A Call to Holiness
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1 Peter 1:13-16
Looking at the passage we’ve read, we see the call to holiness in three ways: 1) as an appeal to the mind; 2) appeal to the heart and; 3) as an appeal to character.
An appeal to the mind
Notice how in this passage Peter focuses on his reason for writing. He is intentional in addressing the mind of a believer in order to stimulate them into wholesome thinking (2 Pet 3:1). He calls the believers to alertness and sobriety in lieu of Christ’s appearing. We can tell that he does not want them to be conflicted with the goings-on around them. He appeals to them as obedient children not to conform to the evil desires that they had when they lived in ignorance. He purposes to point out to them that in Christ they were no longer what they used to be. There must be a clear distinction between whom they were and who they had now become. They needed to be like the one who called them. Peter saw this as a matter that needed to be resolved in their minds. A call to holiness is therefore first and foremost an appeal to the mind in order to get into agreement with God’s teaching and understanding on the same.
An appeal to the heart
Peter’s call to holiness is very direct. He does not go around the matter. Holiness is seen here as a call to live pure lives by possessing a singleness of heart as we follow Christ. Peter must have known what it means not to follow Christ wholeheartedly or single-mindedly, it would be seen as his reason for betraying Jesus and going back fishing when Jesus was taken in to suffer and die. This was probably the reason Jesus took time to ask Peter in John’s gospel, if he loved him more than these (John 21:15). Jesus must have known that there were other issues competing for his attention. To follow God in holiness, we must ‘love Him more than these’; our heart must wholly and singly belong to Him.
An appeal to character
Peter tells the believers that they are to be as obedient children by not conforming to the evil desires they had when they lived in ignorance. This means that their character must show that they know Christ. Their character should not betray their knowledge of Christ. Writing this, the Apostle must have heard that rooster crow, reminding him of when he denied having knowledge of Christ (Matt 26:75). Holding on to evil; its desires, its persuasions and its character is in effect denying having known Christ. Peter appealed to the believers’ character to be like that of their Master. Calling them to be holy just like God was holy. It is our calling too if indeed we know Christ and are expecting His soon return.
Heavenly Father, we pray that we will respond to your call to holiness in your power and strength. May we love what you love and hate what you hate for your Name’s sake. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
Anglican International Development (England) have been developing micro-finance programs in Kenya and South Sudan. These programs start very small but can have extensive influence. The most recent program is in Yei diocese in South Sudan. After two weeks of training Amuna and Joyce are launching their first microfinance group of 5-10 women this month. Pray for the success of this initiative and for the Christian witness in the community.
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