Christ’s last few days before his death were torture. He was beaten, mocked, falsely accused, among other cruel punishments. All of this, for standing for the truth, that He was the Son of God and that He was the Messiah. (not to mention paying with his life for the sins of mankind!) As was stated in the last post, a reader may not have been persecuted by lions or by fire. That said, whatever cruel punishment one can think of, none will ever come to the height of how Jesus was treated. Jesus Christ’s example during this painful experience is just as important to Christians today, and will be discussed in this post.
If a reader has been following the series of posts or just has a general knowledge of 1 Peter, he or she will remember that Peter has been discussing suffering as a general theme throughout the entire epistle. Peter continues the discussion by reminding the readers of Christ’s example and giving a command quickly after it, quite possibly to emphasize it’s importance.
1 Peter 4:1 – Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
“Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.” Obviously one cannot literally take Christ’s mind and replace one’s own with it. Peter is observing the mindset of which Christ had during His suffering and contrasting it with the mindset that the Jewish Christians had during theirs. Realizing the Jewish believer’s mindset wasn’t enough, he reminds them of Christ’s mindset and tells them to act in the same way. This applies to Christians today as it did back in the time of Peter.
“For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.” So, does this part of the verse mean Christians are not going to sin? No, Peter explains that Christ’s death on the cross was so that Christian’s could have power over sin, in 4:2.
1 Peter 4:2 – That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
This is another powerful verse, wiping out any excuse man might have to live according to lusts of men. The debate comes when one asks the question, what are the lusts of men? There are differing opinions on what this means, and as for the moment it is off topic to discuss in depth. One should note the contrast given to the lusts of men and the will of God for further thought on the issue.
1 Peter 4:4 – Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
Peter gives an example in this verse that every Christian with Biblical standards can relate to. What is even more amazing is the fact that this was written close to 2000 years ago and still applies today. It makes another important point, if the world is against you for following the Bible, you are most likely on the right path. To close, one should remember that ultimately they will account for all their actions before God. And God could come and start the judgement at any moment.
1 Peter 4:5 – Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.