Summary: We have been redeemed in a very serious way -- through the Blood of Jesus -- and thus, out of love for Him, we need to live in a very serious way before Him -- in holiness before God.
Given on 7/3/11
Prayer for the Nation & Leaders
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13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
We discussed last week that the Prophets longed to see the Messiah and saw glimpses of who He was. Yet they were much before Jesus was born. We, however, are in the age of Grace -- Jesus has come, has offered Himself as a sacrifice, and we need to grab a hold of Him, rejoice in what He has done, and cherish the eternal inheritance in Heaven that He has promised us who believe!
So here, we meet the next paragraph, verses 13-21, where we are told that we need to live in a very serious way before God -- living to please Him out of love for Him. He has redeemed us in a very serious and complete way, so we need to live holy lives before Him as we wait for Jesus' return!
Before we go further, let's open in prayer:
Let's go through the text, starting in verse 13:
Literally, we are to 'gird up' our minds -- get ready to go and live life to glorify God! In the Middle East, people would wear long robes, and to really get running, you would have to 'gird up' your garments so you wouldn't trip or be slowed down by them. We have to run this race, and the imagery here is similar to that in Hebrews 12 (quickview)  -- we run a marathon, and we have to fix our eyes on Jesus.
Ultimately, we have continual hope -- the grace of God, revealed in Salvation.
We are to set our hope on His return and our future with Him, when the salvation we've received will be made totally complete.
And as we're waiting for His return, Peter discusses that:
We need to live an exemplary (outstanding) life!
----- Don't 'operate in the flesh' -- don't conform to the old nature with its passions
----- Be holy! Live a pure life before God!
We are to be imitators of God! He is Holy. We can't be as holy as He is, but we can seek His power to live in ever-increasing holiness before Him.