1Christ suffered while he was in his body. So you should strengthen yourselves with the same kind of thinking Christ had. The person who has suffered in his body is finished with sin. 2˻Strengthen yourselves˼ so that you will live your lives here on earth doing what God wants, not doing the evil things that people want. 3In the past you wasted too much time doing the things that the non-believers like to do. You were doing sexual sins. You were doing the evil things you wanted. You were becoming drunk, having wild and wasteful parties, having drunken parties, and doing wrong by worshiping idols ˻(false gods)˼. 4Those non-believers think that it is strange that you don’t do the many wild and wasteful things that they do. And so they say bad things about you. 5But those people will have to explain about the things they have done. They will have to explain to the One ˻(Christ)˼ who is ready to judge the people who are living and the people who have died. 6The Good News was told to those people who are now dead, because those people will be judged like all people are judged. They will be judged for the things they did while they were living. But the Good News was told to them so that they could live in the spirit like God lives. 7The time is near when all things will end. So keep your minds clear, and control yourselves. This will help you to pray. 8Most important, love each other deeply. Love hides many, many sins. 9Share your homes with each other without complaining. 10Each of you received a spiritual gift ˻from God˼. God has shown you his grace ˻(kindness)˼ in many different ways. And you are like servants who are responsible for using God’s gifts. So be good servants and use your gifts to serve each other. 11The person who speaks should speak words from God. The person who serves should serve with the strength that God gives. You should do these things so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen. 12My friends, don’t be surprised at the painful things that you are now suffering. Those things are testing your faith. Don’t think that something strange is happening to you. 13But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ shows his glory. 14When people say bad things to you because you follow Christ, then you are blessed ˻(happy)˼. You are blessed because the Spirit of glory is with you. That is the Spirit of God. 15Don’t be like a criminal or a person who kills, steals, or bothers other people. A person will suffer for doing those things. None of you should ever suffer like that. 16But if you suffer because you are a Christian, then don’t be ashamed. You should praise ˻(thank)˼ God for that name ˻(Christian)˼. 17It is time for judging to begin. That judging will begin with God’s family. If that judgment begins with us, then what will happen to those people who don’t accept the Good News of God? 18”It is very hard for a good person to be saved. So surely the person who is against God and is full of sin will be lost!” 19So those people who suffer like God wants them to should trust their lives to him. God is the One who made them, and they can trust him. So they should continue to do good.
1 Peter 4