1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered physically, you people should fortify yourselves with the same attitude He had. For the person who has suffered physically [i.e., in standing for Christ] has quit sinning. 2 So then, you should no longer live the rest of your lives [to satisfy] the sinful desires of your body, but to do what God wants. 3 For the time you have [already] spent in the past [i.e., as Gentile unbelievers] was long enough to have practiced unrestrained, indecent conduct, improper sexual cravings, riotous living, wild parties, drunken orgies and disgusting idol worship. 4 Now, those people you used to run around with cannot understand why you have stopped living such wasteful lives, so they just "badmouth" you. 5 But, they will have to answer to God, who will judge both those who are now alive and those who have already died, [for the way they have lived]. 6 This is the purpose that the Gospel was preached to those who have died physically [for the faith]: It was so that, even though they had been judged physically [i.e., by suffering death at the hands of men], they could still live spiritually in the presence of God.
7 But the end of everything [as far as your lives are concerned] is near, so be sensible, and sober [so as to be] prayerful. 8 Above everything else, have a warm love for one another, for such a love keeps many sins from occurring [between you]. 9 Extend hospitality to one another without complaining [that you have to]. 10 As each of you has received a gift [from God], you should make use of it [in the body], so that you will be [good] caretakers of the many unearned ways that God favors you. 11 If someone's gift is speaking, he should [be sure to] say only what God wants him to. If a person's gift is serving, he should do so by the strength provided by God [who supplies all such gifts]. This is so that, in using all gifts, God may be honored through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs honor and power forever and ever. May it be so.
12 Loved ones, do not be surprised that you people are undergoing extremely difficult trials, as though something strange were happening to you, for it is [only] a test [of your faith]. 13 You should rejoice that you are sharing some of what Christ has suffered, so that you will get to rejoice all the more when He returns in His splendor. 14 If you are spoken against for being Christians, you have God's blessing, because His glorious Holy Spirit rests upon you [to provide comfort, See John 14:16]. 15 [However], you should not have to suffer for murdering, stealing, doing evil or interfering in the affairs of others. 16 But if a person should have to suffer because he is a Christian, he should not be ashamed [of it], but instead, he should bring honor to God by [wearing] the name [of Christ]. 17 For the time has [now] come for the house of God [the church, See I Tim. 3:15] to begin receiving judgment [i.e., by undergoing persecution], and if it starts with us [Christians], what will be the [ultimate] end of people who do not obey the Gospel of God?
18 And if people who are trying to do right [i.e., Christians] are saved through [suffering] such difficulties, where will the ungodly and sinful person end up, [if not in hell]?