1 Peter 1:13-23
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b]23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
This morning’s scripture reading took me to 1 Peter 1 and this vitally important passage about our call to holy living. It is Peter’s call for us to live transformed lives. He calls us to live lives that reflect the nature of the God we serve. If God holy we too should be holy.
For some reason this morning Peter reminded me a lot of Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. In the above pregame speech to his team he talks to them about expectation. He isn’t concerned about the expectations other people have for them, he is concerned about the expectations he has for them. He expects them to reflect the training that has been poured into them. That doesn’t just mean winning, it means paying attention to how they prepare and how they play. It isn’t just about the end result it is about how they get there.
Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.
The rallying cry for Dillon High is similar to the one Peter gives us here. The call to holiness is a daunting one. Often times it can feel to be an impossible calling. There is a pressure on us from the outside when other people call us to holiness. They look at us, watching us, waiting for us to fail. The world looks at us and judges us according to our actions. It feels like a call to holiness is nothing but a losing battle sometimes.
But God doesn’t treat our call to holiness that way. Peter in many ways reminds us here that God doesn’t care what anyone else has to say about our lives and how he lives. He calls us to be like him. He sets the standards, and while it is a far higher standard than the world sets, he also makes it an attainable one. Our standard for holiness is the God who created us, redeemed us and called us to be his children. He wants our holiness more than we do. He is more committed to it than we are. He is more capable of making us holy than we are ourselves. He is our father and every bit of our call to holiness is wrapped up in his nature.
So when we are called to be sober of mind, we are called to understand that God does not call us to do anything he does not also empower us to do. When we are called to be alert we are called to be aware of the power of God all around us that is working to reshape our whole existence to better reflect the image of Christ. When we are called to have hope and faith we are called to have hope and faith in the God who is mighty enough to save us and his ability to make us holy, not our own.
And so our call to holiness is a call to reorient the vision of our life. We are called to clearly see the God who has saved us. We are called to fill our hearts with his presence so that there is not a conflict of intentions. We are called to embark on a battle whose outcome is already determined by the work of Christ.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Amen