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1 Peter 4:1-6

Talks for Growing Christians

Suffering for Christ and Righteousness

1 Peter 4:1-6

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Lesson Number 8

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Unbelievers will give an account to the Lord. (1 Peter 4:5)
  2. Believers will receive a reward from the Lord. (1 Peter 4:6)

Practical Application

  1. It’s a good sign when you are maligned for doing right.

Questions

  1. Who were the primary recipients of Peter’s letter?
  2. Refer to 1 Peter 4:3. How can you understand the description of these folks as unbelieving religious Jews?
  3. “…since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” (1 Peter 4:1). Does this mean that if you suffer for Christ you can reach a state of perfection in this life?
  4. Examine 1 Peter 4:1-2 in more detail. What does the mind have to do with ceasing from sin?
  5. When writing to the first century Jewish believers, why was it necessary for Peter to emphasize and explain the matter of suffering for the sake of Christ?

Answers

  1. Jewish believers of the first century who were scattered around the Roman Empire.
  2. These Jews who were scattered around the Roman Empire were surrounded by the pagan Roman culture, and many of them had become acculturated with these practices of pagan Rome.
  3. No. but you will sin less. The word “sin” here conveys the idea of ceasing to live your life in line with your sinful nature. See Romans 6:14.
  4. The principle of 1 Peter 4:1 is that our commitment to suffer for the sake of Christ begins with the mind. It’s a matter of the will. Only then can there be 1 Peter 4:2 – that we should no longer live in sin.
  5. The Old Testament scriptures promised material blessings and long life if you followed the Lord. To the Jews, suffering was a sign of divine disfavor. But now that the Messiah has come and had been rejected, the way of suffering for Christ would be the norm for the committed Christian in a world that rejects Christ.

Discuss/Consider

  1. The Lord Jesus Christ is the judge of the living and the dead. No one will escape the judgment of God. When the Lord returns to this earth, there will be a judgment of the living . See Joel 3 and Matthew 25. Then at the end of our Lord’s thousand year reign on this earth, there will be a judgment of the unbelieving dead . This is the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-13. Read the scriptures listed in this paragraph to understand what it means the unbelievers will give an account to the Lord.
  2. Believers will receive a reward from the Lord. But your level of commitment now makes a difference. How committed are you in suffering for the sake of Christ now? Your commitment now will be in proportion to your eventual reward. Consider this carefully.

Challenge

  1. Have you ever been maligned for doing the right thing as a Christian? Have you been hated by the world when you spoke for Christ? See John 15:18. If so, that’s evidence that you are more than just a secret believer. You are a committed Christian, and it’s a good sign if you are maligned for doing right and hated by the world.

Key Verses

  • “…since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2
  • “Unbelievers will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” 1 Peter 4:5

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