Apr 14, 2009

Bible study - Resisting temptation - away from sin

1Pe 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 
1Pe 4:2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 
1Pe 4:3  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 
1Pe 4:4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 
1Pe 4:5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 
1Pe 4:6  For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 

The strongest and best arguments against sin, are taken from the sufferings of Christ. He died to destroy sin; and though he cheerfully submitted to the worst sufferings, yet he never gave way to the least sin. Temptations could not prevail, were it not for man's own corruption; but true Christians make the will of God, not their own lust or desires, the rule of their lives and actions. And true conversion makes a marvellous change in the heart and life. It alters the mind, judgment, affections, and conversation. When a man is truly converted, it is very grievous to him to think how the time past of his life has been spent. One sin draws on another. Six sins are here mentioned which have dependence one upon another. It is a Christian's duty, not only to keep from gross wickedness, but also from things that lead to sin, or appear evil. The gospel had been preached to those since dead, who by the proud and carnal judgment of wicked men were condemned as evil-doers, some even suffering death. But being quickened to Divine life by the Holy Spirit, they lived to God as his devoted servants. Let not believers care, though the world scorns and reproaches them.

Arm yourselves. The saints must be equipped for warfare and suffering. 

With the same mind. The mind that was in Christ when he suffered, a willingness to suffer to do the will of God. 

Hath ceased from sin. The idea seems to be that of Rom_6:7, "He that is dead is freed from sin." Suffering with Christ puts an end to (or ceases) our connection with sin. 

That ye no longer should live. Hence, because we have "ceased from sin," we should live, henceforth, to the will of God. 

The time past. That was enough time for sin. 

Have wrought the will of the Gentiles. Lived the unholy lives common among the heathen. 

To have walked. Peter describes the common sins, sins of the Gentile world, sins in which too many Jews imitated them. The first two are sins of uncleanness. 

Excess of wine. Drunkenness. 

Revellings. See Rom_13:13, and Gal_5:21. Riotous merry making is meant. 

Banquetings. Carousings, as in Revision. 

Wherein they. The outside world think it strange that you do not engage in these sins longer. Their enjoyment is in them, and they cannot understand how one can enjoy life without them. 

Speaking evil of you. Because you refuse to rush into their riotous sins. 

Who shall give account. Those sinners, who not only persist in their unholy lives, but persecute the saints because they will not sin with them. Christ shall judge living and the dead. 

For to this end was the gospel preached even to dead. This passage has been explained as meaning those spiritually dead. But the dead must be the same as in 1Pe_4:5, and there they are opposed to the living. Meyer holds that this is an expansion of 1Pe_3:20-21. There he supposes Christ, in the Spirit, preached to the antediluvians. Here, he holds, that Peter affirms that all the dead who lived before Christ came had the opportunity to hear; hence when the living and dead are judged, none can plead that they had no chance of life. Others hold that the meaning may be freely given as follows: "Whether you die or live Christ is your judge. For this cause the gospel was preached to your brethren who have died," etc. This view avoids some difficulties but does not seem to harmonize fully with the context. Others hold that Peter means all the dead who have died from the time the gospel began to be preached. These had heard and gone, but would be judged as well as the living. This interpretation has the advantage of giving "the dead" the apparent meaning of that phrase. 

That they might be judged. Without some opportunity to know of the gospel they could not be judged for its rejection. 

According to men in the flesh. These dead, who had heard, and received the gospel, though experiencing the judgment of physical death that rested on all men, were called to live according to God in the spirit; that is, live on, an immortal life.