I don’t quite understand 1 Peter 4:5-6. If we have been made righteous through the blood of Jesus, why would we have to give an account of our life, especially since God knows how we have been living and striving to live godly? It seems redundant to me and what would we have to prove to God since he knows all things about us? I know this also is talking about non-believers being judged by Jesus, but is this really involving Christians, too? Just trying to understand.


It will be helpful to bear in mind the context of 1 Peter 4:1-6.  The context is an extended teaching on Christian suffering.  In fact, the theme of 1 Peter is Christian suffering.  We should bear in mind what Peter is trying to say and not get too bogged down in the details which, admittedly, are a bit odd at first glance.  1 Peter 4:1-4 is about the advantage to those who suffer for their faith.  Through our suffering for Christ we are made stronger and are much more able to resist temptation (v. 1-3).  Those in the world who see us suffer and perhaps even who bring on this suffering will not understand our discipleship and we should not expect them to (v. 4).  And remember that those who persecute you will, like you, be called before God for final judgment (v. 5).  In fact, all men will be judged by God according to the same standard.  We should take heart from this (v. 6).  I would add that Hebrews 11 would be a good complement to this passage.  The last part of verse 6 and its relation to the first part is worded a bit strangely.  We should remember the context, but perhaps he is saying something like this in v. 6b.  Those of us who are in Christ and who have the Holy Spirit living in us, when we face judgment, will “live,” whereas, those who are not in Christ are judged according to the deeds done while in the body (reference 2 Corinthians 5:10). Personally, I would rather be judged with the Holy Spirit living in me advocating for me.

Either way, remember the context, which is that God is trying to assure us, through Peter, that when we suffer for Christ God is with us and we do not need to fear our persecutors.  That is the general meaning of the passage.

To me, to be honest, it is 2 Cor 5:10 that is harder to understand, at least for me.  Sometimes what the Bible says about judgment can be a bit confusing.  Here is how I summarize such teachings for myself personally.  We all will come before God on Judgment Day.  In principle, all of us will be held accountable before God for our deeds done while in the body, but for those of us who are in Christ, this is still true in principle, but we have the assurance of the Holy Spirit who lives in us who is a “guarantee” of our salvation.  EXACTLY what this means I cannot say but I am very glad that I have the assurance of being saved and I am not fearful of Judgment Day.

John Oakes

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