Theology Makes A Difference! part two
In verses 1-12 Peter launches into theological orbit discussing doctrines such as election, foreknowledge, regeneration, perseverance of the saints, the relationship between the Old Testament and the New, and even angelology. In verse 13 and following he comes hurtling down to earth showing us the difference this theology should make on our lives.
1. It has got to make a difference on the way we look to the future. v. 13
We need to fix our hope in the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
2. It has got to make a difference on the way we live in the present. v. 14ff
We need to be holy as God is holy in all that we do.
I want you to consider five lessons this passage teaches us about biblical holiness.
1· The condition for biblical holiness.
“As obedient children”
God has to have moved you from being a child of disobedience to a child of obedience if you are going to pursue holiness.
2· The requirement of biblical holiness.
“do not be conformed to the lusts that were yours in your former ignorance.”
3· The pattern of biblical holiness.
“like the Holy One who called you, be holy”
4· The extent of biblical holiness.
“yourselves also in all your behavior.”
5· The basis of biblical holiness.
“because it is written, ‘be holy because I am holy'”
1. What do you think John Calvin meant when he wrote:
“Doctrine is not an affair of the tongue, but of the life; is not apprehended by the intellect and memory merely, like other branches of learning; but it is received only when it possesses the whole soul, and finds its seat and habitation in the inmost recesses of the heart.”
How does 1 Peter 1:14-16 illustrate Calvin’s point?
2. Explain the following quote by Sinclair Ferguson. What point is he making about the process of becoming more holy? Does Sinclair’s approach match up with Peter’s?
“The great gospel imperatives to holiness are ever rooted in indicatives of grace that are able to sustain the weight of those imperatives. The Apostles do not make the mistake that’s often made in Christian ministry. [For the Apostles] the indicatives are more powerful than the imperatives in gospel preaching. So often in our preaching our indicatives are not strong enough, great enough, holy enough, or gracious enough to sustain the power of the imperatives. And so our teaching on holiness becomes a whip or a rod to beat our people’s backs because we’ve looked at the New Testament and that’s all we ourselves have seen. We’ve seen our own failure and we’ve seen the imperatives to holiness and we’ve lost sight of the great indicatives of the gospel that sustain those imperatives. Woven into the warp and woof of the New Testament’s exposition of what it means for us to be holy is the great groundwork that the self-existent, thrice holy, triune God has — in Himself, by Himself and for Himself — committed Himself and all three Persons of His being to bringing about the holiness of His own people. This is the Father’s purpose, the Son’s purchase and the Spirit’s ministry.”
3. What point is John Owen making about pursuing holiness in the following quotes:
“The man that understands the evil of his own heart, how vile it is, is the only useful, fruitful, and solid believing and obedient person. Others are fit only to delude themselves, to disquiet families, churches, and all relations whatever.” “Many men live in the dark to themselves all their days; whatever else they know they know not themselves. They know their outward estates, how rich they are, and the conditions of their bodies as to health and sickness they are careful to examine; but as to their inward man, and their principles as to God and eternity, they know little or nothing of themselves. Indeed few labour to grow wise in this matter, few study themselves as they ought, are acquainted with the evils of their own hearts as they ought; on which yet the whole course of their obedience, and consequently of their eternal condition, doth depend.”
4. What standard do you use for making decisions? Who are you patterning your life after? Are you serious fighting all known sin? Do you long for holiness in every area? How are you going to be different this week as a result of this passage?