I Peter 4:12-19 and Waldenström’s Commentary

by Paul Peter Waldenström and translated by Tommy Carlson

12 Beloved, do not be astonished about the passion, which is among youa which inflicts you to temptation,b as if something unknownc happened to you.d

a) That persecution that they must endure is like a fire, that burns among them. b) In the suffering was a temptation to fail. The believers could through the same, easily become weary. See chap. I:6, compare Matt. 13:21. c) Something unexpected, something which actually is none of your concern. d) On the contrary, you ought to find it natural, that you must suffer for the sake of your beliefs.

13 Without that measure which you partook of Christ's suffering,a so be glad, in thatb you may be pleased and be delightedc also in his glorious revelation.d

See also Phil.3:10, Col 1:24, 2 Tim. 2:10.

a) Suffering in Christ is the same suffering of which Christ has endured. In these the believers take part, when they for his sake are hated and persecuted by the world. b) If the believers now rejoice over suffering with Christ, then they shall also rejoice at Christ's revelation. But if they as a result of the sufferings become discouraged and tired, they will miss the heavenly glory. c) Verbatim: delight, rejoice yourselves, that is to say delight with a large celebrating joy. d) That is to say, when Christ comes back in his divine majesty.

14 If you are insulted in Christ's name,a you are blessed, because the glory and God's Spiritb reposes over you.c

a) That is to say, because you are believers in Christ and are named with his name. See verse 16. b) God's Spirit is the glory's spirit. To him belongs eternal divine glory. c) When the spirit of glory rests over the believers, in that there is a security that they shall win eternal glory (compare Eph. 1:14). And with that thought in mind, may they with gladness suffer all the indignity and disgrace that the world can inflict upon them. See Matt. 5:11 f.

15 Hence,a may none of you suffer like a murderer or a thief or an evil-doer, or as one who meddles in others' affairs.b

See also I Peter 2:20.

a) In verses 13 and 14 is expressly an admonition to the believers to see to it that the suffering as they endure, may be a suffering for Christ's sake; because, adds the apostle now, it is for each and everyone to be careful, that he not need to suffer for his own evil-deeds. b) In the original text is here found a word which denotes, that someone makes himself an overseer over things, which are not his and therefore is no concern of his.

16 But if someone suffers as a Christian,a may he not be bashful,b instead praise God for this name.c

See also Phil. 1:28 f.

a) The name Christian was a term of abuse which pagans and Jews used to name them who believed on Christ. See Acts 11:26; 26:28. b) As such there was some shame in bearing that name. c) Verbatim: in this name, that is to say, may he in this name see a reason for praising God.

17 Because time is, that judgement begins with God's house,a but if it first begins with us, what then becomes the end for those who are disobedient to God's Gospel?b

a) God's congregation. In the suffering that befalls God' s congregation the apostle sees a beginning for the judgement, that God shall hold over everybody, both righteous and unrighteous. This judgement begins now on the congregation and shall later continue on the unbelievers. b) Their end must then be horrible.

18 And if the righteous with difficulty are saved, where shall then be found the ungodly and the sinners?a

See also Luke 23:31, Proverbs 11:31.

a) The righteous are saved with difficulty since he has so many sufferings to go through in order to win eternal salvation. But if that is so, one can easily determine how it shall go with the ungodly and the sinner.

19 Thereforea may also those who suffer according to God's willb surrender their souls to a faithful creatorc with good deeds.d

a) This verse is most closely connected with verse 16. Verses 17 and 18 is to be regarded as an incidental insert. b) The believers suffer according to God's will, if they suffer for that reason, that they in everything want to do God's will. But they suffer contrary to God's will if they suffer for the sake of their own sins. c) That is to say: to God, who is their souls creator, and who is faithful, so that he preserves that which he has created. d) In that way, that they sustain in doing the good. Only so could they in the midst of all the suffering surrender their souls to God, assured of this, that God shall preserve them for eternal life.

I Peter 4:12-19 (RSV)

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be and when his glory is revealed. 14If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of gory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a wrongdoer, or a mischief-maker, 16 yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God. 17 For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And "If the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?" 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.

Paul Peter Waldenström was a Swedish revival preacher, and served as editor of Pietisten from 1868-1917.

See all articles by Paul Peter Waldenström

Tommy Carlson remodels homes and is an editor of Pietisten.

See all articles by Tommy Carlson