I Peter offers a great deal of encouragement for the living of a rich practical life in Jesus.
Peter tells us that suffering is a "way of life" for the devoted Christian.
The immediate context has been discussing sufferings and how the Christian should view them.
DON'T BE SURPRISED IF YOU SUFFER... 4:12.
Remember: v. 7 - "the end of all things is near..." Judgment in time is coming. Something is going to happen that will affect these Christians (Jews). This is being written just two years before A.D. 70.
The element of surprise should not overtake the Christian.
Matt. 24 - they had been warned by Jesus of the coming destruction. (Disciples had conveyed this.)
Sufferings are not strange to the Christian.
2 Tim. 3:12
I Peter 1:6
Sufferings are NOT because:
of secret sin
you are not faithful.
God is trying to punish you.
REJOICE WHEN YOU SUFFER... 4:13
Participate - Peter reminds us that Jesus suffered first.
Remember 3:18ff - they can kill but not destroy.
Overjoyed - Exceeding Joy --- WHY?... "You passed the test."
COUNT SUFFERING A BLESSING... 3:14.
Insulted - Reproached - the idea of "word" persecution. Also the physical persecutions
that some were put through was humiliating. (stocks, etc.)
In Jesus - Because of Jesus.
BE SURE YOUR SUFFERINGS ARE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS... 4:15-16.
Don't bring your sufferings on yourselves.
Note the list of sins.
Some people develop a "persecution complex".
Suffer as a Christian - innocently.
Acts 5 - Apostles jailed.
Acts 12 - James killed, Peter put in jail.
Acts 16 - Paul and Silas.
THE REASON TO SUFFER PROPERLY... 4:17-18
Judgment time is beginning.
"At the door..." - (4:5)
If suffering begins with us, what will be their outcome?
II Thess. 1:7-9.
Remember Matt. 24-25 - these are watching. (If it is going to be a real challenge for us who are watching, what about those who are blind? - Peter)
"Scarcely, Hard - (gr) MOLIS - signifies with difficulty, hardly; (from MOLOS, "toil").
Acts 14:18; 27:7, 8, 16.
Not discussing Heaven: Salvation is abundant.
2 Peter 1:11.
2 Tim. 1:12.
POINT: You are coming to a time when you will not have to contend with the ungodly. HANG ON!!!
THE ANSWER: COMMIT OURSELVES TO GOD... 4:19.
Commit - (gr) - PARATITHEMI - signifies to entrust, commend, to give to the control of others.