This next section can be seen as an elaboration on Romans 12:2
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
There is an interesting phrase in verse 1 I want to deal with. The phrase is "done with sin." What exactly does this mean, I look at my life and the lives of others and do not see anyone being done with sin. We live in a fallen world and this side of eternity we are not perfected in Christ. So what does that mean? Here is my understanding. In my last blog we discussed baptism as a washing clean of sin and starting a new life in Christ. Before Christ sin ruled us, we really couldn't choose to do anything but sin, because our sin nature controlled us. Now that we are alive in Christ, Christ nature controls us therefore breaking the power of sin in our lives. Not that we do struggle with sin, but now at least we have the option to struggle. Before we just had to accept the sin we were in, now we have this power. So we are done with sin, in the sense that it is no longer our master. Also, we are done with sin in the sense that it is no longer our goal. Our goal is now Christlikeness the continual conforming to His likeness and His pattern rather then the pattern of this world (v. 2). So though we are still sinful, we are not hopeless in our struggles but have hope and forgiveness in what Christ has done for us, set us free.
All of us can look backwards at who we were before Christ intervened. For many of us this is not a pretty picture. Praise God for that, they He can take a disfigured / distorted picture and make it new and beautiful. Peter's point here is this is who you were… you used to live in debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures), lust (illicit sexual desire), drunkeness, orgies, and idolatry (worship of anything aside from God). But you have been saved from that. These things used to control you, now Christ does and we should be living for that now by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let's be honest to the rest of the world this makes us seem somewhat bizarre. I can give you a silly example. Let's look at our friends Vegans. Many vegans have chosen to abstain from all food, makeup or clothing products which contain any form of animal product. From being friends with a lot of vegans I see the odd looks they receive, the numerous questions they get asked "why don't you eat cheese?" and the ritual poking and prodding of their dietary choices. To many people Vegans don't make sense, but each individual Vegan understands why they have chosen this and are dedicated to their choice. People look at Christians the same. People don't get us… Why not have sex? Why not get drunk? Why not do drugs? Why not _____________ ” You get the idea. This can lead to a lot of ridicule, feelings of loneliness and alienation (v. 4).
So I guess that begs the question… well… Why not? The answer is simple. Because Christ has freed us from that. It is as if Christ is saying to us "My child there is a better way, stay strong, I am with you always. Remember the Cross and push forward like I did, Like Noah did and many others before you."
In the end all, including Christians, will have to give account to the one "who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (v. 5). God will set all things right in the end and that can give us hope to press on through as it has given the saints hope who came before us, suffered deeply and trusted God.
p.s. and remember Christians are like Vegans. Though some would argue vegans have chosen imitation to replace the true food. Don't overthink it ;).