1 Peter 4:1-19, Christian conduct, Christian service, suffering, judgment
VV 1-2, 1 Therefore, since 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 he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Therefore, connects to 1 Peter chapter 3. In view of Christ’s substitutionary atonement, we should protect ourselves in the spirit of unanimity, seeking God’s will, and staying away from sexual immorality.
VV 3-4, 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
We should stay away from immoral works of the flesh, lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. We should stay away from pagans unbelievers who indulged in these things and slander us with evil words.
VV 5-6, 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
The preaching of the gospel is universal. Christ, the judge of the living and the dead, will judge everyone according to whether they live in the flesh or in the spirit.
VV 7-11, 7 But the end of all things is at hand, therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability 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.
In anticipation of Christ’s imminent second coming, we should be vigilant and watchful in prayers and fervent in love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins. Love enables people to overlook each other’s weaknesses and forgive each other’s wrongdoings. We should be generous and not grumpy to one another. We should minister to one another with spiritual gifts and the Word of God as stewards of God’s grace to glorify Christ. The last phrase of verse 11 is a doxology. Glory and dominion belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ eternally.
VV 12-13, 12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
We should expect trials and suffering because Christ Himself suffered when He was on earth. We rejoice with Christ in His suffering now, but we will rejoice with Him in glory on His second coming,
VV 14-16, 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part, He is blasphemed, but on your part, He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
Persecution in the name of Christ is a blessing. The persecuted ones are blessed and glorified. The persecutors are blasphemers of God. We should not be ashamed to suffer as Christians but give glory to God, Matthew 5:10.
Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
VV 17-19, 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
Judgment begins with Christians in the kingdom of God and ends with non-christians outside the kingdom of God. The souls of those who suffered for the gospel’s sake according to God’s are secured in heaven.
Paul’s encouragements, warnings, admonitions, and instructions to his audience also apply to us. We should stay away from immorality and pagans unbelievers. We should be vigilant and watchful in prayers, love one another overlooking each other’s weaknesses, and forgive each other’s shortcomings. We should minister to one another as stewards of God’s grace, speaking the truth in love, giving glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, in anticipation of Christ’s imminent second coming, help us be vigilant and watchful in our prayers and fervent in our love for one another. Help us overlook each other’s weaknesses and forgive each other’s wrongdoing. Help us be generous to one another. Help us minister to one another as stewards of Your grace, in Jesus’ name, Amen.