As Christ hath suffered - He is your proper pattern; have the same disposition he had; the same forgiving spirit, with meekness, gentleness, and complete self-possession.
He that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin - This is a general maxim, if understood literally: The man who suffers generally reflects on his ways, is humbled, fears approaching death, loathes himself because of his past iniquities, and ceases from them; for, in a state of suffering, the mind loses its relish for the sins of the flesh, because they are embittered to him through the apprehension which he has of death and judgment; and, on his application to God's mercy, he is delivered from his sin.
Some suppose the words are to be understood thus: "Those who have firmly resolved, if called to it, to suffer death rather than apostatize from Christianity, have consequently ceased from, or are delivered from, the sin of saving their lives at the expense of their faith." Others think that it is a parallel passage to Romans 6:7, and interpret it thus: "He that hath mortified the flesh, hath ceased from sin." Dr. Bentley applies the whole to our redemption by Christ: He that hath suffered in the flesh hath died for our sins. But this seems a very constrained sense.
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh - Since he as a man has died for us. See the notes at 1 Peter 3:18. The design was to set the suffering Redeemer before them as an example in their trials.
Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind - That is, evidently, the same mind that he evinced - a readiness to suffer in the cause of religion, a readiness to die as he had done. This readiness to suffer and die, the apostle speaks of as armour, and having this is represented as being armed. Armour is put on for offensive or defensive purposes in war; and the idea of the apostle here is, that that state of mind when we are ready to meet with persecution and trial, and when we are ready to die, will answer the purpose of armour in engaging in the conflicts and strifes which pertain to us as Christians, and especially in meeting with persecutions and trials. We are to put on the same fortitude which the Lord Jesus had, and this will be the best defense against our foes, and the best security of victory.
For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin - Compare the notes at Romans 6:7. To “suffer in the flesh” is to die. The expression here has a proverbial aspect, and seems to have meant something like this: “when a man is dead, he will sin no more;” referring of course to the present life. So if a Christian becomes dead in a moral sense - dead to this world, dead by being crucified with Christ (see the notes at Galatians 2:20) - he may be expected to cease from sin. The reasoning is based on the idea that there is such a union between Christ and the believer that his death on the cross secured the death of the believer to the world. Compare 2 Timothy 2:11; Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:3.
There are many who claim that they have been sanctified to God, and yet when the great standard of righteousness is presented to them they become greatly excited and manifest a spirit which proves that they know nothing of what it means to be sanctified. They have not the mind of Christ; for those who are truly sanctified will reverence and obey the Word of God as fast as it is opened to them, and they will express a strong desire to know what is truth on every point of doctrine. An exultant feeling is no evidence of sanctification. The assertion, “I am saved, I am saved,” does not prove that the soul is saved or sanctified. FW 121.1Read in context »
Can Christians, who boast of a broader light than had the Hebrews, give less than they? Can Christians living near the close of time be satisfied with their offerings when not half so large as were those of the Jews? Their liberality was to benefit their own nation; the work in these last days extends to the entire world. The message of truth is to go to all nations, tongues, and people; its publications, printed in many different languages, are to be scattered abroad like the leaves of autumn. 4T 79.1
It is written: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.” And again: “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” Let us inquire: What would our Saviour have done in our circumstances? what would have been His efforts for the salvation of souls? This question is answered by the example of Christ. He left His royalty, laid aside His glory, sacrificed His riches, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might reach men where they were. His example shows that He laid down His life for sinners. 4T 79.2
Satan told Eve that a high state of felicity could be gained through the gratification of unlicensed appetite, but the promise of God to man is through denial of self. When upon the shameful cross Christ was suffering in agony for man's redemption, human nature was exalted. Only by the cross can the human family be elevated to connect with heaven. Self-denial and crosses meet us at every step on our heavenward journey. 4T 79.3
The spirit of liberality is the spirit of heaven; the spirit of selfishness is the spirit of Satan. Christ's self-sacrificing love is revealed upon the cross. He gave all He had, and then gave Himself, that man might be saved. The cross of Christ appeals to the benevolence of every follower of the blessed Saviour. The principle there illustrated is to give, give. This, carried out in actual benevolence and good works, is the true fruit of the Christian life. The principle of worldlings is to get, get, and thus they expect to secure happiness; but, carried out in all its bearings, the fruit is misery and death. 4T 79.4Read in context »