Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Don't be Digging up the Past.

1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1Pe 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
1Pe 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
1Pe 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

Peter knew what the dual nature was all about. No disciple wrestled with the old man as he did. It seems by this passage that he was very familiar of what the old man's works looked like.

Personally, he had to have the old man beat out of him chunk by chunk. A Jew himself, he considered his pre-salvation forays to the dark side akin to acting like the Gentiles.

Here is the list he gave us:
"we walked in..."

1. Lasciviousness. "aselgeia" Incontinent, licentious, filthy, wanton, immodest, unbridled conduct. Basically, unable to control oneself, letting go and letting the flesh do whatever it wants.

2. Lusts - "epithumia" forbidden longings and desires.

3. Excess of Wine - "oinophlugia" At first glance, one might think this means “wine is fine, just sometime.” "After all," some say, 'Jesus drank wine.' I always ask them when that happened. "When he turned the water into wine and at the last supper." Really, is that so? These statements come from willful ignorance.

First of all, as the water was turned into wine for the wedding reception in Cana, we must ask what exactly was that wine? Having drank that creation of Jesus, the governor and the people were a bit perplexed. Why had they been drinking the old grape juice and now brand new wine, that is, fresh juice? They assumed the usual practice would be in place. Serve the good stuff first, then as the party winds down, use the old stuff that has begun to ferment. “Oinos” means simply “wine.” It could have been anything from fresh pressed grape juice, some places called "new wine," to fermented wine. Each context in which it is used must be explored in light of the hundreds of verses in which fermented beverages are spoken against in the Word. The wine transformed from water in Cana was fresh grape juice.

Next, there is the idea that fermented wine was passed in a chalice from apostle to apostle at the Last Supper. What wording does Jesus use in this context? He calls it, "the fruit of the vine." Again, would it stand to reason that unleavened bread was required and then leavened juice would be employed? How simple it is to figure this one out!

Therefore, we find that our First Peter passage is referencing the excess (extra-curriculars) that takes place when fermented wine is consumed. This goes hand in glove with what Paul told Timothy, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess." That is, in alcoholic drinks, excess is sure to ensue.

4. Revellings - "Komos" letting loose, anything goes behavior. Like what happens with the excess resulting from wine.

5. Banquetings - "Potos" Oh no! The pot lucks must go? Get this now, this means a drinking bout! Literally, the carousal of drinking. Kind of like a drinking binge. We say that so and so has fallen off the wagon, they have been on a 3 day drunk. That is what this is referring to.

Whew! I am glad that I can now go back to the trough at the Golden Corral and not feel guilty (as long as I don't commit gluttony!)

6. Abominable Idolatry - "Athemitos eidololatreia" Simply meaning unlawful (according to God's law) image worship.

There you have it, friends, Peter's take on what the life of the old man looks like. Now it gets interesting. In the next verse (4) we are told that the crowd we used to hang out with thinks we are strange, weird and peculiar because we no longer run with them. Read it, that's just what it says. And they want us to run with them to all the aforementioned things. But we now have our heads screwed on straight and our hearts are in the right place, so what do they do? They speak evil of us. Now who is judging?

Finally, we are told Who it is that we are trying to please, He that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. He is the One to Whom we will give an account, not the deadheads we used to run with.

So, walk in newness of life. Keep the old man dead and buried. Exhumations smell pretty nasty.

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