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May 17: 1 Peter 4
Numbers 26; Psalm 69; Isaiah 16; 1 Peter 4
Paul and Peter often say the same things without saying the same thing. In 1 Corinthians 6:29 and following, Paul says that “the appointed time has grown very short.” Therefore, we must live “as if not”: for instance, “. . . those who buy as though they had no goods.” In other words, to live in light of this impending judgment.
Peter teaches similarly in 1 Peter 4. There is again an implied “likewise” here (see post for May 16): Christ suffered for sin; likewise, so we too should have that same mindset, regarding sin (1). The Christian’s goal is to live for God, but sin stands in the way, like a pack of dogs on the road between you and your home on a dark night.
Thus the only way we may live for God, and not be overcome by those dogs - our passions (2) - is if we have a mindset of wartime violence toward sin. We must “arm” ourselves with this kind of thinking, regarding the past, future, and present:
The time is past for living the way the world does (3-4). That’s because Christ suffered first for us. But the future judgment is coming right quick, on all of us, whether alive or dead (5). In light of that yesterday and tomorrow, God does not demand perfection today (8), but suffering resistance. This suffering produces clarity for prayer toward God (7), and a generous, energetic love for others (8-11).