Posted by: Terry | December 11, 2010

1 Peter 1.12-16 Growing up

1 Peter 1.13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought you you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Our salvation is a present living hope that gives purpose and joy now, it will be completely fulfilled at the return of Christ.

We are admonished to “set your hope fully” on this grace – “to fix your hope completely” (NASB). It is from the word telios, with the idea of maturity to completion or perfection. Resulting in a steadfast position. This level of conviction is the result of a mind that is disciplined and thinking right. Inexpressible joy and sober thinking are not contradictory. Our faith is built on historical fact which produces a changed life and results in the joy of the heart.

Our confidence in this grace grows as we see our faith in action, (1 Peter 1.6) It grows in the joy we experience when we comprehend the great love of God that results in our forgiveness and new birth, our new residence in the kingdom of God. (1 Peter 1.8-9) It is founded on the proclamations of the prophets of old, and we are humbled to action when we realize that we are the recipients of what so many longed to see. (1 Peter 1.10-12.)

1 Peter 1.14 As obedient children do not be conformed… “Hope fully” results, even requires a change in living. First we are called to “be holy in all your conduct.” Peter admonishes us to leave the passions of our “former ignorance.” As a child must learn right and wrong, their natural behavior is self-centered and not suitable for a mature person. Adults who never leave the passions of a child are labeled as childish, they usually have a difficult time fitting into the adult world, the body may be mature but the actions are immature.

The child does not know that tantrums and lying, throwing food and not sharing, are wrong. It is the responsibility of the parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go.” As believers we also must leave behind those things that were part of our life before we were born anew into the family of God, we have a new life and it requires a new way of behaving, holiness. We are to live holy because Christ is holy, he is our example, our role model.

Holiness is living fully devoted to God instead of fully devoted to “me.” We are either fully committed or we are not. “You cannot serve two masters.” Holy living is living in a way that strives to conform our thinking and actions to align with the values and behaviors of Jesus our Savior. As the child patterns their life after their parents, for good or bad, the exile in the “elect exile” must pattern their life after the example of Christ, resulting in holy behavior.

It is the responsibility of the body of Christ to accept in the new believer and to support and guide them in this process of maturity. We all come from a life of ignorance toward the things of God, by faith we are born into this new family, then we spend the rest of our lives growing away from the behaviors and thinking of the world, toward the renewed mind and holy life of Christ. For this reason a church must take the admonition to teach and encourage seriously. If we do not, we may bring in new believers, but they will never mature and serve as God intended.

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