Listen to this Sermon: 07152012FirstPe4.1-6DonRuhl

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Arm Yourselves with the Mind of Christ

Even as Jesus suffered, so let us prepare to do the same

First Peter 4.1–6

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 15, In the year of our Lord 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Wayne Duncan – First Peter 3.18–22


  1. What shall we do since Jesus suffered 
    1. to bring us to God, and
    2. to give us a good conscience, and since
      1. He now sits in heaven at the right hand of God
      2. with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him?
        1. Peter told us these things in First Peter 3.18–22, so then
        2. let us hear what he said next!


  1. First Peter 4.1, 2 – Think Like Christ

    1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God (1Pe 4.1, 2).

    1. If Christ is our Teacher and Master,
      1. should we not do the same as He did?
      2. Yes, Peter indicated that very thing!
    2. Christ suffered for sins,
      1. not His own sins, for
      2. He had none, but
        1. He suffered for our sins.
        2. That being the case,
          1. how should I think about my life, and
          2. for what should I live?
    3. Peter told us to think of the suffering of Christ in the flesh.
      1. Think of, picture, what He would suffer.
      2. Remember why He suffered so.
        1. Do not ignore or forget such things, but
        2. let what He did move you to do the same.
    4. Peter taught us to arm ourselves with the same mind.
      1. Jesus died to sin.
      2. Jesus died for us.
        1. Let us die to sin.
        2. Let us die for Him.
          1. By doing such,
          2. we arm ourselves, because
            1. we are in a battle with the world,
            2. which is what Peter has been showing us and will show.
    5. We need to have the mind of Christ, because
      1. one who has suffered in the flesh
      2. has ceased from sin.
        1. If I think as Christ did,
        2. if I recall the massive suffering He experienced because of sin,
          1. that leads me to cease from sin, and
          2. I no longer live the rest of my time in the flesh to the lusts of man,
            1. rather I live my life for the will of God.
            2. As Paul said in a similar way,

              1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom 12.1, 2).

    6. When I preached in Klamath Falls, I bought a small poster that said,
      1. “God’s Will: Nothing More, Nothing Less.”
      2. I put it up in my office, then later I started teaching the teen class, and
        1. I put it up in their class, and
        2. the last time I was there, it was still on the wall.
          1. My point is, that is what Peter taught in this passage.
          2. It is God’s will that drives us in all, literally, in all that we
            1. do,
            2. think,
            3. plan,
            4. prepare,
            5. speak, and
            6. feel.
      3. For the Christian, what else matters besides the will of God?
  2. First Peter 4.3, 4 – Do Not Think Like the Gentiles

    3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you (1Pe 4.3, 4).

    1. Why should we live as Peter directed by the Spirit in verses 1 and 2?
      1. Because we have spent enough of our past lifetime
      2. doing the will of the Gentiles.
        1. Why should we continue to live that way?
        2. What good did it do us?

          21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life (Rom 6.21, 22).

    2. Peter specified some things of which his first readers had previously engaged.
      1. Even if these things do not picture your former life,
      2. you can the point.
        1. Why would we want to continue in our former lives
        2. that did not bear good fruit, but
          1. just led to vanity and death?
          2. Jesus did not suffer in the flesh
            1. that we might continue in those things, but
            2. that we might abandon them.
    3. Once we stop doing those things
      1. our old friends will think it strange
      2. that we no longer run with them in the same flood of dissipation.
        1. They live in a flood of dissipation,
        2. just like the people who died in Noah’s Flood.
          1. Now think on what people say to us.
          2. They think that you are strange
            1. for not doing horrible things to your body like you used to do.
            2. You are the odd one, not them!
              1. This just illustrates what happens to people’s thinking
              2. when they abandon the Creator of the mind, and
                1. the brain that it uses,

                  20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen…so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools… 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves… 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions… 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind… (Rom 1.20–32).

                2. The closer you get to Christ’s way of thinking,
                3. the more you will see the world’s crazy way of thinking.
                  1. The closer you get to the world’s way of thinking,
                  2. the more you will think Christ’s way of thinking is crazy.
    4. Therefore, Peter said they will speak evil of us.
      1. Peter has mentioned this a couple of times, but
      2. he has also shown us the way to counteract that charge,
        1. follow doing good.
        2. And do not just wait for an opportunity to do good, but
          1. make opportunities to do good,
          2. asking God to make you a blessing to the people around you.
    5. Do not think like the Gentiles, but do…
  3. First Peter 4.5, 6 – Think Like the Gospel

    5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit (1Pe 4.5, 6).

    1. Those who think it strange that you do not live an unbridled life, and
      1. who speak evil of you,
      2. will give an account to God for the way they treat you, because
        1. everyone will appear before the Judgment Seat,

          9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men… (2Co 5.9–11).

        2. Knowing these things, do not retaliate against them, but
          1. follow doing good, and
          2. let the Lord deal with those people.
    2. Peter said God is ready to judge the living and the dead.
      1. Just as in the days of Noah when the earth became so wicked
        1. that He could no longer tolerate it, and
        2. He judged the world,
          1. wiping it out with the Flood,
          2. so He is ready to judge the earth again,
            1. wiping it out this time with fire, but
            2. taking the righteous to be with Him to heaven.
      2. Both those currently living, and
        1. those who have already gone on,
        2. He shall bring before His judgment seat.
          1. The Book of First Peter is all about preparing for that time.
          2. Live with the coming Judgment in mind!
    3. For this very reason, the Gospel,
      1. the Good News that you can be saved from condemnation at the Judgment,
        1. has been preached to those who are dead,
        2. dead in trespasses and sins, but
          1. by hearing the Good News and
          2. obeying it,
            1. submitting to the baptism Peter mentioned in 3.20, 21,
            2. they can be saved.
    4. When they hear, believe, and obey that Good News,
      1. men will judge them according to the flesh,
        1. which Peter mentioned in verses 2–4, but
      2. they will live according to God in the spirit.


  1. The Gospel, the Good News, is 
    1. that you can be saved from the coming Judgment,
    2. not meaning that you shall not go through the Judgment, but
      1. you can escape the condemnation
      2. that God and Jesus shall pronounce upon those living as the Gentiles.
        1. Do you know how to escape that condemnation?
        2. Are you ready to do something about it right now?
  2. Does the following picture you?

    A Purpose For Suffering

    Jesus suffered for me God’s rejection
    which constrained me to make this selection.
    Though I turned a new leaf,
    it was not without grief,
    but I now understand His direction.


    1. If that is you,
    2. why do you wait?