Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lives of Holiness

Holy Living

1 Peter 1:1-25

When one thinks of Peter, generally the first thoughts are of a disciple who was impulsive, impetuous, and maybe at times impossible. He is the one who was willing to fight and die with his Lord one minute and yet willing to deny him the next. You might wonder how could this impossible, impulsive, impetuous disciple ever write to encourage anyone? It is the result of a changed heart and spiritual growth. He is the disciple to whom Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom (Mat. 16:28). Peter understood what it meant to stand up with great courage for the cause of Christ, Acts 2:14-47; Acts 5:40-42.

Peter therefore could write to those who were either suffering persecution or about to suffer persecution with all the confidence one needs to reassure. He could write brethren who were about to experience persecution, trials and tribulations and exhort them toward “holy living” because he had already experienced what they were going to experience.

“First Clement 5:4-7 names Peter and Paul as victims of persecution” (Gaebelein p. 212). The persecution is most likely that given out by Nero. On July 19, 64 AD the city of Rome suffered a disastrous fire that destroyed nearly a fourth of the city. It was rumored that the fires were started by Nero (it is said that he was charmed by the flames). He supposedly needed space for buildings he wanted built. He sought a scapegoat for the fires and chose the Christians. They were already under suspicion according to Tactius in ancient history. (Tac. Ann. XV44).

They were considered by the Romans to be a sect of the Jews and there was no love lost by the Romans for the Jews. Nero increased the persecution in order to throw suspicion off him. Christians were persecuted in horrible ways. Therefore, imagine the words that Peter is writing are to encourage Christians to remain holy in an unholy world and he attempts to encourage them in this process.

  1. Blessings Afforded Those Living a Holy Life: (1:3-12)
    1. New Birth: Jn. 3:5 (born again) Our new birth, gives hope and joy not only in this life, but in the life hear after, or eternal life. No matter what may happen to the body, they cannot kill the soul.
    2. Living hope through the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ
      1. Life without hope: Eph. 2:11-12 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”
      2. Christ is the source of all hope and blessings (Eph. 1:3)
    3. A precious inheritance:
      1. Incorruptible
      2. Undefiled-implies purity not corrupted
      3. Will not fade away
      4. Reserved in Heaven
    4. Faith Value (1:5-8)
      1. Kept by power of God 1:5
      2. More precious than gold 1:7
      3. Will be found unto the praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ 1:7
      4. Joy unspeakable 1:8
    5. Salvation of soul: (1:9-12)
  2. Living the Holy Life (1:13-15)
    1. Be Sober
    2. Hope
    3. Living Obedient lives
    4. Holy in Conduct and Character
  3. The Purpose of Living the Holy Life: (1:16-25)
    1. Living Holy (1:13-16)
    2. Living Reverently (1:17-21)
    3. Living a life of Love (1:22-25)

No comments:

Post a Comment