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Be holy 1Peter 1_13-2_3

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Be holy

Living into eternity



Doxology: Hymn no 53:           “All people that on earth do dwell”

Call to worship

Bible Verse

It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night (Psalm 92:1-2)


Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:2)

The Lord’s Prayer                   The choir will lead the congregation
to sing this prayer.

Hymn No 70:                               “Praise my soul the king of heaven” (As

                                                          indicated on the screen)


Dear Heavenly Lord, in the words of your servant David, we pray this morning.  We acknowledge Your word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. We have taken an oath and confirmed it, that we will follow your righteous laws. Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of our mouth, and teach us your laws. (Psalm 119:105-108)

Children’s Address

Hymn No 6:                                 “O Lord You are my God and King”

Scripture Reading:                    Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-19.                        

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

Almighty God in heaven,

Blessed are You, O Lord, God of Israel, our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of all things. In Your hand is power and might to exalt and to give strength to all. Therefore, my God, I give You thanks and praise Your glorious name. (1 Chronicles 29:10–13)

I will proclaim the name of the Lord and praise the greatness of my God. (Deuteronomy 32:3)

O Lord, do not rebuke us in Your wrath, and do not chasten us in Your anger. For Your arrows have pierced me deeply, and Your hand has pressed down upon me. There is no health in my body because of Your wrath, nor peace in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; as a heavy burden, they weigh too much for me. (Psalm 38:1–4)

Lord, Please wash us clean so we will be whiter than snow.  Blot out our transgressions and forgive us our iniquities.  Impart in us the righteousness of your Son, Jesus Christ. Cleanse us in his blood and sanctify us in your Spirit.  Amen.

Declaration of pardoning

Return to the LORD, that He may return to you.  Do not be stiff-necked; submit to the LORD. Serve the LORD your God, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” (2 Chronicles 30:6-9)

Hymn No 425:                            “My hope is in the Lord”

Offering and Dedication

With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:6-8)

Þ    All, remaining seated, sing Hymn 364:1, 2, 5, 6 while the offering is taken up.

Prayer for others

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Scripture Reading                     1Peter 1:10-21

8 Sermon                    “Be Holy – life between yesterday and eternity”


Dear brother and sister in the Lord Jesus Christ,

8 Let’s pick it up from last week.  The Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, gives us our salvation.  8 God the Father chooses us according to his foreknowledge; 8 God the Holy Spirit sanctifies us before the Father as He prepares us to be acceptable in the sight of the Father; 8 the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our atonement of sin.  In Him are we justified, made righteous and glorified.

Verse 9 now speaks to us in the present continuous tense:  “You are receiving the goal (end, result or purpose) of your faith [which is] the salvation of your souls.”  As we pointed out last week, salvation is something the Lord has made possible.  As such we have a past.  To be saved means to have been taken from darkness and put into light.  But there is another element of salvation:  it is something that will reach consummation with the return of Christ.  The Bible also refers to this event in terms of the revelation of the sons [children] of God.  The Holy Spirit in Romans 8:22 inspired Paul to write:

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. (Romans 8:22-24)

But then, there is the third aspect of our salvation:  it is and ongoing experience, here and now.  “We are receiving the purpose of our faith, the salvation of our souls.” (verse 9)

It is the theme of salvation that now connects verses 9 and 10 together.  8 What the prophets of the Old Testament preached about salvation, centred in, and came together in Jesus Christ.  Salvation was brought about by the sufferings of Jesus Christ and the glory of his resurrection.  In that sense the Old Testament prophets were not serving themselves, but those who have the privilege of living in the time of the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.  8 Christ has now been revealed as the promised Messiah and He will be revealed in the last days.  This was the central message of the prophets and it has been the central message of the apostles.

Going down to verse 13, the apostle draws a conclusion with the word “therefore” or “consequently”.  8  This verse is totally concerned with the fact that, as we had a “past” (we have been saved), 8 and as we have a future (we will be saved with the return of Christ), 8 so we have a present (we are being saved).  This is the thing that many Christians would like to escape altogether.

The question then is:  how do we live today as people who turned away from a past and who are given a sure future?  How do we live between yesterday and eternity?

8  The conclusion of verse 13 is, “consequently, prepare for action.”  The expression used here is what we find in the Greek translation of the Old Testament in Judges 18:16 where it says that the soldiers of the tribe of Dan where assembled, armed for battle.  The expression is an idiom in Greek which says, set your mind on what is at hand.  To do that purposeful, the soldier must be in control of his thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking. 

Like an army general Paul is instructing the soldiers of the Lord.  He gives them a brief of the battle that lies ahead.  He wanted them to be effective and in no doubt about their task.  8 Therefore, he says, be self-controlled.  It is a very dangerous thing for any soldier to become emotional or irrational.  In all circumstances soldiers need to be level-headed.

8 Paul further added to set your hope on Christ Jesus.  This is the need to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial.  He then adds the word “fully” or “completely”.  May I use another translation of this verse?  8 “Set your hope completely on the grace which is supporting you until Jesus Christ will be revealed.”  The word “given to you” is used in another context by the Peter where he says:

For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

The tense of the verb in verse 13 is the present tense.  The form of the verb for revelation in this verse makes it possible to translate a future tense.  Within the context of the rest of the chapter, and in the narrower sense the paragraph, the translation is perfectly legitimate: “Set your hope completely on the grace which is carrying you until Jesus Christ will be revealed.” 

Because we are saved, we have become children of God.  We have a forgiven past, we have a glorious future to be revealed with the return of Christ, but we have a present.  As God’s adopted children we need to be obedient.  This obedience refers back to our readiness for battle and our self-controlled life.  As obedient children of God we must trust Him as we set our hope on the grace which is carrying us until the day of the return of Christ.  Further, we should not conform to the evil desires we had before we became children of God.

8 The word “obey” goes back to this picture of the soldier ready for action.  As soldiers who have been in battle how important it is to obey orders!  If orders are not obeyed, disaster sets in.  It becomes undisciplined disarray of confusion.  God’s children cannot be like that.  They need to be obedient, disciplined and orderly.

If the soldier, under the impact of the fierceness of the battle, would revert to his pre-army days to do as a civilian would do, he would place himself and all those around him in great danger.

8 In the same way, Peter now says as a Christian with a sinful past, if in this battle under the Headship of Jesus Christ, things become hectic and fierce, keep forgetting your past.  There is no hope in the past.  You have shaken off the mould of the past because it was futile, leading nowhere.  They were the days of not knowing and no understanding.  Let’s put it bluntly.  We were nothing but stupid, unintelligent and dull in our sin.  Another word is “brainless”. The Bible calls the person who says there is no God plainly a fool.  Our past was a time of foolishness.

Then verse 15 follows, beginning with “but”.  It puts in contrast what has been said previously.  Peter makes this statement:  8 “Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.  Be holy, because I am holy, says the Lord.”

We see our children in ourselves, don’t we?  In the same way God, who made us his children by choosing us and electing us, puts his Holy Spirit in us to teach us holiness so we can display something of the One who called us.  We became children of the living God, and as such we are given a new nature to display the glories of Him who called us.

To be holy is not to be without sin.  God is the only One to be holy in that sense of the word.  He is without sin, and He hates sin.

We are holy in Jesus Christ.  That means we are different, or set apart unto service for the Lord.  Principally we are holy in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  We are not perfect, but when God look at us, He sees the righteousness of Christ.

But this verse gives a command, and the Lord would not command us to do something if was completely impossible.  This command is a command to become what we are in Christ.  It is a call to sanctification and growing in obedience.

8 Yes, God’s people are different, not only because they were set apart by the Holy Spirit, but because they act and live differently from the world.  They do not conform to the pattern of this world.  To put in the words of verse 17 of our chapter, they live as strangers in this world.  And as they live as strangers in the world, what the world has on offer in terms of entertainment and amusement, should not be entertaining or amusing to them.  What the world offer in terms of they way in which they think, cannot and may never be the way Christians think.  I find it interesting that God gave specific instructions for his people in the Old Testament as to how they would build their houses, cultivate their paddocks and even dress.  Hebrew houses looked differently in that they had railings on the top story or roof.  Hebrew paddocks would not have two sorts of grain planted in it.  You would not find two kinds of animals yoked together ploughing in a Hebrew’s paddock.  The pious Jew, men and women alike, would have tussles on each corner of their garments, and the men would have something on his head.  Why all these things?  God ordered it.  His people were different.  In the same way Christians are different, and it must show in our everyday living:  our dress, our outlook, our thinking, they way we raise our children, the way we spend our money, they way we entertain.

Christians live in “reverent fear” according to this verse.  What does that mean?  Reverence refers to a profound respect and awe for God.  Why?  8 Verse 18 explains:  “For” or “because” we are bought in the blood of Christ.  We are not bought with silver or gold.  The things of the world are empty and meaningless, Peter says.  And from the futile and meaningless life Christ bought us to be his own.  He gave his life.  He shed his life like the lamb of the Old Covenant which silenced the wrath of God upon sin, so Jesus brought about redemption and atonement.  That calls for a holy life.



Hymn No 95:               “How vast the benefits divine” (Tune 105)


The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:24-26)

Threefold “Amen”

Hymn 636

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