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Changed Lives

Christ suffered while he was in his body. So you should strengthen yourselves with the same way of thinking Christ had. The person who has suffered in his body is finished with sin. Strengthen yourselves so that you will live your lives here on earth doing what God wants, not doing the evil things that people want. In the past you wasted too much time doing what the non-believers like to do. You lived for the body and evil desires. You were getting drunk, you had wild and drunken parties, and you did wrong by worshiping idols. Non-believers think it is strange that you do not do the many wild and wasteful things that they do. And so they insult you. But they will have to explain about what they have done. They must explain to God who is ready to judge the living and the dead. The Good News was preached to those who are now dead. By their dying, they were judged like all men. But the Good News was preached to them so that they could live in the spirit as God lives.

Use God’s Gifts Wisely

The time is near when all things will end. So keep your minds clear, and control yourselves. Then you will be able to pray. Most importantly, love each other deeply. Love has a way of not looking at others’ sins. Open your homes to each other, without complaining. 10 Each of you received a spiritual gift. God has shown you his grace in giving you different gifts. And you are like servants who are responsible for using God’s gifts. So be good servants and use your gifts to serve each other. 11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. The person who serves should serve with the strength that God gives. You should do these things so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen.

Suffering As a Christian

12 My friends, do not be surprised at the painful things you are now suffering. These things are testing your faith. So do not think that something strange is happening to you. 13 But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory. 14 When people insult you because you follow Christ, then you are blessed. You are blessed because the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is with you. 15 Do not suffer for murder, theft, or any other crime, nor because you trouble other people. 16 But if you suffer because you are a Christian, then do not be ashamed. You should praise God because you wear that name. 17 It is time for judgment to begin, and it will begin with God’s family. If that judging begins with us, what will happen to those people who do not obey the Good News of God?

18 “It is very hard for a good person to be saved.
Then the wicked person and
    the sinner will surely be lost!”[a]

19 So then those who suffer as God wants them to should trust their souls to him. God is the One who made them, and they can trust him. So they should continue to do what is right.


  1. 4:18 “It . . . lost!” Quotation from Proverbs 11:31 in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament.

Living for God

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body,(A) arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.(B) As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires,(C) but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past(D) doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.(E) They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.(F) But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.(G) For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead,(H) so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

The end of all things is near.(I) Therefore be alert and of sober mind(J) so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply,(K) because love covers over a multitude of sins.(L) Offer hospitality(M) to one another without grumbling.(N) 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,(O) as faithful(P) stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.(Q) If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides,(R) so that in all things God may be praised(S) through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.(T)

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you(U) to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice(V) inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ,(W) so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.(X) 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ,(Y) you are blessed,(Z) for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.(AA) 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household;(AB) and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?(AC) 18 And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
    what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a](AD)

19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will(AE) should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.


  1. 1 Peter 4:18 Prov. 11:31 (see Septuagint)