In 1 Peter 1:14-25, Peter explains that the gospel gives us a living hope that ought change every aspect of our lives. Just as the Olympic athletes change their values, their goals, their actions, their words and their daily routines in light of their Olympic goals, so the gospel ought to change us.
Trials force us to ask the basic life questions like: Who or what am I counting on? Where will I find life? What is the right thing to do? What do I value? Trials test our faith – that is whether we believe the promises of the gospel. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:3-13 that persevering in faith and remaining steadfast through trials is more precious than gold. Now, in light of the fact that we have this hope and we live in this time after the resurrection, he explains how our lives change.
Peter makes this connection between how what we believe changes our lives 3 different ways:
- As believers we understand God is morally holy and we are called to be like Him (1 Peter 1:14-16).
- Since our salvation came at the great cost of Christ’s blood, we should take our salvation seriously and love God with all our hearts (1 Peter 1:17-21).
- We should commit ourselves the project of loving the people of God and longing for more of His word (1 Peter 1:22-25).
13Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:13-16
- 1 Peter 1:13 transitions from what we believe to the difference it makes. He says: get serious, soberly remember what you are hoping for and let that hope fully inform your daily choices.
- Faith teaches us that God is holy and we are to be like Him in holiness. Things that are holy are set apart to belong to God and marked as His.
- Peter quotes a phrase that shows up in Leviticus 11:44-45; and 19:2.
- God gave Israel rituals in the Old Testament laws that illustrate the difference between clean and unclean, holy and profane.
- The rituals reminded the Jews that not everything is clean and what belongs to God ought to be clean.
17And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. – 1 Peter 1:14-21 ESV
- As believers, we now understand the atoning work of Christ. That knowledge changes the way we live.
- In this context, the one I fear is the one who’s opinion I care most about and value above all others.
- The mercy God showed His people came at great personal cost. Sin is a big problem that required a costly solution.
- To realize where we stand with God is the most important thing in this life and we ought to live and act as if that is true.
- To live in fear of God is to take the gospel seriously and understand that we were bought at great cost and respond accordingly.
- From the beginning, God intended that Christ would come and we are privileged to live in the time after that has happened.
22Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. – 1 Peter 1:12-25 ESV
- If I believe the gospel, then I ought to recognize I am bonded to other believers in a profound way. We share the same hope, the same Father and we strive toward the same things in this life.
- Loving God means loving what He loves which includes His people.
- In 1 Peter 1:22, “love one another earnestly” is not to love emotionally, but to make it endure and remain steadfast, even when it’s not easy.
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