1 Peter 4:12-19

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Images for 1 Peter 4:12-19

1 Peter 4:12 in Other Translations

KJV
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
ESV
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
NLT
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
MSG
12 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job.
CSB
12 Dear friends, when the fiery ordeal arises among you to test you, don't be surprised by it, as if something unusual were happening to you.

1 Peter 4:12-19 Meaning and Commentary

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.

1 Peter 4:12-19 In-Context

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Cross References 11

  • 1. 1 Peter 1:6,7
  • 2. S Matthew 5:12
  • 3. S 2 Corinthians 1:5
  • 4. Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 5:1
  • 5. S John 15:21
  • 6. Matthew 5:11
  • 7. Acts 5:41
  • 8. Jeremiah 25:29; Ezekiel 9:6; Amos 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:15
  • 9. 2 Thessalonians 1:8
  • 10. Proverbs 11:31; Luke 23:31
  • 11. 1 Peter 2:15; 1 Peter 3:17

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Prov. 11:31 (see Septuagint)
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