Summary: Every The Christian is "called to arms." This outline develops one aspect of that call, the call to be armed with a right attitude.
Being Armed with the Right Attitude
Dr. Russell K. Tardo
Being Armed with the Right Attitude
1Forasmuch 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. 2That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3For 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: 4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you. 5Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. [1Pe. 4:1-6]
A. The Call to Arms.
Christians are called to arms. The Greek language depicts a soldier putting on his heavy armor. There is another word used for light armor. Peter is telling them to arm themselves with the same attitude that Christ had (similar to what Paul said in Ephesians 6). As Christians, believers are to take up the spiritual arms of a right attitude, the attitude that Christ had. For our attitudes are our weapons, our arms. If attitudes are weak, negative, doubting, wrong, etc., then we will most assuredly be defeated in battle. A right attitude is one of joy, energy, victory, expectancy -- one that is positive in all ways.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.... [Prov. 23:7]
Your outlook determines outcome! Expect good and you won’t be disappointed; expect evil or negative and you won’t be disappointed there either. Like any weapon, we can use our attitude on our enemies or turn and use it on ourselves.
Have you honestly appraised your attitudes lately? We all need to examine our attitudes. What’s your problem(s)? Financial, health, family, job? What’s your outlook been? What’s your confession? We’ve got to have a right attitude if we expect to have a right life.
B. Christ-like Attitudes.
The Bible tells of three specific areas where the believer is to have the same attitude as Christ:
1. The Right Attitude toward Suffering: Our attitude in the midst of trial or persecution is to be the same as that of Jesus -- non-resistant, non-retaliatory, non-threatening, and never bitter.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. [Matt. 5:44]
We’re to arm ourselves with the attitude of Christ in all situations.
12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But 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. 14If 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. [1 Pe. 4:12-14]
The believer’s attitude toward suffering or trial should never be, "Why me?" Peter says in his epistle that if we suffer for righteousness sake, then our attitude is to be one of rejoicing.
2. The Right Attitude toward Sin:
...for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.... [1 Pe. 4:1]
What does that mean? Does it mean that those who suffer no longer sin? Certainly not, because there are many unsaved people who suffer yet continue to commit sin. The context reveals that when a person gets saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and delivered, a radical change takes place in their life. They no longer like what they formerly liked, they no longer do those things they formerly did or associate with many of the people that they former associated with. They become different from their former associates; they no longer run with them. So the former associates begin to ridicule, gossip, speak evil and make fun of them. That is being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. You are being persecuted because you no longer sin. That’s why you are suffering.
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.... [1 Pe. 4:3]
Here, Peter lists six particularly vile sins that new believers might have participated in before they were saved: