Lesson Scriptures: 1 Peter 4:1-2,12-19
Key Lesson Theme: “The Joy Arising from Our Hope”
Today's Lesson: Thursday, July 2
1 Peter 4:15-19
15 Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler.
16 But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name.
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?
18 And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?
19 So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good
Those who follow Christ are not made perfect and they do not act perfectly. Sin is atoned for in Christ but as long as believers are bound to this earth they can fail and fall into sin. Peter was well acquainted with human weakness and the tendency toward sin. Therefore, he wanted to encourage his readers to be on guard so that if any sufferings or insults came it was for their devotion to Christ not because of sin.
Christians might suffer for Christ. If they did, that is the only kind of suffering they should know. Never should they suffer for wrongdoing. All sin is an affront to the Lord and even “lesser sins,” as we might tend to categorize them, can render a Christian’s witness ineffective and can lead others to cast aspersion on Christians in general and Christ specifically. Therefore, be careful!
God did not cause the persecution and trials that resulted in suffering, but He would use them for His divine purpose. The judgment comes as a present reality through the “fiery trial” (v. 12) that tests or proves the believers’ faith and the depth of their allegiance to Christ. The judgment also comes through suffering for Christ’s sake, which has a purifying effect in the life of the believers and leads them to give glory to God. The judgment of which Peter spoke is in essence the beginning of the “weeding out” process for eternity in which the Lord separates those who profess Christ and thereby live in obedience to Him and those who reject Christ and defy and disobey Him.
The righteous are those living in right relationship with God; those who have been made to be righteous ones in Christ. Scarcely (molis) means “with difficulty, not easily.” Salvation did not come easy and simple; just look at the cross. And in light of the trials and sufferings Peter had been writing about, the life of the saved is not easy and simple either.
What are some lasting truths from 1 Peter 4:15-19?
>Suffering as a Christian is not an occasion for shame but an opportunity to bring glory to God.
>Suffering for Christ’s sake proves and purifies the quality of our faith. >The ungodly and the sinner stand hopeless before God.
>By entrusting their lives to God’s keeping, those who suffer for Christ can stand with confidence, knowing He does all things well.
Until tomorrow Saints...
Every day is Sunday