Changed Lives
1Since Christ suffered physically, you too must strengthen yourselves with the same way of thinking that he had; because whoever suffers physically is no longer involved with sin. 2From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God's will and not by human desires. 3You have spent enough time in the past doing what the heathen like to do. Your lives were spent in indecency, lust, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and the disgusting worship of idols. 4And now the heathen are surprised when you do not join them in the same wild and reckless living, and so they insult you. 5But they will have to give an account of themselves to God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6That is why the Good News was preached also to the dead, to those who had been judged in their physical existence as everyone is judged; it was preached to them so that in their spiritual existence they may live as God lives.
Good Managers of God's Gifts
7The end of all things is near. You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray. 8#Pr 10.12Tb 12.9 Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. 9Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. 11Those who preach must preach God's messages; those who serve must serve with the strength that God gives them, so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Suffering as a Christian
12My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening to you. 13Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed. 14Happy are you if you are insulted because you are Christ's followers; this means that the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15If you suffer, it must not be because you are a murderer or a thief or a criminal or a meddler in other people's affairs. 16However, if you suffer because you are a Christian, don't be ashamed of it, but thank God that you bear Christ's name.
17The time has come for judgment to begin, and God's own people are the first to be judged. If it starts with us, how will it end with those who do not believe the Good News from God? 18#Pr 11.31 (LXX) As the scripture says,
“It is difficult for good people to be saved;
what, then, will become of godless sinners?”
19So then, those who suffer because it is God's will for them, should by their good actions trust themselves completely to their Creator, who always keeps his promise.
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