Summary: Because of Jesus’ love for us and so that we might represent him we are called to a holy life
SBC Philippi 10/09/05 pm
Rev. Jeff Simms
Called to a Holy Life
Primary Purpose: Because of this great salvation that God has given us now we are to live for Him with holy lives.
These next few verses all relate back to those from verse 10 through 12 about salvation. We know that because verse 13 starts with “therefore”. In other words, because of this great salvation that God has given us now this is how you should respond. The key word here is still the word “salvation”, but now we hear the response of the individual believer to the salvation he has received. Peter gives us a call to action here.
First, he responds by telling us to gird up the mind. This is a reference to the times when men in Peter’s day would wear a long outer robe and when working or running was required they would gird it up in their belt. But, the girding up is of the mind. We are to prepare our minds and hearts for that is where the battle is to be fought. Temptations and sin often start in the mind. Peter then tells us to be sober or, in other words, think straight. Then to set our very hope fully on the one who has given us this salvation.
To Peter the call to salvation has practical application to our daily lives. We cannot be conformed any longer to the way of life of the past. This word conformed (suschematizo-soos-khay-mat-id’-zo) is used in only two places in the New Testament. It is used here in this verse 14 and in Romans 12:2. In that verse in Romans, Paul tells us not to be conformed to this world. We are to be transformed by the renewal of the mind. We renew the mind by where our focus is, that we are in prayer and that we are renewing our mind on God’s Word and His will for us. This isn’t done just once and then forgotten, but many times.
But, this isn’t the only time this thought is mentioned in scripture but is repeated various times. For example, in Titus 2:11-13, it says that the salvation that has appeared to all men teaches us to renounce worldly passions and to live sober, upright and godly lives awaiting the hope and appearance of our Savior Jesus. Again, in Ephesians 4:22-23 Paul tells us to put off the old nature and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. Again in 2 Corinthians 7:1, Paul says since we have these promises we should seek to cleanse ourselves from defilement and make holiness perfect in the fear of God. So, we see that the apostles were in agreement that our salvation must result in a changed and holy life.
Peter then gives us some other reasons we should be conformed to holy living. He quotes Leviticus 11:45 when he says that we should be holy because God is holy. God wants us not to misrepresent what he is like to those around us. He wants us to demonstrate by our lifestyles that the God we serve is a holy God. In verse 17, Peter goes on to remind us that this same God who is holy and is our heavenly Father will also one day judge the whole world impartially. Because we know how holy he is then that should cause us to conduct ourselves with reverence for his name while here on earth (which Peter refers to as an exile).