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About-Him.Com Devotional 11-21-2009
1Peter 1:13-18 - A Call to Holiness
As we’ve mentioned many times before, when a text starts with the words “therefore” or “wherefore” the writer is using the thoughts he has previously expressed as a foundation for further truths. Last week we talked about our journey from earth to glory, which sometimes takes us through God’s refining fire. We are not to fret, it won’t last forever. We will come forth as gold tried in the fire. This week we are urged to strengthen our mind and check our resolve to finish the race we have started and to walk in holiness before the Lord.
IPeter 1:13 ¶ Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
It has been said that the biggest battle most of us face in our Christian walk takes places right between our ears. Thus the apostle urges us to gird up the loins of our minds. We are to live in a sober manner. Being sober doesn’t mean going about with a long face that might crack if we smile, but it does mean that we are to be serious about our Christian profession. The KJV tells us to “hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Most other translations state this in the sense of perfected and complete hope. Peter is not only encouraging us to persistence, but also to completeness in our hope . The New American Standard says “…fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Earlier in verse 3 of this chapter he stated that we have been begotten by God to a lively or living hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Grace called us from sin and gave us forgiveness and right standing with God. Titus 2:12 tells us that grace is also our teacher who teaches us that, as we deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We do this willingly as obedient children, which implies submission to a Higher Authority. We don’t walk and talk like we once did, because we are new creatures in Christ, old things have passed away and all things have become new (1Cor. 6:17). We once manifested all the works of darkness, but no more. We have been washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of the living God (1Cor. 6:10-11).
IPeter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Our God is holy and He expects us to be holy also. It is not a mere suggestion, it is a commandment, “Be ye holy for I am holy.” When we came to Christ, God’s righteousness was imparted to us by virtue of the blood of Jesus. Jesus fulfilled all of the law on our behalf and freed us from the curse of the law, which is death. As we walk in His righteousness, we rejoice in our new freedom and sin becomes repugnant to us. We have found a righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees (Mt. 5:20). We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:22.) However, we must build upon our imputed righteousness and progress to holiness. Holiness and righteousness often seem to be synonymous but are actually two different things. 2Cor. 7:1 urges us to perfect holiness in the fear of God. Hebrews 12:14 tells us that without holiness, no man can see the Lord. That’s pretty strong, so we had best have a sure understanding of what holiness is, and what it isn’t.
Holiness can be defined as complete consecration, dedication and separation to God. “Holy” and “Whole” come from the same root word. We are to love the Lord our God with ‘all” of our heart soul, might and strength (De. 6:5; Luke 10:27). The Old Testament priest is an example of what God expected. He had to be washed and wear special garments, before he could minister in the service of the Lord and he could not become overly engaged with the affairs of everyday life.
Jesus demands the same degree of dedication from us.
Matthew 10:3737 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
IPeter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Jesus talked about some folks who were all talk and who said just the right things, but their hearts were not in what they were saying. He called them hypocrites . The origin of the word hypocrite refers to an actor who is merely acting a part.
Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Jesus also had some harsh words for the church of Laodicea. He let them know in no uncertain terms that He wouldn’t accept half hearted service.
Revelation 3:14 ¶ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
IPeter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
We endeavor to walk worthy of the vocation to which we have been called (Eph. 4:1), bearing in mind that to walk otherwise shows disregard for the price that Jesus paid for our salvation. He gave His blood which has far greater value that all the gold and silver of this world. Gold and silver are going to burn with fervent heat (2Pet. 3:10-12), but our salvation is eternal.
If we have determined to walk with God in total consecration, dedication and separation to God, we can be assured that we are walking in holiness and are pleasing to our Lord. The more that we progress on the road to holiness, the more we realize that we are on a never ending quest.
The best test of a sanctified man is to ask his family about him. [C.T. Studd]
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