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.