Done with Sin

1 Peter 4:1-4 

1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.

Not Sensible

Somewhere in the Northern Philippines many years ago, a mother was busy cleaning in the living room. Her young son told her, “Mother! I am hungry!” The mother said, “It’s not lunch time yet!” “Can I cook chicken egg for myself?” the child asked. “Go, if you can find eggs!” his mother replied. The child was ecstatic and went. He found eggs in the chicken nest. He took two eggs and put them straight into the fire. Few moments later, the eggs burst and his mother rushed in to see what happened.

Have you ever cooked food independently when you were younger?

Parents: When you teach your children how to cook their favorite food, it will favorably benefit them in their lifetime. Teaching children is practical expression of care for them.

Similarly, Christ Jesus loves us. His teachings are favorably beneficial to us, not just in our lifetime on earth but also until eternity. We are hopeful to live eternally with him in heaven. We should be very serious of storing treasures in heaven. He teaches in Matthew 6:19-21: 19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Material wealth is useful to life on earth. When it’s time to leave this world, we leave material wealth behind. Did Christ forbid us to accumulate material wealth? No! He wants us to prioritize our eternal treasures. Why did Christ command us to store up treasures in heaven for ourselves? Is it trivial? May his Holy Spirit fills and inspires us. In everything we do, we seek his help including behaviors and attitudes to his commands. He instructed us in Matthew 6:33-34, 33Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The command “Seek first,” is best interpreted as “prioritize.” His kingdom is our eternal destination; we behave in his righteousness. His kingdom is exclusive only for the righteous. We have to prioritize his kingdom and behave in his righteousness. If we prioritize our eternal destination and behave in his righteousness, God provides for our needs practically. Christ proved his love and care when he suffered and died for our sin.

1.  Suffer

1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 

Why did Apostle Peter point out that Christ suffered in his body? He challenged us also to have the same attitude also as Christ. Truly, Christ was tortured physically, and he was also insulted. Sufferings and insults that he endured were required penalty for our sins. Christ suffered for us; he was insulted for us. How does such mysterious reality apply practically for us? What attitude should we have as Christian?

Apostle Paul testified about his sufferings. He had also personal struggles that he did not specify; several times, he asked God to remove his suffering. But God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you!” Similarly, God allows persecution and hardship for us to experience more of his grace. Christ declared that disciples will certainly be persecuted.

Persecution is instrumental for us to realize if we’re already done with sin. How?

Can sin still influence us? If persecuted and suffered, and we sense the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Love, joy, peace…) then, sin cannot influence or control us anymore. But if we complain or seek vengeance when persecuted and suffered, sin still controls us.

By faith we believe that our sinful self died and was buried when Christ died and was buried. Sin can’t tickle us to respond anymore, if we’re dead in our old sinful self. Hence, we resurrected to new life in Christ, and we respond and behave in his godly righteousness.


How do you address your uncle in your native tongue? Many Filipinos use the term “Tito” to address their uncle. But one person told his nephews and nieces not to address him as “Tito.” He would rather want to hear them call him, “Uncle.”

When he was asked why he did not want to be called as “Tito,” he explained that he had a distant relative named “Tito,” who’s not very admirable behavior. Whenever he hears someone say, “Tito,” his not-so-admirable relative instantly flashes in his mind.

Interestingly, Apostle Paul gave up his former name Saul. Probably, his former name reminded him his old self. When he believed in Christ, he preferred to be called Paul. Is it necessary to change our name? In reality, our identity has already changed. Formerly we were called enemies of God. Now, we are called children of God.

In Romans 8:16-17, 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Do you sense inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Be sure you received the Holy Spirit. Why? He inspires us to spend precious time learning how to behave as children of God. He guides in godly righteousness so that we do not spend time behaving like pagans.

2.  Spend

3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 

Instinctively, our physical body desires worldly pleasure, leisure and gratification; and Apostle Peters identified such as evil human desires. In contrast, he encouraged us to make sure those evil human desires cannot seduce us anymore; instead, we should desire godly behavior of righteousness and ignore the worldly desire of the flesh.

Apostle Paul wrote a warning about worldly desire of the flesh. He declared in Galatians 5:19-21, 19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Someone said, “First time mistake is understandable. Everyone has failures and mistakes. But, to repeat the same mistake or failure over and over again is a choice.”

When by choice we let our old sinful self control us so that we repeat doing sinful desires, who has become our lord and master? Our old sinful self! Not Christ. How can we practically prove that Christ is Lord over us? We behave in his godly righteousness.

Sinful desires will always try to tickle us and entice us as long as we live in this sinful world. Moreover, we may lose some acquaintances, relatives and friends, if we do not participate in their worldly activities. We suffer some sort of being left out. It states in 1 Corinthians 10:13, 13No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Temptations, trials and struggles challenge our faith in God. What can we do? We focus on our eternal destination – to be with God. The tougher the temptation we face, the stronger we grow in our faith if we keep seeking help from the Lord. The stronger our faith grows, the more we experience the grace of God. The more we experience grace from God, the more we desire to thank and praise him. If our heart is filled with praise and gratitude to God, such is partial experience of life in eternity with the Lord.

If a problem bothered you badly and you cannot sleep, then someone helped and solved your problem, how do you personally express your gratitude? How do rich and powerful individuals express gratitude? Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest king in his generation. He had terrible dreams; his mind was troubled, and he could not sleep.


King Nebuchadnezzar was so angry and furious that no wise man in his kingdom can interpret his dream. Daniel and his friends prayed for wisdom, and he interpreted the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. It narrated in Daniel 2:48-49, 48The king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators.

Before we became Christians, we were not very sure that you will eternally live in heaven, right? You may have been bothered when you were not sure if you will enter heaven or not. If by faith we sense certainty in our heart that when Christ returns, he takes us into heaven, how do we express gratitude to God? We praise and worship him!

Do you know why the Lord instructed Israel to observe his Sabbaths? He says in Exodus 31:13, 13You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.

Similarly, we gather every week to worship God together as practical sign for us that the Lord has consecrated us; he sets us apart from worldly pattern of behavior. We devote time together as children of God to express our gratitude for the hope of living with him eternally; we also thank and praise him for practical things he provides us.

We worship God together as form of gratitude to him. Be prayerful. Anytime anywhere, you will have divine appointments to share the gospel of Christ. Why do you avoid reckless and wild living? Explain that to acquaintances surprised by your lifestyle.

3. Surprise

4They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 

When your acquaintances are surprised that you don’t join their reckless and wild living, they may not let go of you easily. They may insult and even abuse you. It’s biblical truth. Not all neighbors are friendly toward believers of Christ particularly.

It’s not just once but several times. A certain person has come and complained that young people were very noisy when they played basketball at night. At one time, he came with church flyers in his hand. He said angrily, “Don’t put garbage in my mailbox.” If you hear similar complaints from your neighbors, how do you respond?

If you were new immigrant in this country, most probably, your relatives don’t live next door, right? In your country of origin, you may have many relatives and friends next door. But because you just want to obey God, and you did something that may not necessarily be acceptable in your culture, you become the talk or gossip of the town.

Blessed among Women

You may have heard the story of a teenage girl. She was engaged to be married. Then, everyone wondered how she got pregnant. She explained to her fiancé, “I don’t know how it happened, but I know I am innocent.” Her fiancé was very concerned about gossips among their relatives. He considered cancelling secretly their wedding plans.

The young lady may have sensed his indecisiveness. She decided to stay away for few months. She travelled to the hill country and visited a relative who’s also pregnant.

She entered the house of her relatives and greeted them, but she was surprised.

Elizabeth her cousin exclaimed very loudly in excitement when she heard her voice. It narrated in Luke 1:41-45, 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

The first Advent of Christ was very dramatic and became a gossip among friends, relatives and neighbors of Joseph and Mary. Mary may have suffered a great deal while pregnant. Their friends may have sneered and laughed at her back. Their relatives may have excluded them from social gatherings and did not want to associate with them.

When Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem where they registered for the census as descendants of King David, they had no place to stay. Accordingly, there were so many visitors at that time in Bethlehem, who also came for the census registration.

Think about it. If you return to your hometown from abroad after very long period of time, would your relatives be excited to accommodate you?

No one among their relatives in Bethlehem wanted to spare a room for Joseph and Mary. They have no concern that Mary was visibly pregnant at that time, why? Gossip can travel faster than airplane. Her relatives may have heard about her situation. Surely, they heard the gossip about Mary’s pregnancy. They were indignant, and they may have outwardly shown that they cannot accept her situation. Did God allowed gossip and indignation of their relatives so that Jesus would be born in a lowly manger?

If you have humiliating experience because you just want to obey the Lord, remember Mary. Mary suffered much insult and indignation from friends, relatives and neighbors. Nevertheless, she had peace and joy in her heart being God’s instrument for his wonderful mission purposes. The presence of the Son of God in her womb was more than enough reason that sustained her confidence and courage to keep on obeying God.

And now, Mary is called the blessed young lady among women. She gave birth to the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Christ is the reason we celebrate the advent season.

A little while ago, we have just lighted the blue candle to represent “Peace.” We have peace in our hearts when we put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

May God’s peace always prevail in our hearts, now and forever more! Amen!

><((‘> .. ><((‘> … >(((“> tmec\2022 <‘)))>< … <‘))><< .. <‘))><


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