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Call for Action (1 Peter 1:13-25)

Sermon on 31 January 2021 by Rev Kevin


You need to know who you are first before you live who you are so that we may live correctly. Apostle Peter is very systematic when he wrote 1 Peter 1. From verses 1-12, it lays the foundation on identity and blessings while verses 13 to 25 talks about the practical application and verse 13 is the key verse that connects verses 1-12 and verses 13-25. Reading verses out of context can cause us to see the wrong picture so we must read everything in the correct context. 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


In verses 1 and 2, it mentions that we have been chosen and in verse 2 it says that we are holy. This is our identity in Christ. We are holy because God has made us holy and we have been cleaned by the blood of Jesus. “Have been” is a present perfect tense which means that is an action that has occurred in the past but is still happening today which means blood of Jesus is still cleansing us up till today. Verse 3 then says that we have grace and peace. We need to read the word of God so that the grace and peace that is in us can be manifested. We don’t have to ask and pray for peace because it has already be given. 2 Peter 1:2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord


We are born again as mentioned in 1 Peter 1:3 and in verse 4, it says that we have an inheritance and we have God’s protection as mentioned in verse 5. Verse 6 also reaffirms that we can endure trials because God has already given us the ability and endurance to overcome all form of trials. In verse 8, we can love, trust and rejoice in God and verse 9 says the reward for trusting God is that we have salvation. Salvation in its Greek meaning, includes notions of deliverance, preservation, safety, healing, prosperity, wholeness so all these things have already been given to us when we have received Christ.



We are made up of the spirit, soul and body. 1 Thess 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit (Gk: pneûma), soul (Gk: psychḗ), and body (Gk:sōma) be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


Spirit

For our spirit, we have God’s nature so when we have been born again, we are a new creation and our sin nature has been removed. Col 1:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you (ie spirit man) are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. All your sickness are issues with the body and your mind but in your spirit, everything is complete and we are spirit beings first and foremost. When Paul says that we are complete, he refers to the true us. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you (i.e., spirit man) holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. The verses above shows how God has seen us because we are blameless, holy and above reproach so that is why we can come before the throne of grace and God will listen to our prayers simply because we are His children so that’s who we are. Our flesh is still carnal, our mind is still sinful but our spirit is perfect so live according to who we are then we can be perfect. 1 Cor 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. We are one spirit in Christ hence we have no more sin nature because we simply cannot have sin. 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. We are the righteousness of Christ so we need to renew our mind and to set our minds straight on this. Humans are often led by our thinking, emotions and flesh but once we have accepted Christ, we are different and it is time to reacquaint ourselves and to remind ourselves we are saints and holy and righteous in God.


Eph 4:24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. We cannot call ourselves a sinner because we are already a new man. 2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. This is like our DNA, that we have divine nature acquired. 1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed (Gk: sperma) remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. It is impossible that God is holy and we are not holy. In biology, children will inherit characteristics from parents so if God is holy, so can we inherit God’s holiness.


Soul

Peter said in 1 Peter 1:13 that we have to prepare our minds for action which emphasizes that our mind is important. The devil attacks us through our thinking through what we see and what we hear so this is a spiritual battleground for us. 1 Peter 1:13 (NLT) So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. (NKJV) Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;


Guard the loins of our mind

Peter emphasises that we have to gird up the loins of our mind. The loins refers to the reproductive organs which shows that our mind is reproductive because this will affect our belief system and will affect our behaviour and lifestyle. We can examine ourselves easily because how we live our lives today is affected by what we have been thinking about. Our words have power and what we speak comes from what we have been thinking about. Proverbs 4:23 (GNT) Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. We have to guard our thinking by renewing our mind with what the Word says concerning our identity.


Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, (set their minds on – italics mine) the things of the Spirit. 6 (key verse) For to be carnally minded is death (The Amplified Bible translates this as “[death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter].” Sickness, depression, loneliness, hatred, poverty, fear, and everything else that came as a result of sin would be included in this term “death.” – italics mine), but to be spiritually minded is life (ZOE) and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you (i.e., plead, beg, appeal – note Paul’s heart for believers – which means this is very important) therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (Gk: metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. This tells us that we can radically change our lives. God has already told us everything we need to know in the bible. It is up to us whether we want to open up and to read the word and to do what we have to do. There is only one way for our Christian lives to be transformed so we have to renew our mind.


Eph 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.


Col 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,


Believers are to be sober

This means to develop self-control and to not be intoxicated by the worldly thoughts. We have to first realise that what goes in is what will come out. Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


We also need to be proactive to control our thinking and not let our mind run wild. 2 Cor 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (of the mind – emphasis mine), 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. It is our responsibility to check what we are thinking about. If it is not scriptural or biblical, take it out of our minds. We need to change our thinking to be in line with what God says. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Our thinking must be filled with what is correct then we can prosper.


Believers are to focus solely on the grace

Grace is unmerited, we did not ask for it but it is freely given to us. Healing and prosperity are all grace, we do not need to work for it because it is freely given. Rom 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things (i.e., grace)? 1 Cor 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us (i.e., grace) by God. We need to read the bible and to find out what Christ has done for us and the things He has freely given for us on the Cross like removing sin and curses, giving us God’s life, blessing, ability and everything is all freely given. We have to know what belongs to us and we can freely receive and give thanks to God for giving us.


Our Body

We need to crucify the flesh and to discipline our body through mind renewal of God’s truth. Our responsibility is to let the spirit man take charge. Romans 6:6 knowing this (i.e., mind renewal), that our old man was crucified with [Him,] that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 11 Likewise you also, RECKON YOURSELVES (i.e., mind renewal) to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace (ie. context: under grace = born-again, no more sin nature – hence no longer under the dominion/ power of sin)


We need to remind ourselves that we are righteous and that we are dead to sin and this is who we are. Romans 8 1 There [is] therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, (set their minds on – emphasis mine) the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.


1 Cor 6:18 Flee sexual immorality…but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know (i.e., mind renewal) that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. Paul is reminding and teaching us here by mentioning first who we are that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit then telling us what we have to do and how we have to live our life.


1 Cor 9:24 Do you not know (i.e., mind renewal) that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it…

27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.


There are two main reasons why believers choose not to indulge in sin and to continue to live a sinful lifestyle: because it is beneath our status as a child of God and we have to keep the doors of our lives closed so that Satan cannot gain entry to attack us. Ephesians 4:27 nor give place to the devil. We can give place to the devil if we do not know the truth or because of willfulness so we have to close the door. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. We can defeat the devil by following the way of Christ.


1 Peter 1 (NLT) 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then (i.e., not born-again at that time). 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do (i.e., born-again, no more sin nature; holy living is easy because of OUR IDENTITY – God had made us Holy & given us the power to live holy), just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy. This is God reminding us that we can carry on living a holy life because we are already holy because of our identity that God has made us holy and has given us the power to live holy. The choice is now ours.


17 And remember (i.e., mind renewal) that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do… We now know we have the choice to make the decision that with right thinking we can have the right behavior and will hence be rewarded. God is always looking at how to bless us so God is not there to punish the unholy people, He is not there to find fault, but God is always looking to bless us. 18 For you know (i.e., mind renewal – Redemptive truths) that God paid a ransom to save you …


Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age … 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you


Proper understanding of grace will allow us to live in the right way and will always lead to holiness. Paul was writing the above to Pastor Titus to speak these things to the people to help them lead a righteous life.


22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth (mind renewal – know who you are in Christ - identity), so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. (ie. know who you are, live who you are - what you can do through Christ – Rom 5:5, Gal 5:22). The love of God is already in us as mentioned in Romans 5:5 so we can love others. God’s love allow us to love our enemies and this love is already in us so that it can be manifested. We cannot do this through willpower but we have to allow the love of God to flow out.


23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God (i.e. mind renewal).

24 As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades.

25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.


It will be effortless for us to be holy because it is simply a by-product of our mindset. We must remember to gird up the loins of our mind, to be sober and to focus solely on the grace of God so that God may work in our lives that You have made us holy and have given all these things to us and with your word we may renew our mind to adjust our actions and behaviours to be in line with yours so that the peace, joy, faith and favour may be manifested in our lives. This enables us to be a good testament to You and to bring glory to God in our lives.

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