From Hope to Holiness – 1 Peter 1:13-21 (ESV), Colin Munroe, Lead Pastor

From Hope to Holiness

Prayer

1 Peter 1:13-21 (ESV)
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. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

1 John 3:3 (ESV)
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

A holy person is a different person. Their current lifestyle is not only different from their past way of life, but it is different from the lifestyles of the unbelievers around them. A believer’s life of holiness appears strange to those outside of Christ, but it is not strange to other believers.

1 Peter 4:4 (ESV)
With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you

The unbelieving environment around us that the Bible calls “the world” is always pressing against us, trying to force us to conform.

1 Peter 1:13 (ESV)
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.

Believers are called to live in the future tense, their present actions and decisions are governed by this future hope. 

When you center your thoughts on the return of Christ, and live accordingly, you escape the many worldly things that would burden your mind and hinder your spiritual progress.

Outlook determines outcome & Attitude determines action.

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.

We should also have a sober mind. The word means “to be calm, steady, controlled; to weigh matters.”

1 Peter 4:7 (NIV)
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Looking for Jesus to return strengthens our faith and hope in these difficult days and this teaches us more about the grace of God.

1 Peter 1:14-15 (ESV)
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct

God is holy; therefore, as His children, we should live holy lives. 

2 Peter 1:4 (ESV)
…He has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Peter reminded his readers of what they were before they trusted Christ. They had been children of disobedience, but now they were to be obedient children. 

Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV)
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God….

True salvation results in obedience.

Romans 1:5 (ESV)
through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations

Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Acts 17:30 (ESV)
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent

Ephesians 4:17 (ESV)
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

1 Peter 1:14-15 (ESV)
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct

Peter used the word “called” so often in this letter. We are called to be holy (1:15). We are called “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (2:9). We are called to suffer and follow Christ’s example of humility (2:21). In the midst of persecution, we are called “to inherit a blessing” (3:9). We are called to “His eternal glory” (5:10). God called us before we called on Him for salvation.

God’s holiness is an essential part of His nature. Any holiness that we have in character and conduct must be derived from Him. 

All of life is holy as we live to glorify God. If something cannot be done to the glory of God, then we can be sure it must be out of the will of God.

1 Peter 1:16 (ESV)
since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

The Word of God is not only a sword for battle; it is also a light to guide us in this dark world, it is also food that strengthens us, and water that washes us.

The Word reveals God’s mind, so we should learn it; God’s heart, so we should love it; God’s will, so we should live it. Our whole being—mind, will, and heart—should be submitted to the Word of God.

Let’s keep in mind that the early Christians did not even have the New Testament. The only Word of God they had was the Old Testament, and God used that Word to direct and nurture them. Believers today are not under the ceremonial laws given to Israel. However, even in these laws we see moral and spiritual principles revealed.

John 7:17 (ESV)
If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

We do not study the Bible just to get to know the Bible. We study the Bible that we might get to know our God better.

1 Peter 1:17 (ESV)
And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile

What is this judgment that Peter wrote about? It is the judgment of a believer’s works. When we trusted Christ, God forgave our sins and declared us righteous in His Son. Our sins have already been judged on the cross, and therefore they will not be held against us.

The Greek word carries the meaning “to judge in order to find something good.” God will search into the motives for our ministry, He will examine our hearts. But He assures us that His purpose is to glorify Himself in our lives and ministries.

1 Corinthians 4:5 (ESV)
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

God never pampers His children or indulges them. He is no respecter of persons.

Don’t think that years of obedience can purchase an hour of disobedience. If one of His children disobeys, God will discipline. But when His child obeys and serves Him in love, He records that and prepares the proper reward.

Peter reminded us that we are “sojourners” on earth. Life is too short to waste in disobedience and sin.

Keep reminding yourself that you are a “stranger and pilgrim” in this world.

This is not the cringing fear of a slave before a master, but the loving reverence of a child before his father. It is not fear of judgment, but a fear of disappointing Him or sinning against His love. 

2 Corinthians 7:1 (ESV)
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

1 Peter 1:18-21 (ESV)
knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Many slaves became Christians and attended the local assemblies. A slave could purchase his own freedom or his master could sell him to someone who would pay the price and set him free.

Titus 3:3 (ESV)
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

Not only did we have a life of slavery, but it was also a life of emptiness. Peter called it the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.

In calling Christ “a Lamb,” Peter was reminding his readers of an Old Testament teaching that was important to the early church. It is the doctrine of substitution: an innocent victim giving his life for the guilty.

The doctrine of sacrifice begins in Genesis 3, when God killed animals so that He might cloth Adam and Eve. A ram died for Isaac (Gen. 22:13) and the Passover lamb was slain for each Jewish household (Ex. 12). Messiah was presented as an innocent Lamb in Isaiah 53. Isaac asked the question, “Where is the lamb?” and John the Baptist answered it when he pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Peter made it clear that Christ’s death was an appointment, not an accident; for it was ordained by God before the foundation of the world (Acts 2:23). From a human perspective, our Lord was cruelly murdered; but from a divine perspective, He laid down His life for the captives (John 10:17-18).

When only a young lady, Frances Ridley Havergal saw a picture of the crucified Christ with this caption under it: “I did this for thee. What hast thou done for Me?”

I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed;
That thou might ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead.
I gave, I gave, My life for thee,
What hast thou given for Me?

Closing Prayer