They are Surprised When..

1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.”

Now Jesus Christ is God. He is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Around 2000 years ago he left his throne in heaven, came to the earth, and was born as a baby to a human mother, conceived of the Holy Spirit. He humbled himself, became a servant, suffered like we suffer, was tempted as we are, yet without sin, and he was crucified on a cross by his enemies although he had done no wrong. But his death on that cross is what brought life to us who put our faith and trust in him.

When Jesus Christ died on that cross he took upon himself the sins of the entire world. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). He died that we would live for him and no longer for ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:15). And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our lives (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

But Jesus did not remain in the grave. On the third day, as he had promised, he was resurrected from the dead, and he appeared to many people before he went back to heaven to be with God the Father. Then he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell his followers, to be Jesus to us since he was no longer on the earth in person with his followers. But this way he can be with his followers everywhere all over the earth, for he lives within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is given to us to teach us all things.

Now by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, whereby we die with Christ to sin and whereby we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, we are delivered from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we can now walk in his holiness and righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit living within us. So sin is to no longer reign in our mortal bodies, for how can we who have died to sin live in it any longer? For our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. So we are to no longer obey sin, for that ends in death.

[Isaiah 53:1-12; Matt 26:26-29; Lu 9:23-26; Lu 17:25; Jn 1:1-36; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 8:24,58; Jn 10:30-33; Jn 20:28-29; Rom 5:8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 9:5; 1 Co 11:23-32; 1 Co 15:1-8; Eph 4:17-24; Php 2:5-11; Col 2:9; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 1:8-9; Heb 2:14-15; Heb 4:15; 2 Pet 1:1]

1 Peter 4:3 ESV

“For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.”

“Gentiles” was a word used to describe the ungodly of this world. They are those who do not trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. But this includes those making false confessions of Christ as Lord, too. For many people, at least here in America, make professions of faith in Jesus Christ, but it is lip service only, for their professions of faith are not followed by living out that faith in their daily lives. So they are still among the ungodly. But we don’t use the term “Gentiles” to describe the ungodly anymore since that was a term used also to describe non-Jews.

But the point here is that, when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord (Owner-Master) and Savior of our lives, it means we die with him to our old lives of living in sin and for self, and we are reborn of the Spirit of God, raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. So sin is to no longer have mastery over our lives, but now we should be living under the control of the Holy Spirit in walks of purity, holiness, and godliness and in obedience to Christ.

Yet, many people today, at least here in America, who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior, are still living like the ungodly. They are still living in slavery to the passions of their sinful flesh. They are still regularly engaged in acts of sexual immorality and in following after the sinful passions of their flesh. Sin still has mastery over their lives. They are still being given over to drunkenness and to intoxication to multiple sins and to lawless idolatry in many different areas. And this should never describe a follower of Christ!

1 Peter 4:4-5 ESV

“With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”

And now if you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, and you have genuinely died with Christ to your former way of living, and you are walking now according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, you are going to be opposed and criticized and falsely accused and mocked for your walks of sincere devotion to Jesus Christ. And it won’t just be the ungodly of this world who make no professions of faith in Jesus who will stand against you or who will abandon and reject you. But it will be professers of faith, too.

For, at least here in America, it appears that the majority of those professing faith in Jesus Christ are not walking in purity of devotion to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives, but they are living carnal and worldly lives to where there is not much of a distinction between the church and the world anymore. Many Christians and non-Christians are all doing the same stuff, watching all the same movies and videos and are listening to the same music and are talking the same conversations about the same stuff.

And so if you step out of that worldly scene, and you decide to take God and his word seriously, and to walk in purity of devotion to the Lord, by the grace of God, and in the power of God’s Spirit, then you get called names such as “hyper-religious” or “religious fanatic” or “self-righteous” or “legalistic,” etc. Or people accuse you of being intolerant and judgmental and not loving because you are teaching on holiness and righteousness and against deliberate and habitual sin.

But you must not let their treatment of you discourage or dishearten you. You must keep serving the Lord and walking in his ways and in his truth despite how others treat you or speak of you. For we are all going to have to give an account to God one day for how we lived our lives on this earth. And for those who chose the path of the flesh and not the way of the Spirit, it will not go well for them in the end. But we who are following Jesus have the hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God.

[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 7:21-23; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 9:23-26; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]

Ivory Palaces

Psalms 45:8

By Henry Barraclough, 1915

My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,
And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine
With joy my being thrills.

His life had also its sorrows sore,
For aloes had a part;
And when I think of the cross He bore,
My eyes with teardrops start.

His garments, too, were in cassia dipped,
With healing in a touch;
In paths of sin had my feet e’er slipped—
He’s saved me from its clutch.

In garments glorious He will come,
To open wide the door;
And I shall enter my heav’nly home,
To dwell forevermore.

Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.
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