I have suggested to you that in writing this letter we call I Peter, the apostle Peter seeks to lift up the eyes of his readers so that the vision of their soul is focused on Jesus, what His death and resurrection has accom-plished for them and what His return will mean for them. It is a letter of hope, and that hope is a living hope grounded the resurrection of our Savior Jesus. But that hope is to lead us to holy living.
A couple of years ago a friend and I hiked the newly opened western side of the Collegiate loop, and on our second day out we climbed Hope Pass. Both the ascent and descent were a workout! It strikes me that our sojourn here as followers of Christ is grounded in a very real hope; we are indeed a people on our way home. But this hope that we have in Jesus leads us on a path that is very demanding: it is the path of holiness.
We are going to revisit a text we began to look at several weeks ago, I Peter 1:13-21. On May 22 I preached on this text but only covered the first of three commands, namely, "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1:13). This week I will pick up where we left off and address the other two commands in this passage. So our devotional will cover some familiar ground. I trust we will benefit from a second look.
Read I Peter 1:13-21 carefully and twice. Let the questions below help you meditate on this wonderful text.
- As I mentioned, there are three imperatives (commands) in this passage and each one is qualified by two or more participles. The first command is "set your hope" (v. 13). What is the effort required of us according to this verse in order to set our hope fully on the grace to be given to us when Jesus is revealed? What do you recall about these things from the previous devotional on this passage or from the sermon ("Holy Sojourn," May 22)?
- The second command is "be holy" (v. 14, perhaps, "become holy"). According to verse 14, what does it mean to be holy? A good parallel is found in Romans 12:1-2. What does the path of holiness look like in your life according to Peter and Paul?
- According to verses 15-16, why are we to become holy?
- The third command is found in verse 17, "conduct yourselves with fear..." This is one of those verses that ought to cause us to pause. According to verse 17, why are we to conduct our lives with fear? What are we to fear and what do you think that means? Recall Luke 12:4-7; Philippians 2:12-13; Isaiah 66:2; also Hebrews 12:3-17 (especially note verse 14).
- What would it look like for you to conduct your life along this path of holiness in the fear of your heavenly Father?
- In verses 18-19 Peter gives us other reasons for living our lives here a sojourners who fear God. What are they?
- What exactly has God ransomed us from? What has He ransomed you from?
- How has God ransomed us?
- How should our ransom actually cause us to conduct our lives in fear of our Heavenly Father?
- In verses 20-21 Peter wants us to know some very important truths about Jesus and what He has done for us. What do you see here?
- Why is it important to know that Jesus was "foreknown before the foundation of the world" (v. 20)? What does that say about your salvation?
- We are ransomed from a futile way of life (v. 18). What are we ransomed for (v. 21?)
- Why is it important to know that we believe in God through Jesus (v. 21)?
- What did you hear from the Lord by His Word today?
God be with you! And we will see you on Sunday, Lord willing!