Sermons

Summary: When we die to ourselves only then are we truly alive.

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4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

Since Christ Suffered

Jesus suffered. This has tremendous implications. Jesus, the Only Begotton Son of God-God incarnate-suffered.

The God who suffers

. . . If love implies vulnerability, the traditional understanding of God as impassible makes it impossible to say that "God is love." An almighty God who cannot suffer is poverty stricken because he cannot love or be involved. If God remains unmoved by whatever we do, there is really very little point in doing one thing rather than the other. . .

When I was eight years old, I lost my father to cancer. A week after his burial, I became severely ill. The pain in my body eventually paralyzed me. I still remember how my mother, newly widowed, cared for me. She did not discuss with me how I felt. Instinctively she took me into her arms and caressed my back with her gentle hands, reassuring me with words of comfort and love for me. I grew so sick that I was hospitalized. Since we lived in a remote village about 10 miles from the hospital, my mother carried me there on her back, walking powerfully, uphill and down. With tears streaming down her cheek, she said: "Son, Daddy is not here. But Mommy is still here. Hang in there. We will make it to the hospital soon."

This childhood experience confirmed for me that a love that does not suffer with the suffering of the beloved is not love at all. What consolation would it have been if my mother had remained aloof from my suffering? Of what help to wounded people is a God who knows nothing of pain himself? by Dennis Ngien http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1997/february3/7t2038.html?start=1

“Only a suffering God can help”. Dietrich Bonnhoffer

“Arm Yourselves” Peter says something unexpected “Since Christ suffered, arm yourselves”. The two ideas don’t seem related. And if you take the phrase after it is equally surprising: “ . . . arm yourselves with the same attitude . . .” What does arming yourself have to do with suffering? What does having weapons have to do with attitude?

Paul, I think, can help us understand this. In Ephesians 6 he describes our spiritual armor and spiritual warfare:

Ephesians 5:10

-the helmet of salvation,

-sword of the Spirit,

-shield of faith,

-footwear of the Gospel of peace, and, the only offensive weapon,

-the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

This is the armor. And Paul says our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces.

Peter puts it this way: “Attitude” –Way of thinking—our armor is our way of thinking, our mind, our attitude.

Philippians 2:5

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,


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