1 Peter 4

1. Jesus suffered in His body [on the cross] and you must equip yourself with the same kind of thinking that He had, [because when we come to the cross] we are finished with sin.

Bible teachers have many ideas about this verse. It would be wrong to say that we need to be like Jesus and suffer, and stop sinning -because Jesus never sinned. One way to understand this verse is to say that in the same way that Jesus allowed His body to suffer on the cross, we show that we are dead to sin when we come to the cross.

Sometimes we suffer in our spirit and our flesh but Peter is writing to people who are being thrown to the lions, and nailed to crosses and burned as human torches. Peter is encouraging them to be like Christ by being willing to suffer and show the world that they are finished [like a dead man] with all the evil that the world can offer them.

We take up our cross and so we should expect suffering. We do not get to choose the way that we will suffer. Matthew 16:24

2. The man who lives this way will stop spending his life on earth being led by what his body wants, but in doing the will of God.

This is the example of Christ. The greater the suffering in this world, the greater the glory in heaven

3.You have already had enough of your past life, being controlled by the world while wandering after immorality, drunkenness, and worshiping false gods

The will of the Gentiles means the control of the Gentiles. The word for wandering here shows us that we were like a weathervane blown around by the wind and pointing in many different directions.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you . But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 9:9 – 11

4 – 5

Your old friends think it is very strange that you do not join them in the things you used to do together, so they speak against you. They are the ones who will have to answer for what they have done before the One who will judge all men -living or dead.

Christian speak a different language than the world and they think our language is very strange. We need to have mercy on them and use words that will help them understand the Gospel.

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge interesting. Proverbs 15:1

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. Matthew 12:36

6. That is why the Gospel is preached to men who are spiritually dead because their flesh condemns them for the life they are living so that they might find life according to the Spirit.

Receiving in their bodies that which they brought o nto themselves. Romans 1:27

We had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 2 Corinthians 1:9

7. We are in the last days and you should be you should make good decisions and be serious in prayer.

Luke 18:1 – 5 tells the story of a judge who gave a woman her request because she would not give up. We need to confess that sometimes our minds are not focused when we are praying. We can see that when we have a big problem we become very serious in prayer.

O LORD, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer,

for it comes from the heart. Psalm 17:1

8. More than anything else, be sure that you really love each other -remember how love can cover many sins.

The word used for “really love” means stretched out but not to the breaking point. It is bad enough when the world accuses us, so let us not accuse other. True love does not hold someone's sins against them -in fact, this is a glory to us!

It is wise to be slow to anger, and it is a glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

9. Have hospitality without complaining about it.

It is a privilege to be in the ministry, do not complain about the things that come with it.

But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” Luke 10:40

10. Serve each other with the specific gifts God has given each of you so that you can show the many sides of God's grace.

The word for gift here is the same in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 which means that it is speaking of the specific gift which God has given to you.

Paul shows us in 1 Corinthians 12 12:14 that there are many different parts to the body and that they all are needed. When God shows you that He has given you a specific gift do not use it in the wrong way. Use your gift to show God's grace and power for living. The original wording here means: many-sided.

11. If anyone of you speaks, then he should speak God's message. If anyone serves let him serve with the strength that God provides, So that God may be glorified in everything through Jesus. To Him belongs the glory and power forever. Amen!

If you are teaching the Bible do not use your own ideas. Make sure there is a Scripture to back up everything you say. If you are a good speaker, be careful that you are not speaking in your own strength.

12. Dear ones, do not be amazed at the fiery trials which have come on you to test your faith, as if this were something strange.

By this time, Paul had been killed by Nero and Christians were being blamed for the burning of Rome. Peter is saying, "Do not let these things shake you. Expect it."

The devil is always suggesting that it is strange for a Christian to have trouble. He is saying that God cannot be trusted. See also 1 Timothy 4:1, Genesis 3:1 – 5.

When interruptions come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2

For you, O God, have tested us; You have tried us as silver is tried. Psalm 66:10

13. But keep on being filled with joy, because it means that you are sharing in Christ's sufferings. When he shows Himself again in full glory you will be completely full of joy.

Do not let this pain be wasted!

When Daniels three friends were thrown into the fiery furnace -people saw Christ. Daniel 3:19 – 30

14. If you are treated badly for following Christ you are blessed because the glory of God Spirit is resting on you.

When we are treated badly, the Spirit of God rests on us with refreshing power

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim. Proverbs 26:2

15 – 16

Be careful that none of you suffers as a murderer or a thief or an evil doer or troublemaker. But if you suffer as a Christian, you have nothing to be ashamed of, and you bring glory to God by confessing the name of Jesus.

Romans would write the name of Christ on the ground and tell the Christians to spit on it. If they refused, they would be arrested.

If the world hates you, remember that it hated Me first. John 15:18

17. The time has come for the decree to begin, it has started with the house of God. If it starts with us, what is the end for those who refuse to obey the Gospel?

Some teachers say that God is judging His house of Christians on the earth. Jesus took our judgment on the cross.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgmen t, but has passed from death to life. John 5:24

Another way of looking at this verse is to say that Peter is warning his readers that Nero has made a decree against Christians. Peter is saying that if Christians are going to suffer, just think how bad the suffering will be for those who do not know God.

18. As the Scripture says, “If a good man has trouble but is saved by God's grace, what will happen to the wicked and the sinner?”

Peter is quoting Proverbs 11 using the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Some teachers say, "If a good man is scarcely saved by God's grace." We are not scarcely sa saved me. We are completely saved from sin and death and hell.

If the righteous will be repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and sinful. Proverbs 11:31

19. Those who suffer according to God's will can safely trust their souls to their Creator and go on doing all the good that they can.

The wording for "trust your souls” means something like when we deposit things that are valuable in the bank.