In writing on my studies of first Peter, these verses really put my posts on hold for three weeks. The more I researched, the deeper I went into these verses. Many rewrites later, below is what I have to say. I can see a revision of all my posts on 1 Peter in the coming months or years, not because of any new material, but because of what is revealed and convicted to me through them. So without delay and to continue my studies on 1 & 2 Peter, here is the new blog.
- Our hope should be fully in God (v.13)
- Be Holy Because God is Holy (v.14-16)
- Live in Reverent Fear of God (v.17)
- We live in the knowledge that we have been redeemed of our former selves (v.18-21)
Mark Driscoll does an excellent job in his sermon series “Trial,” laying out the context of these nine verses. The first section of 1 Peter tells us of God’s love for us and his plan for our salvation. He shows us that our hope is not in the things of this world, but in our future inheritance. As his children we should learn to live a life that pleases our father and is in tune with the lives of all his children.
I love how Peter turns the table after the first ten verses of the book. He starts off with the word, “Therefore,” which is noted in a previous blog as a word used to mean a call to action. It bridges the facts that we spelled out in 1:1-12 and lists commands that come out of a desire to live for our father.
Calling yourself a Christian is a call to act, saying, “Therefore, preparing your mind for action.” Because of what Christ has done for us, do not be lazy and do not just BE a Christian. Act on your faith and live it out. Know scripture, memorize His Word, and use your brain. Luke 12:35, I believe, adds a little more oomph to v.13 saying we need to, “stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning.” This whole verse (1:13) can be translated into, “binding up the loins of our minds.” Wayne Grudem in his exegesis of 1 Peter mentions that the belt around the robes of the people in that time-period were so long that when one needed to get somewhere fast or move at a quicker pace, they would tie the rope around their loins. Interesting, eh? Basically, it means tying of our belts around our armor, or in modern times, rolling up our sleeves.
From the call to action in verse 12, Peter continues to tell us how we ought to act as Christians whose hope is in the Lord and their future inheritance. He says the best way is to prepare ourselves and to be “sober-minded” (v. 14) and “setting our hope fully on God.” Sober-minded does not necessarily mean abstaining from drunkenness, but filtering what it going in and out of us. What we need to do is to be “self controlled” (1 Peter 4:7), “watchful” (1 Peter 5:8; 1 Thess. 5:6), and show outwardly “faith and love” (1 Thess 5:8). What are our actions? How are people seeing us live out our faith? Are we watching our tongues? Are we guarding our eyes?
We are called not to fall back on our former lives (v.14). Sin no longer has a hold on us (Rms. 6:14,14:7, 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Titus 3:3) and we must choose to live a life the brings Him glory. His glory equals our salvation.
He says in v.16 quite bluntly, “You should be holy because I am holy.” In other words, you can’t continue to live in sin because God has asked you to live holy. Does this mean that he could count you out of heaven for living in sin? I think so. While I am not the ultimate judge and God has not called me to be a judger of sins, I can explain myself without becoming self-righteous.
You can be a saint who occasionally sins or a sinner who is occasionally a saint. God calls us to be saints. We sin and there is nothing we can do about it. We commit adultery, we lie, cheat, steal, eat too much, worry too much, and on and on. We will commit these sins time to time, due to our inerrant sin-nature.
Many of the times when we commit these sins we are in shock that we, ourselves, born-again Christians chose sin over trusting God. This does not prevent us from heaven when we commit these things occasionally. What could prevent us from heaven is choosing to live in sin by choice. ie. If we choose to prostitute our bodies, lie, cheat, steal, and live in lives of sexual immorality.
If you are following Christ wholeheartedly, then you cannot be devoted more to a life of sin then of a life of holiness. If you are living a lifestyle that is condemned by the Bible, and I am talking of the things Jesus talks about in the New Testament, not the Mosaic Laws, if God does not want you to be living in that manner anymore he will pull you out of it if you are willing to truly follow him.
Can I be honest about what I said in the last paragraph? It scares me what I said because it makes me feel like a horrible Christ-follower. I question if I really do follow Christ with all my heart. I think the times I do follow him with all endurance possible, the sins decrease in my life and holiness increases. How can I increase the holiness so the times I do live in sin decrease? I can do this by increasing my pursuit of him with all my might and all my attention. More time with Him and less with this world.
Impartiality (used in v.17) is another scary word. God says he is not impartial, so we should not be either. What does this mean? Don’t partially follow him. Don’t partially be holy. Don’t show favor to one group over another. Don’t be partial in your giving. Don’t be partial in your working. God is never partial. He is not selective. He chooses all of us, as to him we are all equal in our sin, moreover equally loved due to the sacrifice of Christ. What sets us apart is our faith in Him and allowing Him to work in us so that our faith is not a partial faith, but one that fully flourishes under his grace.
Now, should the focus of our lives be trying to be fully focused on Him? Yes. However, we should never be consumed with making sure we come to Him only when we have no distractions. God meets us in our messy and cluttered schedules and walks with us as we release ourselves from our commitments and focus more on Him.
I’ve said it and I will say it a lot, we are called to be set apart . . . different. We were not ransomed (v.18) to continue to live the way we always have, we are ransomed to move forward towards the life of hope, joy, peace, love, etc. We were not ransomed with anything material or of this world, rather we were ransomed by the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ (v.19).
We are called to live a life of holiness, our better understood as reverence, of the one who knew us long before we were born (v.21) and knew every choice we’d make that either brought us towards or further away from Him and had our redemption planned before Adam even took his first breath.
Because of Jesus we have hope for a future inheritance through faith in Jesus Christ whom we allow to renew us inwardly and display this faith through our outward actions. A lack of faith means a lack of action and, therefore, a lack of hope that our Savior will come through for us. Until Christ’s return we need to be followers that live in reverence for his name’s sake. We are now children of God and we need to act like it.
- 1 Peter by Karen H. Jobes
- 1 & Second Peter, James by John MacArthur
- “Trial: Part 4 – Temptation from Sin” by Mark Driscoll
- Redemption by Mike Wilkerson