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Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
1 Peter 3: 8-17

But SANCTIFY the LORD GOD in YOUR HEARTS, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you… – 1 Peter 3:15a

That the redeemed can sanctify the Lord God in their heart validates the REALITY of HEART CONDITIONS: But SANCTIFY the LORD GOD in YOUR HEARTS, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; (1Pet.3: 15). Without a transformation from the naturally negative, deceptive, impure, and wicked state of heart to a positive and pure heart condition, no mortal man can truly sanctify God acceptably, in Spirit and in Truth (Jh.4:24). First, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds in the Word of God (Rom.12:2). Second, we are changed from glory to glory by the Spirit of God. Then, we become effective witnesses, always ready to defend the hope that’s in us. Colossians 2:7 describes such a believer:  “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

To sanctify God is to honour and give place to Him in obedience; have a wholesome dread of displeasing Him; to turn everything over to Him;; and live to please and glorify Him. Charles H. Spurgeon wrote: “If you desire Christ for a perpetual guest, give Him all the keys to your heart; let not one cabinet be locked up from Him; give him the range of every room and the key of every chamber.” The work of sanctification always begins in the heart. By the operation of Holy Spirit, God sets us apart for Himself, making our body His temple; our heart His very shrine; and both, His indisputable possession (1Cor.6:19-20). Oswald Chambers wrote: “The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness. God’s one aim is the production of saints. He is not an eternal blessing machine for men; He did not come to save men out of pity; He came to save men because He had created them to be holy.”

When Jesus comes He doesn’t take sides, He takes over. As Believers, we are set apart for His special use, and to belong totally to our divine occupant. He went into the slave market of Sin and purchased us with His precious blood; we were “bought with a price.” He took slaves, sanctified them, and made them Sons. We are therefore commanded to “glorify God” – to radiate His Presence and Ownership in our body and spirit (1Cor.6:20). He then begins to progressively change us from inside out (Rom.12:2). Positionally we are holy. God has declared us righteous and sees us just as we had never sinned. However, the goal of our new relationship with Christ is for us to become personally and practically holy in all manner of conduct, but the state of the heart is always the litmus test! 

The condition of heart portrayed in 1 Peter 3:15 is one in which Christ dwells: sanctified, separated, or set apart for God!  This is a platform for sure hope, firmly grounded in the redemption that Christ has established for us; hope that provides both the courage and context for our witness! Peter assumed that this hope within would be so obviously distinct that unbelievers are prompted to inquire about it. We would then respond “with meekness and fear” – in gentleness, humility, and fear of God (Pro.15:33). This fear of God is a tenderness of conscience; vigilance against temptation; and the constant apprehension of the deceitfulness of the heart and the insidiousness of inward corruption: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer.17:9).

The Christian’s testimony of a sanctified heart is remarkable in that it thrives even while enduring suffering for righteousness sake (v.14). It is in this context that Believers are to honour Christ the Lord as holy and be prepared to give a reason for our hope. Moreover, the sanctified heart manifests in a sanctified life: sanctified tongue that’s free from evil and lips with no deceit (vv.9-11).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, validate in us a positive REALITY of HEART CONDITIONS expressed by sanctified hearts, tongues, lips, and lives in Jesus name.
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