1 Peter 4:1
For as much then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
IV.

(1) Forasmuch then . . .—Literally, a participial phrase: Christ, then, having suffered in (or, to) the fleshi.e., so far as the flesh is concerned. The reference is to the words “killed in (or, to) the flesh” in 1Peter 3:18, to which the word “then” takes us back. It is difficult to decide about the right of the words “for us” to stand in the text. Tischendorf and Lachmann strike them out, and they are probably right in doing so. The authority for the reading “for you” is nearly as strong; but in fact neither is wanted here, as the point is not the atoning character of Christ’s death, but the death itself.

Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.—Or rather, with the same conception. It does not mean merely “put yourselves into the same disposition:” that is, “resolve to die with Him.” Though the word which is here rendered “mind” may possibly bear the meaning “intent” assigned to it in Hebrews 4:12 (the only other place in the New Testament where it occurs), the more natural and common sense is that of conception, notion, view. Christ is therefore said to have been “armed” with a particular “conception” or “view,” which He found to be sufficient shield in the day of suffering; and we are exhorted to try the same defensive armour. The “view” which Christ found so efficacious was the view He took of the “suffering” itself. What that view was is forthwith explained.

For he that hath suffered in the flesh . . .—Rather, that he that hath suffered to the flesh is at rest from, sin. This is the “view” which we are to take. The thought is probably derived from Romans 6:7. The death of the body puts a stop (at any rate, for the redeemed) to any further possibility of sin. Welcome, death! A slight difficulty is caused by the implied fact that Christ, too, in dying “ceased from sin.” But the Greek word for “hath ceased” literally means hath been caused to rest, St. Peter using expressly (for the only time in the New Testament) that part of the verb which does not mean a voluntary cessation from what one was doing before, but a pause imposed from without. And that Christ looked upon His death as a boon of rest from sin (it does not say from sinning) is not only a true and impressive thought, but is fully justified by Romans 6:10, “He died unto sin,” and even by His cry, “It is finished.” Whatever harshness there is in the thought is much softened by the fact that St. Peter names it as the view we are to take, not directly as the view He took; so that it admits of some adjustment when applied to Him.

1 Peter

CHRISTIAN ASCETICISM


1 Peter 4:1-8.

Christian morality brought two new things into the world--a new type of life in sharp contrast with the sensuality rife on every side, and a new set of motives powerfully aiding in its realisation. Both these novelties are presented in this passage, which insists on a life in which the spirit dominates the flesh, and is dominated by the will of God, and which puts forward purely Christian ideas as containing the motives for such a life. The facts of Christ’s life and the prospect of Christ’s return to judge the world are here urged as the reason for living a life of austere repression of ‘the flesh’ that we may do God’s will.

I. We have, first, in verses 1 and 2, a general precept, based upon the broad view of Christ’s earthly history.

‘Christ hath suffered in the flesh.’ That is the great fact which should shape the course of all His followers. But what does suffering in the flesh mean here? It does not refer only to the death of Jesus, but to His whole life. The phrase ‘in the flesh’ is reiterated in the context, and evidently is equivalent to ‘during the earthly life.’ Our Lord’s life was, in one aspect, one continuous suffering, because He lived the higher life of the spirit. That higher life had to Him, and has to us, rich compensations; but it sets those who are true to it at necessary variance with the lower types of life common among men, and it brings many pains, all of which Jesus knew. The last draught from the cup was the bitterest, but the bitterness was diffused through all the life of the Man of Sorrows.

That life is here contemplated as the pattern for all Christ’s servants. Peter says much in this letter of our Lord’s sufferings as the atonement for sin, but here he looks at them rather as the realised ideal of all worthy life. We are to be ‘partakers of Christ’s sufferings’ {5. 13}, and we shall become so in proportion as His own Spirit becomes the spirit which lives in us. If Jesus were only our pattern, Christianity would be a poor affair, and a gospel of despair; for how should we reach to the pure heights where He stood? But, since He can breathe into us a spirit which will hallow and energise our spirits, we can rise to walk beside Him on the high places of heroic endurance and of holy living. Very beautifully does Peter hint at our sore conflict, our personal defencelessness, and our all-sufficient armour, in the picturesque metaphor ‘arm yourselves.’ The ‘mind of Christ’ is given to us if we will. We can gird it on, and if we do, it will be as an impenetrable coat-of-mail, which will turn the sharpest arrows and resist the fiercest sword-cuts.

The last clause of verse 1 is a parenthesis, and, if it is for the moment omitted, the sentence runs smoothly on, especially if the Revised Version’s reading is adopted. The purpose of arming us with the same mind is that, whilst we live on earth, we should live according to the will of God, and should renounce ‘the lusts of men,’ which are in us as in all men, and which men who are not clad in the armour which Christ gives to us yield to.

But what of the parenthetical statement? Clearly, the words which follow it forbid its being taken to mean that dead men do not sin. Rather the Apostle’s thought seems to be that such suffering in daily life after Christ’s pattern, and by His help, is at once a sign that the sufferer has shaken off the dominion of sin, and is a means of further emancipating him from it.

But the two great thoughts in this paragraph are, that the Christian life is one in which God’s will, and not man’s desires, is the regulating force, and that the pattern of that life and the power to copy the pattern are found in Christ, the sufferer for righteousness’ sake.

II. More specific injunctions, entering into the details of the higher life, follow, interwoven, as in the preceding verses, with a statement of the motives which make obedience to them possible to our weakness.

The sins in view are those most closely connected with ‘the flesh’ in its literal meaning, amongst which are included ‘abominable idolatries,’ because gross acts of sensual immorality were inseparably intertwined with much of heathen worship. These sins of flesh were especially rampant among the luxurious Asiatic lands, to which this letter was addressed, but they flooded the whole Roman empire, as the works of poets like Martial and of moralists like Epictetus equally show. But New York or London could match the worst scenes in Rome or Ephesus, and perhaps would not be far behind the foul animalism of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lust and drunkenness are eating out the manhood of our race on both sides of the Atlantic, and, if we have ‘the same mind’ as the suffering Christ, we shall put on the armour for war to the knife with these in society, and for the rigid self-control of our own animal nature.

Observe the strong motives which Peter just touches without expanding. A sad irony lies in his saying that the time past may suffice. The flesh had had enough of time given to it,--had not God a right to the rest? The flesh should have had none; it had had all too much. Surely the readers had had enough of the lower life, more than enough. Were they not sick of it, ‘satisfied’ even to disgust? Let us look back on our wasted years, and give no more precious moments to serve the corruptible flesh. Further, the life of submission to the animal nature is characteristic of ‘the Gentiles,’ and in sharp contrast, therefore, to that proper to Christ’s followers. That is as true to-day, in America and England, as ever it was. Indeed, as wealth has increased, and so-called ‘civilisation’ has diffused material comforts, senseless luxury, gluttony, drunkenness, and still baser fleshy sins, have become more flagrantly common in society which is not distinctively and earnestly Christian; and there was never more need than there is to-day for Christians to carry aloft the flag of self-control and temperance in all things belonging to ‘the flesh.’

If we have the mind of Christ, we shall get the same treatment from the world which Peter says that the primitive Christians did from the idolaters round them. We shall be wondered at, just as a heathen stared with astonishment at this strange, new sect, which would have nothing to do with feasts and garlands and wine-cups and lust disguised as worship. The spectacle, when repeated to-day, of Christians steadfastly refusing to share in that lower life which is the only life of so many, is, perhaps, less wondered at now, because it is, thank God! more familiar; but it is not less disliked and ‘blasphemed.’ A total abstainer from intoxicants will not get the good word of the distiller or brewer or consumer of liquor. He will be called faddist, narrow, sour-visaged, and so on and so on. ‘You may know a genius because all the dunces make common cause against him,’ said Swift. You may know a Christian after Christ’s pattern because all the children of the flesh are in league to laugh at him and pelt him with nicknames.

Further, the thought of Christ as the judge should both silence the blasphemers and strengthen the blasphemed to endure. That judgment will vindicate the wisdom of those who sowed to the spirit and the folly of those who sowed to the flesh. The one will reap corruption; the other, life everlasting.

The difficult verse 6 cannot be adequately dealt with here, but we may note that introductory ‘for’ shows that it, too, contains a motive urging to life, ‘to the will of God,’ and that no such motive appears in it if it is taken to mean, as by some, that the gospel is preached after death to the dead. Surely to say that ‘the gospel was preached also {or, even} to them that are dead’ is not to say that it was preached to them when dead.

Peter’s letter is of late enough date to explain his looking back to a generation now passed away, who had heard it in their lifetime. Nor does one see how the meaning of ‘in the flesh,’ which belongs to the phrase in the frequent instances of its occurrence in this context, can be preserved in the clause ‘that they might be judged according to men in the flesh,’ unless that means a judgment which takes place during the earthly life.

We note, too, that the antithesis between being judged ‘according to men in the flesh,’ and living ‘according to God in the spirit’ recalls that in verse 2 between living in the flesh to the lusts of men and to the will of God. It would appear, therefore, that the Apostle’s meaning is that the very aim of the preaching of the gospel to those who are gone to meet the Judge was that they might by it be judged while here in the flesh, in regard to the lower life ‘according to men’ {or, as verse 2 has it, ‘to the lusts of men’}, and, being so judged, and sin condemned in their flesh, might live according to God in their spirits. That is but to say in other words that the gospel is meant to search hearts, and bring to light and condemn the lusts of the flesh, and to impart the new life which is moulded after the will of God.

III. The reference to Christ as the judge suggests a final motive for a life of suppression of the lower nature,--the near approach of the end of all things.

The distinct statement by our Lord in Acts 1:7 excludes the knowledge of the time of the end from the revelation granted to the Apostles, so that there need be no hesitation in upholding their authority, and yet admitting their liability to mistake on that point. But the force of the motive is independent of the proximity of the judgment. Its certainty and the indefiniteness of the time when we each shall have to pass into the other state of being are sufficient to preserve for each of us the whole pressure of the solemn thought that for us the end is at hand, and to enforce thereby Peter’s exhortation, ‘Be ye therefore of sound mind.’

The prospect of that end will sweep away many illusions as to the worth of the enjoyments of sense, and be a bridle on many vagrant desires. Self-control in all regions of our nature is implied in the word. Our various faculties are meant to be governed by a sovereign will, which is itself governed by the Divine will; and, if we see plain before us the dawning of the day of the Lord, the vision will help to tame the subordinate parts of ourselves, and to establish the supremacy of the spirit over the flesh. One special form of that general self-control is that already enjoined,--the suppression of the animal appetites, especially the abstinence from intoxicants. That form of self-control is especially meant by the second of these exhortations, ‘Be sober.’ How could a man lift the wine cup to his lips, and drown his higher nature in a flood of drunken riot, if the end, with its solemnities of judgment, blazed before his inner eye? But this self-command is inculcated that we may be fit to pray. These lower appetites will take all desire for prayer and all earnestness in it out of us, and only when we keep the wings of appetites close clipped will the pinions grow by which we can mount up with wings as eagles. A praying drunkard is an impossible monster.

But exhortations to self-control are not all. We have to think of others, as well as of our own growth in purity and spirituality. Therefore Peter casts one swift glance to the wider circle of the brethren, which encompasses each of us, and gives the all-embracing direction, which carries in itself everything. ‘Fervent love’ to our fellow-Christians is the counterpoise to earnest government of ourselves. There is a selfishness possible even in cultivating our religion, as many a monk and recluse has shown. Such love as Peter here enjoins will save us from the possible evils of self-regard, and it will ‘cover the multitude of sins,’--by which is not meant that, having it, we shall be excused if we in other respects sin, but that, having it, we shall be more desirous of veiling than of exposing our brother’s faults, and shall be ready to forgive even when our brother offends against us often. Perhaps Peter was remembering the lesson which he had once had when he was told that ‘seventy times seven’ was not too great a multitude of sins against brotherly love to be forgiven by it in one day.1 Peter 4:1-2. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered — Even the ignominious and painful death of the cross, with all those previous and concomitant evils, which rendered his death peculiarly bitter; for us — And that from a pure and disinterested principle of love; arm yourselves likewise with the same mind — With a resolution such as animated him to suffer all the evils to which you may be exposed in the body; and particularly to suffer death, if called by God to do so for your religion. For this will be armour of proof against all your enemies. For he that hath — In conformity to our Lord Jesus; suffered in the flesh — Or, who hath so suffered as to be thereby made inwardly and truly conformable to Christ in his sufferings, hath, of course, ceased from sin — From knowingly committing it. “He hath been made to rest,” says Macknight, “from temptation to sin, consequently from sin itself. For if a man hath overcome the fear of torture and death, no weaker temptation will prevail with him to make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience.” That he no longer should live in the flesh — Even in his mortal body; to the lusts — The desires, of men — Either his own or those of others; should no longer be governed by those irregular and inordinate affections which rule in unregenerate men; but to the will of God — In a holy conformity and obedience to the divine precepts, how contrary soever they may be to his carnal and sensual inclinations, or apparently to his worldly interests. 4:1-6 The strongest and best arguments against sin, are taken from the sufferings of Christ. He died to destroy sin; and though he cheerfully submitted to the worst sufferings, yet he never gave way to the least sin. Temptations could not prevail, were it not for man's own corruption; but true Christians make the will of God, not their own lust or desires, the rule of their lives and actions. And true conversion makes a marvellous change in the heart and life. It alters the mind, judgment, affections, and conversation. When a man is truly converted, it is very grievous to him to think how the time past of his life has been spent. One sin draws on another. Six sins are here mentioned which have dependence one upon another. It is a Christian's duty, not only to keep from gross wickedness, but also from things that lead to sin, or appear evil. The gospel had been preached to those since dead, who by the proud and carnal judgment of wicked men were condemned as evil-doers, some even suffering death. But being quickened to Divine life by the Holy Spirit, they lived to God as his devoted servants. Let not believers care, though the world scorns and reproaches them.Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh - Since he as a man has died for us. See the notes at 1 Peter 3:18. The design was to set the suffering Redeemer before them as an example in their trials.

Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind - That is, evidently, the same mind that he evinced - a readiness to suffer in the cause of religion, a readiness to die as he had done. This readiness to suffer and die, the apostle speaks of as armour, and having this is represented as being armed. Armour is put on for offensive or defensive purposes in war; and the idea of the apostle here is, that that state of mind when we are ready to meet with persecution and trial, and when we are ready to die, will answer the purpose of armour in engaging in the conflicts and strifes which pertain to us as Christians, and especially in meeting with persecutions and trials. We are to put on the same fortitude which the Lord Jesus had, and this will be the best defense against our foes, and the best security of victory.

For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin - Compare the notes at Romans 6:7. To "suffer in the flesh" is to die. The expression here has a proverbial aspect, and seems to have meant something like this: "when a man is dead, he will sin no more;" referring of course to the present life. So if a Christian becomes dead in a moral sense - dead to this world, dead by being crucified with Christ (see the notes at Galatians 2:20) - he may be expected to cease from sin. The reasoning is based on the idea that there is such a union between Christ and the believer that his death on the cross secured the death of the believer to the world. Compare 2 Timothy 2:11; Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:3.

CHAPTER 4

1Pe 4:1-19. Like the Risen Christ, Believers Henceforth Ought to Have No More to Do with Sin.

As the end is near, cultivate self-restraint, watchful prayerfulness, charity, hospitality, scriptural speech, ministering to one another according to your several gifts to the glory of God: Rejoicing patience under suffering.

1. for us—supported by some oldest manuscripts and versions, omitted by others.

in the flesh—in His mortal body of humiliation.

arm—(Eph 6:11, 13).

the same mind—of suffering with patient willingness what God wills you to suffer.

he that hath suffered—for instance, Christ first, and in His person the believer: a general proposition.

hath ceased—literally, "has been made to cease," has obtained by the very fact of His having suffered once for all, a cessation from sin, which had heretofore lain on Him (Ro 6:6-11, especially, 1Pe 4:7). The Christian is by faith one with Christ: as then Christ by death is judicially freed from sin; so the Christian who has in the person of Christ died, has no more to do with it judicially, and ought to have no more to do with it actually. "The flesh" is the sphere in which sin has place.1 Peter 4:1-6 The apostle exhorteth to cease from sin, in regard of

Christ’s having suffered for it, and of a future judgment.

1 Peter 4:7 From the approaching end of all things, he urgeth to

sobriety, watchfulness, a prayer,

1 Peter 4:8 to charity,

1 Peter 4:9 hospitality,

1 Peter 4:10,11 and a right use of spiritual gifts.

1 Peter 4:12-19 Sundry motives of comfort under persecution.

The apostle having in the former chapter exhorted believers to patient bearing of afflictions by the example of Christ, 1 Peter 4:18, proceeds in this to persuade them to improve the crosses they bore outwardly to inward mortification. Christ’s death is proposed to us in Scripture as an exemplar both of external mortification in bearing reproaches, persecutions, &c., (this the apostle prosecutes in the former chapter), and of internal, in the destroying the body of sin; this he exhorts to in this chapter, and indeed draws his argument from Christ’s death, not only as the exemplary, but efficient and meritorious, cause of our mortification, and which hath a real influence upon it, in that Christ by his death did not only merit the pardon of sin, but the giving the Spirit, whereby corruption might be destroyed, and our natures renewed.

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us; viz. not only as an exemplar of patience and submission to the will of God, but for the taking away of sin, both in the guilt and power of it, and that he might be the procurer as well as pattern of our mortification.

In the flesh; in his human nature, as 1 Peter 3:18.

Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind; strengthen and fortify yourselves against all temptations, and unto the mortification of your lusts, with the consideration of these ends, and the mighty efficacy of Christ’s death, he suffering in his flesh, i.e. in his human nature, that you might suffer in your flesh, i.e. in your sinful, corrupt nature; or, (which comes to the same), with the same mind which Christ had, who, in his death, aimed not only at the pardon of your sin, but the destruction of it, and the renovation of your natures: or, arm yourselves with the same mind, viz. a purpose of suffering in the flesh, i.e. of dying spiritually with Christ in the mortification of your flesh, Romans 6:6,7; as Christ died, and suffered in the flesh, so reckon that you, by the virtue of his death, must die to sin. and crucify your flesh, with its affections and lusts, Galatians 5:24: or else, what the same mind is, he declares in the following clause.

For; or rather, that, the Greek word here seems rather to be explicative than causal.

He that hath suffered in the flesh; i.e. the old man, his corrupt flesh, (flesh being taken here in a different sense from what it was in the former part of the verse), he that is spiritually dead with Christ, whose old man is crucified with him.

Hath ceased from sin; from sinning willingly and delightfully, and yielding himself up to the power of sin; compare Romans 6:1-23, which explains this: what Peter here calls suffering in the flesh, Paul there calls a being dead to sin, Romans 6:2,11; and what Peter calls a ceasing from sin, Paul calls a living no longer in sin, Romans 6:2, and a being freed from it, Romans 6:7. And this may be the mind, or thought, with which they were to be armed, that they being dead with Christ to sin, should not live any longer in it; having their flesh crucified, should not indulge its affections and lusts.

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh..... The apostle having finished his digression concerning Christ's preaching in the ministry of Noah, to men whose spirits were now in prison, and concerning the salvation of Noah's family in the ark, by water, and concerning its antitype, baptism, its nature and effect, returns to the sufferings of Christ he had before made mention of; and argues from thence to holiness of life, and patience in sufferings, after this manner; seeing then Christ, the eternal Son of God, the Lord of glory, the holy and Just One, suffered such indignities, reproaches, and persecutions from men, the wrath of God, the curses of the law, and death itself; and that not for himself, nor for angels, but for men, and those not all men, otherwise his death, with respect to some, must be in vain; but for a particular number of men, in distinction from others, described in the beginning of this epistle, as elect, according to the foreknowledge of God; and these sufferings he endured in the room and stead of those persons, in the days of his flesh, while here on earth, and in his human nature, both soul and body, and was crucified through the weakness of his flesh, and for the sins of our flesh, and which he bore in his own:

arm yourselves likewise with the same mind; that was in Christ; as he suffered for you, do ye likewise suffer for him, in his cause, for righteousness sake, for the sake of him and his Gospel; and bear all reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions on his account, willingly and cheerfully, with meekness and patience, as he did, and with the same view; not indeed to make satisfaction for sin, which was his principal design, but that being dead unto sin, you might live unto righteousness. The apostle speaks to the saints, in this exhortation, as to soldiers, and who had many enemies to engage with, and therefore should put on their armour, and be in a readiness to meet any attack upon them:

for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin: meaning either Christ, who having suffered in human nature for the sins of his people, whereby he has made satisfaction for them, is now clear of them; the sins that were imputed to him being took and bore away, finished and made an end of, and he justified from them, and freed from all the effects of them, and punishment for them, as from all the infirmities of human nature, from mortality and death: or the person that has suffered in and with Christ, his head and representative, which is all one as if he had suffered himself, in person; by virtue of which his sin ceases, and he ceases from being chargeable with it, as if he had never sinned; which is the case of every criminal, when he has suffered the penalty of the law for his crime: or else the person that is dead to sin, by virtue of the death of Christ, and, in imitation of it, who has been baptized into Christ's death, and planted in the likeness of it; whose old man is crucified with Christ, and he is dead with him; who has crucified the affections with the lusts, and through the Spirit has mortified the deeds of the body; which way the generality of interpreters go: such a man has ceased from sin; not from the being and indwelling of it in him; nor from the burden of it on him; nor from a continual war with it in him; nor from slips and falls by it, and into it; no, nor from it in the most solemn and religious services; but as from the guilt of it, and obligation to punishment by it, through the death of Christ; so from the servitude and dominion of it, through the power of divine grace, in consequence of Christ's death: or rather, the believer that suffers death in his body, for the sake of Christ, such an one immediately ceases from the very being of sin, and all commission of it; he becomes at once perfectly pure and holy, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and a noble argument this is to meet death without fear, and to suffer it cheerfully and willingly, since the consequence of this will be an entire freedom from sin, than which nothing can be more desirable by a believer: to this agrees the Syriac version, which renders the words thus: "for whoever is dead in his body hath ceased from all sins"; but the Arabic version more fully confirms this sense, and is the best version of the text, and is this; "be ye armed with this (same) thought, that (not for) he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin"; that is, fortify your minds against all the fears of sufferings, and of death, for the sake of Christ, with this single thought; that he that has suffered martyrdom for Christ, in his body, or has suffered death for his sake, or dies in the Lord, is free from sin, and so from sorrow, and is the most happy person imaginable; so that this last clause is not a reason of the former, but points out, and is explanative of what that same mind or thought is Christians should arm themselves with, against the fears of death; and it is the best piece of armour for this service, a saint can make use of.

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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Peter 4:1. Χριστοῦ οὖν παθόντος [ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν] σαρκί] In these words the apostle returns to chap. 1 Peter 3:18, in order to subjoin the following exhortation.

σαρκί is not: “in the flesh” (Luther), but: “according to the flesh;” comp. 1 Peter 3:18. This is made prominent because the believer’s sufferings, too, under persecutions, touch the flesh only; comp. Matthew 10:28. παθόντος is not to be limited to the suffering of Christ before His death, but comprehends the latter also. It is, however, incorrect to understand, with Hofmann, παθόντος at once as identical with ἀποθανόντος, and in connection with σαρκί to explain: “that Christ by His life in the flesh submitted for our sake to a suffering which befell Him—that for our sake He allowed His life in the flesh to come to an end”(!).

καὶ ὑμεῖς τὴν αὐτὴν ἔννοιαν ὁπλίσασθε] καί with reference to Christ; “ye also:” the disciple must be like the master. It lies to hand to translate ἔννοια (besides here, only in Hebrews 4:12) as equivalent here to “disposition of mind” (de Wette; Weiss, p. 288); but ἔννοια means always “thought, consideration” (Wiesinger, Schott).[231] There is here also no reference to the mind of Christ in His sufferings, ΤῊΝ ΑὐΤῊΝ ἜΝΝΟΙΑΝ refers back to the ΠΆΣΧΕΙΝ ΣΑΡΚΊ of Christ Himself, so that the sense is, that since Christ suffered according to the flesh, they too should not refuse the thought of like Him suffering according to (or on) the flesh, ὍΤΙ gives the ground of the exhortation. Hofmann, Wiesinger, and Schott take ὍΤΙ as explaining ΤῊΝ ΑὐΤ. ἜΝΝΟΙΑΝ. Incorrectly; for the ΠΈΠΑΥΤΑΙ ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑς will not admit of an application to Christ, inasmuch as the expression does not presuppose generally a former “relation to sin,” but former sinning itself.

The verb ὉΠΛΊΖΕΣΘΑΙ, in the N. T. ἍΠ. ΛΕΓ., is in classical writers often construed with the accus. (Soph. Electra, v. 991: θράσος ὁπλίζεσθαι); while applied to every kind of equipment, e.g. of ships, it here refers to the Christian’s calling as one of conflict.

ὅτι ὁ παθὼν ἐν σαρκὶ ΠΈΠΑΥΤΑΙ ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑς] In Luther’s translation: “for he who suffers on the flesh, he ceaseth from sin,” the present is incorrectly substituted for the preterite tense: ἘΝ ΣΑΡΚΊ; correctly: “on the flesh.” Hofmann’s rendering is wrong: “in the flesh,” which, compared with the ἐν σαρκί preceding, would imply “that whilst Christ’s life in the flesh ended with His suffering, our sufferings took place with continued life in the flesh”(!). The reading ΣΑΡΚΊ, “according to the flesh,” conveys the same idea; cf. Winer, 384 (E. T. 513).

ΠΈΠΑΥΤΑΙ ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑς] The mid. ΠΑΎΟΜΑΙ is in the classics frequently joined with the genitive, e.g. II. vii. 290: παυσώμεθα μάχης; Herod, i. 47: τῆς μάχης ἐπαύσαντο; Herodian. vii. 10, 16: τῆς τε ὀργῆς ὁ δῆμος ἐπαύσατο. In this way ΠΈΠΑΥΤΑΙ here is explained by most interpreters as equivalent to: “he has ceased from sin, that is, he has given up sinning.” The word may also be taken as the perf. pass. according to the construction ΠΑΎΕΙΝ ΤΙΝΆ ΤΙΝΟς, equivalent to: “to cause one to give up, to desist from a thing.” ΠΈΠΑΥΤΑΙ ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑς would then mean: “he has been brought to cease from sin, to sin no more” (Schott: “brought away from sinful conduct”). Hofmann erroneously asserts that “ΠΑΎΕΙΝ ΤΙΝᾺ ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑς would in a quite general way mean: action such as brings it about that the individual is ended with sin;” that is to say, in the sense, that his relation to sin is at an end.[232] For the genitive with παύειν denotes always a condition or an activity of him who is the object of παύειν.

It makes no essential difference in the thought whether παύειν be taken here as a middle (Weiss) or as a passive (de Wette, Wiesinger). The idea: “through Christ immunitatem nactus sum,” is expressed here neither in the one case nor in the other (Wiesinger).

The clause here has the form of a general statement, the meaning of which is, that by suffering as to the flesh a ceasing of sin is effected.[233] This idea, in many respects a true one, may according to the connection be defined thus: he who suffered on account of sin, that is, on account of his opposition to sin, has in such wise broken with sin that it has no more power over him (Weiss). It is incorrect, with several of the earlier commentators, as also Schott, to understand ΠΑΘΏΝ in a spiritual sense, either of the being dead with Christ in baptism, according to Romans 6:7 (Schott), or of the putting to death of the old man (Gerhard: qui carnem cum concupiscentiis suis in Christo et cum Christo crucifigit, ille peccare desinit; Calvin: passio in carne significat nostri abnegationem). Opposed to such an interpretation is the subjoined ΣΑΡΚΊ, by which this παθών here is expressly marked as identical with the ΠΑΘΏΝ, used with reference to Christ; and the apostle in no way hints that that ΠΑΘΏΝ is employed in a spiritual sense. It is evidently entirely a mistake to understand by Ὁ ΠΑΘΏΝ Christ, as Fronmüller does,

ΠΈΠ. ἉΜΑΡΤ. being thus in no way appropriate (doubtless Jachmann explains: “because Christ hath removed sin for Himself, that is, hath shown that it is possible to be without sin”(!)); nor is it less so to assume, finally, with Steiger, that here “the apostle unites together the different persons, the head and the members in their unity,” so that the clause would contain the double idea: “Christ suffering as to the body made us free from sin,” and: “we, by participating through faith in the sufferings of Christ, die unto sin.” Hofmann, too, unjustifiably gives the clause the double reference—to Christ and to the Christians; to Christ, “in as far as He by His bodily death was finished with sin, which He took upon Himself for the purpose of atoning for it;” to the Christians, “in so far as he is spiritually dead whilst still alive in the body, and so is translated into a life in which he goes free from the guilt and slavery of sin.” In these interpretations thoughts are supplied to which the context makes no allusion.[234]

[231] Reiche erroneously appeals in support of this meaning: “disposition of mind,” to the passages in Proverbs 5:2; Proverbs 23:19, LXX., and Wis 2:14.

[232] Thus, too, Schott: “He who has experienced the παθεῖν σαρκί is delivered from his former relation to sin.” But Schott admits that “a release from sin must be thought of, in so far as sin determined the conduct and made it sinful.”

[233] Genuinely catholic is the remark of Lorinus on πέπ. ἁμαρτίας: Peccatorum nomine absolute posito gravia intelliguntur, quae vocamus mortalia; nam desinere atque quiescere a levibus et venialibus, eximium privilegium est, praeterque Deiparam definire non possumus, an alii ulli concessum.

[234] Reiche regards the entire sentence as spurious, because of the difficulty and indistinctness of the thought.1 Peter 4:1. Christ having died to flesh, arm yourselves with the same thought that (or because) he that died hath ceased to sins.—παθόντος σαρκί Peter goes back to the starting point of 1 Peter 3:18 in order to emphasise the import of the first step taken by Christ and His followers, apart now from the consequences. The new life implies death to the old.—τὴν αὐτὴν ἔννοιαν. . only occurs once elsewhere in N.T., Hebrews 4:12, τῶν ἐνθυμήσεων καὶ ἐννοιῶν καρδίας, but is common in LXX of Proverbs; compare (e.g.) Proverbs 2:2, ἔννοια ὁσία (תבונה, discernment) shall keep thee. Here it is the noun-equivalent of φρονεῖτε δ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ (Php 2:1). Christ’s thought (or purpose) which He had in dying is shared by the Christian: and it is defined by ὅτι, κ.τ.λ.—ὁπλίσασθε, sc. for the fight with sin and sinners whom you have deserted.—ὅτιἁμαρτίαις. This axiom is better taken as explaining the same thought than as motive for ὁπλ. St. Paul states it in other words, ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας; compare the death-bed confession of the Jew, “O may my death be an atonement for all the sin … of which I have been guilty against thee”. One dead—literally or spiritually—hath rest in respect of sins assumed or committed; so Hebrews 9:28 insists that after His death Christ is χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας. πέπαυται echoes παυσάτω of 1 Peter 3:10. In the Greek Bible the perfect passive occurs only once (Exodus 9:34) outside Isa 1:-31., where it is used three times to render שבת (cf. σαββατισμός, Hebrews 4:9). The dative ἁμ. is analogous to that following ζῆν ἀποθανεῖν (παθεῖν); the v.l. ἁμαρτίας is due to the common construction of παυ.1. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered … in the flesh] The thoughts of the Apostle go back, somewhat after the manner of St Paul after a dogmatic digression, to the point from which he had started. Christ had suffered in the flesh. If those who had been baptized in His name were called so to suffer, they, looking to the glory that had followed on His sufferings, were to follow His example. They were, it might be, engaged in a tremendous conflict, but they needed no other armour than “the mind of Christ,” the temper of patient submission and unwavering trust in the wisdom and love of the Father.

for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin] If this had been the close of the sentence we might have looked on the “suffering” of which the Apostle speaks, as including death, as it had included it in the case of Christ. So taken, the words might seem to express the familiar thought that “Death only can from sin release,” as in the Rabbinic maxim “He that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:7), that men were to welcome the sufferings that brought death near to them, as working out their complete emancipation. The words that follow, however, make this interpretation impossible, and the “ceasing from sin” must therefore be understood of that “deadness to sin,” “sin no longer having dominion over us,” of which St Paul speaks in Romans 6:7-11. That Apostle, it may be noted, though he quotes the Rabbinic proverb, transfers its application from literal to spiritual death, and St Peter, following a like train of thought, affirms as a general law of the spiritual life that the very act of suffering in the mind of Christ and for Him so strengthens the powers of will and faith that the sufferer is ipso facto delivered from the life in which sin is dominant. It is hard to think of a martyr in the hour of death, or of a confessor patiently bearing his cross, as malignant or fraudulent or impure.1 Peter 4:1. Χριστοῦ, Christ) who is the Lord of glory.—σαρκὶ, with the flesh) Shortly afterwards, ἐν σαρκὶ, in the flesh.—[35]ὁπλίσασθε) arm yourselves, against enemies.—ὅτι) because. This is that continual subject of reflection. Altogether, comp. Romans 6:6-11.—πέπανται) has obtained a cessation, freedom.

[35] τὴν αὐτὴν ἔννοιαν, the same mine) viz. of suffering with willingness.—V. g.Verse 1. - Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh. St. Peter returns, after the digression of 1 Peter 3:19-22, to the great subject of Christ's example. The words "for us" are omitted in some ancient manuscripts; they express a great truth already dwelt upon in 1 Peter 2. and 3. Here the apostle is insisting upon the example of Christ, not on the atoning efficacy of his death. Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind. The word rendered "mind" (ἔννοια) is more exactly "thought" (comp. Hebrews 4:12, the only other place where it occurs in the New Testament); but it certainly has sometimes the force of "intention, resolve." The Christian must be like his Mustier; he must arm himself with the great thought, the holy resolve, which was in the mind of Christ - the thought that suffering borne in faith frees us from the power of sin, the resolve to suffer patiently according to the will of God. That thought, which can be made our own only by faith, is the Christian's shield; we are to arm ourselves with it against the assaults of the evil one (comp. Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:11). For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. The thought is that of Romans 6:6-11. Some translate the conjunction ὅτι, "that," and understand it as giving the content of the ἔννοια: "Arm yourselves with the thought that," etc.; but this does not give so good a sense, and would seem to require ταύτην rather than τὴν αὐτήν ( " this thought," rather than "the same thought." Some, again, understand this clause of Christ; but this seems a mistake. The apostle spoke first of the Master; now he turns to the disciple. Take, he says, for your amour the thoughts which filled the sacred heart of Christ - the thought that suffering in the flesh is not, as the world counts it, an unmixed evil, but often a deep blessing; for, or because, he that suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. If, when we are called to suffer, we offer up our sufferings to Christ who suffered for us, and unite our sufferings with his by faith in him, then those sufferings, thus sanctified, destroy the power of sin, and make us cease from sin (comp. Romans 6:10). Arm yourselves (ὁπλίσασθε)

Only here in New Testament. The thought is Pauline. See Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 6:10, Ephesians 6:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Colossians 3:12.

Mind (ἔννοιαν)

Only here and Hebrews 4:12. Literally the word means thought, and so some render it here. Rev. puts it in margin. The rendering intent, resolution, is very doubtful. It seems rather to be the thought as determining the resolution. Since Christ has suffered in the flesh, be ye also willing to suffer in the flesh.

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