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Verses 1-11

Changed lives of Christ’s followers (4:1-11)

Christ’s death dealt with sin once and for all. In that sense he has nothing more to do with sin. Christians are united with Christ in his death, and therefore they too should have nothing more to do with sin. They should live no longer to please themselves but to please God (4:1-2). Christians must have no more involvement with the disgusting practices of their former days, no matter how much their reformed behaviour brings jeers and insults from their former friends (3-4).Ungodly people must one day face divine judgment and condemnation, but in the case of believers, Christ has already borne that judgment and condemnation. The only judgment of sin that they experience is the suffering of their present physical existence, which reaches its climax in death. Those believers who are now dead believed the gospel that was preached to them while they were still living (i.e. during their earthly lives). Therefore, although they experienced physical death as one of the natural consequences of sin, they now live spiritually with God (5-6).The final great events of the world’s history could begin at any time. Christians should be alert, but should not get over-excited. They should control themselves, pray, and act with love at all times (7-9). They should use their God-given abilities with diligence, whether in teaching God’s Word or in giving practical help to others. Above all they must work in such a way as to bring praise and glory to God (10-11).

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