Below, I’ve posted 1 Peter Chapter 4 believing that we are living in a time of great urgency and should heed the exhortation of the Disciple/Apostle Peter.
I challenge each and every one of you to examine your lives. Look at your habits, what you put before your eyes, speech, food choices and closely held traditions. Examine closely to decide whether they are holy and acceptable before the Almighty. Please search and study the scriptures yourself to find the answer. Test every word spoken by every preacher, prophet, teacher, pastor, or apostle. Also, test every spirit (1 John 4) and your heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10) by the Word of God (Hebrew 4:12).
I guarantee as you perform a thorough and honest inspection of your life, you will find yourself lacking. Yeah, I know about grace, but that doesn’t give us the license to be lazy, lackadaisical, assuming or willfully sinning (see Romans 6). We should be ever vigilant to be holy (1 Peter 1:15:16 reference from Leviticus 19:2, 11:45). Interestingly, the Leviticus verses in parentheses, Leviticus 19 just happens to give instructions for how to treat others and Leviticus 11 refers to what’s acceptable to eat. What does this have to do with holiness? As of now, I will defer this topic to a future blog post.
In conclusion, I ask you again to read 1 Peter 4 and seriously hear his words and to also immediately take action to be holy as Peter passionately prompts us to do as believers and followers in the Messiah. Know that your sufferings are a blessing (Matthew 5:10-12) not a curse and not always the result of sin or demonic supremacy in your life, but can be the will of God in order to bring us into maturity as the little Anointed ones. First, called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26) as a mocking or derogatory term because they were so willing to suffer and give their lives as little messiahs (anointed ones) just as the Anointed One (Messiah) suffered and gave His life. I believe we should return to this attitude of the earlier followers of the Way being willing to be held in derision for our lives as Christians. No longer do I want to follow a cute little feel good doctrine or philosophy, but I think we should all truly become little messiahs in His likeness and tenacity for truth, justice, mercy, obedience and love; not loving our lives even unto death (Revelation 12:11)
1 Peter 4:
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.
With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (ESV)