Thursday, December 12, 2019

Suffering Or Sinning?

"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. "
1 Peter 4:1-2 (NKJV)

Normally a light switch has two settings, on or off.  Sometimes what is called a dimmer switch is installed so that you can make the light brighter or dimmer, but no matter how bright or dim the light is, the light is still either on or off.  You really can't have a light that is both on and off at the same time, it is either one or the other.  There are many things in life like that, and even though some people try to have it both ways, we are still usually left with one thing or another and not both at the same time.

Jesus came to the earth as a part of God's plan for humanity.  In John 6:38, Jesus said that He did not come to do His own will but the will of God, and that is something that all of us should do as well.  In 1 Peter 4 it tells us that Jesus "suffered" for us in the flesh.  We know about what Jesus did for us on the cross, but that is just a part of it.  Jesus put God's plan ahead of His own desires, which meant some suffering on the part of Jesus.  We also need to put God's plan ahead of our own and do His will.

In 1 Peter 4:1 it says if someone has suffered in the flesh they have ceased from sin, and verse 2 talks about not living a life for the flesh but for the will of God.  This is where some real suffering can take place, doing the things that God wants you to do instead of doing what you want to do.  We are either "suffering" by doing the will of God or "sinning" and not following God's plan but our own.  It is a simple, but not always easy, choice.  To really live a life that pleases God, as Jesus did, we must put down our own natural interests and follow God's plan. 

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