May 16

1 Peter 1:10-21 / Read

Who is your family? What holds them together?

In this passage, Peter communicated to his audience - Jewish Christians scattered by persecution for their faith - that the family of God is held together by Jesus Christ. Jesus was the one of whom their forefathers, the Old Testament prophets, spoke (vv. 10-12); he was the one who had fulfilled the prophecies by freeing them from sin and reconciling them to God (vv. 18-21); and he was the one who would come again to set everything right and establish his kingdom on earth forever (vv. 13).

Past, present and future are held together in Jesus. Peter was showing these 1st Century believers how, in Jesus, they fit into the story of humanity and the family of God.

In vv. 13-19, Peter gives instructions on how to live in light of these realities. He wrote in essence that because all of life is about Jesus, it is only right to live life like Jesus. “Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (vv. 15)

This brings us to an important reality of the Christian faith: living like Jesus is only possible in Jesus. No amount of human striving, focus, energy, strategy or determination will lead to personal holiness. Human holiness - that is, perfection - is only found in the man Jesus. Therefore, our way to holiness is the way of the Cross, dying to the belief that he have the power to change ourselves and being coming alive in the belief that Jesus’ power is ours as we share his identity.

Peter says as much: “As obedient children…” (vv. 14) A Believer’s identity is that of a child of God. Period. Nothing a person does or doesn’t do can change that. But when a person realizes just how unbelievably, incredibly amazing that is, obedience to God’s way of life is the only appropriate response.

Take some time to consider your own life:

  • How do you see yourself? What defines you? That is, what is your fundamental identity? (It may be helpful to think about what most informs your decisions and how you invest your time, abilities and finances.)

  • To what degree does Jesus have your attention on a daily basis? What would your life look like if he regularly had your attention?

  • Have you taken time to understand the commands of Christ? Where in your life are you observing patterns of disobedience? What would it take to give up those patterns and instead conform to his way of life?

  • What will it look like for you to embrace your identity in Christ and walk in his power to live a holy life?