1 Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

There is always an ethical imperative/command involved when any New Testament writer talks about the second coming of Jesus. Awareness of the second coming and what will surround it is a powerful motivation for how we live now. We live with a healthy awareness that we will be judged by how we live but also with hope that God’s grace is available for those who seek God in faith and repentance. Peter repeats his key point that his readers must “make every effort” to be doing as Jesus has commanded. God gives us grace for our journey, but we must do our part in obedience. Obedience is a large idea that includes many things. Peter lists some of them in this verse. The first word “spotless” has the connotation of being free from the defilement of sin. Jesus’ blood makes us spotless (Isaiah 1:18) by removing our guilt for breaking God’s law. This is called the atonement, what Jesus’ death on the cross does for us spiritually. But we must respond to this cleansing by remaining free from sin by walking in faith. “Blameless” shows the result of God’s forgiveness. We must continue to be blameless through confession of our sins (1 John 1:9) and by daily die to the old life that wants to come back into control. We must seek God’s help through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in order that we can find freedom from sin’s control and victory from temptations. The result is peace. Peace is the feeling of being right with God. The Holy Spirit will convict us with a sense of dread and fear of punishment for committing a sin. We must respond to this with confession and repentance. The result is peace. Peter urges his readers to live with a clear conscience that brings peace of mind. This peace will work out in every area of our lives and become a positive force for us. It will trickle out to our relationships with other people. There are so many Scripture passages that touch upon the themes of this passage. 2 Corinthians 7:1 is a good one to end these reflections today: “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” This is our goal as we await for Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

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