- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Sin and Salvation
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 11:51
The first word of the verse, "forasmuch," connects the first 6 verses of chapter 4 with the end of chapter 3. The context in chapter 3 deals with suffering for righteousness’ sake and for well doing (vv. 14, 17). "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh" revisits 3:18. Within that context, Peter has just spoken of baptism (v. 21), "which doth also now save us . . . by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (v. 21). In the opening verses of chapter 4, Peter amplifies this statement.
The salvation to which he refers is not from the penalty of sin but from a life of sin (see 4:3, 4). For righteousness’ sake (v. 14), Christ suffered for us. The believers to whom Peter writes were baptized and consequently suffered for righteousness’ sake. Being identified with us, Christ suffered for our sake; being identified with Him in baptism, believers suffered for His sake. It is fitting that these persecuted believers should be like-minded with Christ, submitting to God’s will (3:17).These believers were being restrained from their former sins ("ceased from sin"). They were saved from their former life, a life of sin, by 2 factors. First, by being baptized, they put a barrier between themselves and the "disobedient," their persecutors. Second, baptism expresses what took place at salvation’s moment. United with Christ and His death, believers are dead to sin (Romans 6:2).
But Peter has said that this salvation is by the resurrection of Christ, not by His death. Being restrained from sin is not an end in itself, but a means to God’s purpose that believers should now live "to the will of God" (v. 2).
A free paraphrase of these verses could be, "Therefore since Christ suffered for us in His body of flesh, believers should likewise submit to God’s will when they suffer reproach for Him because they have been baptized. Those who have thus suffered have been restrained from (‘ceased from’) their former life of sin in order that they should not live to fulfill the usual lusts of humanity; they should live the rest of their time to the will of God."