1 Peter Chapter 4
1Pe 4:1 TPT Since Christ, though innocent, suffered in his flesh for you, now you also must be a prepared soldier, having the same mind-set, for whoever has died in his body is done with sin.
Russell: Christ hath suffered -- As soon as the last member shall have passed into the heavenly condition, all the sufferings of The Christ will be over.
In the flesh -- As our Lord suffered in the flesh, so will also those who are members of the Church, which is his Body. However, while suffering in the flesh, we are also being developed in the spirit.
Arm yourselves -- If any realize that they have not been zealously and voluntarily suffering with their Savior, they should arouse themselves to appeal in prayer to the Master for grace and faith to walk in his steps of voluntary sacrifice.
The same mind -- Of determination to lay down our lives in opposition to sin. As Christ redeemed us by laying down his life as a willing sacrifice, so let us have this same mind, this same disposition, this same will. Not that we might have to experience the same amount of suffering, but the thought was with "the same mind" enabling us to be more than victorious.
Ceased from sin -- Dead people cannot sin. The Lord's people, having consecrated themselves unto death, certainly will not commit sin wilfully. For to do so would prove that their wills had changed. They would then cease to be new creatures and it would mean second death.
Guzik: Since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind: The commitment God calls us to have is nothing isn’t greater than the commitment Jesus had in enduring suffering for our salvation. In the last days, we need to have a commitment to God that will endure through great struggles.
Jesus communicated the same idea when He told us that anyone who would come after Him must take up his cross and follow (Mat_16:24). Taking up the cross meant that you were committed and not looking back!
Arm yourself with the same mind: Many of us are defeated in our battle against sin because we refuse to sacrifice anything in the battle. We only want victory if it comes easily to us. Jesus called us to have the kind of attitude that would sacrifice in the battle against sin (Mat_5:29-30).
MacLaren: ‘Christ hath suffered in the flesh.’ That is the great fact which should shape the course of all His followers. But what does suffering in the flesh mean here? It does not refer only to the death of Jesus, but to His whole life. The phrase ‘in the flesh’ is reiterated in the context, and evidently is equivalent to ‘during the earthly life.’ Our Lord’s life was, in one aspect, one continuous suffering, because He lived the higher life of the spirit. That higher life had to Him, and has to us, rich compensations; but it sets those who are true to it at necessary variance with the lower types of life common among men, and it brings many pains, all of which Jesus knew. The last draught from the cup was the bitterest, but the bitterness was diffused through all the life of the Man of Sorrows.
Are you dead to sin?
Are you taking up your cross and following Jesus?
1Pe 4:2 TPT So live the rest of your earthly life no longer concerned with human desires but consumed with what brings pleasure to God.
Barnes: That he no longer should live - That is, he has become, through the death of Christ, dead to the world and to the former things which influenced him, in order that he should hereafter live not to the lusts of the flesh. See 2Co_5:15.
The rest of his time in the flesh - The remainder of the time that he is to continue in the flesh; that is, that he is to live on the earth.
To the lusts of men - Such lusts as people commonly live for and indulge in. Some of these are enumerated in the following verse.
But to the will of God - In such a manner as God commands. The object of redemption is to rescue us from being swayed by wicked lusts, and to bring us to be conformed wholly to the will of God.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For it is Christ’s love that fuels our passion and motivates us, because we are absolutely convinced that he has given his life for all of us. This means all died with him, 15 so that those who live should no longer live self-absorbed lives but lives that are poured out for him—the one who died for us and now lives again.
Popular: This paragraph brings to an end the series of counsels which began with chap. 1Pe_2:11, and have dealt with what is essential to a becoming ‘conversation among the Gentiles.’ Christian duty in relation to the impurities of heathen associates is now enforced in the strongest terms and with a gleam of gravest irony. Christ’s example in suffering is still the key-note. That example, having been already used at length to point the blessedness of suffering for righteousness sake, is now made the ground for enforcing absolute separation from the vices of paganism,—a separation as absolute as if one were dead to them.
What does your life reflect?
What are you consumed with?
1Pe 4:3 TPT For you have already spent enough time doing what unbelievers love to do—living in debauchery, sensuality, partying, drunkenness, wild drinking parties, and the worship of demons.
Guzik: For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles: Peter realizes we all spent enough time living like the world. Now we are called to live like Christians. It is a profound, and foolish, waste of time for Christians to live like the world, and we must simply stop being double-minded and start living as Christians.
- Sadly, many Christians (in their heart of hearts) think that they have not spent enough time doing the will of the ungodly. They want to experience more of the world before they make a full commitment to godliness. This is a tragic what a mistake, and takes a path that leads away from eternal life.
Meyer: “The old man: which we must “put off” is clearly our former manner of life. If we have not put it entirely away, let us do so now by an immediate act of faith in the living Spirit. It does not take long for a beggar to put off his rags and take instead a new suit of clothes, and it need not take a moment longer to put away habits and thoughts, ways of speech and life which are unworthy of the children of God. Do it now and look up to the Lord to keep renewing you in the spirit of your mind.
Have you put way the deeds of the flesh?
1Pe 4:4 TPT They marvel that you no longer rush to join them in the excesses of their corrupt lifestyles, and so they vilify you.
Russell: Think it strange -- It will cost us the good opinion and fellowship of others. Those who seek for earthly offices of fame and glory now cannot understand our running for the "prize of the high calling." They consider our time wasted. The world will say that we are of unsound mind because we care for the better things, the heavenly things.
Barnes: Speaking evil of you - Greek, blaspheming. See the notes at Mat_9:3. The meaning here is, that they used harsh and reproachful epithets of those who would not unite with them in their revelry. They called them fools, fanatics, hypocrites, etc. The idea is not that they blasphemed God, or that they charged Christians with crime, but that they used language suited to injure the feelings, the character, the reputation of those who would no longer unite with them in the ways of vice and folly.
Guzik: They think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation: When the world looks at our godly living, they think it strange that we do not follow them in their flood of dissipation (wastefulness). If life lived after the flesh is anything, it is a waste.
i. Speaking evil of you: When we don’t participate in the sin around us, we convict those who practice their sin, and they don’t like that - so they speak evil of us.
ii. “It does not matter how your good deeds are received by men. If you are like God, you will find them received with contempt and ingratitude.” (Meyer)
Do your friends from your life before Christ like to be around you?
Do you still join in with their corruptness or are you different?
1Pe 4:5 TPT But one day they will have to give an account to the one who is destined to judge the living and the dead.
Russell: Shall give account -- Be dealt with, corrected and disciplined in righteousness, to bring about true reformation and finally perfection of character.
The quick and the dead -- The followers of Christ who have become dead to the things of the world and alive to the heavenly or spiritual things.
1 Peter 4:6 LEB Because for this reason also the gospel was preached to those who are dead, so that they were judged by human standards in the flesh, but they may live in the spirit by God's standards.
For this cause -- Reason, purpose. Because we who are dead to the world and alive toward God are being called out now, as the Lord's elect class.
Was the gospel -- Good news of our redemption and the promise of glory; it was given to us that our lives should be influenced by it and that we should be separated from the world.
To them -- The Lord's elect class.
That are dead -- We who are dead to the world. Those that are reckoned dead to sin, but alive toward God and righteousness. In his consecration he has given up, sacrificed, his justified human nature; he reckons himself no longer of the human nature, but a new creature in Christ Jesus. That you might have Christ formed within you--his mind and principles.
"Let the dead bury the dead." (Mat_8:22) All mankind, from God's standpoint, being under the sentence of death are counted as dead.
By nature we are counted dead with the world. But because we are reckoned as having passed from death unto life in Christ, we are counted alive. Peter is exhorting to separateness from the world, not only of our minds but also of our bodies as ruled over by our minds.
Might be judged -- By the world. The world still judges us according to the flesh.
According to men -- Like other men; the world discerns not that the new creatures are different from other men.
In the spirit -- Begotten to newness of life. God is judging us according to the spirit; according to the real motive and intention. We are reckoned as fulfilling the highest demands of the divine law to God and to man, because we are not walking after the flesh but after the spirit.
"For this purpose the Gospel is preached to them that are dead (those reckoned dead to sin, but alive toward God and righteousness); that they might be judged of God in spirit (according to their real motives and intentions), although judged by men merely according to (the outward deeds) the flesh." (The Greek text supports this rendering, while the common version shrouds this text in mystery.)
So when we take these verses in context we see that we are the “dead” –dead to sin and to the flesh—this is what our consecration means.
1Pe 4:7 TPT Since we are approaching the end of all things, be intentional, purposeful, and self-controlled so that you can be given to prayer.
(KJV) But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
(Weymouth) But the end of all things is now close at hand: therefore be sober-minded and temperate, so that you may give yourselves to prayer.
End of all things -- Present constitutions under the supervision of the prince of this world. The second coming of the Lord and the setting up of his Kingdom.
Be sober -- Not disturbed or excited in mind. Guard against every approach to a spirit of pride and vainglory.
We have a great responsibility that our tongue not be used in a flippant way which would be dishonoring to God.
And watch -- The prize of the high calling is not for the easy-going Christian. They are urged to run with intensity of zeal and earnest striving to gain the prize.
Unto prayer -- Communion with God is a great privilege and an evidence of his favor. Pray for divine assistance, to resist even the slightest encroachment of the enemy.
Guzik: a. The end of all things is at hand: If we really believe that we live in the last days, it is all the more appropriate that we give ourselves to prayer (therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers).
i. Many Christians who believe that Jesus is coming soon based on prophecy charts and political events fail to apply that belief the proper way. They fail to applying themselves to more diligent prayer.
b. Therefore be serious . . . in your prayers: We must give ourselves to serious prayer. As we see the weight of eternity rushing towards us, we dare not take the need for prayer lightly.
Therefore be . . . watchful in your prayers: We must give ourselves to watchful prayer, primarily having our hearts and minds watching and ready for the return of Jesus Christ. But this also means watching ourselves and watching this world, measuring our readiness for Jesus.
Do you believe that we are in the Last Days? End Times?
Does your behavior reflect that belief?
1Pe 4:8 TPT Above all, constantly echo God’s intense love for one another, for love will be a canopy over a multitude of sins.
Guzik: (1Pe_4:8-11) In the last days, Christians should live with an attitude of love.
If these are the last days, how much more important is it to love those you are going to spend eternity with? In light of eternity, we must have fervent love for one another.
b. For love will cover a multitude of sins: Love does cover a multitude of sins, both the sins of the one loving and the sins of the one who is being loved.
i. “Where love abounds in a fellowship of Christians, many small offences, and even some large ones, are readily overlooked and forgotten. But where love is lacking, every word is viewed with suspicion, every action is liable to misunderstanding, and conflicts about - to Satan’s perverse delight.” (Grudem)
1Pe 4:9 TPT Be compassionate to foreigners without complaining.
Guzik: Be hospitable to one another without grumbling: Love will show itself in hospitality. Christians should often open their homes to others and doing it all without grumbling.
Russell: Use hospitality -- Liberality. It is an element of character that should be cultivated toward all men; it should be hearty and not merely because the Lord commends and commands it.
Clarke: Use hospitality - Be ever ready to divide your bread with the hungry, and to succor the stranger. See on Heb_13:2 (note).
Without grudging - Ανευ γογγυσμων· Without grumblings. Do nothing merely because it is commanded, but do it from love to God and man; then it will be without grumbling.
Barnes: Without grudging - Greek, “without murmurs;” that is, without complaining of the hardship of doing it; of the time, and expense, and trouble required in doing it. The idea of grudging, in the common sense of that word - that is, of doing it unwillingly, or regretting the expense, and considering it as ill-bestowed, or as not producing an equivalent of any kind - is not exactly the idea here. It is that we are to do it without murmuring or complaining. It greatly enhances the value of hospitality, that it be done on our part with entire cheerfulness. One of the duties involved in it is to make a guest happy; and this can be done in no other way than by showing him that he is welcome.
Does having brethren over for dinner or a study make you grumpy?
1Pe 4:10 TPT Every believer has received grace gifts, so use them to serve one another as faithful stewards of the many-colored tapestry of God’s grace.
Guzik: As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another: Love will show itself as we give to the church family what God has given us as gifts. As we do so, we are good stewards of the many-faceted (manifold) grace of God given to us.
i. In 1Co_15:10, Paul makes it clear that he was what he was only by God’s grace. But at the same time, His grace toward me was not in vain because Paul put his own God-inspired efforts to work with God’s grace. The idea is that if we are bad stewards of the manifold grace of God, it is as if that grace was given to us in vain. That grace is wasted, because it only comes to us, and doesn’t move through us.
ii. “Manifold grace is many-coloured grace. As when a ray of light breaks into a spray of many hues, so each of us receives God’s grace at a different angle, and flashes it back broken up into some fresh colour.” (Meyer)
Proverbs 11:25 KJV The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
Russell: Not only are we stewards of the consecrated money, time and talents in our hands, be they little or much; but we are also the stewards of the mysteries of God's plans.
Barnes: As good stewards - Regarding yourselves as the mere stewards of God; that is, as appointed by him to do this work for him, and entrusted by him with what is needful to benefit others. He intends to do them good, but he means to do it through your instrumentality, and has entrusted to you as a steward what he designed to confer on them. This is the true idea, in respect to any special endowments of talent, property, or grace, which we may have received from God.
What are you doing with your stewardship?
1Pe 4:11 TPT For example, if you have a speaking gift, speak as though God were speaking his words through you. If you have the gift of serving, do it passionately with the strength God gives you, so that in everything God alone will be glorified through Jesus Christ. For to him belong the power and the glory forever throughout all ages! Amen.
Russell: Let him speak -- All who have the truth are commissioned to declare it to others. Not uncertainly, not doubtfully. Not their own opinions.
The oracles of God -- Wisely, and in accordance with the spirit and Word of the Lord. His words should be of weight with the Church only as they are backed up by the Word and Spirit of the Lord. We could guess about some things, but we do not allow ourselves to guess.
"He that hath my Word let him speak my Word faithfully." (Jer_23:28)
Praise -- Not only are we to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God but also to look up to him and give him praise for all that we have and are.
Benson: If any man speak — In public assemblies, or in the social meetings of his Christian brethren; let him speak as the oracles of God — Let all his words be according to that pattern, both as to matter and manner, and more especially when he speaks in public. By this mark we may always know who are, so far, the true or false prophets. The oracles of God teach that men should repent, believe, and obey; he that treats of faith, and leaves out repentance, and fruits worthy of repentance; or treats of repentance and its fruits, but omits inculcating faith; or who does not enjoin practical holiness to believers, does not speak as the oracles of God; he does not preach Christ, let him think as highly of himself as he will.
If any man minister — Serve his brother in love, whether in temporal or spiritual things; let him do it as of the ability which God giveth — That is, humbly and diligently, ascribing all his power to God, and using it with his might; that God in all things — Whether of nature or of grace; may be glorified through Jesus Christ — The wise dispenser of these gifts; to whom — As our great Redeemer and Saviour; be praise and dominion — Greek, η δοξα και το κρατος, the glory of them, and the power of dispensing them; or the glory of his wisdom, which teaches us to speak, and the might which enables us to act.--Wesley
Barnes: As of the ability which God giveth - In regard to property, talent, strength, influence, etc. This is the limit of all obligation. No one is bound to go beyond his ability; everyone is required to come up to it. Compare Mar_14:8; Luk_17:10.
Guzik: As we serve one another, we do it with the strength God provides, the ability which God supplies - so that to Him belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.
When you speak about the Lord, do you do it with conviction?
Do you speak the whole truth?
Do you serve your brethren?
Do you give the glory to the Lord?
1 Peter 4:12 KJV Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
Guzik: (1Pe_4:12-13) Enduring trials with the right attitude.
Concerning the fiery trial which is to try you: Instead of thinking of trials (even fiery trials) as strange occurrences, we see them as ways to partake of Christ’s sufferings. And if we partake of His sufferings, we will also partake of his glory and joy.
Peter once told Jesus to avoid the suffering of the cross (Mar_8:32-33). “Once it seemed strange to the Apostle Peter that his Master should think of suffering. Now he thinks it strange that He could have imagined anything else.” (Meyer)
Russell: Think it not strange -- It is reasonable that God should test severely the faith and love of those invited to be joint-heirs with his son. They must be loyal and trustful to the last degree. If our Lord had to be so severely tested to prove his worthiness of high exaltation, we should not think it strange that this happens to us. Many of the beloved of the Lord do think it "strange" when the fiery trials strike them, doubtless because they do not appreciate the Lord's design.
The fiery trial -- Necessary for the development of character, and for the proving of the faithful ones. The Lord's people should not think it strange when trials come, no matter how fiery, no matter how severe. It is part of the terms and conditions of the Church's calling.
Our severest trials come not from without, but, "From among yourselves shall arise false brethren" (Act_20:30), to injure the flock in general, through personal ambition.
They come like fiery darts from our great enemy--Satan. Through which only the gold, the silver and the precious stones will pass unharmed. We must not be disappointed and allow our faith to falter when the test of patient endurance is applied.
If we would purchase the gold tried in the fire, it must be at the cost of faithful and constant submission to the discipline of the Lord in the fiery trials which are necessary to consume our dross and refine our gold.
"The trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perishes." ( 1Pe_1:7) "He is like a refiner's fire." (Mal_3:2) "Many shall be purified and made white and tried." (Dan_12:10)
Which is to try you -- The Church. That is to do a purifying work.
Wesley: Wonder not at the burning which is among you - This is the literal meaning of the expression. It seems to include both martyrdom itself, which so frequently was by fire, and all the other sufferings joined with, or previous to, it; which is permitted by the wisdom of God for your trial. Be not surprised at this.
Benson: The dreadful series of furious and bitter persecutions. The original expression, εν υμιν πυρωσει, is literally, the burning which is among you; denoting the grievous persecution which the Christians in Pontus, &c., were suffering for their faith; including both martyrdom itself, which frequently was by fire, and all the other sufferings joined with or previous to it. The metaphor is bold, but noble: it expresses in a lively manner the painful and dangerous nature of their trials. Which is to try you — Is permitted by the wisdom of God for the trial of your faith in Christ, and in the truths and promises of his gospel; of your hope of eternal life, your love to God, His people, and His ways, of your resignation to His will, your patience and meekness; as though some strange thing happened unto you — Different from, or beyond, all which you were taught to expect.
Are you experiencing suffering for the Lord?
Are you standing firm?
1Pe 4:13 TPT Instead, continue to rejoice, for you, in a measure, have shared in the sufferings of the Anointed One so that you can share in the revelation of his glory and celebrate with even greater gladness!
Guzik: It is good to share anything with Jesus, even His suffering…. Our tendency is to embrace the glory and the joy, and to avoid any sharing of Jesus’ suffering. Or, we morbidly fixate on the suffering and forget that it is but a necessary prelude to the glory and joy.
To the extent implies a measure. Those who have suffered more in Jesus will rejoice more at His coming in glory.
Russell: But rejoice -- Not that we enjoy tribulations, but we realize these are working for us characters pleasing to God. Let us rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake now, so as to be counted worthy to reign with him.
Christ's sufferings -- The sufferings did not end at Calvary but continue with the members of Christ's Body. From this standpoint, the first advent of Christ--in the flesh--has been a gradual one, covering a period of nearly twenty centuries.
It is one sacrifice in the sense that it is all one Body of one Priest that is offered. The antitypical priesthood includes all the members of the Body and so the sufferings require all of the Gospel age to complete them.
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2Ti_3:12)
The sacrifice and sufferings of Christ Jesus included every item of mental and physical pain and self-denial experienced as a result of his consecration, until it was completed in death; it included the denial of all laudable and proper human ambitions; the reproach he bore from his fellow-men for the sake of the truth; and his weariness and exhaustion caused by preaching and the giving out of his own vital energy for the good of others. To the extent that we share his sufferings, it must not be as chastisement for evil nor in the renouncing of evil, but a suffering wrongfully, undeservedly.
Sacrifice your honor, your social standing, your good name and your broad-minded reputation; for the Truth.
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Rom_8:17)
These sufferings are not such as are common to humanity, sickness, etc., incidental to sin and its penalty, death; but sufferings for Christ's sake, which means activity in Christ's service. In the direct service of the truth; either by telling the Gospel orally or by circulating the message in printed form or by writing of it to friends.
Are you sharing in Christ’s sufferings?
1Pe 4:14 TPT If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are greatly blessed, because the Spirit of glory and power, who is the Spirit of God, rests upon you.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Guzik: Suffering for the name of Christ is a blessing, because it shows that we really are following Jesus, and that we suffer because we are identified with Him.
Peter, as much as anyone, would recognize that such times rarely are felt as a blessing at the moment, and that such times only feel like agony. Yet God knows how to bring blessing out of suffering and weakness.
Russell: Happy are ye -- When we have the right focus on the subject of persecution. Having the witness that you are a child of God.
He is glorified -- Nothing glorifies God's name and character more than does the grand plan which he is showing to us, and which we preach.
Benson: For the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you — Conquering all reproach, and spreading a lustre around you, while he supports and comforts you in a glorious manner under all your trials. The apostle alludes to Isa_11:2. “The Spirit of glory, which rested on the persecuted disciples of Christ in the first age, was a Spirit of fortitude, enabling them to suffer the greatest evils without shrinking, a virtue which the heathen greatly admired. For which reason, when they put the first Christians to death for refusing to worship idols, they were so struck with the constancy, patience, meekness, and benevolence wherewith they suffered, that it led many of them to think well, both of a religion which inspired its votaries with such admirable virtues, and of those votaries themselves. And as this constancy in suffering, from which the Christians derived so much glory, proceeded from the aid of the Spirit of God, the apostle justly termed it, both the Spirit of glory, and the Spirit of God.” — Macknight.
How do you respond to persecution?
1Pe 4:15 TPT Let none of you merit suffering as a murderer, or thief, or criminal, or as one who meddles in the affairs of others.
Guzik: Suffering as an evildoer is deserved and brings shame to the name of Jesus. Peter recognizes that not all suffering that Christians experience is suffering in the name of Jesus.
We understand when Peter writes about the suffering that might come to the murderer, the thief, or the evildoer. Yet we shouldn’t be surprised that he also includes the busybody in other people’s matters. Such people do suffer a lot of grief and pain, but not for the sake of Jesus!
Benson: But let none of you — Who have the honour to bear the Christian name; suffer — By your own fault; suppose as a murderer, or as a thief &c. — At the time St. Peter wrote this epistle, the unbelieving Jews in Judea were extremely addicted to murder and robbery, and every kind of wickedness, as we learn from Josephus; for they robbed and killed, not only the heathen, but their own brethren, who would not join them in their opposition to the Romans. Hence the apostle judged it proper to caution the Christians, especially the Jewish Christians, in this manner, lest, being corrupted by such bad examples, they should be led to the commission of any such crimes. As the apostle is here cautioning them against those sins which, if they committed them, would expose them to punishment from the civil magistrate.
JFB: The second Greek, “as,” distinguishes the class “busybody in other men’s matters,” from the previous class of delinquents. Christians, from mistaken zeal, under the plea of faithfulness, might readily step out of their own calling and make themselves judges of the acts of unbelievers. Literally, “a bishop in what is (not his own, but) another’s” province; an allusion to the existing bishops or overseers of the Church; a self-constituted bishop in others’ concerns.
Barnes: Or as a busy-body in other men’s matters - The Greek word used here occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, properly, an inspector of strange things, or of the things of others… - one who busies himself with what does not concern him; that is, one who pries into the affairs of another; who attempts to control or direct them as if they were his own. In respect to the vice here condemned, see the notes at Php_2:4. Compare 2Th_3:11, and 1Ti_5:13.
Russell: Let none of you -- Not one, at any time, under any circumstances.
Suffer -- If suffering should come upon us justly for our faults, we should not glory in it, but rather be ashamed. Because of ungentleness, uncouthness, or lack of the wisdom of moderation, which the Lord's Word counsels.
As a murderer -- Brother-hater.
As an evildoer -- None of the Lord's people could willingly be evildoers; but through some weakness of the flesh or through a snare of the Adversary; evil deeds, even though unintentional, are to be guarded against carefully.
We might be misrepresented as evildoers, but that would not be suffering for evil-doing.
Or as a busybody -- Or a gossiper. One who busies himself in the affairs of others, with which he has properly nothing whatever to do. Picking motes out of another's eye and neglecting the beam in your own. (Mat_7:3-5) Contrary to the divine direction and the spirit of love; chances are that they will do spiritual injury to themselves as well as to others.
Mind your own affairs! If you get too busy watching others, the Adversary will take advantage of you; God neither authorized us to judge one another nor to exact justice from each other. God has never authorized his people to become inquisitors, investigators; it is a wholly mistaken idea that we are commissioned to set everybody else right. It betokens a great deal of pride to have such an idea.
The Lord's consecrated people are more inclined to be busy-bodies than are others. They have higher standards than others. There is then continually a temptation to advise and to seek to regulate everybody and everything. Whoever is a faultfinder and busybody in the affairs of the brethren is doing this against the flesh of Jesus. (Act_22:8)
One half of the suffering in the Church is because of busy-bodying in other men's affairs. Many bring upon themselves persecutions for being busybodies in other men's affairs. Our influence upon each other should be uplifting. We should not cause others to grieve.
Do you love your brethren?
Do you talk about them in a negative way?
1Pe 4:16 TPT If you suffer for being a Christian, don’t consider it a disgrace but a privilege. Glorify God because you carry the Anointed One’s name.
Guzik: If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed: Suffering as a Christian is nothing to be ashamed about, even though the world may despise the suffering Christian. Instead, we should glorify God in these matters.
We don’t glorify God for suffering. But we do glorify Him in suffering, and we glorify Him for what He will accomplish in us and through us with the suffering.
e. As a Christian: “The word Christian is found in the New Testament only here and at Act_11:26; Act_26:28; it means ‘follower of Christ’ - not ‘little Christ’, as some popular explanations claim.” (Grudem)
i. Christians were first known as “disciples,” “believers,” “the Lord’s disciples,” or “those who belonged to the Way” before they were known as Christians, first at Act_11:26.
Russell: Suffer -- For his adherence to the doctrines of Christ. Either for Christian principles or Christian doctrines
One of Satan's devices is to make unimportant things seem important and in this way to make people think that they are contending for righteousness sake and that the sufferings they bring on themselves in this manner are for righteousness sake.
As a Christian -- A Christian is a follower of Christ, one who has cast in his lot to suffer with Christ. All of our experiences are for correction in righteousness and for educational purposes.
Not be ashamed -- Not feel disgraced; if he suffer for truth's sake, for righteousness' sake. Being thankful that he has endured something for Christ's sake. Paul was not ashamed of his sufferings because he realized that they were endured for Christ's sake.
Let him glorify God -- Let him be thankful for the opportunity, for on all such rests the spirit of honor; and of God. Rejoicing that they are accounted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ, and remembering that even thus also it was with our Lord Jesus.
Do you count it a privilege to suffer for Christ?
Do you run away from suffering?
1Pe 4:17 TPT For the time is ripe for judgment to begin in God’s own household. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who refuse to obey the gospel of God?
Guzik: (1Pe_4:17-19) Committing your soul to God in the midst of suffering.
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God: In the context of suffering, Peter tells us that judgment begins at the house of God. God uses suffering as a judgment (in a positive, purifying sense) for Christians (the house of God) now.
i. Now is our time of fiery trial (1Pe_4:12); the ungodly will have their fire later. The fire we endure now purifies us; the fire the ungodly will endure will punish them.
ii. The same fire that consumes straw will purify gold. The fire is the same, but its purpose in application is different, and its effect is different upon the straw and the gold. Even so, Christians do suffer some of the same things the ungodly do, yet the purpose of God is different, and the effect is different.
b. If it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Peter’s sobering application is clear: if this is what God’s children experience, what will become of those who have made themselves His enemies? How can they ever hope to stand before the judgment and wrath of God?
Russell: Judgment -- Greek, krima; final decision, sentence. Testing, trial. This trial of the Church at its conclusion will demonstrate who are the Lord's elect. May be properly applied to the process of trial, or to the result of trial--the decision or verdict. In the former sense the judgment of the Church began over eighteen hundred years ago, and has been progressing ever since. But in the latter sense, it is due in the end of harvest of the Gospel age.
Must begin -- It began with the Head of the "house of God," Christ Jesus, who was tempted (tried) in all points like as we are. (Heb_2:18) This testing now going on separates the true and the false, the wheat and the tares in the nominal church. Necessarily it must begin with those who are highest up in that house as respects light, knowledge and privileges.
The house of God -- The consecrated; the Church; the Temple class; the sanctified; the enlightened. Applies especially to the real Church, but also has a bearing upon nominal systems. After the fall of Babylon as a great millstone, the great distress of nations will come.
Our anticipation is that the great conflict which will ultimately reach the whole world, and eventuate in the anarchy which will overthrow all law and order, will begin with the Church; the consecrated, the sanctified, the enlightened. God has been judging this class for more than eighteen hundred years, in order that they might not come into condemnation with the world. But in the end of the Gospel age, he is especially judging them.
Barnes: That judgment must begin - The word “judgment” here (κρίμα krima) seems to mean “the severe trial which would determine character.” It refers to such calamities as would settle the question whether there was any religion, or would test the value of that which was professed. It was to “begin” at the house of God, or be applied to the church first, in order that the nature and worth of religion might be seen. The reference is, doubtless, to some fearful calamity which would primarily fall on the “house of God;” that is, to some form of persecution which was to be let loose upon the church.
If you were put on trial for being a Christian—Would there be enough evidence to convict you?
1Pe 4:18 TPT And: If the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the wicked and godless?
If the righteous -- God has promised eternal life only to the righteous. The Apostle is not here referring to any class of people, but to a principle of the divine law.
Scarcely be saved -- Those who pass the judgment of this age and win the prize of the high calling, will scarcely, that is, with difficulty, be saved. It will require all their faith, and all their effort.
For the elect class the Lord will provide special protection, special warnings, special assistances.
Where -- What show would they have? If the divine law provided eternal life for only those who are absolutely perfect in God's sight, what chance would there be for any sinner condemned for many or few transgressions?
The ungodly -- Those who do not exercise faith and put forth all their effort will not be able to stand.
And the sinner -- They are "without God, having no hope in the world," (Eph_2:12) and still "children of wrath." (Eph_2:3)
Benson: And if the righteous scarcely be saved — Escape with the utmost difficulty. So the word μολις, rendered scarcely, signifies. That is, If it be not without much difficulty that the Christians are secured and preserved in those overflowing, devouring judgments which are coming on the Jewish nation; where shall the ungodly and the sinner — The impenitent and unbelieving, the obstinate and wicked part of the Jewish nation; appear? — That is, what will become of them?
1Pe 4:19 TPT So then, those who suffer for following God’s will should enfold their lives into the Creator, who will never fail them, and continue to always do what is right.
Guzik: Those who suffer according to the will of God: Peter again draws a distinction between those who suffer according to the will of God and those who suffer otherwise. Not all suffering is the will of God.
d. Commit their souls to Him: Commit is a technical word used for leaving money on deposit with a trusted friend. Such a trust was regarded as one of the most sacred things in life, and the friend was bound by all honor to return the money intact. It is the very word Jesus used when He said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit. (Luk_23:46)
i. So when Christians commit their souls to Him, they leave their souls (lives) in a safe place. God is a faithful Creator, and we can give ourselves to Him as pliable clay in His hands.
e. Faithful Creator: So much of the agony we put ourselves through in times of trial and suffering has to do with our disregard of God’s faithfulness, or of His place as Creator. He is our sovereign Creator, with the right to do with us as He pleases. Yet He is faithful, and will only do what is ultimately best for us.
Clarke: Suffer according to the will of God - A man suffers according to the will of God who suffers for righteousness’ sake; and who, being reviled, reviles not again.
Commit the keeping of their souls - Place their lives confidently in his hand, who, being their Creator, will also be their preserver, and keep that safely which is committed to his trust. God is here represented as faithful, because He will always fulfill His promises, and withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly.
But they had no reason to hope that he would care for their lives and souls unless they continued in well-doing. He who is employed in God’s work will have God’s protection. The path of duty ever was, and ever will be, the only way of safety.
Do you commit your life (soul) to God?
Do you trust that He is the Faithful Creator?