(a) Commands In Suffering (1 Peter 4:7-19)

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Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Peter 4:7-19.

The following picture summarizes this section by listing the ten commands Peter gives to the Church (that includes all Christians) to be observed in times of suffering.

The Ten Commands for end-time suffering are:

(1) Do Be Serious And Watchful In Your Prayers (1 Peter 4:7).

Literally Paul is commanding Christians to be of a sound, temperate mind (self-controlled) and not intoxicated by the wine of this world in their prayers. What could this practically mean ?

Click here for related Scriptures on being sober and watchful in prayer.

(2) Do Have Fervent Love For One Another (1 Peter 4:8).

Christians are to have fervent (lierally 'stretched out') love (agape - self-sacrificial love) for one another. This kind of love covers (literally 'to steal away and hide secretly') a multitude (literally 'a great throng') of sins.

Think practically how this kind of love is demonstrated.

Click here for related Scriptures on fervent love covering a multitude of sins.

(3) Do Be Hospitable To One Another (1 Peter 4:9).

Literally, Peter commands them to be fond (phileo - brotherly affection) of guests (foreigners,strangers). This is not just an external show of hospitality but must be without grudging (grumbling or murmuring). Think about what it means to be hospitable without grumbling - how are you in this area ?

Click here for related Scriptures on hospitality without grudging.

(4) Do Minister To One Another (1 Peter 4:10-11).

We must use the Spiritual Gifts we have received (literally 'laid hold on') as good(literally 'beautiful') stewards of the manifold (many-sided) graceof God , ministering to one another.

Verse 11 says that as we minister in utterance (words) or in actions we must do it as the Lord gives us words and as the Lord furnishes (the greek word is 'choregeo' which means 'to be a dance-leader' and is where we get the modern dance term 'choreograph'). This must be in His power and enabling.

Think about what this practically means.

Through us doing this God is glorified (the primary goal of our existence).

Click here for related Scriptures on ministering.

(5) Don't Think It Strange Concerning The Fiery Trial (1 Peter 4:12).

We are not to consider suffering for Jesus as foreign (Strange) to us, but consider it as something to try (test, refine as through fire) us.

Click here for related Scriptures on Fiery Trials.

(6) Do Rejoice To The Extent That You Partake Of Christ's Sufferings (1 Peter 4:13).

We are to be calmly happy in sufferings as we are sharers with Christ in this truly noble cause. Notice that rejoicing is to the extent of how much suffering we endure for Christ! If we allow His joy to be manifest in us in suffering then we see Jesus returning in glory (when His glory is revealed) we will be glad(same greek word as 'rejoice' used here) but also with exceeding joy (literally to 'leap with gushing joy').

Click here for an article on Rejoicing in persecution.

Click here for related Scriptures on rejoicing in partaking in Christ's sufferings and the exceeding joy when He is revealed.

(7) Do Be Blessed (literally 'happy') If Reproached For The Name Of Christ (1 Peter 4:14).

If we are reproached (literally 'defamed' or 'slandered' - 'dragging our name in the mud') for Christ's sake we are commanded to be happy because God's Spirit of glory rests on (literally 'refreshes') us. This clearly shows the common theme in this letter of God's glory coming after and during suffering for Him.

Click here for related Scriptures on being happy when reproached and suffering.

(8) Don't Suffer As An Evildoer (1 Peter 4:15).

No Christians are to suffer ('pascho') as a murderer, thief, evil-doer or a busy body - look at the greek words for each by clicking on the link and see what each term literally means. This means that we are not to suffer because we deserve it (this is just punishment) but suffer for Christ when we don't deserve it.

See also 1 Peter 3:17.

(9) Don't Be Ashamed For Suffering For Christ (1 Peter 4:16).

Peter commands suffering Christians not to have the feeling of being ashamed because of this. Instead they are to glorify God in the midst of their trials. What does this practically mean ?

Click here for related Scriptures on not being ashamed of suffering for Christ.

The verses 1 Peter 4:17-18 serve as a parenthesis stating that God's judgement comes first to the Church before the world is judged. The church will be judged as to whether it can go through suffering without being ashamed (judgement of fire).

Click here for related Scriptures on judgement starting with God's people.

Peter states that if judgement comes first on His people (the righteous), how much more will come on the unrighteous.

Click here for related Scriptures on the greater judgement of the unbelievers.

(10) Do Commit Your Soul To Him In Doing Good (1 Peter 4:19).

We are to 'place alongside' our souls in doing good - i.e. align our lives to going that which is pleasing in God's eyes. This is a to a faithful (trustworthy) Creator (author of all things - He knows the end from the beginning).

Click here for related Scriptures commiting our souls to God in doing good.

Click here to view the 10 Commandments of Suffering For Christ Diagram again.

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