Summary of passage: Peter continues with advice on how to live, saying to prepare our minds for action, to be self-controlled, and have hope in Jesus. Obediently, we must not conform to the evil desires of our old life but we must be holy in all that we do for we are called to be holy since God is holy.
We must live our lives as strangers here in reverent fear for we were redeemed from our old, empty way of life with the blood of Jesus Christ who was perfect. We believe in God through him, giving us faith and hope in God.
So love one another deeply from the heart since we are pure from our obedience to Christ and God. We are born again for all of eternity through the word of God as Isaiah taught.
Get rid of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander and feast on spiritual milk to grow in your salvation and in the Lord’s goodness.
6a) To be holy because He is holy. Be holy in all that you do. Prepare your minds (learn) and be self-controlled. Set your minds fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus is revealed (remember it’s not about this life but the eternal life). Do not conform to the world’s evil desires.
b) According to Webster’s Dictionary, holy means, “Exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; divine; devoted entirely to the deity or the world of the deity.”
Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by J D Douglas and Merrill C Tenney defines holiness as, “The state of quality of being morally pure and separate from evil.”
Holy is perfect in goodness and righteousness. Hence, we should strive to be perfect, good, righteous, morally pure, and separate from evil.
7) In the Old Testament, to be cleansed of sins God’s chosen people had to make sacrifices, which had to be perfect and without blemish. One of these sacrifices was the lamb. Hence, Peter here is saying Jesus qualifies as a sacrifice for the people, a sacrifice for all of eternity.
Exodus 12 describes the first Passover and God says, “Each man is to take a lamb…The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect…all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them.”
Leviticus 23:12 “…you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the Lord a lamb a year old without defect…”
Peter is propounding on how to live a Christian life, saying to live a life as strangers here on Earth and have faith and hope in God. They were redeemed from the empty way of life through Christ Jesus just as the Old Testament people were redeemed, made righteous through animal sacrifices–only this time it’s permanent. The people have been made pure so now they can lead a holy life.
It’s hard to speculate here how much the people would have understood the sacrifices since Peter is writing to Gentiles who had no previous experience with Old Testament ways; but I will assume they knew enough to get the analogy or Peter would not have put it in.
8a) You are born again for all of eternity through faith in the word of God (which includes Jesus as the Holy Trinity).
b) Personal Question. My answer. It was a process, definitely. It wasn’t just one day it happened. I was raised a Christian so have been one for a while but I am speaking of my adult walk, when I was cognizant of it. So I’ve always had faith in Jesus and God but it wasn’t always strong. So it’s been a journey of strengthening and learning who God is, what He did for me through Jesus, and trusting in Him for everything. And when I felt ready, I was baptized as an adult a few years ago and have been striving for the “be holy” goal ever since.
Conclusions: There is definitely a thread in this day’s questions I don’t see very often: the idea of holiness and what that looks like. God calls us to be holy (perfect and apart from evil), Jesus was holy, and being born again is a process into holiness. Very well done.
We are holy (God makes us so) and I think if we breathed that in more into our daily lives this world would be a much better, happier place. For if we believe we are holy I think we will act more holy. And only good things can come of us striving to be better people than who we are right now. Striving to rid ourselves of all evil desires, malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander and instead strive to love our brothers more.