Peter

1 Peter 1  2  3  4  5  2 Peter 1  2  3

 

1 Peter 4

 

  • 1 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.

Christ bore our sins and suffered for us in the flesh. He that suffers in the flesh has ceased from sin.

I don't believe that this could possibly mean a sickness or disease. It is possible to have a disease and still commit sin. I believe this means to mortify the flesh. To mortify, resist, put away natural sins and desires of the flesh and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • "Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh."

Jesus did not go around His whole life sick and afflicted. He suffered at the time of His death on the cross but I don't see where He was sick all the time while growing up. The afflictions he suffered while on the earth were constant criticism and the burden of others that were sick, tormented and suffering. I believe the verses here mean to put away sin and resist temptation. Not allow sin to take over and reign in the flesh. This has to do with overcoming sin, not a sickness or disease. If it referred to a disease or martyrdom, then we would all have to be sick or face martyrdom in order to be free from sin.

  • 1 Peter 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:
  • 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.

This seems to be further proof that the above verses refer to mortifying the deeds of the flesh and does not refer to suffering with a sickness or affliction of some sort. The will of the flesh is in lasciviousness (wantonness), filth of the flesh, excessive drinking, rioting, continuous feasting and gluttony, idolatry. This is the opposite of the child of God.

Do not be surprised if you do not walk in ungodliness that the majority of people will think you are strange. Everybody seems to have a tendency to believe everybody should all do the same things.

We have three types of people: Those who rebel against all authority and break the law of the land, regarding no moral or physical laws, then we have those who accept society's standards of right and wrong and do what society and the law seems right at the time, and last we have those who abide by the Word of God and keep themselves under a different set of standards then even society keeps. Those are the ones who will seem strange to everyone else.

There is a verse that says,

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

We see what is acceptable in society today is much different than what it was in the past. Yet so many things in the past (slavery being one) are not acceptable today. 

We as the body of Christ need to conform to His standards and not the world's. As we see from history, if we follow the world's standards we will be subject to the whim and traditions of the era we live in whether right or wrong. If it is wrong today (slavery) it was wrong yesterday. If it was wrong in the past (sexual immorality and fornication), it is wrong today. 

God does not change, humans do. We need to be steadfast and unmovable in the Lord. Following society is not always right as we see from studying history. 

Remember it was the standards of a certain era and time that caused the Germans to once accept the persecution of the Jewish people as even right at that time. Yet they were wrong. The Christians of that day and era should have followed Christ and not the whim of society. 

Standards of society both past and present are not always right so we who believe must follow the standards given to us by our Lord. If our minds are completely renewed in Christ and we completely walk in the spirit then we will know right from wrong. We will not follow after the fashions and fads which pass away from one generation to another.

I am not teaching bondage here. This is true freedom. Hate, bigotry and prejudice is bondage. We are to be free in Jesus Christ. To love and have compassion is true freedom. We are not to hate those of another religion, race or belief. If their religion is wrong and does not lead them to eternal salvation, naturally if we truly love them we will try to convert them, but in the spirit of love and meekness. We are to love those that live in an ungodly lifestyle too. I believe they are under a false impression that they can not help the way they are and are forever given over to sinful lifestyles. I read the other day some college professor believes pedophiles can't help how they are.

They are wrong, they can be free and their lifestyle is sin forbidden by the Word of God. We are not to despise them though and make jokes or call them names, we are to preach the full gospel which says that Jesus Christ makes us whole. Jesus makes us free from any kind of bondage. Whether it be alcohol, drugs, sexual sins, lusts, hate, strife, envy, greed, etc. We can be free from these if we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and savior completely. If we still have trouble with these things after receiving Christ, then maybe we are holding onto them and not willing to give them up.

In order to be free from a certain sin, we have to acknowledge that we have sinned. We have to desire to be free and not hold onto the old thing that is giving us trouble. If we want to be free we will be free. I heard a preacher say once that "We are as close to God as we want to be." I believe that is true. We can be as close as we desire to be. God is not the one holding back. WE are.

  • "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for THEY SHALL be filled."

They shall. They shall be filled. They shall be filled with righteousness. How do I know? Jesus said so.

Have you got a grudge against someone? Begin to pray for that someone. Take authority over that sin and go to God for help. You don't have to put up with it. Jesus came not only to forgive but to deliver from sin. Lets get that old man out and completely become new creatures in Jesus Christ. This is ours, people, we don't have to walk in the lust of the flesh. We can be free from sin.

  • 1 Peter 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.

It would seem to hint here that Jesus did go and preach to the dead the gospel while His body was in the grave.

If one uses this verse to mean that we can't help but sin and it doesn't matter if we do because we are covered by grace, I really believe that interpretation is totally wrong. We can't just ignore all the other scriptures that warn against sin if we think Peter is saying that.

The very next verse has Peter warning us to watch and pray. What would be the use of watching and praying if there was no possible way to be lost?

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

Be sober, watch, pray. This is a warning but we can also take it joyfully. Watching and praying brings us into closer fellowship with the Lord.

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

The agape love of God can not be stressed enough. To walk in the love that the Holy Spirit sheds aboard in our hearts should be the goal of all of us. This will cause us to not see every fault someone may have. If we walk in love we will only concern ourselves with essential things that pertain to salvation and the word of God. We will not purposely find fault and look for sin.

If we do see a brother sin we will handle it in love hoping for gentle correction and the saving of the soul. Love will not envy when a brother or sister is blessed with good things, love will not hold grudges, love will be willing to forgive, love bears all things, endures all things, hopes and tries to keep peace. Love will not cause trouble between two brothers or sisters. 

I don't believe that charity or love covering sins means that people should be able to get by with sin, I believe if we have perfect love, we will not be quick to see sins in others but only when the Holy Spirit reveals it to us for the purpose of correcting it in a godly manner. (That was my personal opinion here.) Covering a multitude of sins to me means that we will not be quick to tell everyone else if we see someone sin but will keep it to ourselves and pray for the person unless God leads us to speak to the person but never to others in the form of gossip.

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

The mark of love is hospitality without worrying about the cost to self.

  • 1 Peter 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.

Spiritual, natural and material gifts should be used to edify, glorify God and minister. Never use talents and gifts to exalt self and bring glory to a ministry or to self-exaltation. God must be the focus of all that we do. He is the author of salvation, He is the healer, He is the one doing the work. We are the tools. Who gets the glory for building a house? The builder or the hammer. We are the hammers, God is the builder. To Him belongs all glory. We must bring people to Jesus and get them to walk with Him.

Never should we try to gain followers after ourselves. What happens to them if we die and leave this life for our eternal life and they are dependent upon us and not on the Lord. They should learn to trust in God, to seek God for themselves, to be filled with the Spirit and to learn to pray through themselves. It is wonderful to pray as a group, to work as a group such as a church. This should be done. There comes a time however, when a person has to be alone and away from his or her Christian friends.

There comes times when we need to seek God for ourselves and find His direction by ourselves. I want my children to love to go to church and serve God, but I also want them to be able to seek God on their own, to study the bible at home and learn to walk in the Spirit when they are away from other believers.

  • 1 Peter 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.

This is our goal to speak, teach, and glorify our Lord.

  • 1 Peter 4:12 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.

When our faith is tried or we suffer reproach because of our faith in God, we should consider it a blessing. It is time to rejoice that we are partakers of Christ's sufferings. I realize that this is not easy. It is better though to be criticized for something we do right than to be criticized for our faults.

We should not suffer because of being a thief, murderer or busybody but if we suffer because we are faithful believers of the gospel then happy are we. Our reward will be by the Lord when He comes. It is better to be rewarded by the Lord than by men here. Men's rewards are temporary and pass away quickly. They are quick to change their minds and follow someone else.

Look how people follow presidents and don't care what the president does. It changes however, if their pocketbook changes. Take away the steady income coming in and see how quick they will support the standing president in that case.

  • 1 Peter 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?

Here is a verse of warning. If the doctrine of once saved, always saved is true then why is this verse here. We are all to be judged. We are not to be high-minded. Judgment starts at the house of God and then goes to the unbelievers. This warning should cause us to walk daily in the Spirit that we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

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

Yes God loves and wants to save. He desires to give us good things and keep us from falling. He is not waiting for us to make mistakes so that He can judge but God also is a God that keeps His word. He is a God that sent His own Son to die for our sins in order for us to be saved. How is He going to feel if we take the death and sufferings of Jesus lightly and go back into sin. He paid a big price for our salvation, we need to walk in the new life He gave us and not desire to become entangled in sin again. If we suffer persecution, let it be because we are faithfully following the Lord and not because we are committing sin.

  • 1 Peter 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.

DJC

1 Peter 5

 
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