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This is the reason the gospel was preached to the martyrs before they gave their lives.[a] Even though they were judged by human standards, now they live in spirit by God’s standards.

Prayer, Love, and Gifts of Grace

Since we are approaching the end of all things, be intentional, purposeful,[b] and self-controlled so that you can be given to prayer.

Above all, constantly echo[c] God’s intense love for one another, for love will be a canopy over a multitude of sins.[d]

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  1. 1 Peter 4:6 Or “to those who are dead.” Most scholars believe that this refers to those who heard the gospel and eventually suffered and died for Christ. However, some believe it is preaching to the dead (the entire human family), giving them the opportunity to believe.
  2. 1 Peter 4:7 Though the Greek uses only one word (sōphroneō), it is best defined by the two English words intentional and purposeful.
  3. 1 Peter 4:8 The Greek verb echō can also mean “to maintain,” “to possess,” “to keep,” or “to be so closely joined to something that you become its echo.” In this case, we join ourselves so closely to God’s love that we “echo” his forgiving, fervent love toward one another.
  4. 1 Peter 4:8 As translated from the Aramaic. See Prov. 10:12; 1 Cor. 13:4-7.

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