1 Peter 4:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 4:3, NIV: For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

1 Peter 4:3, ESV: For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.

1 Peter 4:3, KJV: For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

1 Peter 4:3, NASB: 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.

1 Peter 4:3, NLT: You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy--their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

1 Peter 4:3, CSB: For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry.

What does 1 Peter 4:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

So far in chapter 4, Peter has written that Christians must take on Christ's attitude about physical suffering. Jesus understood that grief was built into His purpose in this life. Avoiding suffering was not part of the mission. Those willing to suffer for Christ are choosing a path which leads away from sin. Finding pleasure, escape, and comfort is no longer what drives us. Instead, Christians see the point of our lives as doing God's will, even if and when that brings us pain.

Now, Peter writes that his readers have spent enough time, in their pre-Christian past, doing what comes naturally to "Gentiles." In this context, Peter is referring to non-Jews, but more generally to those who don't follow the true God, such as pagans. For Christ-followers, the days of living for sensuality, sexual pleasure, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and worshiping false idols are over. If they had ever led such a life, those committed to Christ should see it as in the past and with no place in their future.

Notice again the difference. This is not simply some list of sins Christians must avoid. This is a list of addictions which entangle those who live for comfort and pleasure. Those who live for the will of God, with a willingness to experience physical suffering to accomplish it, set the course of their lives in a different direction.