The Rest of the Time
“So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” (1 Peter 4.2) I recently read this verse with a deeper understanding. Peter is discussing what to do since you are a Christian. The wording is more provocative than I realized.
When converting a person to Christ, we would show them scriptures like 1 Corinthians 15 (the assurance and application of resurrection) and Romans 6 (dying with Christ to be resurrected with Christ). We may quote from Ephesians telling us that the way we learned Christ is to put off the old self, which belongs to our former manner of life, and be renewed; putting on a new self (paraphrase of Ephesians 4.20-24). We die, from being outside of Christ to being His. In reading “for the rest of the time” from Peter, it seems that he is making the same application, and deeper.
Peter is encouraging us to not only see ourselves as changed, but to mark the passing. I am not just figuratively different I am a new person. “the rest of the time”, as if to say, “live dead”. Meaning, the Christian has voluntarily ended their time on earth, through uniting with Jesus in baptism. Their life is over. But they are still drawing breath- so do something “for the rest of the time”. Some receive baptismal certificates on the day of their uniting with Christ- really honoring the scripture would be for us to consider them more of a death certificate.
My life is over, I have given it to God. I am of a single purpose now, to use the rest of my time serving the kingdom with whatever blessings God has given me (paraphrase 1 Peter 4.10). Furthermore, much clearer is the rub that shows up when I try to live that old life. I don’t belong in those sinful arenas anymore. Those activities are supposed to be behind me, dead to me. Since that old life is over, I should show some kind of difference in how I proceed. Sin is the old; I am past that, no more sin. But, not just past sin, free from it! Why do retirees often look so happy? They have minimized their responsibilities and maximized their freedoms. Christian- that is YOU! Your victory over death is assured in Christ! Now, you just have to wait “the rest of the time” for Him to return. Come quickly, Lord!