Have you ever had an experience that really shook you up and resulted in a change in your priorities? Maybe an illness or a car accident that you feared you may not survive? There’s something about facing our own mortality that causes us to re-evaluate our lives – “what have I been doing? Have I been wasting my time?”
When we come into contact with our Creator God through the gospel, we have a similar experience. We brush against something so much bigger than ourselves and begin to examine ourselves.
We’re continuing our study in 1 Peter this Sunday, reading 1 Peter 4:1-6.
In order to face suffering and difficulties in life, Peter says to ARM ourselves with thinking that is like Christ’s. What sort of thinking did Jesus have that enabled him to face suffering in his life? What would that look like in your experience?
In V3, Peter describes a lifestyle that those outside of relationship with Christ embrace. The description sounds a lot like Bacchanalia … or this. Peter’s point seems to be that a lifestyle that lacks self-control is less than what God has in mind for us and a waste of our time. We want to travel against the flow of what many consider normal life. Why is a lifestyle of self-gratification at odds with God’s plan? What if you never did the stuff he describes in this passage, even in your pre-Christ life – what are other ways a self-gratifying lifestyle manifests?
V6 is another puzzling text, but the most reasonable take on this is that Peter is talking about people who heard the gospel preached while they were alive and embraced it, but subsequently died (they were expecting Jesus to return before they would ever die). “Judged in the flesh the way people are” may mean that they were tried for their faith and executed…or it may mean that they died the way people do because of this fallen world. Either way…what is Peter’s point about those who give up the selfish pursuits of this broken world system and follow Christ? Was their choice worth it, and why?
See you all on Sunday!