1 Peter 2:1-3
1 John 2:15-17
1 Peter 1:22-23
Chuck Swindoll in his book “Hope Again” writes: “We could just be whisked off to glory – saved, sanctified, galvanized, glorified! Trouble is, I have a sneaking suspicion that many, if not most, would wait until fifteen minutes before takeoff time to give their lives to Christ and then catch the jet for glory.
Since that’s not an option and since it’s clearly God’s preference that we prove ourselves blameless and innocent and above reproach, we obviously have to come up with an alternative route. Some have suggested sanctification by isolation, believing the only way to keep evil and corruption from rubbing off on you is to withdraw from the world. After all, how can you walk through a coal mine without getting dirty? The logic seems irrefutable. But God, in His infinite wisdom, has deliberately left us on this earth. He has sovereignly chosen to give many of us more years IN Christ than OUT of Christ – many more years to live for Him ‘in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world’ (Philippians 2:15). Or, as one of my mentors, the late Ray Stedman, so succinctly put it, “Crooked and perverse simply means we are left in a world of crooks and perverts.’ That’s the kind of world God left us in on purpose. In a world where the majority are going the wrong way, we are left as lights – stoplights, directional lights, illuminating lights – as living examples, as strong testimonies of the right way. We are spiritual salmon swimming upstream.”
Greek linguistic scholar Kenneth Wuest explains it this way: “KOSMOS refers to an ordered system….of which Satan is the head, his fallen angels and demons are his emissaries, and the unsaved of the human race are his subjects…..Much in this world-system is religious, cultured, refined, and intellectual. But it is anti-God and anti-Christ. This world of unsaved humanity is inspired by ‘the spirit of the age, …which Trench defines as follows: ‘All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitutes a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.’
Chuck Swindoll in his commentary on 1 Peter lays out FOUR STEPS TO UNITY
“Strangely, in churches where biblical teaching and theological knowledge are strong points, love and unity are weak. Christians must strive for both maturity in knowledge and unity in love.
We should keep the important objective of Christian growth at the forefront, treat each other with humility and respect, and help each other along the path as we seek to become like Christ.
Jesus set the example, then His disciples showed that it could be done. Only the remnants of our old natures are keeping us from doing the same. It’s time we put off the old and pull together around the new!”
First, are you treating your fellow believers as children of the same heavenly Father?
Second, are you actively seeking to implant the seed of God’s Word in your heart?
Third, what common struggles affect you the most in your relationship with others?
Finally, is Christlike spiritual maturity your primary ambition?