Join us as we continue our journey through 1 Peter verse by verse!
Last post we explored 1:13-16 where Peter helps us set our hopes not on any earthly hope but on the salvation realities found in Christ. In a world driven about by knee-jerk emotionalism and untamed desires, we are called to be driven instead by minds that are actively engaging the truths of God and not intoxicated by fuzzy ideas or common deceptions. We are surrounded by people every day who are, according to Peter, “conformed to the passions” based on “ignorance.” Here’s the passage again:
13 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. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance….
We are called to be different, set apart, odd and strange in this world as we conform our thinking and behaving to the Way of God revealed in Jesus: 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Now, before we get haughty and begin looking down our noses at others who are still “ignorant” of God’s Ways (Peter’s words, not mine), we are warned that we are all individually accountable to God and he will not play favorites and cut us slack because we’re on the “inside.” The God we are privileged to call Father is also a holy judge.
17 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…
The same God who Jesus taught us to address intimately as Abba, or “daddy”, is also the holy God to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess as Lord. We are to live securely in his grace, knowing he is merciful and loving; but also live with an appropriate measure of “fear” during our time on earth. Paul likewise urges: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Phil 2:12).
What does it mean to fear a God of love?
Continue reading Why Fear a God of Love? (1 Peter 1:17-19)