1 Peter 4 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-6 - Christianity is not just a spiritual pursuit. You need to arm yourself with the same attitude that Jesus had, because there will be physical costs associated with living for Christ as our society devolves.

  • Whereas we used to be insulated here in the upper midwest from truly 'pagan' lifestyles, that's no longer the case as that way of living becomes more and more normal.

  • We often seemed shocked that society is what it is, but we really shouldn't be.

  • In fact, it's these godless people who are shocked at the fact that Christians like you don't join them and that you would dare to call what they're doing sin.

  • Understand that as time goes on, you will get more and more abuse heaped on you for daring to live out Biblical values.

  • But rest assured, those who heap this abuse "will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead (v5)."

  • v7-11 - This passage opens with the ominous phrase "the end of all things is near..." But this doesn't mean what you probably think it means.

  • The common understanding of 'the end' is that all things will be over and done with, like when The End comes on the screen after a movie.

  • There are multiple Greek words Peter could have used if that's what he meant, but instead he used a word that we still, albeit rarely, use in English: telos.

  • It means 'goal / completion.'

  • So we could translate v7 this way: "the goal of all things is near [and that goal is the salvation of your soul and the resurrection of your body].'

  • In this sense, the end is just the beginning!

  • That's why v8-11 encourage you to start living with this ultimate goal in mind right now, because it's near.

  • v12-19 - Once again, you are reminded not to be surprised that things don't seem to be going well for Christians in this world.

  • The early Christians Peter wrote to, who lived in far flung regions of the Roman empire, were undergoing tremendous persecutions.