1 Peter 2:25

1 Peter 2:25  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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The need for the healing given to believers here recurs— “For ye were1 going astray as sheep, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (ver. 25).
The description admirably suits those who from among the Jews repented and believed the gospel. It is substantially true of sinners like ourselves from among the nations. For as the Good Shepherd said, Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall be one flock, one Shepherd. Such were the means which sovereign grace employed and made effectual for gathering to Christ.
Few indeed are the Epistles which do not present our previously lost condition. Rom. 1 in its latter half is an awful but exact picture of the Gentile world under Greek letters and Roman polity. The heathen remains, in poets, in dramatic and other classic writings, demonstrate it in its actual and unconscious vileness, which the apostle but touches with a holy hand. Rom. 3 brings the moral ruin home to the Jews from their own law, psalms, and prophets: that every mouth might be stopped, and all the world become as it was under judgment to God. And hence, as man universally had no righteousness for God, the absolute need of God's righteousness for man if any were to be saved. The redemption that is in Christ Jesus by grace laid the ground for this justifying righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, as it is written, toward all, and upon all those that believe. For there is no difference: all sinned; and God is showing His righteousness at the present time of the gospel, that He should be just Himself and justify him that has faith in Jesus.
In 1 Cor. 1 Jewish pretension to signs of power and Greek to wisdom are alike crushed by Christ crucified; who is to those called, both Jews and Greeks, God's power and God's wisdom. Man as he is cannot inherit God's kingdom. The Corinthians ought to have been the last to forget their shameless depravity. And these things, sad to name, were some of the saints, as the apostle reminded them; but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in (or, by) the Spirit of our God. 2 Cor. 5 might furnish a bright testimony of the same grace to the morally dead and the unreconciled; and other apostolical writings are full of like mercy to sinners. But those records suffice to prove the activity of divine love in Christ toward a guilty world. The sad fact is as true of Gentiles as the Lord told the Jews, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life” (John 5:4040And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (John 5:40)). All the evil is on man's side; the goodness is wholly with God, as the Lord Jesus fully shows. “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:3737All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)).
The straying sheep returned unto the Shepherd and Overseer of their souls. They were His, the Father's gift to Him. The Son loved them and proved His love to them at all cost to Himself: and the Father loved them as He loved the Son: a love beyond the creature's conception, yet assured by Him who is the Truth.
They did well to return to Him whose love is beyond all other love. Glory will prove and display it before the wondering world, as the Lord told them (John 17:22, 2322And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:22‑23)); and the apostle attests it also for that day as a matter of retributive righteousness (2 Thess. 1:1010When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (2 Thessalonians 1:10)). But His love is as fully set on them and made known to them now for the joy of faith and the strengthening of their souls; only unbelief can doubt it, a great dishonor to Him and loss to us. O what a Shepherd and Overseer is Jesus!
Who can measure the descent, if the sheep are content to return, not to the divine Shepherd Whose the sheep are, but to the church even were it ever so true according to God's word, to articles or symbols however sound, or to pious devices to fan the embers of faith and love in their souls? No, we have Him given us of our God and Father, Who once died for our sins, and is now alive again to tend and watch over our souls in His undying love, with all authority given to Him in heaven and upon earth; that we may please Him in a world of darkness as
He always did the things that were pleasing to the Father. Nor does He for a moment fail if the sheep should fail, as they will surely do if they be not dependent and obedient. Yet all are sanctified by the Spirit unto His obedience, not to that of a Jew under law, but to that of Jesus, conscious of the Father's love. For this is our portion. Yet if negligent or worse, let us not doubt His grace, but humble our hearts and sit in self-judgment on ourselves. “He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.”