Sunday School Material: A Holy People
(I Peter 1:13-25; 11/1/09)
Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that God wants us to live holy, instead of according to our former lusts. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live holy lives.
Read I Peter 1:13-16
I. The Discipline of Holiness. Peter urges his readers to strive to live holy lives, in this first section of the Sunday School material. This calls for taking control of one's mind and hoping in Christ. It calls for fighting off the temptation of following after lusts.
- Holiness. Notice in vss. 13, 15 the urging to work on living holy lives. Conversation in vs. 14 is reference to how we live, not just how we talk. Key elements in holy living include preparing our minds for the work on holiness.
It includes being sober or spiritually alert. It includes having our hope in God, not the things of this world. There are too many who simply want to feel good, not learn and live good.
There are too many who are spiritually asleep, as evidenced by their lack of study, prayer, godly perspective on issues, and obedience to God's will.
And there are too many who are either hopeless or who have their hope in the wrong things. Let's work on our holiness. We do this by way of our prepared minds, soberness, and hope in God.
- Fighting temptations. Notice in vs. 14 the urging to fight off the temptation of yielding to former lusts. All of us have been attracted to some type of sin, in our past.
However, if we are not careful, we will fall back into the same sins because of our lusts and desires. Let's fight off these temptations.
This fight often includes being honest enough to admit that they (i.e., sex, pride, selfishness, disobedience, etc.) are yet temptations.
Read I Peter 1:17-21
II. The Focus of Holiness. In this second section of the Sunday School material Peter mentions that God judges according to people's work. He talks about how believers were redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, not by corruptible things like gold and silver.
It was through the foreordained ministry of Jesus that people were able to believe in God the Father.
- Obeying God's calling. Notice in vss. 17, 20 that God is judging our works. Just as God had foreordained the work of His Son, God has foreordained good works that we should be doing (see Eph. 2:10). There are too many who do too little, in the body of Christ.
God has saved us and called us to do good works. Where our abilities, opportunities, and desires or willingness to meet a need intersect is often our call to ministry and good work.
Let's work on doing the work that God is calling us to do. We all have been called to do the good works of witnessing, worshiping, and loving one another.
- The bases of redemption. Notice in vss. 18, 21 that our redemption is based upon what Jesus did for us, not based on the things of this world. There are too many who think they can work their way into being right with God.
There are too many who think that following the traditions of the church will save them. The truth is we are only saved by accepting the death payment of Jesus by faith.
Let's make sure we are basing our redemption and salvation on our faith in Jesus' payment for our sins. Let's urge others to do the same.
Read I Peter 1:22-25
III. The Outworking of Holiness. Peter talks about how the outgrowth or product of being purified is to love the brethren, in this third section of the Sunday School material.
He talks about how believers are the product of the incorruptible word of God. Many things like a person's glory will fade. But God's word is said to stand forever.
- Loving one another. Notice in vs. 22 the urging to love the brethren – other believers. There are too many church goers who are noted for attendance and maybe even worship, but they lack love of God's people. Without love, we are nothing.
Without love, we are not living holy lives. Let's work on loving one another. Love shows kindness. It is not simply an emotion. Nor is it something that we do just because or only when we feel like it. Loving one another is a command to us from God.
- God's unfading word. Notice in vss. 24-25 that the glory of a person will fade away, but the word of Lord will last forever. No matter what we have going for us – cash, credentials, contacts, even health and loved ones – it will all fade.
However, the word of God and God's word to us will last forever. God has promised to save those who believe. We can count on God to keep His word, even when all else fails.
Let's trust God's word more than the fading things of this world. Trusting God is demonstrated by obeying God.
Conclusion: Based on this Sunday School material, let's work on living holy lives. God has much for those who obey His will
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