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In Christ, we have a new life, a new beginning. We are born again. If this means anything, especially for those who accepted Christ after childhood, it must mean that they will live differently than they did before. Who hasn’t heard some incredible stories of those who, having been in the world, experienced a radical transformation because of Jesus and His saving grace?
Indeed, after talking about the death to self and the new life we have in Jesus (having been baptized into His death and resurrection), Peter then talks about the kind of changes one will experience.
Read 1 Peter 4:3-6. What changes will happen in a person’s life, and how do others respond to those changes?
The three terms Peter used that relate to alcohol abuse are “excess of wine” (KJV), “drunkenness” (NRSV), “revellings,” and “banquetings” (KJV), “carousing” (NRSV). To use modern phraseology, one’s partying days are over. In fact, according to Peter, the change that a Christian experiences should be great enough so that those who knew the Christian in his or her past life will “think it strange” that he or she no longer takes part in those same dissipations (1 Pet. 4:4, NKJV). Thus, we can see here a chance to witness to unbelievers without having to preach. A godly Christian life can be more of a witness than all the sermons in the world.
What does Peter say in these texts about judgment?
Here, as elsewhere in the Bible (John 5:29, 2 Cor. 5:10, Heb. 9:27), Peter makes it clear that one day there will be a judgment for the deeds done “in the flesh” (1 Pet. 4:2). When Peter talks about the gospel being “preached also to those who are dead” (1 Pet. 4:6, NKJV), he was saying that even in the past, people who are now dead had, when they were alive, an opportunity to know the saving grace of God. Thus, God can justly judge them, as well.
|As a believer in Jesus, how differently do you live now than you did when you didn’t believe in Him? What difference has Jesus made in your life?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons