1 Peter 1:13-16 The Calling to Purity

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The passage calls for us to obedience and spiritual purity because God is Holy (pure). In our former lives we were controlled in ignorance by the passions of the flesh (sinful desire). However, because of the grace of Christ we should obey God. This should be accomplished by prepairing ourselves to obey, focusing on the Hope of our future grace (glorification), and by conforming ourselves to God's purity.

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We all had role models growing up.
It may have been:
- mom or dad,
- our favorite uncle or aunt,
- a teacher,
- Famous person
There was somebody we wanted to be just like. If I could be anybody in the world, I wanted to be that person.
For me,
I wanted to be an intelligence officer. I read of men who went into Afghanistan before American forces invaded, with the purpose of gathering intelligence against Al Qaeda.
For me, that was my dream job.
So naturally, I began to read, even in High school, everything I could find on the intelligence community. Who were they and how did they become intelligence analysts.
My goal, to mirror their career path so I could become what I dreamed of being. It was to that end and that goal, that lead me to the Navy.
The Navy gave me a job doing more or less, what I always wanted to do.
Many of us had role models that we longed to be like.
Many of those role models deserved some recognition for being role models. Yet, none of them compare to the model of God.
We ought mirror our God. As believers, we should strive to study who he is, so that we can be like him. Not in the sense that we can ever aspire to be God, but to mirror his character.
His character of love, mercy, grace, >>>>>>pause>>>>>>and Holiness.
Peter commends us to mirror God’s Holiness in our text this morning.
1 Peter 1:13–16 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Based on this passage,

Proposition: We ought to mirror God’s purity.

Transition: and Peter gives us 3 mindsets for how to do that.

1) By Preparing for Obedience (1 Peter 1:13a)

Why do we need to prepare for obedience?
Why do we need to prepare for obedience?
Probably the most direct reason is because our flesh is powerful and easily can overcome what we know is right. It is not simply enough to know what is right, but we must have the resolve to actually do what we know is right.
Many times we fall into sin because we are ill-prepared for the power of our lust for sin.
I have meet a few people trapped in their sin as many of you probably have also. Many times they know what is right, but they are unable to resist the temptation.
I remember one person who who exclaimed in frustration that they “knew it was wrong, but before they knew what happened they had already commited the sin”.
This was because they knew what was right, but they were not prepared to resist temptation.
So how do we prepare to resist temptation?
1 Peter 1:13 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

a) Setting your mind to obey.

The ESV translates this passage “preparing your minds for action”. This is a great translation of what the text means, but what does the text actually say.
In a footnote, the ESV includes the actual translation: “Therefore, girding up the loins of your mind
In Peter’s day, “girding up the loins of your mind” was a common phrase. In literal terms, it is meant to pull up long garments in order to work or go to battle. However, it also was a phrase that was often used to describe being serious or prepared to act.
But notice what we are preparing according to the text, our mind.
Understand the importance of our mind and obedience.
If we want to Obey God, it starts with our mind.
So how do we prepare our mind?
How do we prepare our mind for obedience?
Preparation for obedience is primarily in renewing our mind with God and the gospel.
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
What we know and what we believe matters.
When someone goes into the military, there is one aspect they don’t expect. The constant training and practice that goes into it.
You spend over half your military career practicing.
Because they are trying to make them perform their jobs like it is the most natural thing to do. Whether we are talking about how to clear a room of enemy targets or the procedures for sending time sensitive emergency messages.
In my first command, I spent:
first 6 months in school.
After a month on a ship, I spent an additional months in further school.
This does not count about 12 one week classes and multiple qualifications.
In my second command,
I went to another 3 month school
Logged over 700 hours in additional training over 4 years.
And completed another set of numerous qualifications.
Why so much training.
They want it to come as 2nd nature.
To obey God, we also must develop muscle memory so that what is right is 2nd nature.
Therefore, the best method of preparation for obedience is to renew our mind.
That is, to mediate on God and the Gospel, until it’s truths become 2nd nature reality to us.
To mirror God’s purity we must prepare our minds to do that which right.
Our text gives us a 2nd aspect for preparing for obedience,

b) Having Self-Control

1 Peter 1:13 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Many translations use the word “sober”. The word can equally be translated “self-control”. This is how the NLT translates this word.
The text says that we ought to be “fully self-controlled”.
How did this relate to obedience?
What does self-control (Sober minded) have to do with obedience?
The Christian life is characterized by self-control as opposed to being driven by the whims of our passions. Preparation for obedience is characterized by a preparation for self-control.
It is choosing obedient living in spite of strong sinful desires - it is having self-control.
If we are not commited to self-control of our flesh, we will not be prepared to obey.
Most Christians live far away from the effect of drug usage. But if you have known somebody who tried to go off drugs, it is one of the most difficult things you can go through. The power of desire is overwhelming and makes the person desperate.
In the same way,
Any sin can become an addiction. The desire for that which is wrong is a powerful force which can easily conquer us.
Romans 7:18–20 ESV
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
The point I want to make from Paul’s confession is this, the desire for sin can easily overwhelm someone. We all struggle with the power and force of sin.
If allowed, it can completely control us.
Therefore, we need to resolve ourselves to practice self-control. Self-control to obey God rather than being controlled by the desires of our flesh.
Now this verse might make it seem that it is all about what I do, so let me balance that. As always we interpret Scripture with Scripture.
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Self-Controlled is a fruit of the Spirit, an attribute by the working of God.
Thus, as Jim Berg put’s it, The believers responsibility should be to yield to the Spirit’s work by choosing self-control.
So Prepairing to obey God according to Peter involves two major aspects.
We need to prepare to obey God,
a) by prepairing our mind through the Renewal of Scripture
b) and by choosing self-control, through dependence upon the Spirit’s power.
By preparing to obey God we are able to mirror God’s purity.
This is the first mindset. The Second Mindset important for mirroring God’s purity is:

2) By Hoping in Christ (1 Peter 1:13b)

God created us to be dependent upon him, and hope is an example of that dependence.
Psychology says this about Hope: “Hope is not just a feel-good emotion, but a dynamic cognitive motivational system
(Source: Psychology Today - https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/201112/the-will-and-ways-hope)
In other words, when we have hope, we are motivated to overcome, accomplish, succeed.
As Christian, there is one qualification. Hope is not simply a wish that we want to accomplish, but the future reality that is in God. The future reality is something ought to depend on.
John Piper said this about hope apart from God: “If our future is not secured and satisfied by God then we are going to be excessively anxious. This results either in paralyzing fear or in self-managed, greedy control.”
Instead, Peter challenges us to obedience based on the future hope of God.
(Source: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what­is­so­important­about­christian­hope)
1 Peter 1:13 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
“set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Notice theme for Peter.
- In enduring trials, we were told to hope in God. (1 Peter 1:3-9)
- In faithful obedience, we are told to hope in God.
Understand this, the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives hope when there was no other hope. As such, we ought to cling to the hope in the Gospel.
“Grace” here does not describe the past action of the Crucifixion, but instead the future act of “grace” - Glorification.
Glorification is the act in which the believer will be transformed physically and Spiritually.
What is important here is that in the twinkling of the eye, all sin will be removed and our spiritual walk will be transformed into perfect obedience.
Peter tells us to fully trust and hope in the future grace of God the time when we will be transformed into perfect obedience.
You might ask, how does this help me today when I struggle with sin?
How does the future grace (complete sanctification) help us today as we struggle with sin?
How well do we perform our duties when defeat is near?
- In warfare, an important component is that the men fighting know that they are risking their lives because they might actually win the war.
- In work, employee’s productivity declines when they now the company is going to close anyway.
- In Spiritual obedience, how much easier is it to obey God when I know there is a day already decided where I will actually have Spiritual victory.
When we realize the struggles of the flesh are temporary, than we are more likely to obey. We do not have to resist the flesh forever, but until Christ returns.
How often do we fill overwhelmed, defeated, and with out hope over sin?
When you talk to someone who has tried everything, they feel overwhelmed, defeated, and without hope.
The hope of the coming grace of God - our glorification and complete sanctification should encourage the weak hearted. The struggle over sin will one day be gone.
The knowledge of the hope of the future grace helps endure the trials of the flesh today.
Hoping in the future Grace of Christ is the 2nd mindset that helps us to mirror God’s purity. The Third mindset that helps us is

3) by Focusing on God (1 Peter 1:14-16)

1 Peter 1:14–16 ESV
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Peter stars by telling us that we are to be “Like obedient children”.
Many of you well know, children can obey and disobey. We are to be characterized as children who are obedient.
But how do we do this?
We do this by paying attention to what shapes us.
A carver is interested in shaping things.
One of the popular carvings in Hawaii is sea turtles. If you know where to go, you can find a sea turtle laying on a beach somewhere.
Therefore, it is popular for carvers in Hawaii to carve sea turtles. Each carver makes their carving conform to the image of a sea turtle.
What shapes our Spiritual character?

a) Sinful Passions (1:14)

The first part of obedience is not allowing sin to shape us.
1 Peter 1:14 ESV
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
Peter tells us we are not to be conformed to the passions of our flesh.
Conformity is the idea of what shapes us. We are not allow ourselves to be shaped by our sinful desires.
We once were exclusively shaped by the passions of sin.
- If you are an unbeliever today, you are shaped exclusively by your sinful desires.
- Before salvation, we were completely controlled and shaped by sin.
But the Gospel set us free from our slavery to sin.
Therefore, we are not to be shaped by our sin.
How do we become shaped by sin?
Sin in our life is not a one for one quota. Often sin leads us from one sin into greater sin. As we give into sin, we become more conformed to sin.
We see this in other ways our lives. As we spend more time in this hobby or that hobby, that job or this job, we began to conform into that lifestyle.
Have you ever spotted a police officer in a crowd? How do you know?
- It is the way he walks,
- the kind of hair cut he has,
- the clothes he wares,
- the way he looks around,
- and the way he talks to people.
As you spend your time in one lifestyle or another, you become conformed to that.
Sin is like that, but even more corrosive.
The more time we spend enjoying sin, the more our life is conformed to this world and the passions of the flesh.
This is why it is important for Christians not to give in to the sinful desires of the flesh.
Instead, we are told in v. 15 to be shaped by:

b) God’s Purity. (1:15-16)

1 Peter 1:15–16 ESV
but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
What is the model of what we are to be conformed to? God.
What does “conformed” mean?
How does sin conform us?
How does God’s purity conform us?
God is the perfect model by which to measure our life by.
In this text, we in particular are exhorted to be conformed to God’s Holiness.
“Holiness” has two meanings.
- One is the idea of being set apart.
God is so much greater than we are both in his strength and power, his intellect, but also in his love, grace, and mercy.
As creation we are distinct from God in every way.
- However, Holiness can also mean purity.
God is not only separate, but he is pure. He has no sin and depravity within him.
Illustration: If God was water, he would be most pure, cool, glass of water you ever had. He is like the fresh mountain springs with no impurities at all.
This is what is meant here. God is holy in that he is pure.
Peter then makes the point, that if God is Holy, than we also should be Holy. If we are the children of God, than we ought to be pure like he is pure.
To show that this idea is not unique to himself, and is inline with what God has already revealed in the book of Leviticus.
There are 4 main places in the book of Leviticus that make this same point.
One of those is Leviticus 19:2
Leviticus 19:2 ESV
“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
What is the point of the law as revealed in Leviticus. That Israel as God’s children should be pure and undefiled, like their God is.
As NT Christians this principle has not gone away, but it is at the core of the Gospel.
- Part of what started in Christs Crucifixion, our redemption, will be completed at his 2nd coming.
- Further, through belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ we become adopted as the children of God.
The father desires His children to be like himself.
We can understand that because we often desire our children to be just like us.
I know one dad who does constructions. His Kid wants to be just like his dad. Therefore, he loves machinery and tools. He goes around playing Mr. Construction.
As Parents, how proud were you when your children wanted to be just like you as you grew up. Remember that warm loving feeling that you had as your children pretend to be you.
God has a similar desire. He is Holy so he desires for His children to be holy like him.
We ought to mirror God’s purity by having the mindset that we are conforming to him.


Proposition: We ought to mirror the purity of our God.
Because we are His Children, we ought mirror the purity of our father. Because God is holy we ought to be a sanctified people.
A mirror is something that mirrors the image that is before it in exact detail.
Likewise, we ought to mirror the image of God.
- Who is greater before us than our God. He is the Almighty.
- Who has loved us more than our God. He is the one who died for us.
- Who has provided for us more than our God. It is by his common grace that we have air to breath and food to eat.
- Further, who is more magnificent that our God. He is perfect in every way.
The image by which we should shape and pattern our lives ought to be God.
This text gives us the blueprints for how to do that.
What is the blueprint for modeling God’s purity?
Transition: Peter tells us that we ought to have 3 mindsets in order to mirror the purity of God.
We ought to have the mindset of being prepared to obey.
We ought to have the mindset of being focused on the future hope of God’s grace.
We ought to have the mindset of being focused on God’s Purity.
By having these 3 mindsets and being yielded to the Holy Spirit, we can live lives that mirror God’s purity.
As we think about mirroring the purity of God, I would like to caution you against two ways of false thinking.
The claim, I don’t want to be a hypocrite.
There have been some have claimed that God hates hypocrites, and so I am not going to go through the motion of obeying God. May I suggest that claim is contradicted here. If that was true, every Christian would be hypocrite, because every Christian has to choose self-control over sinful desires of the flesh.
God desires that we be holy, obeying him with self-control, despite the sinful desires of our flesh.
2. I have it all put together, so this message is not for me.
Whether Christian maturity, age, or simple pride; we have the ability to disregard a message like this. I have it all together.
However, Christ himself was tempted while on earth. Christ was perfect in His obedience not because he was never tempted, but because he obeyed God and exercised self-control despite the temptation.
Now if Christ was tempted, should we not take seriously the teaching of Scripture about how to live a life that mirror’s God’s purity.
This message is for everyone of us. Meditate this week on whether you are prepared to obey God, remind yourself that there is a a future hope when this struggle will be over, contemplate the magnificence of God’s Holy purity.
Then, as Children of God, seek to be children of obedience renewed by God’s word and yielded to the Work of Holy Spirit.
How do I ignore this command?
How do we disregard this command?
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