1 Peter 4:1-11
By Jim Eschenbacher
On this Sunday, Drew gave another “essential” from the apostle, Peter.
At all times, in every situation, we glorify God.
Verse 11 (b)… In order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
How do we glorify God?
Drew noted that first and foremost… we obey. When a child obeys his parent, it shows that he is listening and valuing their input. When we obey God, the same is true and it is called glorifying.
Sometimes when obeying God, we endure suffering.
Verse 1 (a)… Since therefore, Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking…
Arm yourself? Paul spoke this same sentiment when he wrote to the Ephesian church, saying, “Put on the full armor of God.” Make it intentional. A police officer would not be casual about his bullet proof vest. He would put it on carefully, making sure it fit properly.
Peter tells his readers, including you and me, to arm ourselves with the way of thinking that Jesus had. What was that? Jesus was always tuned to the voice of His Father. From His perspective, the Father has the best view of what is going on here on earth. Satan is not on our schedule. As soon as Jesus came out of the waters of baptism, a very Spiritual time, Satan went after Him to tempt Him. His first temptation was to tell Jesus to make bread out of a rock that was nearby.
Was it sin for Jesus to make food from something like a rock? After all, Jesus was hungry. He had been fasting for 40 days. Jesus did not make bread out of the rock. Why not? Satan was tempting Him to act on His immediate need or desire. We are often led around by our stomach. Jesus, we are told, only did what He saw the Father doing. In the situation with the devil, the Father steered Him away from obeying the Devil. Jesus was going to defeat the Devil by dying; there was not a shortcut. I would have been tempted to respond to the Devil… “Bread? I will make a steak.” Arm yourself with the same way of thinking that was in Jesus.
Another point… The first part of glorifying God is that it begins with our thinking. That is a constant with God. We begin with proper thinking… not with proper actions. Actions follow thoughts and not the other way around. Jesus was particularly hard on the Pharisees, calling them Hypocrites. “With their mouths they worship me, but their hearts are far from me. Hypocrisy is when our actions aren’t aligned with our thoughts. Don’t set your sights on doing the right thing until you are adjusted in your thinking. Ask God to help with your thinking.
Verse 5… But they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Living and dead? That could refer to alive and not alive, but it makes sense in this context, that it refers to “dead” as dead in trespasses and sins. Some people are alive, they are breathing, but they are dead to God. Be alive to God and dead to sin. (Read verses 3 & 4) God is Judge; and He will judge all people.
Verse 7…The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self controlled and sober minded for the sake of your prayers.
Keep your passions and desires under control and keep your thinking clear. Did you know that even your prayers are watched by God who sees into your heart, comparing your words with your thoughts? Arm yourself and guard your thinking so that your prayers make it to God’s ears. A tossed up “hallelujah” might have its place, but it might not qualify as prayer that matters.
Verse 10… As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
Whatever God has given you matters. Every gift from God is good and perfect. Don’t wait for something you would rather have, use, to bless others, what He has given you… now!
In order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.