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.
3. may suffice—Greek, "is sufficient." Peter takes the lowest ground: for not even the past time ought to have been wasted in lust; but since you cannot recall it, at least lay out the future to better account.
us—omitted in oldest manuscripts.
wrought—Greek, "wrought out."
Gentiles—heathen: which many of you were.
when, &c.—"walking as ye have done [Alford] in lasciviousness"; the Greek means petulant, immodest, wantonness, unbridled conduct: not so much filthy lust.
excess of wine—"wine-bibbings" [Alford].
abominable—"nefarious," "lawless idolatries," violating God's most sacred law; not that all Peter's readers (see on 1Pe 1:1) walked in these, but many, namely, the Gentile portion of them.