The Secret to Being “Done With Sin”

This morning I was reading in 1 Peter and the first few verses of chapter 4 jumped out at me. As you read them, I encourage you to do so slowly. Peter writes:

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. (1 Peter 4:1-4)

Isn’t that what we all want – to be “done with sin” like it says in verse 1 above? Don’t we all want to live for the will of God instead of for our desires which tend to mess up our lives? Haven’t we all spent enough time in the past doing what non-believers choose to do?

The question is this: what is the secret that enables us to live a life like this? It’s not about trying harder to be “done with sin.” Been there…done that…and it doesn’t work. You cannot live a Christ-like life by sheer willpower alone. So trying harder isn’t the answer.

In fact, the answer is right there in the text. The secret that enables us to live a Christ-like life is in verse 1. Peter says “. . . he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.” That’s the key. If we suffer, if we are persecuted, then we’ll be done with sin. We won’t dabble in our “pet sins” anymore. We won’t live like the rest of the world does. Why? Because if we suffer for our faith, then our faith costs us something . . . so we’ll take it a lot more seriously. We’ll take Jesus a lot more seriously. We’ll take our spirituality a lot more seriously. And everything in life is spiritual, isn’t it?

If you’re reading this and you live in America, our faith doesn’t cost us anything, does it? We don’t suffer for our faith. We don’t lose our jobs when we convert to Christianity. We aren’t thrown into prison. We aren’t beaten if we own a Bible. We serve the poor when it’s convenient for us and we ignore them when it isn’t.

We can simply go to church on Sunday, profess belief in God, but then live the rest of our lives as functional atheists. Peter says we should stop living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry (v.3). And in 1 Peter 2:1 he writes, “Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” And by no means are those complete lists of practices and behaviors to avoid.

If we suffered for following Jesus, I bet we’d take God at His word. But instead of treating those as commands from God, we treat them as suggestions from God. And more often than not, we choose to ignore those suggestions.

So as a Christian in America, what can we do? I’m not saying to pray for persecution to come upon us, to pray that we suffer. To be honest, I’m not sure what the answer is. I’m still in process on this one. I just wanted to toss it out there. Those verses hit me and I didn’t want to keep them to myself.

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About Dan Kopp

In 2010 Dan and Kellie felt the call by God to plant a church somewhere in Macomb County, Michigan. Several months later The Eastside Vineyard Church launched and currently meets inside Shelby Jr. High in Shelby Township. This blog began in the pre-launch phase of the church and has exceeded 50,000 hits. Thanks for reading!
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2 Responses to The Secret to Being “Done With Sin”

  1. Janee says:

    ‘They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.’

    That is the type of persecution I get at work. I am ‘different’ because I don’t go where they go, I don’t do what they do….anymore. Like you said, been there, done that. I would rather be under this persecution than under the persecution of what life was like before I let Jesus into my heart. Life is hard sometimes, but life was so much harder 3 years ago. Jesus has given me a refuge from the pain of sin that I committed then and for the sin I still committ; and now He gives me hope for the ones that are still living the life of ‘debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry’. If He can rescue me from that life, there is great Hope for my coworkers.

  2. Tracy Gorski says:

    Ah –
    Suffering in our bodies… to be done with sin.

    Suffering, I think will look very similar to some people and dramatically different to others. For one, it may be suffering through the breaking of a habit – smoking, drinking, eating too much, obsessing over something or someone. For someone else, suffering may mean, dealing with some physical pain that has been masked by prescriptions or over the counter quick fixes. Our bodies are wonderfully made and too often our pain is so easily “fixed” that instead of getting to the root of the issue, we treat it with a quick fix.

    The quick fix hides the fact that we ate too much, didn’t get enough sleep, don’t exercise or drank too much. The quick fix masks the reality that in our ease to take a pill – we are in reality, dealing in the sins of the flesh – and since they are so wide spread, no one calls you out on the real issue. (sin!)

    Constant back pain? Take a pill. Huh? The bible says we are to treat our bodies as temples of the Spirit. Would if you stopped, seriously asked yourself “do I need to lose weight? or exercise more or watch what I am eating.” Ooh, then you’d have to suffer through the chance of failing… or suffer through the smells of food that are all around you, or suffer through hunger pangs that, alas are also easily remedied.

    The world we live in makes our “little sin” easy to carry, or so we think. We rationalize the abuse of our bodies or our ill thought process or choices of how we spend our time, but comparing our sin to our neighbors. “Well, at least I’m not doing THAT!” Peter clearly tells us to not live like pagans live and therefore we have to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and His suffering.

    Whatever suffering I am going through pales in comparison to not addressing the root of the real issue and will hurt me, most likely physically more – in the long run. My bottom line thought? Most people avoid pain, period. However when you touch a hot stove and get burned or fall and scrape your knee really bad, you remember how bad it hurt and don’t want to go through that again and you learn. We need to become better students of our pain and ask the tough questions of our good friends and of God – “what can I learn or change through this suffering to glorify You? God will answer and God will bless the time of change as you morph into the person He designed. I say embrace the pain and ask for help to change!

    Thanks for sharing this scripture –

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