Verse 1 – Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
Verse 2 – that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Having the same mind as Christ had when he was ready to suffer for the will of God is the same determination Christians are to have. Christ was ready to suffer to bring about salvation to the whole world.
The reasoning is based on the idea that there is such a union between Christ and the believer that His death on the cross secured the death of the believer to the world – ceased from sin.
As Christians, we die to self, meaning, we are no longer under the influence of the former things – sin. We seek only to do the will of God.
Verse 3 – For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles – when we walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
Verse 4 – In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
When a person’s life changes radically at conversion, they may experience contempt from their old friends. They may be mocked because they refuse to participate in some of their activities. The new Christian is heading in the opposite direction now. However, God will give you new friends that you will have much more in common with.
Verse 5 – They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Verse 6 – For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
The basis of salvation is our belief in Jesus, but the basis for judgment is how we live. Those who inflict persecution on others, are marked for punishment when they stand before God.
Verse 7 – But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
Death is certain to all, therefore, we are to live a holy life, by the assurance that “the end of all things is drawing near.” Therefore, be sober, thoughtful, considerate and kind to others. Be serous in prayer because time is short!
Verse 8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
Proverbs 10:12 – Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Love to another will cover or hide a great many imperfections and faults, that you might have noticed in the other person.
Verse 9 – Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
Don’t offer to do something for someone and then quarrel about it.
Verse 10 – As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Any endowment or gift that has been bestowed upon us in order to benefit another. By doing this we show the grace of God.
Verse 11 – If anyone speaks let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.
Some people believe that they have the right to use their God given abilities any way they choose. Others feel they have no special abilities at all, so they do nothing to help others. However, when we use our gifts and talents to serve others, they will see Jesus in us and praise God for the help they have received. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Verse 12 – Beloved do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange things happened to you;
Verse 13 – but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s suffering, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
This means suffering the same kind He endured, and inflicted for the same reasons. They were to rejoice that they were identified with Christ even in suffering. “Then when His glory is revealed” – at the day of judgment.
Verse 14 – If you are reproached for the name of Christ blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
Meaning: If they were reproached, it was a positive condition because they would be considered friends of Christ and had rewards waiting on them in heaven.
Verse 15 – But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.
Those kind of sufferings are because of doing wrong and there is no glory in them.
Verse 16 – Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
Verse 17 – For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
We are to judge ourselves first. We are to keep our character and actions in check, professing to be “Christ-like.” How will those on the outside of God’s house ever know we belong to Him if we don’t obey the gospel? If discipline comes to those who believe, how much more will it come to the unbeliever?
Verse 18 – Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear.
Verse 19 – Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good as to a faithful Creator.
God created the world and has faithfully ordered it and kept it since creation. Because we know God is faithful, we can count on Him to keep His promises to us. If God can oversee the forces of nature, surely He can see us through our trials that we face!