HOLLINESS AND THE PROPER FEAR OF GOD!

Holiness and the proper fear of God







The Apostle Peter starts out in this passage that I am going to write about saying as obedient children not fashioning (conforming) ourselves according to the formal lusts of our ignorance. The implication is when we were not Christians we did not really know our sins nor did we care or even struggle with them. I think the word lust is interesting because all sin starts out with lust. Then Peter goes to the correct course of action and writes but He which has called you is holy so we need to be holy in all manner of conversation. In this context the word conversation means behavior. Then Peter goes on to quote Leviticus 11: 44 - 45. In this setting God is saying be ye holy for I am holy.



The Apostle then writes if we do call on the Father remember He is without respect of persons judging according to every man's work. Then Peter says pass the time of our sojourning here in fear while we are living on earth which is only for a short time in respect to eternity. He reminds us that we were not redeemed through Jesus Christ with corruptible things such as silver and gold. If people believe this it was probably from the vain conversation received by tradition from their fathers. The problem with inheriting foolish ways in our childhood is it is not from God the Father. He then explains how we really got redeemed through the Son of God which was through the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot.



Jesus Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times for us or truly revealed. We believe in God through Jesus Christ. God the Father raised Him up from the dead and gave His Son the glory for the purpose of our faith and hope being in God. Let me just quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.



(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: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (21) Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." 1 Peter 1:14 - 21.



When Peter writes as obedient children he is putting on an argument to press his readers to holiness. The Apostle was comparing the way they used to live in lust and ignorance to their present state which is obedience for God. If one lives in lust and ignorance he or she does not care about obeying God. A true child of Jesus Christ will be noticed if they do this by many people especially the persons with a trained eye. Peter's main point is we were formerly living in sin and ignorant but now that we have been converted over to Jesus Christ for the redemption of our sins we were changed to have a desire to obey God. Our "Desires" have to go somewhere which in this case would be sin or obedience to Jesus Christ.



Notice the phrase but as He who has called you because we received the blessings of being called into the new covenant. The grace of God calls us through His Son Jesus Christ. When God says something this should be sufficient for us because we have eternal life as opposed to eternal death.



When God says be ye holy for I am holy we should have a desire to follow this command. If we do not for one reason or another then by all means pray to God that the empowering work of the Holy Spirit flow through our spirit so our desires will change from disobedience or apathy to obeying God. We need to understand that it is an honor to be called by divine grace to possession of all the blessings of the new covenant through Jesus Christ. We are rich in God through His Son but Peter is saying live the way you were called and that would be holy. If we truly understand grace then we will be obliged to desire to obey God and be holy. I know some teachers water down the gospel but the real truth of the matter is complete holiness should be the desire and response of every Christian. If we fall short we should feel bad. I know I do.



The Apostle Peter is writing that we should desire to be holy in all manner of conversation which means friends, enemies, business and life. We do this for one main reason and that would be God is holy. We can imitate Jesus Christ but we can never be equal with Him. How many times do I consider the holiness of God? Well we usually do this when we sin but what if we started to ponder the Pureness of the Triune Godhead more often during the course of the day? The more appreciation we have for this attribute the less we will transgress against God.



Verse seventeen says if you call on the Father. As we pass through life we should have the proper reverential fear for God. People should have confidence in God the Father but should also fear Him as a Judge. This "Judgment" will be without respect of persons because we will be judged according to our work for Him which involves the "What" and the "Why" we did for the Lord.



In verse eighteen Peter makes another point and explains to them that they were redeemed by a ransom paid to the Father. There was a price paid for their ransom and His name is Jesus Christ. He died for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day. This audience understood their sins before they got saved and could not pretend ignorance. The Apostle is asking his readers to consider their redemption through Jesus Christ which will lead to holiness and a proper reverential fear of God.



Peter then writes that silver nor gold nor any of the corruptible things of this world can redeem even one soul because they are corruptible and can not save an incorruptible and immortal soul. The blood of Jesus Christ is the only price for the redemption of people. Jesus Christ shed His precious blood to redeem us from eternal misery and vain conversation in this world. The tone of what Peter is saying is he did not want his audience to be openly wicked or sinful in light of what Jesus Christ saved us from which is misery in any realm because it is apart from Him. If we live sinful it becomes vain, unprofitable and dangerous because this involves our souls and the souls of other people.



In the last two verses the Apostle in the most general terms seems to be writing about the Redeemer and the redeemed. This would be verses twenty and twenty one. This passage says fore - ordained before the foundation of the world. This is an act of the will of God. Remember God "Acts" we can only "Respond." This was a resolution on the part of God that this sacrifice would be done before the foundation of the world. This promise was especially for the age of grace (we are living in this dispensation right now) because verse twenty says but was manifest in these last times for you. The term "Last times" is a reference to the age of grace. Jesus Christ was manifested to be our Redeemer whom God had fore - ordained. We have this comfort of this "Manifestation" and appearance of Jesus Christ if we accepted Him as our Savior and Lord.



Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the Father. This gave His Son the glory and proclaimed Him to be the true Messiah. The Lamb of God who died for our sins received glory when He raised from the dead on the third day and this was all pre determined before the foundation of the world. Most people understand that God did not make this decision at 100 B.C for the salvation of mankind.



The redeemed in Jesus Christ are also described in the phrase you do by him believe in God which explains our faith and hope in our Messiah. Remember we have to place our faith and hope in something or somebody. God desires us to place our trust in His Son.



There was a decree from God to send His Son Jesus Christ to be our Mediator and this decision was made before the foundation of the world. In eternity past God knew who His children would be and had purposes of special favor towards His people long before He bestowed His grace upon us in our hearts and life. We should be grateful for this wonderful love of God through His Son Jesus Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit.



Sometimes I will hear someone say, "We are all God's children." This is not even close to what the Bible teaches. When a person makes this statement I get the distinct impression that he or she does not really want to know the truth. I hope this is not the case with you so now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God in your life. I hope and pray you just made this all important eternal decision.



God bless you,

Bob D.

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