1 Peter 4:1–2 (MEV): Therefore, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh serving human desires, but the will of God.
Therefore, that simple word connects the following conclusions to all that came before. It is that Christ satisfied our debt. Because He suffered in his physical body to do so, we need to put on that same mindset.
As Peter writes that the one who has suffered has ceased from sin, he’s not saying that you will stop sinning. This is still the idea of putting on that mindset of not doing such things. If we do, we put off serving them. That allows us to live freely for the rest of our lives.
How shall we live?
Paul said it succinctly.
Romans 6:11 (MEV): Likewise, you also consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We reckon ourselves dead to the flesh, and the sin it desires to serve. We change our mindset to be alive to the things of God. In that way we cease from sin, just as Jesus. It will cost us, and we will suffer.
1 Peter 4:3–4 (MEV): For in earlier times of our lives it may have sufficed us to do what the Gentiles like to do, when we walked in immorality: lusts, drunkenness, carousing, debauchery, and abominable idolatries. They are surprised that you do not join them in the same excess of wild living, and so they speak evil of you.
We are all familiar with our past indiscretions. For some of us, like me, we’ve done some of these shameful things as Christians. Thankfully, our sins are not counted against us. But those who are not saved still live like the world. They don’t understand why you don’t come along anymore. Here is where the hardship for each of us comes in, they will revile is for these things.
That’s okay. Nevertheless, it is sad.
1 Peter 4:5 (MEV): They will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
They will have to give account. This is the judgment that the believer escapes (John 5:24.) It comes after death, just as it is written…
Hebrews 9:27–28 (MEV): As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this comes the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to save those who eagerly wait for Him.
It is a shocking thing for some. The end result won’t be fun.
1 Peter 4:6 (MEV): For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, so that even though they might be judged according to men in the flesh, they might live according to God in the spirit.
This verse is a bit difficult for me to make sense of, but given the text I will attempt it.
This refers yet again to Jesus’ descent into Hades after His death. He preached the Gospel to those saints in prison. These are judged in the same way any believer in the flesh is judged. That is, their sins are remitted. They meet the Judge Himself. The Bible is clear, there is no other way to heaven.
John 14:6–7 (MEV): Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”
To know Him is to know the Father. He is the only Way. That is why He descended to lead captivity captive. That they, too, might live eternally according to God in the spirit.
It is the same way we ought think to live now.