Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Living for the Will of God

1 Peter 4:1-2 (ESV)
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.

Ceased from sin, it is somewhat of a peculiar phrase. Ceased from sin, it doesn’t say ceased sinning. I think that is crucial here. Of Course Christ suffered in the flesh, yet he did not cease sinning. To cease sinning would imply that he had been sinning at some point. He never sinned to begin with so he didn’t have to cease doing it. We though cease from sinning. I think we have to look to the next verse to understand what this means. We don’t live for sin anymore. We may sin, but we don’t live for it. We still live in the flesh, and as such we are prone to sin, but we don’t live for it. Rather, having suffered in the flesh, having subdued the flesh and warred with it by the new man created in us through the work of the Holy Spirit in Baptism, where our flesh was crucified, died and buried with Christ, we no longer live for human passions. We no longer live for drunkenness. We no longer live for gluttonness binges. We no longer live for our flesh and it’s various appetites. We no longer live for fornication and adultery. We no longer live to get while the getting is good. Now we have more to live for than the fleeting pleasures of our human passions. Now we live for the will of God.
Now we live for the will of God. This is what so many Christians don’t realize about themselves. It isn’t that we should live for the will of God. That was true before our baptisms. Now we live for the will of God. That is God is operating in us and through us, even, perhaps most especially when we aren’t even looking. We live for the will of God, because God wills us to live. We live in him, he lives in us. He accomplishes his tasks through us because our sins have been forgiven through his son Jesus Christ.


Brigitte said...

The German has a similar mismatch of verb and noun "hoert auf von Suenden". It sounds strange.

The willingness to suffer signals a complete change of focus from seeking one's own to giving up for something else, a dying to self. The attraction of sin is gone.

Steve Martin said...

The condemnation of sin is gone.

We were buried with Him in baptism, and raised with Him.

I'm still attracted to many sin(s).

But I (we) am to consider myself dead to sin.

Brigitte said...

I woke up thinking about this. It is like a break-up with an ex, a former boy-friend, or something like that. You may still see him in school, on the bus, in town, at work, where-ever, you can't get away. You are even in a more or less awkward dance. You may even fantasize about being together again. One eye is still kind of on him, aware, wary. But it's over. Finished.

"Cease" is like "broken-up with".