but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence, (3:15).
While chapter divisions are invaluable for study, they sometimes interrupt the writer’s flow of thought. So as way of reminder, chapter 1 challenged believers to live with minds set on His Guaranteed Inheritance for His Children in order to live in holy obedience even though experiencing serious trials.
But let’s be honest; when life hurts, sometimes our faith does too. For although we believe, we can find ourselves deeply troubled by the troubles that come just from being alive. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably uttered a frustrated analysis of the curve balls of life that sound something like, “It ought not to be this way.”
And while deep down we know that loving Jesus and committing to wholeheartedly follow Him invites an onslaught of the enemy’s attacks, we still wrestle with the why. Why, when I’m trying so hard? Why, when I’ve chosen to give my all to Him? Why am I being dealt this hand? Well, the truth is, we already have the answer.
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, (Philippians 1:29).
And perhaps it’s our western mindset that has so enjoyed freedoms like many only dream about, that when trials come, they just don’t line up with the way it’s supposed to be in this life.
And it’s possible that Peter’s letter of encouragement and exhortation was being received by some who had no idea what their faith in Christ would cost them. Maybe they too were screaming inside, “It ought not to be this way!”
Peter exhorted every believer who would read his letter to prepare our minds in order that faith would speak louder than our thoughts, that we would think on His Truth before speaking or doing, and that we would no longer give in to what we used to be but would be strengthened by the Word of God that has brought each of us to saving faith.
for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
“All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word which was preached to you, (1 Peter 1:23-25).
And chapter 2 continues with a plethora of ways to prepare our minds for action through remembering His Excellencies that empower us to grow in our salvation as we follow His Excellent Example.
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, (1 Peter 1:2).
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, (1 Peter 2:21).
But preparing our minds for action, growing in our salvation, and following His Excellent example must begin in the Heart, for it is out of Ours Hearts that we both speak and act, conveying the reality of who or what rules our life.
And Peter is not offering a mere suggestion that promises a feel-good life. Peter is telling us that it is the very thing we Must do if our minds are to be prepared, if we are to grow in or salvation, and if we are to follow Him. He Must Be Sanctified As Lord In Our Hearts.
Consider Him Who Must Be Sanctified As Lord In Our Hearts
When we think about sanctification, we may immediately be drawn to consider the Sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit through His Sanctifying Word that divides all that is honorable from all that is not.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you,” (John 14:26).
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart, (Hebrew 4:12).
But Peter calls on every believer to do the Sanctifying work In Our Hearts. It may seem beyond our ability to be the ones to “Sanctify.” But Sanctify simply means “to set apart as, or declare holy.”
Sanctify: 37. ἁγιάζω hagiázō; fut. hagiásō, from hágios (40), holy. To make holy, sanctify, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
88.27 ἁγιάζωc: to feel reverence for or to honor as holy—‘to hallow, to regard as holy, to honor as holy,’ Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament.
Other versions translate Sanctify as: revere; honor; hallow; worship; exalt; regard; consecrate; and set apart.
Simply put, the Heart in Scripture conveys all that we are in our mind (thoughts), our will (decisions) and our emotions (feelings); and all our behavior is an overflow of what is in Our Hearts.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life, (Proverbs 4:23).
Therefore, whoever or whatever is sitting on the throne of Our Hearts is what will govern our attitudes and our actions.
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart,” (Luke 6:45).
Now the reality is, Jesus Is Lord.
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:10-11).
He Is Lord of creation.
yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him, (1 Corinthians 8:6).
He Is Lord of time.
which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, (1 Timothy 6:15).
He Is Lord of all.
The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all), (Act 10:36).
And whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved,” (Romans 10:12).
And those who have been saved, have been Sanctified in Christ, the Lord of all.
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours, (1 Corinthians 1:2).
But He will not force our allegiance or surrender to His Lordship. If we desire to live in a way that will revere, honor, hallow, worship, and exalt Him, then we must cooperate by faith with His Sanctifying work to regard Him, consecrate Him, set apart and Sanctify Him As Lord In Our Hearts.
How do we respond to Him Who Must Be Sanctified As Lord in Our Hearts?
Our response begins with considering the Lord’s hard question.
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).
Are we doing what He says? Obedience clearly reveals the place He occupies In Our Hearts. Does He occupy the treasured position of Lord In Our Hearts?
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good…” (Luke 6:45).
Oh, that we would understand that He Must Be Sanctified As Lord In Our Hearts if our lives are to built on His foundation that cannot be shaken.
“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great,” (Luke 6:46).
We all need the daily reminder that this life is not all there is, that we have not been called to amass our temporal treasures, but to build for eternity as we join in His mission to build His kingdom.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God, (2 Corinthians 5:20).
As ambassadors, we are to live in a way that represents the One Who has sent us. When we encounter afflictions and suffering in this world, let us Sanctify Him As Lord In Our Hearts, trusting that because He Is Lord, then yes, it really ought to be this way. And what better way to represent the One Who has sent us then to entrust ourselves to Him Who judges righteously?
and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously, (1 Peter 2:23).
Christ has Sanctified us and set us apart as His own, and He Must Be Sanctified As Lord In Our Hearts if our lives are going to draw others to Him. Oh that we would live in obedient faith that others would be drawn to ask why our lives are different, why we have an undying hope in the midst of uncertain and challenging days.
As we commit to revere, honor, hallow, worship, exalt, regard, consecrate, set apart, and Sanctify Christ As Lord of all our life, He will be faithful to lead us in gently and respectfully sharing the hope we have in Him Who Must Be Sanctified As Lord In Our Hearts.
Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence, (3:13-15).