Considering Commitment - 1 Peter 4:1
July 17, 2023, 9:18 AM

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.”

Christians all around the world are now being reported to have to decide whether following Jesus Christ is worth the suffering and rejection by the political forces, family, and friends or remain in the Islamic faith. Following Jesus is not a matter of discussing various belief systems. It is a commitment to the person of Jesus as Lord that may require persecution, torture, and death.

As we focused on the resurrection, we were reminded of the victory won for us by Jesus Christ. The main message of Peter was, let those who harm you be ashamed for they do so because of your good actions, not for any evil reason. Then as an illustration of one suffering for good rather than for evil he points to Jesus who died for our sins. He was righteous we are the unrighteous ones, and He did so in order to bring us to God.

The death, burial, and resurrection is also symbolized in baptism. When we so identify ourselves with Jesus that we are willing to die to old self and live a new life, we symbolize that by water baptism. Faith in Jesus saves us, just like faith in the work of God by having Noah build an ark saved them. Now Jesus is interceding for us at the right hand of God and all powers are in submission to Him.

St. Augustine, 3rd century theologian, highly regarded as influence Christianity with his organizing Biblical thought and study. He was faced with his sinful life and was weeping in remorse. “I was weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when I heard the voice of children from a neighboring house chanting, "take up and read; take up and read." I could not remember ever having heard the like, so checking the torrent of my tears, I arose, interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book and read the first chapter I should find. Eagerly then I returned to the place where I had laid the volume of the apostle. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: "Not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not is strife and envy; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." No further would I read, nor did I need to. For instantly at the end of this sentence, it seemed as if a light of serenity infused into my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away. “

The commitment to follow Jesus brought Augustine a sense of release from sin and burden from guilt. This path, which he would take, would be used by God to influence people in remarkable ways for centuries that follow.

Application:  Think on this, since the first century, all the disciples had to put their lives on the line for their commitment to Jesus. The question of suffering causes Christians to evaluate their lives as to what they really believe and if following Jesus is worth it.

Prayer: Jesus, as I put my faith in You help me to demonstrate the hope that I have in Jesus Christ.