Helps To Holy Living

Bible Book: 1 Peter  1 : 13-25
Subject: Holy Living; Holiness; Christian Living
Introduction

The first 12 verses of 1 Peter, chapter 1, speak blessings that are ours in Christ. The next 13 verses speak of us being a blessing for Christ. The first 12 verses speak to us of God’s goodness to us. The next 13 verses speak to us of a call to godliness. In essence, we are reminded in 1 Peter chapter 1 that “to whom much is given, much is required." Often we are only interested in the benefits in our salvation and don’t like to be reminded of how we are to live the Christian life.

I am reminded of a boy who was sent to camp for a few weeks one summer. The boy wrote home saying, “When I got here they told us that we would have ravioli every morning; however, they wake us up early with a loud trumpet and I haven’t seen any ravioli yet!" It is apparent that the boy misunderstood the word ‘reveille.’ In 1 Peter we are reminded of the blessings we have in Christ, but we are called to ‘wake up’ and live holy lives. Sadly, we have chewing gum stuck under the pews in some of our churches that has stuck longer than the people that put it there!

God desires for us to do more than live the ‘average’ Christian life. Back during the early age of rock and roll some songs with strange titles were recorded. A teenage girl heard about a new song and called the record shop to see if they had it. By mistake she called a local plumber. When he answered, the young girl asked, “Do you have ‘Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes in Texas’?

The plumber was confused, but he answered, “No, I don’t have ‘Then Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes in Texas,’ but I have a wife and nine children and that is way above average!”

Friends, God is calling us to be above average. In fact, in our text today He reminds us that we are to be holy, even as He is holy! I want to share with you 4 helps to holy living that Peter shares in this passage. It is important that we are motivated for the Lord and molded by the Lord, and the 4 things Peter shares with us are virtues that help us do both.

I. Look for the Blessed Hope (13-17)

The coming of the Lord is mentioned 3 times in chapter 1 of 1 Peter and is the subject covered in an entire chapter of 2 Peter. In other words, this is an important aspect of the Christian life.

The Blessed Hope is the promise of Christ’s return to take us to heaven. Why is this promise important to holy living?

A. Challenge

First, the Blessed Hope includes a challenge. If we are concentrating on the fact that Jesus could come at any moment, we will live dedicated lives. In other words, we must set our affection on things above. Sadly, many Christians live day after day without giving a thought to the fact that Jesus can return at any moment. Living in the awareness of His soon return will help us live holy lives.

B. Comfort

Also, looking for the Blessed Hope comforts us no matter what we are facing. When we truly live for Jesus, it means we may lose some friends. It is possible that even some family members will avoid us We will likely be labeled as ‘holier than thou’ hypocrites. But, the knowledge that the King of Glory is coming to get us soon will provide comfort and peace to our hearts.

The Christian life is not without trials and hardships. We have to earn the money to pay our bills just like everyone else. We get tired and sometimes feel lonely. We go through illness and all other human problems. But, if we keep looking up, it brings us comfort and assists us in living faithfully through it all.

II. Live Under the Blood (18-21)

Peter reminds us that we are saved and our sins have been removed through the shed blood of Jesus. It is important for us to be honest with God and regularly confess our sins. (1 John 1:9) We must never take sin for granted and use grace as an excuse for doing wrong.

I read a story somewhere a few years ago that impressed me. A young lady in Korea accepted Christ as her Savior. In her church it was the practice of the fellowship for every new convert to tell the story of Jesus before he or she was baptized. On the day of her baptism, she stood and began to recount the wonderful life of her Lord. She did well until she got to the story of the Cross. She was explaining His suffering and how He was crucified when she suddenly stopped and began to cry. The pastor said, “It is okay. If you forgot part of it, just re-gather your thoughts.” She looked up at the pastor with tears on her checks and said, “Oh, no, I did not forget! It is just that every time I come to the nails that the soldiers put into His hands, I cannot help but weep!”

If only every Christian felt that way. We must never take for granted the price paid for our sins. Living under the blood means to remain sensitive to the suffering our Lord endured to wash us and purify us from our sins. If we do this, we will be more inclined to live holy lives for Him!

We must always remember that the blood Jesus poured out at Calvary was absolutely necessary to accomplish our salvation. Spurgeon put it like this, “Morality can keep you out of jail, but only the blood can keep you out of hell.”

When we remember the blood of Jesus, we recall His love for us. Only His love prompted Him to die in your place and mine. The love of God is mentioned 290 times in the Bible. The atonement is mention some 1,300 times. We cannot live holy lives without the awareness that such divine love requires a similar love in return. After all, isn’t that what we just read in our passage today – “Be holy even as I am holy.” Yes, we are to be as much like Him as possible. That includes loving Him because He first loved us.

III. Love the Brethren (22)

Peter tells us that we cannot live holy lives unless we love fellow believers. Ladies, do not disturbed by this male reference. The word ‘brethren’ refers to all believers. At one point in scripture, the Bible refers to all believers as being female – we are called ‘the Bride of Christ.’ These terms are used to help us understand different aspects of the Christian life. The point here is that holy living demands loving each other.

I have preached God’s Word in a portion of 6 different decades. It has been much to my chagrin to observe Christians separated from each other as a result of some insignificant issues. Those divisions caused great harm to the local church and to the witness of God’s people to the community. Our Lord taught us to forgive as we have been forgiven. It is impossible to live a holy life, and imitate Jesus (Ephesians 5:1), without practicing true divine love toward each other.

Many of you remember a man named Grady Wilson. Grady was saved in the same revival as Billy Graham. When Billy burst on the scene as an evangelist back in the 1940s, he called his old friend Grady and asked him to join the crusade team. Grady worked with Billy Graham until his death a few years ago. On one occasion, I did a funeral with Grady Wilson. I knew he had been dealing with some physical problems, so I asked how he was doing. I will never forget Grady’s response. He said, “Well, Mike, I went to the doctor not long ago and he did a thorough examination. He came into the examination room and said, ‘Grady, I must tell you that part of your problem is because you have diabetes.’ So, I asked the doctor exactly what diabetes is. Mike, he told me that diabetes means I have too much sugar in my body. So, I just threw my hands up in the air and said out loud, ‘Lord, I been begging you all my life to make me sweet and now you done went and gone too far.’”

Grady and I had a big laugh. But, seriously, I don’t know too many Christians who have the problem being too sweet! I bet you don’t either!

Notice in the text that Peter said we are to have a ‘sincere’ love for one another. It is not to be a fake love. You can’t express ‘sincere’ love for all your brothers and sisters unless you allow God to love through you. And, I can assure you that you are not living a holy life if you hold a grudge against another believer. This is a serious issue and requires a deep commitment to Christ. But, then, that is exactly what this passage is about. To live holy, you must love fully!

IV. Listen to the Book (23-25)

Lastly, to live holy lives, we must read, learn, listen to and live according to God’s Word. The Bible is the most amazing book ever penned. It spans a period of 1,500 years of history, was written by 40 inspired writers, many of whom lived in different cultures and spoke different languages. Yet it is unified theologically, ethically, philosophically, historically, morally and doctrinally. It is a miracle book. Writers whom God inspired to write this wonderful book we call the Bible included a farmer, a prophet, a king, a physician, a soldier, fishermen, and a tent-maker. How could these people, many who never met each other and even lived generations apart, write such a book? They were able to write it because they were inspired by One author – the Lord, Himself!

God has given us instructions on how to live, the Holy Spirit has been given to help us live, but it is up to us to dedicate ourselves to live Holy lives for our Lord.

Many people today look at the Bible to see if it is correct. Friend, we are to look at the Bible to see if we are correct.

Conclusion

We come now to a time of decision. First, there are some here who do not know the Lord as Savior. You have never truly trusted Him. You cannot be holy without Him for He alone is holy. But, if you come to repent of your sins and trust Him, He will wash you from the inside out and give you eternal life.

Second, most of us are already Christians, but are we living holy lives? The question is not whether you are living an average Christian life. That is not what Jesus called us to. Are we living holy lives? Would you rededicate your life to –

Look for the Blessed Hope

Live under the Blood

Love the Brethren, and

Listen to the Book?

Now is the time to fully be all that He saved us to be!