September 5, 2020 @ 12:48 AM
1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Sin (spoken of in 1 Peter 3 above) means to wander from the “law of God”. And the law of God is summed up in one statement. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law (Rom 13:10). The law of God is simply love. “Christ” suffers because of sin, or Christ suffers because of a lack of love. And;
The definition of Christ is the “anointed” of God or son of God [by Strong’s definition], and the Bible says that “…For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Rom 8:14).
Christ represents the body of the son of God which is the whole of the children of God who are “one” in Christ. “So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another…” (Romans 12:5). And;
Rom 8:16-17 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.
We all suffer in the flesh; in the physical. So, the Spirit of God (the spirit of love within that guides us) can also suffer because of the flesh (i.e. the physical, not spiritual side of man).
The Spirit is drowned out by the powers of the flesh, so the flesh itself is what puts the Spirit of God to death, initially (because God cannot really “die”), but this analogy of the death of God represents being “put to death in the flesh” in 1 Peter 3:18. But there are two deaths; the initial death of the Spirit and then the representative “death” of the flesh (where “flesh” represents the ways and direction of the physical).
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
Each individual person has the opportunity to revive the Spirit of Christ, the Christ within that is initially “dead” in the flesh, by presenting their “self” as a living sacrifice. And this sacrifice of “self” is what creates the child of God who is led by the Spirit of God, rather than by the ways of the “flesh”. [Where the ways of the flesh represent a variety of mechanisms within carnal man.] This living sacrifice is what revives the Spirit of God and raises the “body of Christ”. But a living sacrifice is not easy and there is a pain associated with it, hence the word “sacrifice”.
1Pe 4:1-3 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 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:
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
A living sacrifice no longer lives in the “lusts” of the flesh which means they do the will of God instead of following feelings and emotions. And it says the will of God is to be thankful - in everything. So a living sacrifice can no longer complain about life because their desires, feelings, emotions (i.e. lusts) are not met. A living sacrifice lives in the Spirit and not according to what they think they need. However, it does not say that the needs of the physical body will not be met by living in the Spirit, but on the contrary it says the very opposite. This is somewhat of a paradox. How can someone not want what they think they need, yet still get what they really need? It has something to do with letting go and letting God, and by having faith that all is as it should be and will be (i.e. a state of gratefulness), the very process of faith controls the good
outcome. In other words, stop complaining and start living.
Mat 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
It says that when you stop worrying and complaining about it, THEN the real need will be met. However, the process of letting go and letting God can be painful, because the ego self is sacrificed, and the mind has a hard time doing this.
In addition, the word “sin” from 1 Peter 4 above means the absence of love (i.e. missing the high calling of God who is love). So, ceasing from sin means to be guided by love instead of fear. But in order to learn to cease from sin, one must be tested and tried in order to learn how. The trials train the mind to let go of self, fear, hatred, excess, and the carnal mind and instead be guided by the love of the Spirit of God.
But the mind must be tried, and this trying is the suffering of a “Christian”; the tests to see if you can do it, just once even. And sometimes the tests can get harder and trickier.
1Pe 4:12-16 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
Suffering as a Christian means we suffer the loss of our ego mind that fears the world and what it may put us through. Letting go of the ego mind means we let go of our old ways of worrying and complaining, and instead are thankful for each moment that is given (and even in each “test” that is given). And the very process of doing this releases the Spirit. There is pain in the loss of losing our “self” and our old ways (i.e. Romans 6:6 - old man), but remember there is more to gain – your own soul.
1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].
Suffering for a while and putting off the old man is summed up in the following verses:
Eph 4:22-25, 31-32 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. ... Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.