1 Peter – Chapter Four III

by Ed Urzi

“that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).

The Apostle Peter offers another mark of a God-honoring attitude in our text from 1 Peter 4:2. We can turn to the following translations to enhance our understanding of this passage…

“…you should not therefore spend the rest of your time here on earth indulging your physical nature, but in doing the will of God” (Phillips).

“…you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires” (GNT).

“As a result, they don’t live the rest of their human lives in ways determined by human desires but in ways determined by God’s will” (CEB).

These allusions to our earthly lives offer an opportunity to reflect upon an intriguing, yet familiar element: time. You see, time is an interesting commodity. We can spend it or steal it. We can buy it or sell it. We can waste it or invest it. But once it’s gone, we can never recover it. This portion of Scripture thus encourages us to prioritize God’s will in the time He has allotted to us.

The following verses can help us identify God’s will as we face the choices and decisions of life. For instance, some examples of God’s will for us include…

When we align ourselves with God’s will in these aspects of life, we become better equipped to make decisions that honor Him in other aspects of life as well. However, the following verse identifies a number of “sinful human desires” (GW) to avoid…

“For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” (1 Peter 4:3).

This reference to “our past lifetime“ has nothing to do with the nonbiblical concept of reincarnation or the belief in a continuous cycle of past and future lives (see Hebrews 9:27).Instead, this phrase references the interval that preceded our regeneration and spiritual rebirth (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, the negative qualities that characterized our lives prior to Christ should not carry over into our new lives with Him.

One source illustrates the meaning behind this idea by saying, “You never should have lived this way at all, but whatever time you spent was too much…” (1)

(1) Ice, Rhoderick D. “Commentary on 1 Peter 4”. “The Bible Study New Testament”. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/1-peter-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.