STEP TWO : Holy Actions (1:22-2:3)

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Look at this stage in the Three Steps Of Holiness Diagram.

Having the correct 'holy attitudes', as outlined in the previous section, will lead us to the correct 'holy actions'. 1 Peter 1:22-25 lays down the basis and nature of such holy actions and 1 Peter 2:1-3 lists specific activities we must do to manifest maturity and show the process of sanctification is underway.


Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Peter 1:22-25.

1 Peter 1:22 shows us the process whereby our souls are purified (the process of sanctification). The following diagram outlines this verse in picture form...

Notice how this picture shows the way 'holy actions' are performed. It is by obeying the truth (revealed in God's Word) through the empowering of the Holy Spirit that acts of sincere love towards others ('philadelphia' - brotherly love) are manifest. We are urged to 'love one another fervently' (the word for love here is 'agape' which means self-sacrificial unconditional love).

Hence the nature of all 'holy actions' is the Love of God. Even in the midst of suffering, where we are being matured, we are to show forth the Love of God to those around us by the power of the Holy Spirit. This proves that we have purified our souls and the process is still going on.

1 Peter 1:23-25 shows us that the basis for 'holy actions' is the Word Of God.

We are born again through faith in the Word Of God which never perishes. This means the hope that we have is hope eternal.

The quote in verses 24-25 is taken from Isaiah 40:6-8 and shows that the glory of man fades like flowers and grass. But the glory revealed in the Word Of God is eternal. It is this Word that has been preached to us and if we live by it we too will partake in this eternal glory.

NB. The word for 'Word' in verse 23 is 'logos' (general written word of God) but in verses 25 and 26 it is 'rhema' (quickened spoken Word Of God to us). We are born again by the general message of God's Word (The Bible) but are sustained by His quickened, specific word to us on a daily basis.

We see, therefore, that all 'holy actions' we do should be based on the Word Of God and will have the nature of God's Love towards others. This is especially in the midst of suffering for the sake of Christ which is the context of this epistle.

(b) SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES ('Holy Actions') (1 Peter 2:1-3)

Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Peter 2:1-3.

We have seen that the Word Of God is the basis for us to reach out in love even in the midst of suffering. The greatest commandment is to Love God with all we have and love our neighbour (including those who cause us suffering) as ourself. But how do we practically do this ? For each verse in this section we see one activity we are to do in order to grow and mature in Christ....

1 Peter 2:1 shows us that because the word show us the eternal way ('therefore') we are to 'lay aside' (literally 'put away') various things. This is the first of the 'holy actions'.

Look at the Greek Meanings of the words used in 1 Peter 2:1 and meditate on what each of these words means. How can these be manifest in your life towards fellow Christians of those who persecute you ?

This command to 'lay aside' is a very relational one as it concerns our relationships with others. Our 'holy actions' are to be in 'sincere love of the brethren' (1:22) which cannot include malice, guile, hypocricy, envy and evil speaking.

1 Peter 2:2 shows us the second 'holy action' - that is to 'desire the pure milk of the word'. Look at the meanings of the greek words used and see the intensity of this craving for God's sincere word which produces sincere love (as we have seen above). We will grow by having this passion for the Word Of God and drinking of it as a newborn baby does the milk of it's mother.

There is a picture of deep intimacy here with the image of a newborn baby taking it's mother's milk. The partaking of the Word of God is not a sterile duty of the Christian, but a living, intimate experience of growth with God.

If you intensely crave possession of something you will have radical actions in order to posess that thing. Think of the Parable of the Hidden Treasure. The man sold all he had just to possess that treasure. If we sincerely desire the word of God (and living in the reality of it) we will have radically changed Holy Actions.

1 Peter 2:3 shows us the third of the 'holy actions'. This one is more of an experience, that of tasting the graciousness (goodness) of the Lord. This links in strongly with the previous point. Through partaking of God's word we taste His goodness as we step out in faith on that word.

See this Illustration on 'Tasting' the Lord.

If you know something tastes really good you will first locate the best place to get that thing and then pay the price to obtain it and taste it. Think how this applies to 'tasting' the goodness of God.

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