Under the Social Press

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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.  1 Peter 4:1-2

The book of 1 Peter is full of Peter’s concern for Christians under pressure. The members of his churches were under social pressure generated by their choices to follow Jesus and abandon patterns of sin. The pressure produced temptation to abandon Jesus. So Peter encourages them to consider how Jesus suffered when he committed Himself to the will of God. We need to “arm” ourselves with His attitude so we can leans into the will of God. We must enlarge our view of God’s authority over all people and His judgment over all. He writes,

For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.  1 Peter 4:1-5

Isn’t it strange? Here’s how the social press works when it comes to the flood of debauchery, especially if you had been part of the “in” crowd. Non-participation is suspect. You become strange when you refuse to participate. You are judged and maligned.

But Peter reminds us we suffer with our Lord Jesus Christ and He is a greater judge. We live not for ourselves, but for Him who loves us.

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