Christ Suffered For Us

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Christ Suffered For Us

Christ Suffered For Us

I Peter 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2  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.

Peter continued to point the saints to their Shepherd and Saviour. Jesus Christ suffered for us in the flesh.

Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus also suffered the cruel abuses placed upon Him prior to being crucified. Then He suffered physically on the cross. His greatest suffering was taking the sins of mankind upon Himself. Jesus knows what suffering is all about. He knew it before He suffered, but He proved His ability to work through that suffering and still remain without sin. As we have mentioned before we are not Jesus. We do not become little gods in salvation. However, God told Peter to write this challenge for those who are saved. Those who are saved will suffer in the flesh.
The word translated as “arm” means “to equip”. We equip ourselves by studying God’s Word faithfully once we are saved. God does the saving. He gives us the new nature. The Holy Spirit indwells the true child of God. However, the true child of God must consciously put on the new man and put to death the old man.
We need to equip ourselves with the same mind as that of Christ. We can only do that as we get to know Him better. Again we see the importance of a true local church. Jesus Christ never compromised. He is the Truth and He always spoke the truth and He always lived the truth. The apostle Paul stated:

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Those cannot just be words on a page for the true child of God. It is a fact that the true child of God “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” As Peter states, we need to arm ourselves. When we arm ourselves we can come through the suffering that we will endure successfully. We do not need to yield to temptation. When we suffer for sin, we understand the impact of sin and we desire to be free from that, if we are saved. Those who truly love the Lord will seek to help a struggling child of God to address their sin. God provides the way of escape when we are tempted.
John wrote:

I John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

When a true child of God sins, he hates it. The flesh may like it, but the indwelling Holy Spirit hates it and He convicts the saved person of their sin. The saved person will be facing an internal war until he repents and gets right with God. The true child of God wants to be forgiven and cleansed. John was directed to begin that verse with the little word “if”. The true child of God must confess his sin. When he does that, God is faithful to forgive him and to cleanse him from all unrighteousness. The true child of God asks God to show him how to put up a defence against that temptation. The true child of God does not want to keep committing the same sin. He actually desires to be free from sin.
The Nazarenes falsely claim that they have come to the place of sinless perfection. What they do is redefine sin. Years ago, we knew a teacher who was teaching her class to dance to a certain song. Our son was in her class at that time, and he knew better than to go along with her desire. He told us about it and we went to talk to the teacher. We told her our son would not participate in that song and we asked her to reconsider her teaching. She claimed to be a Christian teacher. She was a Nazarene and she redefined sin. She said dancing was not sin. She did the same thing many secular Christians do. She pointed to David dancing while bringing the Ark into Jerusalem. David’s dancing was not a secular, gyrating, sensual dance. David was jumping up and down with excitement at the fact that the Ark was coming to Jerusalem. The dancing done in our time is sensual and ungodly. There are many professing Christians who redefine sin.
The CCM music is a redefining of sin. The worship teams are a redefinition of sin. The immodesty that is so common now is a redefinition of sin. The divorce and remarriage is a redefinition of sin. You do not have to be a Nazarene to attempt to redefine sin. The church in Corinth was guilty of redefining sin. The apostle Paul was told to expose them and rebuke them. The good news is that they listened. In II Corinthians we find that not only did the church repent and confess their sin, but the sinning brother also repented and got right with God. That is evidence of a true child of God.
In verse 2 of our text we are reminded that the saved person should no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh. This again is a reminder of the change that God makes in the saved person’s life. The saved person cannot continue on in his sin. That is not acceptable to God. He must behave in the manner that is acceptable to God.

I Timothy 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

The saved person has been equipped to be able to do the will of God. He must draw on that equipping and do the will of God. Evangelists, pastors and teachers must teach the whole counsel of God. This is again why a saved person needs to be a part of a true local church. Picking a sermon here and another one there will not build a strong Christian. We tend to gravitate to what we like. God gives us what we need, regardless of whether we like it or not.
The person that feeds on a proper diet of God’s Word will grow stronger in the Lord and will be blessed of God in his daily life. Keep in mind, God sees the big picture. We are quite short-sighted. By the time we see the effects of our disobedience, we have impacted others in a negative manner as well. We need to learn to avoid that by following God’s way. We can do that if we are saved.
Pastor Bartel

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