"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"
Proper Conduct As Obedient Children (1 Pe 1:14-21)
1. In our previous study, we saw from verse 13 that we have the
responsibility to fortify the focus of our hope and set it fully
upon the grace that we are to receive when Jesus comes again
2. Another responsibility we have as Christians is to conduct ourselves
as "obedient children" - 1 Pe 1:14
3. While the need to be obedient is often misconstrued by some as
sounding legalistic, it is stressed in the New Testament nonetheless
- cf. He 5:9; 2 Th 1:8
4. In what way are we to be obedient? There is much the Bible has to
say on the subject...
a. But in this lesson we shall focus our attention on 1 Pe 1:14-21
b. Here we learn that "Proper Conduct As Obedient Children" has
both negative and positive connotations (i.e., both "thou shalt
not" and "thou shalt")
[For example, we learn from verse 14 that as "obedient children"...]
I. WE ARE NOT TO CONFORM TO FORMER LUSTS
A. UNDERSTANDING WHAT PETER IS SAYING...
1. The word "conform" ("fashion" in the KJV) means "to conform
one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to another's
2. The "former lusts" refer to the evil desires and behavior in
which we once engaged, and in which the world continues to
3. In essence, then, Peter is saying:
a. "Don't act like you once did, or like those still in the
b. "Do not adopt their sinful habits, mannerisms, dress, and
speech, which you did before you became Christians."
B. APPLYING WHAT PETER IS SAYING...
1. We will not seek to act like those who are not Christians
2. For Christians are not to be "conformists", but true
"non-conformists", or "transformists" - cf. Ro 12:1-2
a. "Conformists" simply imitate others, sometimes claiming to
do so only outwardly
b. But "transformists" are those who:
1) Have undergone a true change on the "inside"
2) Mmanifest the difference on the "outside"
3. To behave properly as "obedient children", then, we need to be
sure we are not adopting the sinful habits or mannerisms of
those in the world
a. Like accepting the popular fashions of our society which
appeal to fleshly desires
1) E.g., short dresses, tight "designer jeans", and other
2) Christians, rather than conforming, are to adorn
themselves in modest apparel - cf. 1 Ti 2:9-10
b. Like filling our speech with suggestive language or jokes
- cf. Ep 4:29; Eph 5:3-4
c. Like delighting in various forms of entertainment which cater
to fleshly desires - cf. Ph 4:8
4. But too many so-called Christians DO conform to the world
and its lusts...
a. Therefore it is not surprising to hear many becoming
entrapped by the world
b. This is indicated by the rise of marital unfaithfulness and
divorce as well as murder, burglary, larceny and drug arrests
5. So Christians need to heed what Peter is saying (as well as
what was said by John - 1 Jn 2:15-17 )
[In a more "positive" vein, we learn from verses 15-16 that as
II. WE ARE TO BE HOLY IN ALL OUR CONDUCT
A. CONCERNING THE WORD "HOLY"...
1. It is closely related to the words "sanctify" and
"sanctification" both of which stress the idea of
being "set apart"
2. To be "holy", then, means that we are "set apart"
from the world and dedicated to God
B. WE ARE TO BE "HOLY" FOR AT LEAST TWO REASONS...
1. The first reason is that given in our text: "For I (God) am
a. The God who has called us through His gospel is a holy God
b. He Himself is "set apart" from sin and wickedness
c. His very nature demands a similar holiness on our part -
cf. He 12:14
2. It is also Jesus' desire that we be holy (He died for this
very purpose!) - cf. Ep 5:25-27
C. NOTE ALSO THAT WE ARE TO BE HOLY IN "ALL" OUR CONDUCT!
1. Holiness is not something we put on when convenient, like on
2. Instead, our daily life, our entire conduct is to be "set
apart" in service to the Lord - cf. Ro 12:1
3. For this to be true, every aspect of our lives must be in
harmony with God's demand for holiness!
a. This means our work, our speech, our dress, our
b. ...ALL should be in harmony with the principles of God's
4. Even the most mundane things, when done in keeping with God's
will, become a part of our holy service to God
5. Can it be said of our lives, that we are holy in all our
a. Do we go about our business, our play, with the thought of
being "set apart" to the Will of God, so that it is evident
in our business or play?
b. Surely all of us can improve in this area of our
service as "obedient children"!
[There is one more point that can be made in reference to our conduct
as "obedient children", taken from verses 17-21...]
III. WE MUST CONDUCT OURSELVES IN FEAR
A. AS PILGRIMS, "FEAR" HAS A PROPER PLACE DURING OUR SOJOURN...
1. Even as Jesus taught His disciples - Mt 10:28
2. As Paul wrote to the Philippians - Ph 2:12
B. PETER GIVES TWO REASONS FOR SUCH "FEAR"...
1. In view of the judgment by our Father - 1 Pe 1:17
a. He will not be partial - "without partiality"
b. He will be personal - "judges according to each one's work"
c. No one will receive special favors, no one will escape His
2. In view of the high cost of redemption - 1 Pe 1:18-21
a. We were not redeemed from our sins with silver or gold
b. We were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ!
1) Who was without blemish and without spot
2) Who was foreordained to die for our sins before the
3) Who came to this earth for our sakes
4) By whom our faith and hope are in God
c. Any Christian, who does not conduct himself in a manner
appreciative of the price paid for his sins, can expect a
fate worse than death if he does not repent! - cf. Heb 10:26-31
1. From verses 14-21, then, we learn that "Proper Conduct As Obedient
Children" means that...
a. We are not to conform ourselves to former lusts
b. We are to be holy in all our conduct
c. We are to conduct ourselves in fear
2. Paul said much the same thing in writing to the church at Corinth:
"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse
ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,
perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Co 7:1)
3. This we cannot do on our own, but by the redeeming grace of God...
a. We can be forgiven by the precious blood of Christ
b. We can be strengthened by the power of His Spirit to live the
sort of lives pleasing to our Heavenly Father
Have you responded to the grace of God in order to receive such
wonderful blessings? - cf. Ac 2:38
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