THINGS ARE DIFFERENT NOW
Lord, only by the power of Your Spirit can I be holy in all I do.
Read 1 Peter 1:13–21
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.
a 1 Peter 1:16 Lev. 11:44,45; 19:2
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectIn what ways does Peter encourage these early Christians and in what ways does he challenge them?
Building on the solid foundations Peter has laid in our reading yesterday, he now challenges the early Christians to live in the light of those great truths. He urges good thinking. They now know things they did not know before (14), and this is to make a significant difference to how they live. Perhaps this challenges those of us living in western cultures where the normal response to situations is based on how we feel, rather than what we think or know.
What do you think of when you read “Be holy, because I am holy”? Holiness is a concept that is hard to capture fully. It describes the essence of who God is and it describes his character. How can we possibly emulate God? He is everything we are not! He is pure, good, true, righteous, merciful, gracious, loving—holy!
Peter will mention specifics later, but here he gives us the basis on which we can build a holy life: we have been redeemed, bought back from an “empty way of life” (18) we used to live. This has been done by Christ himself on the cross (19) and by God the Father as he glorifies the Son through raising him from the dead (21).
In what ways do you live differently from those around you who do not have faith in Christ? Thank God that everything changes because we have been redeemed by Jesus. Rejoice that this is the starting point for holy living.
Lord, I give You thanks that everything is different because Jesus has redeemed us.