‘Motivation’ is the fuel that feeds the engine of our lives. Without any sort of motivation, we will be inactive. There are 3 primary sources of motivation which often work together: 1) Authority – “Because I said so.” 2) Punishment – “Do this, or esle…” 3) Reward – “Do this and you’ll receive…”
God’s word is full of each of these motivating factors. 1) Whatever God tells us to do we are to do because it is GOD who told us to do it. 2) God tells us that if we do not obey His will and live for Him, then we will spend eternity in hell. 3) God has promised the great reward of eternal life to all who are faithful to Him. When ever any instruction is given to us from God, all 3 of these motivating factors are to be understood. But sometimes in the Scriptures, one specific motivating factor is highlighted to persuade the hearer.
God has always required His people to be holy as He is holy. We know that without living holy lives “no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). In his first letter, the apostle Peter sought to remind Christians of God’s requirement for holy living. Which motivational source did he choose to persuade them to be holy as God is holy? We find in 1Peter 1:3-12 that he chose to speak of the great reward that has been provided for God’s people:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!”
“According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”
“..to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”
“..who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”
God has promised such a great salvation and reward in Heaven for those who love Him and serve Him. This hope will keep us going and keep our faith strong. The salvation that God has provided us in Jesus Christ is so great that the prophets worked hard to determine its means and timing. Even the angels are intrigued by it!
And so, with all this in mind, notice where Peter leads the heart of the reader:
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'”
“And if you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:13-19).
Are you a Christian?
If so, these are the blessings that await you in eternity! However, you should not expect to receive any of it if you are not living holy in all your conduct. Be holy as God is holy, then take strength and comfort in the hope of eternal life.
If you’re not a Christian, then look back at all you are going to miss out on. If you miss Heaven, you’ve missed it all. The only other option is to spend eternity in hell with Satan. While you still are living and breathing, you have time to obey the gospel. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again (John 3:16). Repent of your sins, turn away from them (Acts 2:38). Confess your faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10) and then be baptized into Christ through the waters of baptism, having your sins washed away (Acts 22:16). When you come up out of the waters of baptism, you will be a new creation, holy and acceptable in the eyes of God (Romans 6:4). It is then up to you whether you will continue to walk in His holiness. With Christ it is possible. What is your answer?