1 Peter 4:1-6
1 “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human lusts, but for the will of God. 3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of indecent behavior, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and wanton idolatries. 4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them in the same excesses of debauchery, and they slander you; 5 but they will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as people, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.”
The one who has suffered in the flesh: Christians will suffer in this world because they are inherently opposed to the world and sin. According to Peter, if we suffer because we are at odds with the world, then it means that we have ceased from sin. This does not mean that Christians do not or cannot choose to sin, but rather that they are no longer characterized by it. Christians are designed to live according to the will of God.
Will of God: In the New Testament God’s will is ultimately Jesus Christ. The will of God is that we believe in Him and then allow Him to live through us daily (see also 1 John 3:23). This will of God is ultimately the opposite of the lusts of men, or in the context, lusts of the Gentiles. Christians are no longer compatible with the sins of the Gentiles. The time of acting like this has past because it no longer makes sense for those who have been born again.
Give account to Him: We can take comfort in the fact that it is not our job to judge the world. God is the judge, and He will judge perfectly because He is perfect love and perfect goodness.
Even to those who are dead: God has been proclaiming the good news of Jesus in one way or another since the beginning of time. The Gospel has been presented throughout the ages in different ways (Abraham being saved by faith, as an example). The finished work of Christ is not simply for the front end of Christianity. Jesus’ work is the entirety of Christianity. We cannot know God apart from His work and within His work the nature of God is revealed. Notice that, in light of this reality, Peter states that the Gospel is for believers and unbelievers. It is for believers because it is the revelation of the God in whom we now believe. But it is also for those who have yet to believe because God wants to save the entire world.