1th Kefa Jewish New Testament and comment David H. Stern

chapter 4
1. Therefore, since the Messiah suffered physically, you too are to arm yourselves with the same attitude. For whoever has suffered physically is finished with sin,
2. with the result that he lives the rest of his earthly life no longer controlled by human desires, but by God’s will.
Compare Ro 12:1-2. 

3. For you have spent enough time already living the way the pagans want you to live — in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, wild parties and forbidden idol-worship.
4. They think it strange that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of dissoluteness, and so they heap insults on you.
The letter as a whole is meant for Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles who identify with them (1:1N, 2:9N). But just as earlier Kefa addresses the Jewish believers specifically (1:18&N), so here he speaks to the Gentile believers.

Today's world is not so different from Kefa's. Many believers face the same kinds of temptation, ridicule and rejection by their friends and family, who think it strange that you try to follow God's priorities instead of theirs. 

5. But they will have to give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.
According to Yn 5:21 and Ro 2:16, Yeshua the Messiah is the one who stands ready to judge "the quick and the dead" (KJV). This is why he (or "it"; see below) was proclaimed to those who have since died (literally, "to the dead"; see below); namely, it was so that, even though physically they would receive the judgment common to all men, death, nevertheless they might live by the Spirit in the way that God has provided. That is, as a result of trusting in Yeshua, they might, by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, live holy lives of joy before death; and also, after death, they might have the joy of eternal life with God, also by the Ruach HaKodesh. The passage, like 1 Th 4:13—18, provides believers with comfort over friends who have died, as well as an answer to pagans mocking them for exchanging worldly enjoyment merely for the grave (vv. 3-4).

Some have interpreted v. 6 to mean that Yeshua proclaimed the Gospel to persons who had already died (or to their spirits, 3:19), so that they had an opportunity to be saved. To those who prefer to lead selfish and sinful lives, ignoring God, this "second chance theory" has appeal. However, the only support in the New Testament for such an understanding comes from verses at least equally problematical (3:19-22&N above, 1С 15:29&N). On the contrary, MJ 9:27, agreeing with v. 5, says that "human beings have to die once, but after this comes judgment," not another opportunity to accept the Gospel. Persons who believed as much of God's truth as had been revealed and then died before Yeshua came joined those who would be saved through Yeshua's atoning death later on; this is clear from Messianic Jews 11, especially MJ 11:39—4-0. 

6. This is why he was proclaimed to those who have died; it was so that, although physically they would receive the judgment common to all humanity, they might live by the Spirit in the way that God has provided.
7. The accomplishing of the goal of all things is close at hand. Therefore, keep alert and self-controlled, so that you can pray.
8. More than anything, keep loving each other actively; because love covers many sins (Proverbs 10:12).
Love covers many sins. Two alternative interpretations:
1) Love makes you willing to forgive others' sins and overlook their faults.
2) At the final judgment, God will forgive many of your sins if you keep loving (compare Lk 7:47, Mt 25:31-46). See also Ya 5:20. 

9. Welcome one another into your homes without grumbling.
10. As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace —
Spiritual gift, Greek charisma. See 1С 12:8-10&N. 

11. if someone speaks, let him speak God’s words; if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah — to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
12. Dear friends, don’t regard as strange the fiery ordeal occurring among you to test you, as if something extraordinary were happening to you.
13. Rather, to the extent that you share the fellowship of the Messiah’s sufferings, rejoice; so that you will rejoice even more when his Sh’khinah is revealed.
14. If you are being insulted because you bear the name of the Messiah, how blessed you are! For the Spirit of the Sh’khinah, that is, the Spirit of God, is resting on you!
Do not only brace for afflictions, but rejoice in them, sharing the fellowship of the Messiah's sufferings (compare Co 1:24). For just as the Sh'khinah (God's manifest glory, MJ 1:2-3N) once rested on the Temple in Jerusalem, now the Spirit of the Sh'khinah is resting on you, since "your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you" (1С 6:19). The Sh'khinah was revealed as his. Yeshua's, ,S7i 'khinah at his first coming (Yn 1:14-15); it is the same as "the glory to be revealed" (5:1 &N) at his second coming (Ti 2:12). The term "Sh 'khinah" refers only to God; its use in connection with the Messiah and the Spirit exemplifies again the New Testament's tendency to speak indirectly about the divinity of Yeshua and the Ruach HaKodesh. 

15. Let none of you suffer for being a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or a meddler in other people’s affairs.
16. But if anyone suffers for being Messianic, let him not be ashamed; but let him bring glory to God by the way he bears this name.
Because you bear the name of the Messiah (literally, "in the name of the Messiah"). For being Messianic. By the way you bear this name (v. 16; literally, "by this name" or "in this name"). Messianic is Greek Christianos; most versions resemble KJV, "if any man suffer as a Christian." See Ac 11:26N, 26:28N, the only other places in the New Testament where "Christianas" appears. 

17. For the time has come for the judgment to begin. It begins with the household of God; and if it starts with us, what will the outcome be for those who are disobeying God’s Good News? —
18. "If the righteous is barely delivered, where will the ungodly and sinful end up?"(Proverbs 11:31)
19. So let those who are suffering according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator by continuing to do what is good.

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