New Defender's Study Bible Notes
4:1 same mind. See Philippians 2:5-8. Having died for our sins, Christ is forever done with sin. Peter urges us likewise to have the same mind He did, that we might also cease from sin, having died to sin and risen to a new life in Christ. This must always be our goal, and increasingly our reality, until we finally will cease from even the presence of sin when we are with Him in heaven (compare Romans 6:1-14; I John 3:2-10).
4:3 when we walked. There is no reason to believe that Peter himself participated in such sins—especially “abominable idolatries.” He is generalizing for the sake of identifying himself with all sinners, especially those to whom he was writing.
4:6 to them that are dead. The gospel was not preached to the physically dead after they died but to those spiritually dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).
4:7 at hand. It is obvious from such passages as this that Peter and the other apostles considered the return of Christ and “the end of all things” always to be imminent. They are still imminent; He could come at any moment. Therefore, like Peter’s first readers, we also should always “be sober and watch unto prayer.” See also I John 2:28; Mark 13:33.
4:8 cover the multitude of sins. Compare James 5:20; Proverbs 10:12; I Corinthians 13:7.
4:10 gift. Note that every man has received some “gift,” with which to minister to the body of Christ. See especially Romans 12:4-8.
4:10 stewards. The responsibility of stewardship applies not only to material possessions but also to spiritual possessions—that is, to the spiritual gift or gifts which have been given to us by the Holy Spirit. These are all a part of the “manifold grace of God” and should not be used just to please ourselves, but to minister to others.
4:12 strange thing. “In the last days…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:1,12). It is not a strange thing, but normal, for unbelievers to oppose and persecute Christians.
4:13 partakers. “Partakers of” actually has the sense of “fellowshipping in” (as used in Philippians 3:10).
4:13 exceeding joy. Compare Romans 8:16-18; II Corinthians 4:17; II Timothy 1:12; I Peter 1:7.
4:16 suffer as a Christian. The term “Christian” is used elsewhere only in Acts 11:26 and 26:28. It was originally applied to the “disciples”—that is, “learners”—of Christ, and soon became an object of derision and persecution. Such opposition should not be a cause of embarrassment but rather of rejoicing (Philippians 1:29).
4:17 house of God. Christians will have been judged before the unsaved are judged, either by (1) confession now (I Corinthians 11:31; I John 1:9); (2) chastening now (I Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12:5-11); (3) physical death (I Corinthians 11:30; 5:3-5; I John 5:16); or (4) loss at the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10-13; I Corinthians 3:11-15). Over a thousand years after the judgment seat of Christ, the unsaved will be brought before God’s great white throne of judgment to be judged according to their works, and, therefore, cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
4:17 obey not the gospel. The answer to this question has been given in II Thessalonians 1:8: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
4:19 faithful Creator. This Greek word for “Creator” (ktistis) is used here only in the New Testament, and it stresses the faithfulness of God to His suffering people. That this faithful Creator is Jesus Christ is evident from Revelation 19:11, which tells us that His very name shall be called “Faithful and True.” God is also called the Creator (using another Greek word) in Romans 1:25.