1 Peter 4. Forum Discussion

In Chapter 4, Peter writes, “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.  For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.”

It seems to me that Peter is saying that enough is enough. They have had plenty of time seeking the pleasures of the world, only to be unfulfilled, and the time is now to live for the will of God. Living, “For the will of God,” is a big decision comprised of a lot of smaller decisions. Decisions about who we associate with, what comes out of our mouths and how we treat others all reflect if we are living for God or living for the pleasures of this world. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”

Verse 10 is particularly interesting, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Peter does not say that some have received a special gift, he says that each one has received a gift. He also says that we are to use our gift to serve others. This bring up two questions:

  1. What special gift has God given you?
  2. How can you employ it to serve others and glorify God?

Later in the chapter Peter again focuses on suffering. Verses 12-14 state, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” There are two points that I would like to focus on here:

  1. “Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you.” We are all going to suffer at times. Knowing that this is the case can help prepare us for our time of suffering. We also can read about Christ’s example and strive to be more like Him in how we handle lives challenges and hardships.
  2. Peter shares with us that suffering, “Comes upon you for your testing.” How we behave in hard times says a lot about our character and our values. When we turn our focus from ourselves to glorifying God, we please God and can positively influence those around us. As the Bible says in Mathew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Chapter 4 ends with the following words of encouragement from Peter, “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” Amen

Comments

Looking at ourselves to identify the special gifts that God has given us is the first step to being able to put those gifts into service to glorify God.

Reply

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