Here is a bible study and commentary on 1st Peter chapter four.
1 Peter 4:1-3 “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind, for whoever suffered in the flesh has ceased to sin, in order to live the rest of the time in the flesh. no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that has passed is enough to do what the Gentiles want to do, to live in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties and idolatry without law.
The apostle Peter tells us that we must no longer live in the flesh because that only brings death (Rom 6:23b), and the ancient times when we lived in “sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drunkenness and anarchic idolatry” are history for us. Of course, we still fall into sin, but we don’t sit there and bask in it. We rise and repent, and so the days of living in these evil ways are behind us. This explains why “they are surprised that you do not join them in the same wave of debauchery, and they slander you; but they will give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1st Peter 4:4-5).
What does Peter mean by saying that if we have “suffered in the flesh” We have “has ceased to sin?
How can we “to arm oneself” thinking so?
1 Peter 4:7-9 “The end of all things is near; be therefore master of yourselves and sober of spirit for the good of your prayers. Above all, continue to love each other sincerely, because love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to each other without grumbling.
Most Christians living in the days of the apostles thought the end times were near, and that may be why Peter wrote that “The end of all things is near.” Somehow he is always right because no one knows what tomorrow may bring, and no one has any guarantee of living beyond today, so today is the day of salvation (2nd Cor 6, 2). Judgment comes after death (Heb 9:27), so today is the day to be saved. We have to focus on “truly love one another” or sincerely, and not just with words. Hospitality includes not grumbling but giving thanks to God, and this should compel us to “be self-possessed and sober in spirit.”
How does love cover a “multitude of sins”?
Why does Peter mention that we should show hospitality, but “without grumbling”?
1 Peter 4:10-11 “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God: whoever speaks, as one who speaks the oracles of God; whoever serves, as he who serves by the strength that God provides, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belongs glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
God has given each of us spiritual gifts, but these gifts are not for us but for the church and they are also meant to glorify God, so we must be good stewards of the gifts God has given us, which means that we must use these gifts and not simply bury them as the careless steward did (Matthew 25:18). Whatever we do, we must do everything so that “May God be glorified through Jesus Christ”, and the Father wants his Son to be glorified.
What are the gifts that Peter mentions here?
How can we be good stewards of God’s gifts?
How do they glorify God and Jesus Christ?
1 Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that comes upon you to test you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
You don’t have to be surprised when persecution or trials come. In fact, should we rejoice in these persecutions? Why? Because the “A spirit of glory and of God rests upon you”, as Jesus promised “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10), but also “Blessed will you be when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in the heavens, for thus they persecuted the prophets before you. (Matthew 5:11-12). You don’t want this blessing? I am sure that I will get a lot from this article. Just read the comments and you will understand why the persecution is a blessed thing. Thank you to my persecutors… you have just blessed me.
How are you persecuted?
Have you ever been insulted because of the name of Jesus?
Why are we blessed to be persecuted?
1 Peter 4:15-17 “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a criminal, or an intruder. But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the house of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the result for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Persecution is one thing, but suffering for doing evil is another. There is no blessing in suffering for our own sins, but if we suffer because we are Christians, “Let him not be ashamed, but glorify God in this name.” Judgment begins in the church, which means we don’t judge the world. It is God’s work and He will do it perfectly, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Beloved, never take revenge, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay it, saith the Lord’ (Rom 12:19). Today, unbelievers simply store up the wrath of God, but for the Christian, the wrath of God for our sins has been placed on Jesus Christ. Do you still reject Christ? If yes, it is “Because of your hard and unrepentant heart, you accumulate anger for yourself on the day of wrath when the righteous judgment of God will be revealed” (Rom 2:4) and then “He will render to each according to his works” (Rom 2:6).
Why does Peter separate suffering to do good and suffering to do evil?
How does judgment “begin with the house of God?”
1 Peter 4:18-19 “And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? May those who suffer according to the will of God therefore entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Interestingly, even the righteous are “barely saved” and since it’s true, how much worse it will be for “the ungodly and the sinner?” The author of Hebrews answers this question by telling us that he is “a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will devour the adversaries” (Heb 10:27), and again warning the unbelievers, “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31).
Why does Peter say that Christians are “barely saved”?
Why does Peter ask, “What will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
Chapter Four of 1st Peter is a call to live a holy life, separate ourselves from sin, reflect on how we are barely saved, and use God’s gifts to glorify Him through Jesus Christ. Peter makes the connection with our call and our suffering and tells us that this is to be expected, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it happens. The real surprise would be that we were never persecuted. If so, I suggest a person examine themselves to see if they are truly in the faith, because the fact is, “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12), and “all” in Greek means exactly the same thing in English: all!
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the senior editor of What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.