Harness the Habits of Holiness
Text: 1 Peter 1 : 13-21
Many of us have experienced living outside of our home state. Some of us perhaps even
outside the country.
While living there in a place not our home, no matter how beautiful the place is, no matter
how wonderful the place is, we still feel like a foreigner or a stranger in that place.
Or even if the foreign place we lived in was not necessarily great, it was and is a temporal
Almost everything on earth is temporal. Wonderful things or terrible things. They are all
temporal. But our relationship with God is eternal.
In 1 Peter, Peter is reminding the believers in the first century who were scattered in various
countries, that there is hope beyond this earthly life. They may be scattered, they may in a
foreign land, they may face many trials and temptations, they may face a deep sense of
insecurity, they may face persecutions. But Peter is encouraging them that there is hope
beyond this temporal world. And that they are to remember that they have been saved by the
precious blood of Christ.
And today this epistle is also reminding and encouraging us 21st century believers that we are
pretty much like a chosen people living in exile, like those in the 1st century.
For NCI context, we are pretty much in our home state. So, physically we are not stranger or
exile living in this place. But perhaps we are strangers to this place in some other sense.
Because as believer in Christ Jesus, we are not of this world anymore, but we still live in this
world. Physically we may be of this part of the world, but not necessarily in the spiritual
sense of belonging. “Our citizenship is in heaven” – Phil. 3:20.
We know that from the beginning of this chapter that this Epistle was written To the Jews and
Gentiles believers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Capadocia, Asia and Bithynia. Their
experienced of being an alien or a stranger in a foreign land is real physically, spiritually,
emotionally and all sorts.
As we point our fingers at today’s passage, I’d like us to look at 4 things:
1. Harness the Habits of Holiness by Transforming the mind
(Verses 13 – 14)
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on
the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not
conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.”
The mind is where all our conducts begin. What you think in your mind will inspire
your action. So we got to learn to filter and discipline what we think.
In Romans 12, Paul talks about renewing the mind, by not conforming to the patterns
of the world.
- When the mind’s break down, the life breaks down too.
- So Peter basically is saying, Prepare to Harness the Habits of Holiness by
preparing your mind.
1 Strap up. Rein in.
1 Peter Series: Hope in a world that is not our home.
Date: 12th June, 2022
2. Harness the Habits of Holiness by Remembering who called you
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written:
“Be holy, because I am holy.””
- The One who called you is Holy (verses 15-16)
- ‘Holy’ means ‘Set apart’. But ‘Set apart’ for a noble task.
3. Harness the Habits of Holiness by Developing a Reverent Fear of God
“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives
as strangers here in reverent fear.”
- God is a righteous Judge. He is a Just God. Therefore He is impartial.
4. Harness the Habits of Holiness by Remembering the Grace of God
(verses 18 – 21)
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you
were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,
19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was
chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your
sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified
him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”
- Our Salvation was and is bought with the precious blood of Christ, not with
precious gold and silver.
- Remembering the grace of God is an anchor for us at all times (whether hard
times or good times).
Application: In the midst of persecution or living lives as exiles or diasporas, continue to be
faithful and godly. In the midst of suffering (as much as in the midst of blessings), it is easy
to Give-in or Give-up to worldly temptations.
Unjust or unforeseen suffering is one of the great problems that grips the hearts of
people today. We struggle with frustration, anger, and uncertainty when trials, strange and
unexpected land on our doorsteps. Too often in those most difficult moments of our lives,
confusion appears while contentment disappears; questions arise while prayer subsides.
How do you react when suffering comes? Many crumble at the mere thought of another pain
or trial. Others rise to the occasion. Most of us are probably somewhere in between. Peter’s
encouragement to his Christian readers is one of perseverance in faith.
The lesson of 1 Peter is to remember the goodness of God even in the midst of trails and
challenges, recognizing their temporary presence in our lives while walking in holiness
and hope as people of faith.