Embracing Christ's Suffering: Living for God's Will

Living Hope  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  54:35
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Today, we gather to reflect on the powerful message found in 1 Peter 4:1-6, which calls us to embrace Christ's suffering and live according to God's will.
In these verses, the apostle Peter provides us with profound insights into how we, as followers of Christ, should approach the challenges of this world.
Let us dive into this timeless scripture and discover the wisdom it offers us for living a purposeful and meaningful Christian life.

I. Embracing Christ's Suffering

1 Peter 4:1 NKJV
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
Illustration: playing follow the leader as kid.
As Christians, we are called to imitate Christ in every aspect of our lives. Embracing Christ's suffering means recognizing that our journey will not be without trials and tribulations. Instead of shying away from hardship, we must arm ourselves with the mindset of Christ, for through suffering, we are refined, and our faith is strengthened.

II. Breaking Free from a Life of Sin

1 Peter 4:2–3 NKJV
2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
v. 2 - Peter is saying that we are no longer are to live according to the ways of this world, we are to live a holy, set apart life in accordance the to will of God. That the time that remains for those found in Christ is not for their own selfish pleasures but for doing the will of God.
v. 3 - Here it seems Peter is listing the lusts of our past lives, the life we all lived out in the flesh, the life before Christ, doing the will of the Gentiles (a reference to sinful, carnal behaviors, pagan at the root) Peter says when (we), clearly placing himself among the guilty, walked in the lust of the flesh, eyes and pride of life.
How are we to break free from a life of sin?
Repentance is the key to breaking free from the clutches of sin. It is not just about asking for forgiveness but undergoing a genuine change of heart and turning away from sinful ways. We must see sin as God sees it, not as man sees it.
How does God see our sin?
Peter lists a few, lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
I think most of here knows what lusts and drunkenness and drinking parties are, but what about lewdness, revelries, and abominable idolatries.
Lewdness means the quality or state of being obscene or vulgar in a sexual sense. It can also refer to sexually unchaste or licentious behavior. Some words that are similar to lewdness are indecency, obscenity, lasciviousness, and licentiousness. Some words that are opposite to lewdness are morality, decency, chastity, and virtue.
Revelries mean lively and noisy festivities, especially when these involve drinking a large amount of alcohol.
abominable = forbidden
Idolatries mean the same thing as idolatry, which is the worship of idols or the excessive devotion to something or someone. An idol is an image or object that represents a god or a person that is greatly admired.
God is not mocked, we will all reap what we sow. If you sow sin in your life = death. If you sow the will of God in your life you reap life.

III. Living for God's Will

1 Peter 4:4–6 NKJV
4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
v. 4 - Due to the inner change of those who are in Christ, there is an obvious transformation on display to those who see the lives of those who are in Christ, the display on view is the strange way those who are changed no longer run toward the fleshly lusts that surround everyone. And yet the outsiders looking in only respond toward their new dispensation with talking evil about them.
Those who do not understand or accept our newfound devotion to Christ may criticize and mock us. However, we are not to be discouraged by their words but remain steadfast in our commitment to God's will.
v. 5 - All will stand before the one who has the authority to judge the living and the dead. All acts, deeds, speech, thoughts, desires, lusts, etc. will be accounted for. All will give an account to the LORD who is ready, even now, ready to judge the living and the dead.
v.6 - For this reason? what reason, look at v. 3-5 gives the answer to the reason why the gospel was preaches to those who are dead, those who are in prison (3:19) awaiting their final judgement.
One must decide now, today, what is most important in the here and now?
One must choose, each must choose on their own.
Do I continue down a round that will one day lead to condemnation and judgement from a Holy God, or turn in repentance toward the one who will show mercy and give grace those who cry out with broken humble heart.
Recognize sin for what it truly is!
Do you see sin the way God sees it?
Living for God's will means dedicating ourselves entirely to Him, regardless of the opinions of others. Our faithfulness will bear witness to the transforming power of God's grace, and it might even lead some to come to Christ through our example.
So Church, as we reflect on the teachings of 1 Peter 4:1-6, let us embrace Christ's suffering as a means of drawing nearer to God.
By breaking free from a life of sin, we open ourselves to God's transformative work within us. Our transformed lives will stand as a testament to the world, shining His light and drawing others to Christ.
May we find strength in adversity, hope in the face of trials, and courage in times of mockery, knowing that we walk in the footsteps of our Savior, who suffered for us.
Let us live for God's will, not seeking the approval of the world, but longing for the approval of our Heavenly Father.
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