1 Peter 1:13-21
So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed. [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short]. You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, but [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot. It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you. Through Him you believe in (adhere to, rely on) God, Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him honor and glory, so that your faith and hope are [centered and rest] in God. (The Amplified Bible)
Let’s take a look at this passage verse by verse.
- Verse 13 – So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.
The word “brace” in this passage indicates that we should have support. The church and the people that are a part of it is your support. Just as a church has a Pastor, it also has a support staff, other people to fill other positions: trustees, treasurer, Sunday School teachers, musicians, people who pray, make calls, visit, etc. Our minds and heart as well needs to be supported in a spiritual fashion through study, prayer, church attendance, Christian fellowship. The word “sober” in this passage has nothing to do with drinking of alcohol. It simply means that we must be morally alert and watchful in our daily walk. We need to set our hope wholly, not partially, and unchangeably on Christ. There is no turning back from the grace that He bestowed on us in salvation and is coming in its fullness when Christ returns.
- Verse 14 – [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel].
We are to be obedient to God. At the same time we are to live life, enjoying what God has blessed us with and also being a blessing. We are to behave as Christians, not like we used to be before we came to know Him as Savior and Lord. Our lives must be a testimony of His great work in our lives when He poured out His Spirit upon us and bought us and brought us into this marvelous life.
- Verse 15 – But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.
Down thru the years Christianity has changed. The verse says “holy in all your conduct and manner of living.” ALL! ALL! Do I need to say it again? In some ways those changes are for the good and in some ways for the bad. But the Christian walk (or life) has not changed. For the most part, the change that has occurred, is our reinterpretation of certain dogmas (beliefs) of our faith. I remember the time when no one calling themselves Christian would ever come to church unless they were fully clothed. In some churches “casual” has become “almost naked”. I’m glad we don’t have a dress code anymore but at the same time some have gone too far. I believe holy living demands that we keep our body covered, and not just in church. It is not appropriate for the men and women to flaunt their sexuality publically. There are some clothes we need to wear at home only.
Verse 16 – For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.
Holiness is not restricted to dress. It includes the TV programs we watch, the books we read, the thoughts we think, the jokes we listen to and then possibly repeat, the friends we associate with, the places we go and much, much more. Holiness is a lifestyle.
- Verse 17 – And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].
Reverence, now there is a word we really don’t understand. You should live your life to glorify God. I could probably conjure up several examples here. But, simply speaking, glorify God in your thoughts, words and actions.
- Verses 18-19 – You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] fore-fathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, but you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.
You are redeemed, ransomed, born again, changed by the precious blood of Jesus….So talk like it, act like it, live like it!
1 Peter 2:11 – Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles (in this world) to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul. (The Amplified Bible)
This world is not my home, I’m just a passisng through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me, from heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
- Verse 12 – Conduct yourselves properly (honorably, righteously) among the Gentiles, so that, although they may slander you as evildoers, [yet] they may by witnessing your good deeds [come to] glorify God in the day of inspection [when God shall look upon you wanderers as a pastor or shepherd looks over his flock].
By your actions and by your words and lifestyle how do you measure up! If He calls your name right now and you have no more breath left in you, what is going to be your new address? If you do right and talk right and behave right and live right you may not be the most popular person around but ultimately, is that what you really want? When it comes to eternity, do you really care what Joe Smoe or Sally Smuck really thinks? Or would you rather hear from God what He thinks? One of two choices: Well done or depart from Me!
Remember who you are! Our conduct should cause others to glorify Christ.
Have you ever felt like your life wasn’t really important in the grand scheme of things? Have you ever wondered if it was possible to make a difference in the world around you? First, think about who you are. Christians need to be different than those who do not know the Lord. Your godly lifestyle, priorities, and outlook should set you apart from nonbelievers.
Are you making a difference? We are not to isolate ourselves from the world. God has placed us in this world so that our lives can have an impact on the people with whom we come into contact. Our Christian character and lifestyle will expose those who are living an ungodly life and confront them with the life-changing message of the gospel.
In many ways, the holiest moment of a church service is when God’s people go out the doors of the church and into the world. That is when your godly living will cause people to ask, “What makes you different?” Some people may criticize, ridicule, or persecute you for living a godly life. Others, however, may come to know Jesus as a result of your faithful obedience to God’s Word. If they do, they will glorify God for your testimony and their newfound salvation.
Go and be a living epistle read by all you come into contact with.