1 Peter 4
I noticed something interesting the other day, in 1 Peter chapter 4. We're currently studying Peter's letters in Bible study.
What I noticed has to do with a very key word in Scripture. The word "therefore".
"Therefore" is a great word. It's loaded with meaning, but that meaning is nothing you can find in the dictionary. The meaning has to do with the context of the writing; information that comes before or after the "therefore". So it's a reminder to us that we're about to be told what we should do, or what we should say, or what we should know, based on what we've just read. So as has been said, you have to ask, "What is the 'therefore' there for?"
It happens a lot in the epistles. Those guys wrote in some really long, run-on sentences, and often the whole letter is just one or two thoughts; one or two main points that Paul or Peter or James wanted to communicate to their readers. That's why it's good to read the whole letter in one sitting, and then go back and parse it. As I tell my kids, find the subject and verb of each sentence, and then go from there!
So I noticed Peter's use of the word "therefore" in chapter 1, and for some reason I got curious about Peter's use of the word, and found that he had used it thirteen times in his two short letters. Now, I didn't really go to the trouble of comparing the epistles, so I don't know if he won some sort of contest, but it still fascinates me.
But the one that stood out to me is in chapter 4 of 1 Peter, because that chapter doesn't just begin with "therefore," but with "Therefore, since..." And you don't have to look backward over the previous chapter to find the basis for what he's about to say, because he goes on to say, "Therefore, since Christ --" Now if that doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will. Christ did something, so we need to do something.
And then Peter's sentence continues with the next powerful word ~ "Therefore since Christ suffered..." I read this week that these are three of the most important words in the Bible: "Since Christ suffered..." because everything in your life as a Christian comes from that fact.
Pay close attention to the "therefore's". Each one will lead you to a new realization of what He expects of you, based on what you know. So, what is He expecting of you?
~ "He died for all,
that those who live
should no longer live for themselves,
but for Him who died for them
and rose again" ~
2 Corinthians 5:15