Honest Talk About Grace

In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross talks honestly about our need for God’s grace.

The first two verses of our study give readers a lofty goal to strive for.

Since, therefore, Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin),

So as to live for the rest of your time in the flesh no longer by human desires but by the will of God (1 Peter 4.1-2).

If we correctly believe about what God has done for us, we will devote our lives to following his plans for our lives.

Like a soldier who is armed for action, we will be prepared to follow God and not our self-centered desires.

Rudy points out in today’s video that no matter how determined our intentions are, we fail to fully follow Jesus. We join Rudy in giving God praise for his grace.

The Power of a Changed Life

As we align ourselves with God’s will, we recognize that God’s grace has delivered us from the brokenness of sin.

Dallas Willard said, “The cost of discipleship is great, but the cost of non-discipleship is far greater.”

It’s not easy being a follower of Jesus, but it is far more difficult to live without him.

Peter recalls the past and calls his audience to a new way of life.

You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in debauchery, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry.

They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme (1 Peter 4.3-4).

Many people who read my blog no longer live in debauchery, passions, drunkenness, and the like.

Idolatry needs further examination. Idol worship involves the trust of a substitute for God.

Self-sufficiency, materialism, nationalism, and human wisdom are a few examples of ways we can rely on substitutes for God.

Rudy rightly recognizes that gossip can easily fit into Peter’s list of things that should be removed from our lives.

Again, we need God’s grace if we are to live free from lists like these.

Many people experience rejection from old friends when they live according to Peter’s instructions.

Even though they may speak against us, if we continue to live faithful to Jesus, our lives will witness to the truth of God’s work.

The Gospel to the Dead

The next two verses are difficult to interpret. Let’s look at Peter’s words and see if we can understand them.

But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.

For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does (1 Peter 4.5-6).

The reason why we need God’s grace is because he is a just judge and we will stand in judgment before him.

If it were not for God’s love and grace that comes to us through the crucifixion, resurrection, and gift of the Spirit, we all would perish before a just and holy God.

I understand verse 6 to be best interpreted by Paul.

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world,

Following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.

All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, doing the will of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else,

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us

Even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2.1-5).

Praise God for his grace that brings life to people who are dead in sin. We live because of his love and grace.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I continue our study in 1 Peter with a video that can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

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