Key Verses: “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.”
—I Peter 1:14,15
I Peter 1:13-25
IN THIS GENERAL EPISTLE from Peter, he encourages consecrated believers in distant locations to continue their faithful efforts in serving God and Christ Jesus in view of the great hope of attaining a spiritual inheritance at the end of their earthly sojourn.—I Pet. 1:1-5
In verses 6-9 of our lesson, Peter makes note of the fact that our faith is to be tested by means of various difficult experiences. “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
Although the Old Testament writers, under divine inspiration, prophesied about the salvation that was to come as a result of the sufferings of Christ, they did not understand how and when this would occur. Since Peter’s epistle was written to strengthen the Gospel Age church, we are exhorted to conduct ourselves in a sober manner. This is reflected by walking in “newness of life,” made possible because we have received God’s Holy Spirit.—Rom. 6:4; 7:6
Our Key Verses emphasize the high standard of holiness required of all believers who will become part of the body of Christ. Although because of human weaknesses we cannot be perfect in all that we say and do, nevertheless our heart intentions must be pure. Whenever we speak or act amiss, we should repent and seek forgiveness from God in order to be restored to his favor.
“Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” (vss. 18-22) Here Peter reminds us that we have turned from sin unto “obeying the truth,” by virtue of accepting the merit of Christ’s ransom sacrifice at Calvary. This transformation process will also be reflected, the apostle states, in the demonstration of pure love for our brethren.
Accordingly, we will then be fulfilling the spirit of Christ’s final admonitions to the church. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”—John 13:34,35