07 Our Turn from Sin to Service 1 Pet 4:1-11 – Study NotesFireproof Faith
Since Jesus suffered though he was righteous, we must arm ourselves and prepare to suffer, also. We are done with sinful living; the time for that way of life is past. Our worldly associates should be surprised by our new identity and our refusal to join in their behavior. Because we know the end is near, we think soberly. Love fervently, forgive willingly, and serve eagerly. Through it all, we give God the glory.
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4:1-3 Wear Your Armor: Suffer and Live for the Lord!
4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality1, lusts 2, drunkenness3, carousing4, drinking parties5, and abominable idolatries6.
Now Peter calls us to a radical break with the past and an all-out conversion to serve Jesus Christ, no matter what.
“You turned …” 1 Th 1:6-10
Rom 6-8, esp. 6:1-11
Christ suffered. Must we, also? Rom 8:17-18; Col 1:24-29; all of 1 Peter!
“Arm yourself!” Dress for battle! Eph 6:10-18; Rom 13:12; 2 Cor 6:7; 10:4
“Ceased from sin” if we suffer cannot mean, “unable to sin.” Then what does it mean?
What does our response to suffering have to do with our decision to live for God’s will?
Describe the pre-Christian behavior of Peter’s readers.
Terms in 4:3. 1Debauchery, lewdness, lasciviousness; unbridled, unrestrained sin. 2Evil, uncontrolled desires. 3Clear enough! Stay sober! 4Orgies, revelries. 5Wild, raucous, loud binging parties. 6Disgusting, forbidden, against (God’s) law – idolatries.
4:4-6 Shock Your Peers: Live in Light of God’s Judgment!
4:4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation1, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.
Should our new lifestyle appear strange, even shocking, to non-Christians? Why?
Whom have you surprised recently by what you were no longer willing to do?
1Recklessness, wildness, wastefulness, from Gk. for “unsavedness.”
Why would former associates or friends malign or heap abuse on us?
How does the doctrine of the final judgment enable us to endure such mistreatment?
In 4:6, who are the dead to whom the gospel was preached? Are they now alive?
Once people die, will they have a second chance to hear the gospel and be saved?
4:7-9 Check Your Clock: Begin with the End in Mind!
4:7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
Discuss: “Since God is ready to judge at any time, the end is always near.”
In what ways does this one fact motivate us to …
Be more focused?
Be more self-controlled?
Pray more consistently?
Love each other to the point of unlimited forgiveness?
Offer hospitality more eagerly?
Stop complaining and griping?
4:10-11 Unwrap Your Gift: Serve Others to God’s Glory!
4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Has God placed in your hands a gift intended just for you?
What is your particular gift? What is its purpose? How are you using it?
Do you see yourself as a “steward” in the local church? What does that mean?
“Manifold” = many-sided, multi-faceted, many-colored, various. As a diamond.
Are you prepared to give account to God for your management of what is His?
Two categories: “Whoever speaks, do it ___.” “Whoever serves, do it ___.”
“So that …” What is our ultimate aim? How well are you hitting that target?
What systems, tools, and strategies will you adopt to sharpen your focus?
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and one grandchild.