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This week we continue our series titled “Standing firm under stress” the messages will come from Peter’s first epistle.

Peter knew what it meant to be under pressure, and he wrote to people who were under the pressure of persecution. 

His book speaks to the personal needs of God’s people today.

Today we are talking about A Call To Christian Living.

A Call To Christian Living.

Text

1 Peter 4:1 (AMP)

Keep Fervent in Your Love

4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh [and died for us], arm yourselves [like warriors] with the same purpose [being willing to suffer for doing what is right and pleasing God], because whoever has suffered in the flesh [being like-minded with Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [having stopped pleasing the world],

Scripture Reading.

1 Peter 4:1-11 – 1 Peter 5:1-14

Introduction 

A call to Christian living is always in order.

The ground of the appeal is the example of Christ.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh…” 

The “since” is like an arrow pointing back to 1 Peter 3:18-22, where Peter presented the truth that 1 Peter 3:18 (AMP)

18 For indeed Christ died for sins once for all, the Just and Righteous for the unjust and unrighteous [the Innocent for the guilty] so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit;

The appeal is, “Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.” 

We can compare this to Paul’s appeals in Romans 12:1-2 and Philippians 2:5-11.

The difficult passage in 1 Peter 4:1 (AMP)

Keep Fervent in Your Love

4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh [and died for us], arm yourselves [like warriors] with the same purpose [being willing to suffer for doing what is right and pleasing God], because whoever has suffered in the flesh [being like-minded with Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [having stopped pleasing the world],

When taken with verse 2 seems to mean that one who has armed himself with the mind of Christ, so that he is willing to suffer persecution for his faith, has rest from sin as his goal in life.

He no longer spends his life in the sinful pursuits of the lust of the flesh but now makes the aim of his life the doing of God’s will. 

  1. The heathen do not understand the call. 1 Peter 4:3-4.
  1. It is natural for the unsaved person to pursue sinful lusts.

The varieties of sins from which Christians had repented are listed.

  1. “Lasciviousness” means without morals.

It describes such acts as foul language, indecent bodily movements, lewd sex acts, and so on.

2. “Lusts” or “Passions”.

In themselves “lusts” may be good or bad.

Desire for the will of God is good, but the desires condemned here are “human lusts,” of which Peter had written in 1 Peter 2:11 (AMP)

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges [those dishonorable desires] that wage war against the soul.

3. “Excess of wine” or drunkenness.

4. “Revellings” refers to drinking parties.

5. “Banquetings” or “carousing” is another word Peter used for wild drinking parties.

6. “Abominable idolatries” or “lawless idolatry.”

We know all idolatry is abominable, but especially that which promotes drinking and lust in the name of religion.

B. A Christian’s abstinence from sin is a silent rebuke to those who sin.

1 Peter 4:4 (AMP) says,

4 In [connection with] all this, they [the unbelievers] are resentful and surprised that you do not [think like them, value their values and] run [hand in hand] with them into the same excesses of dissipation and immoral freedom, and they criticise and abuse and ridicule you and make fun of your values.

2. Every person will give account of himself to God. 1 Peter 4:5-6.

The important part of this message seems to be that all without exception are to be judged by God.

Those now dead had the gospel preached to them while they were alive, so they, as well as those now living, will be judged according to the lives they lived in the flesh.

Those who, while yet in the flesh, truly trusted Christ will share the eternal life of God in the Spirit.

3. Christian living demands faithfulness. 1 Peter 4:7-11.

  1. The imminence of Christ’s return encourages faithfulness.

“But the end of all things is at hand” (v7)

How near Peter did not say.

He urged readiness, as did Jesus in Matthew 24:42 and Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

It may be drawing near as God counts time.

In that case, as Peter explained in 2 Peter 3:8 (AMP)

8 Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.

Not only is it true that we should be ready to meet the Lord when He comes at the end of the age, but since death may come at any time, we should be ready to meet the Lord at death.

B. More important than the time when someone meets the Lord is the certainty that they will.

So we are to be ready by;

  1. Being sober (v7), that is, keeping a sound mind, and ‘watching” auto prayer.

2. 1 Peter 4:8 (AMP)

8 Above all, have [a]fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].

“Above all” means above all other duties to our fellow humans.

It does not take precedence over the first commandment to love God.

Proverbs 10:12 was probably on Peter’s mind, Proverbs 10:12 (AMP)

12 Hatred stirs up strife,

But love covers and overwhelms all transgressions [forgiving and overlooking another’s faults].

Love seeks to extinguish strife as water puts out a flame.

Love judges others most charitably.

3. 1 Peter 4:9 (AMP) says

9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

4. 1 Peter 4:10 (AMP) says

10 Just as each one of you has received a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to Christians by God’s unmerited favor].

God has given many gifts, talents, and abilities to believers for ministering.

God is still the owner, and believers are just trustees of God’s unmerited gifts, which are to be used for the good of others in His name.

Illustrations in verse 11 are, first, if someones gift is speaking, let him or her use it, not for self or for novelty, but in conformity to the Word of God.

The “oracles of God” are used in Acts 7:38 to refer to the Mosaic law, in romans 3:12 to refer to the Old Testament, and in Hebrews 5:12 to refer to christ’s teaching.

Second, if someone’s gift is serving, let him or her do it not for pride or self glory, but with humble  acknowledgement that their ability to help is a trust from God.

Conclusion.

The purpose of Christian service is in 1 Peter 4:11 (AMP)

11 Whoever speaks [to the congregation], is to do so as one who speaks the oracles (utterances, the very words) of God. Whoever serves [the congregation] is to do so as one who serves by the strength which God [abundantly] supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified [honored and magnified] through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

And also 1 Peter 5:10-11 (AMP)

10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 

11 To Him be dominion (power, authority, sovereignty) forever and ever. Amen.

And 2 Peter 3:18 (AMP)

18 but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory (honor, majesty, splendor), both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

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