Summary: Having spelled out the benefits of salvation, Peter calls on the Church to act like the special people they are.
Now Act like It!
Text: 1 Peter 1:13-2:3
The Owner’s Manual of my car gives special instructions for the type of fuel & oil and how to operate my vehicle
Now I can operate my car without following the guidelines in the owners manual but I do so at my own peril. The Bible is the owner’s manual for humankind.
Sometimes people get confused about the issue of holiness, we are saved by grace they say, so why should it matter what we do? Christ died for my sins, he’s already paid the price, and the Bible says we aren’t ruled by the law’s regulations, do this, don’t do that. And while that is all true, once the heart has found it’s true home in the salvation offered by Jesus Christ it only makes sense that we operate our lives in such a way that we will be ready for our intended purpose--serving God.
Furthermore, if I believe God is my creator and this is His book of life why would I want to operate my life contrary to his instructions? To do so would only make my life miserable. The apostle Paul wrote that all things were lawful for Him but all things are not profitable. I could say, "Hey I’m not under the law so why not lie, why not steal, why not commit adultery?" But future hope or no future hope if I do those things they make my life miserable here & now.
Also if I continue to live in that way it becomes evidence that I haven’t really put my hope in Jesus anyway.
Our text today begins with the word "therefore" last week we saw how Peter began his letter by reminding us what is so great about our salvation, this week He says Therefore, meaning because we have recieved such a wonderful gift,
Proposition: Here’s how we should conduct ourselves. We should live holy lives
Interrogative: But what does it mean to be holy and why should we bother?
Transition: Those are the questions this passage answers and I’d like to look at each of them separately even though the answers are woven together throughout the text. First let’s look at:
1. How to Be Holy
Holiness fundamentaly means being separated for special service to God. We must be separated from anything that would make us dirty or unsuitable for God’s service. Looking at our text I see three areas of our lives that we need to kkep clean to be useful in the Lord’s service. First we need...
a. Clean Heads
I’m not thinking of dandruff shampoo here. It’s not what’s one your heads but what’s in them that God is concerned about
V.13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
A life of Holiness requires some mental preparation. The literal rendering here is "gird up the loins of your minds..."
We need to be prepared for the battle that rages for our minds and hearts every day.
ILLUSTRATION: Perhaps the greatest illusionist and escape artists who ever lived was Harry Houdini. He was known for his tremendous physical condition, and could withstand blows to the abdomen by tensing his muscles. While performing in Canada, however, he was challenged by a student who didn’t give him time to prepare for the punch. A few days later Houdini died from a ruptured appendix.
Unless we are prepared for them, the spiritual battles of life will sucker punch us and leave us for dead.
So how do we gird up the loins of our minds? The clue is in Chapter 2 verse 2
"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation"
We need to be strong in the word, growing every day, gaining understanding about God’s truth.
The second area of our life that needs to be clean is our
b. Clean Hands
This is about doing the right thing.
14-15 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
Obedience. Doing what is right. This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s not about a rule book. We are set free from the law. It’s about behaving the way we were created to behave. It’s about doing the things that will please our blessed Savior.
Imbedded in all of the requirements of the law are the kernels of truth that transcend the law. In verse 22 Peter speaks not of "obedience to the law" but of "obedience to the truth."
The Sabbath--rest; Stealing--order; murder--value of mankind, Adultery- disease, family bonds, etc.