Verse of the Day Devotion. 1 Peter 4:1
“Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,” – 1 Peter 4:1
The ‘therefore’ at the beginning of this verse refers back to the end of chapter eight, which is summed up here, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;” 1 Peter 3:18. What our focus verse is alluding to is that since Christ suffered in the flesh for our sins, the readers are now to apply that insight to strengthen their own resolve to maintain the kind of behavior that is pleasing to God, whatever negative reaction may be ignited in their nonbelieving contemporaries. He paid the penalty we could not pay for the sins we committed. It took a sinless, perfect man to pay the penalty for sins. This could not be us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. But Jesus was perfect and did not deserve what happened, but He did it for us.
Therefore, all of us who are believers should regard ourselves as having been put to death on account of our sin, as though having paid the penalty which Jesus did for us as a substitute. And now, as someone who has been executed is clear of all guilt, so are we. As someone who has been executed should not return to his old life, should he live again, neither should we.
Due to Christ’s sacrifice we have died to sin. “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11. And now that we live, we live in newness of life, and we live unto God. We have died to sin and passed into a new state and condition by virtue of our union with Jesus Christ our Lord. But while this is true, there is something we need to experience within our own spirits; hence the apostle says, “since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,” As He has died to sin, we are to die to sin also. This takes place, the beginning of it, at the time of conversion. The person who formerly loved sin should begin to hate it and no longer live in sin; “so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.” 1 Peter 4:2-3.
Now, unfortunately we are probably not going to live a perfect life. But still, as far as our heart is concerned, we are done with sin and desire it no more. There is no sin we should willingly do; none that we should wish to hold on to, for any sin we choose to keep and continue in will, if not done away with, cause us to fall away for we will desire it more than a relationship with Christ. Therefore, sweep them all out and live the life He has called us to.
When we give our lives to Christ and accept the loving work He did on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, we must look at our former life as gone, no longer a part of who we are. We must always look forward, knowing that we have an amazing eternal future to look forward to, if we do not look away and go back to that old life. Spend time in prayer, reading and studying His word, and giving Him the praise and adoration He deserves from us. Give yourself totally to Him. There is no better way to live,
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.