Sermon Summary. Sunday’s sermon was entitled “How you Livin’?: Holy vs Hoe-ish”. It is a strongly worded title but also an importantly worded title. God calls us – as believers – to lead holy lives. In Leviticus 20:26, God told us “You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.” God has saved us, cleansed us and set us apart from others to represent Him on earth. We are to be different from the world. In this letter, Peter is encouraging the people of the church not to go back to their old ways. They are experiencing pressure – peer pressure – because of how they carry themselves and how they conduct their lives. Living as God calls us to live causes some others to be offended. In other words, then and now, simply doing the right thing causes some people to persecute . . . “hate on” the people of God.
How will we respond? Will we continue to strive to live lives pleasing to God? Or, will we give in to the pressure and to what the crowd or our “friends” say we should do? Are we going stay “married and faithful” to The Lord? Or will we stray from that marriage?? How are we living? Holy . . . or “hoe-ish??”
“Hoe-ish?” Part of the sermon’s title even make me a little uncomfortable, but it was the truth. We can turn towards God and strive for holiness or we can turn away from God and be “hoeish”. Remember, being a “hoe” can mean being sexually promiscuous. But, it also means straying away from one’s spouse. Remember Christ is “the groom” and that we, the church are “the bride.”
• What does it mean for us to stray away from our spouse? Our God??
• Who or what do we put in place of God?
Praise to God for our Living Hope (v3-9). Peter is urging a life of righteousness and holiness. He reminds the church of the rich blessings we have through our new lives in Christ.
• What are some of the blessings he highlights in verses 3-9 to remind us of our new life in Christ?
• Do we experience our new birth, anticipate our inheritance in heaven, recognize how God shields us, rejoice in the Lord, recognize the value of our faith, love Him, believe Him, and/or praise God for our salvation?
Prepared(v13). Peter transitions in Verse 13. With a “therefore” he connects the previous verses we discussed with to what is to follow. Given all that we have just acknowledged receiving from God, he now exhorts us.
• What would/does it mean for us to “be alert, sober and setting our hope on Jesus?”
• Do we do this? Do we remain alert and clear minded in anticipation of the presence of God in our lives?
Peer Pressure and the Former Life (v14-16). In the introduction we talked about “peer pressure”. People try to draw us back to our former way of life because we have changed.
• Peter encourages us to be obedient children. What does this mean to us?
• Do we remember the evil desires we had when we were ignorant and not with the Lord? Are we ever tempted to the old ways? What are some of the ways and things that people try to draw us back to?
• How do we address or confront those tests and temptations?
• God closes by telling us, as in Leviticus 20:6, to be holy because he is holy; he set us apart. What does it mean to live consistent with the fact that God has set us apart?
Remember that God has set us apart for a purpose. We are his bride. We want to live as if we are a pride, to make our Lord proud. We want to live holy before The Lord so the world will know that we are faithful (and not hoe-ish) to Him.