1 Peter 1:13-21 (NIV)
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 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.”[a]
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially,live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 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 ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 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.
It has been said this letter from the apostle Peter has several themes. The one I pick up on here deals with suffering as children of God in an evil world, of glory in the hope of heaven, and the pilgrimage we are on.
This starts to become clear back in his greeting to the churches in verse one. He opens the letter with the following: “…To God’s elect, strangers in the world…” It isn’t hard to see what’s on Peter’s mind.
Christians are not to view this world as our final home. In fact, we are told in a prayer of Jesus regarding His disciples, that they would be hated as He was because they are “not of this world,” (John 17:14).
This then brings us back to the thoughts of our passage above. In (VV 13-15), Peter tells them to “prepare your minds for action.” In fact, in the language of the day, this exhortation actually meant that they were to have their clothing sitting out, literally ready to go out the door if they had to in a moments notice!
He continues by encouraging them to be self-controlled and focused on their hope of heaven and the grace which will be theirs when Jesus Christ returns. Peter warns his brothers and sisters not to “not to conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance…But to be ‘holy’ in all you do.” Once again, we see that Peter is influencing their thoughts to the rewards of heaven, not of the things in this world.
Once again, in (VV 17-19), Peter says that they call upon a Father, who judges each person’s work impartially. Therefore, they should live their lives here as strangers in reverent fear, (respect), towards the Lord and His will. For their lives, (and ours), were bought with things which were imperishable, and that they “were redeemed from your empty way of life.” Of course he is speaking of the precious blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus, the Perfect One without blemish or defect.
To show just how pure, loving, and holy Christ’s sacrifice was for them, and all of us, the apostle makes known another heavenly mystery. He says that the plans for our Savior to come to earth and give up His life for us, were made even “before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your, (our), sake.” (V 20).
This is obviously meant to help them see the planning and hence the value of their hope in Jesus Christ. Our Father does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to Him in repentance…
Peter finishes his thoughts in (V 21) by saying that through Jesus we believe in God, who raised up our Savior from the dead and gave Him all glory. Therefore, the church has that same hope and faith in the Father for their own resurrection if they continue to abide in Christ.
Obviously these remarks were preserved and recounted in scripture for our benefit as well. We can take this very same advise and apply it to our lives today. We remain on a pilgrimage as we walk this earth, in pursuit of that eternal life in heaven.
Each of us will be successful in our purpose if we too remain focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and living as sincere and obedient Christians.
May the Lord guard us, and help us to keep our lives in Godly order!
- “The NIV Study Bible, copyright 1995, Zondervan”