1 PETER: Part Three

Responding to Hope

1 Peter 1:13-25 - Therefore, prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (LEV 11) 17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. 21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. 22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. 23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. 25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.” (ISA40) And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.
1 Peter 2:1-3 - So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

I. The responsibility of obedience

V13-14 - Therefore, prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires.

A. Prepare your minds for action and self-control

  • Say yes before you get started. 
  • Get ready to use self-control
The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.
— Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

B. Put all your hope in His Grace

  • Know that he is going to give you what you don’t deserve, and one thing you don’t deserve is the power to obey.
  • It is His power that He graciously gives to you at the time you believe.
  • You need to trust that you have the power to say no or yes depending on the circumstance.

C. Be God’s obedient children

  • Another responsibility we have as Christians is to conduct ourselves as "obedient children" -- 1 Peter 1:14
  • While the need to be obedient is often misconstrued by some as sounding legalistic, it is stressed in the New Testament nonetheless -- Hebrews 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:8
  • We have joined a new family. Not only do the privileges apply but also the responsibility

D. Don’t slip back…

  • That gives the express connotation that your life should change going forward.
  • This refer to the evil desires and behavior in which we once engaged, and in which, the world continues to engage.

E. Be holy in all of your conduct

15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.
  • It is closely related to the words "sanctify" and “sanctification"
  • All of which stress the idea of being "set apart"
  • To be "holy", then, means that we are "set apart" or dedicated to God

F. Live in reverent fear

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”
  • God is with you. The Holy Spirit lives inside you. You cannot go anywhere without Him.
  • He is watching and weighing everything you do.

>>> That’s what the responsibility of obedience looks like. Make a decision to be obedient. Believe that God has given you the power to do so. Be careful not to slip back into your old habits. We are set apart, and God is with us every step of the way. The second responsibility is…

II. Love one another

22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart

A. Why is "sincere “ Love important?

  • It is a demonstration of discipleship
John 13:34-35 - “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  
  • It is a commandment to love one another, even as Jesus loved us. The reason for such a commandment:  to convince the world that we are truly His disciples!

B. It is an indication of New Life

1 John 3:14 - If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.
  • Love of the brethren is an indication that we have passed from spiritual death to spiritual life.
  • Failure to love the brethren is an indication that we are still spiritually dead!

C. It demonstrates a relationship.

1 John 4:7-8 - Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
  • God is love, and those who truly love have been born of God.
  • Failure to love leaves the impression that we have not been born again and that we do not truly know God!

>>> So we have the responsibility to Obey as God’s children. To Love to prove that we are His and finally to Abide in the living word of God…

III. THE living and abiding OF GOD'S WORD

23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. 25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.” (ISA40) And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

A. It remains forever...

  • "the Word of the Lord endures forever"
Matthew 24:35 - Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear
  • History has borne out the fact that despite man's efforts to destroy and do away with it, the Bible continues to endure forever.
  • The efforts of Diocletian: 1) In 303 A.D., he proclaimed an edict requiring Christians and their sacred scriptures to be destroyed 2) Within 25 years, the succeeding emperor ordered that 50 copies be made and distributed at government expense!
  • The claims of Voltaire, the French atheist (who died in 1778): 1) He boasted that within 100 hundred years of his lifetime Christianity would be swept from the earth. In 1790, the second Great awakening hit. 2) Only fifty years after his death, his own printing press and house were being used by the Geneva Bible Society to produce stacks of Bibles!

B. The word gives life

  • Here is a law of science known as the Law of Biogenesis, which states that "life begets life".
  • Because the Word of God is what it is, it is able to produce life by itself.
  • It is "living and powerful" 
Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Conclusion

Peter tells us, because of everything God has already done for you, you have some responsibilities. Those responsibilities are simply to obey, to Love, and live according to and by his enduring word. He wraps it all up in the first couple verses of chapter 2.

1 Peter 2:1-3 - So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. 

Get rid of you evil behavior. Love and crave the milk and nourishment you can get from his word as his Holy Spirit grows you into a mature Christian.  

The first thing you must do is make a decision. Prepare your minds for action and self-control. The life of a sojourner is a life of obedience, love, and growing in God’s word.