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1Peter 1:13-25 (web)

Sanctification: Obedience and Holiness

In view of God's imperishable grace

1:13 Therefore,
(MIND) prepare your minds for action,
{Literally, "gird up the loins of your mind"}
(WILL) be sober and
(EMOTIONS) set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ--
1:14 as children of obedience,
not conforming yourselves according to your former lusts as in your ignorance,
1:15 but just as he who called you is holy,
you yourselves also be holy in all of your behavior;
1:16 because it is written, "You shall be holy; for I am holy."
1:17 If you call on him as Father,
who without respect of persons judges according to each man's work,
pass the time of your living as strangers here in reverent fear:
1:18 knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things,
with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers,

1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, the blood of Christ;

1:20 who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world,
but was revealed at the end of times for your sake,
1:21 who through him are believers in God,
who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory;
so that your faith and hope might be in God.
1:22 Seeing you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth
through the Spirit in sincere brotherly affection, love one another from the heart fervently:
1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which lives and remains forever.
1:24 For, "All flesh is like grass,
And all of man's glory like the flower in the grass.
The grass withers, and its flower falls;
1:25 But the Lord's word endures forever."

This is the word of good news which was preached to you.

Hope in Action

1Pet 1:13
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.

Sanctification - the development of Christlike holiness -  requires an application oriented mindset. A person must be serious and clear minded making intentional changes in their lifestyle with our destiny in mind whereby the things of this life and the goals and desires of those of the world appear as vanity in comparison to knowing Christ and partaking in His resurrection.

While people have hopes and dreams, expectations about this life, when a person becomes a Christian these are largely replaced with a hope of what is to come. Paul writes, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men." 1Cor 15:19 But even with regards to this life we count on his grace as we carry out him ministry. Paul writes, "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." 2Cor 1:10,11

The hope we have leads us to action, and saving faith is application oriented faith. What are the implications of our hope? What actions are called for? Peter will speak to his in the verses that follow. But generally, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Rom 8:5 And much as living according to the Spirit is characteristic of the Christian, it is contrary to the flesh and as such requires the exercise of self-control. "For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." Gal 5:17 Therefore live the Christian life intentionally.

Christian Non-Conformity

1Peter 1:14 
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

The Christian life involves obedience to Christ, which means effort is involved.  Formerly, "you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath." Eph 2:1-3 So "no not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will." Rom 12:2

The Christian lifestyle should be an enlightened lifestyle. And while this is progressive, regretfully there are those claiming to be Christians but who are so darkened in their understanding that they continue in gross sin. "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts." Eph 4:18  And "since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done." Rom 1:28 But there are also legitimate Christians who remain immature due to the ignorance in them due to their conformity to their evil desires in lesser matters. These are hard to instruct in such matters.

Beware of embracing the world's point of view. Beware of embrace the world's value system. But beware also of accomodating your own evil desires. Let not evil desires be you guide. Much of the Christian life is lived in non-conformity, non-compliance to the world, the flesh and the devil.

Be Holy

1Peter 1:15,16
  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

The phrase "Be holy; for I am holy" is first found in Leviticus (11:44; ;19:2; 20:7), but Jesus also alludes to it in his sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:48. The command "be holy" refers to a behavior befitting God's people. Notice that throughout 1Peter he uses imperatives. He is not simply stating facts of what is or what inevitably will be. Living the Christian life appropriately involves your will, your decisions, your obedience. It takes effort. It involves thought and scrutiny of ideas and planning for applications. Here holiness is not simply a state of being. He says to be holy in all you DO. Holiness is reflected in what we do. "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." Heb 12:14 

Live in Fear

1Peter 1:17 
Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

He just commanded us to live holy lives. And he is about to tell us of our redemption in Christ. But how do we reconcile this invocation to fear the impending judgement to come, in light of our having been redeemed by Christ from the wrath of God? For was that not the hope of which he spoke of earlier? Some simply discard the obvious meaning of verses like this, reckoning "fear" to be merely respect. In fact even the NIV here translates "phobos" (from which we get "phobia") as "reverent fear" whereas in fact it is simply the word "fear". This word is used abundantly in New Testament and in every case seems to speak of a similar emotional state. John says, "fear involves punishment" 1John 4:18b The same word "punishment" is used in Mt 25:46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Paul writes, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" Php 2:12b What does "trembling" have to do with mere respect? Jesus said, "Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." Luke 12:5

So what is it that Christians are supposed to be afraid of? Here Peter speaks of living in fear with the perspective that God judges each man's works impartially. Fact is, "each of us will give an account of himself to God." Rom 14:12 And "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." 2Cor 5:10 And what does he say right after that? "Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men." 1Cor 5:11a

There are two aspects of fear here. One is to fear whether you are in fact in the faith. For as a person's works reflect their faith, what do our works say of our faith. Is it a real faith or mere opinion? "Do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil" 1John 3:7,8 And concerning living a lifestyle of sin Paul writes, "those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." Gal 5:21 So "examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you— unless, of course, you fail the test?" 2Cor 13:5 

But secondly we should also fear for those who are unsaved, and try to persuade them to be saved from the impending wrath to come.   "Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men." 2Cor 5:11a Peter speaks of living as strangers or foreigners. We should embrace an "us" versus "them" mentality which leads us to sharing the gospel out of compassion in view of their impending doom. For if a person is outside the faith then he is a stranger and an enemy to God just as we were prior to becoming Christians.

Redeemed by the Blood

1Peter 1:18,19 
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Salvation is not attained by anything perishable, whether it be by ceremony, good works, or personal sacrifices. And "No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough" Ps 49:7,8 But Christ was more than a man. Being the Son of God his sacrifice was of such value as to atone for the sins of the world. "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1John 2:2

How did Christ atone for sin? Christ was not imputed with guilt. God does not impute guilt to innocent people. That would be unjust and prejudicial. God is impartial, not prejudicial. Christ died as an innocent lamb, without blemish or defect. However it is understandable that when the innocent suffer and die unjustly, justice demands some kind of compensation be made. Thus by dying as an innocent victim of murder, Christ earned the right to compensation, in accordance with God's judicial nature. And with his compensation he paid for the sins of the world, satisfying God's judicial nature on our behalf. ("Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully." Ps 28:5)

The Foreordained Lamb

1Peter 1:20
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

Christ is "the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." Rev 13:8b Before the creation of the world God, given his foreknowledge of events to come, planned for a way for salvation. In the past this had been a mystery. But "the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, is now disclosed to the saints." Col 1:26 Paul ends his epistle to the Romans saying, "Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him." Rom 16:25,26 The gospel is not mysterious. Though profound, it is simple and understandable.

Believing God through Jesus

1Peter 1:21 
Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

To believe in God one must believe in Jesus, else one does not even know God. And to believe in Jesus one must believe in those who preach the gospel. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." John 13:20 

The basis of faith in Christ is his resurrection from the dead which gives us forensic evidence validating his testimony. Thus Paul preached to the Athenians, "God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." Acts 17:31 The Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." John 2:18,19 He was speaking of his resurrection in response to their demand for validating evidence. In approaching Jesus, Nicodemus said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." John 3:2 Thus we have proof that the gospel is not a mere fabrication of men. Peter writes in his second letter, "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." 2Peter 1:16 The validation of the gospel stands upon the testimony of eyewitnesses to Jesus' miracles and in particular to his resurrection from the dead.

Paul writes, "What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born." 1Cor 15:3-8

Purified through Obedience

1Peter 1:22
  Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

There's an obedience that comes from genuine faith. Paul says,"Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith." Rom 1:5 One thing we are commanded is to purify ourselves. In particular he is alluding to purifying themselves from hypocrisy such that their love is now sincere. Paul writes, "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." Rom 12:9 Developing sincere love is a consequence of dealing honestly with our own sinfulness. Much of the love the world offers is insincere. 

But Peter is not satisfied here that Christians merely attain a sincere love for the brethren. "Deeply" or "Fervently" is the greek word "ektenos" which is derived from a verb meaning "to stretch out the hand". This is a love which is not simply sincere or simply a feeling of identification, but rather one which takes action and initiative to help others.

Perhaps the difference between sincere love and fervent love might be liken to parents who may have a sincere love for their neighbors kids, but they love their own kids deeply from the heart. And while it is a common experience in churches for Christians to get along well with one another, cooperate with one another, be sincere in their love, it is not so common for Christians to love one another deeply from the heart. In contrast Paul expresses his attitude towards the Christians in Philippi saying, "It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus." Php 1:7,8 Also, the fact that Peter is commanding them to love one another deeply means that it requires some action on our part. It is not something you fall into. It's something you work at, something you actively  seek to achieve.


1Peter 1:23-25 
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." (Ps 119:89) And this is the word that was preached to you.

First a liitle nuance here. The term "born again" here which is also found in 1Peter 1:3 "...he has given us new birth into a living hope..." is actually not precisely the same term in Greek used in that famous passage in John 3:3 "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." though it is referring to the same concept. John 3:3 is more literally "born from above", emphasizing the origin of one's new birth, while "born again" in 1Peter emphasizes the regenerative effect of the new birth. Also in John 3 Jesus emphasizes the Spirit's role in regeneration. "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." John 3:6 while Peter emphasizes the Bible's role in regeneration. These of course go hand in hand. Those who are of the flesh will perish. "For dust you are and to dust you will return." Gen 3:19b But those who do the will of God will live forever.

And notice that he spoke of perishable things in verses 18,19 and the redemption being based on that which is imperishable. All this is to say that your life matters and what you do now will have eternal consequences. So get it right. Now I would particularly recommend people devoting themselves to the Word of God. For that word is eternal and as Peter alludes to Ps 119:89 in this regards, a few verse later the Psalmist says, "If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction." Ps 119:92. But we must be doers of the Word and not just hearers. John writes, "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 1John 2:17  Furthermore God's word will have an impact as God said, "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Is 55:10,11 So it's worth investing in.


Set your hope on the grace to come:

Discussion Questions

vs 13
"prepare your minds for action" and "be self-controlled" are participles.
Notice the contrast between these two words: Action and Control.
How might these conflict with each other?
How should you balance these two concepts in the practice of your faith?
"perfectly hope" (set your hope fully) is the main verb

vs 14 What pressures does the society place on us which may be associated with evil desires?

vs 17 What kind of fear is it talking about? Fear of what?
Idea: "fearfully knowing that you were redeemed..."

vs 19 It was Christ's death, in particular, which redeemed us. As a substitutionary atonement for our sins. This as opposed to being redeemed, or reconciled to God, by His life. Christ's sinless life is not imputed to us, but rather His payment for our sins on the cross. Nonetheless, having been reconciled we shall be sanctified through His life, as He lives in us.

vs 22 How can you have sincere love, but not from the heart?
What does obeying the truth have to do with loving other Christians? (1John 3:23)
How does the "for" statement in vs 23-25 support his point in vs 22?
What things in life reveal to you the futility of life?
Have you ever experienced a conflict between love and holiness?

Content of Hope The grace to come when Christ returns
Conduct of Hope  
  • In Holiness
  • Separating from sin
    Becoming like God
  • In Love
  • Condition: 
    Holiness (pure)
    Sincere (not fake)
  • In Fear
  • of Judgment
    Basis of Hope God's Word
    God's Redemption
    What God said
    What God did

    1Peter 1:13-25 RAP

    1:13 Get ready for action, be self-controlled
    and set your hope fully on what was foretold
    of the grace to be given to you from above
    When Jesus returns for the ones he does love
    14 As obedient children, do not conform
    to your evil desires when you thought them the norm
    15 But just as holy as he who called you
    16 be holy yourselves in all that you do
    17 since your father is judge of each man's works
    who impartially judges both the wise and the jerks
    live your lives as strangers here
    and treat your father above with reverent fear
    18 For you weren't redeemed by silver or gold
    not by things that perish or even grow old
    19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb
    without spot or blemish, not even a gram
    20 He himself was chosen too,
    but now revealed for me and you
    21 through Him you believe in God who raised
    Christ from the dead as the guards were amazed
    And glorified Him much higher than the pope,
    and so in God are both your faith and your hope
    22 Now that you have obeyed the truth
    and purified yourself from the sins of your youth
    so that your love for the Christians is sincere
    love them deeply and with care
    23 For you have been born again of seed
    that lasts forever, that's what I read
    for the seed is God's word, which will always endure
    it lives and is active and makes you mature
    24 For men are like grass, and their glory like flowers
    They can wither and die in just a few hours
    25 But God's Word lasts forever, that's really true
    And this was the word that was preached to you

    The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

    Jan 14,2022