The Christian Mind-set:I Peter 4:1-11


Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same attitude (for whoever suffers in the flesh has broken with sin), so as not to spend what remains of one’s life in the flesh on human desires, but on the will of God. For the time that has passed is sufficient for doing what the Gentiles like to do: living in debauchery, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and wanton idolatry. They are surprised that you do not plunge into the same swamp of profligacy, and they vilify you; but they will give an account to Him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead that, though condemned in the flesh in human estimation, they might live in the spirit in the estimation of God.  The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be serious and sober for prayers. Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

As Peter continues his apostolic teaching through sacred scripture, he exhorts us to arm [y]ourselves also with the same attitude of Christ. What was Christ’s attitude? He willinglysuffered. What may seem a forfeiture of our “rights” we, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, are called to do this; For the time that has passed is sufficient for doing what the Gentiles like to do. As we can see by the following list of sins [living in debauchery, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and wanton idolatry] these are contrary to the fruits of the Holy Spirit that we are called to live by [love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control]. Those who engage in a lifestyle such as the Gentiles will render to Christ an account for He stands ready to judge the living and the dead.

The preaching of the gospel demands a response! It requires a decision! Will we give up our “fleshly” desires, in order to live the spiritual life? Or will we reject the spiritual and cling to the flesh? Peter tells us that this is why the gospel was preached, that even though the flesh may die the spirit shall live in the estimation of God.

The end of all things is at hand. This  is a recurring theme in the New Testament. The Apostles themselves were expecting Jesus to come back before they died. Ever since Jesus ascended into heaven it’s been “the last days.” Yet, his message for us is the same as it was for the first century church; be serious and sober for prayers. These aren’t “gimmie” prayers, these prayers are intended to be the support of your love for one another which is to be intense. Intense? Our love for one another is supposed to be intense? I’ve heard of church business meetings being described as intense (not in a loving way I assure you) but never Christian love. This should be a real concern for the church today, for if our love is not intense for one another, how will love cover a multitude of sins? Jesus’ intense love for us, shown on the cross, is the love we should have [and show] for others.

Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Yes, this is possible and it is not optional!

We must also use our gifts to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. In doing so, we are serving God. All ministry, all vocations should be directed toward others that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

And lastly, when we preach let it be with the words of God.These words of God come to us through two distinct ways. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraphs 81 and 82:

Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.””And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound, and spread it abroad by their preaching.”
 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”

Also, whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies. Since it is the Spirit that gives life, we should realize that it is the Spirit that gives us the strength to love as God loves-which is “to  serve and not be served” (Matt. 20:28).

So this week, let us give up our pursuit of the things of the flesh and pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Let us also intensely love one another; in our prayers and our ministries and in our teaching and our service, so that “all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

Amen.

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4 Responses

  1. There were several things in this post I needed to hear today. That “intense” love thing especially. Thanks, I think. 🙂
    Amy

  2. Amy, thank you.
    You know, it’s kind of hard to do these reflections, even with a week in between sometimes. I have to struggle through those things that are weaknesses in my life; that “intense” love thing was one of them.

  3. Thankyou so much.
    I enjoyed reading this post. ;May God bless you dear.
    Many blessings.
    Seiahna

  4. Thank you, GudNewS.

    I hope it blessed you as much as your comment encourages me.

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