Each Day in the Word, Wednesday, November 16th

1 Peter 4:1–7 (NKJV)

1 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, 2 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. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

Christ suffered for us. He allowed His flesh, at times, to be deprived of food and drink and sleep. He allowed His body to be whipped and beaten and nailed to a cross. He allowed His blood to be shed, to the point of death. He suffered God’s wrath in His flesh, all for us, so that we might never suffer God’s wrath in our flesh, so that we might be victorious over sin, death, and the devil, through faith in Christ our Lord.

This is the Christ in whom we believe. This is the Christ into whose death we have been baptized, “buried with Him through Baptism into death.” For what purpose? So that, as St. Paul writes, “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). St. Peter urges the same thing, that we should no longer live for earthly pleasures and for sin, but for Him who died for us and rose again, that we should no longer participate in the sinful deeds that unbelievers label as “fun” or as “normal.”

You will be ridiculed, if you do not go along with the evil deeds of this world. People will speak evil of you if, for example, you keep the Sixth Commandment, honoring marriage and keeping the marriage bed pure. They will mock you and think you strange if you don’t join in their drunken parties, repeat their foul language, or accept their evolutionary lies.

But judgment is coming, Peter warns, and no one will escape. Those who have lived for the flesh and rejected the sound doctrine of God’s Word will have to give an account to God. The wisdom of this age says, “Live for the moment!” The wisdom of God cries out, “Live with an eye toward Judgment Day!” Cling to Christ for refuge. Keep watch, and pray!

Let us pray: O Lord Christ, help us in the midst of so many temptations and dangers of this world, that we may escape the judgment of the wicked and be counted among those who are righteous by faith in You. Amen.

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