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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; 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.

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: 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

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.

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

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

4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Peter
Book: 1 Peter
Chapter: 4

The consideration of Christ's sufferings is urged for purity
and Holiness. (1-6) And the approaching End of the Jewish state,
as a reason for sobriety, watchfulness, and Prayer. (7-11)
Believers encouraged to rejoice and Glory in reproaches and
sufferings for Christ, and to commit their souls to the care of
a Faithful God. (12-19)

1-6 The strongest and best arguments against Sin, are taken
from the sufferings of Christ. He died to destroy Sin; and
though he cheerfully submitted to the worst sufferings, yet he
never gave way to the least Sin. Temptations could not prevail,
were it not for Man's own corruption; but true Christians make
the will of God, not their own Lust or desires, the rule of
their lives and actions. And true Conversion makes a marvellous
change in the Heart and Life. It alters the mind, Judgment,
affections, and Conversation. When a Man is truly converted, it
is very grievous to him to think how the time past of his Life
has been spent. One Sin draws On another. Six sins are here
mentioned which have dependence one upon another. It is a
Christian's duty, not only to keep from gross wickedness, but
also from things that lead to Sin, or appear evil. The Gospel
had been preached to those since dead, who By the proud and
Carnal Judgment of wicked men were condemned as evil-doers, some
even suffering Death. But being quickened to Divine Life By the
Holy Spirit, they lived to God as his devoted servants. Let not
believers care, though the world scorns and reproaches them.

7-11 The Destruction of the Jewish Church and nation, foretold
By our Saviour, was very near. And the speedy approach of Death
and Judgment concerns all, to which these words naturally lead
our minds. Our approaching End, is a powerful argument to make
us sober in all worldly matters, and Earnest in religion. There
are So many things amiss in all, that unless Love covers,
excuses, and forgives in others, the mistakes and faults for
which every one needs the forbearance of others, Satan will
prevail to stir up divisions and discords. But we are not to
suppose that Charity will cover or make amends for the sins of
those who Exercise it, So as to induce God to forgive them. The
nature of a Christian's work, which is high work and hard work,
the Goodness of the Master, and the excellence of the reward,
all require that our endeavours should be serious and Earnest.
And in all the duties and services of Life, we should aim at the
Glory of God as our chief End. He is a miserable, unsettled
wretch, who cleaves to himself, and forgets God; is only
perplexed about his credit, and gain, and base ends, which are
often broken, and which, when he attains, both he and they must
shortly perish together. But he who has given up himself and his
all to God, may say confidently that the Lord is his portion;
and nothing but Glory through Christ Jesus, is solid and
lasting; that abideth for ever.

12-19 By patience and fortitude in suffering, By dependence On
the promises of God, and keeping to the Word the Holy Spirit
hath revealed, the Holy Spirit is glorified; but By the contempt
and reproaches cast upon believers, he is evil spoken of, and is
blasphemed. One would think such cautions as these were needless
to Christians. But their enemies falsely charged them with foul
crimes. And even the best of men need to be warned against the
worst of sins. There is No comfort in sufferings, when we bring
them upon ourselves By our own Sin and folly. A time of
universal calamity was at Hand, as foretold By our Saviour, Mt
24:9,10. And if such things befall in this Life, how awful will
the Day of Judgment be! It is true that the righteous are
scarcely saved; even those who endeavour to walk uprightly in
the ways of God. This does not mean that the purpose and
performance of God are uncertain, but only the great
difficulties and hard encounters in the way; that they go
through So many temptations and tribulations, So many fightings
without and fears within. Yet all outward difficulties would be
as nothing, were it not for lusts and corruptions within. These
are the worst clogs and troubles. And if the way of the
righteous be So hard, then how hard shall be the End of the
ungodly sinner, who walks in Sin with delight, and thinks the
righteous is a fool for all his pains! The only way to keep the
soul Well, is, to commit it to God By Prayer, and patient
perseverance in Well-doing. He will overrule all to the final
advantage of the believer.

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