“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, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1
Christ’s payment- the propitiation for our sins – happened IN THE FLESH. He became sin for us – and then to pay the penalty for that sin, He suffered IN THE FLESH. [For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh – Romans 8:3; without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins– Hebrews 9:22]
Because of that, we will never have to pay the penalty for our sins. In fact, because of Christ’s sacrifice – death, burial and resurrection – we have been set free from the power of sin.
To live out the reality of those two truths – doing battle with sin will require suffering IN THE FLESH – so that our human passions do not rule us but rather our pursuit of the will of God.
Because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross we are free to be obedient. We no longer are slaves to our flesh. I need to stop and think about that for a moment. I know I am no longer a slave to my flesh – it’s time I stop living as if I am.
[“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” – Romans 6:16; “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” – 1 Peter 2:11]
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” 1 Peter 1:14-15
In other words, if this hasn’t made sense yet, here is my point: Christ suffered and died IN THE FLESH to pay the penalty for our sin- therefore we wrestle against sin IN THE FLESH to live out the reality of the cross in our own life. To live victoriously over sin will require suffering in our flesh. We have to stop being such wimps. I have to stop being such a wimp.
[“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Hebrews 12:4]
Diane Hunt is a Biblical Counselor, women’s conference and retreat speaker and author. She serves as the Director of Partner Care and Director of Women’s Ministries at America’s Keswick. She and her husband John have two married children and four grandchildren. She loves reveling in warm sunny climates and playing with her grandchildren.