April 23: Suffering Against Sin (1 Peter 4:1-6)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
Scott Forney will begin a series going through Tim Keller's "Meaning of Marriage" at 10 am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).
1 Peter 4:1-6
1) 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, 2) so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3) 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. 4) With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5) but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6) 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.
In these verses Peter calls on Christians to cease from sin by arming ourselves with a particular insight or way of thinking: think the same way Jesus did. Jesus was resolved not to sin, he never deceived or retaliated, and he entrusted himself to the Father (1 Peter 2:21-23). So Jesus is an example to us of how to refrain from sin, but even more than that, Jesus enables us to cease from sin. Peter says that the one who has “suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,” meaning something very similar to what he has already written, “[Jesus] bore our sins in body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (2:24). We become like Christ as we resolve to stop sinning on the basis of the fact that we have died to the power of sin over us.
Review and Apply
How does Peter describe sin in various ways in this passage?
Are there ways in which you are living for the passions of the flesh, acting like a slave to them, going wherever they lead you?
The key principle Peter teaches in order to cease from sin is to “arm yourself with the same way of thinking.” What is this “way of thinking” that should become armor for us in the battle against sin?
Becoming a Christian entails a whole new way of living; a clear break from the past (vv. 3-4). How should the Christian respond when maligned for this new way of living (vv. 4-5)?
What is the reward guaranteed to those who have believed the message of the gospel (v. 6) and how is this related to 1 Peter 1:3-6? How does this encourage you in the midst of struggling to cease from sin?
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