1So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. 3You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
We are once again reminded that Christ suffered for us and we as followers of his must be prepared to follow that example. Those that endure opposition and suffering for Christ's cause find it easier to resist sin and follow God and his plans for the purpose of our lives. When we do this we will realize that we have had enough of our past or any evil things that those that don't follow Christ enjoy.
4Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead.
We cannot expect most people in the world who do not know God to understand the Christian lifestyle–what we believe, what we do and what we avoid. As a result, we will be misrepresented, ridiculed and rejected.
6That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.
I am going to past the Fire Bible Study notes here for verse 6. The explanation is more helpful than anything I could offer.
THOSE WHO ARE NOW DEAD. This passage is best understood as referring to people who heard and accepted the message about Christ while they were still living on earth, but who are now dead. This preaching refers to a past event; the word “now” does not appear in the original Greek, but it is necessary to make it clear that the preaching was done while these people were still alive. They heard the message and believed, and although they have died (i. e., “judged according to men in regard to the body”), they now live with God. The verse could be paraphrased to read, “the gospel was preached to those who believed and later died, that they might have eternal life with God.” God’s Word is clear about the fact that for those who did not accept Christ in this life, there will be no opportunity to be saved after death (see Heb 9:27)
7The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.
We should view our lives in light of Christ’s certain and soon- coming return and the end of the world. This fact and awareness call for the following commitments: 1. Pray passionately and consistently, 2. love one another deeply, 3. be gracious and kind, especially to those in need, 4. serve other believers and use your spiritual gifts as you were empowered by the Holy Spirit. 5. Spread God's message and remain loyal to Christ through all difficulty and suffering.
8Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
This verse is to show that love is not easily offended and does not hold a grudge. Love forgives again and again and because of love you will be able to offer the hospitality of Jesus.
10God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
God has given each of us special interests and talents and expects that we will use those to serve him and others. Because of how we were created, there are things that no one else in this world can do quite like you. None of these gifts is insignificant, do not keep your abilities to yourself. The seeds of your ability was planted by God and as you grow it, other will benefit from the fruit of that seed that God produced through you.
Suffering for Being a Christian
12Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
A focus of NT teaching is that troubles and difficulties are inevitable for faithful followers of Christ in an ungodly world controlled by Satan and opposed to Christ’s message. Problems in your life may actually be a sign that God is pleased and confident of your faithfulness to him. Tough times are characteristic of faithful spiritual warfare against sin, Satan and the ungodliness of the world (Eph 6:12)
13Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
Fire Bible Study Notes: REJOICE THAT YOU PARTICIPATE IN. It is a principle within God’s kingdom that suffering for Christ’s cause will increase the depth and strength of the believer’s joy in serving the Lord (see Mt 5:10- 12; Ac 5:41; 16:25; Ro 5:3; Col 1:24; Heb 10:34; see next note). For this reason, we should not fear the prospect of suffering for Christ, nor should we envy those who seem to suffer little or not at all for the Lord
14If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. 15If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs.
Your suffering is only blessed if it is for Jesus Christ not for evil.
16But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!
We need to give God glory and praise for the very gift of his son. Because we have received him we are called by His name: Christians!
17For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? 18And also,
“If the righteous are barely saved,
what will happen to godless sinners?”
19So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
We need to have some self examination here. Where do we stand with God? Do we fall short, yet we are still saved? If it is this hard for us to obey the word of God, what of those that do not know Him? What will happen to them? We need to consider that and do what is right and trust that God will never fail us.