Friday

] you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.” (v. 21)

1 Peter 1:17-22 Friday 23 January 2015

Psalm: Psalm 87


Background

Today's passage is part of a section on holy living. Thepreceding two verses (1Peter 1:15-16) exhort the readers of the letter to be holy intheir conduct since the God who called them is holy; this reasoningis supported in verse 16 with a quotation of a repeated commandmentfrom Leviticus: "You shall be holy, for I am holy" (eg Leviticus 11:45; 19:2).

In this light, the author says that those who invoke as Fatherthe one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds,need to live in reverent fear during the time of their exile (verse17). Such fear may be the respect that children owe their parents,but is more likely to be that sense of awe that an impartial judgeinspires.

From what might be seen to be a negative approach to holyliving, the writer moves on to a positive one: his readers havebeen set free ("ransomed" (v. 18)) from the futile ways inheritedfrom their ancestors by the precious blood of Christ. Holy livingis now being depicted as a grateful response to God's mercy thathas freed them and given them a new birth (1Peter 1:3). This approach can also be seen in the giving of theTen Commandments in Exodus 20 where, before recording thecommandments, we read that God said, "I am the Lord your God, whobrought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…" (Exodus 20:2). The commandments can, therefore,be seen as shaping the people's response to the God who set themfree.

In the last verse of today's passage, the author tells hisreaders that one of the outcomes of obedience to the truth is"genuine mutual love"; they are, therefore, encouraged to "love oneanother deeply from the heart" (v. 22).


To Ponder

  • What do consider are the marks of holy living? What insightshave you received about this from other Christians, including thoseof other traditions?
  • What do you believe should and does motivate holy living?
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