1 Peter 2:18-25
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the fraudulent.…
I. THAT MEN HAVE SOULS. First, the fact is the most demonstrable fact to man.
1. All the evidence that we have both for the existence of matter and mind is derived from phenomena. The essence of both is hidden.
2. The essence whose phenomena come most powerfully under consciousness is most demonstrated.
3. The phenomena of mind come far more powerfully under consciousness than that of matter. Thought, feeling, volition, we are conscious of these. Secondly, the fact is the most important fact to man. Consider the capacities, relations, influence, deathlessness of a soul. Thirdly, the fact is the most practically disbelieved fact by man. Most men profess to believe it, but few men really do so.
II. THAT MEN'S SOULS REQUIRE A GUARDIAN; an ἐπισκοπος, an overseer. This is clear from three things. First, from the natural fallibility of souls. No finite intelligence, however holy and exalted, can do without a guardian. Secondly, from the fallen condition of souls. They "have gone astray." Look at the mistakes they make about the chief good, worship, etc. Thirdly, from the natural instincts of souls. Souls through all ages have been crying out for guardians.
III. THAT CHRIST IS THE ONE GUARDIAN OF HUMAN SOULS. He is the Bishop. What should be the qualification of him who can take care of human souls? He that would do so should at least have four things. First, immense knowledge. He should know the nature of souls, the moral situation of souls, the right way of influencing souls. Secondly, unbounded love and forbearance. The waywardness, the insults, the rebellion of souls would soon exhaust any finite amount of love and patience. Thirdly, ever increasing charms. Souls are to be drawn, not driven. Fourthly, inexhaustible power. Power to extricate from present difficulties, to guard against future, and to lead on through interminable ages. Christ has all these qualifications, and more. Let Him, then, be my overseer.
Parallel VersesKJV: Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.