1 Peter 4:1–11
¹ Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, ² so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. ³ For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. ⁴ With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; ⁵ but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. ⁶ For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. ⁷ The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. ⁸ Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. ⁹ Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. ¹⁰ As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: ¹¹ whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Understanding the text
In a sense, each Christian has two lives. The first is the life that they lived pre-conversion. This life was dominated by the desires of the flesh and characterized by selfishness, indulgence, and empty idolatry. But at the point of conversion, that life ends and a new life begins. This new life comes to us by the power of God and frees us from our old desires, giving us a growing appetite for the things of God.
Peter identifies a few key elements that mark our new life in Christ. First, we become acutely aware of the coming judgment. This motivates us to repent and allows us to see the emptiness of godlessness. Second, as a people who have been loved by God, we become a people who love and forgive each other. Third, as those who have been invited into God’s family, we become increasingly hospitable to others. And fourth, we begin to act more like our servant King Jesus.
- Ephesians 4:17-24
- Galatians 5:16-26
- Romans 7:7-25
I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am. —John Newton
Applying the text
- How would you describe your life before coming to faith in Jesus Christ? What kind of a person were you?
- How has coming to know Jesus changed you? What are some of the more significant changes you have experienced?
- Identify the areas of personal holiness you would like to grow in over the next year. What practical steps can you take to pursue increasing Christ-likeness?
Call to Worship
²² I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: ²³ You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! ²⁴ For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. ²⁵ From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. ²⁶ The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever!
Prayer of Confession
Loving Father, be merciful and forgive our sin. Cleanse our unrighteousness. Heal our hurts and reconcile our broken relationships. Pour Your Spirit upon us with renewing grace. Restore to us the joy of our salvation. Forgive our excessiveness and ingratitude. Make us a thankful people with charitable hearts, who drink from the well of Your grace, that this broken world will taste the new wine of the gospel. Through Jesus, Amen.
Resources for Parents
Did you know that the kids of Coram Deo are following along with our recent study through Genesis? They are! Every Sunday, the children's ministry team creates lessons that cover the scripture and concepts from a recent sermon. The teachers ask simple questions to help the kids learn to understand and apply what God says in the Bible.
We want to equip parents to talk to their kids about what they're learning. The following is the content that the children's classes taught this week. We encourage parents to use this resource at home to help you and your kids grow as you learn from God's word together.
Children's Lesson from Sunday, November 3
The Main Point:
God judges sin.
Q: Were there any good people who lived in Sodom?
Q: Are there any good people who live anywhere?
Q: Why did God give us His perfect rules?
A: To protect us, to teach us about who God is.
Q: How can we be saved from our sin?
A: Believing and trusting that Jesus died on the cross for you.
New City Catechism Question #42
Q: How is the Word of God to be read and heard?
A: With diligence, preparation, and prayer; so that we may accept it with faith and practice it in our lives.