- 1 Peter 4:6-10
- 1 Pet 4:6 (KJB)
- For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead,
that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according
to God in the spirit.
- Dead - Lifeless or useless
- The train of thought continues from verse 5. This verse is not saying
that the gospel was preached to physically dead because that would make no
sense. Go to a graveyard and preach and see how many respond to the message.
The dead in view here are the spiritually dead.
(Eph 2:5 KJV) Even when we were dead in sins,
hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
The same word for dead is used here having the meaning of
lifeless or useless. The gospel here is being preached to the unbelievers.
Now there is a secondary explanation which may also fit this verse. Peter
has been addressing the people who were facing persecution and some of them
had already died in those persecutions. This is why Peter stated that the
gospel had been preached to them also. The word “preached” is in the Aorist
tense which means a singular past action which does not have a specific end
in sight and is in effect at present. The gospel being preached in the past
to those already dead, who died unsaved, will be raised to be judged as all
the living of the earth will be. Then the second part of the verse teaches
us that those who died saved, having been judged according to the flesh,
which were condemned by unbelievers for their Christian stance, will be
given eternal life in the Spirit by God.
- 1 Pet 4:7 (KJB)
- But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore
sober, and watch unto prayer.
- End - Completion
- Is at hand - Has drawn near
- Sober - Sound mind
- Watch - Temperate and well-balanced
- Normally the term used in this verse concerning the end is at hand is
used to denote that the end of the world is at hand and the return of the
Lord is near. Here though, it seems Peter is continuing his thought
concerning the coming persecution that the Christians would face. He was
warning them that the end of their trials are near and once the enemy kills
them in the flesh, all their suffering is over for eternity. While he
counsels them that the suffering is coming near and soon it will be over, he
is telling them that they should be praying with a temperate mindset and not
praying or acting in a wild or non-Christian like manner. He is telling them
to be of sound mind as the persecution draws near. Now is not the time to
let their spiritual guard down. It is the same today, when we are subjected
to persecution we must hand it all over to the Lord who will judge the
living and the dead.
- 1 Pet 4:8 (KJB)
- And above all things have fervent charity among
yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
- Above - Before
- Fervent - Eager, earnest, or intense
- Charity - Unconditional love
- Cover - Hide or conceal
- Multitude - Large number as in a crowd
- With Peter stating that the end was near, he was encouraging these
believers that before anything, they need to have intense, unconditional
love among themselves and this way unconditional love will cover any sins
that any of the brethren may have committed against each other. The enemy
needed to see a solidarity of love between these believers. It was time for
the body of Christ to come together in harmony and to stop any squabbles.
- 1 Pet 4:9 (KJB)
- Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
- Hospitality - Fondness and natural desire to serve others
- Grudging - Murmuring
- Here Peter furthers his admonishment to these believers that they are to
show hospitality in serving one another and it is to be done without
murmuring. If you remember, murmuring was one of the biggest sins Israel
committed in the wilderness. Murmuring was something that should not be
named among Christians especially at this time when persecution was
imminent. The Roman Empire had ten major persecutions against Christians in
the first three centuries. I am sure the book of 1 Peter was a comfort to
all the Christians who had access to it.
- 1 Pet 4:10 (KJB)
- As every man hath received the gift, even so
minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the
manifold grace of God.
- Every man - Each person
- The Gift - spiritual gift
- Minister - Serve
- Stewards - Manager of a household
- Manifold - Various or many kinds
- Peter now exhorts these believers that those who have the spiritual gift
of hospitality that they are to use that gift in serving one another. As a
steward runs a household to the best of their ability, the believer must
exercise hospitality as best as they can. Rome did not wipe out every
Christian and there would be those who would have lost family members in the
persecutions and this is why these people needed to be reached out to and
taken into homes with hospitality. That hospitality must be ministered in
the way God has ministered His grace to the believers. It must be done
without hesitation and given to those that even had disagreements with the
host. There could be no division among them anymore as many lives would be
lost in these horrible persecutions. God gives grace to the believers for
salvation but He also bestows upon them many peripheral mercies and these
must be given to the other believers who lack.