Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The apostle Paul writes about the gospel. Some good Christian people say we rely too heavily on him, but the Lord inspired him to write fourteen of our twenty-one New Testament "epistles." The Lord inspired dear Peter to write two (he had shamefully denied Christ on that fateful Friday and then repented): "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind" (1 Peter 4:1; Paul put it this way, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus," Phil. 2:5).
Both apostles are concerned with our "flesh" which we all have by natural birth, and "the mind" of Christ, which we have to acquire. The latter is to rule over the former. "The mind of Christ" is much stronger; the lusts and passions and depravity and selfishness that "the flesh" would impose on us are more than cancelled by a "new mind" that we are willing to receive--the process is that simple. Peter says "arm yourselves" with that "mind." Paul says, "let this mind" come in when it knocks at your door. It's as though God stands by you like a valet holding this "armor" for you to put on like a policeman "arms" himself with a bullet-proof vest.
But Peter says something else: Christ's sufferings were in the same "flesh" that we have by nature. Ours is sinful to the core. When Christ was "sent" from heaven, He came with a sinless nature. He did not "have" our sinful nature naturally; He had to "take" it onto His sinless nature if He was to save us from our ongoing sin in the "flesh."
Therefore we read that God "sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: [but] He condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3). He "shared in the same" which we have, "made like [not unlike] His brethren" (Heb. 2:14, 17). The King James Version is more vivid: He "took part of the same."
The glorious result? That we "no longer should live the rest of [our] time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God" (1 Peter 4:2). "Flesh" is what Jesus "took" and it's the same "flesh" we have by nature. That "mind of Christ," if you open the door to "let" it in, triumphs over all the sin the devil can tempt you to fall into.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 22, 2003.
Copyright © 2017 by "Dial Daily Bread."