Commitment causes us to Repent - 1 Peter 4: 3-4
July 20, 2023, 8:33 AM


“For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do-- living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.”

With re-evaluation of life, many will be confronting sin while experiencing suffering. Sometimes suffering is a result of sin. But even if we suffer as a Christians, it can also be a purifying experience. Peter said in Chapter 1:7 about grief, “These have come so that your faith-- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Suffering purifies us and causes us to reflect on how we are living and what changes need to be made. Former friends do not understand. They might get angry that we don't join them in sin or partying with them any longer. They don’t understand the joy of Jesus in a proper relationship that lasts in the long run.

The message in Noah's day is the same as in Peter’s time as well as today. I believe Peter uses the people of Noah's day, who lived in debauchery, comparing them to those who continue in their selfish, ego pleasing, God ignoring lives. Pleasure is for the now. Eating, drinking, and making merry was more important than the warning to repent of sins.

This is now the message of Christ to you. If you continue to live in selfish, pleasure seeking, God ignoring lives, refusing to repent of your sin and seek forgiveness from Christ who died for your sin, then there will be judgment for the living and the dead.

King Frederick II, 18th century king of Prussia, was visiting a prison in Berlin. The inmates tried to prove to him how they had been unjustly imprisoned, All except one. That one sat quietly in the corner. The king asked him what he was there for. "Armed Robbery, your honor." The king asked, "Were you guilty?"

"Yes, Sire" he answered. "I entirely deserve my punishment."

The king then gave an order to the guard; "Release this guilty man. I don't want him corrupting all these innocent people"

The people to whom Peter was writing could all say, “Yes, that was my life. I am guilty of being earth bound. Now I repent of that and will follow Jesus wherever He leads.” Repentance is our key to being released from the lusts of this flesh and finding the joy of Jesus.

When he is talking about ceasing from sin, Peter is not saying there is sinless perfection. In an article called “Discipline of the Darkroom”, B.C. Lovelace compares the Christian experience to photography. He says that in taking a snapshot, an image is made on the exposed negative the instant the shutter opens. Before the picture can be seen however, the film must go through the developing process. So too at the moment of conversion the light of the Savior floods the heart of the new believer and Christ's own likeness is indelibly impressed on his spirit. Then this miracle of grace also must be followed by a process of development. The Savior's image becomes visible as we are changed into His likeness. This involves the darkroom experience of adversity. In addition to trials, the Lord's correcting hand may also have a sanctifying effect on the Christian. Difficult as your “darkroom experience” may be, you should thank the Lord for you are being developed.