Christ having suffered so much for us, should cause us to fortify ourselves with His mind, courage and resolution, living no longer to the flesh but being conformed to the holy will of God, as those who must give account any day at His appearing. We should rejoice to suffer with Christ for righteousness’ sake, knowing that if we are in His hands our suffering will promote the Gospel and prepare us for glory.
I Peter 4
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 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.
3 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:
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6 For 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.
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
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.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 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.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; 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.
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.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
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.
I Peter 4:1 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:2-3 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:4-5 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:6-7 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:8-11 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:12 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:13 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:14-17 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:18 – J. Vernon McGee
I Peter 4:19 – J. Vernon McGee
1 Peter 4:1-11 – The New Life in Christ
The Apostle urges the disciples to make a clean break with sin. As our Lord’s grave lay between Him and His earlier life, so there should be a clean break between our life as believers and the earth-bound life, which was dominated by lawless passions. Sometimes God employs the acid of persecution or suffering to eat away the bonds that bind us to our past. Let us accept these with a willing mind. The one condition of reigning with the enthroned Christ is to submit to His cross. Of course, we must die to animal instinct, to the blandishments of the world, and to the temptations of the evil one; but it is quite as important to die to our self-life, whether it be clothed in white or black!
We are summoned to a life of prayer. But in order to promote fervency in prayer we must be sober-minded and self-controlled, I Peter 4:7; loving, I Peter 4:8; and faithful to our stewardship of all God’s entrusted gifts, I Peter 4:10. Let us cultivate the invariable habit of looking up from our service, of whatever kind, to claim the ability to do it for the glory of God, I Peter 4:11. —Through the Bible Day by Day
I Peter 4:1—Arm yourselves with the same mind.
The Church was redeemed in a baptism of pain for her members to suffer, and by suffering to overcome the world, is to fulfill the forecast which Jesus gave when He said (John 16:33), “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Arm yourselves with this mind; put on this thought, this resolution, this purpose; determine that suffering at least shall never daunt you.
The reason for donning this armor.—Here we have no continuing city. In the death of Jesus we suffered in the flesh, and ceased from our connection with the world which cast Him out: and, as suffering is meted out to us, we become increasingly convinced that we can have no fellowship with its sins. The pain which the world allots to the followers of Jesus widens the chasm between them and it, pulls down the old nests in which their affections once built, and makes them more determined than ever to follow their Lord.
The choice which this armor involves.—No more the lusts of men, but the will of God. Never again to work the desire of the Gentiles, but to live according to God. Not henceforth to bow before the bondage of evil habit, but with erect and upright gaze to behold the face of Christ—such is the choice. Will you not now make it at this solemn moment, as you stand on this watershed between the two continents—here of the morning, there of the midnight? Follow the King, cost what it may.
The nature of the armor.—It is the armor of Light: in which Christ’s nature was encased, and on which all the shafts of man and devil broke into splinters. No weapon that was ever manufactured can prevail against its heavenly temper. —Our Daily Homily
1 Peter 4:6 – Take care of your life: the Lord will take care of your death. (F. Whitfield)
1 Peter 4:7 – Prayer is the chalice in which we fetch the water from the rock. It is the ladder on which we climb up to pick the grapes hanging over the wall of heaven. It is the fire that warms the frigid soul. It is the ship that carries away our wants, and comes back with a return cargo of Divine help. Archimedes said, if he could only find a fulcrum for his lever, he could move the world. Ah! we have found it! Prayer is the lever. The divine promise is the fulcrum. Pushing down on such a lever, we move not only earth, but
also heaven. (Talmage)
1 Peter 4:7 – Prayer is the conduit-pipe between my soul and heaven. It is the outlet upward for gratitude, and yearning desires for blessing; it is the inlet through which the supplies of grace pour downward into the heart. (Cuyler)
1 Peter 4:10 – Each of God’s saints is sent into the world to prove some part of the divine character. Perhaps I may be one of those who shall live in the valley of ease, having much rest, and hearing sweet birds of promise singing in my ears. The air is calm and balmy, the sheep are feeding round about me, and all is still and quiet. Well, then, I shall prove the love of God in sweet communings. Or perhaps I may be called to stand where the thunderclouds brew, where the lightnings play, and tempestuous winds are howling on the mountain-top. Well, then, I am born to prove the power and majesty of our God: amid dangers He will inspire me with courage; amid toils He will make me strong. Perhaps it shall be mine to preserve an unblemished character, and so prove the power of sanctifying grace in not being allowed to backslide from my professed dedication to God. I shall then be a proof of the omnipotent power of grace, which alone can save from the power as well as the guilt of sin. (Spurgeon)
1 Peter 4:12-19 – Suffering as a Christian
We are called upon to share our Savior’s sufferings—not those of His substitution, but His daily self-denial, the hatred of men, the anguish of His soul over the obstinacy and opposition of the world. The soldier who is nearest his leader, charging through the mêlée of the fight, is likely to get the same treatment as is meted out to his prince. It is not strange! It would be strange if it were not so, and if the traits in us that characterize our Lord did not win the same hatred as they won for Him.
The salvation of the righteous is a task of enormous difficulty. It requires the dead-lift of Omnipotence. Nothing less will suffice than the infinite grace of the Father, the blood of the Son, and the patience of the Holy Spirit. What will be the fate of those who refuse these! Will they appear at the marriage-supper of the Lamb; and if not–where! What a beautiful closing verse! The committal of the soul, not only to the Savior, but to the Creator. After all, He who made can best understand, adjust and satisfy the nature which He Himself has given! —Through the Bible Day by Day
1 Peter 4:13 – Christ and His cross are not separable in this life, howbeit Christ and His cross part at heaven’s door; for there is no house-room for crosses in heaven. One tear, one sigh, one sad heart, one loss, one thought of trouble, cannot find lodging there. They are but the marks of our Lord Jesus down in this wide inn and stormy country on this side death. Sorrow and the saints are not married together; or, suppose it were so, heaven would make a divorce. (Rutherford)