1 Peter 1:13-25
I want to encourage you to read 1 Peter 1:13-25 from the Message Bible. It’s not a literal word-for-word translation, but it’s a paraphrase that puts Scripture into modern-day English and it can make it a little easier to understand.
In verse 13, The Message says “So”, other translations say “Therefore”… Why? We have to look back at verses 3-12 to really understand. Anytime you see the word “Therefore” in Scripture, glance back at the preceding verses to understand what the “Therefore” is there for.
So, Therefore….Because you have been born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3-12) – now these things apply to you.
In other words, because you’re saved you must do these things:
(Keep in mind, this is written to people who are saved. If you think that might not apply to you, please please please come and talk to me. I would love nothing more than to share with you about how you can be saved.)
So because you’re saved, you must do these things:
1. PREPARE YOUR MIND FOR ACTION.
My mind deceives me all the time. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Picture yourself in your every day life (not your sitting pretty on the pew at church life, the life where you’re in the carpool line or you’re helping with homework or you’re caring for your sick loved-one.) Think about the thoughts that pass through your mind in those moments. Take a peek into what goes on in my head as I cook dinner for my party of seven, I mean, my family…
“I need to boil the water for the pasta… Yes 9X4 is 27…Oh shoot, I forgot to buy the spaghetti…Wait, 9X4 is 36, not 27…I stink at math…What is that smell?…Oh, man, I need to change your diaper…Ack, the pot is boiling over…Where is that pasta?”
It NEVER ends! 2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. EVERY THOUGHT! When our minds are split a thousand different ways, very rarely is our primary thought set on Christ. We have to actively take them captive- prisoner – to make it obedient to Christ. Colossians 3:2 tells us to set our minds on things above, not on the things that are on earth. Our minds are incredibly deceitful. If we “follow our hearts”, or “trust our feelings” we will certainly get in trouble. Our minds are supposed to be set on Christ and ready for action.
2. SET YOUR HOPE ON GRACE.
We must set our hope fully on the grace of Jesus Christ. This is why I said we must preach the gospel to ourselves every day! Colossians 3:16 says to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. The Word is the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Over and over we need to remember what He has done for us on the cross. Without that at the forefront of our minds, our hope will not be set on Christ. Remind yourself of the grace he has given you – He has given you everything that you do not deserve. While you were still a sinner, Christ died for you (Romans 5:8). There is hope in that knowledge!
3. BE HOLY.
We are set apart for God. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect. It means that we need to live as aliens, strangers, exiles in this world (1 Peter 2:11). It is so easy to forget that this world is not our home. We are so comfortable here. We face no persecution, and live in the land of opportunity. We are not to be conformed to this world at all – we are to be holy, set apart. We should look and act differently than the rest of the world.
4. LOVE ONE ANOTHER EARNESTLY AND FROM A PURE HEART.
Because we are saved, we love one another earnestly. Because the word of God is planted in us and because God himself is love, we have the ability to love each other from a pure heart. That person that’s hard to love – don’t worry, you don’t have to love him with your own strength. God offers you His strength to use so that you can earnestly love him from a pure heart. Without being saved, we can’t love one another. Anyone who does not love his brother is clearly not a follower of Jesus! Matthew 22:38-39 tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God and the next Is to love each other.
If we look at all of these points, it looks like you and I are supposed to follow all the rules and live righteously and check off all the boxes of having a “good life”. Even non-believers can do that. We all know some really “good people” who don’t follow Jesus Christ. If being a good person is the reason for our following these “commandments” in 1 Peter 1, we have missed the point entirely. That’s legalism. Let your mind grasp this for a moment…
I have prepared my mind for action. Check!
I have set my hope on the grace of Jesus. Check!
I am holy! Check!
I love everyone purely and earnestly! Check!
I must be pretty amazing! Check!
No way! Why do we do all of these things? Is it simply so we can check off all the boxes? This is where 1 Peter 1:23-25 comes in. Because we’re saved, because we love each other, because an imperishable seed is planted in our hearts…then WHAT???
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
Wait a minute, what word? THIS WORD. If you back up a few verses, you will see that verse 23 says that we have been born again not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding WORD OF GOD. And then in verse 25 it says “The WORD OF THE LORD remains forever.”
The Word is the seed that brings us salvation.
This WORD is the good news of Jesus Christ – the Gospel! This word has been preached to us! This word has been shared with us! This imperishable seed has been planted in the good soil of our hearts. We have received this Word. YAY! But so many around us have not. They are trapped in darkness and they don’t know the truth. Here’s how verses 22-25 would read if they’d been written to an unbeliever.
Having dirtied your souls by your disobedience to the truth, you despise one another from your ugly hearts. Since you haven’t been saved, the word of God does not live or abide in you. All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever. But this good news hasn’t been preached to you.
We are responsible for taking this good news to everyone on earth! Matthew 28:19-20 is the Great Commission. Jesus tells us that we are to GO and preach the Gospel and make disciples and baptize people. But we don’t because we’re comfortable and we have no sense of urgency. We’d rather focus on the things of this world.
Read Romans 10:13-17. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news. Several years ago, a trend began that encouraged us to all let others see Jesus in our lives. It is not enough to just say the words – people need to see us living out the gospel. While this thought process is true, it created a generation that was satisfied with living “good” lives, being “good” people, without putting into words the reason for the hope that they had. We MUST use our words to share His Word, the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The purpose of Bible Study is not to simply make your head swell with greater knowledge. The reason for a pursuit of holiness is not so that we can check it off of our list and declare ourselves holy. The reason for righteous living is not legalism – following all the rules just for the sake of following the rules!
We follow Jesus, we study his Word, we pursue holiness because the gospel needs to be taken to every person. Plain and simple. The Word was preached to us. We are responsible to preach the word to others.
I encourage you to allow His Word to penetrate your heart. Let it pierce through all of the old, dead things of your old self and plant a seed in fertile soil. It will bear fruit! Then don’t keep it to yourself. People all around us are dying and going to a real place called Hell. This gospel that has been shared with us is good news for all people. Share it with everyone you can!