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.”
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are saved (past), we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns for his bride and he takes us to be with him for eternity, at which time our salvation will be complete, provided that we continue steadfast in faith in him in obedience to him and in the forsaking of our sins until the very end.
And this is why we need to be preparing our minds for action, and we need to be being sober-minded (serious about God and our walks of faith), and we need to set our hope fully on the finish line in the race that we are now running, providing that we are actually running the race and that we are not being held back by those sins which so easily entangle.
[Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 1 Jn 2:24-25]
1 Peter 1:14-21 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.’ And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
There is that word “obedient” again. It is all throughout the New Testament. I don’t know how anyone can say that we don’t have to obey the Lord when the New Testament continually reminds us that we do have to obey the Lord in order for us to be in him and him in us and for us to have eternal life with him. As obedient children we are to no longer be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance when we were living in slavery to sin.
These passions can include all sorts of sinful practices, but the one that seems to be predominant in the church in America is sexual immorality, and more specifically addiction to pornography, although pornography may not be part of it at all. But the sexual immorality may be expressed in many different ways, in extra-marital affairs, in child molestation, in incest, in self-gratification, in voyeurism, in exhibitionism, in sex-texting, and in watching movies with sexual situations, and the list goes on and on.
There are several factors here that have contributed to the increase in the number of people in the gatherings of the church who are engaged in some type of sexual immorality, and this includes preachers, too, and one of them is that the church has largely gone the way of the world, and in order to attract the world to their gatherings, they have diluted the gospel to exclude God’s requirements for repentance, obedience, and submission to him.
So, many professing Christians today are convinced they do not have to obey the Lord and his commands (New Covenant), and that they do not have to turn away from their sins, and that they do not have to submit to the Lordship of Christ over their lives. And since so much of what is called “church” today is teaching this, or is implying this, many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are still living in deliberate and habitual sin against God.
The other main factor, I believe, that has contributed to this increase in sexual immorality within the church is the easy access to pornography on smart phones in one’s pocket, and the easy access to extra-marital affairs in the workplace with so many men and women working closely together and even traveling together, and with social media and easy access to private conversations with people of interest, and on smart phones, too.
So, this is another reason we must be preparing our minds for action so that we are not caught in any traps, for they are everywhere. And this is why we must be serious-minded about God and his word and about obedience, and holiness, and purity, and honesty, and faithfulness, etc. For the temptations to sin sexually are being thrown at us left and right on the internet and on TV and even on some Christian music videos and/or Christian websites.
Some people are living in sinful addiction just like their fathers did and just like their grandfathers did, not because they have to or that they can’t help it, for they can help it, but because they allowed those influences in their lives to impact them in such a way that they followed in the same footsteps as their ancestors. And they have, thus, not been ransomed from the futile ways inherited from their forefathers, because they never left those ways, but they continued in them, and they passed them on to their children.
By the Blood of Christ
But Jesus Christ, God the Son, gave his life up for us on that cross so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. We do NOT have to follow in the sinful patterns of our ancestors. If we will submit to Christ as Lord, humble ourselves, surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, repent of our sins, and turn to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways, all because of what Jesus did for us on that cross, we will be delivered from our slavery to sin so we can live a life of holiness and righteousness.
And God is not okay with us continuing to be conformed to the sinful passions of our former ignorance when we were dead in our sins, if indeed we have been set free from our bondage to sin, by God’s grace. For he called us to be holy in ALL OUR CONDUCT. And that is possible because of God’s grace and because of Jesus’ blood sacrifice for our sins. We can live holy lives separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being now conformed to the likeness of Christ, by God’s Spirit.
Now here is something that is not taught much in the church and that is that God is going to judge all of us according to our deeds, and what we sow, that shall we also reap. So, if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. For if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God.
So, please know here that no one has to remain trapped in sin that they inherited from their ancestors or that they acquired on their own just because they were born sinners. Jesus died to free us from addiction to all sin. We just have to choose to die with him to sin and then let him raise us with him to walk in newness of life in him. And then we must submit to him and walk in obedience to his commands in the power of God as we yield control of our lives over to the control of the Holy Spirit.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Forever with Us
An Original Work / February 5, 2016
Based off Psalm 46
Be still and know
God is over all things.
Throughout the earth,
He’ll be honored as King.
The Lord Almighty,
Forever with us.
He is our refuge
When we’re in distress.
Therefore, we have
Not a reason to fear.
Trials will come,
But our God is still near.
He is our helper,
So we do not fall.
Mountains will quake,
But on Jesus we call.
Joy to the Church,
Even if sorrow comes.
But our faith marches on.
God’s Holy Spirit,
Now living within,
Gives peace and comfort,
And grace without end.