Summary: Trusting God with our "things", with our very life is a big step of faith that all Christians need to take.
14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 1 Peter 1:14-16
Don’t ever lose Hope, Don’t ever give up….. Why? Because You can Be Changed! One of the Greatest Truths of the Christian Doctrine is that when I trust God with my life… He can change me… Amen?
The Church…. God’s church cannot effectively be the Church of Christ if it fails to firmly believe and boldly proclaim to every person in the human race: “You can be changed! You do not have to remain as you are!” This is what we believe at New Hope Church of the Nazarene…. This is not just a hope that is held onto by the desperate drug user, or the hopeless drunkard --- but friends this is the hope of every average sinner no matter where he may be found in the world. In other words… this hope for change is for all of us… no matter where we find ourselves, no matter how far or how close we feel to finding the answer…. This hope is for you…. This hope is for your husband who doesn’t believe… this hope is for your wife who has lost hope… this hope if for your child who is running wild… this hope is for a brother or sister who seems so far away, so hard to the truth…. My friends, this hope is for you and me….
The Question we need to answer is this, will we listen, will we take to heart what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to us about human nature and God’s grace in this passage of Scripture? You do believe with me that God’s Word is our source for truth don’t you? Then lets listen to what it says to us today.
Look at verse 14 with me….. “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.”
1. We Have a Positive Pattern that we are to conform too.
The writer says that we, as Christians are not to conform, or as one translation says, we are not to fashion ourselves according to the former lusts,… the writer writes this truth in a negative sense … do not do this … so we can look at this from the opposite view and still understand this same truth….
If the writer says, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance… then we can say that….. Now, as a Christian…. Conform your life with the desires of Christ now that you live in the Truth…. We just said the opposite, and it’s the truth for us today… There is a pattern, a positive pattern that we are to conform our life too, it’s God’s pattern… fixing our eye’s on the Master and doing the Father’s will… living each day to honor God in all that we do, in all we say, with our whole life.
The writer is reminding us, before you knew Christ… you lived your life in a pattern that was conformed to the evil desires of this world, and you did so in ignorance, because when your lost, your living in darkness…. That’s why we call it lost right?
But Friends, when you find Jesus Christ as your savior, you come into the wonderful light… your spiritual eyes are opened to spiritual truth…. You now have God’s Word to live by… and now you know… you know what the Truth is… you know what the old pattern of living was like, you were saved from it… and now you have been given new life, with a new pattern, a new way, a new direction, a new motivation, a new power and strength, a new passion, a new vision…. You have been given a new way of looking at this old world… you can literally look at your life with eyes of Faith.
What does the Word of God, what does our instruction manual say to us? What does the book of life ask of us? “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.”
As the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write these words, these words become the words of God to us… I find no place for argument… As we sit here today in this church service, there is no excuse whatsoever to read this Word and find fault with it… it’s God’s Word to us, His Children…. Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance….. Put the other way… we can say, As obedient children, conform to the desires of your Heavenly Father who has given you the truth through His Son Jesus Christ.