1 Pet 1 20 1pet 2 3
II. Live in Holiness (1:13–21)
The blessed hope ought to make us live holy lives (1 John 3:1–3). We must “gather our thoughts” and not let them fly loose (see Ex. 12:11). Another motive for separated living is the commandment of the Word (Lev. 11:44; 19:2; 20:7). “Holy” does not mean sinless perfection, which is a condition impossible in this life anyway (1 John 1:8–10). It means set apart, separated unto God. If we are God’s children, then we ought to be like our Father.
A third motive for holy living is the judgment of God (v. 17). God chastens His children today and tests their works at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:1ff). He has no “favorites” but treats all of His children alike.
Verses 18–21 give a fourth motive for dedicated living: the price Christ paid on the cross. Before we were saved, our lives were empty and meaningless (“vain”—v. 18); but now they are full and happy through Him. Our salvation was not purchased with money; it took the blood of Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29). His death was planned by God ages before we ever were born; yet, God in His grace included us in that plan! How grateful we should be, and what better way is there for us to show our gratitude than to surrender our all to Him (1 Cor. 6:15–20).
III. Live in Harmony (1:22–25)
Salvation gives us a living hope, a desire for a holy life, and a wonderful fellowship with the people of God. The Spirit of God loved us and brought us to Christ; this same Spirit has planted within us a love for the people of God (Rom. 5:5, and see 1 John 3:16ff). Peter uses two words for “love” in v. 22: one means brotherly love and the other divine love (agape). The Christian possesses brotherly love; but he needs to exert spiritual energy and love others the way God loves him. Even unsaved people can show brotherly love; it takes a Christian, controlled by the Spirit, to show agape love.
Peter likes this phrase “born again”; he uses it in 1:3 and 1:23. We are born again through God’s mercy unto a living hope, and we are born again by the Word of God unto love for the people of God. He compares the Word to seed, as Jesus does in the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:1–9, 18–23). Like a seed, the Word is small and seemingly insignificant, but it has life and power within. The Word must be planted to do any good; but when it is planted in the heart, it produces fruit. God’s Word is eternal, and the fruit it produces is eternal; but the things of the flesh do not last. Peter refers in vv. 24–25 to Isa. 40:6–8. Whatever we do in obedience to the Word of God will last forever! But whatever we do in the energy of the flesh will look beautiful for a time, but will then die.
Christian harmony is a blessing to the Lord, the church, and the believers themselves (Ps. 133). If every believer is obeying the Word and practicing love, there will be harmony.
1 Peter 2
The “wherefore” of v. 1 connects this section with the theme of 1:23, “being born again.” The key thought of 2:1–3:7 is submission (2:13, 18; 3:1, 5).
I. Our Heavenly Privileges (2:1–10)
A. Children in God’s family (vv. 1–3).
The phrase “newborn babes” is the same as that used for the infant Jesus in Luke 2:16. The new believer is a babe in need of milk (1 Cor. 3:1–3; Heb. 5:13–14). In fact, one of the evidences of spiritual life is a hunger for spiritual food, the Word of God. We must not remain babes in Christ. But just as the baby has a great appetite, so we should have a similar desire for God’s Word. As we grow in the Lord, we include meat and bread in our spiritual diet (Matt. 4:4). We become “young men” and “fathers” in the family (1 John 2:12–14). Our food must be the unadulterated Word, not one mixed with human philosophies or doctrines (2 Cor. 2:17). Once we have tasted the Lord’s blessing (Ps. 34:8), we want to put away the old sins of the flesh—malice, deceit, hypocrisies, envies, etc.—and cultivate an appetite for God’s truth.
Wiersbe, Warren W.: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1997, c1992, S. 742