“That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”
that he no longer should live
“That” is a term of purpose. We arm ourselves with the mind of Christ so that we can live to the will of God. When a person comes to Christ, our life changes. New birth transforms our experience right to the essence of our motivation (v.1).
The words “no longer” also occur in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15:
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”
God does not want us any longer to live to self. The law of the jungle governs most people, but the child of God does not rule his life by himself. He is sick of living for himself. As long as strictly self-interests satisfy us, we will remain outside the will of God.
the rest of his time in the flesh
“The rest of his time in the flesh” is the remainder of our time on earth as a Christian. We had a pattern of life before becoming Christians established by the fast crowd. Now we decide to orient to the will of God for the rest of our lives.
When a person forms the new motivation of verse one, this also negates the old motivations. This is what Peter means by ceasing from sin (v.1). A Christian can live with negative motivation throughout his lifetime. He can believe that the lusts of the flesh fulfill his ultimate needs.
for the lusts of men
The word “lusts” means desires. This is our lust pattern. The lust pattern manifests itself in sexual sin, approbation lust, power lust. We should no longer live to the desires of men. We do not please men as our ultimate aim but enter the domain of freedom from pleasing people.
If we live for pleasing people, we become puppets of their pleasure. They pull strings, and we do the jig. God’s view is that when they pull strings, we do not dance. God’s people should be free from pleasing people as their core value.
The world hates those who are different. The doctrine of this world is uniformity. They want no deviation from their values. They do not accept nonconformists, dissenters, protestants. They want everyone stamped out on the same assembly line. They want everyone identical to them.
God’s doctrine is individuality. That is why everyone has a different fingerprint. Every snowflake is different, and every leaf is different.
God expects the mature Christian to be free from peer pressure and independent of its influence.
We no longer run with the fast crowd that we ran with before we became Christians. As long as we run with the fast crowd, we will not enter the sphere of the will of God. When we break away from the fast group, we move into the “no longer” bracket.
The fast crowd always looks glamorous. A girl graduates from high schools and goes to college and runs into the fast crowd. At first, that life appeals to her; then, later, she breaks off from them after seeing the implications of living like this. She moves into the “no longer” bracket. As soon as she hits the “no longer” bracket, the fast crowd turns on her.
Some athletic organizations or sorority organizations put pressure on her. Does she have the independence and maturity to stand alone? Some girls are simpletons and just jump into this crowd because they are boy-crazy. Organizations always first look glamorous such as a football club. She thinks this is the greatest thing in the world, and these are the nicest people in the world. She goes around saying how wonderful they are. They always present their best side until she breaks out.
When she breaks out, they immediately hit her with pressure. She sticks to her guns and keeps to her “no longer” bracket. When she does this, she enters into the blessing of the will of God.
There is the girl who caves into any boy who will smile at her and give her attention. Some football captain or wealthy guy takes her to the parties and shoves drugs at her. He pushes alcohol, and she yields to norms against her values. Once she gets into this kind of thing, it is difficult to break out.
One a Christian enters this, she enters cursing. However, when she enters the “no longer” category, the opposite happens – she enters God’s blessing. This “no longer” bracket begins with confession and proceeds with inculcation with the Word.