As a child, my brother and I thought we were something when my mother bought us a set of encyclopedias. Not many people in our neighborhood had them. For you all of the digital age, encyclopedias are the precursors to search engines on the internet. Encyclopedias are the basis behind such sites as Wikipedia. Before the advent of the internet, many matters of what we wanted to know were in the encyclopedias. Now, we have sites like YouTube to learn things.
Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has become the world’s most popular online video site with users watching 4 billion hours of video each month, and uploading 72 hours worth of video every minute. While many videos are not worth watching, it has tremendous value in other ways. YouTube has jumpstarted the careers of many singers and performs. I must admit that I have found it useful in watching videos to diagnose and repair problems for things such as a broken dryer, washing machine, dripping shower or faucet, resetting a pilot light and the like.
More than anything, it served as the object lesson for today’s post. Most people knows YouTube as the primary means to view things. For example, I recently uploaded my nieces graduation photo presentation, so relatives across the country who could not attend her graduation could see photos of her growth and graduation.
Since YouTube is there for people to see you, besides the mirror, what is there for us to truly see ourselves to diagnose and repair problems in our lives. This gave rise to the notion of YouTude. Tude is a suffix indicating state or condition. It is usually combined with a base or root word to form a noun or adjective. My pastor, Robert Benson, has been preaching from 1 Peter 4 which is where I have been writing from over the past several months.
In my bible, the title for chapter 4 of 1 Peter is “Living for God”. Ultimately, we know as followers of Christ that our mission is to live for God. This is where YouTude comes into play. Again, Tude is a suffix that indicates the state or condition of whatever proceeds it. Let’s go through some examples that I am sure you are aware:
attiTude – Manner; feeling toward
altiTude – the height of anything; important position or rank
aptiTude – Ability for; state of being capable
latiTude – Degree of distance from side to side; width
fortiTude – State of bravery and strength; endurance
gratiTude – being grateful; thankfulness
multiTude – Great numbers
soliTude – State of being alone; loneliness
turpiTude – Baseness; depravity; as, moral turpitude
YouTude equates to what is your mental condition. Specifically, how are you thinking in comparison to God’s expectation for one who professes to believe and follow Jesus.
Proverbs 23:7a (KJV) – 7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:”
I have read that “as the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them.” I have also read in scripture in James 1 that “12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
Similarly, Romans 8 says, “5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. ”
We should see YouTude that means everything. This is exactly why Paul says followers of Christ 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Be transformed by the renewing of your minds. How do we transform our minds so that we have a proper view of YouTude? This is what Pastor Benson and the Apostle Peter has been leading us to in 1 Peter 4. Let’s look at the text.
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.”
Why do we need to take up arms? Because, we are in a spiritual battle!
Here are a few verses that convey and confirm that we are indeed in a spiritual battle.
22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
1 Peter 2:11
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
In this spiritual battle, the follower of Christ’s mind-set is to be determined and reshaped by knowledge of the Word of God and by the power of the Spirit who reveals God’s will to us. Peter conveys that to us when he says “since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourself also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” Arm yourself means to equip yourselves with the weapons for battle. What weapons is that? He tells us. With the same attitude, way of thinking, or mind of Christ. For us to arm ourselves with the mind of Christ, we need to ingest, memorize and meditate on the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged
sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
The parallel or comparison for us is that Christ suffered in His body because He had chosen to have the mind of God. In order to ARM ourselves, we need to have the same commitment Jesus demonstrated on the cross for our salvation. Jesus communicated as much when He told us that anyone who would come after Him must take up his cross and follow (Matthew 16:24).
Paul tells us in Philippians 2
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
We know how to win the battle, but too often, we suffer defeat. Many of us are defeated in our battle against sin because we refuse to sacrifice anything in the battle. We only want victory if it comes easily to us. Jesus called us to have the kind of attitude that would sacrifice anything in the battle against sin (Matthew 5:29-30)
29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
It has been communicated that when a person has suffered physical persecution for the sake of Jesus, it almost always profoundly changes their outlook regarding sin and the pursuit of the lusts of the flesh. He is more likely to live the rest of his time in the flesh not for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. This is what the text means when God says that whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. When we are tempted with sin, we should reply by saying “no longer.” because through Christ suffering we are done being slaves to sin. Titus 2:11-13
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to
live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of
our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
This is how we Arm ourselves with the mind of Christ – we ingest the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to call to mind the Word in our battle. When we use the Word of God to resist the devil, we are told (James 4:7) that he will flee from us.
When we have properly armed ourselves, we should Acknowledge your former life but submit to Christ (v3-4). It has been cited that the first step to recovery is to acknowledge that you have or had a problem. The Word of God calls that confessing or agreeing with God that He is right. Peter shares that we all have spent enough time living like the world. Now as followers of Jesus, we are called to live like Him who died not only for sin but to sin. If we truly consider God’s will and way, we will acknowledge that we used to follow the foolish ways of the world. Since coming into the light, we know there is a better way. While that is true, the struggle remains which is why we are told “7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4
Now back to 1 Peter 4:3-4
3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. By providing that list, Peter recognizing that those sins are former ways of life. Those still in the world will think you are strange for not acting that way anymore.
When you commit to following Jesus as Lord and Savior not only will you change, but people will change in the way that they relate to you. They will think you are strange, and they will speak evil of you. For example, when I began to follow Jesus, my brother, who was away in the military, came home wanting to hangout. When he asked, I was happy, but he suggested one thing. I said, “I can’t do that.” He suggested another thing, I said, “I don’t want to do that.”. He said, “what can you do?” I could follow ways that Jesus would approve of. This led to course joking by him and other so called friends. Eventually, I recognized that I had to separate myself from those things and people who pulled me away from Christ.
We are called to live godly lives. Christ expects godliness to be reflective of what we think, say and do. Until we Arm ourselves with the mind of Christ and Acknowledge our former life, we will not submit to Christ in pursuit of godliness.
Lastly, we must Accept you will by judged by Christ (v5-6). it will help us to remember to arm ourselves with the same mind.
5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
Let me remind you of what the Word says, about giving account for yourself. Matthew 12:36 says “36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. Romans 14:12 says, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”
When this account is required, the reality and finality of God’s righteous standard will be magnified. Those of us who followed Christ as Lord and Savior will enter eternal rest while those who did not follow Christ as Lord and Savior will stand condemned as they are cast into the lake of fire.
Today, God is giving us all a check up. We have an opportunity to correct any flaws in our pursuit or lack thereof of Him by Arming ourselves appropriately with the mind of Christ.
To further accept that we will be judged by Christ, verse 6 says, “For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead” Peter has already told us that Jesus preached to the spirits in prison, preaching a message of judgment (1 Peter 3:19). Apparently during this same time, Jesus also preached a message of salvation to the faithful dead in Abraham’s Bosom (Luke 16:22) who anticipated the work of the Messiah for them. This preaching to those who are dead was not the offer of a second chance, but the completion of the salvation of those who had been faithful to God under their first chance. In doing this, Jesus fulfilled the promised that He would lead captives out of captivity (Isaiah 42:7; 49:9, Ephesians 4:8) and would proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound (Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18).
Regardless of the explanation, Paul repeatedly urges us to live for God in a way that honors Him. Ephesians 4:1 says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Colossians 1:9-10 says, “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”
In 1 Peter 4:1-6, I hope that you see you must:
- Arm yourselves with the mind of Christ
- Acknowledge your former life but submit to Christ
- Accept you will by judged by Christ