Today we are going to examine 1 Peter 1:13-25. Peter in 1st Peter 1:13-21 teaches that the inheritance promised to followers of Christ should motivate them to set their hope entirely on their future reward (vv.13-15) and to live in fear of the God who redeemed them at the cost of his own Son (vv.17-21).
1st Peter 1:13-25
Therefore in 1st Peter 1:13 links back to the opening comments in 1st Peter 1:3-12. Believers, having received the gift of salvation (v.9), cannot take this treasure for granted. They are children of God and thus are expected to do the will of their heavenly Father (v.14).
Some translations render “preparing your minds for actions” as “gird up the loins of your mind”- the ancient practice of gathering up one’s robes when needing to move in a hurry; here, it is metaphorically applied to one’s thought process. The meaning is to pull in all the loose ends of one’s thinking, by rejecting the hindrances of the world and focusing on the future grace of God (Eph. 6:14; Col. 3:2). Spiritual sober-mindedness includes the ideas of steadfastness, self-control; clarify of mind, and moral decisiveness.
The sober Christian is correctly in charge of his priorities and not intoxicated with the various allurements of this world. In light of such a great salvation, Christians especially those undergoing suffering should unreservedly live for the future, anticipating the consummation of their salvation at the second coming of Christ (1 Peter 1:7; Col. 3:2-4). The grace that will be brought to you refers to Christ’s future ministry of glorifying Christians and giving theme eternal life in his presence will be the final culmination of the grace initiated at salvation (Eph. 2:7).
When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he disarmed the devil with the formula it is written and appropriate quotations from Scripture (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10). Satan acknowledged the authority of God’s Word, even to the point of “misusing” it for his own purpose. That authority rendered Satan unable to tempt Jesus. The written word, then, demands respect and obedience. Peter takes the written word from Leviticus 11:44-45. He appeals to Leviticus, for it features the term holiness. Leviticus teaches that god’s people ought to be holy, because God is holy. In fact, the adjective holy appears more often in Leviticus than in any other be.
“Be holy, because I am holy,” For the believer, holiness does not end with forgiveness, and cleansing of sin, but begins with an active life of opposing sin. The believer must strive to live obediently before God and thus demonstrate the meaning of the word holy. Holiness defines the Christians’ new nature and conduct in contrast with his-pre-salvation lifestyle. The reason for practicing a holy manner of living is that Christians are associated with the holy God and must treat him and his word with respect and reverence. We therefore glorify him best by being like him (1 Peter 1:16-17; Matt. 5:48; Eph. 5:1; Lev. 11:44-45; 18:30; 19:2; 20:7; 21:6-8).
Another way of saying “if you call on him as Father is, “if you are a Christian.” The believer who knows God and that he judges the works of all children fairly, will respect God and his evaluation of his life, and long to honor his heavenly father.
Ransomed means to buy back someone from bondage by payment of a price to set free by paying a ransom. “Ransom” was a technical term for money paid to buy back a prisoner of war. Here it is used of the price paid to buy back the freedom of one in the bondage of sin and under the curse of the law (eternal death, Gal. 3:13). The price paid to a holy God was the shed blood of his own Son (Ex. 12:1-13; 15:13; Ps. 78:35; Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:24; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:11-17).
In eternity past before Adam and Eve sinned, God planned the redemption of sinners through Jesus Christ (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; 2 Tim. 1:9). Peter has already taught on this in 1st Peter 1:2 when he mentions “foreknowledge”. The same Greek word is translated “foreknown in v.20. as in 1:2. In both verses, the word does not refer to awareness of what is going to happen, but it clearly means a predetermined relationship in the knowledge of the Lord. God brought the salvation relationship into existence by decreeing it into existence ahead of time. Christians are foreknown for salvation in the same way Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world to be a sacrifice for sins (Acts 2:33). “Foreknowledge” means that God planned before, not that he observed before (Ex. 33:17; Jer. 1:5; Amos 3:2; matt. 7:23). Thus, God pre-thought- and pre-determined or predestined each Christian’s salvation (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4).
Gave him glory in 1 Peter 1:21 means that God through the ascension, returned Christ to the glory that he had with him before the world began (Luke 24:51-53; John 17:4-5; Acts 1:9-11; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:1-3; 2:9). The love indicated in 1st Peter 1:22 by Peter is the love of choice, the kind of love that can respond to a command. “Earnestly” means to stretch the limits (Luke 22:44; Acts 12:5; Luke 10:27). Only those whose “souls” have been “purified” i.e. saved, have the capacity to love like this. Such love exhibits itself by meeting others at the point of their need (1 Peter 2:17; 3:8; 4:8; John 13:34; Rom. 12:10; Phil 2:1-8; Heb. 13:1; 1 John 3:11).
Not perishable seed but of imperishable means that the spiritual life implanted by the Holy spirit to produce the new birth is unfailing and permanent. Through the word of God is a reference to the fact the Spirit uses the word to produce life. It is the truth of the gospel that saves (Rom. 10:17). In 1st peter 1:24-25 Peter enforces his point about the power of the word to regenerate by quoting from Isa. 40:6-8.
Redemption, Hope and Holiness
The reason for the call to live a holy life is given in 1st Peter 1:17-19, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourself with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were once ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
Believers have been ransomed by Christ’s precious blood. Ransom recalls Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, which in turn points to the greater deliverance accomplished by Jesus Christ. Believers are delivered from a life of futility and meaningless to one of great significance. Christ’s sacrifice breaks the inevitability and power of “generational sin,” the idea that the sins of the parents and grandparents are often repeated in latter generations (Ex. 20:5-6). Christ’s sacrifice is compared to a lamb without blemish or spot. The references to lamb and blood point to the OT sacrifices and especially to Christ as the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12) and the servant of the Lord (“lamb,” Isa. 53:7). As the perfect sacrifice, Christ atoned for the sins of the unrighteous (John 1:29; 1 Peter 3:18).
Christians ought to live holy lives (v.17) because they are deeply loved and should not despise that love. God planned (Christ was foreknown v.2) from eternity past when he would sent Christ, and he chose to reveal him at the time in history when these believers lived (for the sake of you) so that they would enjoy the inexpressible privilege of living in the days of fulfillment (vv.10-12). They should be fully of hope 9hope functions as an inclusion- a literary envelope- beginning and ending this section; vv.13, 21), for Christ’s being raised reminds them of their future reward.
In the world, the world holy is heard more as an expletive than as a term that evokes reverence and awe. In Christian circles, however, we call Jerusalem the holy city, Scripture the Holy bible, and the sacraments, holy baptism and holy Communion. When we describe someone or something with the adjective holy, we recognize a direct relationship with God in that person or thing.
That which we call holy we dedicate to God, because we deem it pure and in some cases even perfect. But we hesitate to call man holy, for sin has destroyed perfection and man will never reach perfect during his life on earth. Yet the Bible calls us saints; that is, we are made holy through Jesus Christ (Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Cor. 6:11; Heb. 10:10). As saints we receive God’s call to holy living (Eph. 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 1 John 3:3). Thus as sanctified children of God we pray the petition, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).
We learn from 1st Peter 1:13-25 that the believers’ growth in holiness is rooted in the reality of Christ’s work. Justification flows into sanctification. The believer can grow in holiness unto the Lord because the Lord who is holy took upon man’s sin and died in the place of man for his sin so that man could be forgiven of his sin. Thus, through the work of Christ- the believer can grow to become like Christ who is holy.
The believer’s ransom was secured through the work of Christ. The believer’s hope is grounded in Christ. The believer’s growth in holiness is rooted in Christ’s work of justification and regeneration. All of this means that the believers’ growth in holiness is rooted in the finished work of Christ. This means that as a believer grows in grace- they will grow in recognizing and appreciating all that Christ has done in His death, burial and resurrection by growing increasingly in awareness of their sin and need for Jesus, and the righteousness of Christ.
The believer who understands the truth of justification and regeneration will live a life that increasingly demonstrates the holiness of God. The believer who understands these things discussed today- will grow practically in sanctification by humbly submitting themselves to the Word of God, to the leadership of their local Church, will live in community with other believers, and serve God out of their knowing of Him, which is to say out of their knowing of Him they will be able to make Him famous in their ministering for Him.
I appeal to you in the name of Jesus today to grow in the grace of God. Grow in knowledge and understanding of Christ’s work in justification and sanctification. Grow in your understanding of sanctification. Grow in your understanding of the character and attributes of God. Grow in your knowledge and understanding of the Word. As you grow in knowledge and understanding of God, His Word and His Son- I urge you to apply what you have learned into your life so that you can grow to become like Jesus and bring Him much glory in and through your life.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.