1-Peter - 4:1-19

Strange Trials and Suffering

      1 Forasmuch then as Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind; for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; 2 that you no longer should live the rest of your time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past time doing the desire of the Gentiles, and having walked in lewdness, lusts, drunken binges, orgies, carousings, and abominable idolatries. 4 They think it is strange that you don't run with them into the same excess of riot, blaspheming: 5 who will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For to this end the Good News was preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed as men in the flesh, but live as to God in the spirit. 7 But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer. 8 And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, let it be as it were the very words of God. If anyone serves, let it be as of the strength which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 12 Beloved, don't be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. 13 But because you are partakers of Christ's sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified. 15 For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or a meddler in other men's matters. 16 But if one of you suffers for being a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this matter. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don't obey the Good News of God? 18 "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?" 19 Therefore let them also who suffer according to the will of God in doing good entrust their souls to him, as to a faithful Creator.

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of 1-Peter 4.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

This chapter relates principally to the manner in which those to whom the apostle wrote ought to bear their trials, and to the encouragements to a holy life, notwithstanding their persecutions. He had commenced the subject in the preceding chapter, and had referred them particularly to the example of the Saviour. His great solicitude was, that if they suffered, it should not be for crime, and that their enemies should not be able to bring any well-founded accusation against them He would have them pure and harmless, patient and submissive; faithful in the performance of their duties, and confidently looking forward to the time when they should be delivered. He exhorts them, therefore, to the following things:
(a) To arm themselves with the same mind that was in Christ; to consider that the past time of their lives was enough for them to have performed the will of the flesh, and that now it was their duty to be separate from the wicked world, in whatever light the world might regard their conduct - remembering that they who calumniated them must soon give account to God, 1-Peter 4:1-6.
(b) He reminds them that the end of all things was at hand, and that it became them to be sober, and watch unto prayer, 1-Peter 4:7.
(c) He exhorts them to the exercise of mutual love and hospitality - virtues eminently useful in a time of persecution and afflictions, 1-Peter 4:8-9.
(d) He exhorts them to a performance of every duty with seriousness of manner, and fidelity - whether it were in preaching, or in dispensing alms to the poor and needy, 1-Peter 4:10-11.
(e) He tells them not to think it strange that they were called to pass through fiery trials, nor to suppose that any unusual thing had happened to them; reminds them that they only partook of Christ's sufferings, and that it was to be regarded as a favor if anyone suffered as a Christian; and presses upon them the thought that they ought to be careful that none of them suffered for crime, 1-Peter 4:12-16.
(f) He reminds them that the righteous would be saved with difficulty, and that the wicked would certainly be destroyed; and exhorts them, therefore, to commit the keeping of their souls to a faithful Creator, 1-Peter 4:18-19.

We should suffer patiently, after the example of Christ, 1-Peter 4:1. And no longer live according to our former custom, but disregard the scoffs of those who are incensed against us because we have forsaken their evil ways, who are shortly to give account to God for their conduct, 1-Peter 4:2-5. How the Gospel was preached to Jews and Gentiles, 1-Peter 4:6. As the end of all things was at hand, they should be sober, watchful, charitable, benevolent, good stewards of the bounty of Providence; and, when called to instruct others, speak as the oracles of God, 1-Peter 4:7-11. Of the persecutions and trials which were coming upon them, and how they were to suffer so as not to disgrace their Christian character, 1-Peter 4:12-16. Judgment was about to begin at the house of God, and even the righteous would escape with difficulty from the calamities coming upon the Jews; but they must continue in well-doing, and thus commit the keeping of their souls to their faithful Creator, 1-Peter 4:17-19.

In this chapter the apostle goes on to exhort to an holy life and conversation, and to the several duties of religion, and to suffer cheerfully for the sake of Christ. From the consideration of Christ's sufferings, he exhorts the saints to arm themselves with the same mind, and cease from sin, and live no longer to the lusts of men, but to the will of God, 1-Peter 4:1 the reason, or argument engaging to it, is taken from the past time of life, in which they walked in all manner of sin, and which ought to suffice, though they should be spoken evil of by wicked men, for not continuing therein, 1-Peter 4:3 and to fortify their minds against such abuses, the apostle takes notice of the general judgment, when such persons must give an account for their evil speaking to the Judge of quick and dead; and that though those to whom the Gospel is preached, and embrace it, suffer death for it, being judged of men in their bodies, yet they live to God in their souls, 1-Peter 4:5 and seeing the end of all things is near, he exhorts to various things, as to sobriety, watchfulness unto prayer, and especially to fervent charity, since that covers a multitude of sins, 1-Peter 4:7 and to hospitality, without grudging, and to a communication of all good things, as faithful stewards of them, 1-Peter 4:9 and particularly to the dispensation of the Gospel, according to the word of God; and to a ministration to the poor, according to a man's ability, with a view to the glory of God, by Christ, 1-Peter 4:11 and next, the apostle proceeds to comfort the saints under reproaches and persecutions, and to instruct them how to behave under such circumstances; as that they should not think such things strange, though grievous, since they were for the trial of their graces, 1-Peter 4:12 but should rather rejoice, since they were partakers of the sufferings of Christ now, and should share in his glory when revealed, which would make them exceeding glad, 1-Peter 4:13 yea, inasmuch as it was for the name of Christ they suffered reproach, they ought to reckon themselves happy persons; since the glorious Spirit of God rested on them, and since the issue of it was, the glorifying of God by them, though he was evil spoken of by those that reproached them, 1-Peter 4:14 indeed, they ought not to suffer as persons guilty of capital crimes; should they, they would have reason to be ashamed, but not since they suffered as Christians; but, on the contrary, should give glory to God for it, who had done them so much honour as to call them to it, 1-Peter 4:15, and to reconcile their minds to sufferings, he observes, that the time was come, that afflictions should begin with the people of God, on account of which, the righteous are scarcely saved, though certainly; and that, therefore, sad must be the state of the disobedient and ungodly, even of their wicked persecutors, 1-Peter 4:17 wherefore, upon the whole, seeing it was the will of God they should suffer, they ought to suffer patiently, and, in well doing, commit the care of their souls to their faithful Creator, 1-Peter 4:19.

(1-Peter 4:1-6) The consideration of Christ's sufferings is urged for purity and holiness.
(1-Peter 4:7-11) And the approaching end of the Jewish state, as a reason for sobriety, watchfulness, and prayer.
(1-Peter 4:12-19) Believers encouraged to rejoice and glory in reproaches and sufferings for Christ, and to commit their souls to the care of a faithful God.

SUMMARY.--Christ Having Died for Us, We Should Live for Christ. Watchfulness in View of the Speedy End. The Trials of the Saints. Suffering as Christians.

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