The Word This Week

1 Peter 4:1...

Do you remember what life was like before you came to know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord?

Peter reminds us it is important to remember where you’ve come from in order to withstand where you’re headed…

Expect no rewards from the world for your newfound life in Christ. In fact, what is to be expected is ridicule at best, and persecution unto death at worst.

Peter himself had already experienced the ridicule of which he speaks, from those he used to join in revelries with – in all the extremes of the lust of the flesh which had become the pattern of worldly life prior to life in Christ.

Not to generalize, but we can possibly imagine some of the revelries joined in by those hard-working fishermen by the Sea of Galilee which Peter alludes to. These were rough and tumble men living in very hardscrabble times. It is also fairly easy to imagine Peter’s exuberant personality readily lending itself to the kind of partying hard-working worldly men are sometimes known to indulge themselves in.

We remember some the first words Peter ever spoke to the Lord Jesus, “Depart from me, I am a sinful man!”

While Peter remains a sinner even in his born-again life - as we all do - something radical and wonderful has taken place in his life, and he has been transformed into a man as passionate for righteousness as perhaps he was for unrighteousness prior to coming into close personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.

You may expect those who partied with you in the past to rejoice with you in your newfound freedom from sin, but that isn’t likely. The truth is we need to expect the opposite. In general, our former fellow partiers are convicted by our changed life, and religious family members and friends aren’t happy with our transformation either. The choice to move away from the rituals you used to participate in even while practicing a partying lifestyle away from church or synagogue is an offense to those thinking their rituals and legalism somehow earn them favor with God.

Your new life in Christ proves neither of these extremes is true, and the Holy Spirit now alive in you make sure this is so. You don’t even have to say a word. Life in Christ has that kind of impact on people you know.

If only they could, they would put that life to death in you. In Peter’s case, they did.

Pastor Bill