1 Peter 4
THEREFORE: In view of 1Pe 3:18.
ARM YOURSELVES: For a spiritual "warfare": 2Ti 2:3,4;
Eph 6:11; 2Co 10:4.
WITH THE SAME ATTITUDE: The mind of the Spirit: Rom
8:6; the mind of Christ: Phi 2:5.
HE WHO HAS SUFFERED... IS DONE WITH SIN: Prob best
understood in the sense of Rom 6:7. By union with Christ, the Christian is to
understand that his conversion is a death to sin (Gal 5:24; 6:14; Eph
HIS EARTHLY LIFE: Better, "his time in the flesh"
FOR YOU HAVE SPENT ENOUGH TIME IN THE PAST: That is,
the time before experiencing the "newness of life" in Christ: Rom 6:4.
Lists of vices such as this were common in the ancient world
and also in the NT (Mar 7:21-22; Rom 1:29-31; 13:13; 1Co 5:10; Gal 5:19-20; 2Pe
2:10-14). The common excesses of drink, sex, and wild parties was found among
the non-Christians then, as it is now.
A believer's life of holiness, self-restraint, and chastity is
his greatest recommendation to the attention of the outsider.
PLUNGE: "Suntrecho" = to rush, or run
FLOOD: "Anachusis", one time only in NT. An effusion,
DISSIPATION: Gr "asotia", lit that which is not saved.
Similar word for the prodigal son's (wild living" (Luk 15:13).
THEY HEAP ABUSE ON YOU: The pagan amazement will often
turn to hatred and evil speaking (Joh 3:19-21).
THEY: Whereas the AV "who" here is ambiguous, the
antecedent of "they" is the unbaptized Gentiles, because the verb ("will have to
give account") is 3rd person plural.
THOSE WHO ARE NOW DEAD: Men in imprisoned "spirits"
(1Pe 3:19) are morally "dead" (1Ti 5:6). Or, perh, ref to believers who have by
now died -- thus they will yet live again, "in the spirit"!
THE END OF ALL THINGS IS NEAR: Jesus taught responsible
living, in the light of his return (Luk 12:35-43; 17:26,27).
THEREFORE BE CLEAR MINDED AND SELF-CONTROLLED:
Christians are not to give way to "eschatological frenzy", but to practice
self-control. Peter had set a negative example in his failure to watch and pray
in the Garden (Mat 26:40,41).
SO THAT YOU CAN PRAY: Sometimes the only, and certainly
the best, thing one can do for his brothers and sisters.
LOVE: "Agape" love is capable of being commanded
because it is not primarily an emotion but a decision of the will leading to
action. (On the necessity of Christians’ loving one another, see Mar
12:30-33; Joh 13:34-38; 15:12-17.)
LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS: This quotation from
Pro 10:12 does not mean that our love covers or atones for our sins. In the
proverb the meaning is that love does not "stir up" sins or broadcast them. So
the major idea is that love suffers in silence and bears all things (1Co
13:5-7). Christians forgive faults in others because they know the forgiving
grace of God in their own lives.
OFFER HOSPITALITY TO ONE ANOTHER WITHOUT GRUMBLING:
Hospitality (Gr "philoxenos" = the love of strangers) between Christians was an
important, concrete expression of love in a world without our modern inns and
hotels. This virtue was required of the bishops and widows (1Ti 3:2; 5:10; Tit
1:8) and is commanded for us all (Mat 25:35-45; Rom 12:13; 3Jo 1:5-8).
Hospitality is to be "without grumbling" -- a phase that suggests the difficulty
of carrying out this command. In certain cultures that are strongly
family-orientated, the bringing of strangers or foreigners into a house may be
somewhat shocking. Yet Christians overcome these conventions because God's love
has made them into a single great family.
WHATEVER GIFT: We all have "gifts" (natural abilities,
blessings of material things, etc) from God -- not necessarily just HSp "gifts"
-- and the lessons of Paul apply to both: cp Rom 12:6-8; 1Co 12:12-31. One of
the longstanding misconceptions in church practice is the idea that only one
person is to "minister" in the local church. The Bible principle is that all can
and should minister in one way or another -- with whatever capacities or
abilities God has bestowed upon them.
IF ANYONE SPEAKS, HE SHOULD DO IT AS ONE SPEAKING THE VERY
WORDS OF GOD: We should take care that all we say is in accordance with the
Word of God. If we are not sure, then it is not sin -- indeed, it is a very good
idea -- simply to keep quiet!
SO THAT IN ALL THINGS GOD MAY BE PRAISED: The purpose
of mutual Christian service is that through Jesus Christ God will be glorified.
Serving fellow Christians does glorify God because people will praise Him for
His grace -- that comes to them through Jesus and through his
TO HIM BE THE GLORY AND THE POWER FOR EVER AND EVER:
Peter adds a doxology -- something that is not uncommon in Christian letters at
various places besides the end (Rom 11:33-36; Eph 3:20-21).
DEAR FRIENDS: "Agapetoi" , “beloved,” as at
1Pe 2:11; also occurs in 2Pe 3:1,8,14,15,17).
THE PAINFUL TRIAL YOU ARE SUFFERING: Suffering is not
to be regarded as something foreign to Christian experience but rather as a
refining test. Peter has already mentioned the necessity of faith being refined
through suffering and testing (1Pe 1:6,7). Here the idea of refining is found in
the word "painful" (lit, "burning", or "fiery", as in AV), which occurs in the
LXX) in the metaphor of the refining of metals. Jesus said, "If the world hates
you, keep in mind that it hated me first" (Joh 15:18); and John writes, "Do not
be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you" (1Jo 3:13). In the light of
Jesus' experience and teaching, his followers should expect troubles, but
troubles should only encourage them (Joh 16:33).
REJOICE... IN THE SUFFERINGS: In contrast to the usual
response of sorrow and shock to suffering and persecution, the Christian is to
rejoice because he is participating in Christ’s sufferings: cp Mat
5:10-12; Rom 8:17; 2Co 1:5-7; Phi 3:10. For illustrations of Christians’
rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the
name of Christ, see Act 5:41 (of all the apostles) and Act 16:22-25 (of Paul and
SO THAT YOU MAY BE OVERJOYED WHEN HIS GLORY IS
REVEALED: Christian rejoicing rests on the fact that as Christians share in
Christ’s suffering, so they will share in his glory with great joy. The
prospect of Christ’s full manifestation in all his glory fills the
believer with joy and comfort.
"We have the misfortune or happiness (according as we reckon
it) to live in an age of corrupt Christianity, when there is neither the bracing
vigour that comes with open persecution, nor the helping comfort that ought to
come with a universal profession of the name of Christ. The whole community,
while professing to be Christian, are away from God's own book, which they
either do not heed at all, or make void by the commandments and traditions of
men. We are helpless in the matter. We could accept reprobation if it would
bring the world to God. It is not we who have appointed the gospel of the
Kingdom as the power of God unto salvation, or who have denounced a curse on
those preaching any other. It is not our invention at all. We simply believe and
submit, and sorrowfully recognise the position of Christendom. But we may be of
good cheer. We are on God's side, and His words to us by our reading today are,
'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' " (RR, Diary of
YOU ARE BLESSED: Jesus said, "Blessed are you when
people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you
because of me. Rejoice and be glad" (Mat 5:11,12). Here in 1Pe we have a
fulfillment of the Lord's own promises to his disciples.
FOR THE SPIRIT OF GLORY AND OF GOD RESTS ON YOU: In Mat
the cause for happiness is the promised reward. Here it is the possession of the
messianic Spirit -- which could also occur at the 2nd coming of Christ: 2Ti
2:10-12. (Many ancient mss add "and of power" after "glory.") This v is based on
Isa 11:2 (and perh Psa 89:50-51). One of God's great characteristics is his
glory (Act 7:2; Eph 1:17), and in Jesus that glory is revealed (John 1:14,18) --
just as it will be in us one day!
A MURDERER OR THIEF OR ANY OTHER KIND...: "And such
were some of you..." (1Co 6:9-11).
MEDDLER: Gr "allotriepiskopos" = lit, one who oversees
SOMEONE ELSE'S affairs (instead of his own!). Only once in NT. Cp 2Th 3:11: diff
wd, but prob same sig.
DO NOT BE ASHAMED: As Peter had been: Mat 26:69-75; Mar
An echo of Ezekiel 9:6 — "Slay utterly old and young...
and begin at My sanctuary." Judgment coming first upon the people of God: Zec
13:7-9; Mal 3:1-5.
WHAT WILL THE OUTCOME BE FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT OBEY THE
GOSPEL OF GOD?: Citing, generally, Pro 11:31 -- in v 18.
Cited from Pro 11:31.
COMMIT THEMSELVES TO THEIR FAITHFUL CREATOR: This their
Lord did at his death (Luk 23:46), reflecting Psa 31:5!
"To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to
choose God's will even if it means suffering is a very different thing. No
healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he chooses God's will, as Jesus did,
whether it means suffering or not. Be merciful to God's reputation. It is easy
to blacken God's character because God never answers back, He never vindicates
Himself. Beware of the thought that Jesus needed sympathy in his earthly life;
he refused sympathy from others because he knew far too wisely that no one on
earth understood what he was going through. Notice God's 'waste' of saints,
according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in some of the
most useless places. We say, 'God intends me to be here because I am so useful.'
Jesus never estimated his life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His
saints where they will glorify Him most, and we are no judges at all of where
that is" (Oswald Chambers).
CONTINUE TO DO GOOD: The continuation in good works or
action is a concrete sign of the faith that is the essence of being a Christian
(1Pe 2:15,20; 3:6,17). This is equivalent to laying up "treasure" in heaven: Luk
12:21; Mat 19:21.