Having been set free from sin's power by the cross, the values and priorities of the world no longer make sense to us.
Scripture: 1 Peter 4:1-11
- Scripture requires us to live and defend our faith as a holy people set apart to God, even under persecution.
- We’re to arm ourselves with the same way of thinking that Christ our Lord had when He faced suffering (cf. Rom. 12:2).
- Peter sets forth an eschatology of ethics – how the redeemed are to live in the flesh before the judgment.
- We’re done with sin, having been set free from its power in Christ’s cross. We’re not done with our bodies, but we’ve died to sin that we may live a renewed life (Rom. 6:3-4).
- The values and priorities of the world no longer make sense to us: lying, orgies, drunkenness, licentiousness (1 Pet 4:3).
- The world does not bestow admiration or appreciation for rejecting its values; unbelievers feel judged by the new reality of our changed lives. If your orientation is to live for lawless desires, then a godly life is offensive.
- Our culture lives to give expression to subconscious fantasies – the “liberation of the subconscious.” Repressing desires is seen as harmful to your health.
- Christ is on the throne ready to judge the world. Everyone must be ready to give an account.
- The certainty of God’s judgment over history comforts us when facing evil and injustice.
- Our mortality will be changed to immortality. The end result of our salvation is near.
- We’re to be holy, separate from sin unto God. God Himself is holy in the distinction between the persons of the Trinity.
- Gnostic ideas, old and new, reject the goodness of God’s physical creation.
- Our problem is not our bodies, as claimed by much of western philosophy, for Jesus Himself took on a body.
- Our struggle with sin is based on our ethical rebellion: lawlessness and idolatry.
- Holiness concerns our relationship with God and others.
- The death of a Christian is not a contradiction. Through death we pass into the new life in the Spirit.
- Jesus is ready to judge for the end of all things is near.
- Peter therefore urges self-control and prayer. Ministry and service replace the world’s way of mutual-exploitation.
- Such love fulfills the law, and does not find delight in finding the faults and failures of others. Instead love delights to overlook an offense.
- Our love for the lost needs to begin with love for one another. We are stewards of God’s grace that we might support one-another.
- We’re to serve by God’s strength and for His glory.
- Pray for those who preach that God would grant them strength to fully declare God’s Word.
- The full reality of our spiritual flesh will be manifest when death is swallowed up by life.
- Why do unbelievers find the Christian’s ethical behavior to be offensive?
- What is the Christian attitude toward the physical world?
- How is the holiness of God reflected within the Trinity?
- Am I living out Christ’s love that overlooks minor offenses?
- Outline the Christian eschatology of ethics.
- How should people respond to the reality of Christ’s imminent universal judgment?
- How can we serve one another this week?