1 Peter 3:8–16
In a 2012 conference address, author Albert Mohler said, “We shouldn’t expect that the gospel will have credibility if we don’t look like gospel people.” As important as our spoken message is—and it is essential—we must also testify about Christ with our entire lives.
Christians ought to be beacons of holiness in the world. Our coworkers, friends, and neighbors may be quick to take revenge, practice deceit, and stir up arguments. But those who belong to Christ should be loving, compassionate, and humble (v. 8). In our quest for peace, we ought to be quick to return blessings to even those who hurt us (vv. 9, 11).
The ultimate goal of our holiness is God’s glory. Theologians use the Latin term coram Deo, “before God’s face,” to describe a life lived in every detail for God. We ought not to live a certain way just because people might be looking at us (see Eph. 6:5–8). We pursue holiness because God has called us to it, and He is pleased when we seek to follow the example of Jesus. This is why we can commit to obeying God even when it may bring persecution (vv. 14, 16).
Holy conduct often leads to opportunities for evangelism (v. 15). Our culture is warped and confused in its thinking, but a life lived according to God’s instruction shines like a beacon pointing toward salvation (see Phil. 2:15–16). Were it not for the work of God in us, we would act just like our neighbors, and the change in our conduct may even startle our neighbors into asking us about our God (v. 15; see 1 Cor. 6:9–11).
When we pursue lives of holiness, we testify to God’s transforming power. If He could change us, He can surely change anyone.
APPLY THE WORD
Our lives show the truth of the gospel we proclaim. Does your life “shine” (Phil. 2:15) for God’s glory to encourage others to follow Him? Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart to reveal any area that may need His correction. And give Him thanks that our holy lives are only possible through His strength, not our own efforts.