1Pe_4:1. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:
Accepting this great truth, that it is well that the flesh should die that the spirit may triumph, even as it was with Christ.
1Pe_4:1. For he that bath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
If he has indeed died with Christ, and the power of Christ’s sufferings has made him dead to sin, he has ceased from it.
1Pe_4:2-4. 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 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: wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
For the very thing in which they ought to speak well of you, men will speak evil of you. If you will not drink as they do, if you will not follow after sinful pleasures as they do, if you will not sing their songs, or use their language, then straightway they will hate you, and call you a hypocrite. It is a pity that, if we are not willing to go into sin as they do, they should for that reason speak ill of us; yet this is what we must expect.
1Pe_4:5. Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
There will be a day, when those who are alive at the coming of Christ will be judged; and those who were dead long before that time will not escape the judgment, for they shall be raised from their graves to appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
1Pe_4:6. 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.
Men who heard the gospel, and believed it, are now dead; they have undergone the sentence of death like other men; but, still, they are living “according to God in the spirit.”
1Pe_4:7. But the end of all things is at hand:
We are never told the exact date of the times or seasons which are yet to come; it is the evident aim of the Holy Spirit to keep us on the tip-toe of expectation. We are always to be as men whose Lord may come at any minute of the day or night: “the end of all things is at hand: “ —
1Pe_4:7. Be ye therefore sober,
Do not get intoxicated with anything, neither with pride, nor with covetousness, nor with the cares of this world. Maintain your equilibrium; stand steadfast and firm: “Be ye therefore sober,” —
1Pe_4:7-8. And watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:
For, when Christ comes, he will know you as his disciples if you love one another; but if there be an absence of Christian affection when he comes, he will say at once that you have missed the main mark of discipleship.
1Pe_4:8. for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Not your own sins, but the sins of your friends, so that you will not see them. Where love is thin, there faults are always thick. Wherever there is true love in the heart, we make many apologies and allowances for the weaknesses and infirmities of our friends. Often, we cannot see the faults in them; and when we know they are there, we go backward, like the godly sons of Noah, and cover the nakedness upon which we will not think of looking, “for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
1Pe_4:9. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
Whenever saints of God traveled in those days, there were few public inns available for their accommodation, so they stayed with brethren in Christ as they went on their way.
1Pe_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.
God’s grace takes many shapes, it is manifold; and he gives to one brother one form of grace, and to another quite a different form; and, to a third, yet another form of his blessing. now, as nations increase their wealth by mutual commerce, so do Christian men increase their grace by a sweet fellowship in the good things with which God has entrusted them.
1Pe_4:11. If any man speak —
Let him speak thoroughly well; but, in order that he may do so, what shall be his model?
1Pe_4:11. Let him speak as the oracles of God/
As truthful]y, carefully, solemnly, as the Book itself speaks: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.”
1Pe_4:11. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth.
“If any man minister,” or serve, — if he is called to serve the church in any capacity, — “ let him do it as of the ability which God giveth.”
1Pe_4:11. that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Note how Peter has the same spirit in him as that which burned in the breast of Paul, for he stops in the middle of a letter, lays down his pen, and lifts up his heart to God in an adoring strain of thanksgiving: “to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
1Pe_4:12. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
In Peter’s day, the Christians were called, not only to what might he metaphorically termed, “the fiery trial,” but they had literally to suffer thus for Christ’s sake. Nero had multitudes of Christians brought to his gardens, and tied to stakes, that he might light up his midnight revelries by the burning of these godly men and women smeared with pitch. they had to bear even that fiery trial for the name of Christ. Many periods of martyrdom have passed since then, in which the saints of God have willingly died rather than deny their Lord. We have fallen upon comparatively silken times; a jest, a slander, a calumnious observation, — these are the only weapons with which our enemies can smite most of us.
1Pe_4:13-14. 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. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; did not your Saviour say, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”
So, be glad about it.
1Pe_4:14. 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.
Whenever they speak against you that which is not true, they think that they shall slander the name of God by slandering you; but they do no such thing. As far as they are concerned, God is evil spoken of; but, then, that is all you could have expected from such people. “But on your part” — and that is the thing you have to look to, — “on your part he is glorified.”
1Pe_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.
A curious mixture that, — is it not? A murderer is classed with “a busybody in other men’s matters.” But, really, people of this latter sort are very obnoxious. there are some who seem as if they cannot mind their own business; I have heard that it is for two reasons; first, because they have not any business to mind, and, secondly, they have no mind at all with which to mind their business. But these very people think they can mind other people’s business; and the more is the pity. See how strongly Peter condemns them, and asks that none of those to whom he writes may have to suffer because of such wrongdoing.
1Pe_4:16-17. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf for the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God :-
Trial and testing must begin there; we must not expect to have our religion taken for granted, and ourselves to be saved simply upon our own warranty. We must be tried: “the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed? “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:” —
1Pe_4:17. And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
If the wheat is winnowed, what is to become of the chaff? If God casts even the gold into the fire, what is to become of the dross? If that which is really valuable yet has to be tested, what is to be done with the mire and the clay? Oh, that all who have no part or lot with Christ would consider this solemn truth:
1Pe_4:18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, —
If they be saved with difficulty, —
1Pe_4:18. Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
If even men who live godly lives are often hard put to it to know whether they shall be saved or not, — if they raise the question again and again with a terrible seriousness, “where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
1Pe_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.
The whole run of the chapter is that we are to prefer any suffering of the flesh to the sin of the spirit; and we are to be prepared to endure whatever trial or pain may come upon us for Christ’s sake, and to hear it joyfully, rather than to seek the pleasures of sin, and to be plunged under the waves of the wrath of God. May he give us the grace thus to glorify him, for Christ’s sake! Amen.