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One Peter Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

same mind. See Philippians 2:5-8. Having died for our sins, Christ is forever done with sin. Peter urges us likewise to have the same mind He did, that we might also cease from sin, having died to sin and risen to a new life in Christ. This must always be our goal, and increasingly our reality, until we finally will cease from even the presence of sin when we are with Him in heaven (compare Romans 6:1-14; xTerm 3:2-10).

1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

when we walked. There is no reason to believe that Peter himself participated in such sins—especially “abominable idolatries.” He is generalizing for the sake of identifying himself with all sinners, especially those to whom he was writing.

1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

to them that are dead. The gospel was not preached to the physically dead after they died but to those spiritually dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

at hand. It is obvious from such passages as this that Peter and the other apostles considered the return of Christ and “the end of all things” always to be imminent. They are still imminent; He could come at any moment. Therefore, like Peter's first readers, we also should always “be sober and watch unto prayer.” See also xTerm 2:28; Mark 13:33.

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

cover the multitude of sins. Compare James 5:20; Proverbs 10:12; 1 Corinthians 13:7.

1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

gift. Note that every man has received some “gift,” with which to minister to the body of Christ. See especially Romans 12:4-8.

stewards. The responsibility of stewardship applies not only to material possessions but also to spiritual possessions—that is, to the spiritual gift or gifts which have been given to us by the Holy Spirit. These are all a part of the “manifold grace of God” and should not be used just to please ourselves, but to minister to others.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

strange thing. “In the last days ... all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:1, 12). It is not a strange thing, but normal, for unbelievers to oppose and persecute Christians.

1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

partakers. “Partakers of” actually has the sense of “fellowshipping in” (as used in Philippians 3:10).

exceeding joy. Compare Romans 8:16-18; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

suffer as a Christian. The term “Christian” is used elsewhere only in Acts 11:26 and 26:28. It was originally applied to the “disciples”—that is, “learners”—of Christ, and soon became an object of derision and persecution. Such opposition should not be a cause of embarrassment but rather of rejoicing (Philippians 1:29).

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

house of God. Christians will have been judged before the unsaved are judged, either by (1) confession now (1 Corinthians 11:31; xTerm 1:9); (2) chastening now (1 Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12:5-11); (3) physical death (1 Corinthians 11:30; 5:3-5; xTerm 5:16); or (4) loss at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10-13; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Over a thousand years after the judgment seat of Christ, the unsaved will be brought before God's great white throne of judgment to be judged according to their works, and, therefore, cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

obey not the gospel. The answer to this question has been given in 2 Thessalonians 1:8: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

faithful Creator. This Greek word for “Creator” (ktistis) is used here only in the New Testament, and it stresses the faithfulness of God to His suffering people. That this faithful Creator is Jesus Christ is evident from Revelation 19:11, which tells us that His very name shall be called “Faithful and True.” God is also called the Creator (using another Greek word) in Romans 1:25.