Friday, July 12, 2013

1st Peter 1 - Be holy

"As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.' " (1 Peter 1:14-16)
We are all being conformed to one pattern or another; either to the world by yielding to its temptations or to the Lord through obedience to His will. This conformation is the direct result of our choices; we choose who we will be like through the behavior we adopt. Peter calls us "obedient children" but the question is, to whom are we obedient? To our lust that we might follow after sin or to the Lord that we might pursue a path of holiness? The obedience is our's as the choosing is our's, and our choice is more than choosing what we will believe, it is a choosing of how we will behave. Notice that the injunction is to be holy in all our behavior not simply in our thoughts and beliefs. The goal of our obedience and our pursuit of holiness is to be like God; to be holy that we might be like Him since He too is holy.
"If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;" (1 Peter 1:17)
We must never allow our love of God to nullify our fear of God. We can both love God and fear Him at the same time. Peter, in this letter, writes of two types of fear; one is the fear of God which is holy, right, and beneficial while the other is the fear of the world and of those who would dissuade us from our holy life, this fear is to be overcome. The fear of the Lord is clean (Psalms 19:9), it is the beginning of wisdom (Psalms 111:10), it is the beginning of Knowledge (Proverbs 1:7), it prolongs life (Proverbs 10:27), it brings strong confidence (Proverbs 14:26), it is a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:27), it keeps us from evil (Proverbs 16:6), it leads to life (Proverbs 19:23), and it brings riches and honor (Proverbs 22:4).
"knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers" (1 Peter 1:18)
We cannot expect to walk as a Christian and continue to live as we always have, nor can we look to the past to know how we should live in the future. Jesus came not only to save us but to redeem us from the way we were living; from a life inherited from our forefathers. He came to introduce us to a new way of living, to a life we have now inherited from His Father. As we have changed fathers, an earthly one for a heavenly one, so are we to change our life, from an earthly one to a heavenly one. The distinction between these two lives is demonstrated by the price required to make the change. This is more than changing our careers, which might require some effort, training, and money, but a changing of our whole life and lifestyle, which required a price much greater than gold and silver.
"but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who 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 1:19-21)
The price of our redemption was the death of Jesus. This price identifies both the depths of our fallenness and the heights of our value to God. So great is our sin and so far have we wandered from God that we are unable to restore ourselves to God. No amount of good works or good intentions can ever be sufficient to erase the stain of sin in our lives and restore us to God. The only remedy was for God Himself to come and pay the penalty for our sin that we might  be reconciled back to Him. This God freely did, not out of duty or compulsion, but out of the love He has for us. He did this, not for Himself only, but for "for you". God did what we could not do ourselves. Therefore, our hope of salvation is not in ourselves, our ability, or our willingness, but in God who is able to do all things.

David Robison

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