PICTURES THE PROBLEM OF SIN
Sin is a powerful force which controls,
corrupts and condemns mankind. The only answer to the sin problem is the
precious blood of Jesus. (1 Peter 1:18-19.) Peter pictures the problem of sin
in these words, "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. 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. 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. They will give an
account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 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."
(1 Peter 4:1-6.)
Peter gives a powerful picture of sin by
contrasting two lifestyles. One lifestyle he calls "the will of
God." The other he calls "the will of the Gentiles." The picture is that of the joy of a life
dedicated to God and tragedy of a life dissipated by sin. Peter pictures sin
just as it is.
SIN IS A WASTED LIFE. Peter
said that because Christ suffered for us, "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.) The blood of Jesus removes the control sin has over
our lives. You should not live the "rest of your time" to the will of
the Gentiles. The rest of your life should be devoted to the will of God. Sin
is a wasted life. If you are living in sin you have been wasting your life.
Peter even boldly named some of the sins
on which they had been wasting their lives. He said, "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." (1 Peter 4:3.) Preachers always try to get people out of sin
so they will be prepared to die. But, better yet, let us get out of sin so we
will be prepared to live. Why waste any more time living for the Devil? No one
will ever come to the end of life and regret serving the Lord Jesus Christ. On
the other hand many will regret lives wasted on sin.
What a waste when people do not live their
lives for God and then hope to be saved on their death beds. Do not waste your
life living for the Devil and then hope to give God the scraps of a wasted life
at the end!
SIN IS A WICKED LIFE. Listen carefully to Peter’s words as he pictures the
wicked life of sin. "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." (1
Peter 4:3.) Peter begins this list with the word "lewdness" (NKJV) or
"lasciviousness" (KJV). Lewdness is sin that is unashamed or sin that
does not blush. There are sins which should shock and disgust us and yet the
world does not even blush at these sins. The people who commit these sins are
not ashamed. They parade our streets. They rally to promote their sinful
lifestyles. "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No!
They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush." (Jeremiah
Sin is brazen. Sin flaunts itself in the
face of almighty God. "Sin that used to slink down back alleys now struts
Peter also shows that the wicked life involves
lust. This includes sexual lust but it involves any unlawful desire that we
have. You will never find what the heart yearns for by sinning in your life.
Jesus is the only answer because He breaks the control of sin and removes the
corruption of sin.
Another part of this wicked life is being
out of control and unsober. Peter names "drunkenness, revelries and
drinking parties" as sins of the flesh. Happiness does not come from a
can, a bottle, or some powder or pill. These cause unholy and unruly behavior.
This ungodly lifestyle is a burden to family life and society in general.
Those who live according to the will of
the Gentiles are also guilty of "abominable idolatries." The pagan
lifestyle worships anything and everything but God. They worship money,
pleasure, fame, fun; everything but God! "They love everything but God and
fear everything but sin." Sin is a wasted life and sin is a wicked life.
SIN IS A WARPED LIFE. Not only are those living according to the will of
the Gentiles going to be involved in these sins but also, "they think it
strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation,
speaking evil of you." (1 Peter 4:4.) They will think you are strange for
not doing those same sins! They think it strange that you do not run with them
from one spiritual garbage pile to another.
They think we are the ones who are
strange. They think we are the ones who need to change. They even speak evil of
us. They speak evil of you because you don't run with them to the same
"flood of dissipation" or "excess of riot."
They are eating molded bread but we are
sharing the bread of life. And they wonder why we will not go with them. They
run from gutter to gutter trying to find fulfillment and they think we are
strange. The "will of the Gentiles is a warped life where people think bad
is good and good is bad and they cannot understand why you will not go with
them. God still says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who
put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and
sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20.)
There is a day of reckoning coming!
"They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the
dead. 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." (1 Peter 4:5-6.) There is coming a day of reward! "Do
not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves
will hear His voice and come forth -- those who have done good, to the
resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation."
(John 5:28-29.) Sin controls, corrupts and finally condemns. But, "There
is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not
walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:1.)
Are you in Christ? (Galatians 3:26-27.) Is your life according to "the
will of God?" Jesus gives us a hope that is both sure and steadfast. Are
you enjoying victory over sin through the cross of Christ?
By Charles Box,