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Brevity of life in this world

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. They are surprised that you don’t join them in the same flood of wild living—and they slander you. 1 Peter 4:3-4 CSB

Peter recalls the time when the readers of his letter where still living under the bondage of sin. Continuing on from the point from the two previous verses that Christians should have a change of behavior when they choose to follow Christ, Peter gives some examples as to what type of sinful behavior should cease. The beginning phrase in verse 3, “there has already been enough time spent,” the Greek wording used is in the perfect tense, meaning that it is complete, never to be done again. Peter recalls this old life “Carrying on in unrestrained behavior,” and “evil desires.” He describes the life without control, one that is in direct opposition of a believer who is in line with following Christ and His commands. The next set of sinful desires, “drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry” were tied to the pagan worship during the time of Peter, where temples to the gods promote indulging in sinful activities. Those that became Christ followers were being challenged by Peter to not go back to that type of behavior due to their new relationship with Christ. They are no longer worshipping their former idols but the One true God. As a part of their decision to follow Christ, Christians should expect that they will be persecuted, “they slander you.” This is because Christian living is in direct opposition to the world’s desires. So, when they see you no longer practicing sinful activities, “they are surprised that you don’t join them in the same flood of wild living.” On that note, Christians are challenged to cease the old sins that they were freed from, knowing that persecution may come, even from those that they used to hang out and participate in these activities with, for following Christ is a life worth living. We need to be reminded that life is short here on earth and while waiting for that day of Christ’s return, let us live our lives as pilgrims for we no longer belong to this world. This is what Paul told Christians in Philippi who are persecuted because they live for Christ: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).


Isaac De Guzman


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