Summary: Salvation is the greatest moment in any individual's life, but we must realize that salvation is not an event at a single moment in time. Salvation is the beginning of a life-long journey with the Lord.
Series: Saved, Settled, and Sanctified
An Appeal for Holiness
1 Peter 1: 13-17
In recent weeks we have considered the gracious salvation provided for humanity and the hope we have in Christ, even in the midst of great difficulty. Having assured believers in their faith through the certainty of God’s promises, Peter now turns his attention to the life we are to live following salvation.
There are countless benefits associated with salvation, in this life and the life to come. However, the salvation experience is just the beginning of a wonderful journey with the Lord. Salvation provides the strength and resources we need to live victoriously in this life, but it does not shield us from adversity or release us from our obligations to be a witness for Christ. In fact, coming to Christ will likely increase our opposition from others, and it carries a responsibility to be a witness for the Lord. We are called to a life of holiness in the Lord.
This is a subject that is often overlooked and neglected in modern society. Many Christians never realize the obligation to live their lives according to God’s desire and will. Few today seek to strengthen their walk with the Lord, genuinely desiring to be conformed to His image. It is a difficult task; one that requires crucifying the flesh and living in light of Christ’s holiness, but this is the expectation for every believer. I want to examine the expectations within the text as we consider: An Appeal for Holiness.
I. The Conduct of the Believer (13-14) – Here Peter discusses the conduct we are to possess, the actions within our day to day lives. He reveals:
A. Our Obligations (13) – Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As we consider these obligations, we are immediately reminded of the gracious salvation we have received. In light of such grace and provision, we are challenged to live upright before the Lord. This isn’t an exhaustive list of obligations, but these are essential to holiness before the Lord. Peter speaks of:
Our Attitude – Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind. He uses a common occurrence in their daily lives to reveal great truth. In that culture, even men wore long, flowing garments. Typically this wasn’t a problem unless they needed to walk quickly or run. If they needed to move in haste, they would often pull up their garment and stuff it into a belt around their waste in order to prevent it from hindering their movement. Often we allow our minds to become cluttered with cares and desires of the flesh which impede our thinking and attitude toward holiness. We must give attention to gathering up, and dealing with anything that hinders a godly attitude. Failing to do so will always hinder our progress in living upright before the Lord. 2 Cor.10:3-5 – For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Our Actions – be sober…This phrase is often referred to in light of abstaining from intoxicating beverages, and it certainly has application for that, but it isn’t limited to that. It means “To be sober in mind and behavior; to be controlled in all things; not to be given over to indulgence, license, or extravagance.(i)” Just as strong drink alters our judgment and behavior, so does a heart not right with the Lord. We must always live under the influence of the Holy Spirit, seeking to please the Lord instead of indulging the flesh.
Our Aspirations – and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Bear in mind the difficulty believers faced during that moment in time. Although they faced great adversity and persecution, their hope was not limited to this world. They had been saved by the grace of God, and He would keep them throughout eternity. Peter encouraged them to maintain a spiritual focus in the midst of physical adversity. The Lord had begun a great work in them, and He would see it through to completion. Phil.1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
B. Our Obedience (14) – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. We are reminded of the great change that happened in our lives at salvation. We were bought with a price; we are no longer our own. Jesus shed His life’s blood on the cross, redeeming us from sin and placing us within the family of God. We have been delivered from a life of bondage in sin, liberated in Christ! As believers, we are now called to live in obedience to God, not the former lusts of the old man of sin.