Arm Yourselves!

1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1-2

6 Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:6–7

There’s only one reason you’re suffering for what is right–all that is taught in God’s word–and that’s because you’ve “ceased from sin,” or better, you’re “done with it.” In other words, your life is now consumed with doing the will of God.

Practically, of course, we still sin, but it’s now out of character, and it’s quickly dispatched.

Now that we’re in the fight alongside the Lord Jesus, we’re urged to arm ourselves. The Greek word behind the word calls for heavy armor. We need to be prepared for suffering as a soldier prepares for war these days, with a regalia of arms and ammunition, or a SWAT officer, with firearms strapped to his thighs, Kevlar vest and helmet in place, and fully automatic weapon in his hands. I can see no other parallel in the Christian life then to know the word backwards and forwards. With it you’ll know the enemy’s moves, as Christ did, and be able to choose the right weapon. And don’t forget the other aspects of the “full armor of God” in Ephesians 6:10-18!

There’s one more obvious thought. While suffering for what’s truly right, at that very moment, it’s next to impossible to sin. We need to be on the front lines, not as David was, wandering around on the rooftop, seeing what he can see (2 Samuel 11:1-2).

One other thing, soldiers and law enforcement officers spend a lot of time in training. While we may not be engaged in suffering for Christ’s sake right now, we prepare for it as if we will be “called out” at any time. This preparation will prove to be invaluable, and it provides the same purifying effect, because your mind is being readied for battle. Remember, we’re called to suffer if the Lord wills it so. 1 Peter 3:17

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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