1 Peter – Chapter Four I

by Ed Urzi

“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Peter 4:1).

At just nineteen verses, 1 Peter chapter four is a relatively brief chapter. However, anyone who seeks to live a God-honoring life will benefit from the many practical insights that are contained within this portion of Scripture. For instance, verse one of 1 Peter chapter four begins by saying, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude.”

As we’ve already noted, the use of the word “therefore” links a previous teaching or idea to an associated action, consequence, or behavior. In this instance, 1 Peter 4:1 encourages us to adopt the same attitude that Jesus exhibited in following God’s will for His life. This is especially true whenever we face difficult or painful circumstances.

Jesus expressed that mindset in the following statement that is recorded for us in the Gospel of John: “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” ( John 6:3 NIV). We can find another example in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus is quoted as saying, “…not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42 NIV).

So this passage counsels us to look to Jesus for an example of how to respond when we encounter the challenges of life. Since Christ suffered in the flesh, He serves as our model. Because of this, we should arm ourselves with the same attitude and accept God’s will in those areas that may lead us to suffer. Peter will expand on this theme later in this chapter with some important qualifications. But for now, the following commentator summarizes the idea behind this verse…

“The Apostle urges the disciples to make a clean break with sin. As our Lord’s grave lay between Him and His earlier life, so there should be a clean break between our life as believers and the earth-bound life, which was dominated by lawless passions.” (1)

Finally, we should note the imagery associated with the expression “arm yourselves.” This tells us that God’s people should approach unjust suffering with the mindset as a well-armed soldier who is prepared to endure a military conflict. Thus, as we read in the New Testament book of Philemon, “Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be” (Philemon 2:5 Phillips).

(1) Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. “Commentary on 1 Peter 2”. “F. B. Meyer’s ‘Through the Bible’ Commentary“. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fbm/1-peter-2.html. 1914.