Summary: Peter gives us instructions for living in a world when the "two minute warning" has sounded
How Shall we Live?
Text: 1 Peter 4:1-11
In football the manner of play changes when the Two Minute Warning has sounded
In Verse seven of our text today Peter says that the end of all things is near. I think that thought gives context to this whole passage. The Holy spirit is saying through Peter that...
Proposition: We should live our lives on earth as if life’s two minute warning has sounded.
Interrogative: The question we should ask ourselves as we study this passage is the same one that Peter asks his readers at the end of his second letter: "Since the end of this world is coming, what kind of people should you be?
Transition: I see four important answers to that question in these 11 verses. First as Christians living at the end of time we should be...
1. Armed with an Attitude
You know what’s great about that line? I didn’t make
it up--and I didn’t steal it from Dr. Laura either--it comes right out of the text...
1-2 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. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
The picture is of putting on an attitude as a suit of armor.. Very similar to the passage Paul wrote in Galatians about putting on the whole armor of God.
And what is this attitude? Well it’s the same one that Christ took toward suffering--armed with the knowledge that once he had completed the task, he would never again have to struggle with sin or temptation--that would all be over. One he had suffered in this body both suffering and sin were over with.
What it’s not saying is that if you suffer once you’ll never sin again. It’s saying that we should understand that suffering for what is right is sometimes part of life in the body, but there’s coming a day when we will neither suffer nor sin. When you get that big picture as a result you won’t live your life as if you must satisfy your earthly desires, for a little suffering here is not to be compared with an eternity free from sin and suffering.
ILLUSTRATION: The attitude we should arm ourselves with is like that of a quarterback in the Superbowl who get’s injured in the 4th quarter. He would be willing to play through a great deal of pain for the sake of that victor’s ring because He know’s everything is at stake and the end is in sight.
Christians we who stand on the edge of history should arm ourself with the attitude that says I can see the goal, and it is worth any price to obtain it. The attitude that free’s us to do God’s will. This is not the way we used to live however...
3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you..
Verse 3 is actually a direct contrast to verse two it literaly says that enough time has been spent doing the will of the nations, this is in contrast to our new attitude which frees us to do God’s will, we used to live our lives to please the world, and ourselves, Now the world doesn’t understand our attitude, they don’t understand why we don’t plunge into a life of sensual pleasure--drunkeness, sexual immorality, worshipping money and fame, the will of the nations summed up in the phrase "if it feels good do it."
But we don’t have to live like dumb animals if we are armed with the right attitude--I can forgo temporary satisfaction because me goal is upward.
Secondly as Christians living at the end of time we should be...
2. Aware of an Accounting
5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
To live properly in our position we need to understand that an end is coming. Coaches begin to watch the clock very carefully inside the two minute warning, It’s important that they know where they stand. Peter says we need to understand that the end is near, that living in this time requires clear headedness, self control alowing us to keep in communication with the coach.
It’s important also that we understand what the end means--that the end means there will be an accounting, that wether we are living when that time comes or whether we have already passed on that we will give an account for our lives. Even those who have gone before us will be judged and this is why they needed the gospel too--it’s not just for those who will be living when the accounting comes. And those who have gone before and who have put their trust in Christ, thought by human standards they may have been judged guilty, in the spirit they have life because of the work of Christ.