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1 Peter 4


 1 Forasmuch (1) then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same (*) mind, which is, that he which hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin,


(1) Having ended his digression and sliding from his matter, now he returneth to the exhortation which he brake off, taking occasion by that which he said touching 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 Ghost, that we may lead the rest of our life which remaineth, after the will of God.

(*) Our sanctification standeth in two points, in dying to sin, and living to God.


 2 That he henceforward should live (as much time as (a) remaineth in the (*) flesh) not after the lusts of men, but after the will of God.


(a) So much of this present life as remaineth yet to be passed over.

(*) Or, body.


 3  (*) (2) For it is sufficient for us that we have spent the time past of the life, after the lust (b) of the Gentiles, walking in wantonness, lusts, drunkenness, in gluttony, drinkings, and in abominable idolatries.


(*) Ephesians 4:22 .

(2) By putting us in mind of the dishonesty of our former life led in the filth of sin, he calleth us to earnest repentance.
(b) Wickedly and licentiously after the manner of the Gentiles.


 4  (3) Wherein it seemeth to them (c) strange, that ye run not with them unto the same excess of riot, therefore speak they 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 remaineth 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.


 5 Which shall give account to him, that is ready to judge quick and dead.


 6  (4) For unto this purpose was the Gospel preached also unto the (*) dead, that they might be condemned according to men in the flesh, but might live according to God in the spirit.


(4) A digression because he made mention of the last general judgment. And he preventeth an objection, that seeing Christ came very lately, they may seem to be excusable which died before. But this the Apostle denieth; for (saith he) this selfsame Gospel was preached unto them also (for he speaketh unto the Jews) and that to the same end that I now preach it unto you, to wit, that the flesh being abolished and put away (that is to say, that wicked and naughty corruption which reigneth in men) they should suffer themselves to be governed by the virtue of the Spirit of God.

(*) Although the wicked think this Gospel new, and vex you that embrace it; yet, hath it been preached to them of time past, which now are dead, to the intent that they might have been condemned, or dead to sin in the flesh, and also might have lived to God in the spirit, which two are the effect of the Gospel.


 7  (5) Now the end of all things is at hand. Be ye therefore sober, and watching in prayer.


(5) He returneth 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 the more diligently watch and pray with true sobriety of mind.


 8  (6) But above all things have fervent love among you, (*) for (♣) love shall cover the multitude of sins.


(6) He commendeth charity of one towards another, because it doeth, as it were, to bury a multitude of sins, and therefore preserveth and maintaineth peace and concord; for they that love one another, do easily forgive one another their offences.

(*) Proverbs 10:12 .

(♣) As hate moveth us to reproach our brother when he offendeth us; so love hideth and pardoneth the faults, which he committeth against us, though they be never so many.


 9  (7) Be ye (*) harberous one to another, without grudging.


(7) Of all the duties of charity, he commendeth one, namely, which was at that time most necessary, to wit, hospitality, which he will have to be voluntary and most courteous and bountiful.

(*) Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2 .


 10  (8) (*) Let every man as he hath received the gift, minister the same one to another, (9) as good disposers of the manifold grace of God.


(8) He sheweth the use of charity, to wit, that every man bestow that gift which he hath received to the profit of his neighbor.

(*) Romans 12:6; Philippians 2:14 .
(9) A reason, because that what gift soever we have, we have received it of God upon this condition, to be his disposers and stewards.


 11  (10) If any man speak, let him speak as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God ministereth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom is praise and dominion forever, and ever, Amen.

(10) He reckoneth up two kinds of these gifts as chief, to wit, the office of teaching in the Church, and the other Ecclesiastical functions, wherein two things specially are to be observed, to wit, that the pure word of God be taught, and whatsoever is done, be referred to the glory of God the Father in Christ, as to the proper mark.


 12  (11) Dearly beloved, think it not (d) strange (12) concerning the fiery trial, which is among you to prove you, as though some strange thing were come unto you;


(11) Because that cross is joined with the sincere profession of Religion, the Apostle fitly repeateth that which he touched before, warning us not to be troubled at persecutions and afflictions, as 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 meaneth not to consume us with this fire (as it were) but to purge us of our dross, and make us perfect.


 13  (13) But rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christís sufferings, that when his glory shall appear, ye may be glad and rejoice.


(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 be partakers also of his glory.


 14  (*) (14) If ye be railed upon for the Name of Christ, blessed are ye, for the (e) Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; which on their (♣) part is evil spoken of, but on your part is glorified.


(*) Matthew 5:10 .

(14) Secondly, because that although the infidels think far otherwise, who in afflicting the godly, blaspheme God, yet the godly in that they are so railed upon, are honored of God with the true spiritual glory, and their adoption sealed in them by the Spirit of God.
(e) By Spirit he meaneth the gifts of the Spirit.

(♣) That is, by the infidels.


 15  (15) But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or an evil doer, or as a busybody in other menís matters.


(15) The third difference: for the godly are not afflicted for their evil doings, but for righteousness' sake as Christians; whereby it cometh to pass that the cross, seeing it is a testimony unto them of faith and righteousness, ministereth unto them not an occasion of sorrow, but of unspeakable joy; now the Apostle propoundeth the third difference under the form of an exhortation.


 16 But if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this behalf.


 17  (16) For the time is come that (*) judgment must begin at the house of God. (17) If it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them which obey not the Gospel of God?


(16) The third reason: because the Lord of all the world being especially careful for them in his household, doeth therefore chastise them first of all, yet so that he keepeth a measure in his greatest severity. And as he hath always used to do heretofore, so doth he now specially when as he exhibited himself in person to his Church.

(*) Or, punishment.
(17) Lest the godly should be offended and stumble at that vain shadow of felicity 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 teacheth by an argument of a comparison of them together, that God who spareth not his own, but nurtureth them under the cross, will at length in his time handle the rebellious and wicked far otherwise, whom he hath appointed to utter destruction.


 18  (*) And if the righteous scarcely be (♣) saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?


(*) Proverbs 2:31 .

(♣) As concerning this life where he is punished.


 19  (18) Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit 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, notwithstanding in the way of holiness and well doing, commending themselves to God their faithful Creator, that is to say, their Father.



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