1 Peter chapter 4

Restrain your desires for sin. Love other people zealously. Exercise your Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Endure your trial by fire. [UPDATED]




VERSE 1. Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind; for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

has ceased from sin. People who have been tortured for their faith will no longer sin.

This is remarkable!


VERSE 2. that you no longer should live the rest of your time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.


VERSE 3. For we have spent enough of our past time doing the desire of the Gentiles, and having walked in lewdness, lusts, drunken binges, orgies, carousings, and abominable idolatries.

lewdness. That is, debauchery.

lusts. That is, evil desires.


VERSE 4. They think it is strange that you don’t run with them into the same excess of riot, blaspheming.

NAB translation: They are surprised that you do not plunge into the same swamp of profligacy, and they vilify you.


VERSE 5. They will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.


VERSE 6. For to this end the Good News was preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed as men in the flesh, but live as to God in the spirit.

preached even to the dead. Tradition holds that after Jesus Christ died, he triumphantly descended into Hell and freed the captives.

This is called the “Harrowing of Hell.” These verses might allude to it:

Isaiah 24:22. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; and after many days they will be visited.

1 Peter 3:19. in whom he also went and preached to the spirits in prison,

1 Peter 4:6. For to this end the Good News was preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed as men in the flesh, but live as to God in the spirit.




VERSE 7. But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the First Letter of Peter and from the entire Bible.

Since the End of Days might happen at any moment, we should be clear-minded and prayerful. To pray, it takes a clear mind and self-control.


VERSE 8. And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins.

be earnest. The Greek word is ἐκτενῆ (“ektenē”). It means intent, constant, strenuous, intense, earnest, zealous. Our love for one another is to be intense.

love covers a multitude of sins. This famous expression came from this verse.

Proverbs 10:12. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all wrongs.


VERSE 9. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

Be hospitable. Sometimes we might interact with an angel without even knowing it.

Along those lines, when three strangers arrive, Abraham welcomes them into his camp and treats them like royalty. This is called “desert hospitality.” We are to do the same. Read  more »

without grumbling. Some people are always complaining. Or arguing. Those are destructive habits. They harm the individual. And the community. They need to STOP. Read more »


VERSE 10. As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms.



SUMMARY: The Holy Spirit gives special gifts to some individuals so they can serve the community of Christian believers. In this verse, Peter mentions two of the 20 Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Which one(s) have you been given?


VERSE 11. If anyone speaks, let it be as it were the very words of God. If anyone serves, let it be as of the strength which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the First Letter of Peter and from the entire Bible.

speaks. The Greek word is λαλεῖ (“lalei”). It means to speak, to say, to talk. In this context, it means to speak God’s words.

serves. The Greek word is διακονία (“diakonia”). It means waiting at table, active service with a willing attitude.

It is often translated as “minister.” We minister to the needs of others.

Many Christians assume that they are not qualified to do Christian ministry, and that ministry is meant to be done only by their clerics.

Hence in some denominations the laypeople feel their only task is to Pay, Pray, and Obey.

However, they have it backwards.

The clerics exist to train the believers. Believers are to go out and do the ministry.

Perhaps laypeople do not feel quailified because their clerics have been derelict in their duty of training them.

that in all things. The use of these gifts has a purpose. It is not to make ourselves feel good. Rather, Peter mentions two purposes:

God may be glorified. The one to be glorified is God, not ourselves.

Some gifted individuals exercise their ministries as if to say this:

“Hey, look at me! See how special I am?”

Our gifts are not for the glorification of ourselves.

through Jesus Christ. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are meant for ministry that is centered on Jesus Christ.

True, God the Father is to be glorified. But God the Father is to be glorified through Jesus Christ.

For us Christians, Jesus Christ is never an optional accessory. We are to make him front-and-center of everything we do.

All our ministries are to glorify God through Jesus Christ. No ministries are exempt from that purpose.




VERSE 12. Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you.


VERSE 13. But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy.

rejoice with exceeding joy. When we are persecuted for our faith, we are to dance and leap for joy!


VERSE 14. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified.

insulted for the name of Christ. Some Christians go out of their way to annoy others.

When they are objected to, they say they are being persecuted. However, they are not. They are simply jerks.


VERSE 15. For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or a meddler in other men’s matters.


VERSE 16. But if one of you suffers for being a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this matter.

suffers for being a Christian. In our day, people in some nations are actively persecuted just for being a Christian.


VERSE 17. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don’t obey the Good News of God?

1 Timothy 3:15. but if I wait long, that you may know how men ought to behave themselves in God’s house, which is the assembly of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Hebrews 3:6. but Christ is faithful as a Son over his house. We are his house, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end.

Hebrews 10:21. and having a great priest over God’s house,

1 Peter 2:5.  You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 4:17. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don’t obey the Good News of God?


VERSE 18. “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?”


VERSE 19. Therefore let them also who suffer according to the will of God in doing good entrust their souls to him, as to a faithful Creator.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.