by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4 May 17, 2009 Lincolnton, N.C.
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1901 ASV Translation:
14 as children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your ignorance:
15 but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living;
16 because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.
I. Peter's Focus Upon "Holiness".
A. Begins with the "mind".
1. The focus upon "girding" [See notes for Apr. 26, 2009].
2. The focus upon "being sober" [See notes for May 3, 2009].
B. Assumes the identity of "children" [See notes for May 10, 2009].
1. The issue of "children" is the issue of assumed affection/commitment.
2. The characteristic of these children is "obedient".
a. There is a contrasting negative: "fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts".
b. There is the former situation: ignorance. This is a large subject. Its bottom line seems to be a "not knowing" in terms of consequences.
1) The word Peter uses for "ignorance" is used by him in Luke's record in Acts 3:17. Luke also records Paul using it in Acts 17:30. Then Paul also used it again in Ephesians 4:18 where he attributes it to the hardness of their heart. The question has to arise: how can Peter or Paul claim "ignorance" when the so-called "ignorant" were privy to all of the facts and details? Whatever answer we give, it must include a rationale for setting "ignorance" forth as some kind of explanation.
2) The "problem" with this "ignorance" is that it provides no "excuse" (Romans 1:20 and 2:1) and it does little to nothing to keep consequences from coming (Luke12:48). The only contribution "ignorance" has to Peter's line of thought is the explanation for why the people engaged in the former lusts. The implication is that if they had known, they would not have so acted. This implication is profound for one cause: it posits human behavior to be governed by the mind. If one "knows" he will act one way; if one does not "know" he will act in some other way. And this must include what Paul declared in Romans 1:32 where men are characterized as overtly rebellious against what they do know. Even Paul, who identified himself as the one standing beside the garments of those who stoned Stephen (Acts 22:20), claimed "ignorance" in his first letter to Timothy (1:13) as an explanation for God's extension of mercy to him. Since this does not provide an excuse and does not lift the consequences, what is the point except to highlight the fact that men's actions are governed by their minds? Clearly, the fallen "mind" does not do its job of connecting the dots very well, but just as clearly, the redeemed "mind" is charged with the responsibility of guiding the believer's choices/actions. "Ignorance" is presented as something to be addressed with diligence. The question is, How? The problems of laziness, lack of motivation, overt rebelliousness, and persistence in the inertia of ignorance are still with us. This is probably why Peter started this sentence with "as obedient children...", but it does not explain how one is to overcome this inertia. Ultimately, it is up to God to address it. If He decides to be gracious, we benefit. If He restrains Himself, we lose.