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Bible Passage 1 Peter

1 Peter 1:13-17: Holy Living

  • Tony Raker
Date preached June 5, 2022

1 Peter 1:13-17: Holy Living

The appeal found in 1 Peter 1:13-17 was very necessary in the first century; just as necessary in the twenty-first century. Holy living is doctrinal truth translated into behavior.  It is said one will not act on anything until one truly believes in something.  Or as Scripture puts it, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). As believers, God has established specific and exacting standards which, taken together, define holy living.

  • Contextual/Comparison: God keeps His Word: God continually uses His Word. Here in his letter Peter was re-stating God’s command in Leviticus 11:44; this was repeated in the Psalms and in the prophecies of the Old Testament, carrying over into the New Testament – a perquisite for the believer’s positioning for holiness:

1 Peter 1:13aTherefore, preparing your minds for action

  • Grammatical Usage:preparing” or “anazónnumi” meaning, “quickly girding/organizing”; “your minds” or “dianoia” meaning, “understanding; insight”; “action” or “elpizó” meaning, “anticipate, expect, trust.”
  • Literal Interpretation:Therefore, having purposely organized your understanding in anticipation and trust

There is a three-fold constraint to living a holy life:

  • God the Father commands it. This means that we are dealing with something that is absolutely imperative, not optional: “Be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). In 17 there is a reference to the Judgment Seat of Christ, and it is in the light of this that God says to us, “Be holy”.
  • The Lord Jesus died and rose again for it ( 18). Why did Jesus die? To redeem us from the old life of sin and failure…He died that we might be forgiven…He died to make us righteous (Isaiah 53:11).
  • God the Holy Spirit has been given, indwelling us to make this possible ( 22). It is impossible for anyone to live a holy life apart from the Holy Spirit, but because He dwells in us we are enabled to fulfil the Father’s command and be holy: but it is all through His Holy Spirit.

Notice in v. 15 the words “be holy in your conduct, i.e., all that you do.” Peter is speaking here of practical holiness. A holy person will have:

  • A prepared mind ( 13). Peter tells us to prepare to be disciplined and focused, sensitive to the Spirit’s leading that we might live holy lives.
  • A self-controlled life ( 13). Living in a casual age with little restraint, we are to live under the gracious control of the Lord Himself and the gentle control of the Holy Spirit, so that our personality is poised and balanced as opposed to extreme shifts or mood swings. The most perfect illustration of this is to be found in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • A quiet hope ( 13). We are to be filled with holy optimism in a world where there is absolutely no hope. A holy man looks out on the world and sees the events which are leading up to the great consummation of all things; but he also looks up and beyond all that is happening in the world, and the peace of God which passes all understanding fills and floods his soul (Philippians 4:7).
  • A tender conscience ( 17). We see that we are to live “in reverent fear” – not the “fear (which) has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18), but a fear of grieving our Heavenly Father. A new disposition, a new attitude, has come into our heart; and whereas before Jesus we sinned with impunity, now we cannot do that. We are literally gripped by fear that we should grieve our loving Heavenly Father (Psalm 34:9, 11).
  • A loving disposition. In 22 the word “sincere” means “real”. We are not to love in word only (James 1:22; Ephesians 4:32).
  • A pure motive (1 Peter 2:1). “Malice” means “wickedness”; “deceit” means “craftiness”; “hypocrisy” means “pretense” – making out that you are something different from what you really are. A holy person lays aside these false dispositions and attitudes and is marked by sincerity.
  • A cleansed mouth (1 Peter 2:1). Where we read of “slander of every kind” which refers more to gossip, careless talk and the spreading of evil rumors including character assassination.

What must we do if we would be holy? How can we live this life that God commands, that the Lord Jesus died to make possible, and the Holy Spirit lives within us to make actual?

  • We must be born again. This is indicated in 1 Peter 1:23. When we are born again, we become partakers of the divine nature, and this is holiness begun. The new birth is the commencement of the life of God in the soul.
  • We must be obedient to the truth. Compare 1 Peter 1:22 with 14 and Exodus 19:5-6. As we read and study God’s Word we discover His will for us and we seek, day by day, to conform to this. If we are born again, we shall want to do this; and as we do this God will transform us into holy people (2 Corinthians 3:18).
  • We must be utterly abandoned to the Holy Spirit. Why? Because a holy life is not the product of our own efforts or struggling; it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us. Therefore, Peter is careful to remind us in 22 that the secret of this life is “through the Spirit”.

Conclusion: Holiness is not an option, but a command.  Are you in compliance?  Or are you, like Saul, fighting against God’s claim on your life?