Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Gann's Commentary on the Bible

1 Peter 4

Verse 1

1 Peter 4:1

The Purging Effect of Suffering --

Not all suffering, but in context, the suffering of the righteous.

Christ suffered -- A reference to Christ’s death on the cross and the purpose for which he died, 1 Peter 3:18.

Christ suffered -- Peter introduced this idea in 1 Peter 3:18; he now indicates its significance in Christian experience. In our own physical sufferings, we are to imitate Christ’s attitude (see 1 Peter 2:21-24).

Arm yourself -- pic of a soldier putting on heavy armor

Wuest -- The Greek word translated "arm yourselves" was used of a Greek soldier putting on his armor and taking his weapons. The noun of the same root was used of a heavy-armed foot-soldier who carried a pike and a large shield. The word was used of heavy-armed as against light-armed troops. Peter could have used the latter word. The Holy Spirit selected the former. The Christian needs the heaviest armor he can get, to withstand the attacks of the enemy of his soul.

Arm -- is a military term for putting on heavy armor and preparing for battle. There is a spiritual conflict in our daily lives (cf. Ephesians 6:10 ff; Romans 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:8). - Utley

Ceased -- G3973 παύω paúō; fut. paúsō. To stop, pause, make an end. WordStudy; The Greek word equivalent for a stop sign. (midd/pass, release, Thayer.) An illustration might be the prodigal son.

ceased -- you have finished with sin (or For the one [or One] who has suffered physically has finished with sin): Our suffering with Christ shows that we have identified with him (see Romans 8:17). Those who identify with Christ experience the victory over the power of sin that he won on the cross (Romans 6:1-10). NTLSB

The perfect tense of the verb emphasizes a permanent eternal condition free from sin [because of what Christ did on the cross]. - MSB

Hath ceased from sin. The idea seems to be that of Romans 6:7, “He that is dead is freed from sin. - PNT

ceased from sin -- The main verb can be either MIDDLE (A. T. Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, p. 121) or PASSIVE (Moulton’s Analytical Greek Lexicon and Barbara and Tim Friberg’s Analytical Greek New Testament). If it is MIDDLE it is encouraging believers to be actively involved in not sinning as followers of Christ’s example. If PASSIVE it is emphasizing the spiritual fact of the believer’s deliverance from the power of sin.

Death annuls one’s relationship to sin. This may be connected to the theological concepts of Rom. 6. Death to the old life brings potential service to God (cf. Romans 6:2-7) or baptism symbolizes one’s newness of life (cf. Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).

The whole point is that as believers follow Christ’s example of suffering, so too, His example of victory over sin. We are new creatures in Christ! We must live like it. Christlikeness is the will of God (cf. Romans 8:29; Galatians 4:14; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 2:10). It reflects the fact that the image of God lost in the Fall (cf. Gen. 3) is fully restored in Christ. Christians have a choice again on how they will live. They are no longer slaves of sin! Walk in Him! - Utley

Verse 2

1 Peter 4:2

We see a definite break from what pagans chose to do.

live the rest -- Since it is the Christian’s goal to be like Christ he should live the rest his life on earth pursuing the holy will of God rather than the ungodly lusts of the flesh. - WG

They live the rest of their lives not for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God (cf. 1 Peter 2:15; 1 Peter 3:17; 1 Peter 4:19). - BKC

Verse 3

1 Peter 4:3

1 Peter 4:3-4 The negative assessment of Gentile morality is inherited by the early church from traditional Judaism (see Wis 13-15; Romans 1:18-32; Ephesians 4:17-19). Early Christian preaching demanded a clean break from such unconscionably immoral ways. -- Cambridge Study Bible RSV.

Gentiles -- Peter metaphorically uses the Greek term for Gentiles to refer to nonbelievers and the various types of immoral behavior associated with them. Although the audience of 1 Peter likely included both Jews and Gentiles, here Peter uses the term for Gentiles in a negative sense to dissuade his readers from behaving like non-believing Gentiles. - FSB

Peter says in these verses that before we became Christians we lived like the Gentiles and did some of these things, but now, as Christians, we no longer live this way. - WG

lewdness “Lewdness” describes unbridled, unrestrained sin, an excessive indulgence in sensual pleasure.

Revelries -- has the idea of an orgy. The Gr. word was used in extrabiblical literature to refer to a band of drunken, wildly acting people, swaggering and staggering through public streets, wreaking havoc.

Thus the pleasures of the ungodly are described here from the perspective of God as despicable acts of wickedness. Though Peter’s readers had indulged in such sins before salvation, they must never do so again. Sin in the believer is a burden which afflicts him rather than a pleasure which delights him. - MSB

Lasciviousness -- excite sensality to unbridles and restrained living.

Lusts -- fleshly desires - not limited to sexual desires but probably the emphasis here.

Excess of wine -- drunkenness; -- οἰνοφλυγία -- oinophlugía; gen. oinophlugías, fem. noun from oinophlugéō (n.f.), to be drunken, which is from oínos (G3631), wine, and phlúō (n.f.), to overflow. -- In strict definition oinophlugía is an insatiate desire for wine, alcoholism and was commonly used for debauchery. No single word renders it better than debauchery since it is an extravagant indulgence in long, drawn-out drinking bouts which may induce permanent damage to the body. The death of Alexander the Great was ascribed to oinophlugía. Wordstudy.

Excess of wine -- The words "excess of wine" are the translation of a Greek word made of two words, "wine" and "to bubble up or overflow." It seems to refer to particularly intoxicating wine that would make one drunk. The drinking of intoxicating beverages. The context is saying that once in the past, before becoming a Christian one may have done that, but now these are things in the list that Christians no longer participate in. See Proverbs 23:29-32 for a description of this kind of wine.

See also the booklet on Wine in the Bible, by William Patton.

Revellings -- Revellings has the idea of an orgy. The Gk. word was used in extrabiblical literature to refer to a band of drunken, wildly acting people, swaggering and staggering through public streets, wreaking havoc.

Thus the pleasures of the ungodly are described here from the perspective of God as despicable acts of wickedness. Though Peter’s readers had indulged in such sins before salvation, they must never do so again. Sin in the believer is a burden which afflicts him rather than a pleasure which delights him. - MSB

Banquetings -- πότος potos, drinking bouts. Equivalent to our social drinking parties; Thayer 1) a drinking, carousing.

Verse 4

they think it strange -- The lives of unbelievers have not fundamentally changed from the first century to the twenty-first; believers should have nothing to do with such behavior, even when their nonparticipation means that others will malign them. - ESVSB

they think it strange -- (xenizontai, from xenos, “stranger”; cf. v. 12). A changed life provokes hostility from those who reject the gospel. Consequently they heap abuse on (blasphēmountes, lit., “blaspheme”) believers. Godless men are genuinely surprised by the changed lives of those who once were like they are. - BKC

speaking evil of you -- Because you refuse to rush into their riotous sins.

Verse 5

1 Peter 4:5

give an account -- This verb means “to pay back.” People who have “walked in lewdness” (v. 3) and who malign believers (v. 4) are amassing a debt to God which they will spend all eternity paying back (see note on Matthew 18:23; cf. Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:11-12; Hebrews 4:13). - MSB

Those who have spent their lives in indulgence and idolatry will someday give account (apodōsousin logon, lit., “give back a word or an account”; cf. Matthew 12:36; Luke 16:2; Acts 19:40; Hebrews 13:17). - BKC

to judge the living and the dead -- All the unsaved, currently alive or dead, will be brought before the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15; cf. Romans 3:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). - MSB

Judgment is certain (cf. Matthew 12:36; Hebrews 9:27; Hebrews 10:27; 2 Peter 2:4, 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:7). The one who judges is (1) God (cf. Romans 2:2-3; Romans 14:10, Romans 14:12; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 Peter 2:23; Revelation 20:11-15); (2) Christ (cf. John 9:39; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1); or (3) the Father through the Son (cf. John 5:22-27; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16). - Utley

Verse 6

1 Peter 4:6

the dead -- This has been interpreted as referring to (1) those who were spiritually "dead in sins" (that is, non-believers) Ephesians 2:1, (2) those who heard and believed the gospel but have since died.

the dead -- (literally preached even to the dead): Peter refers to people now dead who were exposed to the Good News while alive; he does not envision a chance to repent after death. If they responded in faith to the message in life, they can be confident that, although they were destined to die like all people (or although people had judged them worthy of death), they will live forever with God in the Spirit (or in spirit). - NLTSB

Peter had in mind believers who had heard and accepted the gospel of Christ when they were still alive, but who had died by the time Peter wrote this letter. Some of them, perhaps, had been martyred for their faith. Though these were dead physically, they were triumphantly alive in their spirits (cf. Hebrews 12:23). All their judgment had been fully accomplished while they were alive in this world (“in the flesh”), so they will live forever in God’s presence. - MSB

the dead -- We may see in John 5:24 : John 11:25-26; Double meaning and picture of baptism, Ephesians 2:1.

In verse 6 Peter, in contrast with verse 5, encouraged his readers with the fact that rather than facing judgment for their sins, those who had heard and believed the gospel of Jesus Christ faced an altogether different future. The penalty for their sin has been paid by Christ on the cross. The last earthly effect of sin is physical death. Believers still die physically; they are judged … in regard to the body (cf. suffering in this life “in his body,” v. 1). But for Christians physical death does not lead to judgment but to eternal life. They live … in regard to the Spirit. Those armed with a Christlike attitude will live forever in God’s presence. - BKC

Verse 7

1 Peter 4:7

The End -- The end of your suffering (context) at the hands of Jews and Romans, which would come in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem. cf. Matthew 24:14. cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11.

It is an unfounded assumption that the "end" of which Peter speaks is a referral to Jesus’ Second Coming. One translation erroneous put it "The end of the world is coming soon," meaning also Jesus’ Second Coming. It was the "end of the world", that it, the Jewish world, the "last days" of the Mosaical dispensation.

However, note that Peter said the "end" was "at hand". Unless one is ready to say inspiration made a mistake one should consider another possibility for "the end of all things" instead of jumping to an assumption. - WG

the end of all things -- The Gr. word for “end” is never used in the NT as a chronological end, as if something simply stops. Instead, the word means a consummation, a goal achieved, a result attained, or a realization. - MSB [However, MSB also goes on to assume it is a reference to Christ’s return. One in sense it was Christ returning in judgment upon Israel and Jerusalem for their rejection, see notes on Matthew 22:4; Matthew 23:36; Matthew 24:2, Matthew 24:3. - WG]

is at hand -- The idea is that of a process consummated with a resulting nearness; that is, “imminent.” - MSB [Again while MSB is correct about the meaning being something "imminent" the source again assumes Peter is referring to "the return of Jesus" and assumes that Peter was wrong. The end of Jerusalem and the end of the Jewish nations was important because it meant the end of Jewish and Nero’s persecution against the Christians. See Revelation 2:9; Revelation 3:9; - WG]

The end of all things is at hand -- The end of Jerusalem was not far off, and it does not seem that it was given to Peter to distinguish clearly between that and the end of all things, which truly draweth near. - PNT

self-controlled and sober-minded -- "sound judgment", "serious and watchful", "keep your minds calm and sober", "be serious and disciple yourselves."

in your prayers -- (for the sake of your prayers) -- Prayer is a powerful weapon in times of persecution and temptation (cf. Ephesians 6:18-19), not only for oneself, but for others (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:25; James 5:16).

Verse 8

1 Peter 4:8

above all things -- This is a Greek idiom for priority (cf. James 5:12). Love is priority (cf. 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 3:8; John 13:34; John 15:12, John 15:17; 1 Corinthians 13:1; 1 John 2:7-8; 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:23; 1 John 4:7-21). - Utley

fervent love ..“Fervent” means “to be stretched,” “to be strained.” It is used of a runner who is moving at maximum output with taut muscles straining and stretching to the limit (cf. 1 Peter 1:22). This kind of love requires the Christian to put another’s spiritual good ahead of his own desires in spite of being treated unkindly, ungraciously, or even with hostility (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Philippians 2:1-4). - MSB

because love covers a large number of sins -- Peter draws on Proverbs 10:12 to affirm the power of Christian love; it can result in forgiveness and reconciliation when people have been harmed or wronged (James 5:20). In this way, love overcomes sin. Early Christianity regarded love as the foundational ethic for the community of believers (John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Galatians 5:13-14; Colossians 3:14). - FSB

Peter might also mean that our attitude of love, because it displays our relationship with Christ, covers our own sins and causes them to be forgiven (see Luke 7:47). - NLTSB

Verse 9

1 Peter 4:9

Be hospitable to one another -- This is a compound term of phileō (love) plus xenos (stranger). This stranger-loving was especially needed for itinerant Christians in a day where Inns were notorious places of evil (cf. Matthew 25:35 ff; Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:2; 2 John 1:5-8). - Utley

hospitable -- [The Gr. word means “love of strangers.”] Peter may have urged his audience to show hospitality to one another in light of the unfriendly and even hostile treatment they experienced from non-believers (compare Hebrews 13:2; 3 John 1:5-8). - FSB

Hospitality -- was much admired in both Greco-Roman and Jewish sources (cf. 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8), and was much needed in an era when inns could be dangerous and unpleasant. - ESVSB

Verse 10

1 Peter 4:10

The gift -- Was this in refernce to a spiritual gift, 1 Cor 13; or a gift of ministry.Two mentioned, 1) speaking 1 Peter 4:11, and 2) serving, 1 Peter 4:12.

[The KJV makes is sound as if "the gift" received is God’s grace, but other translations seem to make it a "gift" of ministering.]

a gift -- This is the only use of the Greek word charisma in the nt outside of Paul’s writings (see Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:28-31). Elsewhere, Paul discusses spiritual gifts in detail (see 1 Cor 12:4–11 and note), emphasizing their purpose to serve and build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12). Peter’s exhortation reflects the same concern here, though he may also have in mind God’s gift of salvation (see Romans 5:15-16; Romans 6:23) - FSB

Whether this is refernce to a "spiritual gift" received, or a natural gift each has, such are to be used for building up, edifying, other believers. - WG

Stewards -- stewards of our talents given us by God’s grace.

good stewards -- A steward is responsible for another’s resources. A Christian does not own his gifts, but God has given him gifts to manage for the church and His glory. - MSB

Verse 11

1 Peter 4:11

speaks -- May refer to the gift of prophecy (see note on 1 Corinthians 12:10) or to any type of speaking about God and the truth of the gospel. However the next line seems to imply that Peter is referring to speaking and serving gifts in a broad sense, not to specific gifts (compare 1 Corinthians 12:1-11). Either way, Peter urges believers to act with extreme care when speaking on God’s behalf and conveying truths about His will. - FSB

speaks … ministers -- Peter is implying that there are two categories of gifts: speaking gifts and serving gifts. Such distinctions are clear in the lists in Rom. 12 and 1 Cor. 12. - MSB

oracles -- Classical Greek for the sayings of the deities. Found in Acts 7:38, Romans 3:2, Hebrews 5:12 and here.

oracles of God -- Elsewhere used of Scripture, the very words out of God’s mouth (cf. Romans 3:2; Acts 7:38). - MSB

The implication seems to be that as we speak and give encouraging words to one another they must be true to God and not words of a false notion. - WG

oracles . . the utterances. Same word as Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11. The Gr. word is occasionally used in the LXX. for ordinary human utterances; e.g. Psalms 19:14 (LXX. 18:14) “the words of my mouth.” - CBSC

in all things ... God glorified -- Our very lives and all our deeds are to give glory to God. This is our very purpose (hina) in life.

All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen: -- This doxology has led some to suggest that one original letter of Peter ended here and that another one was added to it. Doxologies in the NT do appear at the end of letters (Romans 16:25-27; Philippians 4:20; Hebrews 13:21; 2 Peter 3:18; Judges 1:24-25), but also at the end of sections within letters (Romans 11:36; Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21; 1 Timothy 1:17). Since there is no textual evidence for the existence of two separate letters, it is better to assume that this doxology marks the end of a major section of the letter. - NLTSB

Verse 12

1 Peter 4:12

don’t be surprised -- (xenizesthe, “amazed”; cf. 1 Peter 4:4)This is a verb tense which usually refers to stopping an act already in progress. These believers were surprised at the persecution.

do not be surprised -- Peter urges his readers to expect suffering since they are Christ-followers in a world that does not share their values (1 Peter 4:3-4). Likewise, Jesus said that suffering would come to His followers (Matthew 5:11-12; Matthew 1:1-25). - FSB

Christians, especially those seeking to lead godly lives, can expect to face the hostility of a sinful world (see John 16:33; Acts 14:22; Romans 8:17; Philippians 1:29). - NLTSB [2 Timothy 3:12]

happened ..“Happened” means “to fall by chance.” A Christian must not think that his persecution is something that happened accidentally. God allowed it and designed it for the believer’s testing, purging, and cleansing. - MSB

fiery -- The verb pyrōsei is from pyroō, “to burn.” The meaning may be metaphorical as in 1 Peter 1:7 where the context is quite similar.

However, the verse could also be aptly applied to the historical reality of the Neronian persecution. Christians were blamed for the burning of Rome. Some were covered with pitch and used as living torches to light the imperial gardens at night. - BKC

Keep the context of v. 12 (1 Peter 4:12 ), firey trials will come on them soon. (Firey, is this a reference or prophecy to Nero’s firey punishment of Christians ?. Arsonist were punished with burning at the stake. Nero tried to lay the blame of the burning of Rome on the Christians.)

Trials -- tests, as testing ore or metal.

Verse 13

1 Peter 4:13

rejoice -- "keep on rejoicing This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. It is amazing that suffering for Christ is linked to joy. This shows the radically new worldview that believers receive by faith when they put their ultimate trust in Christ. Jesus Himself first stated this truth in Matthew 5:10-12. Paul states the same truth in Romans 5:1-5. - Utley [cf. Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:7]

partakers -- ( participate, share) ..By experiencing suffering for being Christians, believers identify with Jesus. - FSB

But rejoice that you participate -- (koinōneite, from koinōneō, “to share”; related nouns are koinōnia, “communion, fellowship, close relationship,” and koinōnos, “sharer”; cf. 1 Peter 5:1). Suffering for Christ’s sake should cause rejoicing because through suffering Christians further identify with Christ. Sharing in the sufferings of Christ results in (a) joy with Christ (the word overjoyed is trans. “rejoice” in 1 Peter 1:6), (b) fellowship with Him (Philippians 3:10), (c) being glorified with Him (Romans 8:17), and (d) reigning with Him (2 Timothy 2:12) - BKC

when his glory shall be revealed -- That is, at Christ’s second coming (cf. Matthew 24:30; Matthew 25:31; Luke 17:30). While Jesus is presently glorified in heaven, His glory is not yet fully revealed on earth. - MSB

revealed -- (apokalypsei; cf. 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 5:1). Peter presented this truth as a cause for future hope and present rejoicing while enduring persecution. - BKC

be glad with exceeding joy -- A Christian who is persecuted for righteousness in this life will have overflowing joy in the future because of his reward. Such an awareness of future joy enables him also to “rejoice” - MSB

Verse 14

1 Peter 4:14

if -- Introduces a conditional clause assumed to be true.

reproached -- (reviled) Refers to insults or mockery experienced because of the believer’s association with Christ (see Matthew 5:11-12). Christians living throughout the Graeco-Roman world in the first century likely experienced discrimination and varying degrees of ostracism because of their faith. - FSB

blessed -- "be happy"; the Gk term makarios, this reflects Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:11-12.

for the name of Christ -- "for being a Christian" NLT. “In the name of …” is an OT idiom referring to the character of the person.

for the Spirit of glory -- 1) the glorious Spirit, or 2) the Spirit which gives glory. Jesus promised the Spirit’s presence and help in times of persecution (cf. Matthew 10:16-23)

In the OT, the glory of God was represented by the Shekinah light, that luminous glow which signified the presence of God (see Ex. 33:15–34:9).

On their part -- (The Textus Receptus adds this phrase at this point which is reflected in the KJV and the NKJV.)

Verse 15

1 Peter 4:15

Suffer -- Peter stressed that persecution was no excuse for lawlessness. Christians were not to retaliate (1 Peter 3:9). Physical violence was not to be met by murder. Confiscation of property was not to be compensated for by theft. No matter what their trials, Christians were to do nothing that would justify punishing them as criminals (cf. 1 Peter 2:19; 1 Peter 3:17). - BKC

murderer or thief -- Peter identifies a wrong kind of suffering: suffering for the sake of evil criminal activity. - FSB

troublesome meddler -- This word is used only here in all of Greek literature. It is a compound from two Greek words, “belonging to another” (i.e. allotrios) and “look over” or “inspect” (i.e. episkopos). This then refers to someone who meddles in the affairs of others, a busybody. - Utley

evildoer or as a meddler -- Peter mentions two sins that can result in social persecution, but not necessarily criminal prosecution. Believers should avoid behavior that is dishonoring to other people in general. - FSB

busybody in other people’s matters. Someone who intrudes into matters that belong to someone else.

Peter is dealing with matters that would lead to persecution, such as getting involved in revolutionary, disruptive activity, or interfering in the function and flow of government. It might also refer to being a troublesome meddler in the workplace. As a general rule, a Christian living in a non-Christian culture is to do his work faithfully, exalt Jesus Christ, and live a virtuous life, rather than try to overturn or disrupt his culture (1 Peter 2:13-16; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:11; see notes on 1 Timothy 2:1-3). - MSB

Verse 16

1 Peter 4:16

if -- This is another FIRST CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCE, which is assumed to be true. Christians were suffering simply because they were Christians. - Utley

a Christian -- Many believe this was originally a term of derision, but see note at. Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28. It is only used three times in the NT. It meant “little Christ” (i.e. Christianos). It became the common designation for believers by the middle of the first century (i.e. Tacitus, Ann. 15:44). Most likely the term used by Gentiles to differentiate the believers from orthodox Jews. - WG

The term was coined in Antioch (Acts 11:26), and Agrippa used it in his conversation with Paul (Acts 26:28). The term means “follower of Christ.” Christians are to suffer in such a way that they bring honor to God instead of disrepute. - ESVSB

Christian -- The word naturally found acceptance. It expressed a fact, it was not offensive, and it might be used by those who, like Agrippa, though they were not believers themselves, wished to speak respectfully of those who were (Acts 26:28). Soon it came to be claimed by those believers. The question, Are you a Christian? became the crucial test of their faith. By disowning it, as in the case of the mildly repressive measures taken in these very regions by Pliny in the reign of Trajan, they might purchase safety (Pliny, Epp. x. 96). - CBSC

not be ashamed -- This may be a flashback for Peter to Jesus’ night trials where he was ashamed!

On this behalf -- "in this name" ASV.

What Is A Christian?

1) A Disciple -- Acts 11:26

a. A learner - John 6:44-45

b. A follower - 1 Peter 2:21

2) One Persuaded -- Acts 26:28

a. Persuaded that Christianity is true

b. Persuaded to lived the Christian life

c. Persuaded Christ is a worthy prize

d. Hard to persuade people today

3) One Willing to Suffer for Christ - 1 Peter 3:16

a. Suffering is all around us

b. Willing to suffer for Christ’s sake, name

4) One Who Is Not Ashamed - 1 Peter 3:16

a. Not ashamed of the Lord’s Word

b. Not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ - Romans 1:16

c. Not ashamed of being in a minority - 1 Peter 4:4

Conclusion:

A Christian is one who glorifies God - 1 Peter 4:16

Verse 17

1 Peter 4:17

There are two primary interpretations of this verse: (1) That "the time has come" refers to pending events in the time it was written and relative to his readers and a judgment up the Jews. (2) Or that Peter is referencing the persecution the believers were then suffering.

If (1) above then:

time has come -- Reference to the events about to fall upon the Jews and Jerusalem by the Romans, AD 67-73.

Judgment -- Ref to the Destruction of Jerusalem AD 70, and God’s judgment against the nation of Israel for rejecting the Christ, cf. Matthew 24. Luke 21:24;

house of God -- a reference to the temple in Jerusalem;

In the OT, household of God (lit., “house of God”) refers to the temple but now God’s people are his temple (see 1 Peter 2:4-10). - ESVSB

Us -- Jews

If (2) above then:

time has come -- 1) Refers to the sever persecution of Christians by the Jews and Nero.

judgment -- beginning with God’s house” alludes to Ezekiel 9:1-6 and Malachi 3:1-4, where the Lord purifies his people. Judgment here is not punitive, however, but purifying and cleansing. The suffering of God’s people refines them (1 Pet. 1:6–7). - ESVSB

what will be the outcome …? If the people of God need purifying, then surely the judgment of those who do not obey the gospel will be much more severe (cf. vv. 3–5). Peter reinforces this point by quoting Proverbs 11:31 from the Septuagint. - ESVSB

Verse 18

1 Peter 4:18

righteously -- scarcely saved -- A probably refence to the deliverance of the believers from Jerusalem before it’s destruction, as per the Lord’s prophecy in Matt 24 see note on Luke 21:20.

righteous -- If the people of God need purifying, then surely the judgment of those who do not obey the gospel will be much more severe (cf. vv. 3–5). Peter reinforces this point by quoting Proverbs 11:31 from the Septuagint. - ESVSB

scarcely saved -- Remember the promise in 2 Peter 1:11 of "an abundant entrance." This verse 18 doesn’t mean that the saved will just barely make it to heaven.

scarely saved -- Some say keeping the context of 1 Peter 4:12 , firey trials will come on them soon and some of them will be saved from such fate. (Firey, is this a reference or prophecy to Nero’s firey punishment of Christians ?. Arsonist were punished with burning at the stake. Nero tried to lay the blame of the burning of Rome on the Christians.)

Verse 19

1 Peter 4:19

therefore -- A summary statement of Peter’s point about Christians suffering.

suffer according to the will -- Peter affirms that God was allowing, or permitting, the saints to suffer (but there was a purpose and would be a compensation.).

commit their souls -- “Commit” (paratithesthōsan, an accounting term, “to deposit or entrust”) is a banking term meaning “to deposit for safe keeping.”

Jesus used the same term in Luke 23:46 while on the cross.

faithful Creator -- Peter uses the word “Creator,” to remind the readers of this letter that when they committed their lives to God, they were simply giving back to God what He had created. As Creator, God knows best the needs of His beloved creatures (1 Peter 2:23; cf. 2 Timothy 1:12). - MSB

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 1 Peter 4". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/1-peter-4.html. 2021.