“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;” - 1 Pet 4:1 (KJV) (emphasis added)
The words, “ceased from sin” can be confusing unless you understand the Greek language they were translated from. First it is important to realize that “ceased” indicates something that took place in the past. The Greek word which is translated “ceased” is indeed written in the past perfect tense, indicating that it is completed. Another thing to understand is that it is written in the passive voice, meaning that it is not something that you do in your own strength but it is something that is done for you by someone else.
I explained this clearly in the devotional I did on Romans 7, verses 1 – 6.
In the Law of Moses, the only way a woman could be freed from her husband was if he died. Likewise in Romans chapter 7 verses 1 – 6, Paul makes the analogy of how the Law was our husband, and our only way we could be separated from it was death. Jesus died in our place and freed us from our old husband. We are now married to Christ and because of this; the “Sin nature” no longer has dominion over us. It is still there but we now have a choice to say no to its desires by turning to Jesus and asking him to fill us with his Holy Spirit and work through us to glorify God.
Therefore, “ceased from sin” indicates that our new husband, Jesus, has freed us from being a slave to the sin nature. We didn’t free ourselves but Jesus set us free when we trusted in him with our whole heart. This is the meaning of “ceased from sin” in 1 Peter 4:1
With this understanding the, rest of 1 Peter 4:1 makes sense. Those who have trusted in Jesus have received the Holy Spirit and therefore “suffer in the flesh”, i.e. they don’t fit in this world and are persecuted for standing up for the truth. Their stand for the truth indicates that they have been divorced from the sin nature, i.e. “ceased from sin”. The world doesn’t want us around pointing out the truth. Jesus made this clear “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” - John 15:19-20 (KJV)
Because we have been joined to Christ we automatically “suffer in the flesh”.
May God help us to “arm (ourselves) with this mind” and stand in Christ’s strength.
God bless, Orval