Monday, September 7, 2009

Living The New Life With Suffering

1 Peter 4:12-19

The Fiery Trial, 12

There is a trial of which Peter warns these believers. John Gill suggests that it may be the trial of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, but this does not seem to be the sense of verse 12. There is a common trial that comes upon Christians daily or at least from time to time. This is the same as the tribulations referred to in Acts 14:22 ". . . and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.." It is also the same as the divers temptations of James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;" We all as believers should expect the trial of our faith.

The Joy, 13-14

We can rejoice in our trial, because we are partaking of Christ's sufferings We will one day be glad when Jesus comes again in his revelation. The two words "rejoice" and "be glad" are the same Greek word. The word "happy" in verse 14 is the same Greek word used in Matthew Chapter five that is translated "blessed." We are to have this happiness when we are reproached for Christ's name. When we are reproached, the spirit of glory and of God is resting upon us. In other words, we cannot be happy unless we have the spirit of glory and of God. Even though others speak evil of God, we glorify his name in our speech. God through his Son, Jesus Christ, is our only Savior and Lord. How can we do else but glorify his name?

The Suffering, 15-19

We as believers are never to suffer for our sins, being punished by the law or by God for the sins mentioned in verse 15; we should be ashamed of committing any of these sins. But if we suffer as Christians, we need not be ashamed, for we glorify God in doing so.

Judgment begins at the house of God, which is the church of the Lord, Jesus Christ; and if it begins here and God is the judge of the righteous, then what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel? The righteous are "scarcely saved," meaning that they cannot come to righteousness except by the grace of God. If this is true, then what about the ungodly sinner?

We should as believers commit the keeping of our souls to God, who is the faithful Creator.