Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh… (1 Pet 4:1)
In Christ, my past is forgiven. How? Because the sinless Son of God bore my griefs, carried my sorrows, and willingly suffered as the Lamb provided by God. For me. For my sins. What indescribably wonderful news!
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking…
In Christ, my past has been forgiven and I have been given a charge for the present. “Arm yourself.” With what? With a certain way of thinking. “Arm yourself with the mindset of Jesus. Think like he thought.” By the mercies of God, I and my perspective can be transformed. My mind can be renewed as it is set on things above and my thinking is conformed to the Christ. What powerfully optimistic news!
But I still need to allow Peter to finish his complete thought.
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. (4:1-2)
In Christ, my past is forgiven, I’ve been given a charge for the present, and my future is spoken for. I am not my own. I have been bought with a price. I have entered into a blood-bought covenant that must be taken seriously “for the rest of my time in the flesh.” Jesus is my Savior. Praise God! Jesus is my Guide. Thanks be to God! But Jesus is also the gracious King who has claimed the remainder of my life.
Take a moment to think about that…
The rest of my time on earth is not my own. It lies under the rightful jurisdiction of the sovereign Savior. No longer is life to revolve around my human passions. I have been bought with a price. The rest of me is to be dedicated to and governed by the will of a holy, merciful God.
My past needs a savior, my present needs a guide, and my future needs hope. The good news? Jesus Christ is willing and able to cover all three, as long as I will entrust it all–my past, my present, and my future–to his infinitely capable hands. But when my future is authoritatively spoken for, the rest of my time doesn’t belong to me.
Those straightforward truths certainly put this God-given Monday into perspective, don’t they?