When it’s tough being a Christian the temptation is to live like everyone else. These people had similar struggles. It’s hard to live distinctively as a Christian when times are tough.
Christians live distinctively because we have a living hope
Leviticus is quoted, which is all about how God’s people are to live differently from those around them, but not be separated from them. They are to shine as a light for all to see. It’s tough to live distinctively. Not joining in gossip. Not speaking out about issues from a Christian viewpoint. Thankfully it’s not about what we do, it’s about what Jesus has done.
So why live distinctively? If we are Christians this is who we are. Living distinctively shows the truth of who we are. We have been purified, born again. If we are a Christian we are a child of God and so we show the family likeness. Whether we’re close to our families or not, we still pick up things from them. It’s no different being a Christian. We don’t conform to the evil desires we used to have. We are to live as our Father expects us to. We are to live in reverent fear.
We’ve been redeemed (v18). We’ve been bought back. We’ve been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus (v19). His life for our life. His death for our death. Jesus was willing to come and pay that cost so that we could be redeemed, freed. If you’ve been a hostage and are then rescued, you are free from that life so you can live differently. We’ve been purified (v22), washed clean. Why would we go back to where we were?
The way that we purify ourselves is by obeying the truth. It’s not about our actions, it’s about putting our trust in Jesus. Peter reminds us about needing to be born again of the Spirit. Our bodies don’t last. We’re all born once but through Jesus we are born again. We are born imperishable, lasting forever because God’s word lasts forever. Once you’ve tasted this truth (2:3), of course you’ll live in light of it. Nothing compares. We long for it even if life can be hard.
In light of this
We are to be prepared for action. We are to fix our eyes on the prize. The hope of Christianity is not for today (fully). It’s nothing compared to every day in heaven. We are to love one another. Christians are a family. We are to live our lives distinctively together. We are to get rid of destructive qualities (2:1). They’re things that are part of the world rather than part of God’s people. We are to be supported by other Christians who aren’t jealous, but honest about the difficulties. We spur one another on and help each other live distinctive lives. It can be hard but it’s who we are. We are called to live this way as we wait for Jesus’ return.