Arm Yourselves

1Peter 4:1-4 Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; 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. 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: Wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you

‘Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind’ put on the same armour of forgiveness, meekness, gentleness, and complete self-control that Christ had. By exercising these qualities, we enable ourselves to withstand the enemy’s attacks that can come through others or through circumstances on many levels.

‘He that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin’ he that has mortified the flesh has ceased from sin (Rom. 8:12-13; Col. 3:5-10).

‘The will of God’ always refer to living for God on His moral standards alone, not those set by traditions or society, or our own opinion of what a Christian should look like, so that we can set an example through our daily lives (not preaching) for others to give them hope, thus it will always be important to live godly lives (1:16; 2:21-23; Matt. 5:48) so that we do not cause stumbling through half-truths to others (1 Cor. 10:32; 1Jn. 2:10).

‘Time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles’ this is a picture of Gentile life and indicates that Peter is writing also to the Gentiles and not only to Jews.

‘Walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelling, banqueting, and abominable idolatries’ eight sins of Jews and Gentiles are mentioned here: Lasciviousness [Greek: aselgeia] every form of lewdness and impurity. Lusts [Greek: epithumia] strong or vehement desire (see Col. 3:5). Excess of wine [Greek: oinophlugia] to be hot or to boil; to be aflame with wine. Drinking of fermented (old wine) is a sin (Pro. 20:1; 21:17; 23:29-25; Isa. 5:11-12, 22; 1Tim. 3:2-3; Tit. 1:7) because it contains alcohol and any form of poisoning of the body is sinful and no sin ever added to the glory of God. We are commanded in the Word in this regard and our bodies are supposed to be the temple of God and we are not allowed to bring damage to it in any way [by any food, drink or outside factors] and we cannot neglect it in any way (1Cor. 6:19-20). Revelling [Greek: komoi] lascivious feasts, boisterous festivity, singing and drinking in honour of idols. Banqueting [Greek: potois] wine feasts or drinking matches. Abominable idolatries – at idol feasts the most impure, obscene, and perverted orgies, and abominable rites were practised. Excess of riot [Greek: asotia] flood of profligacy, sweeping away all rule, order, and restraint before it. Speaking evil of you [Greek: blasphemeo] blaspheming God and man. Translated “speak evil of” (4:4, 14; Rom. 14:16; 1Cor. 10:30; Tit. 3:2; 2Pet. 2:2, 10, 12; Jude 1:8, 10); “revile” (Matt. 27:39); “rail on” (Mark 15:29; Luke 23:39); “report slanderously” (Rom. 3:8); “defame” (1Cor. 4:13); “speak blasphemy” (Matt. 26:65); “blasphemously” (Luke 22:65); “blasphemer” (Acts 19:37); and “blaspheme” (Matt. 9:3; Mark 3:28-29; Luke 12:10; John 10:36; Acts 13:45; 18:6; 26:11; Rom. 2:24; 1Tim. 1:20; 6:1; Tit. 2:5; Jas. 2:7; Rev. 13:6; 16:9, 11, 21).

‘Run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you’ they marvel how you can renounce these fleshly gratifications for something spiritual that you cannot see. Worldly people are always offended when we don’t eat or drink with them and will always comment on this matter because of the guilt that comes from their conscious when their thoughts accuse them (Rom. 2:14-15). Christians ought not to mingle or socialize with people who are not of one mind with regards to what God’s Word says (1Cor.5:9-13; 1Jn. 2:15-17), because we are not to cause offence towards others (Php. 1:10). Only the Holy Spirit convicts of sin (John 16:7-11), no person can successfully convict another person of what is right or wrong. If people stop sinning because of our word, it will never be for the right reasons and they will never be purified in heart by being equipped with the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22; Php. 1:6).

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