Hello everyone! I just wanted to share some commentary on chapters 1 and 2 of 1 Peter regarding the issue of personal holiness. This commentary was the result of responding to some questions I received on the scriptures quoted below. I hope you find it a blessing and please let me know if you have any questions!
1 Peter 1:13-22
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.”
You are holy, God is holy, so live like a holy person. Live like what you are. If you were a doctor, you wouldn’t live like a drug dealer. This is just saying to live like what you are. Look at the next verses, they don’t say “or God will not love you anymore and He will takeaway your salvation.” Look what they say:
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.
This is saying that you have been redeemed. Whatever you choose to do with that redemption, it is real and it is yours. Continuing in 1 Peter 1:
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
What does it mean to obey the truth? This is talking about obeying the truth about Jesus- believing and trusting in him. Look at the very next verse:
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
You have been born of imperishable seed, because you believed in the Son of God. This is how you purified yourself.
1 Peter 2:1
1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Again, this is instructions about a good way to live. If I go through medical school to become a doctor, and then I show up for work, the hospital is going to tell me the best way to doctor so that I can be effective at that hospital. This is nothing more than that. There is no threat involved. Look at the verse right after this one. It doesn’t say, “And if you don’t rid yourselves of all this stuff then you are doomed! God is going to be really mad at you!” Look what it says:
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
There is a consequence for not ridding yourself of these things, but it isn’t condemnation or God’s anger. You aren’t going to grow up well. This is speaking very tenderly to children of God to encourage us to grow in our knowledge of God rather than being stuck in gross worldly stuff.