Week 5: Sunday 10/16/16
1 Peter 1:14-16
Be A Holy People

Last week at College Park Church we worked through 1 Peter 1:10-13, which seems to break down into two parts: loving the gospel and living in light of the gospel. As God’s people we need to remember the gospel and how God’s grace came to us in our sin and rescued us. We should be stunned by a holy God who redeems sinners to himself. And then we should be awed that this same gospel is the reality we live in every day of our lives.

From verse 13 to 21, Peter begins connecting who we are (indicative; 1:1-12) to how we live (imperative; 1:13-21). One of the ways we live out of the fullness of God’s grace and how we live as exiles is by being “sober-minded” and preparing our minds for action. This, in part, means living intentionally, fully aware of the sobriety of the moment we live in rather than floating down the stream of life without a second thought. We must be thoughtful and be prepared for how we follow Christ today, how we will aim our hearts towards him rather than the allurements in the world, and how we will live as those who belong to God.

In our section for this week (1:14-16), the thought continues on with living intentionally in light of the grace of God that rescued us from our sin and redeemed us to our God. Just as Peter mentioned in the outset (1:1), we are fundamentally not just exiles but we are elect exiles, meaning we belong to God. As those who have been redeemed and cleansed by Jesus, set apart by the work of the Holy Spirit, and belonging to (1:2) , we should live in this way as God’s people. Since our God is holy, our lives should reflect him. Not merely by us forcing it to be so, but by so knowing, seeing, and worshipping God that who he is changes us into his likeness (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18).

But notice how Peter frames the “push” towards holiness. Peter says, we are all like children, and we will either be conformed by the fallen desires (passions) of our flesh and former life or we will be conformed to our Father as we walk in the Spirit. The fallen desires and old ways of living are indeed powerfully and deeply ingrained in our lives. But, Peter’s reminder is that this is not who you are anymore, since Jesus ransomed you from your futile ways (1:18) and you now belong to Good. Remember who you are, remember who you belong to, remember what you’ve been redeemed into, and remember how much more is being offered to you as God’s people. Then live into this, by being obedient children who trust in and walk behind their Good Father, and gradually begin looking more and more like him.

More will be seen in this text in weeks to come, but we must begin by remembering we are God’s children, we must see who He is and what He’s like, we must follow Him and love Him as his children, and then we must live in light of what we’ve seen and who(se) we are. God’s holiness is a beautiful thing, and the amazing truth of the gospel is not only that sinners no longer have to fear God in his holiness because of salvation in Christ, but we also receive his holiness as the Spirit gradually remakes us into the image of God. So gaze at God in his holiness, set your mind and heart on God as holy, and walk in light of his holiness.

For further, related reading:

  • Go back to 1:1-2 and meditate on who we became at our salvation.
  • God as the Holy One: Jb. 6:10; Is. 40:25; 43:15; Ezk. 39:7; Ho. 11:9; Hab. 1:12; 3:3; Amos 4:2; Is. 6:1-5; 57:15; Hab. 1:12-13; Ps. 99:3, 5, 9; Rev. 4.
  • God’s name is Holy: Ps. 33:21; Ex. 20:7; Lv. 20:3; Ezk. 20:39; 36:21; Am. 2:7.
  • The holiness of God’s people: Jn. 17:1-26; Heb. 2:11; 9:13; 10:10, 14, 29; 12:10, 14; 13:12; I Cor. 1:30; 6:11.
  • Grab a book like The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung; Holiness by J.C. Ryle; Redemption by Mike Wilkerson.