Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. (1 Peter 4:1)
First it puzzles. Did Christ have to cease from sin? No! “He committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22).
Then it clicks. When we arm ourselves with the thought that Christ suffered for us, we realize that we died with him. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). When we die with him, we cease to sin.
It’s just like Romans 6. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. . . . So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:6–7, 11).
Peter says, “Arm yourselves with this thought!”
Paul says, “Consider yourselves dead!”
The weapon for our warfare against sin is this thought — this consideration.
When the temptations of Satan come — to lust, to steal, to lie, to covet, to envy, to retaliate, to put down, to fear — arm yourself with this thought: When my Lord suffered and died to free me from sin, I died to sin!
When Satan says to you, Why deny yourself the pleasure of lust? Why deal with this mess, which you could avoid by lying? Why not go ahead and get that harmless luxury you covet? Why not seek justice by returning the same hurt you just received?
Answer him: The Son of God suffered (really suffered!) to deliver me from sinning. I cannot believe he suffered to make me miserable. Therefore, what he died to purchase must be more wonderful than the pleasures of sin. Since I trust him, my susceptibility to your allurements has shriveled up and died.
Satan, be gone! My mouth doesn’t drool any more when I walk by your candy store.