| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 51 - Page 102 of 181 Index | Zoom | |
"For as much then as Christ hath suffered (for us text omits) in the flesh, arm
yourselves likewise with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased
from sin; that no longer he should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men,
but to the will of God" (4: 1 and 2).
These words of Peter are written to those who had or were already suffering for their
faith and looked for the early return of our Lord. During air-raids in the war we all
concentrated on keeping alive and the country surviving. The pleasures and fripperies of
peace days were willingly given up and ignored. The mind was set on victory.
Something of this nature was urged in those days of crisis. Having suffered so much for
their faith they were not to look back and indulge again in all the excesses that once had
been their wont.
The word `mind' in verse 1 has the sense of intent or purpose and is linked to Heb. 4:
where it occurs in verse 12. It is in a similar context. Paul is pressing Jewish believers,
now that the moment of their rest was so near, not to fail at the last moment for:
"The Word of God (here viewed as synonymous with Christ) is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword, . . . . . a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
the heart" (Heb. 4: 12).
Their hearts were an open book to the One Who was now at God's right hand and so
the appeal for faithfulness to the end of the road. Again the `two-edged sword' in the last
reference looks forward to John's message from Christ in Revelation.
"And He had in His right hand seven stars (seven angels): and out of His mouth went
a sharp two-edged sword . . . . ." (Rev. 1: 16).
The message to each of the seven churches in Asia at the time of the end was one of
correcting certain faults and sins before it was too late and the coming of Christ was upon
them. Peter's exhortation was: they were never to return to their excesses, of which they
were guilty before conversion.
"Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot,
speaking evil of you" (4: 4).
The sanctification or separation of the believers' lives was apparent to their old
cronies and the latter did not like it. There is always the tendency for the unbeliever to
impute hypocrisy to the followers of Christ, often seeing no fault in their own moral
standards. Paul wrote "Christ crucified . . . . . unto the Greeks foolishness" (I Cor. 1: 23)
and this opinion must have activated the minds of the past friends of Peter's readers for
Peter to use the word `strange'. There must also have been much Satanic opposition in
those days seeking to claw back those who had been saved.