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Bible Commentaries
1 Peter 4

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-19

Chapter 4

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us ( 1 Peter 4:1 )

That is, has gone to the cross.

in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered ( 1 Peter 4:1 )

Or come to the cross as far as His flesh is concerned.

hath ceased from sin ( 1 Peter 4:1 );

Now this is the same rationale that Paul had in Romans chapter six. As far as baptism is concerned, as far as my old man being crucified with Christ, dead, buried in the water of baptism; as I come up it's the resurrection, it's the new life in the Spirit. And they who are really living the new life in the Spirit have ceased from sin. Paul said, "How are we, who are dead to sin, going to live any longer therein" ( Romans 6:2 ). John tells us in his epistle, and we'll be getting that a couple of weeks, that "whosoever is born of God does not practice sin" ( 1 John 3:9 ), because we have God's seed now in us. We've been born again by the Spirit of God and we cannot practice sin.

Now if you are living a life of practicing sin, then you have better take inventory. The Bible says, "He that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" ( 1 Corinthians 10:12 ). "There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death" ( Proverbs 14:12 ). Whosoever is born of God does not practice sin. We've been born of a new nature, not a sinful nature anymore. You can't lay it on the past, the old nature, because that nature died. And whosoever then has come to the cross has suffered and that is, co-crucifixion with Jesus. "I am crucified with Christ" ( Galatians 2:20 ). Is then dead to the old life of sin. The flesh hath ceased from sin.

That he no longer should live the rest of his life in the flesh following the lusts of men, but he is to live now to fulfill the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the heathen, when we walked in lasciviousness, and lusts, in the excess of wine, in revellings, in banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange now that you do not run with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you ( 1 Peter 4:2-4 ):

So it used to be that we lived the unbridled life of the flesh; a life of lasciviousness and unbridled lust, revellings, the excess of wine, banquetings, abominable idolatries. A good description of the world scene. And those that are in the world think it's strange that you don't do it anymore. What do you do for fun now, man? You ever had them ask you that? You know, what do you do for fun? You know, you don't get bombed out of your head and make a fool of yourself. So what do you do for fun? And they say, "Ah man, he's got religion, you know, he's no fun anymore." They speak evil of you. But they are going to have to give an account to God themselves. Every man must appear before God, give an account.

They're going to have to account for their lies before the One who will judge both the living and the dead. It's an awesome thing to realize that one day each man will stand before God to be judged. And those that have lived a life of riotousness, lasciviousness, are one day going to have to answer to God for a totally wasted life. What did you do with your life? And they've taken God's precious gift, the gift of life, and they've wasted it. Wasted it upon themselves, upon their own lust, their own desires.

For this cause was the gospel preached also to those that are already dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer ( 1 Peter 4:6-7 ).

The church has always lived in the consciousness that we are in the last days. And in a sense, that is always true. Every generation is the last days. I'm living in my last days, you know, I'm going to go. If the Lord doesn't come to take the church, it's going to be the last days for me one of these days. You know, who knows? Twenty, thirty, five years from now? Last days.

You know, our days are all limited. When I was a young person it seemed like, you know, life was forever; but now you begin to number your days because you want to use what time you have to the best advantage for the kingdom of God. So that's basically what Peter is saying. He's getting older now and he is coming from a more matured view. The end of all things is at hand. And it was for Peter, not long after this, he was beheaded by Nero. "Be therefore sober, watching and praying."

And above all things have fervent love among yourselves ( 1 Peter 4:8 ):

Among the body of Christ there should be a fervent love.

for love covers a multitude of sins ( 1 Peter 4:8 ).

How true that is. How many things we can just overlook if we love hard enough. How many things we don't see because we love, and how many things we can see when we hate. I mean, we watch like eagles. And every little thing we're ready to pounce on. But love fervently in the body of Christ.

Be hospitable one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God ( 1 Peter 4:9-10 ).

Now God has given to each of us gifts, and interestingly enough, there was a gift of hospitality. And there are some people who have that gift of hospitality and they make marvelous hosts and hostesses. You know, they can just have anybody in and they just have that gift of hospitality. Others don't have the gift of hospitality and it's a strain whenever people come over; they get tense, they get nervous. And if you ever seen the person with the gift of hospitality; hey, they don't worry about what they're serving, nothing bother them. They don't have to be perfect, just lay it out on the table. Everybody grab what you want, you know, and you'll feel comfortable. But those that don't have the gift, you go there and you feel strain, you know. I want to make sure you'll eat proper and spill in my shirt, you know, and you only take one of the little hors d'oeuvres and you know. And you always feel under pressure.

But we each of us have various gifts. Use your gifts for the whole body's sake, that the body might be benefited by the gifts that God has given to you, being good stewards of that which God has entrusted to you. God has given to each of us, entrusted to us gifts, abilities, talents. Now I want to be a good steward of that which God has given to me. I want to use it, use it well. It's been entrusted to me and I'm responsible.

And if any man speaks, let him speak as the oracle of God ( 1 Peter 4:11 );

Or as a spokesman for God.

if any man ministers [that is, serves], let him do it with the ability which God gives to him ( 1 Peter 4:11 ):

That's so important, you know. You can't be more than what God has enabled you to be. So just do it with the ability that God gives you and then don't worry about it. You've got to learn to just do our best and then just commit the rest. Now this is hard for a person who is a perfectionist. They do their best and then they worry about the rest. Why didn't I say this? Why didn't I do that? Oh, did I do the right thing? Oh, you know. And they're constantly worried about what they have done. Hey, was it your best? Oh my, yes you know. So, let it go. God doesn't require more than your best. So "whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all to the glory of God" ( 1 Corinthians 10:31 ). So "if you speak, speak as a spokesman for God. If you minister, do it with the ability God gives."

that God in all things may be glorified ( 1 Peter 4:11 )

You see, it isn't to bring glory to you. As we minister, we need to minister to bring glory to God.

through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Now beloved, don't think it's strange concerning the fiery trials which are going to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you ( 1 Peter 4:11-12 ):

Boy, one of the weirdest things happened to me the other day. I went through one of the worst trials. Hey, no, no, no; it's not strange the fact that your faith is going to be tried.

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

Jesus is coming again to be revealed in glory before the world and those that are His will, He bring with Him at His coming. Great gladness and joy, exceeding joy in that day when we come with Jesus to establish God's kingdom upon the earth. And so rejoice that we were able to suffer with Him that we might reign with Him.

If you're reproached for the name of Christ, oh, how blessed you are; for the spirit of glory and of God is resting upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 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 4:14-15 ).

In other words, there are things that you are blessed for suffering for, and there are things that you're not so blessed if you suffer for them. If you're a thief and you're caught and you, you know, get sent to jail, it's no big glory in that.

Yet if any man suffers as a Christian ( 1 Peter 4:16 ),

Jesus said, Persecuted for my sake and the gospel's.

let him not be ashamed; let him glorify God on this behalf ( 1 Peter 4:16 ).

And of course, in those days many of them were put in prison for being Christians. Now if you're put in prison because you're a murderer, no big glory. But if you're put into prison because you're a Christian, then you know, rejoice; that's great, that's good. Now if you were arrested for being a Christian, could they find enough evidence to convict you? Something to think about.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it begins with us, what shall the end be to those that obey not the gospel ( 1 Peter 4:17 )?

I mean, if God is going to judge the believer, what about those who don't even believe?

And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear? 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 ( 1 Peter 4:18-19 ).

Now this suffering, of course, is going back, the whole context is suffering persecution because you're a child of God. And if you suffer persecution because you're a child of God, then just commit your life to God, the keeping of your souls to God. He's a faithful Creator. And you've got to just learn to just commit yourself.

Chapter 5 "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Peter 4". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-peter-4.html. 2014.
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