Peter began this God Breathed letter with priority #1: Salvation In Christ Jesus… Last week we heard the basics of the Gospel cited as the crucial thing all followers of Christ need to make central in their lives. It’s a massive, colossal deal!
Christ’s Body is called to live everyday in light of that Amazing Grace, the Good News of God’s mercy through Christ’s sacrifice. Living daily in light of what Jesus has done means that we are to pursue holiness. I am defining this as the Biblical record of standards God has put forth for His people since Moses. Things we are called to do and things we are called not to do.
Christ calls those who trust Him for eternity to live by HIS absolute standards. He is Holy, pure, set apart, without sin… we are called to imitate God! Part of surrendering your life to Christ is a surrender to live as God calls us to live. He has made us holy by giving Himself for us and indwelling us with God’s Holy Spirit. By HIS Spirit we are able to pursue the holiness he calls us to in HIS Word.
The challenge is to yield to God’s Spirit based on what you have put your faith in. The Father, Son & Holy Spirit want to teach us the why and the how of Holiness.
The ‘WHY’ is step one because if you don’t have a good enough reason to do something there is no sense in talking about how you might do it. For example: I have no desire to be a dog catcher, so I spend zero time thinking about how to catch dogs. If you do not have a reason to pursue Holiness you will have no desire to execute a lifestyle that reflects holiness…The ‘HOW’ is a combination of training, discipline, self control and loving others, as we follow Christ’s example of sacrifice.
The end of last week’s message: 1st Peter 1:12b
And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.
13 So 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.
- Discipline, training, and yielding to God’s Spirit inside you for self control
- ALL hope in God’s mercy means putting ZERO hope in the things of this world
- We are to hope entirely in something we have to wait for (delayed gratification)
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.”
- The call on every believer is to ‘live’, not just agree intellectually (big difference)
- Obedient Children are humble & unquestioning
- True obedience is immediate and complete
- Going back to old ways must have been a problem…it is a problem for us
- But now…now that Christ has given you His Spirit… Be Holy like God!
- Peter quotes Leviticus 11, 19 & 20 (This is Foundational Doctrine)
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.”
- This is a reminder that God treats us all the same, His standards apply to all
- The judgement is based on one thing: Did you surrender your life to Christ?
- If you truly did ,then live this life in awe of that mercy, because this is temporary
- What we do with this life determines our eternity
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.
- Ransom = Christ dying on the cross 4 U!
- The empty life of living for our own desires and trying to appease some deity
- The price of the ransom was as high as possible: the life of God Himself
- The Holy Spirit declares the predestined nature of Christ’s role as Savior
- The reality of our salvation in Christ has now been fully revealed
- The revelation of our salvation is a cause for jubilation…and habitual action!
- What is the value of Christ’s sacrifice in your life?
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.
- Christ made it happen, not you or I…we trust Him because He enables us to
- We respond to God’s call by placing all hope and trust in HIM because of Christ
- Christ’s resurrection is crucial… God made clear His power over life & death
- Christ’s glorification is crucial… God made clear Jesus is God Incarnate
- When we obey the truth (that Jesus is worthy of surrendering our life to)
- We are forgiven our sin at that point; so now we have to pay it forward
- We do that by living in ways that display deep love & care (Holiness)
- Our response to being forgiven our sin is to love others this same way
- Holiness is about what you do (love), not just about what you don’t do
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.” And that Word is the Good News that was preached to you.
- Peter uses Jesus’ term ‘born again’
- Eternal life begin here and now… and it goes on forever
- The Living Word of God is The Biblical Jesus Christ (why it must be defined)
- The only source of eternal life is the Biblical message about Christ (OT & NT)
- This life is finite, God’s eternal Word leads us to infinite life in Christ
- We have all been blessed to have it presented to us, thank you God!
The Biblical Gospel includes an intentional pursuit of holiness requiring obedience and discipline.
Christ’s followers make choices that flows from our faith. Christ provides the Why & the How. This includes things we do as well as things we don’t do.
This is not legalism, this is shared accountability to Biblical standards with large amounts of grace and love.
This Body will always pursue holiness based on God’s Word, by The Spirit’s power, to Christ’s glory!
If talk of holiness, accountability, obedience, absolute standards and discipline resonates with you regarding following Christ…. you are in the right church.
Are you convinced that as a Biblical follower of Jesus Christ you are to pursue holiness?
In what ways does the reality of Christ’s sacrificial ransom impact your pursuit of holiness? (Living in light of the Gospel, daily reality of relationship)
Can you see the effect of lifestyle choices regarding holiness on your relationship with God?(HE stays the same… you either move away or draw near)
Ask God to lead you by HIS Word & HIS Spirit to making lifestyle choices that reflect God’s holiness.
Intentionally research the standards The God of Scripture calls HIS people to live by. What they do and what they do not do.
Ask those you look up to AND your peers their views on Biblical Holiness.