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June 10, 2021 4:00 am
What gives you victory is not some mystical apprehension, not some esoteric perception, but simply focusing on the devastation of sin. We can ever see it for what it is to see what it did to see how it devastates their lives can come with a cost effective, you may pay a steep price, you might lose a friend or many friends or face out and out rejection because of your new convictions and yet you can rejoice in that hardship. Frankly, it's evidence that you've taken steps to break sins hold on your life.
That's the theme of John MacArthur study here on Grace to you. He calls it, breaking sins grip.
So far we've seen that you can break sins grip by remembering its effect on Christ on believers on God and on the lost and out to finish that last point and then add 1/5 one. Here's John MacArthur. If you desire to shun sin in your life you must have a backward look. You must understand what sin did to Christ. It killed him.
It is a despicable hateful thing you must understand what it has done to Christians. It has retarded them and prevented them from being all that they should and could be apart from it must remember what it does to God. It violates his holy will. The sense in which it strikes a blow in his blessed face it rebels against see it for what it is forceful. I believe Peter suggests to us here that if we are to shun sin we must remember what sin has done to lost humanity not only what it has done to Christ what it has done to Christians and retarding them from being what they could be not only what it is done to God what it is done to lost humanity.
So remember what it did to lost humanity by remembering what you were like before you were converted, and the rest of this time do God's will.
You had enough of that. Doesn't even stop with that injunction. Rather, he remembers with them and gets a little more specific note again in verse three he describes that former lifestyle as having pursued a course, the verb means to conduct one's life. That's its idea you conducted your life along this course moving along the course of sin, as it were, to the hypnotic beat of the diabolical drummer is the devil that calls the cadence for the solemn downward march into sin and you were doing it and that's enough.
Look to your past is not enough. Let's look at a little more closely. What was it like six words describe you pursued a course of sensuality. Also, Gaia. The word is used to describe the spirit which knows no restraint.
The spirit which dares to see in any sin. Unbridled, unrestrained vice. In fact, the old word for it is debauchery and that word meant in excessive indulgence and sensual pleasure saying that's the way it while it's before you came to Christ in your lost condition.
You lived in on checked lawlessness, open outrages against God, you flaunted your vice. Certainly that's true in the culture in which we live, which would have to be defined as a pornographic culture. Second word he uses is very closely associated with the first uses the word lusts, passion, means evil desire is to be driven by the animal instinct to be driven by passion is mindless indulgence in the pleasures that passion pursues and uses another word, drunkenness. This word literally means wind bubbling up in speaks of intoxication, habitual drunkenness could well speak of the inebriation that comes from drugs as well. The fourth word he uses is translated for arousal's Thomas it really refers to a wild party a wild orgy.
The term was used in extra-biblical literature to refer to a band of drunken wildly acting people who were staggering and swaying in swaggering and singing their way through the streets, causing racket havoc. The wildness, public drunkenness, by the way, it was usually associated with the worship of false gods.
The Colts of the ancient time, like the worship of Dionysus or Bacchus and then he adds a word that is very similar drinking parties taught us drinking bouts just drinking for the sake of drinking and becoming drunk and then he adds abominable idolatries. The worship of idols. That is an abomination to God. Another dear friends, is a characterization of an unregenerate person. Not everybody of course is as bad as they might be, but this is pretty typically, the lifestyle of an unregenerate person in our culture and was in the time of Peter as well. He said you did enough of that enough loose vial. The botched living enough being driven by passion enough drunkenness enough wild parties enough drinking bouts enough abominable idolatries of worshiping the false gods enough from now on. Do not live that way.
Remember what you lived like remember what sin did to you. Remember the pain of your sensuality in your last drunkenness Europe arousal's pain of your drinking parties and abominable idolatries interesting thing about all that is, it was packaged up and tied up in a ribbon called religion in ancient times it was justified as a form of worship to a deity. In verse four Peter adds in its most interesting in all this there surprised that you do not run with them into the same excessive dissipation, and they malign you boys that ever true there surprised when you say my life is changed I don't do that anymore there surprised there shocked when your life is different.
That's normal for them. It's so much a way of life that when you live that way there surprised the verb means to be astonished, shocked, and it includes the idea of taking offense. They resent you why they reason you because you don't run with them into the same excessive dissipation is the first of all, when they see you transformed and not living your life that way anymore. It's a matter of wonder to them it's a matter of surprise, JB Nichols writes the licentious bound by habits they cannot break inflamed by lusts, they cannot extinguish gravitated downward by a power they cannot by themselves resist our astonished at the complete change in the lives of those believers whose whole aim in life is now the will of God now is MB Welch wrote many years ago and that lovely poem with the master comes in the foolish crowd never can quite understand the words of the soul and the change that's wrought by the touch of the Masters hand. They don't understand it, and it bothers them greatly in heaps guilt upon their head that you don't run with them. You no longer do what they do.
You are not continuing literally to run with them, emphasizing that once you did, and now they're offended that you don't that little phrase into the same excessive dissipation is very vivid phrase the pictures of a large crowd running together in a mad wild race, a plunge of file.
William Kelly says a euphoric stampede of pleasure seekers racing the term excess used only here means primarily the confluence of waters.
It has the idea of waters coming together to flow some suggested has the idea of a cistern.
Other suggest the idea of refuse pouring into a cesspool.
The pictures pre-conversion life is this wild mad race of lustful drunken pleasure seeking passionate idolaters were running like some mucky waters into a cesspool of dissipation dissipation means the state of evil in which a person thinks about nothing but evil doesn't think about health doesn't think about money doesn't think about reputation doesn't think about character only indulging passion. There is such a burning passion in sin that people are mindlessly pursuing their passion irresistibly compulsively rushing into the cesspool in dissipation. They are attracted to it. Peter says that is hardly a spa for a Christian, hardly the place for you. Remember how it was remember how it was and he says they malign you blasphemer.
Oh, they blaspheme you to defame to attack someone's reputation to slander than they speak evil of you because you're no longer running into the same cesspool that they are running into again.
Kelly says there's plenty of evidence from pagan as well as Christian sources that it was precisely the reluctance of Christians to participate in the routine of contemporary life, particularly conventionally accepted amusements, civic ceremonies, and any function involving contact with idolatry what they considered a morality that caused them to be hated and despised, and themselves suspected of illicit practices" it was that very reason that made people hate them lost humanity is an ugly bunch.
They malign Christians.
They despise Christians. They run like mucky waters into a cesspool of dissipation that is an ugly picture and what Peter is saying is, remember that you used to run with them.
You used to run into that same sexually perverted drunk idolatrous man cesspool of dissipation, and you were saved out of it you became the object of their bitter acrimony and are you now going to indulge in the sins that you did in the past would be better to be righteous and to suffer triumphantly than to go into that cesspool and then he adds a note in verse five, but they shall give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead, that verb, they shall give account means to pay back will be paid back.
In fact, people who do not live like that new cast dispersions at Christians and who malign believers are amassing a debt to God that they will spend all eternity paying back will be required to pay. This verb is a bookkeeping term God has it on his books and they're going to pay. Scripture describes that payment you read Matthew chapter 18 verse 23 and following read Revelation chapter 20 verses 11 to 15. There is coming a time when they will pay and they will give account to the one who is ready to judge when they stand at the great white throne judgment.
He says this the one who judges will judge the living and the dead. The living those presently alive in Peter's time. The dead those already dead, they can all be judged. All of his Romans 319 says Paul writes that every mouth will be gagged and no one will have a defense, they will not escape judgment. They will be struck dumb before a holy God. Before the judgment throne without defense without an advocate without an excuse. They will be judged in fact, the severity of their judgment is perhaps is graphically described in second Thessalonians is anywhere for after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus, and these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction. Their day will come. Their day will come. One note in chapter 4 and verse five the word him, they shall give account to him who is ready to judge who is the judge who is the one identified as him we could say on the one hand it is God. First Peter 117. If you address as father, the one who impartially judges that refers to God. But if we read John 522 to 27. It tells us there that all judgment has been committed to Jesus Christ, so we believe that God will judge them. But God will judge them through the agency of his son the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom he has committed all judgment what ascends under the unsaved is made their life to botched it is plunge them into a filthy, vile cesspool of dissipation, and it has made them the enemies of the people of God. It has thus made them the enemies of God himself.
The enemies of Christ and the objects of an eternal damning judgment. I think what Peter has in his heart, is to remind us to say look at that and don't you forget it.
It should help you shun sin, it should help you be willing to suffer for righteousness sake joyfully, so shunning soon requires a good memory good memory of what sin has done to Christ to kill him.
What sin is done, the Christians. It keeps us from being what we could be because the only way we can cease from sin is to die.
We are so bound in the flesh to look again and see what it is done to God. It has offended him greatly for sin is rebellion against his will look and see what it is done to the lost.
It is made them filthy and vile and set them for damnation. Finally, Peter is one more magnificent remembrance in helping us to shun sin and gladly be willing to suffer for righteousness sake, and it is this. Remember 50 what God promised you in overcoming sin.
Remember what God promised you in overcoming sin.
Look at verse six for the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.
This is a simple and profound verse for the gospel has been preached, means the saving message of Jesus Christ, even to those who are dead simply means those who are now dead. He has in mind some believers who heard the gospel and are now dead. Some of them perhaps had been martyred. Maybe some in the Association of those to whom this letter was sent that died for their faith in Christ. So the whole overarching idea here is that the believer under persecution under unjust treatment under punishment and even death, even death should be willing to suffer knowing there is trying because though he may die in the flesh as a man, he will live in the spirit according to the will of God. What Peter is saying is that God has promised you that through death will overcome sin, so he reminds his readers. The gospel was preached of those now dead. For this purpose that though they are judged in the flesh, as men literally put to death for their faith in Christ.
They will live in the spirit according to God and so he takes us back to where we started. All death can do is bring you into everlasting life in the presence of God. You see, it's a parallel to the end of chapter 3 verse 18 Christ died but he didn't stay dead. He was made alive in the spirit. His body was dead. His spirit was alive same point here.
They may kill your body but your spirit will be a lie. You will enter into the promise of eternal life.
So shunning soon. In the face of great threats in the face of persecution, even death is possible noble righteous.
It is commanded in one way to assist in that overcoming is to remember and remember what sin did to Christ. What it does to Christians what it does to God what it does to the lost and then remember what God has promised you in the future, no matter what they do to us. We can be victorious. I guess Jesus said much the same thing when he said fear not.
Those who destroy the body would fear the one who destroys both soul and body in hell. Beloved, we all as those who have come to Christ battle sin.
This is been a somewhat careful and perhaps even technical presentation. I don't want to lose touch with the impact we all battle sin and what gives you victory is not some mystical apprehension, not some esoteric perception, but simply focusing on the damage and the devastation of sin. We can never see it for what it is when a hated as God hates to see what it did to Christ to see what it does to God to see how it cripples believers devastates their lives, their marriages, their families, retards them from being what God wants him to be an understanding how it leaves the whole human race into a cesspool of dissipation and ultimately judgment should make us hate sin and then when you flip that over and prepare the other side. But God has promised us that in the end, no matter what they do to us.
We will live in the spirit of the God forever. There should be no pressure from this ungodly world that can make us fall to their standard of living, not even the threat of life will may God help us to be faithful battlers, warriors against this enemy what's bound father were reminded that in the very next verse in this passage Peter talks about how important it is to be involved in fervent prayer father, may we realize that even when we have cultivated the memory and when we understand that terrible terrible effects of sin. We still must pray and depend upon you as the resource for victory in our lives father make us holy, righteous your continue to move us along to the image of Christ which is both are our goal in our destiny will give you thanks and praise. In his journey in this is grace to you with John MacArthur.
Thanks for being with us. John's a pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. He's titled our current series breaking sins grip, John.
Here's a question as we wrap up this study what encouragement would you have for that believer who is just plain weary of the battle against temptation.
You know the fight just doesn't seem to go away. It can even make a Christian wonder if he's normal if other Christians battle the same level of temptation would help.
Would you give to a person is feeling that way yeah what will first of all I would say you you you not intended to fight this battle by yourself. Okay, you're intended to fight this battle with the power of the spirit through the Scripture.
So they you know David said your word of a hit in my heart that I might not sin, though, so if you're not in the word of God.
If you're not studying the word of God dwelling on the word of God memorizing the word of God, your you're going to find yourself more vulnerable and then I would go one step further.
I know there are a lot of people who think in particular during this covert then well, we don't need to meet as a church will need to have church we can do live stream of the church doesn't have to meet, why are you making such an issue out of that I making an issue out of that because the Bible says that you are to gather together for the sole purpose really of stimulating one another to love and good works in the power of the church is that it provides the mutual strength of the mutual relationships, the, the accountability, the encouragement of the ministry of the spiritual gifts the mutual prayer for one another.
The feeding of the word of God that comes from the gifted men in the church you go to make it much harder on yourself to try to be victorious over sin.
If you are not regularly routinely a part of a thriving church where the word of God is being preached and taught in your soul is being washed in that truth every week and where you're interacting with other believers who are loving you ministering to you their spiritual gifts, ministering to the one another is holding you accountable building you up nurturing you encouraging you that that is the intention of the purpose of the church in your life. Don't set that aside that makes it far more difficult to live the way God wants you to live. So we wrapped up today. The four-day study on breaking sins grip if you want to get a copy of this it is available in two CDs you can order it from Grace to you today or you can download the email@example.com yes this series is a quick and practical look at how you can conquer sin. Whether it's everyday temptations or something you been struggling with for years to pick up breaking sins grip. Contact us today to order the two CD album call 855 grace or you can place your firstname.lastname@example.org. The title again to look for breaking sins grip or as John said you could download both messages free of email@example.com and friend. A reminder that right now nearly everything we sell is 25% off the regular price. It's a great time to purchase one of John's books may be the glory of heaven or the gospel according to God or individual volumes from John's New Testament commentary series.
You can also get a copy of our flagship resource. The MacArthur study Bible. The sale ends next week so place your order soon just call 855 grace or go to TTY.org. That's our website one more time. TTY.org now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you. Staff on Phil Johnson.
Thanks for making this broadcast part of your day.
An important message comes your way tomorrow keeping up your mind prepared to be challenged by God's word. When you join us for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on race