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Rooted in Christ

Ceasing from Sin

Our coming to faith in Christ brings us to a crossroad.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind” (1 Peter 4:1, NKJV). 

Chapter four of 1 Peter begins with a “therefore.” Peter is drawing a conclusion and driving it home to us for the conduct of our Christian walk. He writes: “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” (1 Pet. 4:1). 

When Peter talks about suffering in the flesh, he is not contrasting physical suffering with spiritual or emotional suffering. Rather, he is speaking about what theologians call the humiliation of Christ in which the eternal Son of God veiled the glory He had with the Father from all eternity in human flesh. He took on true and full humanity, becoming in every way like us except for sin. He suffered the miseries of this life and the cruel death of the cross. 

Jesus is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. He is the one of whom Peter wrote earlier in his letter: “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” and so we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). We who died in Christ are to die to sin. 

In other words, our coming to faith in Christ brings us to a crossroad, a then and now, before and after. We who were dead in sin are now to live dead to sin and alive in Christ. Peter highlights this Kingdom transition when he says that the one in Christ, “no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Pet. 4:2). 

Peter is helping us to understand what it means to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, as Jesus expounded in the Sermon on the Mount. Coming under the rule of Christ marks a watershed moment in our lives. Peter emphatically says, “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” (1 Pet. 4:3). When temptation strikes, we are to say “enough is enough!” 

REFLECTION: Devotion to Christ overrules devotion to all else and others. 

Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and ten grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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