Suffering Like Christ

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Reading the Word

1 Peter 4:1–6 (ESV)

1 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, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3 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. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

Understanding the Word

What does Peter mean when he says “arm yourselves with the same way of thinking”?

He is referring to Christ’s suffering on the cross at Calvary for the sins of mankind. Why did he suffer? To fulfill the will of the Father. Peter is calling believers to do the same. We are to suffer, if need be, to fulfill the will of the God in our lives.

What is that will? That we would live holy, sanctified lives no longer controlled by our sinful passions.

Applying the Word

Doing the right thing is not always the easy thing. Sometimes it leads to suffering. You may lose a friend, or a job, or fail a test. You may be mocked, or made fun of, or laughed at. You may be called ignorant, or a bigot, or out of touch. In the history of Christianity, some have even been imprisoned or killed for standing up for what is right.

But that is what we are called to do. We are to live for the will of God, even if we must endure difficulty as a result. By doing so we follow the example of Christ and we please God. May we not look for the easy way, but the right way.

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