“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.'” – 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NLT)
Holiness. It was not a suggestion, not something to do if we “felt like it.” It is a command. It is an expectation from the Lord Himself. Yet, it is something that we see very little of these days. The lack of holiness does not come from a lack of being able to meet this expectation though. Rather, it comes from the unwillingness of people to lay down their own desires. Rather than living in selflessness, we live in a society of selfishness. Of self-driven ideologies. But this is the way of the world, not the way of Christ.
Peter opens this letter with these words:
“God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:2 (NLT)
He starts by pointing out the holiness that believers have been given because of the Holy Spirit. And this came from obedience and cleansing by the blood of Christ. We have been cleansed from our sins, our rebellion to God. And now, we have been given the ability to live in obedience to Christ by His Spirit. And this is merely a foretaste of the coming salvation of eternity with Him.
In verse 13 Peter says, “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.”
Action and exercise. Both are words that require effort.
- “Prepare your minds for action”
This is so important! Our minds are the stronghold which the enemy loves to attack so often. If your mind is distracted, then this could cost you your very life. War requires constant attention. No distractions. We are in a constant spiritual battle.
- “Exercise self-control”
Self-control is a muscle. How do you build and retain muscles? You exercise. You workout. You eat a diet that consists of the proper protein and vitamins. The nutrients that help those muscles grow strong and healthy.
These two things are key. They have never been more necessary than they are now in this day and age. And the need to grow stronger in these muscles is an urgent one, as the days ahead are like none that this world has seen. The trials that are still to come are not for the faint of heart. Peter, along with all of the disciples, knew this reality. As Peter says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
So stand strong in the reality of holiness. Prepare for action and exercise self-control. Live in obedience to and trust in the Lord. This is the only way to stand strong in faith until the end, when Christ brings salvation to the souls of His bride.
“Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because He raised Christ from the dead and gave Him great glory.” – 1 Peter 1:21
“The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:9