|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 13. - But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings. St. Peter speaks in stronger language; he repeats the Lord's words in Matthew 5:12. Christians should learn to rejoice in persecution; they must rejoice in so far as, in proportion as (καθό), they are partakers of Christ's sufferings (see 2 Corinthians 9:10; Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 13:13). Suffering meekly borne draws the Christian nearer to Christ, lifts him, as on a cross, nearer to the crucified Lord; but this it does only when he looks to Jesus in his suffering, when the eye of faith is fixed upon the cross of Christ. Then faith unites the sufferings of the disciple with the sufferings of his Lord; he is made a partaker of Christ's sufferings; and so far as suffering has that blessed result, in such measure he must rejoice in his sufferings. That, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy; literally, that in the revelation of Ms glory also ye may rejoice exulting. The word for "exulting," ἀγαλλιώμενοι, corresponds with that used in 1 Peter 1:6 and in Matthew 5:12 (χαίρετε καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε). Joy in suffering now is the earnest of the great joy of the redeemed at the revelation of that glory which they now see through a glass darkly.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings,.... Not of his personal sufferings; though they were partakers of the benefits and blessings which come through them, and result from them, such as justification, peace, and pardon, and which are matter and ground of rejoicing; but of the sufferings of his body, the church, which is mystically himself; and are called his, because of the union between him and his people, and the sympathy he bears to them, and because they are endured for the sake of him and his Gospel, and conform the saints, and make them like unto him; and therefore suffering saints should rejoice in this, that their sufferings are accounted by Christ as his own, who in all their afflictions is afflicted; and that they are honoured to suffer for his name's sake, and are hereby made like unto him:
that when his glory shall be revealed; the glory of his divine nature, as the only begotten Son of God, in which he will come and appear at the last day; and which, though incommunicable, will be more manifest to all men, and especially to the saints, who will know more of him, as the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person; and when the glory of his office, as Mediator, will be more conspicuous, and shall be beheld by all that the Father has given to him; and also the glory of his human nature, which is now crowned with glory and honour at the right hand of God; and likewise the glory which he has in his hands for his people, even eternal glory and happiness: this is now, in a great measure, unseen, but it will then be revealed, both to the saints and in them; they will appear with Christ in glory, and have a glory both upon their souls and bodies. As they suffer with him, and for his sake, they will be glorified with him, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's glory, and in the glory of his holy angels: the consideration of which, as it must greatly encourage to suffer for his sake, so must be matter of great joy; as follows:
ye may be glad also with exceeding joy; a joy unspeakable, and full of glory, being made partakers of the glory of Christ, either in beholding, or in possessing it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. inasmuch as—The oldest manuscripts read, "in proportion as"; "in as far as" ye by suffering are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that is, by faith enter into realizing fellowship with them; willingly for His sake suffering as He suffered.
with exceeding joy—Greek, "exulting joy"; now ye rejoice amidst sufferings; then ye shall EXULT, for ever free from sufferings (1Pe 1:6, 8). If we will not bear suffering for Christ now, we must bear eternal sufferings hereafter.
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