They Think It Strange

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

The scripture says that we should “equip ourselves also with the same resolve” as Christ, knowing that “the one who suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” so that we might “live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will” (HCSB).

Brethren, I am gripped in the Spirit again, being moved in travail for the Church in this nation because there is not the mind of Christ!

It is as though sudden amnesia has struck the body and we have forgotten that we should no longer live out our remaining time for human desires but for the will of God!

O God give us ears to hear!

“NATURAL HUMAN DESIRES”

Give me a moment to address this phrase; the KJV/ NKJV/ NASB render it”the lusts of men”, the ESV renders it “the passions of men”, and the NIV/ HCSB renders it “human desires”.  This expression is talking about all such human desires as are not sanctified by faith- such passions that are not consecrated to God in Christ by faith- they are those rising passions that drive us, but not to God, that move us, but not in righteousness, that stir us, but not unto the glory of God!

This expression must not be reduced to only those debased and innately sinful “lusts of the flesh”, for I could not find a translation that rendered Peter’s words as “the lusts of the flesh”- which are clearly identified in Galatians as innately sinful works.

Peter’s expression is much broader and encompasses both those passions which are innately sinful and those that are not.

“THEY THINK YOU STRANGE”

It is now the case that those of the Church think you are strange- and slander you also- if you do not join them with the world in chasing after natural human desires!

They think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation”, therefore “they slander you”. (1 Peter 4:4)

Dissipation” is “mental distraction, amusement, or diversion”; it is an act of “wasting by misuse”.  It is the essence of what Christians who are redeemed by the blood of Christ do when their time, passions, and energies are diverted to pursuits that are by nature “passing away”; but Christians are being swept away in the same flood of dissipation as the world, being drawn into deep holes of “season long” distractions!

The results are catastrophic in the lives and spiritual journey’s of Christians.  We are malnourished and underdeveloped in this country!  Despite our historic advantages, we are oppressed by our own sin!

“THE PLEASURES OF THIS LIFE”

LUKE 8:11, 14   “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God… and that which fell among thorns are they, which, when the have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and the pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”

What is choking the word of God from bearing fruit in your life?  Why does the word seem to “bud” and bring forth “blossoms”, but never brings forth ripe fruit?  Because you have not died to this world yet!  Concerns for the demands of this world, your labors for wealth, and your love of pleasure is choking the word of God out of your life!

Crucify that which is of the world and touches your heart, for your heart is holy to the Lord.

It is time that we bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. We must not be moved by the cares of this world, nor let the pursuit of riches steal our strength, that you might serve the Lord in full assurance of faith. Again, let our repentance be known to all, that the world may wonder why we do not run with them in their fruitless pursuits and empty passions.

 

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