1Pe 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
1Pe 1:15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
1Pe 1:16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
In the 90’s there was seen a theological resurgence (shall I say ‘reformation’) in doctrinal purity. As we move closer to 2020, the moral climate of the church is pathetic. It is time for a resurgence in moral purity, an emphasis on pure living. In 1 Peter 1:5, the promise to every elect sojourner living in this world is that “(you) by God’s power are being guarded through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (ESV). Guarded by God’s power, how amazing. Sometimes we give evidence that God’s power is more like ‘dial-up’ internet speed because of our moral compromises!
Do you know how you can tell what an ‘elect exile’ looks like? (It’s in 1 Peter 1:7) He demonstrates the fruit of faith that is genuine. Years ago my wife and I went shopping for our first ever new couch set. I promised my wife, “Babe, we’ve budgeted the money, and you can bet we’re purchasing an heirloom leather living room set! This baby it will outlive us!” As we shopped, I cannot tell you how many different salespersons tried to sell us ‘knock-offs’, synthetics or counterfeit leathers.’ I’d ask the question, ‘is this real leather?’ The shenanigan response always started with “Well sort of, but not technically, you see…”
The biggest turn off to our faith is the absence of genuine Christians, and the presence of artificial Christianity. In 1 Peter 1:13 Peter says essentially ‘now, because you truly received the good news, kick it in gear! Get your mental focus right, protect your heart, get ready for action! In verse 14 he continues, brothers, shuck off your old lusts. Verse 15, you need to be holy in every department of life, including the most difficult areas. God expects the whole thing to be pure, not just your personal favorite places devoted to him. In a typical day, we encounter so much spiritual resistance and temptation. Think about the challenge of ‘all-your-conduct’ being holy in the course of our day:
- We wake up – we face grogginess, hunger, health issues, temptations to laziness, or anticipation of stresses in the day, who am I before God right now, what is my plan, how will I pray, will I start my day of with a ‘holy purpose’ and a right mind?
- Morning relationships and greetings – people in our lives we owe our unconditional love to, even when don’t feel like giving it, or because we may not be appreciated the way we expect. It’s so easy to settle for a social-less, to run from it all. Can I rise above these bad morning habits by his grace? What does holiness demand in my mornings?
- Gratitude/breakfast – do we eat and give thanks well, the challenge of being reckless without consideration of the giver of it. The challenge of rushing, while properly nourishing our temple and our spirit by bread and the word.
- We dress/prepare for the day – will what I wear reflect much about the purity of my heart, or my love for man’s approval? Or, should I dress up more, with a certainty dignity that either holiness, common-sense or my peers would honor.
- At school/work – so many people and situations to engage with. Do I have a Godly discipline and integrity of holiness? Do I already have certain things decided (convictions) that I will not compromise on? Am I steadfast, does work easily distract my thoughts of God or even my spiritual identity? Do I allow myself to be influenced negatively by ungodliness? Do I work as if Christ were my boss? Do I cherish the presence of the Holy Spirit with me? Am I able to biblically process successes or perhaps surprising disappointments? Do I interact like a Christian or do I become like a pagan-disciple when in another element?
- Back home – do I thirst for entertainment, digital media more than family interactions. How ‘free’ is my free time? Do I become an Archie Bunker? Am I fulfilling my calling while at home. Is everyone getting out of me, what God called me to give to them (Proverbs 3:27,28; Romans 13:8.) Am I sacrificial in holiness? Or am I like a selfish child? What work am I getting done at home? Do I have a good conscience before God about my home duties?
- Before Bed – Do I review the past day before my all-knowing God, or am I allowing myself to sleep over the craziness of a day? Did I sustain my relationship with him? What’s my attitude? Have I acknowledged soberly and joyfully my creator, redeemer and friend? Did I this day exclude him from certain personal sanctuaries of idolatry, did I have lapses in judgment, did my speech become tainted and irreverent, was I afraid to name Christ, did I love the world too much? Because there’s so much to confess each day, prayer before bed is a great trait and demonstration of personal holiness, and a time to renew our affections with Jesus Christ.
If you think these suggestions are just “too much”, remind yourself that this pursuit is indeed a grind, but it is a supernatural grace…and it’s only for those who can bear it, which belongs those bought by Jesus precious blood (1 Peter 1:19). This is what Peter means when he says ‘you also be holy in all your conduct.’ I think he means we must be far more thorough in it to the point of evaluating our conduct, because folks, today’s habits of holiness are eroding right before our eyes.
Grace be to you,