4:6 For this is why. This verse follows on the idea of a universal divine judgment just stated, but the reason or purpose of the preaching is not given until the end of the verse.
was preached even to those who are dead. Although some connect this preaching with 3:19, 20, it is more likely unrelated. These people may have been Christians who had heard Peter preach, but who had died by the time of the letter.
judged in the flesh. Probably a reference to the physical death of the hearers. Although Christ has triumphed over physical death in His death and Resurrection (Rom. 6:9), the full extent of that victory has not yet been manifested in the lives of God’s people, and physical death is a reality Christians still face. Nevertheless, we now enjoy spiritual resurrection through union with Christ, and we have full assurance that Christ’s victory will be extended to our physical bodies (1 Cor. 15:25, 26; cf. Rom. 8:11).