1 Peter 3:14 – 5:11

Exhortations with Regard to Christian Suffering
1 Peter 3:14 – 5:11
Christian Suffering. Having introduced the subject of suffering in ch.2, Peter returns to the subject for a broader treatment.


Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake (3:14 – 4:11)

Have a Happy Spirit and Sanctify the Lord in Our Hearts (vv.14-16)

14 But if also ye should suffer for righteousness’ sake, blessed are ye; but be not afraid of their fear, neither be troubled; 15 but sanctify the Lord the Christ in your hearts, and be always prepared to give an answer to every one that asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you, but with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that as to that in which they speak against you as evildoers, they may be ashamed who calumniate your good conversation in Christ. 

Better to Suffer as a Well-Doer than as a Evil-Doer (v.17)

17 For it is better, if the will of God should will it, to suffer as well-doers than as evildoers; 

Example: Christ Suffered for Sins But Was Raised in Good Conscience Before God (vv.18-22)

18 for Christ indeed has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in flesh, but made alive in the Spirit, v.18 Put to death in flesh or physical body. Raised by the Spirit of God (as well as His own power, and by the Father).
19 in which also going he preached to the spirits which are in prison, 20 heretofore disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing, into which few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water: vv.19-20 Preaching to the Spirits. The same Spirit that raised Christ also moved Noah to preach to the spirits of men who are now in spiritual prison. The reason they are in prison is that they disobeyed the word preached by Noah while God in long-suffering waited to send judgment while the ark was being prepared. In Hebrews the ark saved them, here the water saved them. Not inward putting away filth of the flesh, but outward (Acts 2:40). Only 8. 
 21 which figure also now saves you, even baptism, not a putting away of the filth of flesh, but the demand as before God of a good conscience, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being subjected to him. vv.19-22 The same waters that destroyed all flesh on the earth is what lifted the ark above the tide. It is the judgment of God on proud sinners that we need to be saved from, but it is the judgment of God upon His Son that saves us! Peter refers to this, explaining that baptism works the same way. Peter says that the water saved those on the ark. He picks up on the fact that scripture says “the waters increased, and bore up the ark” (Gen. 7:22-24). Baptism saves us in an outward sense, by separating us from the world which is coming under judgment. It is in this sense that Noah’s ark “condemned the world” (Heb. 11:7). 

To Cease from Sin is to Suffer in the Flesh (Christ, Sin Without – Us, Sin Within) (vv.1-2)

Christ, then, having suffered for us in the flesh, do “ye” also arm yourselves with the same mind; for he that has suffered in the flesh has done with sin, 2 no longer to live the rest of his time in the flesh to men’s lusts, but to God’s will. 

The Christian Life in the View of the Unconverted (vv.3-6)

3 For the time past is sufficient for us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, walking in lasciviousness, lusts, wine-drinking, revels, drinkings, and unhallowed idolatries. 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same sink of corruption, speaking injuriously of you5 who shall render account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For to this end were the glad tidings preached to the dead also, that they might be judged, as regards men, after the flesh, but live, as regards God, after the Spirit. 

Christian Behavior and Spiritual Gift (vv.7-11)

7 But the end of all things is drawn nigh: be sober therefore, and be watchful unto prayers; 8 but before all things having fervent love among yourselves, because love covers a multitude of sins; 9 hospitable one to another, without murmuring; 10 each according as he has received a gift, ministering it to one another, as good stewards of the various grace of God. 11 If any one speak — as oracles of God; if any one minister — as of strength which God supplies; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory and the might for the ages of ages. Amen. v.11 To speak as the oracles of God is to speak with the conviction that the Word of God is explicit and final.
What are spiritual gifts?

Every believer has been given a special gift to aid them in their service for the Lord, and to benefit the whole body of Christ. These spiritual gifts are special abilities, and they are supernatural, although they do not always appear to be "miraculous" in the conventional sense of the word. Spiritual gifts are "spiritual", in that they do not come from man, although they could be given by apostolic power as in the case of Timothy (2 Tim. 1:6). People are not born with spiritual gifts, nor can they be gained by study or theological training. They are conveyed to a believer by the Holy Spirit upon salvation; hence they are "gifts". You cannot purchase a gift of God with money (Acts 8:20). God can use “unlearned and ignorant men” like Peter and John the fishermen, or He can use a well-educated man like the Apostle Paul, who learned at Gamaliel's feet. The Spirit uses "whom He will" (1 Cor. 12:11). I do not believe the lists of gifts in scripture are exhaustive, but they do give us generally the spheres of Christian ministry.

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Suffering for the Name of Christ (4:12-19)

Don’t Think Persecution Strange, Rather Rejoice (vv.12-13)

12 Beloved, take not as strange the fire of persecution which has taken place amongst you for your trial, as if a strange thing was happening to you; 13 but as ye have share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, that in the revelation of his glory also ye may rejoice with exultation. 

The Spirit of God is Glorified (v.14)

14 If ye are reproached in the name of Christ, blessed are ye; for the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God rests upon you: on their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified. 

Don’t Suffer as an Evildoer, Judgment to Begin at the House of God (vv.15-18)

15 Let none of you suffer indeed as murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or as overseer of other people’s matters; 16 but if as a christian, let him not be ashamed, but glorify God in this name. 17 For the time of having the judgment begin from the house of God is come; but if first from us, what shall be the end of those who obey not the glad tidings of God? 18 And if the righteous is difficultly saved, where shall the impious and the sinner appear? 

In Suffering We Commit Our Souls to God Who is Faithful (v.19)

19 Wherefore also let them who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing to a faithful Creator. 

(Exhortations Concerning Oversight, Submission, and Humility) (5:1-7)

Exhortation to the Elders to Be Examples, Their Coming Reward (vv.1-4)

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am their fellow-elder and witness of the sufferings of the Christ, who also am partaker of the glory about to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising oversight, not by necessity, but willingly; not for base gain, but readily; 3 not as lording it over your possessions, but being models for the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd is manifested ye shall receive the unfading crown of glory. 

Exhortation for the Younger to Submit, Everyone to Bind on Humility (vv.5-7)

5 Likewise ye younger, be subject to the elder, and all of you bind on humility towards one another; for God sets himself against the proud, but to the humble gives grace. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the due time; 7 having cast all your care upon him, for he cares about you. 

Suffering from the Opposition of the Devil (5:8-11)

A Description of the Devil (v.8)

8 Be vigilant, watch. Your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walks about seeking whom he may devour. 

Exhortation to Resist (Involves Suffering) (v.9)

9 Whom resist, stedfast in faith, knowing that the selfsame sufferings are accomplished in your brotherhood which is in the world. 

The God of All Grace to Sustain Us, and Eternal Glory Before Us (vv.10-11)

10 But the God of all grace who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, when ye have suffered for a little while, himself shall make perfect, stablish, strengthen, ground: 11 to him be the glory and the might for the ages of the ages. Amen.