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Holiness Isn’t Something That Happens to You

October 15, 2019

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled. 1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

When you see the word therefore, you know Peter is pointing back to what he just said. Peter was saying that Christians are born again as the power of the risen Lord touches their lives. “Now,” Peter says, “in the light of that, prepare your minds for action.”

Holiness isn’t something that happens to you; it is something you pursue. God calls you to cut off sin in your life as you pursue a life that reflects his character, and here is Peter’s first strategy: Be self-controlled (1:13).

Don’t you love the simplicity of that? Be self-controlled. Be self-controlled on the web. Be self-controlled with your credit card. Be self-controlled in your eating and drinking. Be self-controlled when everybody else is using foul language.

It is easier to say than it is to do. After all, temptation is powerful. The power of habit is very strong. We hear a great deal today about addictions, patterns of engrained response that become compulsive. So when Peter says, “be self-controlled” many people will feel that he is being too simplistic. This is why the therefore is so important.

If being a Christian was nothing more than you making a commitment to Jesus, then obviously this would be impossible. The power of temptation is much stronger than any commitment that you can make. But you have been born again. The life of God is in you. The power of the resurrection of Jesus is at work in you and that gives you living hope. If you think that Peter is psychologically naïve, then maybe you are underestimating the power of the Holy Spirit.

Is it possible you are underestimating the power of the Holy Spirit?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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