Context: 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
Good news to those suffering. Also, a call to urgency.
This passage covers three interrelated subjects, Commitment, Time, Accountability
1 Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
1. Since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind:
Are you willing to serve Jesus with the same level of radical commitment that He demonstrated for you through His suffering?
Jesus said that “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Are you willing to go to the cross for Jesus? Peter did.
He told us that “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
Are you willing to lose your life for Him?
Scene in Glory- 54th Mass Infantry- after the confederacy issues the ultimatum.
Arm yourself with the same mind: Many of us are defeated in our battle against sin because we refuse to sacrifice anything in the battle. We only want victory if it comes easily to us. Jesus called us to have the kind of attitude that would sacrifice in the battle against sin.
Hebrews 12:4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
He who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin
Do you have skin in the game? When a person has skin in the game for the sake of Jesus, it almost always profoundly changes their outlook regarding sin.
James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
That level of commitment, speaks of a degree of surrender that separates the casual Christian from the fully devoted. If they cut you would you bleed Jesus?
Hiebert observes that the phrase has ceased from sin “Depicts the spiritual state of the victorious sufferer. It carries a note of triumph; he has effectively broken with a life dominated by sin. It need not mean that he no longer commits any act of sin, but that his old life, dominated by the power of sin, has been terminated.”
2. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God: 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles:
How do we spend our time? What do we value?
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Whose will do we spend our time pursuing? Gentiles or God’s
Sadly, many Christians (in their heart of hearts) want to experience more of the world before they make a full commitment to godliness. This is a tragic mistake and takes a path that leads away from eternal life.
3. What is the will of the Gentiles… the pursuit of Lewdness: This word begins a list of sins that Peter understood should only mark the past life of Christians and not the present. This word means to live without any sense of moral restraint, especially in regard to sexual immorality and violence.
Lusts- desire for what is forbidden.
Revelries/drinking parties- used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry
Abominable Idolatries- unlawful worship of false gods
When we look at this list (lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries), we see just how little fallen man has progressed in the last 2,000 years. These problems have not been solved in the time since Peter wrote this letter.
4. They think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation:
Can the world identify that you are different? Do they recognize that you do not share their values and pursuits?
When the world looks at our godly living, they think it strange that we do not follow them in their flood of dissipation (wastefulness). If life lived after the flesh is anything, it is a waste.
Speaking evil of you: When we don’t participate in the sin around us, we convict those who practice their sin, and they don’t like that – so they speak evil of us.
5. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead:
Do we live like we serve a holy God? Do we truly believe that the unbelieving world will be accountable? Does that break your heart?
Pause and remember an unbelieving loved one.
6. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit:
- In the last days Christians should be marked by lives of total COMMITMENT
- Last Days Christians are aware of the fleeting nature of TIME
- Last Days Christians are mindful of the coming day of ACCOUNTABILITY