SERIES Who’s in Control – a study through 1 Peter 4,5
1 PETER 4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
Title: God’s Will is Joy; God has a will for your life – one that is a benefit to you – it involves joy.
GOD’S WILL is Joy. The public perception of God is RARELY accurate; HE’S either portrayed as boring or mean. TV shows speculate about God, songs speculate about heaven. All humans speculate about God – but rarely accurately. Our culture generally diminishes the existence of God’s will yet hopes for an afterlife that is good.
Essentially all humans are asking the same question: A) Is there a God? B) If so, is he good? It’s in vogue right now to write songs with heaven or church in them: Kane Brown – Heaven, Marren Morris – My Church, Florida Georgia Line – H.O.L.Y., Andrew Hozier – Take Me to Church I want to CONTEND today that God is not just real, not just good, but he has A WILL & HIS WILL = JOY!
I want to CONTEND today that God is not just real, not just good, but he has A WILL & HIS WILL = JOY!
You know I have a WILL for my kids? (STORY; expound on the tension). It’s not robotic though, it’s not an equation of earning my love. IT’S BUILT ON ACCEPTANCE! I truly love them not dependent on what they do.
Recently my older kids were retelling an early childhood memory. Graham said: “Oh yea, I remember that!” Judson said: “No Graham, you weren’t alive yet!” o Graham responds: “Yep, I was dead!” Megan’s like: “No, you weren’t dead, just not made yet.” Graham’s like: “Yea, whatever, that makes no sense to me.” The love I have for my kids isn’t because they’re all knowing; I have grace for their maturing.
GOD WANTS HUMANS, his prized creation, to understand HIS WILL for them has grace for maturing. His will isn’t robotic, it’s not an equation. He did something miraculous to enter into relationship with us.
Verse 1 says: Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, able to live no longer for human passions. This text introduces us to sin. Sin is living solely and predominantly for your human passions. Sin is walking by sight. Sin is doing what “looks good” to the human eye; ignoring God’s desires.
Verse 2 uniquely says, Christ suffered in the flesh (referring to his crucifixion), [similarly] we too, if we suffer in the flesh can cease from sin. This is good news. It’s an opportunity to cease from sin! But it involves us DENYING our SIN. Vs 2 says if we arm ourselves with this thinking, we can live no longer for our passions but for God’s will! This is a juxtaposition that every human is given – live for human passions or for the will of God. One option gives eternal separation from God, one gives an intimate connection to God. I quoted last week, ISAIAH 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—everyone—to his own way. We’re all, deep down, tempted to live for human passions.
ROMANS 7:15 contends that we’re unable to avoid sin on our own! It says, I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, 2 that is, in my flesh. I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Translation: denying our flesh and ceasing from sin is very, VERY hard! Recently I was doing a timed, 15-minute really heavy work out. I had like 2 mins left and only a few movements. The movements themselves were easy for me to do. o I remember holding my knees thinking, “man I can do these sooo easy, I got this!” But when I stood up, I just couldn’t move. The time ended and I didn’t finish. That heavy weight made me unable to do what I wanted to do; thought I could do & needed to do.
You can have the desire to do what is right, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have the ability to carry it out. What have you noticed you have the inability to carry out on your own? Perhaps it’s fighting depression. Perhaps it’s fighting an addiction. Perhaps loneliness. Maybe you see a future for yourself, but are asking, “HOW do I have the ability to carry it out?”
SIN STEMS FROM A SEPERATION WITH GOD. Maybe you’ve never heard God’s voice? Maybe you’re struggling to hear it in this season. On your own you can’t battle sin – it’s too challenging. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. OUR TEXT IS SAYING WE HAVE A WAY OF arming ourselves though! We have a fighting chance.
I have noticed in my life, the inability to deny sin produces an emotion … that emotion is despair. Our text says that in order to deny sin we must suffer in the flesh. Suffering in the flesh means denying temptations when they come. And when I fail to the fight that temptation the result easily can be despair … “ah man, again! I failed again. How can I NOT fail?” Another word for despair is shame. Do you ever feel shame? ROM 6:20 says for when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to doing right. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things that you are now ashamed of? Living for your own will ultimately separates you from God – and leaves you with shame.
BUT WE DO NOT HAVE TO DENY SIN ALONE! You don’t have to battle alone! Christ suffered in the flesh – 1 PETER 4:1! Christ DID IT! HE suffered. HE took the pain. HE suffered a point that we will never have to suffer!
It is an eternal gospel truth that you are: 1. Able to cease from sin, 2. Able to resist Satan, 3. Able to deny temptations
BECAUSE CHRIST SUFFERED ONCE AND FOR ALL FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD! Get an amen? Sin makes you a slave to living for your own human passions and human will. Christ enables you to HAVE A MUCH, MUCH BIGGER WILL. Christ enables you to live and experience God’s will! Christ enables you to live in God’s will. CHRIST enables you to live in God’s will!
He did it by embracing the ultimate form of suffering – he suffered, our text says, in the flesh! ISAIAH 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. He hung on the cross for the sins you and I committed. He was pierced so you can be healed. He wasn’t just hung to die though; he RESURRECTED IN VICTORY and is seated on high today.
IN SO DOING, Christ enables you to now KNOW and LIVE inside God’s will. Some other ways of describing God’s will: The desires of God for you, the calling of God, God’s convictions, God’s truth, God’s light, the path of life, Walking by faith, the Holy Spirit’s leading and God’s joy. If you feel like you haven’t heard God’s voice, or it’s been dim lately: ASK CHRIST TO ILLUMINATE THE VOICE OF GOD for you! Because Jesus Christ came into this world to make you completely IN-TUNE with God’s voice.
PS 16:11 You make known to me the path of life and in your presence, there is fullness of joy! God created you, not out of random chance, but with intentionality, love and care! He wants to GUIDE YOU! I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you. – Jeremiah 29.
He knows you are tempted by sin; he knows the weakness of your flesh; he knows experience despair. And he comes shouting with a BILLOWING VOICE: “Come follow me! I have God’s will for you!”
And his will is not a “to do” list – his will is acceptance and love – HIS WILL FOR YOU culminates in JOY! Gal. 5:16 Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Since Christ suffered, you have the ability to cease from sin – to be freed from its bondage!
Christ wants to make the VOICE OF GOD for you today crystal clear to hear. PHIL 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In the same vain, PHIL 2 it is God who works in you, both to will & to work for his good pleasure.
This morning YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
This morning YOU HAVE ONE SPEAKING TO YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!
This morning you can suffer in the flesh and stop sinning, – you have a power to overcome! You can live for no longer for your passions but for the will of God. And the will of God is acceptance and joy! You don’t need to perform for God. He’s not into that. He’s into you feeling accepted and joyful.
But even more than that GOD WANTS TO GUIDE SPECIFICS IN YOUR LIFE. God have a path for you – he wants to make it known to you. It’s different from your spouse, from your neighbor, from your co-worker. So, ASK HIM. LISTEN TO HIM. Christ will ILLUMINATE God’s will to you, daily.
I want to close with this song written by Michael Ketterer from Influence Church: This is my worship. This is my offering. In every moment, I withhold nothing. I’m learning to trust you, even when I can’t see it. And even in suffering, I have to believe it. If you say, “it’s wrong”, then I’ll say “no.” If you say “release”, I’m letting go. If you’re in it with me, I’ll begin. And when you say to jump, I’m diving in. If you say, “be still”, then I will wait, if you say to trust, I will obey. You’re the only truth, the life, the way, I’m done chasing feelings Spirit lead me. GOD HAS A WILL FOR YOU in this life. HIS WILL IS: To replace your despair with overflowing joy, To replace your sinning with an ability to resist any sin. To replace what felt like distance with a crisp, loud, clear, near, loving voice of God in your life. He makes known to you the path of life and in his presence, there is fullness of joy
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