Armed With The Mind of Christ

Armed With The Mind of Christ

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Submission; Self-denial; Self-control / 1 Peter 4:1–2

The key to success in most things is the proper mindset. In martial arts we are taught that the body will do what the mind will allow. As we try to shine as lights in a very dark world, we are faced with many things that would dim our light. An effective Christian has learned to obtain and maintain the right mindset.  

The Apostle Peter has been telling his sojourners that Jesus is our example. This evening we will learn that in order to effectively glorify God in our lifestyle we must arm ourselves with the mind of Christ.

The Mindset of Christ’s Selflessness.

1 Peter 4:1 KJV

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;

The words “suffered in the flesh” are in the same construction as the similar phrase “being put to death in the flesh” (3:18). In the latter expression we found that Peter was speaking of the fact that our Lord was put to death with respect to the flesh, thus suffering with respect to the flesh. This suffering was the result of unjust treatment. The same holds true in 4:1 where the Christian who has suffered in the flesh is the Christian who has suffered ill-treatment from the persecuting world of sinners. The fact that he has been persecuted is an indication of another fact, namely, that he has ceased from sin. The world directs its persecution against those who are living lives of obedience to God, thus those who have ceased from sin. The verb is passive. Literally, the Christian “hath got release” from sin. God broke the power of sin in his life when He saved him. Thus our reaction to unjust suffering should be that of a saint, not a sinner, since we have in salvation been released from sin’s compelling power.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 110–111.

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Philippians 2:5–8 KJV

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

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A.W. Tozer nailed the nail on the head, saying, “In every Christians heart there is a cross and a throne and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among believers today. We want to be saved but insist Christ do all the dying.”

Arm Yourself With Christ’s Sinlessness.

1 Peter 4:1 KJV

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;

Galatians 5:16–18 KJV

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 

But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

 Finally, the point is that once the Christian grasps this insight he will realize from the example of Christ in 3:18–22 that he must live for God now (which means a suffering in the flesh and thus a battling of sin), for that will lead to a parallel victory (a state of having ceased from sin).1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 149.

Romans 6:6–7 KJV

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

A wife came to the conclusion that carbonated drinks were having negative physical effects on her family and herself and so decided that they should give them up. But how would she convince her three-year-old daughter, who liked them so much, that it was necessary to stop drinking them?

As the wife was telling her husband of her decision, the little girl piped up to ask, “Mommy, we don’t like pop any more?” Mommy said “That’s right!”—and that was all it took.

Oh, for such a readiness to give up something when we learn that God does not want us to do it1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 335–336.

Arm Yourself With Christ’s Surrender.

1 Peter 4:2 KJV

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.

As a result Christians who have adopted Christ’s mind-set have counted themselves dead to sin. They live the rest of their lives not for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God (cf. 2:15; 3:17; 4:19).1

1 Roger M. Raymer, “1 Peter,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 852.

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In this verse, the apostle tells his readers why God breaks the power of the sinful nature at the moment the Christian is saved. It is in order that he should no longer live the rest of his earthly life in the sphere of the cravings (lusts) of men, but live in the sphere of the will of God. The word “lust” in Greek speaks of any strong craving, here, an evil craving.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 111.

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On the other hand, since the flesh is weak and fallen, it is the mode of existence in which the evil impulse in human beings operates. Believers thus have a choice: (1) they can live their remaining time “for human desires,” or (2) they can live it “for the will of God.” The use of “desire” for this generalized “I want” within (“If it feels good, do it”) has already been noted by us earlier in 1 Peter (1:14; 2:11). What is unusual is his use of “human” to mean the same thing as “fleshly” (2:11) or “heathen” (4:3 = “will of the nations”). In other words, “human” means “unredeemed humanity.” Thus there is a clear choice between taking the path of least resistance to their natural desires and their committing themselves to follow God’s will, even if it entails suffering.1

1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 150.

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Andrew Murray put it this way, “Many Christians fear and flee and seek deliverance from all that would humble them. At times they may pray for humility but in their heart of hearts they pray even more to be kept from the things that would bring them to that place.”

Humility results in a life of dying to self which produces radical obedience and reckless abandon.

Jesus was humble and “obedient unto death…”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:58 AM September 16, 2020.

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