Summary: What resources has God given believers to develop holy thinking?
• A number of years ago an enterprising Christian businessman came up with the idea to sell a wristband to Christian young people with the letters WWJD on it. (What would Jesus do).
• It was supposed to be constant reminder to the wearer to think about now Jesus would act in any given circumstance.
• Well, as you can image it was a great marketing hit and was scooped up by well-intentioned young people to remind them how Jesus would act in any given situation.
• The businessman who came up with the idea made a small fortune on this great marketing ploy.
• Why do I bring up this example, well the theme of the RCL for this week is, “The abundant life begins with changing the way we think?”
• Although the intention of the young people was commendable, children of God have been given much better resources than just wristbands to help us mature in our Christian walk and grow into the stature and fullness of Jesus Christ.
• So this is the subject we will be looking at this morning – Changing the way we think.
The section of scripture chosen by the RCL we will be focusing on this morning is 1 Peter 1:17-23.
Reading - Susan
• You will notice in v.18 our starting point of our mindset before coming to Christ.
• 1 Peter 1:18 you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors.
• Romans 8:7-8 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
• We were slaves to sin trapped in our fallen mindset, without any hope or means of saving ourselves.
• It is into this hopeless situation that Jesus Christ steps and sets us free by purchasing us with His own precious blood (v.19).
• As a result of accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior, a couple of dramatic changes occur in our lives.
• Notice what it says here in 1 Peter 1:17 we are to “live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.”
• Then in v.23 it mentions we 1 Peter 1:23 “you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable.”
• What are the implications of those two verses to our standing as Christians?
• 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
• With Jesus’ resurrection to glory, for the first time a new spiritual life has broken forth out of the corrupt and decaying age of the past into a brand new creation event.
• A human being had passed across that vast gulf from mortality to immortality.
• Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of the New Creation, which corresponds with the New Covenant instituted by Jesus sacrificing His body and blood on the cross.
• From this point forward the old corrupt physical creation is decaying and falling away while the new spiritual creation will flourish and advance.
• Our new status as part of the new creation changes our entire mindset on how we are to approach life.
• Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
• What both Peter and Paul are saying is that now that we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we have a totally new mindset.
• And as a consequence we are to live our lives as though we are already living this heavenly kingdom reality and we are to project that new life of the kingdom back onto the earth.
And what does this new life of the kingdom we are to project back to the earth look like?
• 1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
• The type of love Peter is speaking about here is not the Old Covenant, “love your neighbour as yourself” but rather the new love commandment of the New Covenant Jesus gave His disciples to “love one another as I have loved you”, a much higher standard.
• One love is the product of the human heart, a somewhat dubious proposition, while the other is the product of the divine heart.
• This love is the type that motivated Jesus to lay aside His glory in heaven, and swap it for a manger, a donkey and a cross in order to save the world.