#DailyDevotion Let Us Bury All Sins With Jesus
1 Peter 4:1–8
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. 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. 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. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Christ’ suffering and death in the flesh was his participation in our punishment for sin. His suffering has removed from the eternal suffering that we deserve. Part of his suffering in the flesh was also his resistance, his fighting against the temptations which are common to all people. He submitted himself to the Father’s will. Peter tells us to arm ourselves with the same way of thinking.
What is this same way of thinking? With the good news of what Christ Jesus did for us in his suffering and death. We too will suffer many things, temptation, persecution, the assaults of the devil upon our soul and conscience. Yet remembering what Jesus has done for us and submitting ourselves to the will of God will get us through these things. Having suffered Christ’ death and burial in our baptism we are armed with the Holy Spirit, faith and prayer to overcome sin and its temptation. We haven’t been saved to live in the lusts of the flesh but for the will of God, i.e. trusting in Christ and loving our neighbor.
Peter list a number of ways we might have used to live before being baptized into Christ-, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. People may be surprised you give up these things. They may malign you because you don’t take part in their ways. But you have been called to live a different life. Do not fear them. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, the living (those with faith in Jesus) and the dead (those who do not have his life in them).
Peter calls to us to live a different life: “be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” You have been freed in Christ to exercise self-control and to think clearly and seriously for the sake of our prayers. That way we may know all the more certain of the things we should pray for. And with the love Christ Jesus loved us (dying to our sin and forgiving them) we are called to love one another (dying to their sins against us and forgiving them.) This love covers not our sins but our neighbors. Christ’ love covers our sins. Let us bury both our and their sin in the tomb of Jesus.
Heavenly Father as Christ Jesus submitted to your will, may his suffering and death transform us that we too submit to your will and live our lives for you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.