1 Peter 4: Suffering for Christ

To what extent is complete freedom from sin possible?

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John 8:36 “So if the Son makes you free, you really are free.”
Galatians 5:16 Let me make this perfectly clear: if you listen to God’s Spirit within, you will seek to please him and to benefit others, not to satisfy your selfish desires.
1 Peter 4:1 Like Jesus suffered for us in the flesh, we should be of the same mindset. Free from sin, we should be willing to endure suffering in the flesh for his sake.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our wrongdoing, he is sure to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
King James
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

How can freedom from sin make suffering more tolerable?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Peter 4:1 Like Jesus suffered for us in the flesh, we should be of the same mindset. Free from sin, we should be willing to endure suffering in the flesh for his sake.
King James
1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

If we desire something that we feel is not good for us, how can we change that desire?

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Jeremiah 13:23 Can people change the color of their skin, or can the leopards remove their spots? If so, then those who practice evil can also do good.
Psalm 37:4 If any addiction or heart’s desire is not what you feel it should be, keep deepening your pleasure in the Lord and he will help you change.
2 Corinthians 3:18 Like someone looking into a mirror, when we see the Lord in the glory of the new contract, we become more like him, being changed from glory to greater glory by the work of his Spirit.
1 Peter 4:2 Be driven by what God wants, not the self-serving desires of your flesh.
King James
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

Why might people who know God still follow the world’s standards?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Peter 4:3 Before people knew God, they followed the world’s standards. They were drinking, partying, and pursuing immoral pleasures, serving and worshiping that which is not God.
King James
1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

What view do most non-Christians have of Christian behavior?

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1 Peter 4:4 They can’t understand your absence from their drunken revelries, so they condemn you.
King James
1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

How does God’s judgment of Christians differ from his judgment of others?

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1 Peter 4:5 One day when God judges the living and the dead, they will be accountable for their behavior.
King James
1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

Who are the “dead” that the good news was preached to?

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1 Peter 3:19 He took the good news to the dead, preaching to the imprisoned spirits,
1 Peter 4:6 The good news was preached to those who are now dead, so believers died like everyone else, but they now live with God in the spirit.
King James
1 Peter 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Why do you think first-century Christians expected Jesus’ return one day very soon, yet two thousand years have passed?

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1 Peter 4:7 The end of this age is coming soon. You don’t know when, so be alert as if today could be that day, in constant contact with the Lord in prayer.
King James
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Why is forgiveness a necessity, yet so difficult for some to accept?

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Exodus 21:23–24 If there is injury, the punishment must match: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot,
Matthew 18:21–22 Simon Peter said to Jesus, “How often should I forgive someone who has wronged me? Seven times?”
“No, that is not enough. Until seventy-seven times, you should keep forgiving.”
Mark 11:26 “If you do not forgive, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, be passionate in your love for others, for true love doesn’t limit how often we forgive an offense.
King James
Exodus 21:23–24 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Matthew 18:21–22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

How the nature of God’s love compare to the love we should have?

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Luke 10:27 “You must love God with your whole heart, with all your being and all your strength. And you must love your neighbor as yourself.”
Romans 5:8 The immense greatness of God’s love is proven by the fact that we were undeserving sinners when Christ died for us.
Ephesians 5:2 Love even those who hate you, following Jesus’ example, for he loved so much that he sacrificed his own life, greatly pleasing God.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, be passionate in your love for others, for true love doesn’t limit how often we forgive an offense.
1 John 3:16 We recognize God’s love because he sacrificed his life for us, and we ought to give our lives for the sake of others.
King James
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

What is the benefit of sharing with others if they can’t return the favor?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 6:1–4 “Be careful not to do your good deeds publicly so others will admire you. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven. When you give to the needy, do not call attention to yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets. They want people to praise them. Without a doubt, they have received all the reward they will ever get. Instead, when you help someone, do it quietly, without fanfare. Then your Father will see what you have done in secret and will reward you.”
1 Peter 4:9 Eagerly share with others without expecting something in return.
King James
Matthew 6:1–4 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

Why is there greater blessing in giving than in receiving?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 6:19–20 “Do not store up treasure for yourselves on Earth, where moths and rust can eat it up and thieves break in and steal. Instead, store your treasure in Heaven, where it is safe from moths and rust and thieves.”
Acts 20:35 By my example, you have seen how we should work to help those in need. Remember that Jesus said greater blessing is found in giving, not receiving.
1 Peter 4:10 Be generous in giving of what you have received, as good servants who demonstrate the abundance of God’s grace.
King James
Matthew 6:19–20 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Why do you think some Christians believe they should never suffer?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 27:5 In troublesome times, God will give me shelter. He will keep me safe in his own dwelling place, on a high rock out of reach.
Jeremiah 29:11 The Lord says, “I have fully drawn up the plans I have for your lives. The details are laid out to complete something very good, not to harm you at all, but to give you hope for what comes in the end.”
1 Peter 4:12–13 Beloved Christians, don’t regard your terrible ordeal as something unusual, because it’s there to demonstrate your faith. Rejoice when you get to suffer for righteousness like Jesus, for you will be overjoyed when he returns in glory.
King James
Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
1 Peter 4:12–13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

How can we feel blessed when we are being insulted?

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1 Peter 4:14 If you are ridiculed for being like Christ, doing what pleases him, rejoice in the Holy Spirit who blesses you in the midst of insults.
King James
1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Under what conditions can suffering be glorious?

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1 Peter 4:15–16 If you must suffer, never let it be for murder, theft, meddling in other people’s affairs, or some other wrongdoing. Let your suffering for Christ be a source of glory, not shame.
King James
1 Peter 4:15–16 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

How can we know where we are and where God wants us to be?

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Proverbs 3:6 Let the Lord guide everything you do, and he will keep you on the right path.
Proverbs 16:9 People want to map their entire journey, but God shows them only the next step.
James 1:5 If you don’t know the truth or how to apply it, then ask God, because he’s eager to help and won’t make you feel stupid.
1 Peter 4:17 It’s time for God’s household to take inventory. Consider where you are, for if you fail to heed the good news, how can you ever be where God wants you to be?
King James
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

What qualifies Christians to help the ungodly?

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Acts 3:4–6 They turned toward him, and Peter said, “Look, you expect to receive money from us, but we have no silver or gold. I’ll give you what I do have. By the authority and power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.”
Ephesians 4:11–12 We spread the good news according to the means he has given to us as his special messengers, teaching, preaching, traveling the country, or speaking in one place to equip God’s people to do his work and strengthen the family of Christ.
1 Peter 4:18 When Christians are still struggling with sin, they are ill-equipped to help the ungodly.
King James
Acts 3:4–6 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Ephesians 4:11–12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Under what conditions might we experience suffering?

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Luke 12:6 “The price of five sparrows is not much, but one sparrow cannot die without God’s knowledge.”
1 Thessalonians 2:14 My friends, you became like the assemblies of believers in Judea. You’ve been persecuted in your own country much like the Jews have persecuted followers of Jesus Christ in their land.
1 Peter 4:19 Let your suffering come only from doing what pleases God, trusting him with your life, for your Creator will never forsake you.
King James
Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
1 Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.