New International Version

1 Peter 4:1-19

Living for God

1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Suffering for Being a Christian

12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And,

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,

what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”4:18 Prov. 11:31 (see Septuagint)

19So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

New International Reader’s Version

1 Peter 4:1-19

Living for God

1Christ suffered in his body. So prepare yourselves to think in the same way Christ did. Do this because whoever suffers in their body is finished with sin. 2As a result, they don’t live the rest of their earthly life for evil human desires. Instead, they live to do what God wants. 3You have spent enough time in the past doing what ungodly people choose to do. You lived a wild life. You longed for evil things. You got drunk. You went to wild parties. You worshiped statues of gods, which the Lord hates. 4Ungodly people are surprised that you no longer join them in what they do. They want you to join them in their wild and wasteful living. So they say bad things about you. 5But they will have to explain their actions to God. He is ready to judge those who are alive and those who are dead. 6That’s why the good news was preached even to people who are now dead. It was preached to them for two reasons. It was preached so that their bodies might be judged. This judgment is made by human standards. But the good news was also preached so that their spirits might live. This life comes by means of God’s power.

7The end of all things is near. So be watchful and control yourselves. Then you may pray. 8Most of all, love one another deeply. Love erases many sins by forgiving them. 9Welcome others into your homes without complaining. 10God’s gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. 11If anyone speaks, they should do it as one speaking God’s words. If anyone serves, they should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Glory and power belong to him for ever and ever. Amen.

Suffering for Being a Christian

12Dear friends, don’t be surprised by the terrible things happening to you. The trouble you are having has come to test you. So don’t feel as if something strange were happening to you. 13Instead, be joyful that you are taking part in Christ’s sufferings. Then you will have even more joy when Christ returns in glory. 14Suppose people say bad things about you because you believe in Christ. Then you are blessed, because God’s Spirit rests on you. He is the Spirit of glory. 15If you suffer, it shouldn’t be because you are a murderer. It shouldn’t be because you are a thief or someone who does evil things. It shouldn’t be because you interfere with other people’s business. 16But suppose you suffer for being a Christian. Then don’t be ashamed. Instead, praise God because you are known by the name of Christ. 17It is time for judgment to begin with the household of God. And since it begins with us, what will happen to people who don’t obey God’s good news? 18Scripture says,

“Suppose it is hard for godly people to be saved.

Then what will happen to ungodly people and sinners?” (Proverbs 11:31)

19Here is what people who suffer because of God’s plan should do. They should commit themselves to their faithful Creator. And they should continue to do good.