Main point summary
Pray with watchful minds and and above all keep loving one another earnestly for the end of all things is at hand.
1 Peter 4:7-11
n The end of all things is at hand;
Πάντων δὲ τὸ τέλος ἤγγικεν.
a The end of all things 1 is near;
And the end of all things is near.
For the culmination of all things is near.
therefore o be self-controlled
therefore, b be of sound judgment
So be self-controlled
So be self-controlled
and sober spirit
p for the sake of your prayers.
for the purpose of 2 prayer.
for the purpose of prayer.
for the sake of prayer. 21
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly,
πρὸ πάντων τὴν εἰς ἑαυτοὺς ἀγάπην ἐκτενῆ ἔχοντες,
Above all, a keep fervent in your love for one another,
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly,
Above all keep 22 your love for one another fervent, 23
since q love covers a multitude of sins.
ὅτι ἀγάπη καλύπτει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν.
because b love covers a multitude of sins.
because love covers a multitude of sins.
because love covers a multitude of sins . 24
r Show hospitality to one another
φιλόξενοι εἰς ἀλλήλους
a Be hospitable to one another without b complaint.
[For example :] Show hospitality to one another
Show hospitality 25 to one another
s As each has received a gift,
ἕκαστος καθὼς ἔλαβεν χάρισμα
a As each one has received a special gift,
[because] just as each one has received a gift,
Just as each one has received a gift,
use it to serve one another, t as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
εἰς ἑαυτοὺς αὐτὸ διακονοῦντες
employ it in serving one another as good b stewards of the manifold grace of God.
with it [ also ] serve one another
use it to serve one another 26 as good stewards of the varied grace of God.
ὡς καλοὶ οἰκονόμοι ποικίλης χάριτος θεοῦ.
as good stewards of the varied grace of God.
εἴ τις λαλεῖ,
a Whoever speaks, is to do so
[Such as] if anyone speaks,
as one who speaks u oracles of God;
ὡς λόγια θεοῦ•
1 as one who is speaking the b utterances of God;
[then] [speak] as one with the words of God ;
let it be with 27 God’s words. 28
εἴ τις διακονεῖ,
whoever serves is to do so
[and] if anyone serves,
as one who serves v by the strength that God supplies—
ὡς ἐξ ἰσχύος ἧς χορηγεῖ ὁ θεός,
as one who is serving 2 c by the strength which God supplies;
[then] [serve] as one with the strength that God supplies;
do so with the strength 29 that God supplies,
in order that in everything w God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
ἵνα ἐν πᾶσιν δοξάζηται ὁ θεὸς διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ,
so that d in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
in order that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ.
x To him belong glory and y dominion forever and ever. Amen.
ᾧ ἐστιν ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν.
e to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
[for] to him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
To him belong 30 the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
What is the relationship of sober mindedness and prayer and how do we make use of prayer to love one another earnestly in light of the nearing end of all things. These are the questions that we will try to answer in our passage today as we look into two more exhortations given by Peter for the exile church, that us flowing from the fact that Christ also suffered for our sins in 1 Peter 3:18.
The End is Near(vv. 7) Verse 7 begins with a stress on the nearness of the coming end of all things that makes the following exhortation more earnest. But what does Peter meant by "the end of all things"? For Peter the end of all things is synonymous with the phrase "in the last time". In 1 Peter 1:5 he says, "who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." [The Greek phrase under it is "ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ"] Peter's used of this word here is a reference to the second coming of Jesus. The "last time" is when the grace that we set our hope for will be brought to us(1 Peter 1:7) and when our faith will be found to result in praise and glory and honor(1 Peter 1:13) at the revelation of Jesus Christ. However, Peter also used almost the same phrase in 1 Peter 1:20. He says, "He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you." [The Greek phrase used here is "ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου τῶν χρόνων", epi + genitive ] [The epi + plural genitive(χρόνων) phrase here has the idea of a successive period of time or long period of time, while the en + singular dative(καιρῷ) phrase has the idea of a singular precise time] So the "in the last time" in 1 Peter 1:5 is a singular precise time in the future, while in 1 Peter 1:20, the "in the last times" is talking about a long period of time, namely "the last times". You may translate it as "in these last times." This is similar to Hebrews 1:2, "but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world." The only difference is that instead of "times", the author used the word "days". Which is referring to the same thing. We can say then that we are now living in the last times or days, but not yet in that definitive last time. So when Peter says, "the end of all things is near or at hand", it is safe to say that it is referring to the coming of our Lord Jesus, which is still in the future. But when Peter says that it is near, he's not predicting a specific time in the near future, but that in light of what's happening in their time, with the advancement of the gospel and the intensifying persecution of the church, Christ may come anytime. So with this sense of urgency in mind, Peter exhorts the believers to pray and to love one another earnestly. Pray because the end of all things is near(vv. 7) The main commands in verse 7 is "be self-controlled" and "be sober". The idea behind the word first command has to do with being able to make sound judgment and therefore be able to control one's self. The second one has to do with being alert, awake, and vigilant. The point of the two is that we need to use our minds fully. Or to put it negatively, our minds must not be drunk with the things of this world. Now the command to use our minds fully is being modified a prepositional phrase "be sober for your prayers". What does it mean? There are only three places in this letter, where Peter talks about the use of the mind. 1. Use your mind fully to hope fully(1:13) 2. Use your mind fully for your prayer(4:7) 3. Use your mind fully to resist the devil(5:8-9) Both one and three are being used as means to an end. Similarly the phrase "for your prayer" is telling us the purpose of using our minds fully. Other translations render it as "for the sake of your prayer" or "for the purpose of prayer". Take note of the pattern. First we use our mind fully so that we can hope fully on the grace of God, this then would yield to using our minds fully so that we can pray, because without hope, you can't pray with faith. Then through a watchful and vigilant prayer, with faith we resist the devil through the strength provided for us by the grace of God. From whom did Peter learn this use of the mind to hope fully , to pray, and resist the devil? The quick answer is Jesus. Remember when Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:34-40? It says, "And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him." Christ told the three to watch, that is to be awake or be vigilant with him. But then Christ prayed. So what could he mean by "watch"? Then Jesus came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and so He said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”” This time the meaning of watch is clear. Watching is for the purpose of praying, and praying is the means to resisting temptation. But then Jesus found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy. Watching here is not for the purpose of guarding Jesus, it is so that they might guard themselves against the devil. Immediately after that the three have fallen into temptation, as they flee when Jesus was arrested, but most specially Peter, when He denied his Lord. Peter learned it the hard way, and so it's not surprising that you will find this exhortation in his letter. Love for the end of all things is near(vv. 8-11) We come now to the second exhortation in light of the nearing end of all things in verse 8, "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, because love covers a multitude of sins." Again, of all the apostles, Peter experienced Jesus's love that covers, if not the greatest sin you could ever do, at least one of the worst, namely his denial of Jesus. And yet Christ prayed for him and have shown him grace, mercy and love. So how does love covers a multitude of sins? Here are three passages that could shed light on what love is and how it can cover multitude of sins. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 Colossians 3:12-13 James 5:19-20 Hospitality without grumbling covers a multitude of sins(vv. 9) Now verse 9 is a specific example of loving one another, that is to show hospitality to one another. Now you might ask, "how is that uniquely Christian? I have unbelieving friends who are very welcoming." That's true! Hospitatlity in itself is not uniquely Christian. But here's the difference, it is without grumbling or complaining. Other people will surely help you for quite some time, but not for long you will be hearing complaints and grumbling. You'll even hear repeated reminder of their help. Christian hospitality is given even to other Christians with whom you have disagreements. But why? Verse 10 gave us the answer. Christians are to serve one another with each of our gifts(vv. 10) Peter says, "Just as each one has received a gift, with it [ also ] serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace." We are but stewards of the gifts that we received from God. It could be place to stay, or a meal to eat, or clothes to wear. So as we receive those gifts, with it also we serve one another. One other thing that you can observe here is that each one received a gift, therefore there's not one but many stewards. All Christians are God's steward of His gifts for the service of one another. But still how does this reality being a good steward solve my complaining and grumbling? A good steward of varied grace of God, relies on and glorify God(vv. 11) To answer this first Peter gave an example of what is a good stewarding of God's grace in verse 11. He says , " if anyone speaks, [then] [speak] as one with the words of God ; " [and] if anyone serves, [then] [serve] as one with the strength that God supplies; in order that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, [for] to him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. " What's the point here? To be a good steward of God's grace, first you must rely on grace. That's the point of preaching from the word and not from your own wisdom. Because you're saying that you have nothing to say of any value except that which is coming from the word of God. The same thing is true with other service. You are serving with the strength or resource from the Lord. Second, since it is all from the Lord, you put your trust in Jesus. And lastly, you glorify God because to Him belong all glory and dominion and power forever. Now isn't it that when you have this mindset of good steward, you will most likely not complain as you serve others? Yes! The solution for complaint and grumbling is reliance on God's grace, trusting Christ and giving him all glory. Because if you are relying on your own wisdom, strength and resources, you will eventually find yourself lacking and so you began to worry, and complain. Brothers and sisters, it is no accident that Peter starts off with the urgency of prayer. Prayer is our direct communication to God so that we can ask him of the grace that we need in order to love and serve one another earnestly. So prepare your mind, be sober and watchful for the purpose of prayer and above all keep loving one another so as to cover a multitude of sins.