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5. The Christian’s Duty In Response To Salvation (1 Peter 1:13-16)

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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. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 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.”
1 Peter 1:13–16

Big Question: What are the Christian’s duties in response to our great salvation as seen in 1 Peter 1:13–16?

Many think salvation is just about heaven and it doesn’t affect life now. However, this is not true. Our salvation should affect us tremendously.

In these verses, Peter moves to the imperative mode. He leaves describing and explaining our salvation to sharing the Christian’s duty in response to it by giving commands. What is the Christian’s duty?

The Christian’s Duty Is to Be Mentally Ready to Serve God

Therefore, prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

Prepare literally means “gird up” and can refer to tightening a belt, cinching up a cord or rope, or tying something down in preparation for a certain action. In ancient times, this concept referred to the gathering up of one’s robe (Ex. 12:11; 1 Kings 18:46; 2 Kings 4:29; 9:1; Jer. 1:17). If a person wanted to move quickly and easily, often he would pull the corners of his robe up through his belt or sash to tie those corners in place. Peter metaphorically applies this process to the mind.1

The fact that Peter applies this concept to the mind, means that it is in the mind, or the way a person thinks, that is especially important in serving God. It also means that it is through the mind that a person is often tripped up and kept from fulfilling their calling in Christ.

Peter shows us the importance of the believer’s thought life in serving God. Certainly, we see this emphasized throughout Scripture. Christ taught that adultery first happened in one’s mind in Matthew 5:28. He also talked about anger being the seed that brings forth murder (Matt 5:22). In fact, we commonly see Paul focusing on the way a person thinks.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:1–2

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

Application Question: What are some common ways we can get tripped up in our spiritual life by how we think?

1. Anxieties or worries are common stumbling blocks to a girded mind.

One of the most common ways I find myself being tripped up in my spiritual life, which hinders my effectiveness, is being too future-oriented. I have learned this both biblically and experientially. I can get on my computer and start thinking about further education, future ministries, or writing books, and it steals my mind, steals my sleep, and steals my meditation from God. Now there is a place for all these things, but when it creates “anxiety,” it leads me into sin.

Consider some of these texts.

Anxiety in the heart of man brings depression.
Proverbs 12:25

The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
Matthew 13:22 (emphasis mine)

The anxious person will find himself depressed. But even worse than that, Christ taught that an ungirded mind would choke the Word of God and keep it from ever producing fruit or truly saving someone. The duty of a Christian is to gird his mind because worry and anxiety brings depression and also keeps God’s Word from producing fruit in our lives.

2. Condemning thoughts are a common stumbling block to a girded mind.

This seems to be a special ministry of the enemy. Devil actually means “accuser or slanderer.” He will commonly bring accusing thoughts about God, others and even yourself. He will slander your works and motivation in order to deter you from serving God. This often leads to depression or apathy. It will make a person want to give up and sometimes leave the faith. Listen to what Paul said: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation (emphasis mine) for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).

The believer must understand that because of our new relationship to God, Satan has no rights to accuse us in regards to our salvation. Our flesh has no rights and neither do other people. We must understand this in order to gird our minds and protect ourselves. Listen to what Paul said:

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (emphasis mine).
Romans 8:33–34

Paul says no one can condemn us because God has justified us. He has made us as though, we had never sinned. He can do this because Christ died, was raised from the dead, and now intercedes for us at the right hand of God. When we truly understand this truth, it will help us gird our minds from accusations.

3. Comparing ourselves with others is a common stumbling block to a girded mind.

If you are a person whose mind is always looking at others instead of Christ, you have a mind that is being tripped up. This will create pride, or it will create insecurity or despair. Listen to Paul:

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
2 Corinthians 10:12

We also may get a picture of this in 1 Corinthians 12 when Paul describes the church as a body. Listen to what some Christians may say:

If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be (emphasis mine)?
1 Corinthians 12:15–17

It is clear that some people in the church look around at others’ gifts, their ability to sing, their ability to preach or pray, and they say I am not important. They discourage themselves by looking at others and their gifts. But they forget that they have a role in the body as well and each part depends on one another.

Understanding the importance of every part of the body will help keep you from discouragement or insecurity. This will help you have a girded mind so you won’t be tripped up as you see what God is doing through others.

4. The fear of man is a common stumbling block to a girded mind.

Another common way Christians are kept from serving God is the fear of man and worrying about what others think. Look at what Solomon said: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (Prov 29:25).

This is important to hear because many Christians are not serving God because they have a fear of others’ opinions or of ruining their reputation. Their fearful thoughts keep them from fully serving God.

Interpretation Question: How do we gird our minds up? What should we do in order to practice this?

1. The believer must first recognize unbiblical mindsets that commonly trip them up in order to gird their mind.

What trips you up?

Jesus said in Matthew 5:29 and 30 that if your right eye offends you, pluck it out; if your right hand offends you, cut it off. The hand obviously is referring to what one does, but the eye not only refers to what one sees but what one thinks about because the eye is the door to the mind. In order to cut something off, we must first recognize what is tripping us up.

If there is something that offends you when you think or meditate on it, or something that causes you to sin, we must first recognize it. That is the first step. One of the only good things about a stumble or some failure is that we can look back at it and learn how to never let it happen again. Like Christ taught, we must find out what is causing us to sin and cut it off (Matt 5:29).

For some, it is insecurity. They are insecure about their body image, and looking at certain magazines that depict what the world would call a “perfect body” brings them down. For others, it is the future.  When they watch the news, they get really discouraged about the economy and their future. For some, it is the fear of man. We think about parents or friends and their expectations, and it keeps us from following God.

We must look intently at and recognize what is causing us to stumble. Sometimes, we may need the help of others in order to do this. We need pastors, mentors, small-group leaders in helping us properly evaluate our thoughts through a biblical grid. There is safety in the multitude of counselors (Prov 24:6 KJV).

2. The believer must take the ungodly thought captive and get rid of it in order to gird their mind.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (emphasis mine).
2 Corinthians 10:4–5

Interpretation Question: What does it mean to take a thought captive and how do we practice this?

It means to stop a thought that is causing us harm or could result in causing others harm. We need to stop it right in its tracks and submit it to Christ. Some mindsets need to be demolished because they are demonic in nature.

a) Believers take thoughts captive by confronting thoughts with Scripture as Christ did when the enemy attacked him in the wilderness (Matt 4:3–4). We confront lust with Scripture, anxiety with Scripture, and we choose not to think on it anymore.

b) Believers take thoughts captive by prayer.

  • Confess the thoughts before God for forgiveness and deliverance (1 John 1:9).
  • Seek corporate prayer. Sometimes we may need others to pray over us as we are wrestling through an ungodly mindset. James says confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that we can be healed (Jas 5:17).
  • Ask for God’s help in turning away from these thoughts. David prayed in Psalm 119:36, “Turn my eyes from worthless things.” We need to ask the Lord’s help in turning away from whatever is causing us to stumble.

What other ways do we practice girding our mind?

3. Believers must not only confront sin with Scripture but continually saturate their mind with Scripture in order for it to be girded.

This is the picture Paul uses in the spiritual warfare text. Look at what he says: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (Eph 6:14 KJV).

It’s the same analogy. You are prepared to fight, prepared to serve, when your mind is filled with Scripture and it is Scripture that sets you free from the lies so you can serve. Look at these texts:

Do 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.
Romans 12:2

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8–9

It’s the Word of God that sets us free from the mindsets we have been conformed into by the world culture. There are many Christians who are kept from serving and doing what God has called them to do because of the way that culture has trained them. They are trying to fit into the world and be accepted by the world, instead of being what God has called them to be.

Peter speaks to each one of us and says, “Gird your mind.” Get rid of all that excess baggage you have picked up in the world. Get rid of all those lies that are guiding your life. They tell us, we must go here, we must do this, and we must be that in order to be a success. But Christ says the first will be last and the last will be first. The way down is the way up. He who wants to be great, must be the servant of all.

For many Christians, in order for them to be free to serve God, they must first wage a battle to be set free from all the previous teaching that they have been “conformed to.” The believer’s duty after salvation is to gird their mind.

What have you been conformed to? What has the world taught you that has been tripping you up? Is it the teaching of what beauty is, you must look like this and look like that? God says it’s the gentle and quiet spirit that is beautiful before the Lord (1 Pet 3:1–7). It is the character of a person that makes them beautiful. Are you caught in comparing yourself to others? Are you always looking around? Gird up your mind.

Application Question: What ways does the enemy trip you up in your mind, and how will you practice preparing mentally for action?

The Christian’s Duty Is to Be Sober and Disciplined

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled.
1 Peter 13–16

What’s the next thing we should do in response to salvation? Peter says we must be self-controlled or it can be translated sober.

Interpretation Question: What does Peter mean by being “self-controlled” or “sober?” Why is this important and how do we apply this to our lives?

The word that Peter uses here has several meanings:

1. To be sober means to be free of intoxicants both spiritual and physical.

a. Spiritual Intoxication

Because we are saved, we must be free of spiritual intoxicants. Listen to how Paul describes a believer who is living for the world.

Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will (emphasis mine).
2 Timothy 2:25–26

What analogy is Paul using of the person trapped by the devil? He is using the picture of Satan being a hunter, and one of the ways he traps Christians into doing his will is by “intoxicating” them. He drugs them so that they do his will. That’s why it says “come to their senses.”

There are many Christians trapped because of spiritual intoxicants. We see this picture with the prodigal son to some extent (Luke 15). He was in the pig pen. He had left his father’s house because he loved the things of this world, and in the midst of the pig pen, it says he came to his senses (v. 17). He was thinking crazy thoughts; he was drugged with the allure of the world and the things of this life.

There are a lot of Christians who are not spiritually sober. They are drugged with all the things of this world, and it keeps them from living for Christ. This is what John says about the things of this world: “If anyone loves the world and the things of this world the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

Satan uses the things of this world and sin to draw believers away from the love of God. Many of them find themselves like the prodigal son and one day they wake up and say, “What am I doing here? “Why am I so far away from the father’s house?”

We must stay free from spiritual intoxicants and everything that would create apathy to the things of God. This includes false doctrine and any type of sin. Sexual immorality and materialism are particularly potent. They can intoxicate us and keep us from living as God has called us to.

A person who is intoxicated can’t drive properly, and it is the same for Christians with spiritual intoxicants. Many Christians are swerving on the roads and getting into accidents. But what makes this common scenario even worse, is that people who are intoxicated often hurt other people in the process. It’s the same with Christians who are “under the influence.”

b. Physical Intoxication

Because we are saved we must be free of physical intoxicants. What does this mean?

“Be sober” no doubt refers to not only spiritual intoxicants like sin, but also physical intoxicants. This is a call to be free of addictions to cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. Scripture commonly calls Christians to live a sober life. Look at what Paul says in Ephesians 5:18: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

I watch many Christian kids who, instead of being controlled by the Spirit, are controlled by some drug. They can’t go too long without having it. “I’ve got to have a smoke,” “I’ve got to have alcohol,” or “I’ve got to have caffeine.”

Listen, if you’re a Christian like that, you are a Christian who makes Satan happy. The enemy is content to control people indirectly through another influence. That is his plan through the entire world system. He wants to control people and keep them from submission to God and his will for their lives.

Peter says because you are saved, don’t give yourself over to the slavery of some intoxicant. Scripture says be sober and instead be controlled by the Holy Spirit. For the believer, you are allowed to only have one master, and that is Christ. You cannot have two or three (Matt 6:24).

It also important to be sober because the enemy is seeking to devour you, and he will use whatever doors you give him. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet 5:8 KJV).

It should also be noted that the word sorcery or magic in the Bible comes from the word pharmakea, where we get the word pharmacy (Rev 18:23). Commonly, witches, or those who were worshiping other gods, would use drugs in order to open themselves up to be controlled by demons. No doubt, this was in Peter’s mind when he called the Christian to be sober. The ancient society would have understood this command because this type of idolatry was happening all around them.

Does this still happen today? Is it any surprise that in most heinous crimes there are drugs involved? I have no doubt that the enemy commonly uses people who cannot control themselves because of submission to a drug in order to rule over them and cause many heinous acts.

This call to be free of physical intoxicants would also be important because the context of this letter is trials. Often, the way people respond to duress is seeking to escape their problems through drugs, like alcohol. Don’t seek to find your relief in a drug, but find your relief in God.

The duty of a believer is to be sober. Do not submit yourself to the control of a drug; you must be controlled instead by God.

Application Question: Do you think that drugs can be an avenue that opens doors to the demonic realm? In what ways do you see this still happening in society?

2. To be sober also means to be disciplined. This is why it can be translated “self-controlled.”

One of the ways a Christian lives a sober life is by being self-controlled. This keeps them from the tricks of the devil, the lure of the world, but also the lure of the flesh. We don’t only have enemies from without—we have enemies from within. Our own flesh works and fights against the things of God. Therefore, a Christians who is not “self-controlled” is a Christian who cannot fulfill the things God has for them.

Listen to how Paul describes the Christians in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training (emphasis mine).
1 Corinthians 9:24, 25

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable (emphasis mine).
1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV)

Other versions say the athlete is “disciplined in all things.” The Christian must be disciplined in their eating, their drinking, their sleeping, and their media. The Olympic athlete does this for an Olympic crown, but we do it for an imperishable one in heaven. How much more should a Christian be disciplined in all things when we will be rewarded by God, not an Olympic committee?

Listen, many Christians, especially Christian young people, fail this aspect of Paul’s command just by the time they go to bed at night. They don’t get good sleep, which affects their ability to get up and spend time with God. They are not living self-controlled lives. They live school-controlled lives, socially-controlled lives, media-controlled lives, girlfriend or boyfriend-controlled lives, etc.

Being self-controlled is important in order for us to make the most of our time in serving God. Many believers are wasting their life, instead of being disciplined with their time and being self-controlled. Many are wasting their time overly indulging in video games, movies, TV or the internet. Listen to what Paul says: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15).

The reason we must make the most of our time is because if we do not, there is a tendency to fall into sin. Paul says “the days are evil.” The Christian who is not disciplined with his time will have a tendency to fall into sin.

Are you making the most of your time by being disciplined? Or is Satan using your time to draw you into evil? If we are going to complete the work God has given us to do, we must be self-controlled in all things.

Are you living a sober life? The Christian has a duty to be free of intoxicants both spiritual and physical. The believer should not be controlled by the world, drugs or the devil. The Christian must be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Christian has a duty to be sober and self-controlled in all things in order honor God through their lives.

Application Question: Why is self-control so important in one’s spiritual life? How is God calling you to be more self-controlled?

The Christian’s Duty Is to Be Hopeful and Expectant in Future Grace

Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13

Application Question: What are your current hopes and how do they affect your life?

Typically, what you are really hoping for affects how you live now. If a person wants to work in the medical field or law, this “hope” guides their life. They make plans to go to undergraduate and then to graduate school because of this future career hope. Hope is very important because it gives us direction. It is a future expectation that propels us.

Similarly, if you have truly “set,” or “fixed,” your hope on the grace that will be given at the coming of Christ, it will affect and guide your life as well. This “grace” includes the person of Christ at his coming, it includes our future complete salvation, our inheritance, heaven, and all the good things God has for us.

This is one of the problems with most Christians; they don’t have their minds fixed on this future hope, and therefore, it affects their lives negatively. It has been said that hope is the same thing as faith—faith is a trust in God for present blessings, and hope is trust in God for future blessings. Listen to what happens when a person has lost their hope, their future faith in Christ and his coming grace.

But suppose the servant says to himself, “My master is taking a long time in coming,” and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
Luke 12:45–46

Christ describes himself as a master and his disciples as servants, or stewards, of his household. In this parable, he describes how the master leaves and some servants, because they said the “master delays his coming,” begins to beat the menservants and eat and drink and get drunk.

Because this particular servant had lost his “expectation” of the coming of the master, he threw off restraint. His life was marked by “discord with people.” It was marked by waste. Every servant ate and drank; however, this seems to be a picture of excess and waste. He also was marked by “drunkenness,” instead of soberness to more effectively serve the master. When the master returns, he punishes the servant and sends him to a place with the unbelievers, which seems to imply that this person was not truly born again.

When you look at the Christian church, we see this in many professing believers. Their relationships are marked by discord—discord with family, friends and employers. Their life is marked by waste, prodigal living, and even sometimes drunkenness or other habitual sins. Why does this happen? It happens because they are no longer “expectant.” If they knew Christ was coming tomorrow, they would radically change their priorities. The duty of the believer is to stay hopeful in the grace to be revealed.

Well, how do we grow in this future hope and expectation in order to live a life in line with this hope?

Application Question: How can we better develop hopeful lives in Christ that will affect how we live?

1. We must be people of the Scripture.

Remember hope is just faith in future promises. What does Scripture teach about faith? Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

Typically, people who are living prodigal lives, without a God-centered expectation, are Christians who neglect the Word of God. The Word of God increases our faith, our hope. It not only is the foundation of saving faith but the conduit of daily faith. You will lack trust and expectation in God if you are not a Christian living in the Word of God.

2. We must be people living in a community of hope.

“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (Prov 13:20).

He whose companions are serious about God and living in hopeful expectation will grow in this expectation daily. But those who hang around fools will eat and drink and get drunk with fools. Those who walk with people whose lives are primarily earthly, consumed with the things of this life, will probably live for the temporary instead of the eternal. But hopeful people find fire for their hope by being around others who are godly.

Your companions affect your ability to live expectantly. Who are your friends?

3. We must be people practicing the Lord’s Supper.

One of the ways that God has given us to stay expectant of the Lord’s coming and the grace that will come with him is the practice of the Lord’s Supper. It is given to help us remember and to look forward in hope.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death until he comes (emphasis mine).
1 Corinthians 11:25–26

Christ gave us an ordinance, or sacrament, because he knew it was easy for us to forget and lose our expectation. In the midst of suffering it is easy to focus on one’s pain. In the midst of prosperity, it is easy to focus on one’s wealth. However, the Lord’s Supper is given as a means of refocusing us on our greatest gift, which is salvation through Christ’s death and our future hope in his second coming. Christ knew the tendencies of our flesh, so he gave us a discipline to stir up hope.

I think it’s something great to practice with the church, but it can be practiced with mature believers in small groups and homes. The early church broke bread from house to house in Acts 2:46.

The Christian’s Duty Is to Be Obedient Children

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 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.”
1 Peter 1:14-16

What’s the final challenge that Peter gives in response to our salvation in this passage? He calls believers to be “obedient children.”

Interpretation Question: In this text, what does being an “obedient” child entail?

It entails at least four things:

1. To be obedient children, we must break with our former way of life—a life of desire.

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance” (1 Pet 1:14).

It is interesting to consider that the phrase “evil desires” does not just refer to lust. It refers to all types of ungodly desires. This is a characteristic of the world—they live for evil desires. Life is based on what makes one happy, or gives one pleasure, instead of what makes God happy and gives him pleasure. It may be desire for success, materialism, or even love. But the people of this earth are characterized by running around to fulfill their desires rather than to serve God.

What makes a life pursuing our desires wrong is that we were not made as gods. We were made to bring pleasure to God and to live for him. But unredeemed men pursue their desires for their own glory and not to honor God. The greatest commandment is to love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, mind, and soul. He is to be our chief purpose in life, to please him and enjoy him forever.

This is what we must break with. We must break away from a life of living for selfish desires. This is what led Adam and Eve to sin. They looked at the tree and saw it was good for food and good to make one wise, and they ate of it. They pursued their own desires over God’s.

When we look at our society that’s all it is, it is a society just like Adam and Eve in the fall. They desire this new phone, this new car, this degree, this job, this food and they are running around the world for it. They live a life of pursuing pleasure apart from God. In fact, listen to how James describes temptation:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
James 1:13–14

Dragged and enticed are hunting terms. It’s a picture of Satan being a hunter and flashing desires in front of man in order to draw them into sin and away from God. The TV is full of these “desires.” Like the scenario of a hunter putting bait on a hook, man bites and becomes hooked and caught in sin. This is a picture of the world running after desires: eating, drinking, sex, wealth, success, acceptance, etc.

Again, it should be noticed that desires such as eating, drinking, sex, and entertainment are not wrong per se. They are wrong apart from God. That’s what makes them evil, and that is how Satan traps people by perverting their natural desires and drawing them to seek these things apart from God and his will.

What else does it mean to be an obedient child?

2. To be obedient children, we must know and live for the Father’s desire.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 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.”
1 Peter 1:14–16

The alternative to running after our desires is to be obedient children. What does an obedient child do? He is seeking to fulfill the desires of the Father. This happens by knowing the Father and thus seeking to please him.

Peter tells them the Father’s desire. He says, “Be ye holy because I am holy.” This is what God told Israel. They were to be different because of their relationship to him. Therefore, this must guide our holiness as well, knowing and understanding God.

If God loves a giver, if he enjoys those who love his Word, if he enjoys those who love serving others, then let those things be our passion.

3. To be obedient children, we must do everything for God.

1 Peter 1:15 says: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”

One of the problems with the church is we only do some things for God. We come to church—maybe we also attend small group—but there are some areas of our lives that are off limits. It may be our entertainment that we keep away from God, it may be our friends, or it may be our career. But God says, “I want holiness in all you do.”

Holiness means being distinct and separate from the world, and it also means doing righteous acts. We must remove the secular and spiritual label and commit everything to God. Believers must be holy and distinct in every aspect of their lives. This is how we become obedient children.

4. To be obedient children, we must know Scripture.

“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’” (1 Pet 1:15–16).

He says, “For it is written.” He expects us as Christians to obey the Word of God. He is quoting a verse from Leviticus 11:44. If we are going to be obedient children, we must be Christians who love the Word of God, read the Word of God, and obey the Word of God. Shortly after, Peter says this, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Pet 2:2). He calls us to desire and eat the Word of God just like a baby craves his mother’s milk. This is the normal Christian life. If we do not do this, we cannot be faithful children of God.

Application Question: What do you think of Peter’s description of unbelievers as a people of “desire?” Are Christians any different? Why or why not?


What should be the believer’s duty in response to salvation?

  1. The Christian must be mentally prepared to serve.
  2. The Christian must be self-controlled and sober in daily life.
  3. The Christian must be hopeful and expectant of future grace.
  4. The Christian must be an obedient child.

Application Question: What ways do you feel God is calling you to apply this text to your life?

Chapter Notes









Copyright 2014 Gregory Brown

Unless otherwise noted, the primary Scriptures used are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are from the King James Version of the Bible.

1 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter. MacArthur New Testament Commentary (64). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

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