Peter Chapter 4
Memory verses for this week:
6:33 But seek ye first
the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things
shall be added unto you.
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.
Suffering in the Flesh for Christ
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;
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
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
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:
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
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.
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.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill
cannot be hid.
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
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
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:
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.
And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit
whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods:
and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the
LORD was kindled against Israel.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Pet 4:5 Who shall give
account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
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.
The End of All Things is at Hand
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
spoke of the coming unto the end.
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.
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:)
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any
thing out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his
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.
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on
the sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since
the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no
flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or
there; believe it not.
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.
Behold, I have told you before.
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the
desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe
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.
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be
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
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
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.
Pet 4:8 And above all
things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall
cover the multitude of sins.
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.
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.
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.
Suffering As a Christian
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Peter returns here to what he had often touched upon in this
to exhort the Christians to behave with patience and integrity under
severe persecution; to which purpose he uses the following
First, He intimates that it was not a strange or unusual thing for the
God to be persecuted.
Secondly, That if they suffered here as Christ did, they should
glorified with him.
Thirdly, Besides the prospect of that future glory; they had at present
of God for their support and comfort.
Fourthly, That it was an honor for any of them to suffer, not as a
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
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.
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.
Pet 4:16 Yet if any man
suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify
God on this behalf.
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.
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.
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be
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.
Pet 4:18 And if the
righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner
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
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.
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.
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.
16:19 There was a
certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and
fared sumptuously every day:
16:20 And there was a
certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of
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.
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;
16:23 And in hell he
lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and
Lazarus in his bosom.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness.
Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.