Today we start the book of 1 Peter! – This is what God gave me today in his word:
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (1 Peter 1:12-15)
“do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,” I think that pretty much goes for all of us. But what exactly is it we were ignorant of? Christ’s saving grace? Well if we were ignorant of that, we wouldn’t have known how to be saved and therefore wouldn’t be even asking this question (as there would be no former ignorance only current ignorance). So then, I repeat the question, what were we ignorant of exactly?
First, what where we ignorant of? … I don’t like the idea of being ignorant of my former ignorance.
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, (1 Peter 1:22)
We all were, to at least one degree or another, ignorant that what we were doing was wrong; ignorant of our own disobedience, perhaps very aware of others, but certain that we had it right and anyone trying to point out our faults would get a hit with a prompt burst of pride, horror that anyone could even think we had it wrong. All this would be followed with us pointing all their clearly obvious flaws (I’m speaking from some past experience with this). So now that we’ve established what our ignorance formerly was, what’s changed now?
Well our former ignorance is called, “former” for a reason: we aren’t ignorant of our sin any more. We know full well that doing one thing is wrong and doing someone else is right. However, since Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, everyone knows the difference between wrong and right, even while we’re ignorant of it. Before we’re saved, it’s not that we’re so much ignorant that what we’re doing is sin, as we’re ignorant of how to stop sinning because we’re ignorant of how to stop, we simply decide that what we’re doing isn’t really wrong, we try to rationalize it into fitting within our definition of, “right”. As already mentioned, even if a person were to confront us on the issue, we simply start sharing our rationalizations and if that doesn’t work, we start pointing out all their problems, and, “how can someone with that many problems judge me who may or may not have just a couple of things I could do better?”
Second, now that we really have established what our former ignorance was… What happens now? If we’re not ignorant, what are we?
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
“but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written. ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” – Now, we should be holy. Now we know how to change from our old habits and have done so. Now we need to be holy. Is there a 50 steps to holiness course? No. Is there a long purification process that one has to go through (including the great sprinkling of the holy water)? No. So how then can we be holy? Same way we stopped being ignorant, through Jesus.
Holiness comes through Jesus Christ, we in of ourselves can’t be holy, we don’t have the capacity for it, (that’s my theory) as it would need being in effect, perfect. Seeing as we still live in a mortal body, perfection and holiness is therefore quite out of reach of this mortal hand of mine. That’s why we need Jesus (the Holy Spirit) so much, without him we would be entirely unable to meet this commandment, but through Christ we are made “perfect” (in God’s eyes). Even if we still live in a mortal body (or: earthly tent, as Paul puts it), Christ can make us as much in his image as possible (all things are possible through Christ), until we’re finally released from this restricting body to go live with our lord.
You are Loved!