How Truth Affects Obedience

By November 2, 2012General, Study the Bible


It is a powerful word.

There are some commands in Scripture that just seem crazy-hard.

Impossible, even.

Yet, this one little word — therefore — can bring great motivation; it provides the why behind the charge given.

If you pay attention to sections of Scripture with numerous commands, there is usually a previous section of great, life-changing truths.

Truths that carry the impossible into the realm of possible.

Bible Study 101 teaches us to pay attention to the context of each passage of Scripture we read. The commands given in 1 Peter 4:1-11 were not given in isolation, it is part of a whole, and the word “therefore” in verse one is a reminder of this fact.

So, what is this therefore there for?

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh… 1 Peter 4:1

In the last section we studied we learned of The Great Exchange; the beautiful, powerful transaction that occured on the cross when Jesus the righteous, glorious Christ took on the sins of the world, though He had never sinned.

…Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…  1 Peter 3:18

Since Christ suffered and died for the sin of mankind, we have great hope. It is only through His sacrifice we have access to a relationship with God, and only through Christ’s righteousness—given to us—do we have any hope toward obedience to the commands in Scripture.

Knowing that Christ has already suffered and paid the penalty I owed—and has been perfectly obedient on my behalf—is incredibly freeing.

The pressure is lifted—the pressure from performing, from the pursuit of perfection, and from the inevitable guilt when I fail.

All of our imperfection, exchanged for Christ’s perfection.

I’m so thankful for the therefore, aren’t you?


What commands stood out to you this week, in 1 Peter 4:1-11?

How does the therefore in verse 1 change your heart’s motivation behind obedience to these commands?

Come and share your thoughts, in the comments!


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  • Avatar Jessica says:

    The thought that when God looks at me, it is through the lenses of the perfect work of Christ, is joyously freeing. I can stand holy, because of Christ. Hallelujah! What a Savior. Now, how can I but help live for Him?

  • Avatar Taylor says:

    I’m thankful that even though I fail miserably at some (ahem, a lot) of these commands, there is a grace I can’t understand that redeems! I felt esp convicted this week about be hospitable without complaint. Living overseas, we host a lot. That leaves me with lots of dirty dishes and messes. Yeah, I complain. Praise God that He suffered in the flesh for me.

  • Arm yourself with the same attitude reminds me of Ephesians 6 armor, but this is an attitude that arms us!
    Because he who has suffered in the body is done with sin. Meaning he who has died can’t be tempted to sin anymore? (Colossians 3 also says something like this I think)
    Remembering I have died with Christ (suffered in the body, if you like just having a flu keeps me from going shopping for instance) is commanded here. Then it follows that the things I’ve had enough of are weeded out, and the commands in 7-11 are even conceivably possible! Arming myself with the attitude (remembering) is key to right motivation: clear minded and self controlled, love deeply, offer hospitality, use your gift to serve the body…in the strength God provides.
    Back to arming myself with the right attitude!