Holy

“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, 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” (I Peter 1:13-16).

As we noted in our previous devotional, one of the most basic disciplines in the Christian life is to not be conformed to the world’s desires which stem from a disobedient spirit towards God. The Apostle John described these desires as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (I John 2:15-16). The Apostle Paul also encouraged believers to not be conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2).

Along with what we are called to not do, God also reveals to us through Peter what we are to do. God commands each believer in Christ to be holy. The holiness of God is His most important attribute (Isaiah 6). It stands to reason that the Christian should be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 11:44; 19:2; 20:7).

What does it mean to be holy? Holiness (ἅγιος; agios) means to be separate from sin. It means to have pure, moral qualities. Consequently, we are commanded to be holy in all our behavior or conduct (ἀναστροφή; anastrophe). This refers to how we daily live and conduct ourselves. A holy inner life from God (Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21) leads to a holy outer walk before God (Ephesians 2:10) and other people.

As one commentator has written, “Though absolute holiness can never be achieved in this life, all areas of life should be in the process of becoming completely conformed to God’s perfect and holy will.”

Our standard of holiness is God. It is His moral perfection which we are to pursue (Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 5:1). As people recreated in His image to be like Him in His holy character, let each of us today reflect His holiness. Read today elated Isaiah 6:1-7; Revelation 4-5.

Soli deo Gloria!

For This Reason

“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” (I Peter 1:13).

The word “therefore” (διό; dio) means “for this reason.” It is a conclusion. Peter draws a conclusion or deduction from what he has previously written in 1:1-12, and which indicates what will now be the focus of what is contained in the rest of his epistle.

In light of all of which Peter has stated the believer is and possesses in Christ, while even in the midst of suffering, he calls believers to prepare their minds for action. To prepare (ἀναζώννυμι; anazonnymi) our minds (διάνοια; dianoia) for action (ὀσφῦς; osphys) is our responsibility. Peter uses three words which essentially have the same meaning. Believers are to get their minds ready for action. In other words, we are to get what Peter has said, and will say, through our heads or into our thinking. We are to prepare ourselves for learning.

God wants His children to understand and apply what He has revealed to them in His Word. Following Christ is not about fun, games and frivolity. The Christian life is about living for the glory of God and being holy in everything we do. This is a serious concern for the Apostle Peter and should be for you and me.

God calls us to be sober-minded. This means to be self-controlled and restrained in our behavior. We are called to not have irrational thoughts, but rather minds guided by the Spirit of God through the Word of God. This is so God will help us to progress in the grace relationship He has established with us, which ultimately will be fulfilled and completed when Jesus Christ returns to earth in His power and glory.

Each day we have the opportunity to prepare ourselves for action in progressing in the covenant relationship we have with God in Christ. This means to become more holy today than we were yesterday and to be more holy tomorrow than we are today. We are to take this seriously because holiness is serious business with God. Press on, beloved.

Soli deo Gloria!

Tested Genuineness of Your Faith.

 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith —more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:6-7).

The blessings we have from God, which Peter spoke of in 1:3-5, are eternal. This is in contrast to the problems believers face here on earth. These problems, or various trials, are only for a little while. That is to say they last for only a short or brief time.

While God never tempts us to sin (James 1:13-15) He does allow, or even sends, trials into our lives when He perceives them to be indispensable. Such was the case with Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 50:20).

There are some believers who recoil at the idea that God would ever be directly, or even indirectly, involved in sending His children trials. Yet Peter, and James (1:2-4), teach this important truth. Why would God do such a thing? Why would the Bible teach such a doctrine? Why are trials necessary?

The answer is given in vs. 7. “So that the tested genuineness of your faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The phrase “so that” indicates a purpose for the reality of trials in our lives. They are to test us.

The phrase “tested genuineness” is from the Greek word δοκίμιον; dokimion meaning to prove the authenticity of an individual’s faith in Christ. Anyone can say they believe in Christ as Savior and Lord. It is quite another thing to be tested by the fires of persecution to see if you really are a child of God. This is why God sovereignly permits trials.

What is the result of this God ordained test? We will examine this in our next time together. Until then, take the opportunity to thank God for the tests He brings into your life. Some of the hardest tests I have ever experienced proved to provide the greatest benefits. What about you?

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

Trials

 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” (I Peter 1:6).

The blessings we have from God, which Peter spoke of in 1:3-5, are eternal. This is in contrast to the problems believers face here on earth. These problems, or various trials, are only for a little while. That is to say they last for only a short or brief time.

The adjective “various” comes from the Greek word ποικίλος (poikilos) meaning diversified or many. This word is used throughout the New Testament (Matthew 4:24; Mark 1:34; Luke 4:40; 2 Timothy 3:6; Titus 3:3; Hebrews 2:4; 13:9; James 1:2; 1Peter 1:6; 3:7; 4:10). I read somewhere that poikilos may be the word from which we derive our English expression Polka Dot.

Believers in Christ do not encounter just one kind of trial or persecution. On the contrary, we experience many different kinds of trials in all shapes, sizes and durations. It is not a one size fits all kind of teaching or reality.

The word trial (πειρασμός; periasmos) refers to a test or examination. The word is in the plural form which means that there is more than one trial or test we will face as believers in Christ. One person may experience physical persecution, while another believer faces emotional suffering. Still another may encounter social or relationship persecution because of their faith.

Regardless of the kind or type of trials we face, they are temporal. We will experience them for only a little while. Yet, make no mistake we can and are grieved by them. They irritate us and cause us heartache. They are painful and there is no timetable as to when the grieving will end.

So what do we do? We rejoice in the eternal blessings from God. Remember, God’s blessings are eternal and our various trials causing us grief are temporary. The trials will eventually end. Thankfully, God’s blessings are eternal. Read today James 1:2-4.