The Life For God’s Glory
1 Peter 4: 1-11
According to Westminster confession, what is the chief and highest end of man?
Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.
Our Vision: New City Imphal is a diverse community committed to love our city through the transforming power of the gospel for the glory of God.
What are we living our lives for? Are we living for His glory or our pleasure and comfort or passions?
According to Peter in verse 11, “…in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Peter has two main points in order to live a life for God’s glory:
Verse 2 says: “so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God”
By living no longer for human passions
But by living according to the will of God.
Living No Longer For Human Passions (vv. 3-6)
3 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.
I love the opening phrase in verse 3: “The time that is past suffices.” It is as if Peter barks out, “Enough already. Enough of sinning.” And then he goes on to list the kinds of things that Christians are to put away: “living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.”
Be done. Enough. The past is sufficient. Peter says that in this matter it is time to clean house or to clean our life.
God has plans for your body, and they are plans for purity and for good. Don’t cheapen life. Don’t settle for distortion. Be done with “sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. This list is basically about three things: sex, food and drinking.
4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;
They can’t understand why you wouldn’t do these things. Why? Because they don’t have a hope that goes beyond this world; so naturally, they try to get the most out of this world:
● Feel good.
● Chase your dreams.
● Make the most of what you have.
● Do what you want.
● Spend all your money on yourself and your children.
● Make a bucket list.
What else is there but earthly happiness?
When you don’t live that way, it disturbs them, because it tells them the whole basis of their life is off. And they will malign you.
5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
In verse 5 it appears that he is especially thinking of the judgment that awaits those unbelievers who choose to malign us.
In one sense you and I do not need to judge the world. It already stands condemned. Entrust yourself to God, and wait for Jesus to set all things straight.
You’re about to go into eternity which lasts forever! The Apostle James says that this life is like the mist on a mirror caused by your breath. Just there for a minute.
Do you see what Peter is teaching? We have a choice — we can go along with our friends and not stand out so that we do not suffer. Or, we can show them that we are not going to join in with drinking, we are not going to give in to human passions and lusts. This choice will bring suffering. People are going to mock you. So-call Christians are even going to mock you. They are going to tell you that it is not a big deal. They are going to tell you that it is okay. They are going to tell you that sexual activities are okay as long as you do not go all the way. They are going to tell you that you should indulge your fantasies so that you can control yourself. But these are lies, lies, and more lies.
They will give an account to him who judges the living and dead. You are not to join with them. Let them malign you. Let them cause you grief. You are following in the steps of Jesus and are ceasing from sin, which will bring suffering.
Even though we are condemned while we live on the earth by the standards of our society, we are alive to God because we suffered for Jesus and resisted sin. We are alive to God spiritually when we choose Jesus and suffering rather than choosing sin and avoiding suffering.
2. Living According To The Will Of God (4:7-11)
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 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.
Peter presents four things to embrace, four marks to govern our lives in light of the end to live according to his will for His glory. Since the end is at hand we should:
Verse 7: “Be self controlled and sober-minded.”
Verse 8: Show sincere “love.”
Verse 9: “Show hospitality.”
Verses 10, 11: “Serve one another.”
a. Self controlled and Sober-minded
It has been said, “The difference between the Christian and the non-Christian is that the former controls his temperament, while the latter is controlled by it.” Peter might agree. Verse 7 reads, “Therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded.” To put Peter’s sentiment as clearly as possible, be clear headed. Don’t live like those in the world who are constantly looking for an escape. They look forward to the evening and the weekend when they can “turn off their minds.” They desire an escape from reality. Yet, for the working Christian there is nothing further from the truth. We are to be different. We are to be clear-thinking men and women. We are to have our mental faculties with us at all times.
The value of this, according to Peter, is “for the sake of your prayers” (4:7). Our clear-headedness is for the sake of prayer.
b. Show Sincere Love
vs. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
The first is to love each other as Christians.
Keep loving one another. Persist in love. Peter quotes from Proverbs 10:12 that love covers a multitude of sins. This is not a statement of salvation or that we do not point out our sins so that we can be corrected. We are being reminded that love is long suffering. We are to bear with one another. We will forgive faults and offenses committed against us.
God's love for us was shown most profoundly in sending his son to die for our sins. Forgiveness is costly, but God was willing to pay the cost for us to be forgiven.
In the same way our love for one another will mean that we are willing to forgive each others sins.
When we love each other, however, we will be willing to forgive others their many failings and maintain the relationships.
c. Show Hospitality
vs. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
The second thing that Peter encourages is that we offer hospitality to one another or we welcome one another.
Now offering hospitality costs money! The early church depended on hospitality in two ways:
they had no church buildings, so someone with a large enough house would have had to welcome the church community to gather together there.
visiting preachers and speakers needed to be given somewhere to stay and fed.
These days we think of welcome and hospitality as
Saying hello to people coming into church and
Offering them a tea or coffee after the service or
Possibly having them around for a meal.
These are all good things to do.
Being part of a Christian community means being willing to pay the costs of hospitality.
Be hospitable without complaining or grumbling means: Share your home and share your life with people, even strangers.
● We cannot be Christians in isolation. The word of God condemns this.
● It is not Christianity if we think we can just have our faith between me and God, and not open our lives or homes to other people.
d. Serve One Another
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies
Finally, embracing the will of God means being willing to serve. Here, as in other parts of the New Testament, talks about gifts or ‘charisma’ God gives us. Peter mentions two broad categories of charisma: speaking and serving.
The point of these gifts, is that God has given us strength so that we can use them to serve others.
If we are gifted in speaking, whether that’s preaching, teaching in a small group, singing a hymn or song or offering words of comfort over the phone, he encourages us to see this as part of God’s work. This is God speaking to others to encourage them!!
If we are gifted in serving, whether that’s helping in church set up, helping with baking or making coffee, offering help at the food table, dropping supplies around to those who need it, offering lifts to people or whatever, remember you are doing it in God's strength. You are being God at work in the world!!
And we are doing it not for ourselves, but for the sake of others. This is service!
Use your abilities and gifts that God has given you. I do not believe this is talking about some sort of miraculous spiritual gifts. I believe this is simply teaching that whatever physical blessings you have been given, serve one another. Serve in the strength of the Lord. When we speak, speak the very words of God. Be stewards of the many different forms of grace that God has given you. Money, possessions, home, car, and any other blessing would be used to serve and share with others. Our words will be used to serve others. We all have different blessings to a different degree. We do not use these things for selfish uses, but for serving God.
3. Because Christ Suffered in the flesh (vs. 1)
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,
Peter is still writing hope and encouragement to those who are suffering as Christians. Peter repeatedly relies upon the example of Jesus’ suffering.
● Jesus suffered for doing right.
● Jesus suffered as a just person for the world who was unjust and unrighteous.
● When Jesus suffered, he still acted righteously. He did not retaliate and return evil for evil.
Knowing that Jesus suffered in the flesh in this way, we need to prepare our minds for the same way of thinking.
● Since Jesus suffered, we need to understand that we will suffer.
● We need a firm resolve and attitude that we will suffer as Jesus suffered because we are followers of Jesus.
We show spiritual maturity when we arm ourselves with the mind to suffer rather than sin. Jesus chose to suffer rather than sin because he was dead to sin. Jesus consistently chose to obey God, even though it meant that he would suffer for that choice. We need that resolve. Too often our attitude is to avoid suffering. We would rather not suffer. So we will commit sin to avoid suffering. But we have been called to avoid sin. By avoiding sin we will suffer.