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Relevant Biblical Passages: 1 Peter 1:3-21)

A Living Hope. The “blessed hope” is not just something that shapes the future; it also shapes our lives now. The first chapter of 1 Peter blends together two important elements: 1) Teachings and convictions which affirm the nature of the believer’s hope and the reasons for it; 2) The practical results of this “hope” as lived on a daily basis. These can be summarized as follows:

  1. Christian teachings: the history and the hope
    1. A living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
    2. An inheritance preserved in heaven
    3. Promise of protection and preservation in persecution
    4. The gift of salvation as the outcome of faith
    5. The experience of being ransomed by the precious blood of Jesus
    6. A born-again life through the power of the Word
  2. Holy living
    1. Disciplined living
    2. Non-conformity to the ignorant desires of the former life
    3. Holiness in all conduct
    4. A life of reverent fear
    5. Genuine mutual love for each other, from the heart

Put very bluntly, then what we believe should dramatically effect the way we live our lives. How should that be evident in the following arenas:

  1. Our attitudes in general (mind-set)
  2. Personal habits (health, orderliness, spontaneity)
  3. Relations with other people
  4. Our “secular” work (or is any of our work “secular”?)

Is it correct to way that everything we do and say could and should come under the larger umbrella of “holiness”? Or is the word “holiness” too misleading? Is there room for joy, fun, humor in such a holy life?

What about Christians who fall short of the mark? Is there a fine line between being judgmental and being helpful when it comes to the matter of being a part of the a community seeking to live the holy life? Does acceptance of the “living hope” immediately result in all the changes we would like to see in our lives? How do we bridge the gulf between the ideals which we long to reach and the reality of our daily lives?

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