As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,1 Peter 1:14(NASB)
In his introductory remarks, Peter scatters before us the manifold wisdom of God, the superabundant blessings that are ours in Christ; the multiplied glories of salvation and the eternal inheritance which is kept for us in heaven - all of which we received by His grace, through faith in Christ's sacrificial death, burial and resurrection. And in light of these superlative facts.. Peter presents a heart-felt motivation that should spur-on all believers, who are kept by the power of God.. towards godly conduct, righteous living and unceasing joy.
He is quick to point out how valuable our faith is to the Lord.. Who regards our faith as more precious than perishable gold or silver - for without faith it is impossible to please Him.. But Peter references two types of faith. Faith that has not been tried in the furnace of affliction and faith that has been through the purifying fires of suffering and pain.
Peter no doubt recalled his own untested faith when He denied his Lord and heard the cock crow three times - despite his earlier claims to loyalty. But through this bitter test Peter learned the importance of “girding up the loins of his mind' day by day and trusting in God for all the eventualities of life. He learned the importance of remaining sober and self-controlled through the power of the indwelling Spirit - and to not to become fearful of man or discouraged by all that is coming on the earth.
Peter's faith had been tried and tested, and he came through with a deeper trust in his Lord and Saviour. He had placed his faith and hope in Christ's sufficient strength to support him through this troublous life and in faith and hope he looked forward to that wonderful day when Christ would fulfil His promise to return to take us to be with Himself - when He will be revealed in all His glory.
And so in the light of our superabundant blessings, the multiplied glories of salvation and our eternal inheritance which is kept for us in heaven Peter encourages us not to faint at the problems and persecutions that pepper our path through life - but to allow our trials and temptations to develop in us a tried and tested faith, that trusts God no matter what - so that as obedient children, we will not be conformed to the former lusts of our fleshly sin nature - which was ours in our former ignorant state, but instead.. will be transformed into the image and likeness of Christ - by the renewing of our minds, as we look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Peter had come to understand that seeking to serve the Lord in his own human ability would result in failure every time - but he came to this understanding when his faith was tested - for in his own strength he could only deny the Lord.
But God is faithful to bring us to an understanding of our own weakness so that when our faith is tested and tried, we will not rely on ourselves but on His sufficient strength to establish us and develop in us a more secure faith in Christ. God in His grace will use that trial to strengthen and develop our faith - and this is achieved when we are obedient to His Word and choose to keep the old sin nature, with all it sinful lusts nailed to the cross - so that we are not conformed to the world but are being daily transformed by the renewing of our mind.. as we look for Christ's any day return.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the words and wisdom in this epistle of Peter. Give me a greater insight into the way that You use problems and pain, trials and tribulation to develop in us a faith that is precious to You, which when tried in the furnace of affliction comes forth as pure gold. Help me to embrace the difficulties of life with a sober and stable mind that is rooted and grounded on the Word of God, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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