This is what God gave me today in his word:
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. (1 Peter 4:1-3)
All who have suffered in the flesh, have died to the flesh. That makes sense when you think about it, after all, if you’re reveling in your flesh (which is exactly what we were doing before being saved), you’re clearly not suffering in it. Whereas if you’re suffering in it, you know for certain you’re actually trying to resist it (in the power of the Holy Spirit). – Aside from that though, what exactly is the, “way of thinking” that Peter is talking about?
First, what, “way of thinking,” is Peter talking about? … So that we can arm ourselves with it.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
“arm yourselves with the same way thinking,” in saying that, Peter was referring to Jesus’ suffering in the flesh. i.e. He’s saying that we should arm ourselves with a mindset of suffering in the flesh. If someone is saved, they will at some point, suffer in the flesh, no matter who they are or how much they’ve, “done for God”. So Peter warns us to expect this; to prepare our defenses for when the attack comes, because it will come. – Then he continues, giving them further instructions on what else they can do to prepare them-self.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:8-11)
Both Paul and Peter say pretty much the same thing at this part, “above all, keep loving one another earnestly” or as Paul says, “above all else, put on love”. Loving one anther with a Godly love is clearly important, but why is that? If you love someone (with a Godly love) that person can share their struggles with you, as, likewise you can do with them. But also, because love binds together. If you have a church without love, you don’t have a church, you have a, “religious group”.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14)
The point? In order to actually have a church, or more specifically, to have a church with good defenses against Satanic attack, you need a couple of things (which Peter mentioned), but the main two are these: the knowledge that you will in fact be attacked and a healthy dose of love from those around you.
Of course, you should also always keep in mind that Jesus has defeated Satan and that because of that, we do have the power to overcome temptation!
You are Loved!