“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. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”- 1 Peter 1:13-16
In the section of Scripture preceding our sermon text, Peter espouses a breathtaking description of God’s work of salvation in the life of His people (vv. 3-12). We have learned that by the immense graciousness of our heavenly Father that He has caused His people to be “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (v.3). This new birth through the resurrection of Christ has brought Christians into union with the Father through Christ and given to them a promise of a future inheritance which is to be hoped for passionately. We have also learned that our faith and hope in what God has done is to be purified, if necessary, by various trials that God has seen fit to send our way. In persevering through trials, our faith becomes much more pronounced as our affections are changed and are centered on the glory of God rather than sinful gain. Finally, in connection with what God has done in salvation, Peter has made clear that we as New Testament saints have much to be thankful for due to the fullness of revelation that we possess; namely, the Word of God. Christians alive today have the ability to examine the whole of redemptive history and to see how all of history has, and still does, pointed to the work of Christ on the cross and we are to be moved to humility because of God’s graciousness.
In light of what the Apostle Peter has taught concerning the nature of redemption, we as Christians are to take what we have learned about salvation and apply it to our own lives in practical ways. Peter begins our sermon text (v.13) with the connector word, “therefore”. Peter wants to connect the metaphysical aspect of salvation to the practical, he wants to unite knowledge with doing (cf., James 1:22). Peter challenges his readers to act accordingly in response to what Christians now know regarding God’s action in salvation. St. Peter makes this connection by issuing two very basic, but extremely important commands: 1.) As Christians, we are to set our hope fully on God’s grace through Christ, and 2.) that believers are to be holy just as our Father in heaven is holy. Therefore, the truth taught for our sermon text is as follows: