Having the mind of Christ
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— in order to live the remaining time in the flesh no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. 1 Peter 4:1-2 CSB
The word “therefore” from the text has no connection from the preceding passage. It serves as a conclusion to the thought expressed in 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” It is by having the mind of Christ that Christians would be able to face the difficulties in life. Peter mentions “suffering” several times in his epistle and usually it is because of the person’s relationship with Christ. Christians suffer for doing what is good for this is what they know as part of living the life in Christ. Such suffering is link to what Christ went through when all He seeks is to be obedient and follow the Father’s will. It is worth being reminded that having the mind of Christ will provide us the motivation to continue living the godly life for this is what honors God. “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17). Peter’s statement “since Christ suffered in the flesh” is a reference to Christ’s death on the cross that paid the price for our sin, “the righteous for the unrighteous.” Jesus’ endured suffering for us so we can obtain salvation. Peter wants us to understand that Christ identifies with us and what we are going through when we suffer for His Name’s sake. That is why we need to arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ, not for physical conflict but for the spiritual battle that every believer faces daily in their lives. Such attitude will prevent us to give in to temptation to go along with the ways of the world just to prevent ourselves from getting persecuted if we identify that we are Christ’s followers. When we identify with Christ, we say we are “finished with sin.” We are no longer in bondage with sin for the power of sin has been broken because we have surrendered our lives to Christ. It is true that we will not be able to live a perfect life while here on earth, but we are now free from the dominance of sin and our bodies are “no longer for human desires, but for God’s will” (1 Peter 4:2). We are no longer living for selfish desires but for the glory of God. “How can we who died to sin still live in it?... For we know that our old self[c] was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:2, 6-7).
Isaac De Guzman