After reading in Peter’s first letter about our “imperishable uncorrupted, and unfading [inheritance], kept in heaven for [us]” and about God’s power protecting us, I read a little further and a couple words caught my attention. They are words that we often do not see or think about in the same context.
Peter had already talked about the trials and tribulations his readers were currently encountering and now he urges them to have their minds ready for anything else that they might have to confront.
“Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 1:13 HCSB]
Their hope, like our hope, is focused on the grace that Christ Jesus brings with Him when He returns. Grace, that marvelous gift of God that combined with mercy gives us what we do not deserve (salvation) and does not give us what we do deserve (punishment.) The NT is clear that it is by our faith in God’s grace that we are saved and set apart for Him.
Then in the very next verse there is a word that seems at odds with grace.
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct.” [1 Peter 1:14-15 HCSB]
Obedience and grace are seldom seen together. As Christians we often hold to the “just-as-I-am” principle of salvation. And while God does accept us just as we are, that does not mean we are to stay just as we were.
Upon being saved, we are to become “holy in all [our] conduct,” just as He is holy. We are to become “obedient children.”
Let us never forget that our faith, while founded through faith in God’s grace, is to be an obedient faith.