so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.1 Peter 4:2(NASB)
Christian character and Christian conduct covers a significant chunk of early church writings and apostolic epistles.. and Peter takes time in his letter to reiterate a believer's position in Christ and the privileges we have in Him. Peter explains how this should affect our relationship with others.. and impact every aspect of our Christian walk.
As elect believers, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.. who are sanctified by means of the Holy Spirit, Christians have an enormous privilege and great responsibility to walk in humble obedience towards our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.. Who shed His life-blood on our behalf, according to His abundant mercy and great goodness. By grace we have been given a living hope and an incorruptible inheritance that is kept for us in heaven.. by means of faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, which calls us to abstain from fleshly lusts.. as we seek to carry out the will of our God and Father.
As those that have been saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus, we have been made a new creation in Christ. We have been redeemed from the slave-market of sin and the purchase price for our freedom was the precious blood of God's only begotten Son - the eternal Creator of the universe. He set aside His glory to take upon Himself the likeness of man - so that by faith in His sacrifice we might become children of God and joint-heirs with Christ Himself.
We are no longer part of the old Adamic order that is dead in trespasses and sins. We are no longer estranged from the Father and under God's eternal condemnation. By faith we have become part of the new order, where Christ is our federal Head. We are members of His body, and have been brought into an unbreakable union with Christ Himself. We have been returned into fellowship with our heavenly Father, and have the indwelling Holy Spirit to guard us and to guide us into all truth. And we have been declared righteous and have been removed from God's eternal condemnation of death - which is the judicial sentence on all who are under sin.
As believers we must recognise and rejoice that we are no longer part of this old fallen, fleshly world system, in which Satan, the fallen god of this world.. has entrapped and enslaved us. Our lives should no longer lust after the fleshly desires of fallen man, but yearn to do only the will of God, for we have become aliens and strangers in a world that is not our own - for our citizenship is in heaven and we have become fellow citizens with the saints, and are a member of God's own household.
Knowing the value of our eternal position in Christ and the extent of our supernatural privileges.. how vital that we are loyal to our Commander-in-Chief and take note of our responsibility - to live godly lives in Christ Jesus. How important to abstain from fleshly lusts of men which wage war against the soul and how vital to seek to do the will of our Father in heaven.. knowing that we are aliens and strangers in this fallen world.
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life are things in the world that massage the old sin nature into ungodly acts and unholy thoughts.. but we are to abstain from worldly pursuits, evil desires, sensual passions and carnal cravings, which cause an internal turmoil and inner conflict with the new life we received at salvation - and which can sadly result in an unfruitful life that does not honour our God and Saviour.
We are pilgrims passing through a foreign world and our desire should be to do our Father's will. We are ambassadors who are sent by Christ to speak boldly about the truth of the glorious gospel of grace. We are soldiers in a spiritual battle for the souls of those that are dead in their sins and we are to be salt and light in a decaying and darkened world.. that has rejected the truth of God for a lie.
May we never forget that as Christians we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession. We are called and chosen to proclaim the praises of the One who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. We are entreated to take to heart the pressing plea from the pen of the ageing apostle Peter, who urges each one of us.. as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts.. which wage war against the soul - so as to no longer live in the flesh, according to the lustful leaning of men, but to conduct ourselves as befits our heavenly status. Let us seek only to carry out the will of our Father in heaven - to His eternal praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word and the wonderful truth.. and wise instruction it contains. Thank You that I am a new creation in Christ and am an alien and stranger in a lost and dying world. I pray that I may live my life in a way that is honouring to You and that I may resist the devil and abstain from all forms of worldly pursuits, evil desires, sensual passions and carnal cravings.. May my life be a living sacrifice that is holy and honouring unto the Lord and a witness of Your goodness and grace to others - to Your greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.