Living with the Promise in View (1 Peter 4:1-6)


Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 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. 4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (1 Peter 4:1-6)

Even though in our Bibles this is the beginning of a new chapter, it is continuing the line of thought from the previous chapter. Christ was willing to suffer till the point of death. We must live our lives with the same attitude in mind. When we put our faith in Christ our lives changed. We are no longer living by the desires of our flesh and the things we want to do. The purpose of our lives changed. We are now following God’s will. We are no longer pursuing sin but pursing God. We hold on to the promises that God has made.
Peter then goes on and gives us a picture of the sinful lives the Gentiles had lived in. It focuses a lot on sexual sins and drunkenness. It was prevalent back then and it is something that has continued to this day. We know that this lifestyle is not only against God’s will but is also not healthy. When our lives change it is the unbelievers that think we are strange for doing something that is not destructive! How backwards is that? Not only do they think it strange, but they will abuse you to make you return to your old ways.
We need to stand strong when we are tempted to turn back. The things that used to seem fun and fulfilling will still tug at you. Instead of giving in we have to see it as an opportunity to share the gospel. Explain why Jesus is better than satisfying our own desires. If they reject Christ, then we know that they will be judged in eternity. We who stand strong in Christ know that death does not have the final word in our lives. When we die we will live as Christ does in a new spiritual body.
It can be a challenge to live with our focus on eternity. Especially when the culture is pulling you to focus on the here and now. Not matter what people may say or do to us we have to reject it and know that Christ is better. We must be willing to suffer because sin does not satisfy. Do you have people in your life trying to get you to turn back to your old ways? Do you feel like you are missing out on the joys of this world? Pray to God for strength to turn away from temptation. Live in the joy that comes from Jesus Christ that is unlimited and never failing. As I was writing this, a song came to mind. It’s called Jesus is Better by Austin Stone Worship. He is a link to the song on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTewCIvR7Og) It is a wonderful song and hope it will encourage you today.