Saturday, August 8, 2009

Living The New Life With A New Mind

1 Peter 4:1-3

The most magnanimous event in history is that Jesus suffered for us, the just for the unjust. He suffered the penalty of Hell in the place of the sinner who comes to know Jesus Christ as Savior. What an adventure of suffering was this! He suffered Hell for us. Of all the theological discussions people can have, this one brings the greatest discussion, difference of opinion, and the greatest joy to those who understand it biblically.

Because Jesus has done this for us, we must arm ourselves with that same mind, the mind of surrender to God's will, even if it is unto death (See Phil. 2:5-8). This same mind, because the one who has suffered in the flesh (while still alive) has ceased from sin. When faith came to each individual believer, he suffered with Christ "in the flesh" through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, he has ceased from sin; that is, he has a part of himself that does not sin, yea, cannot sin (1 John 3:9). The spirit of a man who has faith in Christ does not and cannot sin. It is regenerated and secured by the grace and the Spirit of God, verse 1.

Therefore, that believer who has ceased from sin should no longer live in this life to the lusts of of men, lost men who do not know Jesus Christ as their Master; but he should live his life to the will of God, following the scriptural mandates for the believer and developing the character of a true Christian, verse 2.

The past life, which we lived among the Gentiles when we were lost in our sins, is not to command our lives, but the grace of God is to be recognized, embraced, and pursued for growth and understanding (2 Peter 3:18).

The ways we walked in those days in our lost condition are listed in order to remind us of our old mind, our old attitude, in comparison to our new one in Christ. (1) lasciviousness, which is unbridled lust and excess of sin; (2) lust, which the strong desire to sin--which was our nature under the law; (3) excess of wine, which, of course, intimates drunkenness; (4) revelings, which indicates half-drunken men and women who have late-night parties of excessive revelry; (5) banquetings, which indicates, again, drunken parties and feasts; and (6) abominable idolatries, which, of course, indicates the worship of false gods.

Notice the progression of these sins. Not only does the first lead to the second and the third, etc., but each sin gets deeper into the character of the sinner, thus pulling him down to habitual lust and sin; but also the root and ground of the matter is mentioned last. Idolatry is at the root and base of sin. Remember that every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed (James 1:14), verse 3.

This should be our mind:

(1) The mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16)
(2) The mind of humility (Phil. 2:5; Acts 20:19; Rom. 12:16; Col 3:12)
(3) The renewed mind (Rom. 12:2)
(4) The mind of service (Rom. 7:25)
(5) One mind to the glory of God (Rom. 15:6)
(6) A willing mind (2 Cor. 8:12)
(7) A ready mind (2 Cor. 8:19; 1 Peter 5:2)
(8) A sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7)

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