#DailyDevotion Arm Yourselves By Thinking Like Jesus
1 Peter 4:1–8 Now since Christ has suffered for us in His body, you, too, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, that if you have suffered in your body, 2you have given up sin and don’t follow human desires anymore but do what God wants as long as you live in this world. 3You spent enough time in the past doing what the world likes to do, when you lived in unbridled immorality, lusts, drunkenness, wild celebrations, drinking parties, and the detestable worship of idols. 4They’re surprised now that you don’t plunge into the same flood of wild living with them, and they slander you. 5They will have to give an account to Him Who is ready to judge the living and the dead. The dead also once heard the good news, so that they will be judged as human beings in their earthly life, but then will live like God in their spiritual life. 7The end of everything is near. So be sensible and keep your heads clear for your prayers. 8Above all, continue to love one another fervently, because love covers many sins.
Peter here calls us to resist sin and not to act as we used to live when we were still dead in trespasses and sins, before we were baptized into Christ and saved by him. He reminds us that we have spent enough time in, “unbridled immorality, lusts, drunkenness, wild celebrations, drinking parties, and the detestable worship of idols.” Though perhaps you were converted as an infant and continued steadfast in the faith since then. Just one hour is too long to live in the ways of this world. The temptation to join the world in its thinking and ways is always there.
The people of the world are and will be surprised when you don’t join them in the world of darkness. They may say things to you to get you to join them. “Certainly your God wants you to be happy.” “What kind of God forbids you to love?” “I couldn’t worship a God who threatens me when I do wrong. Why that’s abuse!” Certainly you have run into other ways the press you to join them and accept their sinful lives as good. They may even begin to slander your good name when you don’t join them.
Pay no attention to them. They will have to give an account to him who judges the living and the dead and so will you.
So what should we do to over temptation and sin? Peter tells us to arm ourselves with the same type of thinking Jesus did as he suffered in the flesh. You should think of the Gospel. Reminding yourselves of the Law will not change your heart to want to obey the Law. It’s threats at best only keep you from outwardly breaking it and at worst are used by sin within you to break it. Instead remember how Jesus thought about you first. Remember how he suffered and died to make atonement for your sins. Think about how the suffering of Christ Jesus on the cross put away God’s wrath from you for your past misdeeds. Recalling that Christ has risen from the dead and through your baptism, you too have overcome death and await the resurrection of your body when he returns.
Finally, we who believe this are called to love. Peter says, “love covers many sins.” Not your sins. Jesus’ love covers your sins. Your love covers your neighbors and your enemies sins. Love calls us to think of others as Christ thinks of you, with mercy, kindness, love, faithfulness and forgiveness.
Heavenly Father, always give us your Holy Spirit so we may be armed with Christ’s thinking so we do fall into sin and vice but rather love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.