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January 28, 2022

Suffering in the Flesh

1 Pet 4:1 Since Christ therefore has suffered in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same mind (because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin), 2 No longer to live the rest of the time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but in the will of God. 3 For the time which has passed is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having gone on in licentiousness, lusts, debaucheries, carousings, drinking bouts, and unlawful idolatries. 4 In this they think it strange that you are not running together with them into the same flood of dissoluteness, slandering you;

In 4:1 Peter points out that those who have suffered in the flesh have ceased from sin. Pleasure heats up the lusts of our flesh (v. 2); suffering cools them down. The purpose of Christ's redemption is to deliver us from our inherited vain manner of life (1:18-19). Suffering responds to Christ's redemption in this purpose, preserving us from the sinful manner of life, from the flood of dissipation (vv. 3-4). Hence, we should arm ourselves with a sober mind to endure such suffering. In God's economy suffering accomplishes a good work for God's children. Suffering very much restricts our lusts. The more material enjoyment people have, the more they will exercise their lusts and indulge in them. But if we suffer poverty, persecution, or illness, this suffering will restrict the indulgence of lust. It is common knowledge that the rich commit more lustful sins than the poor. If you have vast riches and do not need to work, you will be able to spend your time indulging yourself in your lusts. You may travel around the world seeking pleasure. But the Lord may limit you financially so that you hardly have enough money for the necessities of life. You have to labor long hours to earn a living. As a result of your labors, you have neither the time nor the energy to indulge yourself in your lusts. Even the desire to pursue lustful pleasure is killed by your poverty. It is dangerous to be rich. If you are wealthy and drive a luxurious car to make a display, immediately the lust in your heart will be stirred up. Do not think that because you are a Christian and have the divine life, you cannot be tempted in this way. The Devil uses riches to stir up lusts. God, however, uses suffering in the flesh to cause us to cease from sin. (c) 2007 Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of First Peter, pp. 232-233. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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Life-study of 1 Peter