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1Peter Lesson #06

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1PETER 4
Lesson #06
SUFFERING AND JUDGMENT

  • Memory Verse: 1Pet 4:8

 

  • Peter’s theme of suffering resurfaces again in this chapter. We have already seen this theme weave its way through the text of Peter’s message to us.
  • Rejoice in suffering because it benefits us. (Chapter 1)
  • Suffering produces holiness in the Christian life. (Chapter 3)
    • Peter expands this thought in chapter 4.
    • Read 1Pet 4:1-7

 

  • “…as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh…”

 

        (1)

        • Jesus Christ bore our sins in His flesh on the cross.
          • This fact gives the believer power in the spiritual world. At the moment of the experience of the new birth, the believer has the potential of having the mind of Christ because he has the Holy Spirit living inside. (Phi 2:5)

 

  • “…he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.”

 

        (1)

        • Here is the key to the purpose of suffering. Suffering is supposed to orient our lives to rely more fully on Christ. In doing that, the believer becomes more and more sanctified, more holy and without sin, and more mature in his Christian walk.
          • How does suffering achieve a cessation from sin?
            • When a believer lives through deep trouble or severe pain, he begins to ask God for direction and help for freedom from severe pain, etc.
            • This focus on the Lord enables the Lord to re-direct one’s goals and to reestablish one’s priorities.
            • Suffering drives one to his knees as he cries out to God.
            • Suffering calls our attention away from the temptations to sin. In this way we can say that suffering keeps us from sin.
        • Three times in this book Peter tells us that Christ paid the penalty for our sins in his own body. (1Pet 2:4 1Pet 3:18 1Pet 4:1)
          • When Christ paid the penalty for sin in His body, He did not have to deal with sin again. When the believer identifies himself with Christ’s death on the cross, he can put on the mind of Christ and not have to deal with sin again for it has been done for him by Christ. The problem is that the Christian forgets to put on the mind of Christ. He forgets to take advantage of that provision.
            • God has made every provision for the true born-again Christian not to live in sin. If he falls into sin and enjoys living in this way, he is not truly a born- again believer.
              • The story of the prodigal son is the example: (Luk 15:11-32).
                • Because the prodigal son was not happy living in the pigpen, we can determine that he was not a pig but a son of his father. The born-again believer has a new nature, the nature of his father, a Holy God. He will therefore want to live in that relationship of holiness.
                • What is it that drove the prodigal son out of the pigpen? Suffering.
      • Therefore, the believer that permits suffering to drive him to holiness will spend the rest of his Christian life in the will of God. (2) He will have left his life of sin in the pigpen (3) and not return to it.
        • The non-believers with whom we associated in the past and enjoyed sin together will not understand our decision for Christ. If we please God and not men, we will seek holiness above popularity. (4)
        • The believer will know that one day he will give account to God for his Christian life.(5)
          • That judgment will occur at the Judgment Seat of Christ immediately after the rapture of the church.
            • This is the judgment for believers only. It is more of a rewards ceremony than what we usually think of in terms of a judgment for this is where the believer receives the rewards for the things done in his life for Christ.
            • The believer that has done nothing with his Christian life for Christ, but has lived only for himself, will suffer loss at this judgment.
          • Read 2Cor 5:10

 

  • “For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead…”

 

        (6)

        • Because there is going to be a judgment to come, all people must be aware that there is a difference between non-believers and believers.
          • Believers will appear before God at the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards for obedience. Non-believers will appear before the Great White Throne judgment for eternal condemnation.
        • The idea is that if people really understood the difference between these two judgments, they would desire to choose the judgment of believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
          • This is the reason why we must preach the gospel to all people, in order to give them the opportunity to stand with believers in the judgment. (6)

 

  • “But the end of all things is at hand…”

 

        (7)

        • From the time of Jesus’ first coming to this earth, believers have looked for the imminent return of Christ, our blessed hope. This is the second coming of Christ that could occur at any moment.
        • Because no one knows when Christ will come, all believers should be serious minded about their life, the decisions they make, the lifestyle they live, the things they do to serve Christ.
          • Peter desires that we be intelligent Christians that understand the truth of life. The foolish Christian lives his life in wasteful dissipation.
    • Read 1Pet 4:8-11
      • The quality Christian:

 

  • “…have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover a multitude of sins…”

 

        (8)

        • Read Pro 10:12
          • The word “charity” is translated in new versions today as “love”. However, the meaning of “charity” is a special meaning for love that only Christians can accomplish by functioning under the power of the Holy Spirit.
          • This is the agape love of 1Cor 13 that gives others the benefit of the doubt, that overlooks an offense, that never remembers a wrong. In this way this kind of love covers the sins of others.
      • Hospitality
        • The Christian should strive for Christian character of high quality. This includes an attitude of hospitality, for he will share the intimacy of his home with others.
      • Sharing gifts
        • The Christian should be serving God and his brothers and sisters in the faith by using his spiritual gifts.
          • Peter gives us a brief overview of spiritual gifts in verse 11.
            • Notice that Peter mentions gifts of speaking and the gifts of ministering. The following gifts in each category can be divided into these two broad categories of speaking gifts and doing gifts.

The Category of Gifts 1Cor 12:4-6

The Scriptural Location

Given by

Explanation

The Number of Gifts in the List

Gifts (pneumatika charismata) 1Cor 12:8-11 The Holy Spirit Supernatural manifestations that are temporary

9

Administrations(diakonia) Eph 4:11 The Lord Jesus Christ Positions of people in the body of Christ, the church

5

Operations(energamata) Rom 12:1-8 God, the Father Motivational gifts that are permanent to energize the believer for service

7

 

  • Notice that the purpose of all the gifts, no matter in which of the three categories they are is to glorify Jesus Christ. (11)
  • Read 1Pet 4:12-19

A Return to the theme of suffering

  • The fiery trial
    • It is believed that Peter refers to the very severe persecution that was about to occur under the Roman Emperor Nero.
    • The word “fiery” means = smelted in a furnace. This is the aspect of suffering that tests the believer and makes him more like Christ’s image, is compared to the purifying of gold and silver. These metals are heated to such a high temperature that it forces the impurities to rise to the surface. When these impurities are removed and the metal is pure, the image of the foundry worker can be clearly seen in the smooth surface of the metal.

“Out from the mine and the darkness,

Out from the damp and the mold,

Out from the fiery furnace,

Cometh each grain of gold.

Crushed into atoms and leveled

Down to the humblest dust

With never a heart to pity,

With never a hand to trust.

Molten and hammered and beaten

Seemeth it never to be done.

Oh for such fiery trial,

What hath the poor gold done?

Oh, it were a mercy to leave it

Down in the damp and the mold.

If this is the glory of living,

Then better to be dross than gold.

Under the press and the roller,

Into the jaws of the mint,

Stamped with the emblem of freedom,

With never a flaw or a dint.

Oh, what a joy the refining,

Out of the damp and the mold.

And stamped with the glorious image,

Oh beautiful coin of gold!

“In the Crucible” author unknown.

        • Every believer thinks that no one suffers to the extent that he does. However all suffering is tailor made specifically for each believer. In other words, inherent in the concept of the sovereignty of God and the all-knowing aspect of the character of God, He designs the type and amount of suffering that each believer needs to make him more like Christ without putting more on the believer than he can bear, and yet God provides the grace and the way of escape.
          • Read Rom 8:28-29
            • Paul suffered more than anyone else, except Christ. (Act 9:16)
        • The believer is not to think that suffering in the Christian life is something strange. It is common to all Christians for God has a purpose in suffering.
    • The greatest proof that the believer is a child of God is whether or not he can endure suffering.
      • Peter returns to the command he gave us at the beginning of the book, rejoice in suffering.
        • Now he tells us that we partake of Christ’s suffering, (13) because it prepares us for the coming of Christ. (Rom 8:17)
    • The greatest proof that a person is not living as a believer is if his suffering is the result of his own sin. (15)
      • Notice that the sins Peter mentions are equally sin in God’s sight. While we may not classify being a busybody along with a murderer, God does.
    • Summary and Application:
      • How are believers and non-believers compared?
        • God views people in either of two groups, believers or non-believers.
          • The believer has a new nature and will live differently than the non-believer.
          • The believer and the non-believer are destined for a specific type of judgment, the Christian for rewards and the non-believer for condemnation.

 

  • “…judgment must begin at the house of God…”

 

              (17)

“..where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?

              “(18)

              • The Judgment Seat of Christ occurs first in time before the final judgment of non believers at the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the millennial reign of Christ on earth.
          • The believer has a blessed hope and will live his life in a different way than the non-believer who has no hope.
          • The believer suffers in this life for a purpose while the non-believer suffers without purpose or reward.
      • Counsel to the suffering believers: (19)

 

  • “…commit the keeping of their souls to him in welldoing…”

 

        (19)

        • The suffering believer is told to get closer to God, trusting that God knows what He is doing, because He is the faithful creator. (Phi 3:1-8)

HOMEWORK
1Peter 5
This is a self-study. Please do not send homework answers to the teacher.

  • Application of 1Pet 4
    • If you are currently going through a time of suffering, what in this lesson has changed your perspective?
    • In what way will you change your life to reflect your new perspective?
  • Preparation for 1Pet 5
    • Read 1Pet 5:1-14
      • What is the counsel to pastors?
      • What is the counsel to all believers?
  • Memory verse: 1Pet5:10
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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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