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.’”
These words are addressed to those who are God’s elect, his chosen ones, called to be holy, to be set apart unto God, separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ – who loved us and gave himself up for us that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. We who believe in Christ Jesus are called to obedience to him, for to love him is to obey him.
Because of what Jesus Christ did for us in putting our sins to death with him on that cross – so that we might be crucified with him in death to sin, by faith in him, so that he might deliver us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin – we are to spiritually prepare our minds for action. We must be dedicated, committed, and determined to remain faithful to our Lord and to walk in his ways despite all distractions and/or temptations.
And we need to be serious-minded about our walks of faith, too. I see far too much frivolity, joking, and teasing among those professing faith in Jesus Christ and little in the way of seriousness about holiness, godliness, and walks of obedience to our Lord. Yet, I smile often, even when things aren’t going well for me. And I laugh, and I have a good sense of humor. So I am definitely not saying we should go around with frowns on our faces.
What I am saying is what I believe this Scripture is saying, that we need to be serious-minded about the Lord, about his word, and about our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. We should not take God or his word or our commitments to Christ and to his salvation lightly. Our lives are to be surrendered to Jesus Christ to do his will for our lives. And our lives are to be his possession and no longer our own to be lived however we want.
And just like we talked about earlier today in the writing, “Testing of Your Faith,” based off 1 Peter 1:6-9, our salvation is a process of a lifetime which will not be completed until Jesus returns and he takes his bride to be with him for forever. So, we are to set our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ (when he returns). And that grace is God’s kindness towards us in saving us from our sins.
God’s grace, which brings salvation, also instructs (trains) us to renounce (say “No” to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. God’s grace is not free license to keep on in deliberate and habitual sin. God’s grace tells us to stop sinning and to obey the Lord or else we will not have eternal life with God like we have been promised by other people.
So, you can’t “get saved” (one time) then live however you want and then expect God to let you into his heaven. The Scriptures do not teach that! Jesus said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. And he said if we want to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and self) and follow him in obedience.
So, as obedient children (of God) we are not to be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance, but we are instructed “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Ephesians 4:17-24).
Therefore, sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, fits of anger, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these are to have no part in our lives. Sin should no longer be our practice (habit, go to), but righteousness, godliness, and obedience to the Lord should be what we practice. For we are called of God to be holy in all of our conduct, for God is holy. And Jesus Christ died on that cross to free us from our slavery (addiction) to sin.
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.”
Again, please know that the Scriptures do not teach that you can “get saved,” be forgiven all your sins, then live however you want, and one day you get to go to heaven. Also know that the Scriptures teach that we are all going to be judged by what we do. And if we live to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (death), but if we live to please the Spirit of God, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8).
And this is why it is a must that we conduct ourselves with the fear of God throughout our time on this earth, because if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and if we do not walk in obedience to our Lord, and if righteousness is not what we practice, and if we don’t love our fellow humans but we hate them, instead, then the hope of eternal life with God is not ours to have. We will not enter into God’s eternal kingdom. But Jesus will say, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you!” (see Matthew 7:21-23)
So, please take this to heart. And please take the time to read the Scriptures noted in this writing for there is not the space here to quote all these passages of Scripture which are teaching what I am sharing with you today. And please let God’s Spirit open your eyes, minds, and hearts to the truth of God’s word and be willing to unlearn some things you may have been taught wrongly and be willing to now follow the truth you are being taught. But keep testing everything against the Scriptures in their full context.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Ac 26:18]
How Long Has it Been?
By Mosie Lister
How long has it been since you talked with the Lord
And told him your heart’s hidden secrets?
How long since you prayed?
How long since you stayed on your knees till the light shone through?
How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?
How long since your heart knew no burden?
Can you call him your friend?
How long has it been since you knew that he cared for you?
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