Are We Living as Strangers on Earth?

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.’”

Now these words are addressed here to true followers of Jesus Christ who are living in exile as strangers here on this earth, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ. We are being grieved by various trials, and our faith in Christ is in the process of being tested by fire that it may be found to be genuine and to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ, which is when our salvation will be complete (see vv. 1-9).

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are not to be casual at all about our relationships with Jesus Christ. No genuine follower of Christ should ever think that his salvation is a “done deal” and thus he can just live however he wants until the day that he dies or until Jesus returns to take him home. Our lives should be surrendered to Jesus Christ to do his will. We should be submitted to him as Lord (Owner-Master). And we should have died and we still should be dying to sin and to self and following our Lord in obedience.

Now we have an arch enemy Satan who is out to destroy us, and we still live in flesh bodies, and so we still have a propensity to sin, so we can’t be casual about our walks of faith and expect to walk in holiness and in righteousness and not in sin. And this is why we must be preparing our minds for action. And this is something we must do daily in the putting on of the armor of God in application to our lives and in resisting the enemy, and in fleeing temptation, and in drawing near to God in full assurance of faith.

And we must take God and his word seriously. We can’t play around with this. If we are not serious about the Lord and about obeying him and walking in holiness and not in sin, we are bound to fail. And we need to understand what this means about setting our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Christ. This is not about claiming who you are in Christ and heaven as your eternal destiny while you then continue living in deliberate and habitual sin. It doesn’t work that way.

What this is teaching is progressive salvation (sanctification). We are saved (past), we are being saved (present active), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns provided that we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh and that we are walking in holiness and in righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, and not in sin, and that this is the walk of faith we continue in unto the end. And this is why we are being instructed to prepare our minds for action and to be serious-minded.

And it is why we are being instructed in obedience and in not being conformed to the passions of our former manner of living. And it is why we are being instructed to be holy in all our conduct. For we are to live lives which are separate (unlike, different) from the ungodly because we are being made to be like Jesus in his character, if indeed we are. For it was for this that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24). This is the essence of the gospel message.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

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.”

Did you know that we are all going to be judged impartially according to our deeds when Jesus returns to judge and to take his bride to be with him for eternity? And do you know that Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father? And did you know that many will hear Jesus say, “I never knew you! Depart from me you workers of lawlessness”? And he is going to say this to many who profess faith in Jesus Christ (Matt 7:21-23).

And do you know that the Apostle Paul is probably the one who taught this the most? He did not teach once saved always saved. He did not teach that you can make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, have your sins forgiven, and be guaranteed heaven when you die regardless of how you live on this earth. He and the other apostles made it quite clear that we must die with Christ to sin, not just once but daily, and that we must walk in obedience to our Lord in holiness and righteousness or we don’t have eternal life.

And this is why Peter is giving the instructions to us that he is. In light of the knowledge that God is going to judge us according to our deeds, we are to conduct ourselves with the fear of God throughout our time living here on this earth as strangers, providing that we are indeed living as strangers and not as partners with the ungodly. And what we need to keep uppermost on our minds here is that Jesus died on that cross to ransom us from the futile ways of our sin natures and the lies we inherited from our forefathers, too.

For Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now be his possession and so we would now honor him with our bodies (with our lives). And he died that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness, and that we would now live for him and no longer for ourselves. For in his death he put our sin to death so that by faith in him we would die with him to sin and be raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin but as slaves to God.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 4:17-24; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; 1 Pet 2:24; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Wayfaring Stranger

American Spiritual

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger,
I’m trav’ling through this world below;
There is no sickness, toil, nor danger,
In that bright world to which I go.
I’m going there to see my father,
I’m going there no more to roam;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather o’er me,
I know my pathway’s rough and steep;
But golden fields lie out before me,
Where weary eyes no more shall weep.
I’m going there to see my mother,
She said she’d meet me when I come;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

I want to sing salvations story,
In concert with the blood-washed band;
I want to wear a crown of glory,
When I get home to that good land.
I’m going there to see my brothers,
They passed before me one by one;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

I’ll soon be free from every trial,
This form will rest beneath the sod;
I’ll drop the cross of self-denial,
And enter in my home with God.
I’m going there to see my Saviour,
Who shed for me His precious blood;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4Fg1bONlDA
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Lyrics also may vary here or there

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