1 Peter 4:10
As good stewards of the manifold grace of God, each of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve one another.
Gifts and ServiceA. Maclaren 1 Peter 4:10
StewardshipJ.R. Thomson 1 Peter 4:10
Above All Things -- LoveF. B. Meyer, B. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
As and So -- the Method of MinistryW. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Charity Covering a Multitude of SinsT. Ainger, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Charity Covering FaultsGreat Thoughts1 Peter 4:7-11
Christian SobrietyC. Vince.1 Peter 4:7-11
Christian StewardshipA. L. Simpson, D. D.1 Peter 4:7-11
Dissuasives from UncharitablenessH. W. Beecher.1 Peter 4:7-11
DutyHugh Ross.1 Peter 4:7-11
Duty in View of the Nearness of the EndR. Finlayson 1 Peter 4:7-11
Fervent CharityP. Witherspoon.1 Peter 4:7-11
Fervent CharityW. H. Hutchings, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
GiftsHomiletic Quarterly1 Peter 4:7-11
Gifts and ResponsibilityBishop of Lichfield.1 Peter 4:7-11
Gifts to be Communicated for the Good of OthersJohn Rogers.1 Peter 4:7-11
God Glorified by ChristF. B. Meyer, B. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
God's Gifts and Their PurposeCanon Vernon Hutton.1 Peter 4:7-11
God's Gifts and Their UseT. Griffith, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
How Christians May Glorify God1 Peter 4:7-11
In What a Variety of Ways We May Serve and Benefit OthersG. J. Zollikofer.1 Peter 4:7-11
Love Covereth All SinsJ. Vaughan, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Love Covers SinsF. B. Meyer, B. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Love Must be FerventJohn Rogers.1 Peter 4:7-11
Mutual ObligationsJ. N. Pearson, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Personal ChristlinessHomilist1 Peter 4:7-11
Receiving and MinisteringJ. Trapp.1 Peter 4:7-11
Reflected GloryA. Maclaren, D. D.1 Peter 4:7-11
Soberness and WatchfulnessD. Moore, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Christian StewardshipDean Alford.1 Peter 4:7-11
The End of All ThingsPulpit Studies1 Peter 4:7-11
The End of All Things At HandW. J. Armstrong.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Greatness of LoveP. H. Sharpe.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Idea and Duty of Human LifeW. L. Watkinson.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Import and Application of Glorifying God Through Jesus ChristJ. B. Beard.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Nearness of EternityG. S. Noel, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Nearness of EternityF. B. Meyer, B. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Oracles of GodW. G. Barrett.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Preaching of the WordAbp. Leighton.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Preeminence of CharityF. W. Robertson, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Warmth of HospitalityScientific Illustrations1 Peter 4:7-11
Uugrudging HospitalityF. B. Meyer, B. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Waiting for the EndH. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Watch unto PrayerG. F. Prescott, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Watchfulness and PrayerfulnessJ. T. Shedd, D. D.1 Peter 4:7-11
Watchfulness Associated with PrayerfulnessJ. Imrie, M. A.1 Peter 4:7-11
Watching for Answers to PrayerJ. Edmond, D. D.1 Peter 4:7-11
Watching in Relation to PrayerC. Vince.1 Peter 4:7-11
The Persecuted Christian Reminded of the Help of Brotherly LoveC. New 1 Peter 4:8-11
Christian Love as a ServiceU.R. Thomas 1 Peter 4:9-11
If we may venture to connect these words with the preceding injunction as well as with the following, the power of rendering simple hospitality is as truly a gift of God's grace for the use of which a man is responsible as is the loftiest endowment of eloquent speech or eminent service. The large principles embodied in these simple words would revolutionize the Church, and go far to regenerate the world, if they were honestly carried out. All powers are gifts. All gifts are trusts. What simplicity, what power, what unselfishness, what diligence, what regard for others' work, what humility as to one's own, would fill the life which was wholly molded by these convictions.

I. THE UNIVERSALITY OF GIFT. "Every man hath received," says Peter, and builds upon it as a well-recognized fact. All these poor ignorant Asiatics, picked from the filth of idolatry, slaves and outcasts as some of them had been, rude and uncultured and lowly of station and imperfectly Christianized as many of them were, - they each had some Divine gift which needed only to be burnished and shown to shine afar with heavenly brightness. Every Christian man today, in like manner, is endowed with some gift; for every Christian has the Spirit of God dwelling in him, and that Spirit never comes empty-handed. Whatever subordination there may be in the Church, as in all organized communities, its very life depends on the fact that all its members possess the Divine Spirit, and no claim of authority to rule nor prerogative of teaching, which does not recognize that fact, can stand for a moment. The aspiration of Moses has been fulfilled (Numbers 11:29), "All the Lord's people" are "prophets," and "the Lord" has "put his Spirit upon them." Miraculous powers were widely diffused in the early Church, and, with the gift of tongues, constituted the most conspicuous tokens of the gift of the Pentecostal Spirit. But even then these were not "the best gifts." The graces of faith, hope, and charity, those fruits of the Spirit which consist of a holy character and a heart transparent for the heavenly light which burns within it, as a light fed by perfumed oil in an alabaster lamp, - these are better gifts of an indwelling Spirit than all supernatural endowments. The natural faculties, of course, are gifts. To each man the question may be addressed concerning these, "What hast thou which thou hast not received?" But the natural faculties of the Christian, reinforced, quickened, directed by the indwelling Spirit, are still more emphatically gifts. The power of brain or tongue, the spirit of counsel or of might, which he received from the creative breath of God, is intensified by the Spirit, which brings the breath of a new Divine life, as a lamp burns brighter when plunged into a jar of oxygen. And besides the new graces and heightened action of native power, all ability or opportunity dependent on outward circumstances is gift. Health, any skill of hand or eye, wealth, position, - everything must come into this category. All which we have is gift. In that sense the gift is universal. And we all have the gift. In that sense, too, it is universal.

II. THE VARIETY OF GIFTS. The apostle speaks here of the "manifold" - literally, the "variegated" or "many-colored" grace; and exhorts to variety of service based upon dissimilarity of gifts. It cannot but be that the fullness of God passing into the limits of created minds should manifest itself in an infinite variety. The light flashed at different angles from a million dewdrops twinkles and glitters from their tiny spheres in all differing tints of green and purple and gold. The unlimited variety of innumerable recipients growing in the measure of their possessions through eternity is the only adequate manifestation of the infinite God. Such variety is essential, too, to the existence of a community. "If the whole were an eye, where were the body?" The homely proverb says, "It takes all sorts to make a world." With diversity comes room for mutual help and mutual tolerance. Every man has some gift; no man has all. Therefore they are bound together by reciprocal wants and supplies, and convexities here and concavities there fit in to one another and make a solid whole. The same life works, but variously, in the different organs of the one body, so that there should be no schism in the body. This variety constitutes an imperative call to service. Each man has something which some of his brethren want.

The least flower with a brimming cup may stand,
And share its dewdrop with another near." The concert will not be complete, though the roll of the great ocean of praise that surges round the throne be as the noise of many waters, without the tinkle of the little rill of my praise. And some poor soul, which God meant to go shares with me, will have to starve if I do not part my portion among the needy. It constitutes, too, an authoritative prescription of the manner of service. "As every one hath received, so minister the same. I)o net minister anything else, but that very thing which you have received. God shows you what he intends you to do by what he gives you. Do not copy other people; do not try to be anybody else. Be true to yourself. If your gifts impel you to a special mode of service, follow them. Find out what you are fit for, and do it in your own fashion. Take your directions at first hand from God, and don't spoil your own little gift by trying to bend it into the shape of somebody else's. Flutes cannot be made to sound like drums. Be content to give out your own note, and leave the care of the harmony to God. And, on the other hand, beware of interfering with your brother's equal liberty. Do not hastily condemn modes of action because they are not yours. A Salvation Army captain and a philosophical theologian may not understand each other's dialect; but there is room for them both, and they should not hinder each other. There are many vessels of different materials and shapes for different uses in Christ's great house. The widest tolerance of the diversities of operation is the truest recognition of the one Spirit which worketh all in all.

III. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF GIFTS. As good stewards." Peter is probably here repeating the thought which he had learned from his Master's parables. The thought of stewardship is no doubt a natural one, even apart from the reminiscence of our Lord's teaching; but we can scarcely suppose that Christ's words did not suggest it here. All gifts are trusts, Peter thinks; that is to say, no Christian gets his natural endowments, nor his material possessions, and still less his spiritual graces, for himself alone. We all admit that in theory about the two former, and in some degree about the latter. But Christian men do not sufficiently consider that God gives them even salvation for the sake of others as well as for their own. No creature is so small but that its well-being is a worthy end for God's gifts and care. No being is so great that its well-being is worthy to be an exclusive end of God's gifts and care. We are saved "that we may show forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light." The joy of forgiveness, the peace of conscience, the blessed assurance of the Father's love, the hopes of an immortal heaven, - these are not given us for self-absorbed and solitary enjoyment, but that, saved, we may glorify and proclaim the Savior, and bring to others the unspeakable gift. So with all the lesser gifts which flow from that greatest - all spiritual endowments, natural capacities heightened by the Spirit's indwelling, or outward endowments and possessions - they are our Lord's goods put into our hands to administer for him. They were his before they became ours. They are his while they are called ours. They are ours that we may have the joy of bringing him somewhat, and may not only know the blessedness of receiving, but the greater blessedness of giving, even though we have to say, while we bring our gifts, "Of thine own have we given thee." If Christian men really believed what they say they do, that they are stewards, not owners, trustees and not possessors, the whole face of Christianity would be altered. There would be men and money for all noble service, and the world would be bright with unselfish and various ministries, worthily representing "the manifold grace of God." - A.M.

Christ suffered in the flesh.
The Redeemer of the world is in one sense infinitely above us; but in another sense He is actually beside us. His sympathy is as true as His sovereignty.

I. TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS WERE. "He suffered in the flesh." No one can read the Gospels without seeing indications of those sufferings.

1. There can be no doubt that Jesus was exempted from many of the physical ills from which we suffer. We can only think of Him as healthy, not only because of His birth, but because the exacting nature of His self-forgetful work required a perfect physique. Besides this, we must remember that many of our physical sufferings we bring on ourselves. Idleness, self-indulgence, artificial modes of life, irregularities, are the causes of many of the ills which flesh is heir to; but the life of Jesus was exquisite in its simplicity and unstained by a single vicious propensity. And this reminds us further that He could not have suffered, as we do, from a sense of personal sin, from the remorse which follows after our utterance of an unkind word, or the indulgence of an evil propensity, or from the tumult of passion which rises up within a sinful heart. Yet He was a sufferer. "He was a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief." "Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses." But besides these His whole life was a martyrdom. His sensibility, not only to physical pain, but to mental and moral agony, must have been exquisite.

2. Think, too, of His utter loneliness. His was the solitude of a holy soul surrounded by sinners; of a heavenly spirit in contact with things earthly and sensual; of a mind whose higher thoughts not a single being on earth could appreciate; whose truest objects in living and dying as He did none could comprehend.

3. That expression, "in the flesh," reminds us of His uncongenial surroundings. He lived and died among a despised people, and was regarded as an outcast even by some of them! Often must He have felt as the Jews did when, exiled from home and fatherland, they hanged their harps upon the willows, and wept as they remembered Zion, saying, "How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?"


1. It is evident that He accepted them as God's appointment for Him here. "The cup which My Father hath given Me shall I not drink it?" indicates His attitude to trouble right through. If a day's ministry brought Him no result, He did not repine; if His own nation rejected Him, He meekly accepted the result, though with unutterable sorrow over the issues of it to them; if the Cross was to be faced, He went forth willingly to Calvary, there to die — the just for the unjust — to bring us unto God.

2. Notice also that our Lord never allowed Himself to be absorbed in His own sorrows. He was always ready to enter into other people's joys and griefs, whatever His own sorrows might be. He is not so absorbed in the joys of heaven that He will not listen to the faltering cry of the lowliest penitent. I have known some sufferers who have been armed with the same mind. Their unselfishness has been sublime. Their couch of pain has proved the centre of joy and peace to those who circle round them.


(A. Rowland, LL. B.)

I. CHRIST SUFFERED IN HUMAN NATURE. His sufferings in the flesh were —

1. Great, corporeal, social, mediatorial.

2. Ignominious. Poverty, obloquy, persecution, crucifixion.



1. Profoundly religious.

2. Self denyingly philanthropic.


(D. Thomas, D. D.)

Use sin, as Christ was used when He was made sin for us; lift it up, and make it naked by confession to God. And then pierce —

1. The hands of it, in respect of operation, that it may work no more.

2. The feet of it, in respect of progression, that it go no further.

3. The heart, in respect of affection, that it may be loved no longer.

(J. Trapp.)

Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind
I. THE HIGH ENGAGEMENT TO THIS CONFORMITY. "He suffered for us in the flesh." We are the more obliged to make His suffering our example, because it was to us more than an example; it was our ransom. This makes the conformity reasonable in a double respect. It is due that we follow Him, who led us as the Captain of our salvation; that we follow Him in suffering and in doing, seeing both were for us. What can be too bitter to endure, or too sweet to forsake, to follow Him? Were this duly considered, should we cleave to our lusts or to our ease? Should we not be willing to go through fire and water, yea, through death itself, yea, were it possible, through many deaths, to follow Him? Consider, as this conformity is due, so it is made easy by His suffering for us. Our chains which bound us over to eternal death being knocked off, shall we not walk, shall we not run, in His ways?

II. THE NATURE OF THIS CONFORMITY, to show the nearness of it, is expressed in the very same terms as in the pattern; it is not remote resemblance, but the same thing, even "suffering in the flesh." But that we may understand rightly what suffering is here meant, it is plainly this, "ceasing from sin." So that this "suffering in the flesh" is not simply the enduring of afflictions, which is a part of the Christian's conformity to His Head, but it implies a more inward and spiritual suffering. It is the suffering and dying of our corruption, the taking away of the life of sin by the death of Christ: the death of His sinless flesh works in the believer the death of sinful flesh, that is, the corruption of His nature, which is so usually in Scripture called "flesh." "Ceased from sin." He is at rest from it, a godly death, as they who die in the Lord rest from their labours. Faith so looks on the death of Christ, that it takes the impression of it, sets it on the heart, kills it unto sin. Christ and the believer do not only become one in law, so that His death stands for theirs, but one in nature, so that His death for sin causes theirs to it (Romans 6:3).

III. THE ACTUAL IMPROVEMENT OF THIS CONFORMITY. "Arm yourselves with the same mind," or thoughts of this mortification. Consider and apply the suffering of Christ in the flesh, to the end that you with Him suffering in the flesh, may cease from sin. Think that it ought to be thus, and seek that it may be thus with you. "Arm yourselves." There is still fighting, and sin will be molesting you; though wounded to death, yet will it struggle for life, and seek to wound its enemy; it will assault the graces that are in you. You may take the Lord's promise for victory in the end; that shall not fail; but do not promise yourself ease in the way, for that will not hold. If at sometimes you be undermost, give not all up for lost; he hath often won the day who hath been foiled and wounded in the fight. But likewise take not all for won, so as to have no more conflict, when sometimes you have the better in particular battles. Now the way to be armed is this, "the same mind." How would my Lord Christ carry Himself in this case? And what was His business in all places and companies? Was it not to do the will and advance the glory of His Father? Thus ought it to be with the Christian, framing all his ways, and words, and very thoughts, upon that model, the mind of Christ, and studying in all things to walk even as He walked; studying it much, as the reason and rule of mortification, and drawing from it, as the real cause and spring of mortification.

(Abp. Leighton.)

I. THE CARDINAL TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY Christ hath suffered for us."

II. THE CHRISTIAN'S CARDINAL DUTY — "Christ having suffered for us, arm yourselves with the same mind."

1. Arm yourselves with the same mind as to the method of conduct.

2. Arm yourselves with the same mind as to the purpose in view.

III. THE CHRISTIAN'S DAILY COURSE OF LIFE — that we should no longer live, etc.

(J. J. S. Bird.)

I. CHRIST'S "MIND" IS THE WEAPON WITH WHICH MAN IS TO FIGHT HIS WAY ON TO MORAL PERFECTION. His moral perfection is here taught. But to reach this what a battle man has to fight! By the "mind of Christ" we are to understand, of course, not His mere intellect, great as it was, nor His conscience, sublimely pure though it was; but the moral spirit that inspired and directed all His intellectual and moral powers. By His "mind" we mean, in one word, His moral character. Now this is the weapon by which alone man can win victories over evil, and obtain the crown of life, namely, conformity to the "will of God." Doctrines will not do it, however Scriptural; religious rites will not do it, however studiously observed. Who is the man in our world the most successful in putting down wrong? Not the legislator, however just the laws he enacts; not the moralist, however cogent his arguments and powerful his rhetoric; but the man who has the "mind of Christ" as his armour.

II. CHRIST'S "SUFFERINGS" ARE THE ARGUMENT FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF THIS WEAPON. First, the sufferings of Christ were "in the flesh." He was in the flesh, but not flesh. Secondly, Christ suffered "in the flesh" in order to establish human holiness. "That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lust of men, but to the will of God."

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

The rest of his time in the flesh
Who can tell how long that may be for any one of us? The sands run swiftly through life's hour glass. The shadow hastens to go down upon the dial. The waves eat away so quickly the dwindling shoal of land which crumbles beneath us. The Christian finds nothing in such thoughts to make him sad. Every milestone marks the growing nearness of his home. The waves cannot be crossed too swiftly by the eager traveller. Before us lie the ages of eternity, filled with a blessedness of personal enjoyment and rapturous ministry which defy tongue to tell or mind to picture. But the blessed future must not divert our thoughts from the duties to be discharged during the rest of the time which we are to spend in the flesh. We must not be dreamers, but warriors. To arms! Arm yourselves with the same mind; and when we ask, "What mind?" we are told to arm ourselves with the mind that took Jesus to His death. In a venerable old church at Innsbruck, famous for containing the tomb of the great Emperor Maximilian, there is a magnificent bronze statue of Godfrey of Boulogne, the illustrious crusader. His head is covered with a helmet, and on the helmet rests a crown of thorns. Of course, there was a meaning in the mind of the artist other than that with which we now invest the strange conjunction. He doubtless designed to represent the sacred cause for which that helmet was donned. But we may discover an apt symbol of the teaching of our apostle, who unites in these verses the armour of the Christian soldier, and the recollection of Christ's suffering in the flesh. This witness of the sufferings of Christ first takes us to the Cross; and after gazing reverently on that spectacle of love, we are brought to a point where two ways diverge. And the only way of discovering and maintaining the right path is to imbibe the spirit of that wondrous death; nay, to bind it around us as a talisman of victory. "In hoc signo vinces."

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

I. NEGATIVELY. "Not to the lusts of men!" This does not mean that we are to neglect our bodily interests. What are the lusts? Animal instincts grown to a dominant force.

II. POSITIVELY. "To the will of God." This implies —

1. That God has a will.

2. That God has a will concerning men.

3. That God's will is revealed.What is the will of God concerning men? First, it is His will that we should believe in Christ (John 6:29; 1 John 3:23). Secondly, it is His will that we shall be purified from sin. "This is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Thirdly, it is His will that we should cultivate a practical gratitude for all the blessings of life (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Fourthly, it is His will that every man shall be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).

(D. Thomas, D. D.)






To the lusts of men
1. To live after the lusts of men and to the will of God are opposite each to other as light and darkness.

2. We cannot at one and the same time both walk after our lusts and live to God's will. One lust loved, sufficient to condemn.

3. In the course of sanctification, we must begin at renouncing our own will, and the lusts of men. None sow a plant till weeds be pulled up; none put on new apparel till they have put off their rags.

4. It is not sufficient that we renounce our lusts and evil, except we yield obedience to the will of God.

5. It is not one action or two whereby a man is discovered what he is, but his constant course of walking or living.

(John Rogers.)

The flesh itself, under the calm subduing influence of your purer spirit, will become a dignified servant in waiting on its superior. Good gardeners know a better way of conquering the wild thorn than by uprooting and destroying it. They set it in their garden. They graft it on some queenly rose. Then the wild thorn expends its energy not upon itself, but upon that which is above itself; and as a reward is crowned with a glory which itself could not possibly produce.

(G. Calthrop.)

To the will of God
1. It is a good will.

2. A holy will.

3. A just will.

4. An impartial will.

5. A practicable will.

6. A supreme will.

7. An obligatory will.

(John Bate.)


1. Sadness.

(1)Enough of sin, because of its —

(2)Degradation to self.

(3)Injuriousness to others.

(4)Rebellion against God.

2. Hope.

(1)Forgiveness for time past.

(2)Deliverance from time past.

II. NOTWITHSTANDING BAD MEN'S WONDER AT GOOD MEN'S CONDUCT, what Peter said two thousand years ago is true today. The thoroughly corrupt man finds it impossible to understand the Christly man.

1. He thinks his conduct strange, and so, perhaps, ignores him altogether.

2. Or he thinks his conduct strange, and is aggravated by it.

3. Or he thinks his conduct strange, and it leads him to inquire. This is the good effect.


(U. R. Thomas.)

The perfection of a man's nature is when his will fits on to God's like one of Euclid's triangles superimposed upon another, and line for line coincides. When his will allows a free passage to the will of God, without resistance, as light travels through transparent glass; when his will responds to the touch of God's finger upon the keys, like the telegraphic needle to the operator's hand; then man has attained all that God and religion can do for him, all that his nature is capable of.

What a glorious contrast to the will of the flesh is "the will of God"! This was the food of Jesus. To do this He came to earth. It was the fire cloud that lit His pathway, the yoke in carrying which He found rest, the Urim and Thummim, which dimmed or shone with heavenly guidance. There is no course more safe or blessed than to live in the will of God. God's will is good will. Where the will of God lies across the wilderness pathway, there flowers bloom, and waters gush from rocks of flint. Sometimes the flesh rebels against it, because it means crucifixion and self-denial, but under the rugged shell the sweetest kernel nestles, and none know the ecstasy of living save those who refuse the broad, easy road of the lusts of men, to climb the steep, upward path of doing the will of God from the heart.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

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