The Rest of the Time

1 Peter 4:1‑9
1 Peter 4:1-91Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9Use hospitality one to another without grudging. (1 Peter 4:1‑9)1PE 4:1-91Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9Use hospitality one to another without grudging. (1 Peter 4:1‑9)
The Spirit of God brings before us a pure Object for our minds and hearts. That is the Lord Jesus. It does not matter how young we are, nor does it matter how old we are: we have the same Object for our hearts, because Christ is the only One who can fill and satisfy our hearts. If we are not satisfied, we might have to pass through experiences of trial.
As Peter is presenting to us the wilderness pathway, he looks back and sees the Lord Jesus here in this wilderness, and how He suffered in the flesh. What does it mean, atonement? No, that is not what Peter means here. He is speaking of what Christ suffered, going through this world. "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm your selves likewise with the same mind." The Lord Jesus suffered to the extent that He died on the cross, but the side of it here is, "Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.”
We could not go into atonement; no man can by any means redeem his brother, for whom God alone gave a ransom. Hut the Lord Jesus suffered in the world in two ways: He suffered for the people, and He also suffered with the people of God. He has left us an example that we should follow in His steps. A little boy might follow his father's steps, placing his feet right into them, but they would not fit very well, Just the same, he follows in his steps, and that is the way we have the Lord Jesus as our Object, though we know we do not measure up to it.
The Lord Jesus suffered in the flesh, surrounded by evil which opposed Him at every turn. Even though we are believers and have the new nature, we still have the old nature and must arm ourselves against it.
Do you remember Amalek of the Old Testament? There was war with him from generation to generation. And there was supposed to be, for Amalek is a picture of the flesh. He was the one who slew the hindermost, the stragglers. In the North Country where the deer range in the winter, the wolves follow and attack the straggling ones. Applying this to our case, what is the picture we have? If we do not keep close to the Leader and have our hearts upon Him, we are going to be stragglers, and the enemy is going to get hold of us to bring us down. Therefore Peter says, "Arm yourselves likewise.”
As a Man here in this world, the Lord Jesus had one thing before Him, and that was to please the Father. Thus you and I must have that one thing before us. "He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin." He is through with the old path. Would that not be good for us at the beginning of this year? The world makes resolutions which they cannot keep more than a short while, for there is no power in the flesh to keep them, but you and I, if we are born anew, have the power of the Spirit of God. It is not as though we were making resolutions, but we are simply stepping into line in our proper path.
Let us have the determination to no longer live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. How much time do we have? It may be an hour, a day, a month, or ten years, yet we do not know, cannot see how it could be that long. May it be our desire that when the Lord Jesus comes He may find us walking in the path in which He walked—the path of faith.
The desire of the new nature is toward holiness, and if we are in communion, that will characterize our lives. Holiness is the character which was seen in the Lord Jesus as a Man down here in this world, manifesting the Father.
“For the time past of our life may suffice us." Peter says, "It is enough." We know what we have been in the past; it is enough. What are we going to do the rest of the time? Are we going to live the rest of the time to the lust of the flesh, or to the will of God? Of course we are in the world and they think it strange that we do not run with them to the same excess of riot, but the Scripture speaks of temperance in all things. Many things are necessary down here, and let us not be indifferent. Let us find a balance in Scripture for our lives, not going from one extreme to another. Let us just follow in the path.
In verse 5, we have the Judge before us. Peter reminds us of the end of the road, saying that we "shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”
There are four judgments in Scripture. The first is the judgment which Christ bore for us which is all past. "There is therefore now no condemnation [or judgment] to them which are in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8:11There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1). Next, in 2 Cor. 5 as well as Rom. 14:1010But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (Romans 14:10), we have the judgment seat of Christ, although in Romans it is the judgment seat of God, but it is the same judgment seat.
The other two judgments are that of the "quick," or the living, and the judgment of the "dead." In Matt. 25, "these shall go away [not enter death] into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" refers to the judgment on the living nations who will refuse the gospel of the kingdom, not on the dead.
The last judgment is in Rev. 20. It is on those, even from Adam's day, who through their lifetime have disobeyed God's testimony, and they are going to come into judgment for it. They are dead. The graves will be opened, and they will all stand before God to be judged and sent on to punishment. Two books will be opened, the book of life to show that their names are not there, and the book of works so they can be judged righteously for what they have done. We would not like to be in the company of the dead of Rev. 20. The wilderness will prove what we are inside. What are we going to do with the rest of our time? Will we live it to the lust of the flesh, or to the will of God? We can start every morning on our knees to ask the Lord to help us, and then we will live to the will of God. We have the Word of God, the whole mind of God. "Hold fast the form of sound words." 2 Tim. 1:1313Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13). C. Lunden
There was no strength necessary in gathering the manna. A strong right arm was of no use—the thing was too delicate for man's strength to come in and destroy. To gather it delicately, with the weakness of man, was needed, so that the soul can say. That which I have gathered up of Christ today, I found it to be strength made perfect in my weakness. It was, "when I am weak, then am I strong.”