The Pilgrims’ Guidebook: Being distinct from the world

I Peter 4:1-4

Christians live in a sinful, rebellious world. And before our conversion we were part of it. For some of us, breaking free will be very difficult. So we must look at the example of Jesus: in order to redeem us, He had to resist temptation and choose the hard way, the way of suffering that led eventually to the cross – where sin was finally and completely dealt with. Peter does not mean that suffering automatically makes us more holy; he is saying that we should take the same attitude towards sin as Jesus did. When we were baptised, we joined Christ in His death. From then on, we choose to follow God’s will, rather than our own (Romans 6:10,11).

Once we have joined ourselves to Christ, we can no longer live like pagans (see Ephesians 4:17-24). Sin is (amongst other things) a waste of time; we have better things to do! We must abandon those attitudes and behaviours of our society that are contrary to God’s will, and obey Him instead. This often generates hostility, because the world does not tolerate non-conformity (John 15:19). People will mock and despise those who make the effort to live holy lives, and we must be prepared to cope with this.

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