In the study of 1 Peter, you and I are becoming set apart for His good purpose. In Peter’s day, believers were blending in with the pagan culture around them. You couldn’t tell who was a believer and who wasn’t. So, God gave Peter clear messages to the believers so they can combat this sly sin that creeps into our lives as well. A believer becomes lukewarm when he lives with one foot in God’s world and one foot in the enemy’s world.
To get a better understanding of what it means to live lukewarm, go to desiringgod.org. There is an article from Marshall Segal titled, “Let the Lukewarm Come to Me.” I encourage you to read it this week and chew on its content. Let God work in your heart as you continue maturing in your faith, abiding in Christ moment-by-moment, and listening to the Spirit. God is calling you out of the darkness.
Go ahead and read 1 Peter 1:13-2:3. There is a call to holy living, and God is waiting for His children to rid themselves of their selfish ambitions and live for Him. Peter begins this call to holy living with two actions you must take. What are they, in verse 13?
You must think clearly and exercise self-control. Following Jesus is not passive, nor does it happen automatically. Whenever you think neutrally, like in auto-pilot, you walk away from God. It is that simple. You must stay focused and be alert at all times.
Paul also tells you to look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when you leave this earth. Your salvation is very costly and gracious. You and I do not deserve eternal life. It is wise for us to remember this. Because of this, how are we to live, see verse 14? What else does verse 14 say that reveals lukewarm living?
“But now, you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.”15
Notice in verse 16 how Peter reiterates verse 15. He does not want you to miss this vital truth.
What do you learn about God in verse 17? How does this verse challenge you? You must live in reverent fear of God for we are not home yet. Peter says we are “foreigners in the land.” What did God do for you according to verse 18? It is humbling to realize that He paid a ransom for you and me. How did Peter describe the life you inherited from your family? How did God pay the ransom, see verse 19 and 20? Does this change your heart and mindset?
God wants you to trust Him. This is only possible through His Son’s sacrifice. There is no other way. You are called to place your faith and hope in God. “God raised Christ from the dead and gave Him great glory.”21 There is no other god who can do this. The reason? God is the living God! Right now, God is with you. God is with me. He is patiently waiting for you to turn to Him, repent of your sins, your selfish ways, and follow Christ.
When you do this, what does verse 22 say about what Christ does for you? What is your part? When we obey the truth, which is Christ Himself, we are called to show sincere love to others. “Love each other deeply with all your heart.”22 When you receive grace, mercy and unconditional love from God, you cannot stay the same. God takes your unbelieving, lukewarm heart and gives you a new heart, one that is able to receive Him fully.
How does Peter describe this change within us in verse 23? Your new life lasts how long? Where does it come from?
Compare verses 24-25 with Isaiah 40:6-8. It is good to remember the brevity of life. No one knows when Christ will come to take anyone of us off this earth. Just this last week, I know four families who lost loved ones. What is the key takeaway in verse 25? May this takeaway help you to abide in the scriptures so you can learn to abide in the presence of God. This is where you were made to reside as you live your life on this earth.
Peter begins chapter 2 with more clear messages that will keep you from slipping away from God. You are to rid yourself of all evil behavior. What are some examples, see verse 1? Sin runs deep within our veins, and we need Christ to change us from the inside out.
Do you crave Christ? Does your heart desire pure spiritual milk, see verse 2? If not, why are you uninterested? What holds your attention captive so that you remain lukewarm? Remember, there is nothing in this world that you can take with you. It is good to keep in the fore front of your mind that outside of Christ, you will not find eternal truths anywhere in this world. The whole earth has been tainted with sin. So, God sent His Son to save you from death. Take a look at John 3:16, 1 John 4:14, and Acts 4:12 for added insight.
You are to “cry out for this nourishment”3 now that you know the truth and have “had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”3
God calls people out of the darkness of this evil world. He is waiting for you to go all in with Him. Many believers settle for the lukewarm water and enjoy both worlds. Sadly, God can’t do a thing for a divided heart and soul. He is a jealous God and He wants all of you. He wants all of me. He deserves our all, and He wants to unite His people in love.