1 Peter 4
Summary: Peter is writing this letter to Christians scattered all throughout Asia Minor (Turkey) who are currently facing persecution because of their faith. His purpose is to encourage believers to endure trials & suffering by relying on God’s promises.
(V. 1-2) Peter gives us a bold call to be committed to fulfilling the purpose of our lives in Christ. The chapters before this have shown that we were rescued from meaningless lives and set apart from the rest of the world so God could use us for his purpose. Now that we all have eternal life in Christ, we should all think like him (including suffering) and desire what he desires . That changes what we ultimately live our lives for.
(V. 3-6) The road to submitting to Christ and the road to self-serving pleasure go in opposite directions. People who continue to pursue self-serving pleasure won’t understand or accept the Christian lifestyle. Those people will probably resent you for not participating in their unbelief, especially if you used to participate before salvation. Peter makes clear that criticism and condemnation are expected for living for Christ.
(V. 7-11) Christ will return to bring judgement one day. To be sure you honor his name until then, we have to be self controlled and sober minded. Each day we have a conscious decision to make: to repent and say no to the flesh, or give in to worldly desires. Either way, you will give an account for those decisions when He returns. Strive to love, speak, and serve people with the gifts God has given you. He is honored when you do good in his name.
(V. 12-19) DO NOT be surprised when suffering happens. If your eyes are always on the return of Christ, then suffering is a temporary situation that you can use to glorify God. Suffering in his name is a blessing, Peter says the Spirit of Glory and of God rest on you.
How has your week been spiritually?
What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
(V. 1-2) How does living for God's will help us overcome sin?
(V. 1-2) What does it mean to cease from sin? Is that possible? (Romans 6:1-19)
(V. 3-6) Who’s kingdom has benefited more from your decisions: you or God?
(V. 3-6) Has anyone ever been surprised that you didn’t join them in sin? Explain.
(V. 3-6) How do we respond to people who resent us for not taking part in their sin?
(V. 7-11) Is self-control an easy thing to practice in your life? Give some examples
(V. 7-11) How can your love cover a multitude of other people's sin?
(V. 7-11) What gift has God given you? Are you using it for His glory?
(V. 12-19) How could suffering be considered a blessing?
(V. 12-19) Have you ever used suffering to glorify God? How?