that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:2)
I love to sing, “What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart….” He has changed my direction here and my destination hereafter. Although that process is ongoing, it is relentless—I am not who I used to be and can never be again—forever changed.
There is A DISPOSITION THAT IS SETTLED (v.1). Peter has been talking about how Christ suffered for us in doing the will of God (3:17-18). This is an encouragement to each of us to be willing to suffer in following His example. Peter uses a military term as we prepare for battle. Our weapons are spiritual in nature and the battlefield is the mind. If we are willing to deny self and die to sin in following Christ, we are done with the lifestyle of sin. That is repentance.
There is also A DIRECTION THAT IS SET (v.2). The reorientation of our lives is from a direction set by fleshly impulse to one set according to the will of God. Our life will be directed by the lust of the flesh or the lordship of the Father. We can seek our own will or God’s will. Sin occurs whenever I rebel against the will of God. That means I have established my self as my own god—and that is idolatry. This is how we were before salvation, but if we are truly saved this can no longer be the case.
There is further A DIMENSION THAT IS SPENT (v.3). The Christian has come to realize that this world is utterly bankrupt—it is fool’s gold. The currency of our time was once spent for wicked pleasures and now it will be exchanged for eternal pursuits. Peter was writing to converted pagans radically altered by Christ! A Christian’s life is no longer dominated by the evils mentioned here. Peter says, “Enough of that!”
There will be A DIFFERENCE THAT IS SEEN (v.4). At first people are surprised at the change in us and then they scorn the change in us. Better to be scorned than ignored. So many claim to be Christians and they are chameleons instead! The world will call you a holy roller! They will brand you a fanatic. In my day, they mocked you as a “Jesus freak!”
There is then A DETERMINATION THAT IS SURE (v.5). “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.” It is inescapable. We must prepare to meet God. Either the account is settled when we die because the Eternal Son paid it or we will be settling up for all eternity—a debt we cannot pay. The problem we have isn’t just the sins we commit or we might eventually pay for them. The problem is the sinner we are—and without the new birth we can never become anything different. That’s why we risk ridicule and rejection to warn the wicked!
We have A DELIVERANCE THAT IS SECURED (v.6) What’s the worst that could be done to you? Someone kill you? Then you would enter the greatest life there is! Peter paid that price. Your whole outlook about life is changed.
Can you honestly sing, “What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart”? Christ will change you today if you ask; He will change you forever!