pains! The only way to keep the soul well, is, to commit it to God by prayer, and patient perseverance in well-doing. He will overrule all to the final advantage of the believer.If ye be reproached for the name of Christ,.... For being called by his name; for bearing the name of Christians; for believing in him, and professing him; and for the sake of his Gospel, which is sometimes called his name, Acts 9:15 not that the apostle makes any doubt of this, for nothing is more certain than that the saints shall be reproached, and all manner of evil spoken of them falsely for Christ's name sake; but he supposes it, and takes it for granted, that they are, and will be reproached, and yet pronounces them blessed persons:

happy are ye; some supply it, "shall ye be", as the Vulgate Latin version; that is, in the other world, because the kingdom of heaven, the crown of life and glory, belongs to such persons; they will be happy at death, in judgment, and to all eternity: others, with our translators, supply, "are ye", as the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions; for such are happy now in themselves, being both comfortable in their frames, and honourable in their persons and characters, however uncomfortable, miserable, and dishonourable they may appear to the men of the world:

for the Spirit of glory, and of God, resteth upon you; alluding to Isaiah 11:2 that is, the glorious Spirit of God, as the Syriac version renders it; who is glorious in himself, in the perfections of his nature, being possessed of the same glorious divine essence with the Father and Son; and in his works both of nature, being equally concerned with the other Persons in the Godhead in the works of creation and providence, and also of grace, especially the latter; and in all his gifts and graces with which he adorns the saints, and makes them glorious: and his resting on them denotes his inhabitation in them, and his abiding with them, and remaining in them; and which appears by the comfort they enjoy in their souls amidst all the reproaches and revilings of men, and by the strength which they have to bear up under and endure shame and persecution for the sake of Christ; and which casts an honour upon them, and makes them both glorious and cheerful. The Jews have a saying (n), that the Holy Ghost does not dwell on any, but on him that has a cheerful heart:

on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified: on the part of the revilers, the person, office, work, and grace, the operations and influences of the Spirit are blasphemed and ridiculed; the power of the Spirit, with which the saints speak, the experiences of grace they express, the comforts of the Spirit they declare that they enjoy under suffering circumstances, as well as their courage, patience, and cheerfulness he gives them, are generally bantered by persecutors; and indeed all the reproaches they cast upon the people of God fall upon the Spirit of God, by whom they are animated and influenced: but on the part of the sufferers he is glorified; inasmuch as they continue to bear a testimony to his grace, depend upon his strength, and ascribe all their comfort and gracious experience unto him. This clause is wanting in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, but is in all Beza's Greek copies, excepting one; and is also in the Arabic version.

(n) T. Hieros. Succa, fol. 55. 1.

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