Contact: David Parham 940-322-4343

Website: Internet Bible Studies

I Peter Menu

















Ball23A0.gif (3556 bytes)


I Peter Chapter 4

Memory verses for this week:  Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Introduction:  In Chapter 3, Peter gave advice for both men and women as to how to interact with one another and advice regarding spouses that do not know the Lord.  He also warned us that we may have to suffer for well doing, but if so be, we will be rewarded by the Lord.  We continue on that topic in Chapter 4.


I.  Suffering in the Flesh for Christ

1 Pet 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;

1 Pet 4:2  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.

The memory of the sufferings of Christ should strengthen the believer when he has to suffer for Christ.   If we stand up and make our lives count for God, you can be sure that we will suffer some for the cause of Christ.  Paul warned young Timothy to not be surprised when persecution comes.

2 Tim 3:10  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

2 Tim 3:11  Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

2 Tim 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

If we suffer, that is a good indication that we are living a separated life and Satan is battling against us.   The person who has been saved is to live according to the will of God and not in the lust of the flesh.   When we are saved, God wants us to live for him.  Two reasons he wants us to live Godly separated lives are:

1.    Our Body becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost once we are saved, and we are not our own.

1 Cor 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

1 Cor 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

2.  We are to be the salt and light of the world.

Mat 5:13  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


1 Pet 4:3  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:

1 Pet 4:4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

Peter points out that some of those to whom he was addressing had in their unsaved days wrought the will of Gentiles in walking lasciviousness, lusts, drinking wine, etc.   In these days, the Jews had a very poor opinion of the Gentiles, and lumped all that were Gentiles into a group that were wicked and away from God.  Thank the Lord that today both the Jews and the Gentiles are given equal opportunity to be saved by turning to Jesus Christ.  The Jews, after the flesh, sought favor with their pagan Gentile neighbors by participating in these evil things.   This was much the way Israel had failed at Baal-Peor.

Num 25:1  And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

Num 25:2  And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

Num 25:3  And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Num 25:4  And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.

Num 25:5  And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

Since those Jews had been saved, there was a difference in them.  Now they had been converted and were walking in newness of life.  Their former companions  could not seem to understand this sudden change.   If you remember when you were saved, I’m sure you know how others could not believe you now wanted to do things differently.  The drive to be part of the world suddenly was so important, whereas to live to honor God and to seek His will was the main focus of your life.  These Gentiles spoke evil of these who had changed.  When we are saved, the world does not understand us.  We become a new creature in Christ.

2 Cor 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Albert Barnes in his commentary said this about verse 4.

Wherein they think it strange—In respect to which vices, they who were once your partners and accomplices now think it strange that you no longer unite with them. They do not understand the reasons why you have left them. They regard you as abandoning a course of life which has much to attract and to make life merry, for a severe and gloomy superstition. This is a true account of the feelings which the people of the world have when their companions and friends leave them and become Christians. It is to them a strange and unaccountable thing, that they give up the pleasures of the world for a course of life which to them seems to promise anything but happiness. Even the kindred of the Saviour regarded him as” beside himself,” Mark 3:21, and Festus supposed that Paul was mad, Acts 26:24. There is almost nothing which the people of the world so little comprehend as the reasons which influence those with ample means of worldly enjoyment to leave the circles of gaiety and vanity, and to give themselves to the serious employments of religion. The epithets of fool, enthusiast, fanatic, are terms which frequently occur to the heart to denote this, if they are not always allowed to escape from the lips. The reasons why they esteem this so strange, are something like the following:

(1) They do not appreciate the motives which influence those who leave them. They feel that it is proper to enjoy the world, and to make life cheerful, and they do not understand what it is to act under a deep sense of responsibility to God, and with reference to eternity. They live for themselves. They seek happiness as the end and aim of life. They have never been accustomed to direct the mind onward to another world, and to the account which they must soon render at the bar of God. Unaccustomed to act from any higher motives than those which pertain to the present world, they cannot appreciate the conduct of those who begin to live and act for eternity.

(2) they do not yet see the guilt and folly of sinful pleasures. They are not convinced of the deep sinfulness of the human soul, and they think it strange that ethers should abandon a course of life which seems to them so innocent. They do not see why those who have been so long accustomed to these indulgences should have changed their opinions, and why they now regard those things as sinful which they once considered to be harmless.

(3) they do not see the force of the argument for religion. Not having the views of the unspeakable importance of religious truth and duty which Christians now have, they wonder that they should break off from the course of life which they formerly pursued, and separate from the mass of their fellow-men. Hence, they sometimes regard the conduct of Christians as amiable weakness; sometimes as superstition; sometimes as sheer folly; sometimes as madness; and sometimes as sourness and misanthropy.

1 Pet 4:5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

1 Pet 4:6  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.

Peter tells them that these Jews were to live as those who shall give an account not to man, but to Christ who will judge the living and dead.  Those who had gone on before these Christians also had the gospel preached unto them that they might learn to live according to God in the spirit.  We should clarify that they did not have the gospel preached to them after they were dead, but while they were alive her on earth.

II.  The End of All Things is at Hand

1 Pet 4:7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

When speaking of the end of all things, there are many things involved.   Jesus spoke of the coming unto the end.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Mat 24:17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Mat 24:18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Mat 24:19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

After the gospel is preached, then comes the end…that means the end of this current present age.   If you read the rest of Matthew 24, you see many of the changes.  Once the church is taken out and the gospel is not preached by God’s true church any longer, things change.  There is little doubt that Peter was speaking about the end of the present dispensation in which we live coming to a close.

Mat 24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

Mat 24:23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mat 24:25  Behold, I have told you before.

Mat 24:26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Pet 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

1 Pet 4:9  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

Peter gives some excellent advice in these verses.  He says to be sober and watch unto prayer in verse 7.  In verse 8, he tells them to have fervent charity.  And to use hospitality in verse 9.   All things that we should constantly do.   Christians should be known as people of love.

1 Pet 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.

1 Pet 4:11  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.

A good steward is held accountable to fulfill faithfully the trust committed to him by his master.  Each man who ministers is to minister according to the ability given by God.   As God reveals to him, he is to speak.   A pastor (and teachers) all have to be careful that it is God filling their mouths.  Satan likes nothing better than to have a false message or error taught or preached.  But when we desire to be led by the Holy Spirit and wholly give ourselves over to Him, God will direct us and keep us on the straight and narrow path.  When we teach and preach truth, we truly do bring honor and glory to God.

III.  Suffering As a Christian

1 Pet 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1 Pet 4:13  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.

We are not to think it strange when we have to suffer for Christ.    Jesus said that “In the world, ye shall have tribulations.”  And we know that we as servants are not greater than our Lord.   If he suffered, then we as followers can expect to suffer also.

John 16:33   These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 

The apostles counted it joy to suffer for Jesus’ sake.  How about us?   Would we be so thankful if we were beaten or imprisoned.  It would surely take God’s Grace for us to do so.

Acts 5:41   And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 

J. Vernon McGee said this about verse 12.

“Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try [test] you.” When suffering comes most of us react as if it were something strange—we feel that nobody else has ever suffered like we have suffered. When I was a pastor in Cleburne, Texas, I went one day to a home on one side of the railroad tracks to visit a family in which there had just been a suicide. I went there to minister the Word to them. They said to me, “Dr. McGee, why in the world did this happen to us? No one has ever been called upon to suffer as we are suffering.” When I left their home I crossed over to the “wrong side of the railroad tracks” to visit another family. They too had just had a suicide in the family. Do you know what they said to me? “Dr. McGee, why should this happen to us? No one has ever been called upon to go through anything like this.” We all tend to think that our suffering is strange, that it is unlike anything that has been suffered before.

My friend, I do not know what your problem is, but I assure you that it is not something strange. Others have gone through the same thing, and you will never be the one who will suffer more than anyone else. When Paul was chosen as an apostle, the Lord said, “… I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). Paul has gone the limit of suffering; therefore you will not be going the limit, and you should not consider your suffering a strange thing. All of us fall into this fallacy in our thinking. I know that I could not believe it when the doctor told me that I had cancer. I thought you could have cancer, but I never thought I could have cancer. I thought that cancer was something for somebody else but not for me.

“The fiery trial which is to try [test] you” should be “which is testing you”—that is, it was going on right then—“as though some strange thing was happening unto you.” These believers were already being tested by suffering. Suffering is not something which is accidental; it is the normal Christian experience. Peter says, “Don’t think it’s strange, because this is the normal experience of believers.”

“Fiery trial” is literally smelted in a furnace. David spoke of the fact that God’s testing of him was like putting silver into a furnace to purify it. We find this thought throughout all of Scripture. Peter has now mentioned this fiery trial several times. He had personally endured suffering, and he was yet to die a martyr’s death by crucifixion.  [1]

Adam Clarke in his commentary had these things to say about the fiery trial we will face.

Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial—Ðõñùóåé· The burning. The
metaphor is old, but noble; it represents the Christians at Pontus as having fire
cast upon them for the trying of their faith, as gold is tried by fire, 1 Peter 1:7, to
which the apostle alludes.

St. Peter returns here to what he had often touched upon in this epistle, namely,
to exhort the Christians to behave with patience and integrity under their present
severe persecution; to which purpose he uses the following arguments:—

First, He intimates that it was not a strange or unusual thing for the people of
God to be persecuted.

Secondly, That if they suffered here as Christ did, they should hereafter be
glorified with him.

Thirdly, Besides the prospect of that future glory; they had at present the Spirit
of God for their support and comfort.

Fourthly, That it was an honor for any of them to suffer, not as a malefactor,
but as a Christian.

Fifthly, Though the afflictions began with the Christians, yet the weight of the
storm would fall upon the unbelievers. From these considerations he
exhorted them to persevere in their duty, and trust all events with God.


1 Pet 4:14  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.

1 Pet 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.

No one should suffer for being a busybody in other men’s matters, but  I am afraid this happens today.   The bible says we should learn to be quiet and to mind our own business.  Sounds easy, but I promise you it is tough.   Just like in a marriage, it is much easier to see the faults of the other person rather than see our own.  But we should learn to examine ourselves, and be less critical of others.

1 Th 4:11  And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

1 Th 4:12  That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

1 Pet 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

1 Pet 4:17  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?

If we suffer, we certainly should suffer as a Christian.  The name Christian is not found very often in the New Testament.  It was a label placed first on the believers there in Antioch.   It points to the fact that we are those who belong to Christ.   A Christian is one who is born again, a saved child of God.  I don’t know about you, but I am proud to be a Christian.   We are the only religion on earth today that truly serves a LIVING GOD and SAVIOR.   Christ died once, but unlike other prophets or religious martyrs, Jesus rose from the grave.

Acts 11:26  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. 


Acts 26:28  Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

Acts 26:29  And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

From the comment of King Agrippa, I think we can be assured that the apostles were known as Christians.

1 Pet 4:18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

1 Pet 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.

Peter tells us that the time is coming that judgment must begin at the house of God.  Paul told the Corinthians that if they would judge themselves, they would have be judged of the Lord.  Holds true to us today.  But that means walking righteously before God where we do not need to be judged.

1 Cor 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

1 Cor 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

I am afraid the answer to the question in verse 18 is that the ungodly and sinner will not appear.   If we live and act like the world, why would the sinner desire to be like us.   But if we live like God wants us to, there is a glow about a Christian.  There is something that makes you want to be around that person.   They are at peace with themselves and not judgmental, because they are at peace with God.

If God judges  the Christian who is not obedient, what shall happen to those who obey not the gospel of Christ.  Unfortunately, the bible is clear.  Those who do not find Jesus as Lord and Savior are separated eternally from God, and abide in the flames of hell.


Luke 16:19  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

Luke 16:20  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Luke 16:21  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Luke 16:22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Luke 16:23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luke 16:24  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Luke 16:25  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Luke 16:26  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Don’t let anyone tell you this account is a parable.  God does not use people’s names when it is a parable.  This was a real account of a man named Lazarus and a rich man who was unnamed for some reason. 


Verse 19 says we are to commit our souls to God in well doing.  Paul was persuaded that God was able to keep that which he had committed unto Him.  I too have that same assurance.

2 Tim 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.


Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


e-mail at:



Practice Random Acts of Kindness.  Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.