The Believer’s Identity (I Peter 1:13-19)
I Peter 1:13-19, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…”
When beginning a new job, one of the first things a company provides the new employee is a list of requirements. Whether in an official document or through verbal instructions, a company tells the employee what is required, how he or she should act, and what guidelines he or she should follow. When you became a Christian, you weren't handed a job description or a list of requirements, but God does give us a clear description of what He desires from His children in the Bible. Three of those requirements deal with the believer's interaction with the world around him or her.
1.To Be holy.
God desires that His children would be holy in all areas of life - thought, speech, and actions. The carnal person has no guidance in what they say or do, but God desires that believers would show forth holy words and actions. God has revealed to us a one-word description of the Christian life; holiness. Peter explained it this way: “ As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:14-15).
2.To Be Set Apart.
God set us in this world to be a testimony to others. While it's easy to be caught up in the day to day grind, God desires that we would remember we are in the world but not of it. That word conduct means, “in all you do, in your behavior.” Being holy means “being set apart.” It means different—not weird, bizarre, or obnoxious—but set apart. Peter basically said, “Don’t be squeezed into the pattern of the world the way you used to be when you lived in ignorance.”
Before you knew the Lord, you didn’t know any better. You may have thought that sensual or selfish pursuits would make you happy, but now you know they’re like quicksand. Maybe you used to think that being a Christian would be restrictive and stiff, but now you see that God’s laws are established for your own good. When God says, “Don’t,” He means, “Don’t hurt yourself.” The standard of holiness is a protection of your happiness, given by a loving Father.
You’re a different person than you once were. You have different priorities, passions, pastimes, and practices. Your goals have changed. You now want what God wants for you. You have heard the call to holiness, and because of God’s Spirit in you, it’s what your heart hungers for. Seek to change the world around you rather than the world changing you.
But remember, “be holy” actually means, “be becoming holy.” It’s a process. Holiness is formed over a lifetime; it’s not like poof, the moment you turn to Jesus, you’re the final thing. Holiness comes by trying, failing, and continually learning to live a life set apart from the world’s mold. Holiness takes root in your life as you get into God’s Word and with God’s people, increasingly surrendering your mind and your body to the life God has called you to.
3.To Fellowship With Him.
What will help us speak and act holy and stay apart from the world's influence? Daily fellowshipping with God through prayer and Bible reading guards us from sin and guide us in God's will. If someone were to describe your life as a believer, what characteristics would they mention? Take account of your life and how you interact with the world around you. Daily spend time with God and seek to be a shining light of God's holiness to others. Here’s the good news. It’s happening today. God is pouring His character into you with every righteous decision you make to be like His Son.
As you study God’s Word, if you hear God calling you to a pure life, will you respond? If the Spirit of God exposes an impure habit, will you break it off? It would be good to get this issue settled. Are you willing to give God’s Word and God’s Spirit the authority to change the way you live? Allow the Lord to lead and direct your life to pure living. You’ll never be satisfied with life mixed with any of the world’s ingredients again. As I review my life, in what ways can I say I am not the person I used to be? If I were to ask someone close to me, would they notice these changes?
Prayer, Father, it’s amazing that You are not only saving me, You are also transforming me into the likeness of Your Son. However, I need Your help to make the right decisions and live a life that is set apart. I long to “be becoming” holy. Forgive me when I fail, and give me Your strength to succeed. In Jesus’ name, Amen
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.