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                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"

                              Chapter Four

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER

1) To notice the attitudes one should have in suffering for
   righteousness' sake

2) To review how we should serve God as we live in the "end times"

SUMMARY

The theme of suffering for righteousness' sake continues.  Just as
Christ was willing to suffer for us in the flesh, we should have the
same attitude and strive to live for the will of God instead of the
lusts of men.  When we give up sins like lewdness, drunkenness,
revelries, drinking parties, etc., those in the world make think it
strange.  Yet they themselves will give an account to Him who will judge
both the living and the dead by the gospel preached to those who are
dead (1-6).

Living in the end times, Peter admonishes Christians to be serious and
watchful in their prayers, fervent in their love for one another, and
hospitable to one another without grumbling.  They are to make use of
their gifts as good stewards of God's manifold grace, whether it be in
speaking or serving, using such abilities to glorify God through Christ
who has all authority and power (7-11).

Suffering for Christ should not be considered a strange thing, but an
occasion to rejoice.  Those who partake of Christ's sufferings will be
exceedingly glad when His glory is revealed.  In the meantime, they are
blessed because the Spirit of God rests upon those who glorify Christ by
their suffering.  While they should not suffer for doing evil, there is
nothing shameful about suffering for Christ.  As God's judgment draws
near, those who do not obey the gospel have no hope, whereas those who
suffer according to God's will can commit their souls in doing good to
Him who is a faithful Creator (12-19).

OUTLINE

I. OUR DUTIES AS SUFFERERS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE (1-6)

   A. TO HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST (1-3)
      1. Who suffered for us in the flesh
         a. Therefore we should arm ourselves with the same mind
         b. For he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin
         c. That he should no longer live in the flesh
            1) For the lusts of men
            2) But for will of God
      2. No longer doing the will of the Gentiles
         a. Which we have done enough in our past
         b. Walking in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking
            parties, and abominable idolatries

   B. NOT DAUNTED BY THE OPPOSITION (4-6)
      1. They may think us strange
         a. That you do not run with them in the same flood of
            dissipation
         b. Speaking evil of you
      2. They will give an account
         a. To Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead
         b. For which reason the gospel was preached to those who are
            dead
            1) That they might be judged according to men in the flesh
            2) But live according to God in the spirit

II. OUR DUTIES AS THOSE WAITING THE COMING OF CHRIST (7-19)

   A. TO PRAY, LOVE, AND SERVE (7-11)
      1. Because the end of all things is at hand...
         a. Be serious and watchful in your prayers
         b. Above all things, have fervent love for one another, which
            covers a multitude of sins
         c. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling
         d. Minister your gifts to one another as good stewards of God's
            manifold grace
            1) Those who speak should do so as the oracles of God
            2) Those who serve should do so with the ability God
               provides
            3) That in all things God may be glorified through Jesus, to
               whom belongs the glory and dominion forever

   B. TO REJOICE AND GLORIFY GOD (12-16)
      1. Rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings
         a. Don't think the fiery trial to come as some strange thing
         b. When His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with
            exceeding joy
         c. You are blessed if reproached for the name of Christ
            1) For the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you
            2) On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is
               glorified
      2. Glorify God through such suffering
         a. Do not suffer as a murderer, thief, evildoer, or busybody
         b. Do not be ashamed for suffering as a Christian

   C. TO TRUST IN THE WILL OF GOD (17-19)
      1. The time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God
         a. If it begins with us first, what will be the end of those
            who do not obey the gospel of God?
         b. If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the
            ungodly and sinner appear?
      2. Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their
         souls to Him
         a. In doing good
         b. As to a faithful Creator

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER

1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Our duties as sufferers for righteousness' sake (1-6)
   - Our duties as those waiting for coming of Christ (7-19)

2) What two reasons are given for us to have the "mind of Christ"
   regarding suffering? (1)
   - Christ suffered for us in the flesh
   - He who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin

3) How should one live in whatever time they have left in the flesh? (2)
   - For the will of God, not the lusts of the flesh

4) What sins are mentioned as being "the will of the Gentiles"? (3)
   - Lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties,
     abominable idolatries

5) How do people in the world react when you no longer do such things?
   (4)
   - They think it strange
   - They speak evil of you

6) To whom shall they have to answer? (5)
   - He who is ready to judge the living and the dead

7) Why was the gospel preached to those who are dead? (6)
   - That they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live
     according to God in the spirit

8) In view of the end of all things being at hand, how should we live?
   (7-10)
   - Serious and watchful in our prayers
   - With fervent love for one another
   - Hospitable to one another without grumbling
   - Ministering our gifts to one another, as good stewards of God's
     manifold grace

9) How should one speak?  How should one serve?  Why? (11)
   - As the oracles of God
   - With the ability God supplies
   - That in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ

10) What should be our reactions to any fiery trial that may come our
    way? (12-13)
   - Don't think it strange
   - Rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's suffering

11) What do those who suffer for Christ have to look forward to? (13)
   - Exceeding joy when Christ's glory is revealed

12) Why is one who suffers for Christ blessed? (14)
   - The Spirit of God rests upon them
   - On their part Christ is glorified

13) For what reasons should a Christian not suffer? (15)
   - As a murderer, thief, evildoer, busybody in other people's matters

14) How should one react if they suffer as a Christian? (16)
   - Do not be ashamed; glorify God in this matter

15) Upon whom does the judgment of God begin?  Who will face the
    greater judgment? (17)
   - The house of God
   - Those who obey not the gospel of Christ

16) Who will be "scarcely saved"? (18)
   - The righteous

17) What should those who suffer according to the will of God do? (19)
   - Commit their souls to God in doing good
   - Commit their souls to God as to a faithful Creator
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