Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 5 - The good leader walks in the high calling of the plan of God. 1Pe 4:1-6; Mat 20:20-28.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 5 - The good leader walks in the high calling of the plan of God. 1PE 4:1-6; MAT 20:20-28.


Announcementsopening prayer:  



2. God appoints His leaders, not men, and He only appoints when they are prepared.


1PE 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,


In 3:18-22 Peter spoke of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus and of His example of patience and submissiveness under unjust treatment. Now, he exhorts the saints to arm themselves with the same mind that Christ had regarding unjust punishment. Our Lord's attitude toward unjust suffering is found in the words:


1PE 3:17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right [high land road] rather than for doing what is wrong [low land road].


1PE 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,


The Greek word translated "arm yourselves" was used of a Greek soldier putting on his armor and taking his weapons. It refers to heavy as opposed to light armor.


The noun of the same root was used of a heavy-armed foot-soldier who carried a pike and a large shield. The word was used of heavy-armed as against light-armed troops. Peter could have used the latter word. The Holy Spirit selected the former. The Christian needs the heaviest armor he can get, to withstand the attacks of the enemy of his soul. To have the same attitude toward unjust suffering that the Lord Jesus had, will cause us to react toward this suffering as He did.


A confusing phrase here, "because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin," can be clarified by the context. Suffered in the flesh is used in conjunction with Christ's suffering in the flesh, a suffering of unjust treatment.


This is the Christian who has suffered ill-treatment from the persecuting world of sinners. They only persecute the believer who has victory over sin nature mastery [he is not sinless].


The fact that he has been persecuted is an indication that he has ceased from sin. Not that he has become sinless, but that he lives a life free from the mastery and domination of the sin nature. This is clear as the world does not persecute their own. They do not persecute those who act as they do.


JOH 15:18-19

"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.


Those who persecute God's children do not persecute those who live carnal lifestyles. The Corinthians at the time of Paul's first epistle to them would not have been persecuted by the worldly people of Corinth since they thought and lived just like them.


The world directs its persecution against those who are living lives of obedience to God, thus those who have been released from sin nature domination [verb is passive].


The verb is passive. Literally, the Christian "has been released from sin." God broke the power of sin in his life when He saved him and God broke the power of sin nature domination in his everyday life through His Spirit and His word. Thus our reaction to unjust suffering should be that of a saint, not a sinner, since we have in salvation been released from sin's compelling power and through spiritual growth we have come to live in that reality. The saint who responds properly to persecution and pressure from the world says to himself, "The world says one thing about me and God says another. I know the truth of what God says therefore there is no reason for me to fight with the world or to defend myself from its view of me." This is the high road of the spiritual leader and so pressure upon him to do anything different than God's way is futile.


1PE 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,


1PE 4:2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.


1PE 4:3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.


The matter is closed. You have been released from the low land road. Walk the high land road in the will of God.


"Carousals" were things like a party of revelers parading the streets, which they usually did as religious ceremony. Drinking parties were banquets where drinking bouts were held in connection with pagan religious rites. Abominable means illegal and so some of these idolatrous practices were actually illegal in the Roman Empire, which wasn't the epitome of moral conduct. These rites must have been pretty bad.


1PE 4:4 And in all this, they are surprised [think it completely foreign] that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they malign you;


Those continuing on the low land road recognize that you are journeying on some type of foreign road. The Greek word doesn't mean that they think it odd or unusual, but that they actually see it as something alien and foreign in nature. It's not that they understand it and think it odd that you walk that way. The fact is that they don't understand it at all.


Their totally depraved nature which before salvation had given them a love for sinful things, now had its power over them broken, and that another nature, the divine nature, had been given them as their new motivating principle of life which caused them to hate the things they once loved and love the things they once hated.


1PE 4:5 but they [the people of the world] shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.


1PE 4:6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead [Christians who had died], that though they are judged in the flesh [unjust persecution from the world] as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.


The context of the entire book helps us greatly with this difficult verse. This verse refers to Christians who have faced the persecution of the world and have now passed on to heaven. "Those who are dead" refers to the Christians who had died. They were persecuted by the world but they are now free from the world and face to face with the Lord. "Judged in the flesh" doesn't mean judgment from God but the judgment from the world that comes in the form of unjust persecution. Though they were unjustly treated by those with whom they no longer ran, they live in the spirit, or life of heaven, according to the will of God. Peter brings out the fact that those who persecute have no lasting or eternal power over the believer. Why should the believer let them hinder him from running the high land roads when only God has a lasting and eternal power over them and who will ultimately deliver them from this world.


Peter brings out a principle that it is good to every once in a while to remember those who have gone before us and have run the race set before them. What seems weightier to us when we think of them and their lives; their persecutions or their endurance and love of truth and righteousness?


The spiritual leader continues to run through the high land roads of God's plan for his life despite the persecution that comes from the world of the low lands.


So then, the leader who constantly quenches or grieves the Spirit is one who is attempting to lead from the faculty of his flesh alone. If this is true then both he and those whom he leads will travel the lowlands often and the paths of lowliness will be well worn. This includes both moral degeneracy (legalism) and immoral degeneracy (licentiousness). Only the spiritual leader whose power flows from the Holy Spirit can lead the people of God through the spiritual uplands - the hills and high plains of spiritual maturity.  


Leaders must be authoritative, spiritual, and sacrificial.

Authoritative - they must be confident in where they are going and in getting there.


People don't desire a wishy-washy leader. We have leaders that say one thing and do another. They do not inspire anyone to follow them unless they're paying them well. A leader who is unsure is impossible to follow. Our Lord wasn't unsure. He knew His goal and He was absolutely sure of getting there.