1 Peter 1:15-21
God’s children are called to live holy lives that are marked by a deep reverence for Him. One strong motivation for righteous living is the cross and what it represents.
First, the cross is a reminder of our original position as outsiders, separated from God because of sin. Second, it points to our need for a Savior. Divine justice decrees that the penalty for sin is death (Rom. 6:23); however, the only acceptable payment is the shedding of innocent blood (Deut. 17:1). Since we are all guilty, we cannot pay for our own sins. Third, it was on the cross that Jesus took our place and endured God’s wrath so we could be forgiven. Fourth, the crucifixion marks the time when God’s justice was satisfied and His mercy was demonstrated. Finally, it points out the way to be reconciled to the Lord and adopted into His family. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be saved (John 14:6).
Sadly, many have forgotten about God’s requirement of holiness (v. 15). Instead of holding fast to His standards of attitude and behavior, we embrace some worldly values that seem more comfortable or self-satisfying. We pursue secular ideals such as pleasure and material wealth instead of godly ones like servanthood and obedience. These goals are encouraged by our culture, which has little fear of the Lord and regularly ignores His warnings and commandments.
To counteract the culture’s influence, keep the meaning of the cross before you. Then you’ll be motivated to pursue holiness in honor of the One who gave His life to save you.
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