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The Pilgrim's Path

Hope for the Pilgrim's Path  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Bel;ievers are called to personal holiness

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In order to please God, believers are to set their hope fully on the 2nd Advent ()

Explanation: The therefore in v. 13 refers back to the preceding 12 verses. Because of all that Christ has done and is continuing to do for believers, they are to live in a certain way. Realizing this world is not their true home, these Christian exiles were to live separated lives. They were called to be distinct from the world, and Peter tells them their future success in this venture was dependent upon fixing their hope fully on what will transpire by the Return of Christ. Peter tells them to fix their hope on the Blessed Hope
Illustrate: Begin with the end in mind. Set your sight on the desired outcome or it will never be achieved. Success and achievement do not “just happen”
Argument: Peter commands believers to prepare their minds for action and to be sober minded. This is his way of telling them living as pilgrims is a serious business. It takes effort and hard work; it takes clear thinking. The siren call of the world system can easily lure believers into passive living which will always result in defeat.
Application: We can and must resist the world’s call to conformity. The first step is to check our level of drift. Are we alert to our status as believers? Are we living as aliens in a hostile environment? When is the last time we considered our review by the LORD Jesus at His return?

In order to please God, believers are to devote themselves to personal holiness ()

Explanation: The next set of directives have both negative and positive elements. As to the negative; believers are no longer to conform to the same type of life they experienced while they were still pagans. The world system will continue to exert pressure for believers to conform to its standards, but we must resist.
On the positive side, believers are to exercise personal holiness. At its core, holiness carries the idea of being separated and set apart for special use. Believers are called to holiness because the God who called them is Holy, and He is to be our example.
Illustrate: Using the fine China instead of the paper plates
Argument: Peter is stressing the need for the Pilgrims to live intentionally distinct lives from the unbelievers around them. He is telling them to stand out instead of blending in. This is more than self-determination. It is not possible to do this by one’s own effort. The believer however, has God’s grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to make it possible.
Application: Believers are to realize the high call that God places on our holiness. We very often take this too lightly, thinking it really doesn’t matter how we live because we are saved. This is not good thinking!!

In order to please God, believers are to live in Reverential fear of God ()

Explanation: Peter gives another avenue for Pilgrim’s to check their progress by assessing their fear & reverence quotient. He tells them that if they call God their Father they need to understand He is worthy of fear. This is not a terrifying fear that immobilizes a person, but is a fear of reverence and living in awe of a superior being who has power and authority over you.
Illustrate: POTUS normally has children in the White House during his term. Even though his children have a personal relationship with him, they have to observe boundaries. A president’s child just can’t waltz into a meeting with the Joint Chiefs.
Argument: Too many believers today are into the “warm and fuzzy” Jesus who is our big buddy. This is not a biblical picture of God. While the Father is Abba to believers, this speaks of the personal relationship as opposed to an impersonal God. It is not meant to invite over familiarity with the Transcendent God of the Universe! It is always good for us to remember the Apostle John’s reaction to the Glorified Christ in (John hit the deck!)
Application: Believers are to maintain a proper respect for the things of God. He is Holy, and He is going to be an impartial Judge. We should correct our thinking that just because we are saved we can act however we want

Believers are to live as Pilgrims because the price of our Redemption is exceedingly costly ()

Explanation: Peter reminds the believers that not only have they been redeemed, the cost of their redemption was high. The term redemption means to buy back, as in purchasing a slave from the slave market. Slavery was wide-spread in the Roman Empire and the recipients of Peter’s letter would have been familiar with the terminology.
Illustration: Greenback stamps from the grocery stores.
Argument: In a marked difference, Peter tells them that unlike the normal purchase price of money in terms of gold and silver, the Redemption price of believers was not only much higher, but with a different category of coin. The price for believers has always been the matchless and priceless blood of Jesus by His death on the Cross on our behalf.
Application: We live in an anxious age, a time when many people struggle with self-esteem or self-worth. The struggle is real because we are looking for our value in our achievements or performance, and that approach will always lead to despair. Our worth as believers is found in our purchase price from the slave market of sin. Reflect and meditate on that!
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