Summary: It’s so easy to forget sometimes that radical change that has taken place in our hearts and lives because of our relationship to Jesus Christ. But the change is to great to be taken lightly, or to have no impact on the way we think and live.
Passage: 1 Peter 1:22-3:3
Intro: ESPN radio host incensed that catcher involved in collision that separated Derrick Jeter’s shoulder called him and expressed sorrow he was hurt.
1. hearing reports out of Iraq of atrocities suffered by Iraqi people by Saddam’s regime
2. God gives glimpse into the abyss, the terrible depth of depravity into which humans left in their natural state can fall
4. we all like to think that we could never be that selfish, that barbaric.
5. but Peter has been speaking of a miraculous change that has taken place in us
6. same change Peter speaking of here throughout chap 1, specifically today vv22-2:3
8. in these few verses, he lays out the foundational change that has taken place in us, the agent of that change, the new characteristics seen in that person, and finally, calls us to act in a manner consistent with that change.
I. What Happened
1. notice the cause and effect relationship-22
2. “have purified yourselves” does not mean we have overcome impurity in our own power.
3. rather, we have taken advantage of the purifying sacrifice given by God..Jesus
4. this what meant by “obeying the truth”
PP John 6:29
5. now being purified means that we had a problem, some deep seated defect from which we needed to be rescued.
6. let’s reason backwards from the result or effect of this change.
7. “so that you have sincere love…”
8. what passes for love in the world system is insincere, inactive, clouds without rain
Il)Peanuts cartoon, Lucy says to CB, “I hate everything. I hate everybody. I hate the whole wide world!” CB says, “But I thought you had inner peace.” Lucy replies, “I do have inner peace. But I still have outer obnoxiousness”
PP Titus 3:3-4
9. this is our natural state, self-dominated, slaves of the whims and fancies of self, desiring what is best for me without regard to it’s impact on others.
10. but we have been purified, given a new heart that not only has sincere “Philadelphia”, but also can express agape love
il) one commentator, Edwin Blum, defined agape this way. “…a self-sacrificing desire to meet the needs of others that finds expression in concrete acts.”
11. self prevents us from sacrificing ourselves for the good of others, but we have been freed from that tyranny
12. how did this miracle take place?
II. Starting Over
Il) sailboats, looking in EBay for the deal of the century, see some that are so bad, so decrepit, that they cry out to be sunk!
1. and this is the consistent picture that the Bible presents in terms of our old life.
2. v23 critical statement of the reality of the situation.
3. we aren’t just cleaned up, with patches and new paint and new sails.
4. the whole process had to be redone, but this time, with a new starting point, new seed
5. not the seed of old humanity which is defiled by sin, but the new seed of the imperishable and perfect character of God.
6. we are not just reworked human beings, but a whole new species with a unique nature. Look at what the Bible says about us!
PP John 3:16, “born of God’s promise thru Jesus”
PP Rom 5:1 declared to be righteous thru faith
PP Eph 4:24, created (always an act of God in
Scripture) to be like God
PP 2 Cor 5:17, new creatures with a clean break from the old ways.
PP Eph 5:1-2 imitators of God, specifically of love
PP Eph 1:13-14, permanent dwelling place for the Spirit….holy and blameless!
PP 1 Peter 2:9, a holy nation, belonging to God
7. we are new creations of God. Thru Christ God has broken us free from the old chains of our sinful humanity and made us new.
Il) John Piper…”The essence of the newness of the new person who comes into being at the new birth is that the new-born person relentlessly hopes in what God can do rather than what man can do”
8. and I would add that such a person no longer needs to defend himself or his territory, but entrusts himself to the sovereign protection and will of God as he obeys God’s loving commands.
8. this change is not something we did or could have done, because as vv24-25 points out, what man does dies
9. and because we are brand new, born of God and no longer limited by our old humanity, God calls us to live lives that are consistent with who He has made us.
III. So What Now
1. now this is where it gets tough, because our flesh is still with us in some diluted power, as is clear from 2:1
2. this awful list of relational tendencies, the remnants of self, are still resident.