1 Peter 1:13-17 is a reminder that God has called us to a lively hope. We are sojourners in this world, but we are not of this world. Our citizenship is in heaven... this world is not my home. We are aliens and foreigners in a strange land having been born from above. 1 Peter 1:13-16 “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
The hostility against Christians is growing, but if you were charged with "the crime of" Christianity, Is there enough evidence against you to convict you of being a Christian? To whom do you pledge allegiance? Do you live for man's so-called "social justice" of this world or are you confident of God's ultimate righteous judgement? The wheels of God's justice grind slowly but they grind finely. All shall be sifted like wheat, God's judgement is the final court of justice... God is still on the throne. According to Solomon, there is nothing new under the sun. The adversary is up to his old tricks. His weapons reflect his name: Satan, the deceiver and the Devil, the accuser. Lies, deceit, and charges of guilt and condemnation are his weapons. However the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds. The battlefield is in the mind. It is a battle for the hearts and minds of men. One of the Christians' most powerful weapons is the anticipation of the lively hope... the hope of the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.
Our reward and our joy is not in the things of this world but in the joyous anticipation of The Lord's return. We seek not the blessings but the Blessor. Men of this world always cast doubt on the integrity of the Word of God. They twist and pervert the truth to agree with the culture of this world. They say that the Word does not mean what it says, it means what I interpret it to mean through the lens of the darkness of sin. The devil starts with a spark of doubt and then fans the flame of iniquity into an unholy fire against the truth. However, the Bible says, "be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good." The gravedigger's strategy is to undermine the church by indoctrinating the church to follow culture's misguided belief that the world is good, not bad. That the things of the world: self sufficiency, self actualization, and self gratification, with the emphasis on self, is compatible with the self-less truth of the Word of God. I must decrease that he may increase. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the father but by me.
The world will sear the conscience of men so that they are numb, so that they are anesthetized to the pain of sin and iniquity. Leprosy is a picture of sin... it numbs the pain of the disease so that as the body is infested, it is destroyed from within. Pain is the flashing warning sign that gets our attention. Pain focuses our attention on the pain of the disease so that we can actively seek the healing balm. The antidote to the pain of life is Jesus Christ. He's the healer of broken hearts, he mends our shattered dreams, he picks up the threads of our broken hearts and weaves them together again. Holiness is sanctification. Sanctification is to be set apart by the master designer for the purpose for which we have been designed. He has called us to be separated from the lusts (Greek = epithumia, i.e. over desires) of the flesh. It's easy to be overtaken by the subtle lies of the culture; to become compromised by the lies of the deceiver.
The remedy for sin is the righteousness in Christ... Turn your eyes upon Jesus... and the things of the world will become strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace. The power of God is in the resurrection. This is the foundation of our lively hope. The resurrection is the power of God in manifestation. As a result of Christ's resurrection, God has called us to be holy and without blame before him in love. We have been given the grace to live in fellowship with him... far above all principality, and power and might and dominion and every name which is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. That ye may know... the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe. This is the power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his own right hand in heavenly places, and put all things under his feet, and made him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23
Your brother in Christ, Michael