1 Peter 4:13
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
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(13) But rejoice.—The opposite of being bewildered at it, for “rejoicing” in it implies a recognition of its character and purpose. The word rendered “inasmuch as” (which occurs also in 2Corinthians 8:12) seems to mean, “in proportion as:” “the more nearly you are made to share Christ’s sufferings the more you should rejoice.” In the Acts of St. Probus (a Cappadocian), when, after many other tortures, the judge ordered them to heat some nails and run them through his hands, the martyr exclaims, “Glory to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, who hast even deigned to let my hands be pierced for Thy name’s sake!”

Christ’s sufferings.—Rather, the sufferings of the Christ. (Comp. Note on 1Peter 1:11.)

Thati.e., “in order that.” This is to be attached to “think it not strange, but rejoice”—“in order that at the revelation of His glory also (as now, in the sharing of His sufferings) ye may rejoice (the word is the same), exulting.” Such a recognition of the meaning of suffering, such a rejoicing in suffering now, is a sure means to rejoicing in glory also hereafter.

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.But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings - That is, sufferings of the same kind that he endured, and inflicted for the same reasons. Compare Colossians 1:24; James 1:2; See the notes at Matthew 5:12. The meaning here is, that they were to regard it as a matter of rejoicing that they were identified with Christ, even in suffering. See this sentiment illustrated at length in the notes at Philippians 3:10.

That, when his glory shall be revealed - At the day of judgment. See the notes at Matthew 26:30.

Ye may be glad also with exceeding joy - Being admitted to the rewards which he will then confer on his people. Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:19. Every good man will have joy when, immediately at death, he is received into the presence of his Saviour; but his joy will be complete only when, in the presence of assembled worlds, he shall hear the sentence which shall confirm him in happiness forever.

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.

But rejoice; be so far from being offended at your sufferings, as rather to reckon that there is great matter of rejoicing in them; their being trials makes them tolerable, but your being in them partakers of Christ’s sufferings makes them comfortable.

Inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; i.e. ye suffer:

1. As Christ did, for the confession of the truth, and so ye are such kind of sufferers as Christ was.

2. As members of Christ, ye suffer those evils which are laid out for those that belong to Christ, 1 Thessalonians 3:3.

3. Ye are hereby conformed to Christ your Head.

4. Ye partake of the influence of what Christ suffered, for the sanctification of your sufferings: see Philippians 3:10.

That, when his glory shall be revealed; viz. at his second coming, 1 Peter 1:7 Colossians 3:4 2 Thessalonians 1:7.

Ye may be glad also with exceeding joy; a joy without any the least mixture of pain or grief. The rejoicing of the saints here is mixed with pain and heaviness, but shall be pure hereafter; they rejoice in hope now, but in enjoyment then.

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.

{13} But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

(13) Another reason: because the afflictions of the godly and the wicked differ very much, and chiefly in three points. First, because the godly communicate with Christ in the afflictions, and therefore shall in their time also be partakers of his glory.

1 Peter 4:13. ἀλλὰχαίρετε] Antithesis to ξενίζεσθε; non tantum mirari vetat Petrus, sed gaudere etiam jubet (Calvin); the measure of the joy is indicated by καθὸ κοινωνεῖτε τοῖς τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθήμασι.

καθό, not equivalent to, “that,” nor to, quando (Pott), but to, quatenus, in quantum; cf. Romans 8:26, 2 Corinthians 8:12.

τὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθήματα is inexactly interpreted by Vorst. as: afflictiones Christi membris destinatae, nempe quas pii propter justitiam et evangelium Christi sustinent; they rather mean the sufferings which Christ Himself has endured. Of these the believers are partakers (κοινωνοῦσιν αὐτοῖς), for the world shows the same enmity to them as to Christ, since it is He who is hated in them; cf. my commentary to Colossians 1:24, and Meyer to 2 Corinthians 1:5; 2 Corinthians 1:7 (so, too, Wiesinger, Weiss, p. 293 f., Schott). Steiger[253] is wrong in thinking of the inward suffering endured by the Christian, whilst, by the power of Christ’s death, he dies unto sin.

The object to be supplied in thought to ΧΑΊΡΕΤΕ is the ΠΎΡΩΣΙς previously mentioned by the apostle.

ἽΝΑ ΚΑΊ] states the design of ΧΑΊΡΕΙΝ: the Christians are to rejoice now, in order that they may also (καί lays stress on the future in relation to the present) rejoice ἘΝ Τῇ ἈΠΟΚΑΛΎΨΕΙ, etc.; for this future joy is conditioned by that of the present, as the future partaking of the ΔΌΞΑ of Christ by the present sharing of His ΠΑΘΉΜΑΣΙ.[254] Schott unreasonably opposes as “grammatical pedantry” the application of ἽΝΑ to the preceding ΧΑΊΡΕΤΕ, for he remarks, it is the sufferings themselves which hold out to us the future joy. But he omits to consider that the ΚΟΙΝΩΝΕῖΝ ΤΟῖς Τ. ΧΡ. ΠΑΘ. holds out future happiness to him only who finds his joy in it. Schott incorrectly appeals in support of his construction to John 11:15.

It is not correct to explain, with Gerhard, etc., ἽΝΑ, ἘΚΒΑΤΙΚῶς.

] not “because of,” but “at” (Luther: “at the time of”) the revelation; cf. chap. 1 Peter 1:17. The expression: ἈΠΟΚΆΛ. Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ (with which compare Matthew 25:31), is to be found only here. By it the apostle indicates that he who is now a partaker of the sufferings of Christ, and rejoices in them (Colossians 3:4), will one day be partaker of His glory, and in it rejoice everlastingly. ἈΓΑΛΛΙΏΜΕΝΟΙ is added to ΧΑΡῆΤΕ by way of giving additional force to the idea (chap. 1 Peter 1:8; Matthew 5:12): quia prius illud (gaudium) cum dolore et tristitia mixtum est, secundum cum exsultatione conjungit (Calvin).

[253] “The κοινωνεῖν τ. παθ. consists in the inward fellowship of the sufferings of Christ, in the participation in that strength which arises from the justifying confidence in their value, and which causes us even to die unto sin.”

[254] Weiss (p. 291 ff.), while denying that Peter has the Pauline idea of community of life with Christ, supplements, as an intermediate thought that participation in the sufferings of Christ is the necessary mark of the true disciples. But this is to give a much too superficial conception of the relation, and could Peter haye thought it possible to be a disciple without community of life?

1 Peter 4:13. καθό, so for as, i.e., so far as your suffering is undeserved and for Christ’s name.—κοινωνεῖτεπαθήμασιν, ye share the sufferings of the Messiah. The dative after κ. usually denotes the partner; here the thing shared as in Romans 15:27; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 1:11; and in LXX; Sap. 6:23; 3Ma 4:11. This idea is expressed even more strongly by St. Paul ἀνταναπληρῶ τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν θλίψεων τοῦ Χριστοῦ (Colossians 1:24). It is derived from such sayings as the disciple is as his Master (Matthew 10:24 f.)—the sons of Zebedee must drink his cup, be baptised with his baptism (Mark 10:38 f.). To suffer in Christ’s name is to suffer as representing Christ and so to share His sufferings.—ἵνα κ.τ.λ., from Matthew 5:12, χαίρετε καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε. But St. Peter postpones the exultation. St. James (1 Peter 5:10) follows Jesus in appealing to the pattern of the prophets. ἀποκαλύψει, the final revelation represents an original wordplay גלה on the quoted ἀγαλλιώμενοι = גיל.

13. but rejoice] The words of the beatitude of Matthew 5:12 come back upon the Apostle’s mind, and are reproduced as from his own personal experience. When he had first heard them, he may well have counted them a strange thing. Now he has tried and proved their truth.

inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings] The Greek conjunction expresses more than the ground of the joy. Men are to rejoice in proportion as they are sharers in the sufferings of Christ. On the thought of this intercommunion in suffering between Christ and His people, see note on chap. 1 Peter 1:11. Here “the sufferings of Christ” are those which He endured while on earth, those also which He endures now as the Head of His body, the Church, in His infinite sympathy with each individual member. Each faithful sufferer, accordingly, in proportion to the measure of his sufferings, becomes ipso facto a sharer in those of Christ. He fills up, in St Paul’s bold language, “what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ” (Colossians 1:24).

that, when his glory shall be revealed] The thought is again closely parallel to that of chap. 1 Peter 1:11. Literally the words run, in the revelation of His glory. As thought of by the Apostles, the “revelation of Christ” is identical with His coming to judge the quick and dead (Luke 17:30). The precise phrase “the revelation of His glory” is not found elsewhere, but it has an analogue in “the throne of His glory” in Matthew 25:31.

1 Peter 4:13. Καθὸ, even as) Glory answers to the measure of sufferings, but much more abundantly.—κοινωνεῖτε, ye are partakers) willingly.—παθήμασι, in the sufferings) 1 Peter 4:1.—χαίρετε, ἵνα, rejoice, that) That, here, is more than if he had said ὅνα, because. By joy and desire we attain to joy and gladness. Comp. ἵνα, that, John 8:56. The reward of joyful patience is had regard to here.—ἀγαλλιώμενοι, with exulting joy) then free from all suffering.

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. 1 Peter 4:13Inasmuch as ye are partakers

Compare Romans 8:17.

Be glad with exceeding joy (χαρῆτε ἀγαλλιώμενοι)

Lit., ye may rejoice exulting. See on 1 Peter 1:6.

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