1 Peter 4 & 5
November 19, 2010
1 Peter 4:1-17
4:1 SO, SINCE Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],
1. Jesus was ready to die, and did die for us: we are to have the same mind as Jesus did: to be ready to die for our faith.
2. Armor is put on for offensive and defensive purposes in war; the idea of the apostle here is, that that state of mind when we are ready to meet with persecution and trial, and because we are ready to die; this is the purpose of and is our best defense against our foes, and the best security of victory.
3. Compare to Romans 6:7: To “suffer in the flesh” is to die, because when a man is dead, he will sin no more, “referring of course to the present life.”
4. So if a Christian becomes in a moral sense –dead to this world, dead by being crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20) – he may be expected to cease from sin.
5. The reasoning is based on the idea that there is such a union between Christ and the believer that His death on the cross secured the death of the believer to the world. (2 Tim 2:11; Col 2:20; 3:3)
2 So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.
3 For the time that is past already suffices for doing what the Gentiles like to do — living [as you have done] in shameless, insolent wantonness, in lustful desires, drunkenness, reveling, drinking bouts and abominable, lawless idolatries.
1. Debauchery: Corrupt passions (Rom 13:13)
2. Lusts: Indulgence of unlawful desires (Rom 1:24)
3. Orgies: revellings: Feasting; a carousing or merrymaking after supper, the guests going into the streets with torches, music and songs in honor of Bacchus, etc. The word would apply to all such noisy and boisterous processions,
4. Banquetings: a drinking bout or carousal.
5. Detestable idolatry: The abominations practiced at their idol feasts, where they not only worshipped the idol, but did it with the most impure, obscene, and abominable rites.
6. This was the general state of the Gentile world; and with this monstrous wickedness that Christianity had everywhere to struggle.
4 They are astonished and think it very queer that you do not now run hand in hand with them in the same excesses of dissipation, and they abuse [you].
1. They wonder that Christians renounced these gratifications of the flesh for a spiritual something; the good they can’t see.
2. Dissipation: flood of profligacy; bearing down all rule, order, and restraints before it.
3. Abuse you: Speaking evil of you; literally, blaspheming; i.e. speaking impiously against God and of you.
5 But they will have to give an account to Him Who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead.
1. An account: from the Gr. logos: mental reasonings or motives
2. All these shall give account of these “irregularities” to Him who is prepared to judge both the Jew and the Gentiles.
3. The Gentiles, previously to the teaching of the Gospel among them, were reckoned to be dead in sins, (Eph 2:1-5) under the sentence of death, because they had sinned; and the Jews who at least, by their religious profession, a name to live, and by that profession were bound to live to God.
6 For this is why the good news (the Gospel) was preached [in their lifetime] even to the dead, that though judged in fleshly bodies as men are, they might live in the spirit as God does.
1. This verse connects with 1 Peter 3:19-20
2. With this in view, the final judgment just mentioned, the gospel was preached to those now dead, that they might be judged in the flesh after the fashion of men, but might live in the Spirit according to God.
3. In view of the final judgment, the martyred dead are better off than the unbelieving Gentiles of verse 3.
7 But the end and culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for [the practice of] prayer.
1. As the flood was the end in that time, when God decreed the destruction of the world by a flood, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish system was at hand (this happened around 60AD when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans); Peter could be referring to this time, and/or also to the end time.
2. We might say in a general sense, to every present generation that the end of all things is at hand; the end of the good which the wicked enjoy, and the end of all the evil which the righteous suffer.
3. Be alert, watch against all occasions of evil and sin, and intercede against evil and the evil one.
8 Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. [Prov 10:12.]
1. A loving disposition leads us to pass by the faults of others and to forgive offences against ourselves. (This doesn’t mean that our love to others will induce God to pardon our offences. (James 5:20)
9 Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ's body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).
1. Be ready to divide your bread with the hungry and don’t do it just because it is commanded, but do it from love to God and man, then it will be without grumbling.
10 As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God's many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
1. The KJ says: As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
2.G ift: Gr. Charisma: The Holy Spirit, and all the gifts, or gracelets that lie therein.
3. Manifold grace of God: Gr.: poikilos charis Theo: the various (in character) gifts of God
4. Notice that the assumption is that every man has received the “gift” of the Holy Spirit, or every man has been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
11 Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).
1. Speak as oracles of God: speak those things inspired by the Holy Spirit.
2. Give only what God has given us; no one is bound to go beyond his ability; don’t give what you don’t have or can’t afford.
3. Through Christ: He is the medium through whom all divine blessings come by which God is honored.
4. In all things God is to be honored by and through us.
12 Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.
1. fiery trial: Gr. Purosis: ignition, smelting.
2. To try: Gr. peirasmos: a putting to proof.
3. The burning, it represents the Christians at Pontus as having fire cast upon them for the trying of their faith, as gold is tried by fire.
13 But insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].
1. Christ suffered for doing right, as we will for doing right
2. Suffering: Gr. pathema; something undergone, i.e., hardship or pain
14 If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you — happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. [Isa 11:2.]
1. Insulted; Gr. oneidizo: to defame
2. Blessed: Gr. makarios: fortunate, well off
3. Being reproached for being a Christian, is being reproached for being like Christ; the highest honor to which any man can arrive in this world.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or any sort of criminal, or as a mischief-maker (a meddler) in the affairs of others [infringing on their rights].
1. Meddler: Gr. allotriepiskopos; overseeing others’ affairs (specially, in Gentile customs; this is the only place in the New Testament where this word is used. (One who busies himself with what does not concern him.)
2. Mischief-maker,Gr. kakopoios: bad-doer, evildoer, a criminal
16 But if [one is ill-treated and suffers] as a Christian [which he is contemptuously called], let him not be ashamed, but give glory to God that he is [deemed worthy to suffer] in this name.
1. We are never to be ashamed of our religion, whatever results may follow from our attachment to it.
2. By this (not being ashamed), they have evidence that they are true Christians.
17 For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God?
1. The punishment of the wicked is merely delayed; it begins with the house of God; Christians are tried; but justice requires that the wicked will receive the punishment which they deserve.
18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked? [Prov 11:31.]
1. The righteous are saved with difficulty; there are perils which jeopardize their salvation, and which are of such a kind as to make it very near not to happen.
a. They would indeed be saved, but it would be in such a manner as to show that the circumstances were such as to render it, to human appearances, doubtful and full of problems.
2. Barely: Gr. molis: with difficulty
19 Therefore, those who are ill-treated and suffer in accordance with God's will must do right and commit their souls [in charge as a deposit] to the One Who created [them] and will never fail [them].
1. God’s will: Gr. thelema: a determination, choice, inclination.
2. A Christian does the will of God, therefore will be persecuted for being a Christian, as Christ was.
3. 2 Tim 1:12 KJV 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.
1 Peter 5:1-14
5:1 I WARN and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honor and splendor) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded):
1. A fellow elder: Gr. sumpresbuteros; this word occurs nowhere in the New Testament. It means he was a co-presbyter with them; and he makes this one of the grounds of his exhortation to them.
2. Peter had a right to glory through the blood of the Lamb; he had an anticipation of it by the power of the Holy Spirit, and he had the promise from his Lord and Master that he would be with Him in heaven to behold His glory, (Jn 17:22,24)
2 Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;
1. Feed the flock, not fleece the flock.
2. The office of pastor/elder was very laborious and dangerous in these times of persecution; many that were best qualified for the office wouldn’t take the responsibility.
3. Do all for Christ’s sake, cheerfully and through love. (Big difference between the one who does it because he’s paid for it, and the one who does it for love.
3 Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).
1. Not lording it: Gr. katakurieuoo : exercise dominion over; only time used in the New Testament.
2. This command would prohibit all assumption of temporal power by the ministers of religion, and no titles of nobility are to be on those who are preachers of the gospel.
4 And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror's crown of glory.
1. That fadeth not away: Gr. amarantinos: fadeless: This word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. (see 1 Cor 9:25)
5 Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church) — [giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful) — [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. [Prov 3:34.]
1. Don’t lord your rank over others , but treat each other with respect; serve each other; let the pastors and elders serve the people, and the people serve the pastors & elders, and let there be no contention.
2. Be clothed with: Gr. egkomboomai: the apron as being a badge of servitude: a servant’s dress; that they may appear to be such as were ready to serve.
3. The proud, with all their ornaments God resists:Gr. antitassomai: to range oneself against, oppose.
4. those who are clothed with the humble garment he adorns.
6 Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,
2. Those who submit to God he lifts up; those who lift themselves up, God thrusts down.
3. Those who patiently submit to Him, He exalts in due time.
7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. [Ps 55:22.]
1. God meddles or concerns Himself, with the things that interest you.
2. Whatever things concern a follower of God, whether they be spiritual or temperal, God concerns Himself with them.
3. The one that knows that God cares for him doesn’t need to have anxious cares about himself.
4. He is not like the gods worshipped by many of the pagans, who were so distant, that they did not interest themselves in human affairs.
5. When our God loves, He always love; rich or poor, or old and greyheaded; when we know God, we’ll never be without a friend.
8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
1. Do not doubt that God is able and willing to support and befriend us, but be watchful against our foes. (see 1 Thess 5:6)
2. Be vigilant: watch; be on guard against the wiles and the power of the evil one.
3. Roaring lion: this denotes the efforts which he makes to alarm and overpower us; The lion here is not the crouching lion-the lion stealthfully creeping toward his foe-but it is the raging monarch of the woods, who by his terrible roar would intimidate all so that they might become an easy prey.
5. Naturalists have observed that a lion roars when he is roused with hunger, for then he is most fierce, and most eagerly seeks his prey.
6. Contrast this with other places in the Scriptures where Satan masquerades as an angel of light to deceive, (See 2 Cor 11:13-15)
9 Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset — rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same ( identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
1. In no instance are we to yield to him, but are to stand up and oppose him, and fight the fight of faith. (Eph. 6:10-17
2. Firm in faith: Confiding in God; the means of successful resistance are to be found in the resources of faith. (Eph. 6:16)
3. We should be encouraged to endure our trials by the fact that our fellow-Christians suffer the same things. (1 Cor 10:13)
4. Our trials are not greater than all the others have been; our natural strength no great than others because the grace which sustained them will also sustain us.
5. The divine strength which supported the apostles and martyrs is just as powerful then as it is to us now.
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.
1. After you have suffered a little while: This may refer either to time or degree, but compared with eternity, they are light. (see 2 Cor 4;16-18)
2. Restore you: Gr. katartizo: to make perfect: to complete thoroughly.
3. Establish you: Gr: sterizo: to set fast, confirm
4. Strong: Gr. sthenoo: to strengthen, confirm (in spiritual knowledge and power).
5. Steadfast: Gr. themelioo: to lay a basis for, erect, consolidate, ground.
11 To Him be the dominion (power, authority, rule) forever and ever. Amen (so be it).
12 By Silvanus, a true (loyal, consistent, incorruptible) brother, as I consider him, I have written briefly to you, to counsel and urge and stimulate [you] and to declare [to you] that this is the true [account of the] grace (the undeserved favor) of God. Be steadfast and persevere in it.
1. The person who needed to deliver this letter had to be trustworthy because of the dangerous state of the church in different regions of Asia, Pontus, Galatia, and Bithynia.
2. Because of these dangers, not ordinary person could have been entrusted with such a message.
3. Earnestly witnessing that this is the true grace-the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ, in which you stand and in which you should persevere to the end.
13 She [your sister church here] in Babylon, [who is] elect (chosen) with [yourselves], sends you greetings, and [so does] my son (disciple) Mark.
1.Babylon in Assyria was the metropolis of the eastern dispersion of the Jews and received the Gospel about the same time as those to whom Peter wrote. (1 Peter 1;2)
2. Mark is probably the same person mentioned in (Acts 12) known by the name of John Mark; he was sister’s son to Barnabas, (Co.l 4:10), his mother’s name was Mary and wrote the gospel that goes under his name.
3. Here he’s called Peter’s son, according to the faith, Peter having been probably the means of his conversion.
4. This is very likely, as Peter seems to have been intimate at his mother’s house. (See Acts 12-6-17)
14 Salute one another with a kiss of love [the symbol of mutual affection]. To all of you that are in Christ Jesus (the Messiah), may there be peace ( every kind of peace and blessing, especially peace with God, and freedom from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts). Amen (so be it).
1. Peace be with you all: May all prosperity, spiritual and temporal, be with all that are in Christ Jesus-that are truly converted to Him, and live in His Spirit, obedient to His will.