GRACE TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST
Living a Holy Life
1 Peter 1:13-21
Jerry A Collins
v Do we need happiness or holiness?
v Should we live for this side of the grave or the other?
v Is holiness a way of life or a state of being?
When we talk or think about holiness we can easily view it as something irrelevant for daily life. Important in some sort of way maybe for heaven but what does it have to do with Monday or Saturday? Often I have been told that ‘God wants me to be happy’ to justify a decision that may be questionable but sanctioned by the belief that God wants me to be happy in this life. That is what the world pursues but God’s Word does not teach this. What the evangelical community needs—what God calls His church to, is holiness. It is all over the pages of the Bible. It is the opposite of being ‘profane’ or just ‘common’. Holiness is to be ‘set apart’ and separate from the common and the profane. Holiness is what God demands for us—His people. Now that we are saved—we have a precious salvation, one that gives us hope, joy and desired vs 1-12—we have now been given a brand new life as a result—one which requires holiness. So, what does this new kind of life demand and what does it produce?
1. IT TAKES DETERMINATION TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE
Observation: 1 Peter 1:13
Now that we have been chosen for new birth 1-12, we are called to live a holy life. Decisions we make daily will play into this.
A. We must prepare our minds for action 13a Girding our minds implies mental alertness. Our mind can distract us from our major objectives unless it is strictly controlled to the end. “Gathering in” our wandering thots, we are to focus our attention on the revelation of Jesus Christ—the end. So, when we become distracted by the cares and concerns of this side of the grave we can be tempted to ignore holiness for the expedient or for the moment.
B. We must be self-controlled 13b Rather than being manipulated by outside circumstances we should be directed from conviction. Holiness requires discipline. I do not want my spirit to be influenced by any and all kinds of mental or spiritual wanderings or excesses. So, I will take charge of my spirit and thus my life to pursue holiness. Each of us face our own personal battles here that deter us and delay the holy life.
C. We must set our hope on meeting Christ 13c We are to be absorbed by the consummation of all things every moment. It is essential that we have a clear grasp of this—the glory God’s grace is preparing us for now—and then set our expectation on this. Does your basic life objective lie here or on other side of grave? Four times Peter has gotten our attention on Jesus’ return vs 5, 7, 9, 13. So take charge of your wandering thots and hearts pre-occupations in order to fix your hope on Christ’s return.
2. DETERMINE TO BE HOLY LIKE GOD’S HOLY NATURE
Observation: 1 Peter 14-16
First, don’t conform to your past sinful ways 14 We are not to go back and visit that sinful ignorant life. Instead, our hope fixed on future glory, we can avoid those lust associated with the ignorance of our unsaved days. Things like pride, sinful ambitions, rivalry, jealousies, are lusts and can be escaped as our souls are liberated from them by the vision of a higher and greater glory awaiting us in Christ. So this hope motivates us to be obedient children. I have known old people—been good church goers, involved, committed who become bitter, say mean or hateful things as they get old. The problem is not that they have dementia but they simply don’t care what people think. It was the basis for their morality. So, their real god (society) was the real basis for morality—namely, what people think. Peter tells us it should be the revelation of Jesus Christ that motivates us and also keeps us from the past sinful ignorant ways all of our days.
Second. Our lives must express God’s
holy nature 15-16 We are to be holy because God IS holy 15. He is separate from all that is
evil. He is never compromised by or tempted by evil. He is not polluted,
compromised or defiled by anything inside or outside of Himself. This is our
North Star pursuit to fashion our lives into His image of holiness. We are also
to be holy AS God holy. God’s nature is our standard of conduct and character.
If we fix our eye on our calling to salvation, we will find the motivation to
sustain our commitment to a holy life. A quote from Leviticus 19:2. For
3. OUR FEAR OF GOD ENSURES THAT OUR FAITH & HOPE ARE IN HIM
Observation: 1 Peter 1;17-21
17 In all your difficulties, you address God for help. But remember that your appeal is to a judge who is utterly impartial and rewards according to one’s work. So fear Him while living your life here on earth. This echoes same the Solomon said in Ecc 12:13-14.
18-21 So our motivation to fear God springs from: (1) Do so because of the awesome price of our redemption 18-19. Our fear and conformity to His nature and will ought to spring from and be sustained by the realization of the costliness to Him of our redemption. We have been purchased from the slave market of sin by a ransom not paid by silver and gold—precious metals but in comparison perishable—but with the precious and priceless blood of Christ. This commodity was uniquely qualified because it was without defect of any kind—unblemished and spotless. (2) Do so because of the awesome purpose of our redemption 20. The payment of sin was planned before the creation of the world and revealed for people’s sake thru the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The present age is ‘these last times’ whereas the coming age is ‘the last time’ cp to vs 5. So, Christ’s death as a sacrificial lamb to pay a ransom price for sinners was part of an eternal purpose—one stretching back into eternity past but finding fulfillment at the ‘ends of the times’. (3) Do so because of the awesome principle of our redemption 21. We have faith in a God of resurrection and glory. Thru Christ resurrected and ascended we know and trust. As a result of God’s eternal plan and priceless payment for sin, faith and hope can be placed in Him now here where we live our lives, raise our families, work, play and grow old all the days of our lives.
1. You will have to fight your personal sin, worldly influence, and Satan to pursue a holy life.
2. God’s nature not religious rule-keeping forms the basis of the holy life we must pursue.
3. If you fail to fear God you will not have the motivation to sustain living a holy life.