Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Being Christlike
1 Peter 4:1-6

1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For the time already past is sufficient {for you} to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. 4 And in {all} this, they are surprised that you do not run with {them} into the same excess of dissipation, and they malign {you} 5 but they shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to {the will of} God. (NAS)

Introduction

Mr. Don Colp of Mission, B.C., is a sculptor, but his main tool is a chainsaw. Give him a block of wood, and in short order he can carve an animal with his chainsaw.

As the Master Sculptor, God is at work in our lives. We may think that He must always use small, delicate instruments, but sometimes He uses a chainsaw! Or so it seems to us in our pain and anguish. But let us not fear, for He has a pattern in His mind for each of us, and He is shaping us into that design.

How does God shape us to be Christlike? He uses suffering etc.

Do you want to be Christlike? In this text I see the following:
 

The . . Armor for Being Christlike

The . . Activity for Being Christlike

The . . Abominable for Being Christlike

The . . Accounting for Being Christlike

The . . Aim for Being Christlike
 
 

 1.    The . . Armor for Being Christlike . v 1


1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

A.    Our Armament is the . . Mind of Christ. v 1 a
        ". . . arm yourselves also with the same purpose,. . . "

        1.    The attitude or Intent, your Purpose.

Phil 2:5 Have this attitude (mind) in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, (NAS)

*ATR= will, in the New Testament only here and -

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (NAS)

1771 ennoia (en'-noy-ah);
from a compound of 1722 and 3563; thoughtfulness, i.e. moral understanding: KJV-- intent, mind.

1722 en (en); a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position
(in place, time or state),

3563 nous (nooce);
probably from the base of 1097; the intellect, i.e. mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication meaning:    KJV-- mind, understanding. Compare 5590.

1097 ginosko (ghin-oce'-ko);
a prolonged form of a primary verb; to "know" (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed):

Illustration
A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, baseball cap in place, toting ball and bat. He was heard to say, "I'm the greatest hitter in the world." Then he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it and missed. "Strike one!" Undaunted he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, "I'm the greatest baseball hitter ever," and he swung at the ball again. And again he missed. "Strike two!" He paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. Then a third time he threw the ball into the air. "I'm the greatest hitter who ever lived," he said. He swung the bat hard again, missed a third time. He cried out, "Wow! Strike three! What a pitcher! I'm the greatest pitcher in the world!"
 

Illustration
Dr. Victor Frankl, the bold, courageous Jew who became a prisoner during the Holocaust, endured years of indignity and humiliation by the Nazis before he was finally liberated. At the beginning of his ordeal, he was marched into a gestapo courtroom. His captors had taken away his home and family, his cherished freedom, his possessions, even his watch and wedding ring. They had shaved his head and stripped his clothing off his body. There he stood before the German high command, under the glaring lights being interrogated and falsely accused. He was destitute, a helpless pawn in the hands of brutal, prejudiced, sadistic men. He had nothing. No, that isn't true. He suddenly realized there was one thing no one could ever take from him -- just one. Do you know what it was?

Dr. Frankl realized he still had the power to choose his own attitude. No matter what anyone would ever do to him, regardless of what the future held for him, the attitude choice was his to make. Bitterness or forgiveness. To give up or to go on. Hatred or hope. Determination to endure or the paralysis of self-pity.
 

B.    Our Armament is the . . Mastery of Christ. v 1 b
        "because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, "

*ATR=Temptation has lost its appeal and power with such a man.

        1.    Ceased means to rest.
                a.    Some Temptations complete loose their power over us.
                b.    If some temptations have not lost their power we do not have the mind or
                        intention of Christ in that area.

John Owen, the great Puritan preacher said this, "Sin in the believer is a burden which afflicts him, rather than a pleasure which delights him."

Col 3:5 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (NAS)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote: Not to realize you are in a conflict means one thing only, and it is that you are so hopelessly defeated you do not even know it It means that your are completely defeated by the devil. Anyone who is not aware of a fight and a conflict in a spiritual sense is in a drugged and hazardous condition Copied from Coy Wylie's sermon on this text. http://www.cornerstonebc.com/Sermons/dfd4.htm

Illustration

I Need thee every hour Stay thou near by;
Temptations lose their power
When thou art nigh.
I need thee, O I need thee; Every hour I need thee!
O bless me now, my savior.
I come to thee.
 

Application

Do you face temptations. Yes you do. To follow Jesus desire intently to have His Mind in you.
 
 
 

A.    The Positive Response of . . No Longer. v 2 a
           ". . . so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, . . . "
 

B.    The Positive Response of . . From Now On. v 2 b
            ". . . but for the will of God."

        1.    Sin Violates the Will of God.
        2.    Jesus Example,

John 4:34
34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work. (NAS)

John 5:30
30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (NAS)

John 6:38
38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (NAS)

Luke 22:42
42 saying, "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done." (NAS)

Illustration
Orel Hershiser in his book Out of the Blue describes an encounter with Dodger's manager Tommy Lasorda that would change his life. He called Hershiser into the office where the following occurred:

"You don't believe in yourself!" he shouted. "You're scared to pitch in the big leagues! Who do you think these hitters are, Babe Ruth? Ruth's dead! You've got good stuff. If you didn't, I wouldn't have hired you."

Lasorda continued: "I've seen guys come and go, son, and you've got it! Be aggressive. Be a bulldog out there. That's gonna be your new name: Bulldog. With that name, you'll scare the batters to death!"

"Starting today, I want you to believe you are the best pitcher in baseball. Look at that hitter and say, 'There's no way you can ever hit me.'"

Two days later Orel pitched relief and in three innings, he gave up only 1 run. Lasorda's talk (he calls it his "Sermon on the mound") had worked.
 

Application

The Activity for following Christ goes back to the Armament we have. We determine, NO More and From Now On.
 
 


 3.    The . . Abominable for Being Christlike . v 3-4


3 For the time already past is sufficient {for you} to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.
4 And in {all} this, they are surprised that you do not run with {them} into the same excess of dissipation, and they malign {you}
 

A.    The . . Sufficiency of the Past in the Abominable. v 3
        ". . . having pursued a course of sensuality, . . . "    KJV lasciviousness,

        [In lasciviousness] [en (grk 1722) aselgeiais (grk 766)]. All these sins are in
        the locative case with         [en] (grk 1722). "In unbridled lustful excesses"
        2 Pet. 2:7;   2 Cor. 12:21

*    McA The word is used to describe the spirit which knows no restraint, the spirit which dares to sin any sin, unbridled, unrestrained, vice. In fact, the old word is debauchery and that word meant an excessive indulgence in sensual pleasure.

        Lust, =  Lust KJV

    McA It means evil desire. It is to be driven by the animal instinct, to be driven
    by passion, it is mindless indulgence in pleasures that passion pursues.

        Drunkenness, excess of wine KJV

    [Winebibbings] [oinoflugiais (grk 3632)]. An old compound [oinos (grk 3631),
    wine, fluoo (grk 5397),    to bubble up), for drunkenness, here only in the
    New Testament <Deut. 21:20>)].

    Carousals, Revileings KJV

    [Revellings] [koomois (grk 2970)]. An old word (from [keimai] (grk 2749), to
    lie down), rioting drinking parties, in the New Testament here and <Gal. 5:21;
    Rom. 13:13>

MaC    Usually associated with the worship of false gods, the cults of the ancient time like the worship of Dionysius or Bacchus.

        Drinking parties, Banqueting Revilings KJV

        [Carousings] [potois (grk 4224)]. An old word for drinking carousal (from
        [pinoo] (grk 4095), to drink), here only in the New Testament. In the light
        of these words it seems strange to find modern Christians justifying their
        "personal liberty" to drink and carouse, to say nothing of the prohibition
        law. The Greeks actually carried lust and drunkenness into their religious
        observances (Aphrodite,   for instance).

Abominable idolatries. NAS & KJV

Abominable idolatries] [athemitois (grk 111) eidoololatriais (grk 1495)]. To the Christian all "idolatry," [eidoolon (grk 1497), latreia (grk 2999)], worship of idols, is "abominable," not allowed (the alpha privative (not) and [themitos] (grk 5087), [themistos] (grk 5087) the old form, verbal of [themizoo], to make lawful), but particularly those associated with drinking and licentiousness. The only other New Testament example of [athemitos] (grk 111) is by Peter also <Acts 10:28> and about the Mosaic law.These thing are Abominable.

We should not dabble in them.

B.    The . . Surprises of the Present in the Abominable. v 4
        And in {all} this, they are surprised that you do not run with {them} into the same excess of  dissipation, and they malign {you}

        1.    The . . Totality of their Surprise. v 4 a
                ". . . And in {all} this, they are surprised. . . "

M.B. Welch wrote many years ago in that lovely poem, "But the master comes and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of the soul and the change that's wrought by the touch of the Master's hand."

        2.    The . . Traffic of their Surprise. v 4 b
        ". . . you do not run with {them} into the same excess of dissipation,. . . "

        3.    The . . Tarnishing of their Surprise. v 4 b
                ". . . and they malign {you}."

Illustration
Like earning another million?
"Just in terms of allocation of time resource, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."

-- Bill Gates, Founder and CEO of Microsoft and Richest man in the world, Quoted in Chicago Tribune, Jan 13, 1997.
 

Application

How many Christians chase after the thing of the world? We should have the desire for Christlikeness. The things of the world should not hold a major attraction for us.
 
 

4.    The . . Accounting for Being Christlike. v 5


5 but they shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

A.    The Giving of the Account. v 5 a
            ". . . but they shall give account to Him . . . "

        1.    All the Non-Christians.

McA That verb "they shall give account" means to pay back, they'll be paid back. In fact, people who do that, who live like that and who cast aspersions on Christians and who malign believers are amassing a debt to God that they will spend all eternity paying back.

This verb is a bookkeeping term. God has it on His books. And they're going to pay.

Rom 12:19
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath {of God,} for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. (NAS)
 

B.    The Receiving of the Account. v 5 b
            ". . . Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. . . . "

        1.    To the Christ they blasphemed.
 

Illustration
Wives feel resentment when it is assumed that they are responsible for everything that goes wrong around the house. This is epitomized in the television ad in which the husband is upset because there's a "ring around the collar." The wife breaks into tears because her detergent has not removed the dirt from her husband's shirt. The ring around the collar is seen as telltale evidence of her failure. The ad never asks the obvious question--Why didn't he wash his neck? Tony Campolo

Application

We realize there will be a judgement. Our Suffering for Christ in the ridicule of our attempts to be Christlike need to be evaluated in light of the judgement. We will be rewarded at judgement day

They will also receive the reward for their evil deeds.

II Th 1:6-9
6 For after all it is {only} just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and {to give} relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (NAS)
 
 

  5.    The . . Aim for Being Christlike . v 6


6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to {the will of} God.

A.    The Aim is the Will of God.

        1.    In the Purpose.
        2.    In the Preaching.
                a.    To those who have died in the Lord.
                b.    They have been judged by men but will be judged by God.

McA This is a simple and profound verse. For the gospel has been preached means the saving message of Jesus Christ. Even to those who are dead, simply means those who are now dead. He has in mind some believers who heard the gospel and are now dead, some of them perhaps had been martyred, maybe some in the association of those to whom this letter was sent had died for their faith in Christ.

Illustration
Robert J. McKain said, "The reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first." Some years ago a headline told of three hundred whales that suddenly died. The whales were pursuing sardines and found themselves marooned in a bay. Frederick Broan Harris commented, "The small fish lured the sea giants to their death. They came to their violent demise by chasing small ends, by prostituting vast powers for insignificant goals."
John C.Maxwell, Developing the Leader Within You, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993, p. 31.

ATR=A. T. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

*V= Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

*McA= From a Sermon by John McArthur.