Peter was speaking of the baptism in chapter 3 he says. there is also an antitype that saves us namely baptism. not the removal of the filth of the flesh but an answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. who has ascended into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.t
1 Peter 4.1 Therefor since Christ suffered in the flesh arm yourself with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.
It does not say arm your body, or kill your body but arm your mind. It is here we find the gift, for Christ by the grace of God has tasted death for every man, especially those who believe. The question then is if we arm our mind what happens to the sin? Isn’t God watching that? Having put off the flesh by faith we have to redefine sin.
In Zach 3 we see Joshua the high priest standing before God and Satan accusing him. The Lord rebuked Satan, then says of Joshua “Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? The Lord instructed those who stood by to remove the filthy garments and to cloth him in rich robes.
So then here is how we define sin now as it pertains to the clean conscience, the new man.
In Romans 14 Paul was talking about our freedoms when it comes to what day to worship, what foods to eat, what to drink and in general what is our mind set now that we are past sin according to law. Verse 22 do you have faith? And, Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats because he does not eat of faith, (and here is the key) for whatever is not of faith is sin.
Sin relates now to faith being actions in the mind as it pertains to the leading of God, verses the body carried away with cravings. If we understand as it says in Hebrews 11.6 that without faith it is impossible to please God, we learn that it is more important to follow His Spirit then to go back to law. We know if an external law helped, Christ would not have gone to the cross. This then is the struggle of the flesh, we would rather have a list of “thou shalt not” on the refrigerator than to follow the spirit. Then to follow the unction of the Spirit.
So then when Satan, ourselves or anybody accuses us and tries to put us on the defense and throw our minds into a whirlwind of apologizing, making excuses, and confessing we have an answer of a good conscience. This becomes the act of faith that pleases God. With Joshua the Lord had the sin removed and had him robed in fine linen and we do that by faith. This pleases God.
I do not taint my relationship with my heavenly Father by dwelling on sin in the flesh. It is an insult to the Spirit of grace. The sin factor is gone in the spirit, in the heavens and in our minds if our mind is set on the Spirit, the things that are above, This pleases God. We are unobstructed and unhindered, without excuse to relate to God. Let nothing come between you and that. When we hear correction from the heavenly voice we make the necessary adjustments in our walk and move on.
Back to 1 Peter we read that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same is being experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
Here is the key. Are we “in Christ” or “in the world”? If we succumb to the accusations like Joshua, we have to ask ourselves are we in the flesh or in faith. For if you are in the flesh, you are in the world where Satan is active. If you are in the faith Satan’s words fall on deaf ears. God is not listening, He is not imputing. Why are we.
This is where we appropriate our faith and give God the Glory. Instead of apologizing for yet another short coming on our part, bless God because he paved the way once for all. This is faith and this pleases God. He really is not happy with continual apologies and confessions as though that keeps us clean like the continual sacrifices of old. He didn’t like that either. But he likes an answer of a clear conscience washed by the blood of the lamb. The accuser of the brethren is cast down when we do that. We are accounted as seated with Him in heavenly places. Far above all powers and principalities. The roaring lion becomes toothless road kill .
Here are a couple other verses that expand on this
Heb 10.1-22 with sin gone by faith, another act of faith is to enter the holiest of all by the blood of Christ.
John 17.15 Christ prayed not that we would be taken out of the world but that we would be protected from evil.
1 John 2.12-14 are the words that “you have overcome the wicked one’.
My work of faith is to follow the Holy Spirit. I do not glorify Satan for any of his mischievousness for he is limited to what God allows him. Like the serpent who was a staff in Moses hand, so is Satan in the hand of Christ, all power and authority having been given to Him. It is when I test the boundaries of the promise. To be in Christ by faith, or in the world. If I fill myself with the spirit and not the world satan stands no chance.