Daily Devotional Thursday 9th September 2021by William Moody
1 Peter 4
Stewards of God’s Grace
4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,1 arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Suffering as a Christian
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory2 and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”3
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
In speaking of Christ’s suffering Peter speaks of how Jesus endured this to defeat sin in people’s lives (v1-2). Jesus was suffering so that this work would be applied to the believer’s life to enable them turn from a life of sin. Sin is following our fallen desires, but salvation brings us instead to seek God’s will.
Peter speaks of what was common in a life of sin (v3), the life the believer has to have left behind. This way of living is so natural to the sinner so that they are so surprised when the Christian refuses to be part of this anymore (v4). The Christian’s new life will so trouble the unbeliever that they may hit out to malign the believer in order to justify their own behaviour.
There is something wrong if the way we live as believers doesn’t at time make the unsaved feel uncomfortable. It is not our task to fit in to the ways of the world but rather to be different for the sake of Christ.
Peter teaches how the unsaved will have to give an account for their conduct (v5). They who sit in judgment on believers will face God’s scrutiny.
The dead that the Gospel was preached to are Christians who responded to the Gospel in their lives and therefore are now safe in the judgment (v6). Although they died, by God’s grace they continue to live in their spirits.
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