1 Peter 4:1-5
1 Pet 4:1 (KJB)
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
Arm - To Equip or arm oneself
Mind - Way of thinking, perception, or understanding
Ceased from - Keep, stop, or cause to cease
Here is a very important Christian life principle that we must adopt. The Bible states here that Christ suffered for us in the flesh. It is important to note that God makes it very clear that Christ did not suffer for the entire world but only for His Elect as He uses the phrase “for us.” Christ came to die for His people and not for everyone in the world. (Mat 1:21 KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. The next part of this verse is very important to the Christian. Since Christ suffered in the flesh we must arm ourselves with the same mindset that we too are going to suffer in the flesh for our Faith. In fact, the word “mind” carries with it the meaning of “way of thinking” and we must never get the idea that true Christianity is just going to church and jumping up and down or go to a Christian freak concert where everybody has long hair and body piercing while trying to sing “Christian” songs.
True Christianity does not hold hands with the world it rebuffs it and the world strikes back. Anytime we evangelize or just hold up Christian living principles we can expect to be scorned by the world and they do not let up therefore we must remain vigilant in our testimony. The next part of this verse teaches us that if we have suffered in the flesh it means we have stopped sinning. Now this does not mean that the Christian will never sin again because the Bible does not teach Christian perfection while we are in the flesh. What this basically teaches is that since we are dead to the world we no longer live according to its evil system. (Gal 6:14 KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Whenever you are tempted to partake in some sinful act which the world accepts and you refuse to partake, you will suffer in the flesh for it because others will rebuke you for it.
1 Pet 4:2 (KJB)
That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
Here is the continuation of the thought from verse one. As Christians, we no longer are slaves of the world system and we are not to go back and seek the things which caused us to go into sinful bondage. As Christians we no longer seek the will of the world because the will of the world is the will of Satan. The Christian seeks the will of God for the rest of their life as the verse puts it. We do not get on fire for God for 10 years and then go back and play with the world. We are to reject the world’s principles for all of our remaining days on earth. This is why we suffer because we see so many others sinning and they seem to be getting away with it and then the temptations start to come and if we are not walking in the Spirit and we let our guard down, then we will sin with the world. This is when God will have to chastise us and if we do not repent after chastisement, He may just place us on a shelf and we will have no ministry, and to the true Christian, a useless existence is a dreadful thought.
1 Pet 4:3 (KJB)
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Suffice - be enough for or sufficient
Wrought - Worked or fashioned
Walked - Order one’s life or traveled
Lasciviousness - Lewdness or licentiousness
Lusts - Cravings, desire, or longings
Excess of Wine - Drunkenness or Debauchery
Revellings - Disorderly or Immoral festivals
Banquetings - Drinking parties normally associated with immorality
Abominable - Vile, unholy, or loathsome
Idolatries - Idolatry especially in sync with a pagan feast
This verse is very plain in stating that since we became saved, there is no need to go back into the world for the time we spent in the world was sufficient but now we have to seek the Lord for our ministries. No longer do we attend worldly functions like the ones listed above because we are no longer of this world. I remember when I first became a Christian the bar group I ran with told each other that I went crazy with religion. So the world looks upon us as being crazy because we do not want to partake of their festivities. This is where we suffer in the flesh again because our flesh wants to go to those parties but our Spirit says no and we must obey the Lord and stay far away from these things. (Rom 13:14 KJV) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:14 gives us the warning plainly. We are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ as a shield make no provision for the flesh because that provision is there to fulfill our lusts. If we obey these temptations one time, it will lead to the next time and then it will become easier to disobey God and then we can expect God to move against us. We cannot be a testimony for the Lord with a beer in one hand and a Bible in another.
1 Pet 4:4 (KJB)
Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
They think it strange - Shock or surprise as with something strange
Excess - An overflowing or extreme
Riot - Unrestrained revelry or noisy feast
What? Are you better than us? How many times have you heard that question when friends from your old life have not yet let go of you. They will think that you are being arrogant and that you think that you are better then them. The way to rid yourself of these people is just to maintain a good Christian testimony and they will eventually fall away and you will not see them again, unless one or two of them “respect” your new lifestyle and may want to remain friends but those who just live to party, you can do without. It may shock them, that you, who could down a bottle of whiskey or smoke marijuana no longer has any cravings for those things, but instead, you now crave the will of God and to get to know the Lord Jesus Christ better so you can live for Him. If you maintain a good testimony, then maybe you can be there when your friends hit bottom and want to know what you have. Hey, you never know!
1 Pet 4:5 (KJB)
Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
If these people you ran with do not become saved, they will have to give account to the Lord Jesus Christ on Judgment day and they will have to explain why they spoke evil of you. It will not matter if they have physically died or if they are still alive when the Lord returns, they will stand before Him as all the world must except those who have been saved. Jesus has become their Savior and not their judge.