Live Like No Other
Dave Ramsey is a financial guy. He writes books and does a radio show, and his primary purpose is to help people transform their financial situation. He wants to help people go from being in financial crisis, to being financially wealthy.
One of his main points is that if you love like no one else now, then you can live like no one else in the future.
In other words if you make some financial sacrifices that most are not willing to make now, then in the future you can enjoy the benefits that no one else does.
The same is true with Christianity. God calls us to live like no one else, so that we might live like no one else.
Many of you might be thinking, here we go a sermon about living by the rules, but for any of you who know me very well, know that I am not into legalism. In fact, I am not a big fan of rules at all, and I don’t believe that our God is a God of rules, but rather a God of freedom.
I believe that there is nothing that we can do in order to earn salvation, and I also believe that there is nothing that we can do even after we are Christians to make God like us more than he already does.
However, I believe that God has called us to be different- to be Holy, because this passage says clearly that we should be holy because he is holy.
It is my hope today that we will all understand what it means to truly live like no one else, so that we can truly live with joy and freedom like most never get to experience.
As C. S. Lewis once commented to, “How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing, . . . it is irresistible. If even 10% of the world’s population had it, would not the whole world be converted and happy before a year’s end?”
Lets begin by reading verses 13-16.
prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
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.”
I. Be Holy
I think that this section of the passage is very clear, as it tells us that we need to be holy, and what it means to be holy.
It does not mean that we need to make for ourselves a list of rules to follow in order to stay holy.
The Pharisees did this making 900+ rules to follow,
but Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that unless you are more righteous than the Pharisees you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and
in Matthew 23:24 that the Pharisees, “tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders”.
This is not our God’s intention, when Peter says that we are to be holy.
He does not want us to be a people who burden ourselves with many rules,
He wants us to live in a way that gives us freedom and happiness.
In light of this Peter says, prepare your minds for action. Be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Notice he does not say to set your hope on your ability to follow the law, but rather set your hope fully on the grace to be give you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
He does say that we should act as obedient children, not giving into our old evil desires, but that we should be holy.
This is so that we might be close to our Heavenly Father, for to be holy is to be God’s people.
John Calvin says that when we become inebriated with our old evil ways that “he must necessarily become sleepy and stupid, and he forgets God and the things of God.”
The goal here of being truly holy is to remember God and the things of God as much as possible, because it is here that we will find our greatest joys and freedom.
Secondly, God calls us to Be afraid Lets begin reading vs. 17
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers 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 forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Here again we see that God has called us to live like no one else. He says that through the blood of Jesus Christ you were redeemed from the empty way of life. Now live as strangers in the world in reverent fear.
What does it mean then to live in reverent fear of God?
Allow me to illustrate reverent fear with a personal illustration. Carla and I began dating in high school, but during my senior year we broke up. After about a year, we started dating again.
Reverent fear is the fear that I had for Carla’s, the first time I had to go to her house to pick her up. Carla’s parents deserved my respect, and I was unworthy.
The truth of the matter is that our God is both completely holy and completely just. To have a reverent fear of God is to truly believe both of those things and know that we are completely unworthy to even look upon Him.
In this there is a sense that we should be afraid to sin. There is a sense that it can be difficult for us to approach God knowing that there is sin between us.
It means that we should be very afraid to approach God, if we are not ready to repent of our sins.
However, our God also loves us and desires for us to come close to Him. Living in reverent fear of God is to approach God humbly giving him all due respect, as our Father and Holy God.
When we truly have a reverent fear of God, we will experience much freedom from struggles with sin. In this freedom we will certainly find much joy.
III. Be hungry
Finally, God calls us to be hungry. Lets skip to Chapter 2:vs. 2-3 it says,
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
We are called again to live like no other people, so that we might live like no other people. Here we are called to live like newborn babies, who crave milk, but we are to crave spiritual milk.
By doing this friends, we will grow to do the other things better. If we crave the pure spiritual milk, or God’s word, vs. 2 says that by the word we will grow up in our salvation.
We will then grow to be more holy and to be more afraid our God.
So then, if you truly want to live like no other, having greater freedom and happiness, than you can imagine right now, drink up this pure spiritual milk.
Scripture is one of the primary ways that we can grow closer to our Lord.
This is not about following rules, it is about being filled completely with God and the thoughts of God, for this is holiness.
This is where we will find freedom and happiness, because it is here that we are fulfilling our purpose.
To glorify God and to enjoy him forever.