But for the Will of God

1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV

“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.”

This is very similar in nature as the passage of Scripture in Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV) where we are instructed thus:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Jesus Christ, God the Son, suffered and died for us on that cross. Although he had committed no sin he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He put our sin to death with him on that cross so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So, this suffering in the flesh involves death to sin (2 Co 5:21; 1 Pet 2:24).

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Rom 6:6-8).

So, you see, this is the reason that Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on that cross, that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And we are to continue to die daily with Christ to sin and to walk in obedience to his commands in the strength of the Lord. So, we are to live the rest of our lives no longer for fleshly passions but for the will of God. For, this is why Jesus died (Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 8:1-17).

1 Peter 4:3 ESV

“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.”

We have a modern day gospel that is being preached in the market-driven gatherings of what is called “church” today in America. And it is permeating the church. So, the vast majority of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ are not dying with Christ to sin and they are not living to Christ and to his righteousness. They are not ceasing from sin, but now they are being given carte blanche to continue living in sin, only now guilt free.

And they aren’t living the rest of their lives no longer for human (fleshly) passions (lusts) and for the will of God. For they are being taught that it is not required of them to repent of their sins (to forsake their sins) and to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands. They are being taught that a non-descript faith in Jesus is all that is required of them.

So, their old self is not crucified with Christ in death to sin because they have not ceased from living in sin. So the body of sin has not been brought to nothing in their lives, and thus they are still living as slaves of sin and of moral depravity. And they are being given the “blessings of God” (but not of God, but of man) to continue living in their sin.

Now, Ephesians 4:17-19 essentially says the same thing as 1 Peter 4:3. We are to no longer live like the ungodly who do not know Jesus. We must no longer make sin our practice. We are to no longer live in sensuality and lawless idolatry, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way we should have learned Christ. For the truth in Christ says:

“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-24).

Now we are to walk in holiness and righteousness, in moral purity and honesty, with integrity, living upright, godly, and self-controlled lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. We are to walk (in conduct) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For if we live according to the flesh, we will not inherit eternal life (Tit 2:11-14; Rom 8:1-17).

1 Peter 4:4-5 ESV

“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.”

Now, if we follow what the Scriptures teach, which are for the church, and which are for our salvation from sin, and we don’t cherry pick the Scriptures we like while we throw out the ones we don’t like, and we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are living to him and to his righteousness, we will be maligned, rejected, mocked, and mistreated by some or by many who are still living in their sins while they claim heaven as their destiny.

They won’t like it that we no longer are living in sin and doing the things we did before we believed in Jesus and before we got really serious about our walks of faith in him. For sin likes company, and if they are continuing to sin and we are not, they won’t be comfortable being around us anymore. We will be an offense to them and a reminder to them that how they are living is not right, just by the mere fact that we are living in holiness now.

Now, this is not a claim to sinless perfection. It is possible that we might still sin at times, not that it should ever be our intention or our plan to sin occasionally, as though that makes it alright. But sin should no longer be our master. It should no longer have control over our lives. It should no longer be our practice, our habit. We should not be living in deliberate and habitual sin against our Lord. For, if we do, we will not inherit eternal life.

So, we cease to live in sin, we die with Christ to sin, and we now live to him and to his righteousness. Sin is no longer our practice, but righteousness is now what we practice, by God’s Spirit, in the power of God. Now we live for the will of God to do what he has called us to do. And we do this because we love God/Jesus, and our desire is now for him to please him in all that we are and do and say. He is now our heart’s desire.

I Stand in Awe

By Mark Altrogge

You are beautiful
You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You

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