1 PETER 4:1-2
“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 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.”
The recent WWII movies The Darkest Hour and Dunkirk have vividly reminded us that before the joy of victory comes battle. Those individuals who were finally set free from the awful power of enemy forces were forever mindful of the debt they owed. Jubilant celebration combined with gratitude to produce deep changes as the years of bondage gave way to new life all across Europe. Christian, your greatest foe has been defeated by Jesus Christ and you too should rejoice! Sin’s hold has been crushed, enabling you to live out a bold, confident faith that is a witness of the victory of the Cross. Wow!
Celebrating sin’s defeat means crucifying those old patterns of living that Peter describes as “the lusts of men.” He’s not just talking about sexual sin, but all sin, outward and inward, that takes us away from “the will of God.” You may wonder, “How am I going to kill that thing?” I say, go to battle the moment that temptation comes. Be militant and draw a line in the sand using the Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit, a very powerful weapon indeed. The result will be that you give in less and less, I guarantee it. More importantly, God guarantees it because He assures us that if we walk in His Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Fully embrace the victory of Christ and watch what happens. I believe that a grateful love, a reckless love, will arise in your heart – one that desires the will of God and puts to death self-will. This is the life of continual victory. This is the newness of life that the Lord desires for each of His own. May you experience it daily.
– Pastor Jack
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