Study #6 – 1 Peter 1:14-21
“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.” 17 And if you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
There is so much richness in this passage. There is so much theology and doctrine. It touches the subjects of salvation, Jesus’ perfection, His foreknowledge, His perfect timing, God as judge, God as holy, the state of humankind without God, the resurrection and more. My encouragement is for you to read this passage four or five times slowly, taking it all in.
With so much goodness in this passage, I asked God how I could apply this passage to our lives as the sick and suffering children of God. What jumped out to me was the concept of adoption and transformation, and how those things affect our outlook. In other words, we were adopted by God, changed by God, and therefore how we handle the trials and pain we experience should be different than the world too.
God says through Peter in verse 18 that we humans inherited futile ways from our forefathers. In other words, we are born into the line of Adam and we are all sinners. We have futile thoughts. He also says our ways before God were ignorant. Then we received the salvation of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection and we were adopted into the family of God. We were delivered from the futility and the worldly thinking. We were saved from the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and the pride of life…not that we never fall back into them but that we are not ruled by them. We repent and are forgiven and free. This adoption takes us from being sons and daughters of the world and transfers us to official sons and daughters of God Almighty! And you can say hallelujah to that!
So we no longer belong to the world. As children of God, He begins and works in and through us, transforming us into who we will be in His kingdom. We put off the old desires and thinking. We take on God’s ways and thinking by studying the Bible and praying….walking closely with Him. This means everything is different. God says, be holy for He is holy. Holy can mean pure, but it also means apart. He is apart from evil in every way. He is love, hope, goodness, truth…basically every pure and holy thing. So, as He is apart from evil and darkness, we also should be apart from the futility of this world’s way of thinking.
What that means for me, friends, is that we need not look at the struggle of our lives with the same despair and hopelessness that those without Christ exist in. No matter how hard our lives get, or how sick we are, or how much pain and suffering we endure, we have an assured hope because we know how this story ends. It ends with us in paradise with God. It ends with an eternity of joy and peace and bliss. God says that the sufferings of this present time aren’t worthy to be compared to the glory that’s coming. He says He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He says He will deliver us and that we will be healed when we leave this world (if not sooner).
Beloved, we belong to God. We are His kids. So let us think like His kids and not like children of the world. We know where we are going. We know God loves us, even if we don’t always feel it in our suffering. I pray that our pain be taken away, but even more importantly I pray that we are holy like He is holy, and that people would see us handle the pain and suffering with such steadfast strength (God’s strength), joy (God’s joy) and peace (His peace that surpasses understanding), that they too will be compelled to seek out this Jesus that changes lives. That’s my prayer.
God bless you!!!!