Jesus the Judge(1 Peter 4:1-6)
1 Peter: The Gospel for Exiles • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 39:04
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When you picture God what do you see?
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us”- A.W. Tozer.
Talk to any person about who God is and they will give you different answers.
In the Rabbit Trails class we have been talking about God in the Trinity and what that means and doesn’t mean… because at the center the foundational level of what we believe is God. Who God is matters for how we live.
Peter is going to spend some time here talking about how we are supposed to be living, in light of the revealing of who God is.
Let’s read 1 Peter 4:1-6 and dive in.
Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same understanding—because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin—in order to live the remaining time in the flesh no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you don’t join them in the same flood of wild living—and they slander you. They will give an account to the one who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged in the flesh according to human standards, they might live in the spirit according to God’s standards.
Live in the Flesh- For God’s Will
Live in the Flesh- For God’s Will
Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same understanding—because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin—in order to live the remaining time in the flesh no longer for human desires, but for God’s will.
When you see a therefore stop and see what it’s therefore.
Remember Peter wrote this book to the elect exiles dispersed across asia minor. All sorts of different people and several different churches.
Peter understands what these churches, these people are going through, social persecuation and a persecution that is going to intensify very soon.
So Peter is addressing for them, how to live in the midst of all this.
This living centers on a living Hope, that Jesus died in my place.
That Jesus did not stay dead.
That he rose from the grave and ascended into heaven.
In doing so, He saved those who beleive from sin and death.
So our lives, even when we are being persecuted look different.
We live with the end in mind.
Rooted on the Word, because everything else fade but the word of God is forever.
We live centered on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ, because he has taken us as a bunch of no bodies, and made us somebodies.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
We live for Christ IN THE WORLD, NOT OF IT.
Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits.
Everything we do, is centered and rooted on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news of Jesus.
Suffering is not beyond Christ.
He hasn’t forgotten about you:
He sees you, you are not over looked.
He is powerful enough to stop it.
He loves you enough to have your best interest in mind.
So suffering is not something to be seen as a hinderance keeping us from God, it’s meant to be seen as something that is supposed to draw us to God more and more.
Christ has come to actually save people.
THis means he comes proclaiming victory!
He comes saving sinners from their sin, redeeming us!
Not because we have it all together and God wants us to recognize how hard we have worked, but because in redeeming a lost mankind, God is most glorified.
Because of all of that… or as Peter says… Therefore...
Suffering of Christ
Suffering of Christ
Since Christ Suffered in the flesh
Arm yourselves with the same understanding (purpose, attitude, intention)...
What is Peter talking about?
1 Peter 3:18a (CSB)
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God.
These Christians… these churches are being persecuted, there is much suffering happening.
Peter is warning them… telling them… telling us!
Don’t forget about what Jesus did for you.
Christ suffered for sins once for all.
Sometimes people ask why do bad things happen to good people… it only happened once. Jesus the perfectly righteous one, died for you and I the unrighteous so that we might be brought to God.
But here in 4:1, Peter specifically is telling us Christ suffered in the Flesh.
Sometime in the bible Flesh is used to describe like the worldliness that we are currently living in. And so we live in hopes of leaving the flesh, worldliness, sin behind.
But that’s what Peter is doing here… Peter is using flesh to talk about our physical lives, our physical bodied.
Some of the earliest heresies that crept into the church involved this idea that the physical is bad and the spiritual is good. So whoever can rid themselves of the physical can truly be more spiritual.
I believe we are seeing a resurgence of this ideology it’s just coming wrapped up in LGBTQ+ language.
My physical body is not who I am. I am on the inside, and so the goal is to make the outside look like what I feel like on the inside.
That is not what Peter is saying.
Christ suffering in the Flesh.
Christ was resurrected in the Flesh.
Meaning we need to think about ourselves holistically.
Our Physical bodies are hindered by the fall too.
But our physical bodies are part of who we are, they are not a result of the fall.
Adam and Eve were not spirits floating around Eden until sin.
Jesus resurrected had Thomas touch his hands!
He ate food, the resurrected Jesus eats! He is not ONLY a spirit floating around.
Why does Peter make this point?
because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin. Has Ceased from Sin.
We are still in the flesh, but our desires change, is what Peter is saying.
A Living Hope: A Commentary on 1 and 2 Peter Being a Christian Is a Death and Life Affair (4:1–6)
Death has brought freedom from sin (6:7); therefore the believer is now to consider himself dead to sin and alive to God (6:11).
For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him. For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Peter is saying, Because of the sacrifced of Jesus we are free from the bounds of sin.
In a very real sense, I challenge you to look around this week, think about those who most frustrate you, if they are unbelievers think about this reality… they are enslaved to sin and have no idea.
They cannot do anything but be controlled by sin. It rules every aspect of their life. Selfishness, pride arrogance all for themselves of EVERY decsiion that they make.
But not for the the beleiver.
We used to be that way, but now… we have been freed by Christ.
He died and purchased our freedom from sin.
We are justified the moment we beleive.
We are sanctified for the rest of our lives.
all the hardships, all the frustrations, everything that brings us to our breaking point.
You might think, this is the devil trying to break me… The devil is on a lease and can do nothing with God’s permission. He is still dangerous, like a lion looking to devour… but all those things that you might things are from the devil is a different sense are from God. Breaking the sinful holds that are upon your soul.
Suffering means Christianity can’t be comfortable.
What the Gospel does, the good news of JEsus is… it changes the desires of my heart.
Instead of glorifying Ben, I want to Glorify Jesus.
Who cares what happens to me… my job in this kingdom is not to be know or to be somebody.
My job is to preach the Gospel in rural West Texas, to people who may or may not want to hear it.
To pastor Ira Baptist Church to minister to the community.
You and I will likely not be remembered in history books.
Because God has called you to your careers, your roles, your families to do the same.
Be active members of the local church, flawed and imperfect as we are, but together.
Ministering to your community, your sphere of influence.
Not longing for human desires, but for the will of God.
Can we briefly talk about the will of God.
It’s not some hidden thing. Should I do this or should I do that?
God is not trying to catch you making the wrong choice.
The will of God is to obey God’s word.
it’s really that simple. God will NEVER will you to sin. So if a sinful option is on the table you can know that is not God’s Will, now when you do sin God will use it, it doesn’t thwart His plans, but He will never desire you will you to sin. God does not make mistakes.
His Word is clear and authoritative even now.
Obey God… thats God’s will.
So is faced with a choice and all the option are not sinful you have checked your heart and your conctiouse is clear… what should you do? Pick one. And trust that is God’s will.
Live in the Flesh- Not like the Gentiles do
Live in the Flesh- Not like the Gentiles do
For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you don’t join them in the same flood of wild living—and they slander you.
For there has already been enough time (for the time that is past suffices) spent in doing what the Gentiles (godless, pagan) choose to do:
Gentiles fleshly living....
Peter is using gentiles here to represent people who are worldly in their lives. Not Christians.
So in verse 1-2 we saw how we live in the flesh for God’s will. Flesh is not a bad thing here, and God’s will is not some mysterious choice we have to make the right way or else… pick a door… WRONG you lose. That’s not God’s will. It’s obedience to His word.
So now Peter us showing us how to live in the flesh by telling us what not to do ANYMORE.
We no longer live for our human desires, but for the will of God.
But before salvation we did live for our human desires.
Some of you may have a story that is a testimony to chasing every for of sinful thing that you could! You tried to find meaning and purpose in EVERYTHING.
Praise God He saved you from that endless search for meaning amongst the meaningless.
But Peter is specific here he lists out some of this Gentile, unchristian living, that they were doing… as as we will see unchristians still live in and chase after.
Peter uses the phrase unrestrained behaviors or sensuality living, or lasciviousness that we walked in, or debauchery, or licentious living, or immorality depending on your translation.
We can add all those together and get the idea that Peter is saying. This phrase is the encompassing phrase, everything else will be more specific examples of this…
The overall idea is living without any regard for moral restriants.
It’s simply I do what I want, when I want, how I want…etc.
This is the heart cry of the unbeliever… they know something is wrong, something deep within is off so they turn to anything to make it better.
Modern therapy is often just behavior modification: I do something destructive because it fills a void or nmubs the point. So how do I stop? Modify behavior without heart change is simply putting a bandaid on someone with cancer and hopeing they get better.
I had trama as a child, which is real and I don’t want to down play, but even if your childhood was perfect you will still be searching for something you cannot muster up within yourself.
So you blame parents, grandparents, etc. They caused me to be this way.
Many times your are probably right. And the reality is we are doing this to our kids right now too, we are not perfect.
Your kids do not need you to be perfect, they need you to point to Jesus. You cannot be their savior but you can point them to the one who saved you. In all reality what you do to cope with whatever issues you have… your kids will see that you won’t have to teach them.
Many times these things are not thought through it’s just emotional whims I decide I want to do this… boom I do it. But that is simply enslavement to whatever you feel like at the moment.
This goes on and on.
Even within Christian Circles, there is a movement that tells us our worship of God should be unrestrained… Thats not what God does in the Bible.
Everytime God interviene in creation he takes chaos and brings order, this is the command of Adam and Eve, have domion subdue the rest of creation… or worship of God is not hindered because there is structrue and order and restriants, that is how God tells us to worship Him… We will finish 1 Peter in a month or so, then we will go to Haggai (OT Prophet) then we are going to walk through 1 Corinthians and in 1 Corinthians much of what is happening is chaos is worship and Paul sets it straight.
Slander you (Issue their judgement)
Don’t you love that the phrase… do not judge is judging.
Don’t you love that getting mad at someone for intolerance is a form of intolerance.
At salvation we change, and we change enough that the gentiles notice.
Live in the Flesh- With judgement in mind
Live in the Flesh- With judgement in mind
They will give an account to the one who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged in the flesh according to human standards, they might live in the spirit according to God’s standards.
You will be judged, and both judges cannot be pleased, you can only keep one judgement.
SO pick… This is the underlying question of 1 Peter… who do you fear the most?
The world the flesh the devil unbeleivers (and some who claim to be believers) who will issue judgement against you and will perwscute you and might even kill you?
Or do you fear God who in the end is far great far better far stronger than anything the world can throw at you?
Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
They too will be judged by God, justice is mine says the Lord.
Live now not with unchristians as enemies… but with unchristians as those who truly are enslaved.
They need to Gospel… be willing to sacrifice anything and everything for them to show them and to share Jesus with them in a loving and caring way because in the end whatever happens here to you and I if we are beleivers in Jesus Christ pales in comparison to what we have coming in eternity where out treasure is stored!
Christ died and suffered in the flesh… we will die and can suffer too because has brought us to God what else do we need?
You are free to live selflessly for the Gospel… unbelivers are not free to do that. Show them the joy of following after Christ.
How you live in measured and judged ultimately by God.
God is the final judge… be judged in the flesh by worldly standards.
Live in the spirit according to God’s standards.