1 Peter 4:19
Why let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) Wherefore.—Because the beginning of the judgment—the judgment of the Christians—is so light in comparison with the fearful end when it lights on the disobedient and wicked.

Let them that suffer according to the will of God.—Our version omits an important little word: Let them that suffer also (or, Let even them that suffer) according to the will of God. The stress is on “suffer”—i.e., be put to death. And the clause, “according to the will of God,” seems not intended to mean “in a godly and unblameable manner,” as opposed to the “suffering as a murderer” (1Peter 4:15); rather, it brings out that such a death is no accident, no sudden calamity, but in strict accordance with God’s prearranged design. (Comp. 1Peter 3:17 : “if the will of God will it.”) Thus it harmonises with the following: “faithful Creator,” “commit their souls.”

Commit the keeping of their souls.—The beautiful verb rendered “commit the keeping of” is a technical term for depositing a deed, or sum of money, or other valuable, with any one in trust. In the literal sense it occurs in Luke 12:48; 2Timothy 1:12 : in a metaphorical sense, of doctrines committed in trust to the safe keeping of the Episcopate, in 1Timothy 1:18; 1Timothy 6:20; 2Timothy 1:14; 2Timothy 2:2 : of leaving persons whom you love in trust, in Acts 14:23; Acts 20:32. But the words which St. Peter probably has ringing in his ears when he thus writes are the words of our Lord on the cross (where the same verb is used): “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46). “Their souls” might, perhaps, with still more propriety, be here translated their lives. The connection will then be: “Consider the mildness of these trials compared with the terrors overhanging the sinful. Even if the worst should come to the worst, and you must die a martyr’s death, it is but the execution of God’s plan for you. View your life as a deposit: lay it confidently in His hands, to be returned to you again when the time comes: and you will find Him faithful to what a Creator ought to be.”

A faithful Creator.—The word “faithful” is used in reference to the “deposit” placed in His hands; and the title “Creator” seems to be chosen here rather than “Father,” or the like, because creation of the soul includes not only the giving of its existence but the shaping of its destiny. “The will of God,” in accordance with which they “suffer,” is part of the act of creation. The noble expression, however, contains the idea that the act of creation imposes duties and responsibilities upon the Creator. It is conceivable that some powerful being (not our God) might create, and be careless of the happiness or of the moral welfare or of the mutual relations of his creatures. Such a creator would be “unfaithful:” we should have a right to expect differently of him. But God is a “faithful Creator.” “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

In well doing.—In the Greek these words come emphatically last. (Comp. 1Peter 3:17.)

1 Peter 4:19. Wherefore let them that suffer — This temporary chastisement; according to the will of God — Namely, for a good cause, and in a right spirit; commit the keeping of their souls to him — Intrust themselves to God’s care, either to preserve their lives, if he see good, or to save their souls if they suffer death; or, whatever becomes of their bodies, let them commit their souls to him as a sacred depositum: in well-doing — Persevering to the end in the way of duty and obedience, notwithstanding all the sufferings to which they are exposed. In other words, let it be their care to do well, and suffer patiently, and God will take care of the rest. As unto a faithful Creator — In whose wisdom, power, goodness, truth, and faithfulness to his promises, they may safely trust: for as he called them into existence when they were not, he is able to preserve them without any visible means, and will dispose of them as he sees will conduce most to their eternal welfare. 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.Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God - That is, who endure the kind of sufferings that he, by his providence, shall appoint. Compare 1 Peter 3:17; 1 Peter 4:15-16.

Commit the keeping of their souls - to him. Since there is so much danger; since there is no one else that can keep them; and since he is a Being so faithful, let them commit all their interests to him. Compare Psalm 37:5. The word "souls" here (ψυχὰς psuchas) is equivalent to themselves. They were to leave everything in his hand, faithfully performing every duty, and not being anxious for the result.

In well doing - Constantly doing good, or seeking to perform every duty in a proper manner. Their business was always to do right; the result was to be left with God. A man who is engaged always in well-doing, may safely commit all his interest to God.

As unto a faithful Creator - God may be trusted, or confided in, in all His attributes, and in all the relations which He sustains as Creator, Redeemer, Moral Governor, and Judge. In these, and in all other respects, we may come before Him with confidence, and put unwavering trust in Him. As Creator particularly; as one who has brought us, and all creatures and things into being, we may be sure that he will be "faithful" to the design which he had in view. From that design he will never depart until it is fully accomplished. He abandons no purpose which he has formed, and we may be assured that he will faithfully pursue it to the end. As our Creator we may come to Him, and look to Him for His protection and care. He made us. He had a design in our creation. He so endowed us that we might live forever, and so that we might honor and enjoy Him. He did not create us that we might be miserable; nor does He wish that we should be. He formed us in such a way that, if we choose, we may be eternally happy. In that path in which He has appointed us to go, if we pursue it, we may be sure of His help and protection. If we really aim to accomplish the purposes for which we were made, we may be certain that He will show Himself to be a "faithful Creator;" one in whom we may always confide. And even though we have wandered from Him, and have long forgotten why we were made, and have loved and served the creature more than the Creator, we may be sure, if we will return to Him, that He will not forget the design for which He originally made us. As our Creator we may still confide in Him. Redeemed by the blood of His Son, and renewed by His Spirit after the image of Him who erected us, we may still go to Him as our Creator, and may pray that even yet the high and noble ends for which we were made may be accomplished in us. Doing this, we shall find Him as true to that purpose as though we had never sinned.

19. General conclusion from 1Pe 4:17, 18. Seeing that the godly know that their sufferings are by God's will, to chasten them that they may not perish with the world, they have good reason to trust God cheerfully amidst sufferings, persevering in well-doing.

let them—Greek, "let them also," "let even them," as well as those not suffering. Not only under ordinary circumstances, but also in time of suffering, let believers commit. (Compare Note, see on [2623]1Pe 3:14).

according to the will of God—(See on [2624]1Pe 3:17). God's will that the believer should suffer (1Pe 4:17), is for his good. One oldest manuscript and Vulgate read, "in well-doings"; contrast ill-doings, 1Pe 4:15. Our committing of ourselves to God is to be, not in indolent and passive quietism, but accompanied with active well-doings.

faithful—to His covenant promises.

Creator—who is therefore also our Almighty Preserver. He, not we, must keep our souls. Sin destroyed the original spiritual relation between creature and Creator, leaving that only of government. Faith restores it; so that the believer, living to the will of God (1Pe 4:2), rests implicitly on his Creator's faithfulness.

Let them that suffer; viz. any manner of affliction or persecution for righteousness’ sake.

According to the will of God; according to that will of God, whereby he hath appointed them to suffer such things, 1 Peter 3:17 1 Thessalonians 3:3.

Commit; commend into his hands, or lay up, or intrust with him as a depositum, Psalm 31:5 2 Timothy 1:12.

The keeping of their souls; as the most precious things while they live, and most to be cared for when they die; that they may be kept from sin under afflictions, and from perishing in death: or rather, their souls here includes their bodies, and so committing their souls is committing their whole selves to God.

In well-doing; not being deterred from well-doing by the evils they suffer, but by persevering in holiness notwithstanding their afflictions, making it appear to the last, that they do not suffer as evil-doers.

As unto a faithful Creator; one who, as Creator, is able to keep what they commit to him; and being faithful to his promises, certainly will do it. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God,.... This is the conclusion made from the foregoing premises; that seeing the state and condition of the saints in this world, at worst, and which is but for a time, is infinitely preferable to the dreadful state and condition of disobedient persons, ungodly men, and sinners, and which will endure to all eternity; they should not think strange of their sufferings, or complain of them, but patiently endure them; and especially when they consider that these are not the effects of chance, or merely owing to the malice and wickedness of men, or to any second cause only; but they are the will of God, are by his appointment, under his direction, and by his order, and for their good, and his own glory; and therefore it becomes them to

commit the keeping of their souls to him, in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator: and which is not only their duty, but their privilege: and the sense is, that when they are called to suffer for Christ, they should commit their cause to God, who, as he is the Creator, is the Governor of the universe, and will judge righteously; and when they are even called to lay down their lives for his sake, they shall not lose them; though their bodies are killed, they may and should commit their souls, when departing from their bodies, into the hands of God; as Stephen, the first martyr, committed his into the hands of Christ, in imitation of him; where he that made them, as he is able to keep them, will faithfully preserve them in happiness and glory, till the resurrection morn, when their bodies shall be raised and reunited to them: and this is to be performed, in "well doing"; for which they suffer, and in which they should continue to the last; not rendering evil for evil, but blessing; and in imitation of Christ, and his servant Stephen, pray for their worst enemies, and wish them all the good, and do them all the acts of kindness that lie in their power.

{18} Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

(18) The conclusion: seeing the godly are not afflicted by chance, but by the will of God, they ought not to despair, but go forward nonetheless in the way of holiness and well doing, commending themselves to God their faithful creator, that is to say, their Father.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Peter 4:19. The exhortation contained in this verse is closely connected with 1 Peter 4:17-18, in such a way, however, “that it brings to a close the whole section which treats of suffering for the sake of Christ” (Hofmann); Hornejus: clausula est qua totam exhortationem obsignat.

ὥστε] as in Romans 7:4, and often elsewhere, with a finite verb following (Winer, p. 282 f. [E. T. 377]) “therefore.”

καί does not belong to οἱ πάσχοντες, equivalent to “those also who suffer,” with reference to those who do not suffer (Wiesinger, Hofmann), for there is no allusion in the context to any distinction between those who suffer because of their Christian profession and those who have not so to suffer,[262] but it is united with ὥστε, and applies to the verb, “and just for this reason” (cf. Winer, p. 408 [E. T. 544 ff.]). Incorrectly, Bengel: καί concessive cum participio i. q. εἰ καὶ πάσχοιτε.

οἱ πάσχοντες] namely, the believers.

κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ] that is, πρὸς πειρασμόν, 1 Peter 4:12. Wiesinger: “looking back to 1 Peter 4:17, inasmuch as they as Christians are overtaken by the judgment God pronounces on His house.” Besser incorrectly takes it as referring to their subjective behaviour under suffering.

ὡς πιστῷ κτιστῇ παρατιθέσθωσαν κ.τ.λ.] Gerhard: ὡς exprimit causam, propter quam, hi qui patiuntur animas suas apud Deum deponere debeant, nimirum quia est earum creator et fidelis custos. If ὡς be the correct reading, then from the foregoing τοῦ Θεοῦ an αὐτῷ must be supplied, to which ὡς πιστῷ κτιστῇ applies.

κτιστής is not possessor (Calvin), but the creator; ὁ κτίσας, Romans 1:25. It is used here in its strict sense, and not with reference to the new creation (Steiger, Schott connect both together); cf. Acts 4:24 ff.: “this prayer is an actual example of what is here demanded” (Weiss, p. 190). In the N. T. κτίστης is ἅπ. λεγ., in the O. T. it occurs frequently; Jdt 9:12; 2Ma 1:24. πιστός: Oecumenius, equivalent to: ἀσφαλὴς καὶ ἀψευδὴς κατὰ τὰς ἐπαγγελίας αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἐάσει ἡμᾶς πειρασθῆναι ὑπὲρ ὃ δυνάμεθα; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13.

With παρατίθεσθαι, cf. Acts 14:23; Acts 20:32 : “to commit to the protection of any one.”

ἐν ἀγαθοποιΐᾳ] ἀγαθοποιΐα, ἅπ. λεγ.; the adjec., chap. 1 Peter 2:14. This addition shows that the confident surrender to God is to be joined, not with careless indolence, but with the active practice of good. Oecumenius erroneously paraphrases the word by ταπεινοφροσύνη.

[262] Schott explains καί by the contrast between “the individual sufferers” and “the church;” but nothing in the context alludes to this.1 Peter 4:19. So let even those who suffer in accordance with the will of God with a faithful Creator deposit their souls in well-doing. The Christian must still follow the pattern. It is God’s will that he share Christ’s sufferings in whatever degree; let him in this also copy Christ, who said, Father into thy hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46 = Psalm 31:6) and bade His disciples lose their souls that they might find them unto life eternal. With this teaching Peter combines that of the Psalmist which is assumed by Jesus (Matthew 6:25 ff.), Jehovah knows His creature. He the God of faithfulness (אל אמת, Ps. l.c.) is the faithful Creator to whom the soul He gave and redeemed (Ps. l.c.) may confidently return.19. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God] In the acceptance of sufferings as being according to the will of God, much more is meant than the mere submission to an inevitable destiny. If we really think of pain and persecution as working out God’s will, permitted and controlled by Him, we know that that Will is righteous and loving; planning nothing less than our completeness in holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3), the Will of which we daily pray that it may be done on earth as it is in heaven. The Greek word for “Creator” is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, but is found in the LXX. of Jdt 9:12, 2Ma 1:24. Stress is laid on the attribute, or act, of creation as the ground of confidence. He who made the soul is also He who hateth nothing that He hath made. Here, also, we can scarcely doubt the example of the Great Sufferer was present to the Apostle’s mind, and his words were therefore echoes of those spoken on the Cross, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).1 Peter 4:19. Καὶ οἱ πάσχοντες, even those who suffer) Καὶ, even, with the force of a concession. Καὶ, even, with a participle, is the same as εἰ καὶ, and if [even though]; with a verb, εἰ καὶ πάσχοιτε, and if [even though] ye suffer, ch. 1 Peter 3:14. We ought not to conceive distrust from suffering.—κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ, according to the will of God) on account of doing the will of God in a different manner from evil-doers, who suffer according to the will of God, inasmuch as God wills them to be punished: 1 Peter 4:15. The will of God is in Christ.—πιστῷ κτίστῃ, to a faithful Creator) to Him to whom souls are safely committed, who does not even at the first [at the earliest time that He might in each instance] send upon us sufferings for our injury. Let the supra-Lapsarians see how they recognise a Creator faithful towards all.—παρατιθέσθωσαν, let them commit) as a deposit, not alarmed, but rather gladdened by sufferings, since they receive them to their advantage.—ψυχὰς, their souls) although the body appears to perish.—ἐν ἀγαθοποιΐα, in well-doing) This should be the one and only care of those who suffer, both to act well and to suffer well: He will take care of the rest. To be taken with let them commit. Well-doing always has confidence united to it: ch. 1 Peter 3:6; 1 John 3:22.Verse 19. - Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God; rather, let them also that suffer. St. Peter sums up his exhortation; he returns to the thought of 1 Peter 3:17, "It is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing, than for evil-doing." In the hour of suffering, as well as in times of prosperity, we are in the hands of a merciful and loving Father; we are to learn submission, not because the suffering is inevitable, but because it is according to his will, and his will is our sanctification and salvation. Commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator; rather, as in the Revised Version, commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator. The conjunction "as" must be omitted, not being found in any of the best manuscripts. The word rendered "Creator" (κτίστης) Occurs nowhere else in the Greek Testament. God is our Creator, the Father of spirits, He gave the spirit; to him it returneth. We must imitate our dying Lord, and, like him, commit our souls to the keeping of our heavenly Father as a deposit which may be left with perfect confidence in the hands of a faithful Creator (see 2 Timothy 1:12). There is an evident reference here to our Lord's words upon the cross (Luke 23:46; Psalm 31:5). St. Peter adds, "in well-doing." The Christian's faith must bring forth the fruits of holy living; even in the midst of suffering he must "be careful to maintain good works."



Commit (παρατιθέσθωσαν)

Give in charge as a deposit. Compare Luke 12:48; Acts 20:32; 1 Timothy 1:18. The word is used by Christ in commending his soul to God (Luke 23:46).

Well-doing (ἀγαθοποιίᾳ)

Only here in New Testament. Compare 1 Peter 2:14. The surrender to God is to be coupled with the active practice of good.

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