BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday December 9, 2012
LIVING IN HOLINESS
(Be Holy in all that you do)
(1 Peter 1:13-25)
In 1 Peter 1, verses 13-25, the apostle calls for Christians to live holy, think clearly, and, to exercise “self-control”, or “to be sober”, at all times. He also urges us to look forward with earnest expectations of CHRIST’s return, and, to not slip back into their old ways of doing evil. We are called to be “holy” because GOD is holy, and we share HIS “nature”, which makes it possible. GOD’s nature, not only consists of “Holiness”, but also, “Life”, “Personality”, “Truth”, “Justice”, “Love”, and “Wisdom”. These “communicable attributes” are given to us by GOD at birth. They allow us to be able to worship and have a personal, experiential relationship with HIM while living here on earth, in the midst of unGODliness. In fact, GOD not only expects us to live holy, but HE also expects us to exercise all of these GODly elements of HIS nature on a daily basis (Vs. 13-16).
Sadly though, since the time of Adam and Eve (the very beginning), every member of mankind has, to some level or degree, suppressed our GODly nature, and chosen instead, to take up, and exercise our “sin nature”, which was given to us by satan, through a single act of disobedience to GOD by this now infamous couple.
However, GOD, through HIS eternal mercy and grace, chose anyway, to pay a high price to save us from the empty lives that we had inherited from our ancestors, and, continue to create for ourselves today. HE bought us back with the precious lifeblood of HIS only begotten SON, JESUS the CHRIST, the sinless, unblemished LAMB of GOD! And HE had already chosen HIM for this purpose, long before the world ever began (Vs. 18-20).
In verses 23-25 Peter reminds us that the Christian must obey the GOD, in WHOSE spiritual image they are made. And just as a person physically resembles their earthly parent, so must the Christian spiritually resemble their heavenly FATHER, through their behavior and obedience to HIS Word.
Here in this passage, the contrast that Peter alludes to is that, we don’t have to make an effort, nor, change our behavior in order to “physically resemble” our earthly parents, for it is an automatic occurrence, through physical birth. However, our resemblance to GOD, can only be manifested through our behavior, because “GOD is spirit” (John 4:24), and does not have a physical image. Therefore, our resemblance of HIM must come through a transformation of the heart (spiritually), which dictates our behavior and what we do, 100 percent of the time. It is a “spiritual resemblance” that GOD is seeking, and that can only be acquired and maintained through our learning, and becoming accustomed to practicing, “the Word of GOD”.
When we choose the Christian walk, we should automatically become strangers to worldly behavior. We are then no longer permanent residents of this earth, but rather, we become citizens of Heaven, and therefore, the laws of GOD must become paramount to us. In fact, it is not until a person really falls in love with goodness, that, wrong things, will no longer fascinate, and have power over them. Our relationship with GOD becomes our greatest asset. This is in sharp contrast to the person, who loses their heart to the things of this world, as that person, is the person, who will remain most vulnerable to satan.
The end of all things is near, for each of us, personally. For, that is the resounding message that the Old Testament prophets, and, New Testament writers and thinkers, all leave us with. And that message is just as valid today as it ever was. Our only true hope lies in our ability to maintain a discipline and self-control that is fueled by our obedience to GOD’s, and our conformance to the prompting of the HOLY SPIRIT, WHO will always compel us towards CHRIST JESUS, and away from the gravitational pull of this world.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website