On Being Holy: A Lesson in Revealing Behaviour

1 Peter 1:22-2:3

  1. The Call to Holiness
  2. Believing that Peter's 1st Epistle is relevant to our lives
        and that its message is directed to us by God the Father,
    We recognize that the value of the Salvation
         which has come to us through the sufferings of Jesus Christ
         surpasses anything and everything else
         that we have considered important or valuable.
    Therefore it is necessary for us to conduct our lives
        as obedient, holy children of a wholly just Father
        so that Jesus Christ may be revealed to the world.
    Now what?
        How can we be holy?
        How can we know when we aren't being holy?
    What do you think characterizes the Holy Man?
        write down as many words as you can which reveal something of the
            Holy Man's character. Try to avoid words beginning with
            un- or dis-.
    How would you describe the actions of the unjust?
        write down as many words as you can which could characterize the
            actions of an unjust man. Try to avoid words beginning with
            un- or dis-.
    
    

  3. The Character of Holiness 1 Peter 1:22-25
  4. The mark of a Holy person is love
        their very character is centered in love
    But what does this mean?
        love is a much overused word in our society
    We can contrast Holy and Unholy lives from this passage
        by extracting all of the descriptions of lifestyles
            and determining the opposite
    The character traits
               Holy           Unholy         Vs  As per
            ---------------------------------------------------
               pure           contaminated   22: purified
               obedient       unresponsive   22: obeyed
               truthful       lying          22: truth
               sincere        self-serving   22: sincere
               loving         interest       22: love
               deep           shallow        22: deeply
               committed      uncertain      22: all
               heart          mind           22: hearts
               assured        insecure       23: have
               new            unchanged      23: born again
               imperishable   perishable     23: (im)perishable
               living         unproductive   23: living
               enduring       limited        23: enduring
               of God         of Man         23: word of God
               by grace       inherent       24: all men are
               eternal        brief          24: forever
    Thus love is quantifiable
        that is, we can measure its presence.
            because these traits must result in noticeable actions
    How many of your words occurred in this list?
    
    

  5. The Carriage of Holiness 1 Peter 2:1-3
  6. Like James, Peter is concerned that action accompanies faith
        one cannot just believe
            because if you believe it will change the way you act
        if your salvation is really important to you
            it will change the way you act
                has it?
    Once again, we can extract the behaviour of the Holy from the passage
        and we can contrast it with the Unholy by finding the opposite
    The way the Holy carry themselves
               Holy           Unholy         Vs  As per
            ---------------------------------------------------
               loving         malicious      1: malice
               honest         deceitful      1: deceit
               consistent     hypocritical   1: hypocrisy
               content        jealous        1: jealousy
               truthful       slanderous     1: slander
               seeks God      avoids God     2: crave
               discriminating promiscuous    2: pure
               teachable      unknowing      2: spiritual milk
               growing        stagnant       2: grow up
    Here again, the Holy Man acts differently than the Unholy man
        and the unjust is seen to be unholy.
    How many of your words occurred in this list?
    
    

  7. The Conviction of Holiness
  8. How close do we come to being holy?
        do our lives reflect the holiness of God
            or have we become tarnished by the filth of the world
        can we truly be called right before God
            righteous
    How do we respond to tyranny?
        do we always respond in the same, childish way
            having failed to grow up in God
        do we fall into the same traps time and time again
            having learned nothing
        do we accept help from anyone who listens when injustice hits us
            failing to discriminate between Godly and Worldly advice
        do we blame God for our problems or try to hide them from him
            avoiding Him in our time of need
        do we decry the injustice
            and slander our persecutor
        do we wish our lives were like someone else's
            jealously coveting their apparent blessings
        do we accept injustice when it is meted out to the "deserving"
            but hypocritically decry it when it hits the undeserving
        do we cheat just a little bit when we are unfairly set upon
            and so deceive the tyrants
        do we wish our pain on other, more "deserving" recipients
            maliciously wishing them ill
    Peter does not offer his alternate lifestyle as one having just as much
        credibility as any other
    Instead he denies the credibility of all other lifestyles
        by demonstrating exactly what they are comprised of
            that is, a lack of righteousness
    For the Christian this new lifestyle is not optional, it is essential
        in order that Christ may be revealed to the world
        we must be holy so that when we are persecuted
            we will not react as the rest of the world reacts
            and God will be glorified
    Continuing the Credo from 1st Peter
         And to demonstrate the holiness of our Father through the
            righteousness of our lives, even in the face of
            persecution.