The Battle for the Heart – Gospel in Life

The Battle for the Heart

Tim Keller |  October 31, 1993

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  • Sanctification
  • The Bible
  • Christian Living and Obedience
1 Peter 1:13-16
RS 250-08

1 Peter 1:13–21

When we talk about holiness, we mean something special and separate. For God, it’s about being completely unique and beyond anything we can imagine. For us humans, it’s about dedicating ourselves fully to God. It’s not about following a list of rules or thinking we’re better than others. Instead, it’s saying to God, “I’m yours. Use me as you wish.” This idea goes against our society’s focus on doing things our way. To understand holiness, we need to surrender our thoughts, desires, and actions to God. Comparing a life without God to a holy life helps us understand what it means to be holy.

1. Life without God lacks understanding, but a holy life brings together our thoughts and actions

Some people think that religious individuals don’t think logically. This isn’t true. In fact, a life without God lacks real thoughtfulness. Living a holy life means merging our thoughts and actions. It’s possible for logical individuals to believe in God. A holy life helps us understand the importance of God, the purpose of life and death, the basis of morality, and the value of human life. We’re encouraged to welcome God into our lives to give them meaning.

2. Life without God is a copycat life, but a holy life is a self-examined life

According to Peter in verse 18, a life without God is just following what others do, while a holy life involves self-examination. People might think that a life without God is thoughtful, but it’s really not. True holiness means not just copying others, but examining every part of our lives through the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. Even if a life without God might seem sophisticated or original, it’s really just imitating others without deep thought.

3. Life without God is like being a slave without a master, but a holy life is a life of freedom under God’s command

This part talks about the surprising idea that we can be free while still following God’s rules. The word “conformity” is about becoming more like something else, and “evil desires” are actually just desires that have gotten out of control. If our main goal in life is something temporary, it can lead to worry and guilt. But if our main goal is something eternal—like God—it brings happiness and fulfillment. The common belief in New York City is that everyone should do what they want. But the Christian way is to obey and surrender to God. True holiness and freedom come from complete obedience, recognizing Jesus’ sacrifice, and giving ourselves fully to God.



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