1 Peter 4

4:1 Therefore [looks back to 1 Pet. 3:18], since Christ suffered in his body [included His death for us on the cross], arm yourselves also with the same attitude [face suffering with the same resolve that Jesus faced suffering], because he [either refers to Jesus or to the believer] who has suffered in his body is done with sin [cf. “once for all” in 1 Pet. 3:18; Jesus dealt with sin conclusively and finally and did not need to deal with it again; statement implies that believers should be done with sin].

4:2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God [cf. Lk. 22:42].

4:3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans [translates a Gr. word meaning “Gentiles”] choose to do—living in [1] debauchery [unrestrained and shameless sexual behavior], [2] lust [evil sexual desire], [3] drunkenness, [4] orgies [feasts characterized by drunkenness and disorderly behavior and sexual immorality], [5] carousing [drinking parties; loose and wild living] and [6] detestable idolatry [refers to the worship of anything other than the true God].

4:4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.

4:5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

4:6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

4:10 Each one [each believer is gifted] should use whatever gift [Gr. “charisma”: a gift of grace] he has received [God determines gift or gifts we receive] to [we are accountable for what we do with our gifts] serve [“minister” is a verb form of Gr. “diakonia”] others [cf. Phil. 2:3-4], faithfully administering [God’s gifts are entrusted to believers as stewards] God’s grace in its various forms.

4:11 If anyone speaks [a broad category: may refer to a number of gifts such as prophesying or teaching], he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves [a broad category; should serve those in need within the body and all people in need (cf. Lk. 10:25-37; Gal. 6:10)], he should do it with the strength God provides [“Divine work can only be done in dependence upon divine strength.” (Watchman Nee)], so [ultimate goal of exercising spiritual gifts…] that in all things God [not the one exercising the gift] may be praised through Jesus Christ. [doxology…] To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

4:12 Dear friends [literally “beloved”], do not be surprised at the painful trial [or “fiery ordeal”] you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

4:13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ [suffering for Christ], so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed [when Christ returns].

4:14 If you are insulted [ridiculed; verbal abuse] because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory [refers to the glory of Christ that will be revealed at His coming] and of God [cf. Isa. 11:2] rests on you [the glory of Christ that will one day be revealed when He appears now rests on persecuted believers in the Person of the Holy Spirit].

4:15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer [one who despises the image of God in another human being] or thief [one who has no regard for the property of others] or any other kind of criminal [an evildoer; a general term that includes all kinds of felonies and criminal actions; a Christian guilty of these things tarnishes the name of Christ], or even as a meddler [this term occurs only here in the NT; a busybody; one who takes on the task of correcting everyone else’s behavior].

4:16 However, if you suffer [to endure verbal abuse, physical punishment, imprisonment] as a Christian [this term appears in NT only three times (see also Acts 11:26; 26:28); a Christian was not one identified with a religion but rather one identified with the person of Christ], do not be ashamed [cf. Acts 5:41; 9:16], but praise God [for the privilege of suffering for the name of Christ] that you bear that name.

4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

4:18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

4:19 So then, those who suffer [some but not all will suffer] according to God’s will [suffering is never accidental] should commit themselves to their faithful Creator [God is faithful in times of suffering] and continue to do good [suffering should serve as incentive to do continue to do good].

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