Persecution & Suffering: 44

In 1 Peter 4:1-2, Peter tells us, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.  As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”

What Peter has in view here is our identification with Christ. He is our forerunner. He is our model. He denied His own desires, comfort, will, and safety, in order to obey God’s purposes in all these areas. He did not live for sin but for the heavenly Father.

Sin is anything we think, do, say, or fail to do, think or say that is different from the Father’s will. Jesus said what the Father told Him to say and nothing else. He did what the Father guided Him to do and nothing else. In so doing, He perfectly fulfilled the Father’s will in and through His life. He reflected the Father.

All this was achieved through Jesus’ suffering. We are called to suffer in the same way, denying ourselves, taking up our “cross” daily, and following Him and His example (Luke 9:23). Thus, in a sense, our sanctification, our being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29), and our being guided into the good works that God prepared beforehand for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10), are all accomplished through the means of suffering.

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