Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 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. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 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. (1Pet. 4:1-6)
The suffering of Christ is our model and inspiration especially when we suffer in Christ. We are called to examine our lives by considering the suffering of Christ. This is because Christ serves as an example for us in suffering. Therefore, we are to arm ourselves with the same mind just like we are to have the same of humility of Christ in Philippians 2. The result of having this mind of Christ in suffering is that it produces such a life that we are done with sin completely at the time of glorification. This is because when believers are willing to suffer for the sake of their faith in Christ, the nerve centre of sin is severed in their lives – although believer will never be completely free form sin as long as they are in this life (James 3:2; 1John 1:8). Therefore, it means that sin will no longer be their delight. The Christian who identifies with Christ must be prepared to endure physical suffering (4:1,13 16; Rom 8:17; 2 Cor. 11:23-29; Phil 3:10; Heb 10:32-34;Rev. 2:10. May we only suffer because of Christ.
The emphasis of this passage is that we should be willing to suffer for Christ to avoid sinning. We are to think of our lives in terms of what we were and the time we spent on sin, what Christ has done for us and the means given for us to live lives worthy of the gospel.
We are to arm ourselves with the same way of thinking like Christ. The conduct we are to pursue is described in verses 2b-5. It is both negative and positive. Considering the time you spent in sin before you became a Christian or the time you are wasting in sin, in case you have not trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. You are to leave the life of sin in which you once lived. You are to realize that things are different from the way they were because then you did the will of men and now God’s will.
It is good and important for Christians to be conscience of the sort of lives they used to live prior to their conversion and the kinds of thinking they are to have now that they have been saved. This way they will not be conceited or proud. This way they will keep in touch with their Saviour who saved them. Paul severally reminds his readers about their previous state; “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: ... And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1Cor. 6:9-11)
Again he tells them, “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light “(Eph 5:8); “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins”(Eph 2:1). “… remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-- remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Eph 2:11-12)
Once and again the Bible gives a list of sins and here Peter gives such a list;
· Living in debauchery – multiple acts of unbridled lust and lawlessness – with a complete disregard for any restraint
· Lust – all evil desires of immorality
· Drunkenness – overflowing with wine leading to lack of sobriety
· Orgies – a nocturnal and riotous procession of half-drunken and frolicsome fellows who dance and engage in all sorts of immorality
· Carousing – drinking party, giving opportunity of excesses
· Detestable idolatry – worshipping creature instead of the Creator (Exo. 20:3; Deut. 5:7) Breaking the most sacred law of God, opening the floodgates of all sins. Compare this list of sin with that in
1) Rom. 13-14
2) 1 Cor. 6:9-11
3) Gal. 5:20-21
Christians are not obey the sins by the desires of the body, yielding their members as instruments of unrighteousness but instead are to fight with sin in order to kill and completely subdue it. Christians are to walk in the newness of life as evidenced in their godly living. Already a lot of time has been wasted in sinfulness and a lot of damage done – they are to flee from all sinfulness.
However, note that the world is shocked that Christians do not engage into the sins that they love and delight in doing (Acts 12:20). This makes the world to be offended and so they insult, persecute, malign/slander and abuse believers because they do not participate in their foolish sins.
Positively, Christians are supposed “to live to the will of God.” Christian is to be guided by the Will of God, which is good, pleasing and perfect. It is the will of God as He has revealed it in His Word that is to be the rule and reason of our conduct and faith. His decree (secret will) cannot direct us because we do not know it but the revealed will is for us to obey and to instruct others to do the same. Remember that it is those who do the will of the Lord who shall enter into His kingdom because His kingdom is of righteousness, holiness and joy in the Holy Spirit. Remember that your life is brief on earth!
May I point out to you who is Jesus Christ. He is the long promised and long awaited Messiah. The divinely appointed Person to atone for the sins of God’s people. Therefore, He is the divinely qualified and accredited Saviour of His people who was revealed in the fullness of time, born of a woman under the law to save those under the law (Gal.4:4). He was subjected under the cruelest of all human violence and suffered so severely that He died and was buried.
His suffering was for our sins because He did not have His own sins (2:22). He was made sin and a curse for our sake. This means that He suffered as a substitute for sinners – the righteous for the unrighteous (3:18). We all like sheep had gone astray we all had turned everyone to his own way of sins and the Lord laid the iniquity of us all because we read that, “He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.. (Isa. 53:6,5)
So that by His death the legal requirements of the law were completely met – the wrath of God was satisfied and God’s full displeasure was poured on Him. He was able to make an end to sin by making reconciliation for sins. Therefore, His sacrifice was propitiatory for our sins so that He was able to bring us to God. Sinful, vile, distasteful, depraved and guilty men were brought to God through Christ’s vicarious death on the accursed tree. We can now enjoy the blessings of God without any hindrance. We can participate in being the partakers of heavenly blessings by being in Christ.
Although these sufferings led to the death of the Saviour, death could not contain Him and so after three days He resurrected and bought all His people. He was also exalted to the highest – the right hand of God on His majesty and everything put under His rule. Remember that you will give an account of your life before Christ as a judge!
Have you wondered why we do not get tired of preparing a sermon for you every time? and do you wonder that you are not tired of hearing the gospel preached to you? we preach the gospel to every time we have an opportunity given to us by the Lord because preaching is a means through which godliness is born and nurtured. Never ever get tired of hearing the gospel truth if you want to grow by leaps and bounds in faith. Go where sermons are preached, take time to listen to sermons but them and listen to them. the preaching of the Word is edifying do not get tired.
This is what we read in verse six, “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.” The point being made is that the preaching of the gospel was being done even to those who are dead and it yielded fruit. This is because through it, many were saved. Even now those who hear the gospel being preached are saved because it guides people to live not just in the physical (because it is short-lived, soon the body is old and dead) but to live in the spirit the way God does and the way in which He would like us to live. This way, though we may die and are separated from this body, yet we live and are not subjected under His wrath.
Please remember that soon you will give an account before God. Therefore conduct in a such a manner that shows you understand that such a time awaits you. Do not be like the worldly people who do not care what happens tomorrow. They are the most pitiable for they are swept along by sin the destructive forces of evil. At the end of life they must stand before their Maker, who is not their redeemer but Judge (Heb 10:31).
It is judgment that awaits all those who sin and have no desire to be saved from sinfulness. They are going to face the full wrath of God because of their obstinate unbelief and sinfulness. Shall we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and find hope and everlasting life?