PHBC November 15, 1998
Series: First Peter, Ser. #62
PILGRIMS DYING TO SIN
Scripture: I Pet. 3:18-4:5
TEXT: 1 Peter 4:1-2 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 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.
INTRO: We saw in chapter 3 of this epistle that Peter used the example of Christ's suffering and death as an incentive to Christians to be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ. 1 Peter 3:17-18 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.
Peter then entered a brief discussion of how Christ, in his spirit, preached through the ministry of Noah and the prophets of God. He showed how, in a figure, Noah and his family was saved by water and how baptism, a like figure, saves us. Peter goes on in that chapter to show us that Christ did rise from the dead and has gone into heaven where he has been highly exalted in his Father's throne from which he exercises universal dominion.
Peter now calls up the death of Christ as an incentive to Pilgrims to live holy lives. He writes of our dying to sin and not living any longer therein. What will cause a true child of God to live a holy life. Some believe we need to put ourselves back under the law. I strongly disagree. I believe the death of Christ and the grace of God are much greater incentives for living holy lives than the law has ever been or will ever be. Since Christ has suffered for us; we ought to live for him in all holy conversation.
I. CHRIST'S SUFFERING FOR US IN THE FLESH OR IN HIS HUMAN NATURE
A. Once more we are reminded that Christ suffered for us in the flesh, or in his human nature.
B. In his incarnation his Divine nature was hypostatically united a complete human nature. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
C. Jesus was sent by God in the likeness of sinful flesh. Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
D. He was the seed of David but was also the Son of God—two complete natures in one person. Romans 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
E. He was of the nation of Israel according to his fleshly nature. Romans 9:4-5 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
F. He was made of a woman. Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
G. His human nature gave him the ability to suffer and die for us; his Divine nature gave the suffering in that fleshly nature its infinite worth and value.
1. Because he was human, he could die.
2. Because he was God, he could redeem, justify and save from sin.
II. PILGRIMS SHOULD ARM OURSELVES WITH THE MIND OF CHRIST
A. Paul admonished us to have the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
B. Jesus seemed to have the same thing in mind when he said for us to learn of him. Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
C. Consider also the words of Jesus found in another place. Matthew 20:26-28 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
D. Jesus certainly was teaching a similar truth when he washed the feet of his disciples. John 13:14-15 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
E. He did not seek his own pleasure and welfare but the welfare of others. Romans 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
F. Consider his love for us that caused him to suffering for us. Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
1. His love caused him to give himself for us in suffering for sin.
2. Our love for him should cause us to live for his glory and praise.
III. IN CHRIST WE ARE DEAD TO SIN AND SHOULD NO LONGER SHOULD LIVE LIVES OF SIN
A. Our text clearly teaches this truth. 1 Peter 4:1-2 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 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.
B. Paul declares this death to sin and its dominion. Colossians 3:1-3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
C. The true believer in Christ is dead from the rudiments of the world. Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances.
D. This is why true believers do not live in habitual sin. Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
E. We confess this death to sin in following the Lord in baptism. Romans 6:1-8 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
F. In view of these facts, our lives should be devoted to living our lives according to the will of God. 1 Peter 4:2-3 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. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.
G. Let me impress it upon all our minds and hearts again that we are not debtors to this flesh to pursue its desires and lusts. Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
H. In view of all this we need to consider ourselves dead to the flesh. Romans 6:11-13 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
I. Since we are dead to the flesh we are also dead to the law. Romans 7:4-6 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
CONC: The old nature does not have dominance over our spiritual nature. But, it is so much more natural that it is easier to follow it than to follow the new nature.
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