“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, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” (1 Peter 4:1-3)
Many scholars date 1 Peter around A.D. 45 and some as late at A.D. 65. That suggests that Peter likely was writing this between 13 and 35 years after the establishment of the Kingdom, Christ’s Church recorded in Acts 2.
Yet as I read these words, I cannot help but think that Peter could have written this last week. He describes the lifestyle of the world and apparently the lifestyle some Christians were clinging too as a life of:
- Lasciviousness – sensuality
- Lust – passions
- Alcoholism – drunkenness
- Carousing – drinking parties
I wondered why our English translations used these and similar words. I understand some of them perfectly, but others are vague. What exactly is lasciviousness (debauchery)? What kind of lust or passion? I think I know what an orgy is today, but what was it then? Is what my grandmother called carousing – teens hanging out at the mall – really a sin?
Recently I watch a video of David Young (North Boulevard Church of Christ, Murfreesboro, TN) preaching through this text. He brought out some things about these words that I had not considered. He called these “Six Sensual Sins that prevent the Will of God.” In other words, six sins that will keep you from living in God’s Will.
- Sensuality – “aselgeia” is sensual dress or behavior. That is dressing provocatively or to draw attention to yourself sexually.
- Passions – “epithumia” is lusting or looking for sex or looking at others and thinking of ways to initiate sexual intercourse with them.
- Drunkenness – “oinoflugia” is drinking a lot of alcohol.
- Orgies – “komos” are equivalent to bar hopping or going clubbing.
- Drinking Parties – “potos” these were parties where alcohol flows in efforts to loosen inhibitions for sexual encounters.
- Idolatry – “idololatreia” – adoring anything other than and above God.
You can watch David Young’s sermon HERE – this part of the message is at the 12:25 mark.