2:12 {13} Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they {14} may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of {b} visitation.

(13) The fourth argument, taken from the profit of so doing: for by this means also we provide for our good name and estimation, while we compel them at length to change their minds, who speak evil of us.

(14) The fifth argument, which is also of great force: because the glory of God is greatly set forth by that means, by example of our honest life, then the most corrupt men are brought to God, and submit themselves to him.

(b) When God shall have mercy on them.

2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles. Your daily life. Let it be such as to refute slanders of their enemies.

They speak against you as evildoers. See Ac 17:6. The Jews often accused Christians to heathen rulers of being seditious. Because they rejected the heathen gods, they were accused of being atheists. The best way to answer these charges was to live them down.

By [your] good works. Compare Mt 5:16.

The day of visitation. The day when God will make all clear and the heathen shall be converted.

2:12 Honest - Not barely unblamable, but virtuous in every respect. But our language sinks under the force, beauty, and copiousness of the original expressions. That they by your good works which they shall behold - See with their own eyes. May glorify God - By owning his grace in you, and following your example. In the day of visitation - The time when he shall give them fresh offers of his mercy.

2:11,12 Even the best of men, the chosen generation, the people of God, need to be exhorted to keep from the worst sins. And fleshly lusts are most destructive to man's soul. It is a sore judgment to be given up to them. There is a day of visitation coming, wherein God may call to repentance by his word and his grace; then many will glorify God, and the holy lives of his people will have promoted the happy change.