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Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER 4\\

In this chapter the apostle goes on to exhort to an holy life and
conversation, and to the several duties of religion, and to suffer
cheerfully for the sake of Christ. From the consideration of Christ's
sufferings, he exhorts the saints to arm themselves with the same
mind, and cease from sin, and live no longer to the lusts of men, but
to the will of God, \\#1Pe 4:1,2\\ the reason, or argument engaging
to it, is taken from the past time of life, in which they walked in
all manner of sin, and which ought to suffice, though they should be
spoken evil of by wicked men, for not continuing therein,
\\#1Pe 4:3,4\\ and to fortify their minds against such abuses, the apostle
takes notice of the general judgment, when such persons must give an
account for their evil speaking to the Judge of quick and dead; and
that though those to whom the Gospel is preached, and embrace it,
suffer death for it, being judged of men in their bodies, yet they
live to God in their souls, \\#1Pe 4:5,6\\ and seeing the end of all
things is near, he exhorts to various things, as to sobriety,
watchfulness unto prayer, and especially to fervent charity, since
that covers a multitude of sins, \\#1Pe 4:7,8\\ and to hospitality,
without grudging, and to a communication of all good things, as
faithful stewards of them, \\#1Pe 4:9,10\\ and particularly to the
dispensation of the Gospel, according to the word of God; and to a
ministration to the poor, according to a man's ability, with a view
to the glory of God, by Christ, \\#1Pe 4:11\\ and next, the apostle
proceeds to comfort the saints under reproaches and persecutions, and
to instruct them how to behave under such circumstances; as that they
should not think such things strange, though grievous, since they
were for the trial of their graces, \\#1Pe 4:12\\ but should rather
rejoice, since they were partakers of the sufferings of Christ now,
and should share in his glory when revealed, which would make them
exceeding glad, \\#1Pe 4:13\\ yea, inasmuch as it was for the
name of Christ they suffered reproach, they ought to reckon
themselves happy persons; since the glorious Spirit of God rested on
them, and since the issue of it was, the glorifying of God by them,
though he was evil spoken of by those that reproached them,
\\#1Pe 4:14\\ indeed, they ought not to suffer as persons guilty of
capital crimes; should they, they would have reason to be ashamed,
but not since they suffered as Christians; but, on the contrary,
should give glory to God for it, who had done them so much honour as
to call them to it, \\#1Pe 4:15,16\\, and to reconcile their
minds to sufferings, he observes, that the time was come, that
afflictions should begin with the people of God, on account of which,
the righteous are scarcely saved, though certainly; and that,
therefore, sad must be the state of the disobedient and ungodly, even
of their wicked persecutors, \\#1Pe 4:17,18\\ wherefore, upon
the whole, seeing it was the will of God they should suffer,
they ought to suffer patiently, and, in well doing, commit the care
of their souls to their faithful Creator, \\#1Pe 4:19\\.