Is it possible to know how Jesus thought while he was on Earth? Is it possible to imitate Christ’s way of thinking now?
The Apostle Peter assumes the answer is YES. He encourages Christians to “arm yourselves with the same way of thinking,” that Jesus had (1 Peter 4:1b). In the context, this means doing good even as we have to face suffering and evil (3:18-4:1a), and to not live for sinful human desires but for the will of God (4:2-11).
Part of faithful living for Christ includes not living like the world around us and saying no to those desires in our hearts and lives (1 Peter 4:1-6). Peter said that our decision to not join in with sinful practices of the culture will cause outsiders to be “astonished” at us and for Christian to be “maligned,” (1 Peter 4:4). Being spoken evil of is generally part of the suffering that Christians have endured for the last 2000 years— the Early Christians were labeled enemies of the State for their refusal to call Caesar “lord;” they were also called cannibals (for their language in the Lord’s Supper) and incestuous (for brotherly/sisterly love language). Today, in the West, Christians can be called judgmental or prudish for a refusal to accept much of what is considered normal around us (sexual ethics).
Another part of faithful living for Christ involves saying YES to the glorious “will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2, 7-11a). The will of God is not something meant to burden us or steal our joy, but liberate us and show us the path of goodness, beauty, and truth. We see that the will of God for us is “self-control and sober-mindedness;” it is “an earnest love for one another;” it is a “hospitality without grumbling;” it “serving each other with the various gifts God has given us” (4:7b-11a). It is a life lived for the glory of God with the hope of enjoying Him forever (4:11).
In this we imitate Christ and “arm ourselves with the same way of thinking” that Christ had.