Purpose of Guarding the Treasure

The purpose of this blog is to encourage readers to invest their time into the Word of God and "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." Paul wrote these words to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:14) in his presumed last letter before his execution. May we be those who see the word of God as a treasure, guarding it with our lives, investing in it with our hearts and minds, and reaping the fruit of an abundant life while getting to know the God who loves us and created us for His marvelous pleasure and glory.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Suffering in the Flesh

I read this passage this morning and it just floored me.

1 Peter 4:1-2 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, 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.

To model the example of Christ we must suffer in the flesh. That means denying what our flesh tells us that we need. That means resisting temptations to gratify the flesh when it calls for gratification. That means that when the flesh pulls us to sin, we have to say "no way." That's hard! Jesus never gave in to temptations within His flesh. We give in so easily don't we. We are called to never give in - that is SUFFERING IN THE FLESH. That is long-suffering for Jesus. God and His Spirit within us is the only strength we have to achieve this victory. Only as we abide in the vine of Christ can we bear fruit and do anything.

John 15:4-5 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing."

Here are some other verses that speak to victory in the Christian life.
1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.
  • Abstinence from gratifying fleshly lusts within us is a key to victory.
  • We must fill the abstinence from sin with indulgence in the things of God.
Galatians 5:16-17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
  • You cannot walk in the Spirit and the flesh at the same time.
  • Walk in the Spirit and you are not walking in the flesh.

Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.
  • Sowing to the Spirit results in an eternal quality of life with Jesus.
  • Sowing to the flesh results in corruption within our hearts and dissipation.
Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
  • Setting our mind on the Spirit, things above results in experiencing a life in Christ.
  • Living in the flesh produces hostility toward God.

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