TH E K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S
Christian Philosophy of Purpose, Property, Pain 1 Peter 4 By ROY L. LAURIN Las Angeles, California B HERE is a design for living to be found in the Bible. It is here that we discover a revelation of the mind of Christ. It is here that the sin” (1 Pet. 4:1). Christ suffered in the flesh to put away sin. And, because He so suffered to put sin away, it is certain that He would never consent to it in practice. Therefore if His mind is our mind, we will cease from sin. We will live above it and beyond it. that plain statement in the light of the Scripture. The end is the end, but it is an end that begins something—a new era and a new order.
Every life purpose ought to be shaped and identified with this "end of all things,” and this end includes cer tain well-defined facts, such as Christ’s return; the judgment seat of Christ for believers; Christ’s earthly reign and judgment of the nations, and the Great White Throne and the judgment of sin ners. How shall we live in view of the end? “Live as if Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back to morrow.” 6. Having Love Above All Things (vs. 8, 9). “Above all things have fervent char ity [R. V., ‘love’ ] among yourselves.” This is power for the present. There is no quality of Christian chavacte» which follows faith that is so completely necessary and so alarmingly lacking as is the quality of love. It is the premier virtue and the pinnacle purpose of the Christian. Love possesses different qualities. This love is not just sentimental gush. It is called “fervent,” and the word "fervent” has a different meaning here than when used elsewhere in Scripture. When the New Testament speaks of a “fervent spirit,” it implies “to boil.” But when it speaks here of a “fervent love,” it means to be “extended” or “stretched out.” But how shall love be extended and stretched out? There are two ways: First, by forgiving (v. 8). Second, love can be extended by giving (v. 9). Love gives a practical demonstration. It is the essence of love to desire to give. Ian Maclaren tells that while sauntering along a country lane one hot afternoon, he met a bonnie wee lassie, all humped up and red, and puffing with the weight of a chubby laddie she was carrying. "Isn’t he too h®avy for you ?” asked the dominie. “He’s nae hiwy, sir,’’ came the reply. “ He’s ma brither!” II. Stewards of Grace— The Phil osophy of PROPERTY (vs. 10 , 11 ). The Christian philosophy of property makes every one a “minister,” which is nothing more than an “ administra^
only workable philosophy of life is re vealed. The world is full of unworkable philosophies of life. In the Bible there is something more than a workable plan. There is a life that works: "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). Three characterizations of the Lord’s people stand out to dominate our chap ter, 1 Peter 4: 1. SAINTS OP GOD (vs. 1-9). The Bible’s Philosophy of PUR POSE. 2. STEWARDS OF GRACE (vs. 10 , 11 ). The Bible's Philosophy of PROP ERTY. 3. SUFFERERS OF GLORY (vs. 12- 19). The Bible’s Philosophy of PAIN. I. Saints of God— The Philosophy of PURPOSE (vs. 1-9). The design for living as found in the Bible is scaled to the stature of great ness and bigness. Tall people may walk down the street and find few men of equal stature. But stature with its physical privilege is just an accident of heredity. We had nothing to do with it. We are impressed that few men are big in character. Few measure to the celestial level of heaven. Few meet the measurements of "the stature of the fulness of Christ.” And the reason we fail and fall short of this divine expec tancy is that we have never adopted and followed the philosophy of purpose found in the Bible. This Book expresses the mind of God, arid He has a purpose for each of us. There are six particulars of this pur pose mentioned in these verses: 1. Possessing the Mind of Christ (v. 1). The mind of Christ was a vicarious mind. He took upon Himself the prob lem and burden of our sin and settled it at the cross. His mind, as far as He was concerned, meant the atoning for sin. But His mind in us means the overcoming of sin, for "he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from [ This article is the fifth in a series of expository messages on the First Espistle of Peter.]
v The proposition is this: If Jesus suf fered death to put away sin as a prin ciple, we should live to put away sin as a practice. 2. Refusing the Dominion of the Flesh (v. 2). “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh.” It is easy to be dominated by the flesh. It is very easy to let today be the thing of biggest importance. It is very easy to let the temporal define the boundaries of our experience. But if we live to this purpose, we will live to tragic disappointment. Recall the words of Epictetus, who said, "In every feast remember there are two guests to be entertained, the body and the soul; and that what you give the body you presently lose, but what you give the soul remains forever.” 8. Living in the Will of God (v. 2). " . . . but to the will of God.” To live in the will of God is to live under the control of the eternal wherein all of the events of our lives, great or small, happy or unhappy, conspire to a common purpose. In this kind of life, accidents are not accidental nor are ad versities adverse, for His purpose dom inates everything; therefore “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). 4. Separated from the Evils of the Past (vs. 3-6). This is the power of retrospect. Con sidering what we once were will fill us with such nausea and disgust that it will drive us unto the lofty levels of a holy experience completely separated from yesterday, and as completely dom inated by a new incentive of holiness. 5. Considering the Approach of the End (v. 7). “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” This is the power of prospect. What prospect? The prospect of “the end”. What end? It is the end of “all things.” There can be no misunderstanding at
Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker