A Call to Holiness

April 9, 2024
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It has been said that the theme of 1 Peter is, “The Christian’s hope in times of trial”.

In the first section of chapter 1, Peter emphasized walking in hope; but now his emphasis is walking in holiness (see 1 John 3:3).

1 Peter 1:13 reads, “Therefore, 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.”

Prepared for Action

We prepare our minds for action by putting on the Helmet of Salvation as part of the Armor of God from Ephesians 6. The Gospel protects our minds against the false message of Satan’s kingdom.

Sober Minded

Peter then exhorts his readers to be “sober minded”, that is, to think rightly and  clearly. Don’t allow gossip, lust, envy, pride, conceit, fear or any other thought that is contrary to the truth of God’s word to dwell in your mind.

You are not what you think you are, but what you think – that you are”. Brian Tracy

What you choose to dwell on will make or break you. It will determine what type of person you will end up becoming in this life.

Ultimately, you choose what to think about, you choose what to dwell on, affects your whole life. (see Philippians 4:8).  The Apostle Peter is addressing the readers’ thinking. Where does our temptation and trouble always start? With a thought or an idea. We see something that  triggers a thought that leads to temptation.

Our minds are the epicenter of the spiritual war that we are engaged in.

Satan wants to corrupt our minds with his lies. This is why the media and entertainment industry are so incredibly powerful. There is a battle for control of our minds.

To fight this, we must spend time in God’s word. We are living in a world with constant information, news, movies, radio, internet, and social media.  We are saturated with up to sixteen hours a day of information—and not much of it is good.

Sadly, the average believer doesn’t feel that it is important to read and meditate on God’s Word. When we neglect feeding on God’s Word, saturating ourselves with the truth, we will find it difficult to discern the truth.

Proper actions come from proper thinking. What we think about will ultimately determine our practices.

We often are surprised when someone we know is caught in a grievous sin or criminal activity, but it all begins with improper thinking.

Hope Set Fully

Peter continues, in verse 13, “Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  

As Christ followers, we should be thinking about the imminent return of Jesus. It should be so real to us that it governs every decision and action in the present.

From my own personal experience, I find that it is usually in hard times that I think about the possibility of Jesus coming again, but when times are good, it isn’t really on my mind. However, Christians should always live with the expectation of seeing Jesus Christ.

Warren Wiersbe wrote, “A Christian who is looking for the glory of God has a greater motivation for present obedience than a Christian who ignores the Lord’s return.”

When we center our thinking around the eternal Kingdom of God, we are free from the things that hinder our walk with the Lord. As you do that, we experience His grace. Grace to live out the Gospel of the kingdom of heaven (see Titus 2:11–13), and grace to endure tough times.

Conformed to Christ

The letter continues in verse 14, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance”. We are blessed to be God’s dearly loved children, not subservient slaves.

Children inherit habits and nature from their parents. As we walk with the Lord, growing in our relationship with Him, we will become more like Him. It will affect our thoughts, decisions, and our lifestyle.

When we didn’t know the Gospel, we were simply ignorant and lost, and we gave ourselves to pleasures of the world that only bring disappointment and ultimately death.

As Christians we are called to live differently, with a new nature given to us by the Holy Spirit. Verse 15 says, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”

Were it not for the call of God on our lives, we would still be living in sin, lost in ignorance. When we respond to the call of God, He changes everything (see 1 Peter 2:9).

Verse 16 continues, “since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

It is written,” is a statement that carries great authority for Christians. Jesus repeatedly used that phrase in Matthew 4 when he was being tempted in the wilderness. Jesus quoted the Word of God, and Satan had to flee.

There is power in the Word. Sadly, too many Christians are weak because they don’t know or even care to know the Word of God (see Psalm 1:1-3).

Then we have the phrase, “be holy for I am holy”. As a young believer this phrase was confusing and hard to understand. How can I be perfect like God?

The holiness of God is part of His nature. Holiness means to be set apart, to be separate from anything that is unclean or sinful. As believers we are called to be holy, set apart for the exclusive use and glory of God. Every aspect of our lives is to be set apart for the glory of God. To a believer, there is no such thing as “secular” and “sacred” (see1 Corinthians: 10:31).

If something cannot be done to the glory of God, then we can be sure it must be outside of the will of God.

What area of your life is God calling you to walk in a greater level of holiness today?