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6. Motivations For Holiness (1 Peter 1:17-21)

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Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 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. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
1 Peter 1:17–21

Why must we be holy? In 1 Peter 1:15 and 16, Peter calls the believers that are scattered throughout Asia Minor to be holy as God is holy. He then in the following verses gives them motivations to be holy. These motivations would especially be important in the context of suffering for the faith.

Sometimes persecution or hardship can make people throw away their morals; they can often go into survival mode. In survival mode, people have a tendency to not care about holiness. A person who is starving sometimes will resort to stealing in order to live. A person who is about to lose their scholarship because of poor grades sometimes will cheat in order to make it.

I think we often see this in our societies, even without persecution. There is often so much pressure to succeed and be a success that people will do anything, at any cost to attain it, including lowering their integrity or commitment to God. No doubt, with this in mind, Peter exhorts these Christians who have lost homes and jobs for their faith, to be holy as God as holy.

How do you respond when there is pressure?

I love seeing how Christ responded on the cross—as he was mocked and pierced, Scripture began to flow out of him. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” is from Psalm 22, and “Into your hands I commit my spirit” is from Psalm 31. Christ under pressure demonstrated holiness as he maintained communication and focus on his father, even speaking Scripture.

Now in 1 Peter 1:17–21, Peter tells them, “Why they must be holy?” Listen to what he says: “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially.” “Since” refers back to verse 16’s call to be holy like God. In this lesson, we will answer the question, “Why should I be holy? Why should I be different?”

Many Christians succumb to the pressures of the world in the areas of drunkenness, sexual immorality, foul language, and the pursuit of the things of the world. The church is in desperate need of some motivation. In this text, Peter gives us five reasons to be holy.

Big Question: What motivations for holiness (cf. 16) does Peter give us in 1 Peter 1:17–21?

Be Holy Because of a Reverent Fear of God’s Impartial Judgment

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

Peter is telling the Christians in Asia Minor that they must be holy because God is their father and judge. Now often when we hear the word “father,” we immediately think about a father’s love and how a father will do anything to bless and protect his child. However, Peter’s focus in this passage is not so much about the Father’s love, but the Fathers discipline, which is also an outworking of his love.

When these Christians were tempted to sin or compromise with the world in order to escape persecution, Peter wanted them to know that their Father was always watching and that he is going to judge each man’s work impartially.

In our society, judgment is often partial. If a rich man goes to a court, he is more likely to be set free than a poor man. The rich are more likely to escape the death penalty than someone who is poor or from a minority group. The judgment in our culture is often partial, but with our God, it is not. It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, black, white, yellow or purple. Our God does not operate like our justice system; there will be no favor on the basis of your family background or bank account and for that reason we should live our lives in reverent fear of a just God, who will judge all mankind.

Interpretation Question: What are different aspects of the judgment of God that should motivate the believer to fear God, and therefore, become holy?

Now this judgment has two aspects to it.

1. There is the present judgment of the Father on his children that the believer must also be aware of in order to fear God.

Listen to what Paul says about God’s judgment in 1 Corinthians 11:30-32.

That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.

Here in this context, Paul is telling the believers who were abusing the Lord’s Supper that some of them were sick, depressed, and had died as a judgment of God.  He says: “When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.”

In this life, God brings discipline upon his children in order that they will stop sinning and not be condemned with the world. He says something similar in Hebrews 12:8: “If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.” The writer of Hebrews says if God does not bring discipline on your life, specifically for sin, this is proof that you are not a child of God. What good father does not discipline his child?

Peter is saying Christians should live a holy life because they fear God’s discipline over sin. Listen to what happened to Ananias and Saphira:

At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Acts 5:10–11

In this text, God killed Ananias and Saphira because they were lying to the church, and thus to God, about their offering. God killed them on the spot, but look what it says in verse 11: “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

After this discipline happened, the early church and even unbelievers feared God. This helped them live a life of holiness. They understood there was a God who was zealous for holiness. The early church lived with this reverent fear and we are called to fear God as well. Look at what 2 Corinthians 7:1 says: “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

This can also be translated “perfecting holiness in the fear of God” as in the KJV. One of the things that kept me holy as a child was a healthy fear of my father. I knew my father loved me, but because he loved me, sometimes he would spank me. This same type of motivation is given to us in Scripture about God.

Unfortunately, this is something that has often been lost in our day and age. Most people have no true fear of God, and for that reason they live a life of sin and compromise. Solomon said this: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov 9:10).

Fearing God is necessary to live a wise life and to not live a life of sin. It is very possible that Peter is reminding the people in Asia Minor of this because they were neglecting, or losing the fear of the Lord. Listen to what commentator Alexander Maclaren said:

I suppose in Peter’s days, as in our days, there were people that so fell in love with one aspect of the Divine nature that they had no eyes for any other; and who so magnified the thought of the Father that they forgot the thought of the Judge. That error has been committed over and over again in all ages, so that the Church as a whole, one may say, has gone swaying from one extreme to the other, and has rent these two conceptions widely apart, and sometimes has been foolish enough to pit them against each other instead of doing as Peter does here, braiding them together as both conspiring to one result, the production in the Christian heart of a wholesome awe (Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture [Baker], “Father and Judge,” [1 Pet. 1:17], p. 69).

Alexander Maclaren surmised that among these believers, there were those who were focusing on one of God’s character traits in exclusion of another. Maybe they were saying, “God is a God of love, and therefore he will not judge us. God is our friend, and he will forgive me anyways.”

I have met Christians who have told me they feel that way about God. He will forgive them, and so they sin and just ask for forgiveness. Throughout history, we have seen pendulum swings—swings where the church focuses on God being a God of wrath and judgment, and swings where it focuses on God being a loving God. There are Bible curriculums that don’t give a balanced view and often focus on one over the other.

We must worship God in spirit and in truth. He is a God of love and forgiveness, but he is also a God of wrath. And because of this reality, a child of God cannot walk in sin without the discipline of a loving father.

2. There is a future judgment of the father on his children that the believer must also be aware of in order to fear God—the future judgment at the judgment seat of Christ.

Paul said this:

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For 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.
2 Corinthians 5:9–10

Paul said this prospect of a future judgment pushed him to holiness—to make it his goal to “please” God. Listen also to what Christ said:

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned (emphasis mine).
Matthew 12:36–37

Jesus said God will judge us over every careless or idle word. Now this won’t be a judicial condemnation, for Christ has paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, but it will be a judgment for reward or loss of reward in heaven. There will be those who will be rewarded at this judgment and those who will suffer loss of reward. Listen again to Christ’s words:

Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (emphasis mine).
Matthew 5:19

Christ said there will be those who are called least in the kingdom of heaven. By their lives, they have broken the commands of Scripture and caused others to do the same. And, therefore, they will be called the least. In contrast, those who practiced the Scripture and taught others to do the same will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

In heaven, Scripture teaches, we will all be identified by our works. We see in Revelations 6:9 the “souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.” These people were identified by their works; they were known for how they had lived on the earth. In the same way, we will be known for our works on earth.

Now this is something that has been lost in our churches; we don’t have much preaching on heaven or hell, and judgment certainly has been lost. And for this reason, much of the church has lost a reverent fear of the Lord and a fear of judgment. We say, “Oh well I’m going to heaven, and that’s all that matters. God has forgiven my sin.” Yes, but there still remains a future judgment, and Scripture says this judgment should motivate us (2 Cor 5:9, 10).

There will be those who get into heaven as escaping the fire, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:15, and those who will be abundantly rewarded. Fear of God is a biblical reason to pursue holiness, and unless you understand the Father who judges our works impartially both now and at the judgment seat, you will be lacking one of the greatest motivations to be holy.

Do you fear God? It is the beginning of wisdom!

Application Question: Do you feel that our generation has lost the concept of the fear of God in lieu of focusing on God’s love and forgiveness? How do we regain a fear of the Lord if we have lost it?

Be Holy Because of God’s Reward

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

Another implication of God’s impartial judgment is desire for reward. Not only will there be discipline on the earth for sin and loss of reward at the judgment seat but there will be present and future reward in heaven. Look at 1 Peter 3:9–12:

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (emphasis mine).
1 Peter 3:9–12

This passage talks about a present blessing that comes from the God who judges us. Peter essentially says don’t repay evil with evil so you can “love life and see good days.” Be holy because there is a present blessing that comes with this type of life.

A lot of times, we think riches or even revenge will make us happy, but it won’t.  “Loving life” is something that God gives to those who are holy. He talks about seeing “good days.” No doubt, this refers to favor. In fact, the final present blessing for holiness described in this passage is God hearing our prayers. It says he is “attentive” to the prayers of the righteous (v. 12).

God doesn’t hear everybody’s prayers in the sense of answering them. James says, “The prayer of the righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18). One of the reasons to be holy is because of present reward. It brings a blessing on the life of the believer.

In addition, a motivation for holiness is not only present reward but future reward. Listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:12–14,

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward (emphasis mine).

When Paul is talking about the “Day,” he is again talking about the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10). Not only does he focus on the loss of reward but on receiving reward. Both of these are given as motivations for holy and righteous living. Paul says the same thing in 1 Corinthians 9:24 about running to win the crown.

Charles Stanley, in his book Eternal Security, told the story of his preaching on spiritual reward. In the audience was a student who was really apathetic in his spiritual life and, in fact, got in trouble a lot. After hearing Charles Stanley preach on heavenly reward, he was motivated to change. He approached Charles Stanley and told him about how he was now more motivated to serve God at the prospect of eternal reward.

Christ taught the same thing in Mathew 6:19: “Store up riches in heaven and not on earth.” In Matthew chapter 6, he tells his disciples that when one fasts, prays, and gives, they shouldn’t do it like the Pharisees so that they will not lose their reward.

Application Question: Are you motivated to live a holy life at the prospect of eternal reward? Why or why not?

Be Holy Because You Are a Sojourner and Pilgrim on the Earth

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

One of the things Peter does in verse 17 is remind these Christians that they are strangers and aliens. Essentially, he is reminding them that earth is not their home. They are citizens of another place--heaven. This is also an important concept for us to understand in order to be holy.

A citizen of a country has a unique language, unique culture norms, unique views and these should also be true of Christians who are heavenly citizens (Phil 3:20). This is a very important concept because typically when a person moves into a culture as a stranger, they assimilate to the culture. The nation of America is called a melting pot for this very reason, because everybody blends together. Typically, a foreigner moves to America and starts to lose their language and their culture, as they begin to assimilate.

I really loved visiting Toronto, Canada, because it felt like the most diverse place in the world. I felt like there was no majority. I went to the mall and the Africans were in traditional dress and so were the Indians. It was amazing. They call it a salad bowl, instead of a melting pot. This is more of the image Peter is getting at. He says, “You are strangers, and you are different. You have a different speech, a different worldview, and you should not assimilate to the world because this is not your home. You are citizens of heaven.” In fact, later on, Peter again challenges them directly to be different because they are pilgrims. Listen to what he says:

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
1 Peter 2:11–12

One of the things that marked Abraham when he moved into the promised land was that he considered himself a stranger. It was not yet his land; it was inhabited by pagans and people living in sin. Even though he lived in Canaan many years, he resided in a tent because it was not his permanent home. Look at what Hebrews says about him: “By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise” (Heb 11:9).

Abraham lived in tents. In fact, the only thing he owned of the promised land was his wife’s burial spot. He lived like a stranger and a pilgrim in that land.

I love living in Korea because it helps me understand how to live better as a pilgrim in this world. We go shopping and I’m like, “Nah, we don’t need that. This is isn’t our home. One day, we will move and we have to leave it all” (especially since it costs so much to ship things from here). It doesn’t make sense to make that type of purchase. We have to remind ourselves of this truth when we see things that might be nice to have at the house.

This is in some sense how we should live on this earth. Remember, Christ said, “Don’t store up riches on this earth” (Matt 6:19). See there was a difference between Abraham and Lot.  Abraham lived in Canaan with his family, it wasn’t his home; but Lot’s family lived in Sodom and made it their home. It became part of their heart. When it was time to leave, his wife disobeyed God’s command and looked back because of her attachment to it and became a pillar of salt. After they had left, Lot’s daughters slept with Lot to have children. Sodom had become part of their hearts, it was their home.

Are you living as a stranger in the world, or are you making it your home? I love what is said about Abraham and other heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11:16: “Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

Most Christians don’t long for a better country because this is their home. They have adopted the culture, they have stored up riches, and they’re not longing for anything heavenly. Look at the result of these early saints faithful lifestyle; it says, “God was not ashamed to be called their God.”

I think there are Christians God is ashamed of. He’s ashamed because they are living like this is their home. They have assimilated into the culture; their language has changed—they look just like everybody else. Even unbelievers can’t tell the difference. One motivation for holiness is that we are strangers and heaven is our real home.

Are you motivated by the fact that heaven is your real home? This is a motivation to be different.

Application Question: What are your thoughts about the concept of a Christian being a pilgrim or alien in this world? What are practical applications of this to apply to our lives?

Be Holy Because You Are No Longer Slaves

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.
1 Peter 1:18

Another motivation in this text for holiness is Christians remembering the bondage and emptiness of sin that each believer once lived in and was redeemed from. The word redeemed means “to purchase someone’s freedom by paying a ransom.”1 These Christians who were part of the Roman Empire would have immediately understood this word. There were literally millions of slaves in the Roman Empire. Though some slaves were respected and treated well by their masters, a slave legally had no rights and was regarded as equivalent to a donkey. The master could severely mistreat his slave if he wanted to because the slave was considered property.

This was the same motivation Moses gave to Israel after they had left the promised land. Look at what he commonly says to them:

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.
Deuteronomy 16:12

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
Deuteronomy 5:15

Israel forgot they were formerly slaves in Egypt and, at times in the wilderness, wanted to go back. They said, “We had better fruits and bananas back in Egypt.” In their mind, they thought it was much easier being a slave of Egypt than being a follower of God. Therefore, they wanted to go back to slavery. This often happens with Christians as well. When following Christ gets hard, when persecution comes, many want to go back to their former lives forgetting that it was indeed slavery. In fact, we see this very clearly in the Parable of the Sower with the seed that fell on shallow ground.

The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away (emphasis mine).
Matthew 13:20–21

Peter is calling them to holiness on the basis that they were redeemed from slavery and no matter how hard it gets, no matter how much they are harassed or persecuted, they should not go back.

The question then is, who were we a slave to? Scripture says we were slaves to sin (John 8:34). When Adam sinned in the garden, he transferred his submission and that of all men to sin. Mankind became in bondage to sin which indwells the flesh of man. Listen to what Jesus said:

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (emphasis mine).
John 8:34–36

Listen to how 1 Peter 1:14 calls believers to not go back: “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance” (emphasis mine).

Those in the world do not understand they are in slavery; Peter says they are in ignorance to it. The world runs around as slaves to their desires. Many are slaves to the desire of becoming wealthy. Christ said in Matthew 6:24 that we cannot have two masters; we will hate one and love the other. We cannot serve God and money.

For many, the desire for money and wealth tells them what school to go to, what career field to pursue, how much time to devote to God. Many people are being ruled by their desires—they are enslaved to them and do not realize it.

Many are enslaved by desires for pleasure. I remember being in college and students lived for thrill of getting wasted, getting buzzed in the evening. Many of our men were driven by the desires of lust; they fulfilled these desires through pornography and sex. They were living in ignorance. Listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “‘Everything is permissible for me’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’—but I will not be mastered by anything” (emphasis mine).

Paul said, “I am free from sin, because Christ has set me free. But I will not do anything that is sinful, and I will not be mastered by anything. I will not be mastered by money, by lust, by a cigarette, by alcohol. The only master I have is Christ.”

What is controlling your life? Remember that Christ came and set you free.

One of the reasons that we should be motivated to be holy is remembering that we were once slaves to sin and slaves to the desires of the world. Not only were we slaves that needed to be redeemed, but we were living an empty life. Look at how 1 Peter 1:18 again describes it: “You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers” (emphasis mine).

Solomon described life “under the sun,” which means life apart from God, as vanity or meaningless. Look what he says in Ecclesiastes 1:14: “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (emphasis mine).

Solomon describes his pursuit of seeking meaning and joy in life throughout the letter. He says, “I tried knowledge, gave myself to endless study. I tried wealth and gathered great riches. I tried pleasure and gave myself endless enjoyment of them, only to find out it was all meaningless. I was a fool, chasing after the wind.”

Solomon summarizes his search at the end of the book, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl 12:13). In fact, Solomon speaks to youth in Ecclesiastes 12:1. He says, “Remember the Creator in your youth.” He essentially says, “Don’t go off living an empty life like I did: seeking pleasure, education, or money as the chief goal of your existence. It’s like grabbing the air—it will leave you empty.”

Many Christians, like Solomon, go back to the slavery of sin and live an empty life. Fear God and keep his commandments. This is the purpose of life: devotion to God.

Remember, you were empty and a slave to sin before coming to Christ. Christ came that you may have life and life to full (John 10:10). He came to set you free from slavery. Satan wants you to think that sin is the good life but don’t believe the lie. Declare today that you will not go back but that you will go forward in the pursuit of God and the holiness he desires.

Application Question: In what ways is the image of slavery and an empty life an accurate description of life without Christ? What ways have you experienced this?

Be Holy Because of the Lavishness of God’s Love

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. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
1 Peter 1:18-21

Application Question: What are qualities of a great gift?

What’s another motivation to holiness?

The next motivation for holiness is the lavishness of God’s love. In talking about our slavery, Peter says God didn’t redeem us with silver or gold but with something much more precious. He redeemed us with Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Observation Question: What makes the gift of our redemption through Christ so special in verse 19–21?

1. The gift is special because Christ was a lamb without blemish. The gift was perfect.

He gives the picture of a worshiper giving a sacrificial lamb in the Old Covenant. When the worshiper would give a sacrificial lamb to cover sins, he or she always was called to give one’s best—a lamb without blemish.

Peter says you should be holy because God gave his best. A lamb without blemish, the lamb God had lived with throughout eternity and enjoyed. He gave his best for you. Essentially, he says you should not show contempt for God’s kindness and goodness by going back to your slave master.

2. The gift is special because it was planned for you before the foundation of the earth.

I don’t know about you, but there are certain gifts that are more precious than others. I am person who doesn’t like to think a lot or put a lot of thought into gift giving. I give gift cards to a book store, and that is a standard gift from me. Everybody needs books, right?

But the best gifts are those that take planning, time, and our personal touch. Good gift givers discern what might be most useful to that person. They go through a lot of work in searching and figuring out what this person would like. My wife has a thing where instead of buying a card for somebody, she likes to make the card with various types of decorations.

Let’s be honest. When somebody gives you a card, you smile and say, “Thank you.” You feel compelled to keep it for a few days just to be nice. You do your duty, but then you finally throw it away. But the cards my wife makes actually take creativity; they take time, and when you receive one, it feels more special, especially, when it comes with baked homemade cookies.

Well God’s gift for you was planned thousands of years ago, which makes it even more special. It was no haphazard accident. It was part of God’s sovereign plan to redeem you. Listen to what Peter said about Christ in Acts 2:23: “This man was handed over to you by Gods set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross” (emphasis mine).

Christ’s death was no accident. It was planned before time for you.

3. The gift is special because it is personal. Peter says he was revealed for “your sake.” This gift is personal for you.

It has been said that Christ did not die just for the sins of the world. Christ died specifically for you because you are one of his elect (cf. 1 Peter 1:1). He was thinking about you. If there was no one else, he still would have given his life because he died for you specifically. This makes this gift even more special. Jesus said this to those who were following him:

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. (emphasis mine)
John 6:37-39

You were chosen before time and given by the Father to the Son. The Son came for you and everybody else that was given to him before time. Each of us were on his mind as he offered his life on the cross and he will keep us for the day of his coming (cf. John 10:27-30, Phil 1:6). Christ died for your sake.

4. The gift was precious because of what it did for believers—it secured access to God.

First Peter 1:21 says, “Through him, you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God” (emphasis mine). It was “through him” that we believed and now have a relationship with God. Christ said this:

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
John 10:9

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

Many gifts have a short usefulness, but the greatest of gifts just keep on giving. Each day we are receiving from God’s gift to us. His son’s death secured access to the Father for us. We come to God each day through the veil of Christ’s body. This is a motivation for holiness.


What are motivations for holiness?

  1. Be holy because of a reverent fear of God’s impartial judgment.
  2. Be holy because of God’s reward.
  3. Be holy because you are a sojourner and pilgrim on the earth.
  4. Be holy because you are no longer a slave of sin.
  5. Be holy because of the lavishness of God’s love.

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 Grudem, W. A. (1988). Vol. 17: 1 Peter: An introduction and commentary. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (88). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Related Topics: Christian Life, Discipleship