We are God’s house, the earthly dwelling-place of God. 1 Peter 4:12 marks the beginning of a new section of First Peter. 12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. The fiery trial which is to try you.—This rendering is not only slovenly, but conveys a false impression, for the fiery trial was not future, but actually present. 1 Peter 4:16, ESV: "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name." Peter sets out in these verses the attitudes and actions we should manifest in suffering. Don’t think it strange that you are suffering. 1 Peter 4:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 1 Peter 4:13, NIV: "But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." He writes: “for you know that your brothers and … Continue reading "Commentary on 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11" Mal 3:1–3). on StudyLight.org (1 Peter 4:9) One expression of Christian love, brotherly love, one specifically presented in this passage by the apostle Peter, is the practice of hospitality. Καθὸ, even as) Glory answers to the measure of sufferings, but much more abundantly.— κοινωνεῖτε, ye are partakers) willingly.— παθήμασι, in the sufferings) 1 Peter 4:1.— χαίρετε, ἵνα, rejoice, that) That, here, is more than if he had said ὅνα, because. That simple reminder is at the heart of Peter’s message in 1 Peter 4:7-11: The end of all things is near. Such a situation is tailor-made for Satan. 1 Peter 4:12-13. Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. Browse Sermons on 1 Peter 4:12-14. Facing social rejection because they are interfering nuisances is quite different from suffering for Jesus’ sake. Suffering is a major theme in 1 Peter. In 1 Peter 4:12-19 Peter returns to the concept of suffering again. Suffering is a path we must choose. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. He also buttresses his teaching with numerous reasons these should be embraced and exemplified in our lives. I.e., alien from you and your condition as Christians. 1 Peter 4:13. Finally Peter warns us of our tenuous position here on earth. Don’t be surprised by suffering (1 Peter 4:12) I like being comfortable. The Holy Innocents illustrate powerful peoples’ typical response to God’s work in the world. See above. Better, perhaps, were happening; by chance, instead of with the definite purpose indicated by "taking place with a view to probation." KING JAMES VERSION (KJV) TRANSLATION, MEANING, CONTEXT. What is the effect? 1 Peter 4:12 marks the beginning of a new section of First Peter. (d) As though some new thing had befallen you, which you never thought of before. The apostle in this verse returns to his former argument, to animate and encourage the saints in suffering afflictions patiently for righteousness sake. The word which describes it is only found besides in Revelation 18:9; Revelation 18:18, “burning.” (Comp. Peter also wants his readers to understand the *grac… 12 Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. The author of 1 Peter understands the gospel and its consequences quite differently. which is to try you—Greek, "which is taking place for a trial to you." But let none of you suffer as a murderer - If you must be called to suffer, see that it be not for crime. 1 Peter 4:19 What Does 1 Peter 4:19 Mean? Some churches today might opt for the Luke 2:22-40 story about Simeon and Anna’s joy over the dedication of Jesus. It cannot be demonstrated from this word that they were literally to suffer by fire, but it is clear that some heavy calamity was before them. lol sorry if i sound like and idiot :) im 15 and havent really had any religious education, and a while ago i decided to learn about it on my own. 1 Peter 4:9.Hospitality is the practical proof of this love; its practice was necessary to the cohesion of the scattered brotherhood as to the welfare of those whose duties called them to travel.The inns were little better than brothels and Christians were commonly poor. The word means burning. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. fiery trial—like the fire by which metals are tested and their dross removed. 1 Peter 4:12-13 New King James Version (NKJV) Suffering for God’s Glory. The A. V. thus makes the trial a thing of the future; mistranslating the Greek present participle, which is taking place. 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. By contrast, if the world rejects us and reviles us for doing good, it is simply treating us as it treated Jesus. Suffering for Being a Christian. In the United States, the American Dream is often proclaimed as if it were gospel: anyone who works hard and makes good choices can be happy and successful. 1 Peter 4:13 - but to the degree that you share the ... 1 Peter 4:12. 1 Peter 4:12-16 New International Version (NIV) Suffering for Being a Christian. does not give this force by its which cometh upon you. Glory Just Around the Corner - Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Surely that much is obvious. Again the present participle. Verse 2. that ye no longer should live the rest of your time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. The word rendered "fiery trial" (πυρώσει purōsei) occurs only here and in Revelation 18:9, Revelation 18:18; in both of which latter places it is rendered burning. To suffer for one's own faults is no honor ( 1 Peter 4:15, 1 Peter 2:20),--for Christ, is no shame ( 1 Peter 4:14, 1 Peter 3:13). As Shakespeare famously put it, “All that glisters is not gold.” Like a fire that melts down metal and separates pure gold from contaminants and additives, suffering strips away externals. How should we live when we find ourselves passing through the refiner’s fire? 1 PETER 4:12. One day they willlive with God in heaven and share God’s *glory. Isaiah 11:2). Introduction: A researcher writing for Christian History magazine estimated that 70 million Christians have been martyred for their faith. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 1 Peter 4:16, NIV: "However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." In the United States, the American Dream is often proclaimed as if it were gospel: anyone who works hard and makes good choices can be happy and successful. Although 1 Peter talks about suffering “in accordance with God’s will” (1 Peter 4:19), it does not say that God directly causes suffering. Such a situation is tailor-made for Satan. He reminds them again that their real home is not in this world (1 Peter 1:1). 1 Peter 4:12-14 - NIV: Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. —The same word as in 1Peter 4:4. Introduction: A researcher writing for Christian History magazine estimated that 70 million Christians have been martyred for their faith. In I Peter 4:12-16, Peter, like Jesus, perceives persecution as inevitable and therefore a Christian should expect it.Since a disciple is not above His Master, a follower can hardly expect to escape some form of what the Master received. The author of 1 Peter understands the gospel and its consequences quite differently. "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you." Looking at these scriptures in the light of I Peter 5:6-8, and understanding that Peter is writing with his thoughts on Satan in the background, our feelings are especially vulnerable because it is natural for us to feel that we are being taken advantage of or not being treated as we should be, and our emotions begin to run wild. As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. It is not a reflection on why good people struggle with physical or mental illness or die in car accidents or have their lives overturned by natural disasters. Like 1 Peter’s audience, the slaughtered babies of Bethlehem and the parents who loved them suffered not because they had done anything wrong, but because someone rejected Jesus and felt threatened by God’s Good News. In 1 Peter 4:12-19 Peter returns to the concept of suffering again. 1 Peter 4. The weeping Rachel of Jeremiah 31 is among the most powerfully drawn figures in Scripture. Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. To get what 1 Peter 4:12 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity. If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. Don’t … Continue reading "Commentary on 1 Peter 4:12-19" further explained by the clause “as though some strange thing were (by bad luck) happening unto you.” These Hebrew Christians felt at first it was not what was to be expected, that those who attached themselves to the Messiah should have a life of sorrow and persecution in the world. He gives us five words of wisdom for how to suffer without shame. On the other hand, if people are ridiculed as “Christians,” if they are mocked as “Christ-lackeys” because they follow Jesus, they should not be ashamed. Painful though it may be, the refining fire purifies God’s people (cf. 1 Peter 4:13, ESV: "But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." 1 PETER 4:12-14. Καθὸ, even as) Glory answers to the measure of sufferings, but much more abundantly.— κοινωνεῖτε, ye are partakers) willingly.— παθήμασι, in the sufferings) 1 Peter 4:1.— χαίρετε, ἵνα, rejoice, that) That, here, is more than if he had said ὅνα, because. Could someone maybe break it down for me and explain it in simpler terms. God’s work in and through Jesus is at the center of 1 Peter’s message. Peter returns to the topic of suffering over the course of his book, examining it from different perspectives. St. Stephen & St. Luke by the Sea Episcopal Churches, A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary. Peter begins this section by directly addressing the Christians as agapetoi (“beloved” or “dear friends”) as he does in 1 Peter 2:11, which also makes the beginning of a new section. The Greek adds, "in your case.". Context Summary. 1 Peter calls us to trust in our creator, the judge who is trustworthy and just. He gives us five words of wisdom for how to suffer without shame. If we suffer while we are doing what is right and good, we are suffering in agreement with God’s will. This repetition makes it clear that the audience is experiencing difficult circumstances. It means, literally, to feel like people in a strange country, lost and bewildered. On the contrary, 1 Peter says, judgment begins with God’s house(hold). Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: Be not bewildered at the conflagration among you taking place for a trial to you. We are called to be confident in God, but not complacent. 1 Peter 4:12. marks the beginning of the third division of the Epistle in which Peter having cleared the ground faces at last the pressing problem.—, be surprised, as in 1 Peter 4:4.—, the ordeal which is in your midst or rather in your hearts.—, cf. A National Thanksgiving! In Psalm 65 (Sept.), 66 (A. V.), we read, "Thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast smelted us, as silver is smelted." Here 1 Peter alludes to Jesus’ teaching in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. further explained by the clause “as though some strange thing were (by bad luck) happening unto you.”. Peter returns to the topic of suffering over the course of his book, examining it from different perspectives. Today’s passage from 1 Peter is not about the problem of suffering in general. 1 Peter 4:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 1 Peter 4:11, NIV: "If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. He is the living stone rejected by the builders but chosen by God (2:4), the cornerstone on which God’s house is built (2:5–8). but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12(NASB) Verse Thoughts As Christians we are citizens of heaven who are passing through a cursed world, which is filled with condemned sinners who are in need of Christ's forgiveness.. and God has given us everything we need to live a victorious Christian life in this fallen world. - Beloved, thank it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; literally, be not astonished at the burning among you, which is coming to you for a trial, as though a strange thing were happening to you. Compare 1 Peter 5:4. We know that God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted him to a place of honor, and we rejoice in anticipation, knowing that ultimately Christ’s glory will be revealed to the whole world. As though some strange thing happened unto you - Something unusual; something which did not occur to others. 1 Peter 4:12-16 New International Version (NIV) Suffering for Being a Christian. Peter’s meaning is that a person acting in love does not broadcast the sins of others, or of themselves, but is gracious, discreet, forgiving and protecting (cf. In the following few verses, he touches on subjects already mentioned in his letter. Suffering for Being a Christian - Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But Peter reminds us that this is not abnormal at all. Peter begins this section by directly addressing the Christians as agapetoi (“beloved” or “dear friends”) as he does in 1 Peter 2:11, which also makes the beginning of a new section. Only God, however, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, can completely forgive and cover someone’s sin in the sense of atonement. In the United States, the American Dream is often proclaimed as if it were gospel: anyone who works hard and makes good choices can be happy and successful. (11) Because that cross is joined with the sincere profession of religion, the apostle fitly repeats what he touched on before, warning us not to be troubled at persecutions and afflictions, as at a new and strange thing. Instead of its "happening to you" as some strange and untoward chance, it "is taking place" with the gracious design of trying you; God has a wise design in it—a consolatory reflection. Surface appearances can be deceptive. "Peter is saying much the same thing as Paul in Romans 6, but in different language." He wants them to know that he loves them deeply. Commentary on 1 Peter 4:12-19 (Read 1 Peter 4:12-19) By patience and fortitude in suffering, by dependence on the promises of God, and keeping to the word the Holy Spirit hath revealed, the Holy Spirit is glorified; but by the contempt and reproaches cast … Like the one in whose footsteps we follow, we are called to action. Too much stake to go back to our old sinful ways. Only God, however, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, can completely forgive and cover someone’s sin in the sense of atonement. It means, properly, a being on fire, burning, conflagration; and then any severe trial. Jesus is the one through whose blood we have been ransomed (1:18–19) and through whose resurrection God gave us new birth (1:3). Looking at these scriptures in the light of I Peter 5:6-8, and understanding that Peter is writing with his thoughts on Satan in the background, our feelings are especially vulnerable because it is natural for us to feel that we are being taken advantage of or not being treated as we should be, and our emotions begin to run wild. It is a pastoral word of hope and reassurance for people who are facing abuse, social rejection, and public humiliation because they follow Jesus. 1 Peter emphasizes that Christians must ensure that their actions actually are in accordance with God’s will. 1 PETER 4:12. Suffering for Christ Is Our Common Lot (4:12) Persecution for our faith may seem abnormal to many of us -- at least in America. It means, literally, to feel like people in a strange country, lost and bewildered. Around the world believers are facing persecution for their faith. As ... easy life and trouble-free existence they perceive this to mean. Don’t be surprised by suffering (1 Peter 4:12) I … 1 Peter 4:13 What Does 1 Peter 4:13 Mean? Hospitality – 1 Peter … Verse 12. In the following few verses, he touches on subjects already mentioned in his letter. "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul." (2:11) We've seen these words before in 1 Peter, reminding of our status on earth: Our entire Study 1 Peter Bible study guide in one convenient E-book (Epub, PDF, and Mobi format). Jesus' phrase in the beatitude, "for righteousness' sake," calls upon us to examine ourselves honestly before God both before and after we are opposed. 1 Peter 4:12-19. Being associated with Christ is not an insult, but a badge of honor. 1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin (1 Peter 4:1). Concerning the fiery trial which is to try you - Referring, doubtless, to some severe persecution which was then impending. 1 Cor. Don’t be surprised, he says, at the fiery trial that you are experiencing. The list of off-limits behavior ends with a surprise, though: NRSV translates the last word, allotriepiskopos, as “mischief maker,” but it really means something more like “busybody.” Christians are to avoid being bishops of everyone else; they are not called to oversee other peoples’ behavior. 1 Peter 4:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 1 Peter 4:15, NIV: "If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler." 13:4-7). (1 Peter 5:1) but the test … Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. 1 Peter 4:12, CSB: "Dear friends, don't be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you." 1 Peter 4:11 follows the primitive division of ministry into that of the word and that of tables ; compare prophecy and ministry (in narrower sense like διακονεῖ here) of Romans 12:6.— λαλεῖ covers all the speaking described in 1 Corinthians 12:8; 1 Corinthians 12:10, to one by means of the spirit hath been given a word of wisdom, etc.… 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of … Compare the notes at 1 Peter 3:14, 1 Peter 3:17.They were to be careful that their sufferings were brought upon them only in consequence of their religion, and not because any crime could be laid to … As Christians we are not exempt from God’s judgment. We have not the means of determining precisely what this was. 1 Peter calls its readers to rejoice, not because suffering and rejection are good or desirable in themselves, but because when we are rejected for obeying God, we are partners in Christ’s experience. 1 Peter 4:12-19. Think it not strange.—The same word as in 1Peter 4:4. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. It is. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. 1 Peter 4:16(NASB) Verse Thoughts. Trusting God does not mean that we wait passively for the world to change. (12) The first reason: because the Lord does not mean to confuse us with his fire (as it were) but to purge us of our impurities and make us perfect. If we look at the biblical story, we soon see that doing God’s will is no guarantee that we will escape suffering. What Does 1 Peter 4:16 Mean? The author of 1 Peter understands the gospel and its consequences quite differently. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter Bible Study Notes, Week 7. The Greek noun peirasmos can mean (1) "an attempt to learn the nature or character of something, test, trial," or (2) "an attempt to make one do something wrong, temptation, enticement to sin." Find Top Church Sermons, Illustrations, and Preaching Slides on 1 Peter 4:12-14. Compare Zechariah 13:9. 1 Peter 4:19 What Does 1 Peter 4:19 Mean? It reveals who we really are. 1 Peter 4:1, ESV: "Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin," 1 Peter 4:1, KJV : "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;" Already, then, the Asiatic Christians are enduring a fierce persecution. The opposite would be sinning — choosing to live in a way that is not in accordance with God’s will — and suffering society’s usual consequences for criminal behavior. 1 Peter 4:12(NASB) Verse Thoughts. This participle, therefore, represents the trial as actually in progress. Peter wants them to stop doing the evil things that they used to do (1 Peter 1:14). ‘I urge you’ is a very strong phrase. How fitting. Don’t be surprised, he says, at the fiery trial that you are experiencing. Like Jesus, we have been anointed with the Spirit. 1 Peter 4:12-13 New King James Version (NKJV) Suffering for God’s Glory. Make good choices, by all means! 1 Peter 4:9.Hospitality is the practical proof of this love; its practice was necessary to the cohesion of the scattered brotherhood as to the welfare of those whose duties called them to travel.The inns were little better than brothels and Christians were commonly poor. St. Peter returns to the sufferings of his readers. We should suffer patiently, after the example of Christ, 1 Peter 4:1.And no longer live according to our former custom, but disregard the scoffs of those who are incensed against us because we have forsaken their evil ways, who are shortly to give account to God for their conduct, 1 Peter 4:2-5.How the Gospel was preached to Jews and Gentiles, 1 Peter 4:6. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. To suffer for one's own faults is no honor ( 1 Peter 4:15, 1 Peter 2:20),--for Christ, is no shame ( 1 Peter 4:14, 1 Peter 3:13). When the world mocks us for following where Jesus leads, we can be filled with joy: the Spirit of glory, the very Spirit of God rests on us (cf. 1 Peter 4:12-14 - NIV: Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. Finally Peter warns us of our tenuous position here on earth. And he is the suffering Christ in whose footsteps we are called to follow (2:21). 1 Peter 4:12-13. Chrysostom cites the examples of Abraham and Lot (cf. 12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. Peter is saying, if we have suffered for what is right (3:13), then we, too, have a stake in this suffering. 1 Peter 4:13. Home >> Bible Studies >> 1 Peter >> 1 Peter 4:12-19 These small group studies of 1 Peter contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications. Verses 12-19 of 1 Peter 4 are Peter’s final words of instruction to suffering saints. The other word Peter uses to describe our sufferings is "trial" (NIV, KJV) or "ordeal" (NRSV). But don’t expect that doing good will make you healthy, wealthy, and popular. 1 Peter 4:13 What Does 1 Peter 4:13 Mean? 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. Literally it runs, Be not bewildered at the conflagration among you taking place for a trial to you. "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul." Whose opinion will count in the end? 1 peter 4:12-14. The Rev. DON’T BE ASTONISHED AT THE FIERY TRIAL 12 Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. Chrysostom cites the examples of Abraham and Lot (cf. but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. Purchase easily and securely on our site with Stripe or Paypal or get it instantly on your kindle from the Amazon Kindle store.. Or order the paperback version from Amazon. Commentary on 1 Peter 4:12-19 (Read 1 Peter 4:12-19) By patience and fortitude in suffering, by dependence on the promises of God, and keeping to the word the Holy Spirit hath revealed, the Holy Spirit is glorified; but by the contempt and reproaches cast upon believers, he … To get what 1 Peter 4:12 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity. Peter’s meaning is that a person acting in love does not broadcast the sins of others, or of themselves, but is gracious, discreet, forgiving and protecting (cf. Glory Just Around the Corner. Instead, rejoice as you share in the suffering of Jesus. The International Institute for Religious Freedom estimates that 8,500 believers continue to be martyred each year. 13:4-7). According to 1 Peter, the “fiery trial” that Christians in Asia Minor were experiencing was a test. 1 Peter 4:12, NLT: "Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you." In Proverbs 27:21 (Sept.), it is rendered furnace. "As a result," Peter says, "he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God" (4:2). which is to try you; afflictions try the graces of the saints; as their faith in Christ, which becomes thereby much more precious than of gold that perisheth; and their love to him, by which it appears that no tribulation can separate them from it, nor many waters and floods of afflictions drown it; and their hope of eternal life, which grows more lively and strong, and is as an anchor, sure and steadfast, amidst the greatest storms. Peter wants to encourage Christians who are suffering for Christ.Although Christians might suffer in this life, they will not suffer for ever.This world is not their real home. Think it not strange. And when we do so, we determine by God’s grace to live righteously, knowing that in so doing we will bring opposition and persecution. The Psalms of December’s lectionary: three National Laments — and now, the Sunday after Christmas? 1 Peter asks but does not answer the question: If even those who obey God find the process difficult, what will become of those who reject the gospel? Herod reacted to the news the Messiah was born not by rejoicing and sending gifts for the baby shower, but by doing all he could to eliminate a perceived rival. Don’t be surprised, he says, at the fiery trial that you are experiencing. Though at least some of the readers have a highly questionable past (4:1–5), no one who follows Jesus should become a murderer, thief, or evildoer (4:15). 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