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Therefore, since Christ suffered as a human, you should also arm yourselves with his way of thinking. This is because whoever suffers is finished with sin.
As a result, they don’t live the rest of their human lives in ways determined by human desires but in ways determined by God’s will.
You have wasted enough time doing what unbelievers desire—living in their unrestrained immorality and lust, their drunkenness and excessive feasting and wild parties, and their forbidden worship of idols.
They think it’s strange that you don’t join in these activities with the same flood of unrestrained wickedness. So they slander you.
They will have to reckon with the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Indeed, this is the reason the good news was also preached to the dead. This happened so that, although they were judged as humans according to human standards, they could live by the Spirit according to divine standards.
The end of everything has come. Therefore, be self-controlled and clearheaded so you can pray.
Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins.
Open your homes to each other without complaining.
And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts.
Whoever speaks should do so as those who speak God’s word. Whoever serves should do so from the strength that God furnishes. Do this so that in everything God may be honored through Jesus Christ. To him be honor and power forever and always. Amen.
Stand firm in the last times
Dear friends, don’t be surprised about the fiery trials that have come among you to test you. These are not strange happenings.
Instead, rejoice as you share Christ’s suffering. You share his suffering now so that you may also have overwhelming joy when his glory is revealed.
If you are mocked because of Christ’s name, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory—indeed, the Spirit of God—rests on you.
Now none of you should suffer as a murderer or thief or evildoer or rebel.
But don’t be ashamed if you suffer as one who belongs to Christ. Rather, honor God as you bear Christ’s name. Give honor to God,
because it’s time for judgment to begin with God’s own household. But if judgment starts with us, what will happen to those who refuse to believe God’s good news?
If the righteous are barely rescued, what will happen to the godless and sinful?
So then, those who suffer because they follow God’s will should commit their lives to a trustworthy creator by doing what is right.
Therefore, I have a request for the elders among you. (I ask this as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and as one who shares in the glory that is about to be revealed.) I urge the elders:
Like shepherds, tend the flock of God among you. Watch over it. Don’t shepherd because you must, but do it voluntarily for God. Don’t shepherd greedily, but do it eagerly.
Don’t shepherd by ruling over those entrusted to your care, but become examples to the flock.
And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive an unfading crown of glory.
In the same way, I urge you who are younger: accept the authority of the elders. And everyone, clothe yourselves with humility toward each other. God stands against the proud, but he gives favor to the humble.
Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that he may raise you up in the last day.
Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you.
Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world.
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore,empower, strengthen, and establish you.
To him be power forever and always. Amen.
I have written and sent these few lines to you by Silvanus. I consider him to be a faithful brother. In these lines I have urged and affirmed that this is the genuine grace of God. Stand firm in it.
The fellow-elect church in Babylon greets you, and so does my son Mark.
Greet each other with the kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ.