Embrace The New Now

Embrace The New Now

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Strange and Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Conversion / 1 Peter 4:3–6

 In England there is a paper factory that makes the finest stationery in the world. One day a man touring the factory asked what it was made from. He was shown a huge pile of old rags and told that the rag content was what determined the quality of the paper. The visitor wouldn’t believe it. In weeks he received from the company a package of paper with his initials embossed on it. On the top piece were written the words “Dirty rags transformed.”

The same is true of the Christian life. It is a process of transformation from what we were into something new and wonderful.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 81.

Last week we discovered that we should arm ourselves with the mind of Christ in order to endure sufferings and live right. In tonight’s passage, we see that Peter turns the focus on how we should view our past before Christ. In light of the salvation that was purchased for us we are to vigorously live in the now because we have wasted enough time in the past, our former friends will not understand us, and our future is secure. As believers we are to embrace the new now.

Embrace the New Now Because Our Past Deeds Were a Waste.

1 Peter 4:3 KJV

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:

 • lasciviousness

Then the apostle enumerates some of the sins which were part of that world out from which they were separated. “Lasciviousness” is the translation of a word which refers to actions that excite disgust and shock public decency. In the New Testament, the prominent idea in the word is that of sensuality.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • lusts

The Greek word translated “lusts” is not limited to the sense of a sexual desire, but has the unrestricted sense of a passionate desire, here a sinful one, as the context indicates.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • excess of wine

The words “excess of wine” are the translation of a Greek word made of two words, “wine” and “to bubble up or overflow.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • revellings

“Revellings” is the translation of a word which meant at first, “a village merrymaking.” Then it came to mean “a carousal” such as a party of revellers parading the streets, or revels held in religious ceremonies, wild, furious. and ecstatic.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • banquetings

“Banquetings” is from a Greek word speaking of drinking bouts possibly held in connection with pagan religious rites such as Paul speaks of in I Corinthians 10:14 where he forbids Christians to drink the cup of demons.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • abominable idolatries

The Greek word translated “abominable” means “contrary to law and justice, illicit, criminal.” These idolatries were forbidden by Roman law. They must have been pretty bad1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

Embrace The New Now Because Our Old Friends Will Not Understand.

1 Peter 4:4 KJV

Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

 • Your new choices are seen as strange. You are headed in different directions.

2 Corinthians 6:14–17 KJV

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

 • You no longer hang out with the same type of folks.

Psalm 1:1 KJV

Blessed is the man That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

 • Same excess of riot

The word “excess” is the translation of a Greek word meaning literally “a pouring forth or an overflowing.” It was used in classical Greek of the tides which fill the hollows. Alford translates it by the word “slough,” a state of moral degradation or spiritual dejection into which one sinks or from which one cannot free one’s self.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 112.

 • Now they speak evil of you

The people of the world, the former associates of these Christians to whom Peter is writing, thought it a thing foreign to the natures of these Christians when they did not run any more in a troop like a band of revellers with them in the same slough of dissoluteness. They did not realize that their totally depraved nature which before salvation had given them a love for sinful things, now had its power over them broken, and that another nature, the divine nature, had been given them as their new motivating principle of life which caused them to hate the things they once loved and love the things they once hated.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 113.

A young girl who had recently become a Christian asked the famous Baptist Preacher Charles Spurgeon…”What friends do I need to give-up now?” The Prince of Preachers replied “Hey, you do not have to give up any of your friends, they would give you up” 

Embrace The New Now Because Your Future Is Secured.

1 Peter 4:5–6 KJV

Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 

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.

 • You will not face the Great White Throne.

Revelation 20:11–12 KJV

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

 • You will face the Bema Seat

1 Corinthians 3:12–14 KJV

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 

If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Sometimes we can be seduced by distorted memories of the past. Like the Israelites who longed for the fleshpots of Egypt, we can sometimes look backward. Live in the New Now! We wasted enough of our bodies souls and time in the corruption of the past. Live in the new now. Our old friends no longer share the same things in common. Live in the new now! We no longer are piling up judgement but are now accruing rewards. Live in the now now!

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