November 5 - Be Holy

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5 - Be Holy - 1 Peter 1:13-16

Holiness is the goal of Peter's letter. These four verses begin his teaching. Take a few moments to read them. As you do, ask God to open your hearts and mind to what Peter is saying and what God wants you to learn.

Prepare your minds for action... Jesus tells us in Luke 12:35 of the importance of being prepared. I tend to be quite lazy regarding the actions of my faith. I always assume that tomorrow will be coming and I have all the time in the world. How would my life change if I knew that tomorrow would bring the return of the Messiah? How would your life change? How can we implement some of those changes to make our lives seems more Christ-like?

Be self-controlled... Part of the fruit that should be produced in our lives as a result of the Spirit fo God living in us. (Galatians 5:22) As we move further into this letter, we will find Peter emphasizing this basic behavior. As Americans, I suspect that this is one of the most difficult things to conquer in our lives. We believe in excess, we have lived lives of excess ... and we believe that no one should tell us how to live our lives or how to behave. Peter preaches directly against that lifestyle. Will we listen?

Set your hope fully on the grace... Along with holiness, Peter speaks often of hope. There is an anticipation of blessings when Jesus is revealed. While the goal of this letter is holiness, the theme is eschatology (study of end times). Peter is looking forward to the day when Jesus will return.

1 Peter 1:14. I think that this verse is pretty straightforward. You are Christians, you should be obedient. If you are obedient, you must be different than when you lived in ignorance (knew nothing about the lifestyle of a Christian). In other words ... you have a responsibility as a Christian to leave evil desires behind. Peter is laying out a doctrine of a Christian lifestyle. It's not going to be easy, but it does offer some amazing perks!

1 Peter 1:15-16. Peter quotes directly from Leviticus 11:44, and he counts on Jesus' words from John 17:17, "Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth." We made holy by the word of God. The One who calls us to be holy is the One who is holy.

Holiness is defined by one thing - God. Be holy, because I am holy. Peter has more to say on the subject. I'm looking forward to reading it.