Saturday, October 12, 2013

P1 Living Godly lives in these last days

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

The main point of Peter's first epistle is articulated in 1 Peter 5:12b ...."I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!" As Peter rounds out this first chapter in his letter, he is casting this main idea of standing firm in God's grace in the light of the times proceeding Christ's second coming.  Having laid out for us the truths of the Gospel and its revelation through scripture in 1 Peter 1:1-12, Peter is now going to switch the focus for a little bit from Christ's first coming to second coming.
In today's post we will consider a survival guide for living Godly lives for our individual Christian lives in these last days, with tomorrow's post dealing with the same thought in terms of how we relate to one another. 

So are we in the last days?
Often people will ask: "are we living in the last days"? Certainly the sands of God's hourglass on "the last days" began pouring the moment Christ entered from eternity into time. At bare minimum we can say that since the days of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came to officially usher in the New Covenant church era, the "last days" had their beginning. (Acts 2:17) The writer in Hebrews 2:2, writing in roughly 75 A.D, speaks of "in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son", signaling the revelation of Jesus Christ communicated through the pens of the divinely inspired scriptures. Clearly we are closer to Christ's coming than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11) 

Peter's instructions for surviving in these last days - 1 Peter 1:13-25
As I said earlier, we will be considering today a more personal survival guide for the end times we are living, found in 1 Peter 1:13-21. The survival guide for us as Godly people relating to other people in these end times is found in 1 Peter 1:13-25, and will be the focus of tomorrow's blog. For our purposes today, we want to understand how we can personally not only survive, but thrive as Christians, making it our aim to live Godly lives in these last days. Note the following thoughts below:

1. Personal commands for Godly living. 1:13
Three commands are given in this verse:
a. "prepare your minds for action"
b. "keep sober in spirit"
c. "fix your hope completely on the grace"

Those commands are then given a proper motivational goal - "to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ".

2. How to live Godly lives in these last days. 1:14-15
Having dealt with the personal exhortations to live Godly lives in these last days, now Peter is going to put some flesh on the skeleton of these commands.  In other words, what does it look like when we are living Godly lives? How does one go about making this their lifestyle? Peter lays it out for us in the following manner:

a. "As obedient children...." Peter then explains this first "how to" of obedience negatively, that is, what "not to do": "do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance". Obedience carries with it both a negative and a positive.  

b. Negatively speaking, I know there are things I ought not to do.  Obedience aims at avoidance.  However if my obedience is going to be consistent, I need to reinforce it with a positive replacement.  In other words, what am I to pattern my obedience after? 

c. Peter writes on in 1 Peter 1:15: "but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior."

So obedience is how I am to measure and carry out the aim of living a Godly life in these last days.  Negatively I am to avoid conformity to this world, and positively I am to conform myself to God's character.  With the "how" defined, the next question to ask is: "why aim to live a Godly life in these lasts days? 

3. Why live Godly lives in these last days. 1:16-21
Peter helps us to understand why we need as Christians to live Godly lives on a personal level:

a. Scripture says so.  1 Peter 1:16-17
b. Spiritual identity of the Christian. 1 Pet 1:18-21

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