Ransomed from Futile Ways

1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

Some people see holiness as more of a status that they wear since they made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. But the Scriptures teach that, as obedient children, we must not be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance (before we professed faith in Jesus Christ). We must no longer be conformed to our sin nature and to the ways of this sinful world. We must no longer walk in sin, making sin our practice.

And that is the first step we must take. We must repent of our sins, and repentance is not just acknowledging our sin, but it is turning away from our lives of sin to now walk in holiness and righteousness and in obedience to our Lord in the power of God’s Spirit within us. We must be crucified with Christ in death to sin before we can be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

And then we must be holy in all our conduct. And holiness is not just a status but it is action. It is something we must live out in our lives in obedience to our Lord Jesus. And to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. And we do this in the strength and wisdom and power of God, and not in our own strength, but it is still something we must do. No longer are we to walk in sin but now in righteousness and holiness.

Now, is this optional? I mean, can we be holy in status and not in lifestyle and still have the hope of heaven when we die? Not according to Scripture. The Scriptures teach that we must walk no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Sin is to no longer have mastery over our lives but Jesus Christ is to be our Lord and master. For, old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but so we would be slaves of righteousness.

For, if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we professed with our lips or thought we believed in our hearts. For Jesus said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into his heavenly kingdom, but only the ones DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. Many are going to hear Jesus say one day, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you!”

And this takes me back up to verse 13 where it says that we are to set our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. And that hope is our salvation which will not be completed until Jesus Christ returns for his bride and he takes us to be with him for eternity. In the meanwhile we are being saved if we are of genuine faith in Christ, but we must continue in Christ in obedience to him and in the forsaking of our sins until the very end or we do not have eternal life with God.

[Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24]

1 Peter 1:17-19 ESV

“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

We need to take this seriously. We are all going to be judged by what we do in this life, according to our deeds (see verses noted above). Therefore, we are to conduct ourselves in the fear of the Lord. We are to live holy lives pleasing to God by the grace of God empowered by God’s Spirit. Daily we are to be dying with Christ to sin and to self and walking in obedience to our Lord Jesus. Daily by the Spirit we are to be putting off the deeds of the flesh and we are to be walking according to the Spirit empowered by the Spirit.

So, please know that there are many people claiming to be preachers of the gospel who are morally unclean, deceivers, manipulators, opportunists, who are opposite of good, who tells lies, who are not trustworthy, who are egocentric, who are fakes, and who fake their Christianity. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing who put on an outward appearance of being the Lord’s sheep, but they are not his sheep for they have not repented of their sins and they have not been reborn of the Spirit of God.

And they are teaching others that they do not have to repent of their sins nor obey the Lord nor submit to him as Lord. So they stand as a barrier between the teaching of the true gospel and people repenting of their sins and being cleansed of their sins and made new by faith in Jesus Christ. And even though some of them may speak of repentance, they often will see it more as an acknowledgment of sin or as a one-time thing which takes place, but Jesus said that daily we must take up our cross and follow him.

Many of these charlatans are teaching God’s grace as merely forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven when we die, but they are not teaching that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. They are not teaching that God’s grace instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And they are not teaching that if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin that we will not inherit eternal life with God.

And this is because they themselves have not been washed in the blood of the Lamb. They just put a covering over their own sins, but they didn’t die to their sins. They know how to talk the walk, or at least part of it, or a twisted version of it, but they are not walking the walk. Sin is still their master. They are still holding on to their sins. They have not let go of them, even if they profess that they have. They are making an outward show of righteousness but it is not a reality in their lives. They profess themselves to be free from their sins while they are still living as captives to sin.

And many people are following them and their example because they are telling them lies which make them feel good but which do not confront them with the reality of their sins and what will happen to them if they do not surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, and if they do not forsake their sinful practices to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands. So, please know and believe the truth. If we continue in deliberate and habitual sin we will die in our sins. And we will not inherit eternal life with God. So please turn from your sins today and walk in obedience to the Lord Jesus.

I Stand in Awe

By Mark Altrogge

You are beautiful
You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You

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