Sermon Notes & References

Holy Living

1 Peter 1:13-16

March 10, 2019

A. 13 Therefore, (as having prepared for action with loose clothing) having girded up your minds, being fully watchful, place your hope upon the grace being brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As children of obedience, not conforming yourselves to the same desires you formerly had when you did not know any better, 15 but, according as the One having called you is holy, you yourselves are to come to be holy in all your conduct; 16 because it has been written, ‘holy you are to be for I, even I, am holy.’ (RGH)

B. Introduction

    1. “Holy Living & Dying” by Bishop Jeremy Taylor

    2. Peter’s Shorter Lesson

C. Live in the Light of Christ’s Coming (verse 13)

    1. Gird Up the Mind

    2. Fully Watchful

    3. Have a Settled Hope

D. Live What You Now Are (verse 14)

    1. Children of Obedience Footnote

    2. Change Your Clothing! Footnote

E. Live As Children of Our Father (verse 15)

    1. The One Who Called Us

    2. Be Holy – Start Now!

    3. Where?

F. He Is Holy (verse 16)

    1. God’s High Expectation of His Children Footnote

    2. Do Not Weaken God’s Word


Endnote  1 Peter 1:13-16. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Holy Living

 

A. Introduction

    1. “Holy Living & Dying” –

        a. The Author – Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)

            (A)    imprisoned as royalist sympathiser under Cromwell’s Puritan Parliament (but, later allowed to live in Wales,)

            (B)    post restoration bishop of Down & Connor Diocese, Church of Ireland

            (C)   my copy published 1860 – available to read / download online

        b. Holy Living

            (A)    Ch 1 – Considerations of the general instruments and means serving to a holy life, by way of introduction

                 (1)    § 1 ... care of our time

                 (2)    § 2 ... purity of intention

                 (3)    § 3 ... Practice of the Presence of God

            (B)    Ch 2 – Christian Sobriety

                 (1)    § 2 ... eating and drinking

                 (2)    § 3 ... chastity

                 (3)    § 4 ... humility

                 (4)    § 5 ... modesty

            (C)   Ch 4 – Christian Religion

                 (1)    § 3 ... Charity, or the Love of God

                     (a)    ‘Love is the greatest thing that God can give us; for himself is loe; and it is the greatest thing we can give to God; for it will also give ourselves and carry with it all that is ours. The apostle calls it the band of perfection [Colossians 3:14]; it is the old, it is the new, and it is the great commandment, and it is all the commandments; for it is the fulfilling of the law. It does the work of all other graces without any instrument but its own immediate virtue. ‘

                     (b)    ‘The acts of Love to God are, 1. Love does all things which may please the beloved person; it performs all his commandments: and this is one of the greatest instances and arguments of our love that God requires of us – this is love, “That we keep his commandments.” Love is obedient.’

        c. Holy Dying

            (A)    Ch 1 – A General preparation towards a holy and blessed death ... by way of consideration of ...

                 (1)    §1 ... vanity and shortness of man’s life

            (B)    Ch 2 – … by way of exercise

                 (1)    §2 ... daily examination of our actions in the whole course of our health, preparatory to our Death-bed

        d. how much more spiritually beneficial was such writing than the froth that lines the shelves of book-stores today!

 

    2. Peter’s lesson is much shorter!

        a. let me read it again in a very free translation

        b. 13 Therefore, (as having prepared for action with loose clothing) having girded up your minds, being fully watchful, place your hope upon the grace being brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As children of obedience, not conforming yourselves to the same desires you formerly had when you did not know any better, 15 but, according as the One having called you is holy, you yourselves are to come to be holy in all your conduct; 16 because it has been written, ‘holy you are to be for I, even I, am holy.'                                        (RGH)

        c. and in those verses you should have heard truths which are echoed in the few quotations we made from Bishop Taylor’s work

        d. what is it to be holy?

            (A)    it is not some feeling of ecstasy or shining countenance brought on by the Presence of the Holy Spirit

            (B)    rather it is being separated unto, or dedicated unto, God

            (C)   and being separated from sin and all that defiles

            (D)   it is the Holy Spirit’s life-time work of sanctification in the believer

            (E)    and it shall reach perfection when we are glorified to be with Him

 

B. Live in the Light of Christ’s Coming (verse 13)

    1. “Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 

    2. Girding Up Our Minds

        a. Peter has been describing the lives of Christian pilgrims

            (A)    the wonderful work that God has done is providing us an inheritance

            (B)    though for the moment we live as temporary inhabitants of earth

            (C)   ‘Therefore’ – how then should we live?

        b. here we have a very Oriental picture

            (A)    that of someone dressed in flowing robes is called to action: to run a race, to fight a battle, to do some task

            (B)    the preparation is gird up all the loose clothing with a belt

            (C)   so that there is nothing to restrict his movements

            (D)   appearance is surrendered for the sake of effectiveness

        c. so with the mind of the Christian

            (A)    to live in this foreign world as pilgrims

            (B)    we need gird up all the clutter that forces its way into our minds

            (C)   in order to have the mind of Christ

        d. one thing this involves is being ...

 

    3. Fully Watchful

        a. the second thing in verse 13 that the believer is to do because of all that God has done, verses 1 to 12, is to ‘be or keep sober’

            (A)    now, the Bible does instruct the believer to be temperate in the matter of food and drink

            (B)    but this command ‘be or keep sober’ has a different application

            (C)   a soldier, if he was to carry out his duty at his watch post had to be clear minded, unbefuddled by strong drink

            (D)   so this phrase became synonymous with watchfulness, vigilance

        b. if you are a pilgrim in a foreign land then you need to be watchful

        c. there is another word in the Greek, right next to ‘be sober’

            (A)    variously translated “to the end, fully, completely, absolutely”

            (B)    most translations connect it to the word hope

            (C)   but it is perhaps better connected to the idea of being vigilant Endnote

            (D)   pilgrims need to keep their eyes open in all directions if they are going to avoid the pitfalls Satan places all around them

        d. hence, our point, holy living requres we be “Fully Watchful!”

 

    4. Having a Settled Hope

        a. the entire last part of this verse can be put in four words

        b. “Jesus Is Coming Again”

            (A)    this is a solid fact which accompanies the pilgrim on every step of his journey

            (B)    this is the truth that should shape the pilgrim’s every thought and desire

            (C)   this is the incentive to live so as to please Him at all times

        c. “Jesus Is Coming Again”

            (A)    that is our hope

            (B)    that will be the fulfilment of God’s grace in salvation

            (C)   people go to movies, clutching each other anxiously in awaiting the denouement of the story; this is the only denouement that matters:

        d. “Jesus Is Coming Again”

Marvellous message we bring,

Glorious carol we sing,

Wonderful word of the King:

Jesus is coming again!

Coming again, Coming again;

Maybe morning, maybe noon,

Maybe evening, maybe soon!

Coming again, Coming again;

O what a wonderful day it will be–

Jesus is coming again! Endnote

 

C. Live What You Now Are (verse 14)

    1. “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,”

 

    2. Children of Obedience

        a. this is a very Hebraistic expression, a Jewish way of putting things

            (A)    it reflects the picture of the likeness of a child to its parent

            (B)    Jesus called James & John, ‘Sons of Thunder’ – it was they who wanted to call fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritan town that would not receive the disciples (Luke 9:52-54)

        b. believers are here called children of obedience

            (A)    because they are to reflect the likeness of obedience in their lives

            (B)    there is a close connection of the words believe and obey

            (C)   Christians are those who obey the call to believe in Jesus Christ

        c. as well, Christians have the new nature, fulfilling the OT promise of God’s writing His law on His people’s hearts (Jeremiah 31:33)

            (A)    children of obedience are what we have now become!

            (B)    obedience to God is the first mark of holy living

 

    3. Change Your Clothing!

        a. what we are now is not what we always were

            (A)    formerly – Before Christ – the verse says we were given to desires

            (B)    desires themselves can be neutral – either good or bad

            (C)   but here it refers to a time of ignorance

                 (1)    that is, a time of being devoid of knowledge

                 (2)    not just any knowledge, nor even knowing right and wrong

                 (3)    but the worst kind of ignorance – not knowing God

                 (4)    “remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12)

            (D)   and the meaning in this verse is negative: evil desires or lusts

        b. OT priests, in performing their service, were called to change their clothing, to carry out their duties properly

        c. let us read from Colossians 3:5-10 the instructions to the Christian to change our spiritual clothing from that marked by evil desires.

 

D. Live As Children of Our Father (verse 15)

    1. “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behaviour;”

 

    2. The One Who Called Us

        a. just as ‘children of obedience’ is a reminder of what the Holy Spirit has done for us through faith – given us a new nature

        b. so, ‘the Holy One who called’, is a reminder of the purpose and nature of the One who planned our salvation, as described in the earlier verses in this chapter

        c. He is the God who chose, called, redeemed us to be His own special people – a relationship which Jesus over and over again reminded His disciples was that of a Father toward His children

        d. so there should be a family resemblance between the child & the Parent

        e. holy living is bearing that resemblance to God before mankind

 

    3. Be Holy – Start Now!

        a. English has only one specific form of the imperative – that is the command form of a word – and it is in the present tense

            (A)    it has to use roundabout ways to qualify a command

            (B)    so that it is something to do in the future

            (C)   or something to start doing, or to keep on doing

        b. Greek, like many other languages, has a lot more ways to give commands

            (A)    and the one here – ‘be holy‘

            (B)    carries with it the idea that, if you haven’t begun to take on this way of life – holy living

            (C)   then now is the time to start

            (D)   it can almost be translated, ‘start becoming holy now!’

 

    4. Where?

        a. now, you are all fired up to pursue this matter of holy living!

            (A)    ‘I am going’, you say, ‘to go home and set up my “holy closet”’

            (B)    that’s where I’ll have my quiet time, my prayer, my Bible reading

            (C)   I shall sit there so many minutes a day meditating on being holy

        b. uh-uh!

            (A)    depending on the Bible version you are using the verse tells us where this holy living is to be carried out: ‘in behaviour, in conversation, in conduct, in habits – all of them’

            (B)    in KJ days, the Latin conversatio was more about walk than talk

            (C)   the Bible word is from a root describing a person’s ‘going up and down (among men)’ – your daily interaction with others

                 (1)    all manner of others ... the people you deal with throughout the day

                 (2)    not just your religious friends, not just your own family

        c. holy living is 24/7 living how God would have us live before the world

        d. now, that is a good word of reminder for us pilgrims!

 

E. He Is Holy (verse 16)

    1. “because it is written, ‘you shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

 

    2. God’s High Expectation of His Children

        a. there are a number of places where this quotation is found

            (A)    we read earlier from Leviticus 20:7-8, because there the lesson is that being holy, God’s chosen OT people were to obey His statutes

            (B)    Leviticus 11:44 is concerned that being holy they should be concerned respecting physical, external & even ceremonial purity

            (C)   Leviticus 19:2 teaches that for them to be holy should be reflected in their treatment of parents and the purity of their worship

        b. in each of these cases God sets Himself as the standard and the reason for His people to be holy

 

    3. Do Not Weaken God’s Word!

        a. there are places where we are apt to slip over what the Bible says

            (A)    this is one of those places

            (B)    ‘It is only relative’, ‘this is beyond us’ – and so we excuse ourselves

            (C)   but God sets it as our goal, objective, standard

            (D)   so that we may long for the day it will be fully accomplished in His presence, by His grace

        b. it is a difficult saying

            (A)    these are hard words

            (B)    but by them we can recognize when we have fallen short

            (C)   and this drive us to the cross for forgiveness, cleansing, renewal