1 Peter Chapter 4

Since Christ suffered in going before us with a perfect example of obedience, we should be mindful of our duty of obedience toward God - because the man who suffers for God has ceased to be concerned with the lusts of this world but has his mind committed to his repentance. (his salvation) (v1,v2) For when in our past lives we have been given over to a reprobate mind, (v3) that others continue inside (and think us strange that we do not) (v4) slandering us as evil, they shall answer to judgement before Christ as sat at the right hand of God as slandering Christ Himself (see ch.3) (v5)

For Christ was preached also to those that are not saved (dead rather than quick) that they might be condemned as breaking the whole law, but also have been offered life in the Spirit by God's grace. (v6) Peter exhorts them with the knowledge that the last age is upon us: for the coming of Christ is soon to happen. We should be mindful to keep ourselves obedient and watch for His coming in prayer, keeping ourselves and our fellows as secure in their faith as we would hope to be ourselves. (v7) Having that blessed charity to edify each other, for in strengthening the faith and resolve of another we will strengthen the obedience to the Holy Spirit, and ensure the writing of God's laws upon their hearts and minds in God's own timeframe, of which we are ignorant. (v8)

Therefore we should be hospitable, acccepting each other, without being high minded one over another for their apparent wealth or lack of obedience or strength of faith whilst they are edified in God's own manner - as every man has received the gift of God's ministration from the Holy Spirit or another believer, let him minister it to any other freely without respect of persons, as keepers of the wide distribution of God's own grace to all, that is intended for all. (v10)

If any man teaches orally, let Him teach on fact from the scriptures. If he minister in the Holy Spirit to edification or prophesying, let Him do it in the fashion God gave Him, that the body of Christ be wholly edified as a "fitly framed building" to the image of the obedience that was shown us in Christ, and of perfect faith - that of Christ Himself who is the first begotten, the perfector of our faith and behaviour and the foremost heir in God's Kingdom. (v11)

Then if any man suffers, it is not a strange thing (v12) - for it is a fiery trial that ensures we are strong enough to be committed mindfully to God, and we should rejoice that we suffer as Christ did. So when Christ returns we might be found with Him, being in receipt of the salvation that is with God's approval. We should be minded that during and after that event, we would look back with joy at our suffering as gain to the approval of ourselves by Christ, rather than to look forward to it with fear presently.

Then, knowing we will suffer, we are happy to know it will work a greater reward of our obedience afterwards, as the salvation of God and the sealing of the Holy Spirit ensures we are no longer only predestined, but saved. (When the Spirit of God rests on us.) (v14) but of those who persecute us and slander Christ we are in the knowledge that unless they repent they shall not see that approval of Christ whom we glorify.

Peter commands them not to suffer as a criminal - (v15) whether guilty or not guilty of the crime one would assume, rather than as hanging their head in shame: but if it be for the reason that He is a Christian (falsely accused) let Him not be ashamed - but let Him glorify God before all for being falsely accused. (For Christ said they are blessed that are despitefully used for His name's sake.) (v16)

For judgement is come to the house of God: many are called but few chosen. Grace is shown all, and of those many are predestined and fall away from the ministration of the Holy Spirit, being tempted away by lusts of the flesh or systems of traditions that are not the true gospel, that sets God at liberty to frame the age by the word of scripture. (v17) If the judgement of God come upon even the obedient, that they are ready to be tested with suffering to death: whether they be "ready" or "not" in other men's eyes: then where shall those who don't believe stand before God at His judgement? (v18)

But rather the believer should keep in mind that God's promises are true to the believer who sets His faith upon His word: and that God is a creator without respect of persons that holds all men equal in their merit for salvation: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God except Christ. That is, there is no malice in God to those that love Him. In this fashion, we come to the statement that God Himself deals in equality with His grace to all men. In the same manner that the way to God is so narrow - (that even the faithful are falling away from salvation), and then that the ungodly have no place - for the believer depends as much upon the respect of persons that characterises the sin of the heretic in his "G v p" statements to provide his edification from teaching as he does the equality with which a faithful creator makes His promises... whether a man be "ready" or "not" to repent. (For we need that schoolmaster of the law, as we have not known the Father as has Christ.)

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