4:1 Forasmuch 1 then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
(1) Having ended his digression and sliding from
his matter, now he returns to the exhortation which he broke off, taking
occasion by that which he said concerning the death and resurrection of
Christ, so defining our sanctification, that to be sanctified, is all one has
to suffer in the flesh, that is to say, to leave off from our wickedness and
viciousness: and to rise again to God, that is to say, to be renewed by the
virtue of the holy Spirit, that we may lead the rest of our life which remains
after the will of God.
4:2 That he no longer should live the a
rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
(a) So much of this present life as remains yet
to be passed over.
For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the b
will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine,
revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
(2) By putting us in mind of the dishonesty of
our former life led in the filth of sin, he calls us to earnest repentance.
(b) Wickedly and licentiously after the manner of
Wherein they think it c strange that ye
run not with [them] to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of [you]:
(3) That we be not moved with the enemies
perverse and slanderous judgments of us, we have to set against them that last
judgment of God which remains for them: for none, whether they be then found
living or were dead before, shall escape it.
(c) They think it a new and strange matter.
For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they
might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the
(4) A digression because he made mention of the
last general judgement. He prevents an objection, that, seeing Christ came
very lately, they may seem to be excusable who died before. But this the
apostle denies: for (faith he) this same gospel was preached to them also (for
he speaks to the Jews) and that to the same end that I now preach it to you,
that is, that the flesh being abolished and put away (that is to say, that
wicked and disobedient corruption which reigns in men) they should suffer
themselves to be governed by the virtue of the Spirit of God.
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto
(5) He returns to his purpose, using an argument
taken from the circumstance of the time. Because the last end is at hand, and
therefore we must much more diligently watch and pray, with true sobriety of
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall
cover the multitude of sins.
(6) He commends charity towards one another,
because it buries a multitude of sins, and therefore preserves and maintains
peace and harmony: for they who love one another easily forgive one another
Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
(7) Of all the duties of charity, he commends
one, namely that which was at that time most necessary, that is, hospitality,
which he would have be voluntary and most courteous and bountiful.
As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another,
9 as good stewards of the manifold grace
(8) He shows the use of charity, that is, that
every man bestow that gift which he hath received, to the profit of his
neighbour. (9) A reason, because that whatever
gift we have, we have received it from God on this condition, to be his
disposers and stewards.
If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister,
[let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may
be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and
(10) He reckons up two kinds of these gifts as
chief, that is, the office of teaching in the Church, and the other
ecclesiastical functions, in which two things especially are to be observed:
that is, that the pure word of God be taught, and whatever is done, be
referred to the glory of God the Father in Christ, as to the proper mark.
Beloved, think it not d strange 12
concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing
happened unto you:
(11) Because that cross is joined with the
sincere profession of religion, the apostle fitly repeats what he touched on
before, warning us not to be troubled at persecutions and afflictions, as at a
new and strange thing.
(d) As though some new thing had befallen you,
which you never thought of before.
(12) The first reason: because the Lord does not
mean to confuse us with his fire (as it were) but to purge us of our
impurities and make us perfect.
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when
his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
(13) Another reason: because the afflictions of
the godly and the wicked differ very much, and chiefly in three points. First,
because the godly communicate with Christ in the afflictions, and therefore
shall in their time also be partakers of his glory.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the e
spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of,
but on your part he is glorified.
(14) Secondly, although the infidels think
otherwise, who in afflicting the godly blaspheme God, yet the godly in that
they are so abused, are honoured by God with true spiritual glory, and their
adoption is sealed by the Spirit of God.
(e) By "Spirit" he means the gifts of
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer,
or as a busybody in other men's matters.
(15) The third difference: the godly are not
afflicted for their evil doings, but for righteousness' sake as Christians:
by which it comes to pass that the cross, seeing it is a testimony to them of
faith and righteousness, ministers to them not an occasion of sorrow, but of
unspeakable joy: now the apostle propounds this third difference under the
form of an exhortation.
For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and 17
if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the
gospel of God?
(16) The third reason: because the Lord of all
the world being especially watchful over those in his household, does
therefore discipline them first of all, yet so that he keeps a measure in his
greatest severity. As he always used to do until now, so he does now
especially when he exhibited himself in person to his Church.
(17) Lest the godly should be offended and
stumble at that vain shadow of happiness of the wicked, as though God were not
the governor of the world, for that the wicked are in good case, and the godly
in evil, the apostle teaches by an argument of a comparison of them together,
that God who spares not his own, but nurtures them under the cross, will at
length in his time handle the rebellious and wicked far otherwise, whom he has
appointed to utter destruction.
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping
of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
(18) The conclusion: seeing the godly are not
afflicted by chance, but by the will of God, they ought not to despair, but go
forward nonetheless in the way of holiness and well doing, commending
themselves to God their faithful creator, that is to say, their Father.