1 Peter 1:13-25

As I said when we examined 1 Peter 1:1-12, Peter wrote to people who accepted what Christ had done for them, and as such, were receiving the goal of their faith – the salvation of their souls. This is so cool a thing that even the angels want to see it happen. 

 

13 “Therefore,”

BECAUSE of what God has done and is doing and will do… 

 

“prepare your minds for action;”

We need “prepare our minds for action”. The actual word for ‘prepare’ is ‘gird’– roll up your sleeves and get ready for work

 

“be self-controlled;”

            Be patient, on control, focused, not distracted, sober (not somber – no one wants to be with people who act all religious). We are to be in control of ourselves.

 

“set your hope “

This is not a hope like “I hope we have a white Christmas”, its an expectation, as in “our hope is that the sun will rise tomorrow – its going to happen.”

 

fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

What is this ”grace”? This is us getting what we do not deserve, this is when Christ returns and takes the believer out of the world and builds his new kingdom. We are to rest fuly upon the hope of the grace w will receive at such a time. The idea is to not just partly rest on what we believe but to embrace it so entirely, so completely, that we are standing on it.

 

14 “As obedient children, “

They, and you, obeyed what you heard. And they became the adopted children of God. We are all adopted into the family of God. As children, we should obey our father. We should do what daddy tells us. We learn what Daddy wants us to do by being in a relationship with him, by talking with him regularly, by reading what he has left to us – the Bible, by being with others who know him well and learning from them. Being with Christians, going to church, going to Bible studies, going to Men’s breakfasts, Women’s meetings, Bible conferences, praise conferences – all these are different ways to learn more about God.

 

do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 

Don’t be shaped by the things that drove you when you didn’t know the truth about Christ – before you became obedient to what you heard. Don’t be controlled by the laziness, lust, desires to ’get away with it’, to cheat, gossip, lie, steal, hurt others – don’t be shaped by the ways of the world – the selfishness you had when you were not a believer.  Don’t be playdo – you know how the kids mold it with their hands or with cut outs to make shapes. The playdo takes the form of what ever the latest shape molded it into. Don’t be playdo. Don‘t be so affected by what the world says is right or good or necessary that you no longer look like a little Christ. As Christians, we are to be little Christs. We are to look like Christ – INSIDE, not just outside. 

 

15 “But just as he who called you is holy, “

            You were called to believe by God – you were chosen by the one true Holy God. GOD did it. GOD is DOING it, and WILL do it. GOD is holy. GOD is righteous. GOD decides what is right or wrong – not you and not me. GOD. Its all about God. Not about you. Not about me. Its about God.

“so be holy in all you do; “

And because of what God has done and who God is, you are to live a life that shows you are separated. Do NOT be who you were. Be who you should become. Change. Be different. Be set apart – internally and externally. Don’t participate in the gossip at work – stop it. Don’t participate in ‘course jesting’. Do not ignore the needs of others. DO BE HOLY. I am not talking about perfect, 1 John 1:8-10 says we can’t be perfect, but the verse before it (v. 7), says if we walk with Christ, he purifies us of all sin.

16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” a

Leviticus 11:44-45. These verses in the Old Testament say the exact same thing these verses in the New Testament: God is holy, so you be holy too. God doesn’t change. He is always the same. He said the same thing to the chosen people in the Old Testament as he says to the chosen people of the New Testament – be like me – not a god (‘cause it aint never gonna happen), but holy. Different in the way God is different. Be clean for God, so God can use you in a way that will astound those around you.

 

17 “Since you call on a Father”

            Remember the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9, “Our father in heaven…” We ALL call upon our heavenly father.

“who judges each man’s work impartially, “

We are not talking about something that will affect our salvation – we’re talking about the fact that what we do in this life will affect us in the after-life. GOD will judge. GOD will judge your work (so you worry about your work, not someone else’s).  This means he will judge the character of what you do – whether it is in public or in private, whether it is at home, work, play, ministry, or where ever. What does the character of your life reflect? Is what you do and how you do it in love and of faith?

 

“live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. ”

            Peter is saying that we are to live like we are like we’re passing through. When we travel to different places, we might appreciate the beauty of  place or observe what’s good or bad about a place or even a group of people, but we don’t start planning on staying. We don’t try to make plans to decorate the hotel room we’re staying in. No, we’re travelers and know that is not our home.  THAT is how we are to live here. As people who are passing through.

We are to do it in ‘reverent fear’ – not looking over our shoulders in fear that we will be caught doing something wrong, but in vigilance to avoid danger. We should do what is right and respectful of our Lord God. We should not do the things the people around us are doing. When we’re passing through, we don’t think about getting up and going into our office, we think about what to do next to get the most out of where we are and what we need to do next to get to where we are going.

 

18 “For you know”

            Being a believer, you have already heard the truth, so you KNOW.

 

“that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life  handed down to you from your forefathers, “

            The word ‘redeem’ means to buy back. In old times, a slave or a family member could buy the freedom of that slave.  This is what the term means – You were bought from slavery – freed from slavery to sin and the enemy – you were freed from the vain/empty life that promised more than it could deliver – you were freed from the empty life in the world (the way things were) that you had before CHRIST bought you. And it was not with something as trivial as silver or gold.

 

Eze 18:14, Rom 6:23 – everyone deserves to die, because we all sin.

Ex 40:12-13 shows us that God gave the Israelites a model from what would be done by Christ. God does not change. He works with us and works with us, give us concrete examples and spiritual ones.  We’ve been bought back from one way of life to another.

 

19 “but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

             We were bought with the inestimably pricey blood of Christ. He was the lamb that would protect us. Take a look at Ex 12:1-13. The people of Israel had a Passover lamb to protect them from the judgement of THE GOD on the gods of Egypt. We have Christ as our Passover lamb to protect us from the gods of our world. To buy us back from slavery, to give us freedom.

20 “He was chosen before the creation of the world, “

            Christ was chosen before the world was created. It was decided before the creation of the world – decided by God the Father that we would need a Passover lamb to buy us back from sin. It was not in response to what Adam and Eve did, but in preparation for it. And it was decided that it would be Christ who was the only one who could fulfill that role, and as such he was chosen to fill it.

 

“but was revealed in these last times for your sake. “

            The people of the Old Testament times did not realize that Jesus would be our Passover lamb, but it was revealed when it was necessary for it to be revealed, not a moment before, not a moment later.

21 “Through him you believe in God,“

            It is because of what CHRIST did that you believe in God. If your faith is not through Christ, then you are trusting in something other than the one true God. Jer 10:10 tells us there is only one God. John 17:3 tells us the one true God sent Jesus.

 

“who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. “

            GOD raised Christ from the dead and took him to heaven, and it is because of this we have faith in God and have the expectation that God will do what he said he would do – raise US from the dead as well.

22 “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth”

            You have chosen to accept what Christ has done – you have believed. In doing so, you did your part and God did his part. We are not just tools to be used – we are people with our own desires and we had to choose to believe. In doing so, we allowed the process of purification to occur – we let God do his part. God was sitting there, waiting to bathe us, but we had to get in the tub.

 

“so that you have sincere love for your brothers, “

            One of the results of salvation is that we will have sincere love for our brothers in Christ – brotherly love (Philadelphia). This is not hyporitcial love, where we mouth the right things but do not have the real thing. The love may be slight, barely there, but it has to be there. If you can hear of Christians suffering or in need and not be moved to think that it is a sad thing, if you are apathetic to the sufferings of Christians, then perhaps you need to examine whether you have true faith in Christ or just a belief that he exists. It may be that you feel love but can not identify it – some of us have so much practice at protecting ourselves, or being “men”, we might not be experienced in recognizing love in ourselves for others. But take a look at 1 John 3:10-13. Love is what identifies us. Love is the common characteristic of all Christians.

 

“love one another deeply, from the heart. b”

            This love is a different love – it is agape. The first love mentioned is something we have. This is the divine love we are to EXPRESS for our brothers. This is something we do. We need to love one another. It might look differently in different people – some people want to help others in need with the basics, others may want to teach them how to help themselves, others might want to be sure that the world knows there is a better way, others might need to quietly help out in the background, while others might stand up and shout from the rafters of the plight of Christians, others might be saddened, others might be angered, others might be moved to pray, others might give money or time. The expression of love will be different for each person, and the depth of the love felt will be different for each person. But it needs to be there and we need to act upon it. We need to be characterized by love, not by pettiness, or gossip, or selfishness, or greed, or lust, or anything else. We must love God and love our neighbors.

 

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

            You have been born of water (physical birth), and you have been born again (spiritual birth) by what Christ has done into eternal life. This spiritual birth came about because of what you heard – the word of God. The word of God does not perish. It will not go away. God will maintain it. And BECAUSE of what God has done for us, we should feel love for our brothers in Christ and ACT upon that feeling.

                                    24 For, “All men are like grass, and

all their glory is like the flowers of the field; 

grass withers and the flowers fall,

            We are all going to die. We might live the ‘good life’, we might be poor, we might be rich or famous, we might be good or bad. But one thing we all have in common is that we are going to die. Even if you could be born again physically, you would still die.

25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” c

But while we will die, the word of God will never perish. As long as there is a God, the word of God will exist. God’s word never perishes. In 2 Kings 22:3-8, King Josiah was having the Temple rebuilt and there was found a copy of the Law. It had not been known of for many years. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found after over 1900 years of being hidden in caves, and these scrolls show the accuracy of what we have today.

 

And this is the word that was preached to you. [1]

            This is the same word that has been preached to YOU. You have heard the word of God. If you believe the word and believe that Christ died for your sins then you have eternal life. You have hope. If you have that hope, you have love. If you have that love, exercise it. Show love in what ever ways you can to your brothers and sisters in Christ. If you do not feel love, ask God to help you feel the love he has given you. If you do not know God, then accept what Christ has done for you, accept that he was sent by God, suffered, died, and was raised again on the third day. Once you have done this, you will begin to feel the love of God. As you row in maturity, you will begin to show that love of others to others. You need to think about ways you can show love this week. Do you know someone who needs a job? Do you know someone who is homeless? Do you know people who can’t go shopping by themselves? Do you know someone who needs a friend?  Can you be a friend?


[1]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) . Zondervan: Grand Rapids

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