Incorruptible Day 15 Surprised By Hope: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What does the phrase “he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” mean?

2) In this passage of Scripture there are six sins listed. Why these specific six?

3) What does it mean that “The gospel was preached also to those who are dead”?

1 Peter 4:1-6

Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same understanding – because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin – 2 in order to live the remaining time in the flesh no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. 3 For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you don’t join them in the same flood of wild living—and they slander you. 5 They will give an account to the one who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.6 For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged in the flesh according to human standards, they might live in the spirit according to God’s standards.

Original Intent

1) What does the phrase “he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” mean?
Peter is detailing out for his readers the priceless, incorruptible inheritance that every believer receives upon asking Jesus to save them from sin. He describes how Jesus, who was God in the flesh, suffered for Sin while in the flesh on our behalf and won over Sin. Because Jesus was victorious over Sin for us, we can now experience freedom from the Sin Nature in our daily lives. Every day, those who have been made new in Jesus and given His nature instead of their old, sinful one, have the choice to either live like a redeemed soul and “cease from sin” or fall back into the old pattern of sinful living.
To “suffer in the flesh” is to fight against the old Sin nature, and choose the path of life allowed by the Spirit. If we suffer for doing what is right and remain strong in obedience to God, we have made a decisive and intentional break from sin and have chosen to live by the Spirit.
To “cease from sin” doesn’t mean one no longer sins at all, but rather that we have been set free from the power of sin and have the ability to choose God’s way instead of Sin’s way (which was impossible when we had a Sin Nature before Jesus rescued us).

2) In this passage of Scripture there are six sins listed. Why these specific six?
In researching several commentaries, the general consensus is that in the era Peter lived, these specific sins were among the most prevalent. The pagan background comprised most of Peter’s audience in that day. The six sins mentioned have a dependence on one another, with one sin drawing upon another in a snowball type effect.
Carrying on in an unrestrained behavior” is not simply exhibiting lacking self-control, but specifically in a manner that had sexual overtones.
Evil desires” is a broad phrase encompassing the idea of passionately longing for and lusting after that which is forbidden.
Drunkenness” is obvious as in the act of becoming drunk on alcohol.
Orgies” is again a similar definition as it is today. Wild sexual promiscuity, generally occurring with multiple partners and the influence of alcohol.
in the Greek is originally tied to loud, late-night parties where the wine and beer would flow, orgies would happen, and (like the next description on the list), was for the purpose of honoring Greek gods.
“Lawless idolatry”
is the pinnacle of each of the aforementioned sins as it was typically common for this progression to take place and result with worship and sacrifice to false gods.

3) What does it mean that “The gospel was preached also to those who are dead”?In this passage Peter is referring to those who have had the gospel preached to them, had become believers, and then passed away. Yet, they are alive “in the spirit” (verse 6). The word “spirit” in this context and in the original Greek can be translated “in the spiritual realm”. The gospel was never intended to save people from physical death, rather to save them for eternal life. Here is the inheritance that is incorruptible! All people both Christians and non-Christians will still die a physical death, but for those in Christ, we will be made “alive in the spirit” for eternity!

Everyday Application

1) What does the phrase “he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” mean?
As believers in Christ, we have acknowledged our sin nature, repented from it, and Christ has crucified that Old Sin Nature, killing it forever through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. We are now alive in Christ! We are free to follow Him! But we live in a sinful, fallen world and the temptation to fall back into old patterns is always present. When believers sin, we are choosing to revert back and follow Sin instead of choosing to walk free in the pattern of life and godliness that imitates Christ. As we make intentional decisions to imitate Christ’s example of living by the Spirit and fleeing sin, we are “ceasing from sin” just like Jesus. Avoiding hardship in life is not our goal or purpose, and if we follow Jesus by living against the grain of the world, we are guaranteed to suffer for it. Being obedient to God is the heart desire for every believer, even in the midst of trials, temptations, sufferings, and mental or physical anguish. Though we have been freed to “cease from sin”, when we do choose sin and fall back into old patterns of living, we can seek forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) As always, HIS grace is sufficient and His power is proven in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

2) In this passage of Scripture there are six sins listed. Why these specific six?
As a follower of Christ, we are to avoid, abstain, and flee from not only gross wickedness like the ones Peter listed here, but also the “ordinary everyday” sins that come across our path. Peter didn’t mean for this list to be “all-inclusive” of sin, but rather to make a point that Sin has a pattern no matter what century we live in. Peter’s aim is to remind the believers that they are free from all patterns of sin!  Paul, in Galatians 5:19-21 also lists out specific sins and warns us of falling into Sin patterns. Paul also encourages and exhorts believers to “keep in step with the Spirit” and walk in His freedom! (Galatians 5:25) As genuinely born again Christians, we never need to return to our former way of life; we are free! We may struggle with temptations to sin, but by practicing obedience to God’s Spirit and living according to His Word, we are continually being shaped by God to be more like Christ!

3) What does it mean that “The gospel was preached also to those who are dead”?As believers, we are assured that after physical death, we will be living and enjoying blessings in the presently unseen spiritual, eternal realm with the Lord God! Such precious hope! Believers, at the moment of salvation, are crucified with Christ in their sin natures, yet they live because they have been made entirely new! (Galatians 2:20) When the earthly body of the believer dies, they live on spiritually with new bodies that will never again fall prey to sickness, suffering, or sin! Through faith in Christ we are made alive in spirit, just as Jesus lives in the Spirit. At the point of physical death, we are immediately in the presence of God our Creator. (Acts 7:54-59) When the believer dies, the body goes to the grave, the soul and spirit go immediately to be with the Lord Jesus, awaiting the physical body’s resurrection, where even that body will be redeemed, made new, and incorruptible. At Christ’s final return, all believers, dead and alive, will join together to be forever with the Lord in eternal bliss. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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