From verses 1 to 12 we saw that the Inheritance we have in Jesus is certain because it has been preserved by the power of God, proven pure those the trials we face and was predicted by the prophets of old.
Since they are such a privileged people it requires that they must live in a certain way.
The “Therefore” comes in the light of the above context. All this requires an appropriate response because there is something to look forward to in a future inheritance.
1. THE MINDSET OF THE SAVED
V13 We now come to the meat of the letter. Peter is encouraging the reader to have a mind that is alert.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1Pet 5:8). He repeats this warning.
Having an alert mind means being discerning, wise, and able to distinguish between good and evil. It allows you to be prepared for action and not caught off guard.
What are some of the attacks on the mind?
You doubt God’s goodness, His love, and His faithfulness. You start questioning “Why is this happening to me?”. Rather ask yourself this question, “Lord what do you want me to learn in exercising my authority as a son and what aspect of your Character do you want me to understand more deeply?”
We can get attacked with the temptation to try and fulfil legitimate needs in an illegitimate way.
A sober mind What is the opposite of sober? Drunk. A drunk person is not in his senses, can be tricked, and has no control over their body, emotions, thoughts etc. Sometimes we are so drunk with the pleasures of this world that clouds are thinking, and we cannot see right from wrong. You can be drunk on offence, self-pity, or defend yourself.
V14. Peter reminds them to be obedient and not to go back to their old ways of living, old patterns, and habits leading to sin. This was their lifestyle before they knew Jesus.
V15. He reminds them that a call to holiness is not new. V16 (Lev11:44-45, 19:2) God always wanted a people set apart from Himself who would live by different standards – they were supposed to be a light to the Gentiles.
The Apostles taught a lot from the Old Testament. That was the only scripture they had, and they applied it in conjunction with the teachings of Jesus which is largely the Sermon on the Mount and the parables. The difference is in the New Covenant we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to live this life energizing us from within. So it’s not external rules that we are forced to obey, but rather internal convictions that we want to follow.
Be Holy -Holy has become an old-fashioned word but this is what we are called to: to live at a standard above and beyond what the world lives by. It must be recognizably different and attractive.
V17 -Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
V17. Once again, Peter reminds them that they are strangers on the planet. We are in the world but not in it. Therefore, we need to live with a degree of detachment.
We have made God in our image giving grace, mercy love truth etc. our definitions. Here Peter talks of God as a judge. Peter is talking to Christians. There is a judgement that we Christ followers will have to face. Not about heaven and hell but how we have lived. Our works will be judged. (Rewards vs inheritance).
1 Cor 3:13-15 We are saved by faith and not works. But we will be judged for our work, not faith.
2. THE MOTIVATION OF THE SAVED.
1Pet 1:18-21 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
V18 – Our Salvation. Peter keeps circling back to this point: how we have been saved. He wanted the believer to have an eternity perspective given that they were being persecuted. He is reminding them that their salvation was bought by the precious blood of Jesus.
He is making a strong statement – “empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors”. What he is saying is that the law cannot save you. The Law must drive you to Jesus.
V20 Chosen - He reminds them that just as they were chosen according to the foreknowledge (v2) of the Father so also the Salvation plan was not an afterthought but was planned even before the creation of the world but has now come to pass in their lifetime and for their sakes so that they could come to faith.
We have not been redeemed by physical things that will perish, but by the costly blood of Jesus, therefore it requires a fitting response.
V21 Response How do we make ourselves pure or holy? Obedience is the key. When we obey the truth, we get rid of everything that is sinful, corrupt, and immoral in our lives.
What is my obedience quotient? How pure my life is, is directly proportional to my obedience.
What does this result in?
3. THE MANNER OF THE SAVED
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b] 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[cAnd this is the word that was preached to you.
The understanding of our salvation, the testing of our faith, and the trials must result in a transformed life that is expressed in love for one another!! Amazing. Your obedience will get you a promotion, power, position etc. It will result in love for each other! I am reminded of John 15 where Jesus says “If you love me, you will obey my commands” – This is my command- love one another.
Obeying the truth. Only the Word of God can purify us when we put it into effect i.e., Obedience. Sometimes we wonder how a person who comes to church can still fall into grievous sin. The question to ask is how much they were putting into practice. And this is a warning for all of us too. Obedience is something Peter refers to again (Obedience that comes through faith v2).
V22b – Peter goes on to qualify this love – love one another deeply from the heart. (Pure heart). Without hypocrisy, falsehood, or pretense.
V23 WHY? Because we are now new creations (born-again) from an indestructible seed (Jesus) through the living enduring word of God.
V24.Peter now quotes the Old Testament to compare. Our world, our life temporal, here today and gone tomorrow. But the Word of God will never perish. It is immortal (Is 40:6-8)
Peter closes this section by reminding his readers that this is the true gospel. This was what was preached to you and don’t forget it, don’t allow it to be diluted or corrupted.
Don’t we all need this reminder as well? We constantly need to be reminded to stick close to the truth because straying away from it is so easy.
We need to be reminded of who we are, how we obtained our salvation, what we believe in and therefore how then we should live.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.