1 Peter 3:8-4:6

Christians must be ready to have trouble

8 Now I want to say this to you before I finish my letter. All of you should agree with each other in what you think. You should try to understand how other people are feeling. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be kind to each other. Do not think that you are more important than other people. 9 If people do bad things to you, do not do anything bad to them in return. If people insult you, do not insult them in return. Instead, pray that God will bless those people. That is what God wants you to do. Then you will receive the gift of God's blessing. 10 The Bible says this:

‘Do you want to enjoy your life?

Do you want to be happy?

Then you must be careful not to say evil things.

Do not tell any lies.

11 Stop doing evil things.

Instead, do things that are good.

Try to be friends with people.

Help people to live in peace with each other.

12 Remember that the Lord God sees what everyone does.

He takes care of people who do what is right.

When they pray, he listens to them.

But the Lord God turns against people who do evil things.’

3:12See Psalm 34:12-16.

13 If you always try to do good things, then nobody should hurt you. 14 But somebody might give you trouble, even when you do what is right. If that happens, God will bless you. So do not be afraid of what people may do to you. Do not worry about it. 15 Instead, always remember that Christ is your Lord. Let him rule how you live. People may ask you, ‘Why do you trust God to help you?’ You must always be ready to answer them about that. 16 But when you tell them, be kind and polite. Do only what you know is right. Then those people will see that you live in a good way because you believe in Christ. When they say bad things against you they will become ashamed. 17 Sometimes God may let you have trouble and pain even when you have done good things. But that is better than if you have trouble and pain because you have done bad things.

18 Christ himself always did what was right. But he received pain on behalf of people who do what is wrong. He died once to take away all those wrong things. He did that to bring you near to God. People killed Christ's body, but God's Spirit made him alive again. 19 Like this, he went to the spirits who were in prison. He told them God's true message. 20 Those were the spirits of people who had refused to obey God long ago. At that time God waited patiently for them to turn to him while Noah was building a large ship. But only a few people agreed to go into that ship. God saved only eight people when the ship sailed on the deep water. 21 That shows how God now saves you. It is like a picture of baptism. The water of baptism does not wash dirt from a person's body. Instead, it shows that a person has decided to obey God. He is choosing to do what is right. That saves you, because Jesus Christ became alive again after his death. 22 After that, Jesus went into heaven. Now he is sitting at God's right side. He rules over angels and over everything that has authority and power.

3:20The story about Noah and the large ship starts in Genesis 6. The ‘spirits who were in prison’ may mean all the people who drowned in the water. Or it may mean the angels who did not obey God.
3:22The right side means the most important place. It shows that Jesus has the same authority as his Father.

1 Peter 4

1 Christ had trouble and pain while he lived in his human body. So you should prepare yourselves to have trouble and pain too. Think about it in the same way that Christ did. If someone has trouble and pain in his body, he stops doing wrong things. 2 As a result, that person will want to do what God wants him to do. In his life in this world, he will not want to do the bad things that people think are good.

3 You have already had enough time in your life to do bad things. Those are the kinds of things that people who do not know God like to do. You did many evil things that your bodies wanted to do. You had sex in a wrong way. You often became drunk. You went to wild parties where you drank too much alcohol. You also worshipped useless idols.

4:3There is only one true God. He is the only one that we should worship.

4 But now you no longer live in the same wicked way as those people do. They continue to enjoy those wrong things all the time. But you do not join with them. So they insult you. 5 But those people will have to explain to God what they have done. He is ready to judge every person, whether they are alive now or they have already died. 6 That is why even dead people needed to hear the good news about Christ. Their bodies had to die, as all people must die. But they heard the good news so that their spirits could live, as God wants them to live.

4:6The ‘dead people’ may mean all the believers who had died during the time that the New Testament describes. Or, the ‘dead people’ may mean all the people who died before Christ came to live on earth. They had no chance to hear the good news about Christ while they lived on earth. So this may mean that Christ went to tell them about what he had done on their behalf. Then they had the chance to believe in him, as we do.