1 Peter 4:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 4:6, NIV: For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

1 Peter 4:6, ESV: For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

1 Peter 4:6, KJV: For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

1 Peter 4:6, NASB: 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.

1 Peter 4:6, NLT: That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead--so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.

1 Peter 4:6, CSB: For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged in the flesh according to human standards, they might live in the spirit according to God's standards.

What does 1 Peter 4:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter has written that unbelievers, who spend their lives seeking their own pleasure, resent and abuse Christians, who spend their lives seeking God's will even at the cost of their own comfort. In the previous verse, Peter assured Christians that a judgment of all people was coming. Those who rejected Christ and abused Christians would give an account and be judged by Christ.

Verses 5 and 6 answer one of history's most common excuses, as made by pleasure-seekers: "Why waste your whole life doing God's will if you're just going to be dead in the end? You only live once (YOLO!), so get all the pleasure you can get!" Peter insists that is not the case. There is another life coming, and there will be a judgment.

So, when Scripture says the gospel was preached to those who are dead, it means to those who have died after trusting in Christ. Their choice to live for God, to suffer in their bodies for Christ's sake while alive, lead to their opportunity to live in the spirit in the next life even as God Himself does. Christians should be encouraged, and continue to encourage each other (Hebrews 10:24–25), that our suffering for Christ and commitment to Him is not in vain.