1 Peter 4:7-11
Πάντων δὲ τὸ τέλος ἤγγικεν .
The end of all things is at hand ;
σωφρονήσατε οὖν καὶ νήψατε εἰς προσευχάς·
therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
πρὸ πάντων τὴν εἰς ἑαυτοὺς ἀγάπην ἐκτενῆ ἔχοντες ,
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly,
ὅτι ἀγάπη καλύπτει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν·
since love covers a multitude of sins.
φιλόξενοι εἰς ἀλλήλους ἄνευ γογγυσμοῦ·
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
ἕκαστος καθὼς ἔλαβεν χάρισμα,
As each has received a gift,
εἰς ἑαυτοὺς αὐτὸ διακονοῦντες
use it to serve one another,
ὡς καλοὶ οἰκονόμοι ποικίλης χάριτος θεοῦ.
as good stewards of God's varied grace:
εἴ τις λαλεῖ,
ὡς λόγια θεοῦ·
as one who speaks oracles of God;
εἴ τις διακονεῖ,
ὡς ἐξ ἰσχύος ἧς χορηγεῖ ὁ θεός·
as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--
ἵνα ἐν πᾶσιν δοξάζητα ι ὁ θεὸς διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ,
in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
ᾧ ἐστιν ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων· ἀμήν.
To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Central Idea: Having steadily pointed his readers' attention to the Lord's return on the last day in order to raise their hearts and minds as they face various trials, Peter now draws several practical implications for living in the light of the nearness of that day. His focus is on life within the community of faith, calling believers to alertness for prayer, earnest acts of sin-defeating love, gracious hospitality, and service that honors God because it puts his gifts, his power, his glory -and not our own- on display. Explanations/Questions: v.10-11, The three comparative clauses are not complete subject-predicate clauses, but the verb could be supplied for each (as the ESV does in v.11b & d). Peter frequently uses this construction of the comparative, ὡς + a noun phrase (see 1:14, 'as obedient children;' 1:19, 'as of a lamb;' 2:2, 'like newborn infants;' 2:5, 'like living stones;' 2:11, 'as sojourners and exiles;' et.al.). Question: Does v.11e state the purpose for v.10-11d, or all the commands back to v.7b? Although the purpose holds true for all, I see the grammatical link is to the the stewardship commands in v.10 & 11. In part, v.11e further explains the comparative phrases, "...as stewards of God's grace," "...as oracles of God ," and "...by God's power." Question: Does v.11f explain v.11e directly or give an exclamation point to the whole passage? My answer: Both, but my arc gives weight to the latter as a doxology. Insights: Concerning v.7... Peter uses a pair of verbs σωφρονέω and νηφώ, both related to being in control of one's mental faculties and having sound judgment. He then adds that these should be directed είς προσευχάς, "into prayer," which connotes sober-mindedness either in prayer , that is, while praying (NKJV, NLT, Message) or for the purpose of prayer (NASB, ESV). (The KJV leaves the preposition ambiguous, " unto prayer." ) Among the several themes Peter addresses that are closely connected to Christ's teachings (e.g. 1:10 and Luke 10:24; 1:22 and John 13:34-35; 2:7 and Matt. 21:42-44; 2:12 and Matt. 5:13-16 ), this instruction concerning sober-mindedness and prayer in light of the approaching telos may well have the most direct antecedent in a specific lesson from Christ. In Luke 21:34-36 the Lord warns Peter and the other disciples to, "...watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life..." If not, they may be caught by surprise when that day comes, when the Son of Man returns (21:27). Christ's antidote is to, "stay awake at all times, praying... [so that (ἵνα)] you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man." This lesson became intensely personal for Peter when he fell asleep in the garden and Jesus woke him saying, "...pray [so that (ἵνα)] you may not enter into temptation." (Luke 22:46). The point for both Jesus and Peter seems to be that there are many distractions in this life that may steer our hearts away from the goal - the prize at the end of the race. Diligence in prayer will keep our hearts tuned, but this kind of prayer life does not come haphazardly. It is born out of a sober, clear-headedness that seriously considers what is at stake - our holiness and the glory of God in Jesus Christ.