Peter takes us directly to the cross in the passage before us. He’s been building for this for weeks. You could just feel it in the text, as he pressed us with the call of submission and service in every area of life. Here’s the message: because Christ died, we die. But when we die in Christ, we live the only life worth living.
Peter tells us that Christ suffered in the flesh, and that we should “arm ourselves” with the same way of thinking (v.1).
- The metaphor of “being armed” with something suggests a fight or a battle. What is the fight or battle Peter is pinpointing? Why would Peter say that “being armed” with the reality of Christ’s death is essential for living the Christian life?
- How can you apply this truth to your life right now?
Peter says that we have died to “human passions,” which is “what the Gentiles do,” which he defines as “living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” (v.2-3) Contrary to this, we now live in the Spirit (v.6)
- The word for “human passions” is inordinate desires. Desires that are super-sized, extreme. Are you one that lives to have your senses tantalized? One of the ways you know you’re headed down that path is that you begin to notice you need more, or bigger, or better to get the same effect. Consider your life. Are you losing self control in specific areas of your life? Food, sex, media, work, etc.?
- There is temptation among some Christians to blur the lines between liberty of use and excess—especially with regards to alcohol. The Christian walks this road carefully and wisely. If you have ever wondered if you have a problem with alcohol, it is likely you have a problem. Please seek Christ and others for help.
- There’s a lot of talk in our day about living by the Spirit. This is good in part, because it’s a major theme throughout the New Testament. But what do we mean when we say, “live by the Spirit”? How is living by the Spirit different than “human passions”? How does living by the Spirit bring self-control?