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Weapons of Spiritual Warfare Holiness: Live Holy as God is Holy


Holiness: Live Holy As God Is Holy


Weapons of Spiritual Warfare Holiness: Live Holy as God is Holy
Dr. Mary Craig

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which has called you is holy, so be holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be holy: for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:13-16)

Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

But the end of all things is at hand: be sober therefore and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:1-11)

Peter continues writing about how to live as Christians generally. From 3:8, he has talked about being humble and united in spirit; returning blessing when evil is done to us; and how to act when we suffer for righteousness. If and when we suffer for righteousness, know that we are blessed; trust Christ; use it as an opportunity to witness because Christ suffered in order to bring us to God. Noah witnessed when persecuted, and God will save us.

Peter now continues this broad theme by exhorting his readers that when they suffer for righteousness, they (and we) are to decide that they are willing to so suffer because a Christian who has suffered for doing right has made a clear break with sin and gives no more time to sin. Judgment is coming for Gentiles who abuse believers. The gospel was preached to Christians who have now died to save them from eternal judgment. This final judgment is near, so do a little “one anothering,” praying and loving each other more and glorifying God in using our gifts.

Peter tells us to be willing to suffer, if necessary, in order to avoid sinning. Think the way Christ did about obedience and suffering. Be convinced that it is better to do right and suffer for it than to do wrong. Gain some insight into the nature of God’s dealings with people.

Here’s our motive. Whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. Now we know that a lot of people who have suffered physically keep right on sinning, and physical suffering sometimes purifies and strengthens people but can also result in others becoming more rebellious and embittered. For the kind of suffering Peter refers to here, we must go back to 3:17, i.e., suffering for doing right. In other words, the one who has suffered for doing right and has gone on obeying God in spite of the suffering involved has made a clear break with sin. This doesn’t mean the person never sins (see 1 Kings 8:46; Proverbs 20:9; Ec. 7:20; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8) or is totally free from sin in this life, but rather that the person has acted in a way that shows a willingness to endure hardship over disobeying and displeasing God. Obedience to God and living to do His will rises in importance above any personal desire to avoid pain.

The goal is to live the rest of our time on this earth governed by the will of God and not by human feelings. When we first receive Christ, we “repent from sin” and “turn to God.” We usually indicate in a prayer to receive Christ that we are willing to put off sinful habits and ways displeasing to God and put on holy habits and ways pleasing to God. We indicate our willingness to make a clear break with sin. Peter takes this commitment to the point of saying that obeying God, even when the price involves physical suffering, is going to be an even stronger moral commitment. He’s talking about the possibility of living as believers under hostile governments, or even in greater or lesser degrees of personal discomfort. Such obedience becomes part of “the price” for obedience to God’s will.

Peter now says believers have done enough living by human passions in their past. Whatever sins have been committed in the past is enough! We are not to want that kind of life any more. We are not to encourage or even play around with things that could lead to an unrestrained time of sin and lawlessness. There’s an accounting some day for that—to God.

What does Peter mean by “doing what the Gentiles like to do”? He names some things here, a list that we can use when confessing sin. He lists:
1. Licentiousness (aselgeia) – living without regard for moral restraint, especially in the area of sexual immorality or in performing acts of physical violence
2. Passions (epithymia) – sinful human desires influencing behavior
3. Drunkenness (oinophlygia) – irresponsible indulgences
4. Revels (komos) – banquets and feasts given to wild immorality
5. Carousing (potos) – drinking parties or drinking bouts
6. Lawless idolatries (athemitoi eidololatriai) – lawless acts of idol worship, and in particular evil kinds of idol worship which involves or incites people to kinds of immorality forbidden by the laws of human governments, lawless not only in being against God, but also against civil laws. (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:20)

If we desire and have as our intent to live the rest of our time to the will of God, we will not waste our time. It should be enjoyable to us. The will of God emerges from the heart of God (Psalm 33:11) and expresses His love. It is for our good. We are to see sin as our enemy and arm ourselves with the same mind that was in Jesus Christ. We are to seek to know His mind and how He looks at things. Otherwise, we fall into the devil’s hand and end up in the devil’s playground. If the devil can’t get us to curse God and die, he will maneuver us into a position where we are cursed by God and so die.

Remembering the bondage of sin, rather than its passing pleasures, encourages us to see sin for the enemy it is. Once we’re “saved,” the Holy Spirit has an agenda—for us to become what God has declared us to be—to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. We demonstrate wisdom when we get with the plan and yield to the Holy Spirit rather than war with Him. (See Galatians 5.)

People will wonder when a Christian stops old ways of life. Sin they understand. God’s ways, they don’t. When a Christian stops partying, drinking, gambling, getting tattoos, doing drugs, cursing and blaspheming, involving themselves with the occult, no longer cheats, steals, lies, murders, leaves the “gang,” etc., their old friends sit up and take notice. They will be surprised that a Christian does not join them any more in the same wild lawlessness; that a Christian no longer runs with them as they plunge into a flood of dissipation. They may think we are condemning them and speak evil of us. No matter.

What we are doing is keeping the Final Judgment in mind. We know we were on a collision course headed for destruction, rushing headlong for the abyss before Jesus apprehended us. We answer to God. So do we all. Some final thoughts as we conclude this series on the weapons of spiritual warfare…

Live according to God in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Have a militant attitude toward sin, a patient attitude toward the unsaved, and an expectant attitude toward “the end of all things.” Be sober and watch unto prayer. We are exhorted to fervent brotherly love among ourselves. Use hospitality. Minister using our spiritual gifts. Be good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Let God be glorified.

The people of God should be noticeably different from the world. Our community life should reflect the will and heart of God as to how life should be lived here on earth. We are to be calm and collected in spirit with a view to giving ourselves to prayer. Stay alert and exercise self-control. Peter knew when he wrote this. At a time when Jesus wanted him to stay alert and pray, he went to sleep (Mark 14:37-40). Things didn’t go the way he thought they would either. Even as we look towards Christ’s return, we must stay balanced and alert. Things may not go the way we expected, but they will surely go as God has purposed in His sovereignty. We are to seek to be overcomers and worship as in the Revelation.

We are to think of others and relate lovingly. Be eager to love. Treat others with respect, welcoming them. Love covers a multitude of sins. (Proverbs 10:12) Hatred stirs up strife. (James 5:20; 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7) Love does not condone sin, but love motivates us to refrain from evil speaking, slander, acting rudely, biting and devouring, defaming, destroying another’s character through corrupt communication, sowing discord, etc.

Again, love covers a multitude of sins. While we were enemies, Christ died for us. Our sins and iniquity are forgiven. We love because God first loved us. Therefore, our love should be fervent and forgiving, gracious and hospitable, welcoming and understanding. Many offenses against us, some small and some larger, can be overlooked and forgotten. When love is not present, every word is viewed as suspicious, every action is an opportunity for condemnation and conflict. Satan delights in this, to be sure. We see it now every day within “cancel culture” and “equity” agendas, and in those framing and devising evil by law in their iniquity (Psalm 94:20).

We are to serve one another in love. God gives gifts. The Father’s gifts are listed in Romans 12. The gifts of Christ to the Body are found in Ephesians 4. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are set forth in 1 Corinthians 12. 1 Corinthians 7:7 indicates that marriage and celibacy are gifts. The lists are not exhaustive, but are to demonstrate the graciousness of God in giving gifts related to motives, manifestations, and ministries. Here we see that we are to discover, develop, and deploy our gifts as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. God doesn’t give us gifts for us to keep. He gives us gifts for us to distribute. In this way, we minister to one another and we all grow up into maturity.

The gifts of God flow from the grace of God. His grace is manifold, and so His gifts are varied. We need to appreciate one another for the gifts of God they bring to us. Resources expended in faithful stewardship of our gifts will be replenished. As we give, it will be given unto us.

Whenever speaking, do it as one who utters oracles of God. The Greek word here is logia and means “sayings,” especially sayings spoken from God to man (see Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2). It doesn’t mean claiming that the words we speak are equal to Scripture, but that we speak with a seriousness of purpose as one desiring to speak the truth, as God is true. The priest speaks for the people to God, interceding. The prophet speaks for God to the people. We are His ambassadors, His preachers and teachers. It’s serious stuff.

Let’s listen to Psalm 94.

1O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs—
O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
2Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Render punishment to the proud.
3Lord, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked triumph?

4They utter speech, and speak insolent things;
All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
5They break in pieces Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
6They slay the widow and the stranger,
And murder the fatherless.
7Yet they say, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob understand.”

8Understand, you senseless among the people;
And you fools, when will you be wise?
9He who planted the ear, shall He not hear?
He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
10He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct,
He who teaches man knowledge?
11The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are futile.

12Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord,
And teach out of Your law,
13That You may give him rest/relief from the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked.
14For the Lord will not cast off [abandon] His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
15But judgment will return to righteousness,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.

16Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?
Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17Unless the Lord had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
18If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
19In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.

20Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law,
Have fellowship with You?
21They gather together against the life of the righteous,
And condemn innocent blood.
22But the Lord has been my defense,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
23He has brought on them their own iniquity,
And shall cut them off in their own wickedness;
The Lord our God shall cut them off. Psalm 94 NKJV

Christ has in Himself all power. Glory and dominion are to be given Jesus Christ forever and ever. In His Glorious Name, Amen.


Craig, Mary.  Mary Craig Ministries - Abide in the Glorified One August, 2003.

Craig, Mary.  Mary Craig Ministries - Fear the LORD: Turn from Folly July, 2002.

Craig, Mary. 1 Peter: Kept by the Power of God. Fort Lauderdale, FL: Mary Craig Ministries, Inc., 2003, pages 66-69.

Craig, Mary J. "Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?" Fort Lauderdale, FL: Mary Craig Ministries, Inc., 1992, pages 65-68.

Hinn, Benny. God’s Anointing for You. Orlando: Benny Hinn Media Ministries, 1990.

Murray, Andrew. Abide in Christ. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1979.

Murray, Andrew. God’s Best Secrets. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Classics, 1993.

Nee, Watchman. Spiritual Authority. New York: Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc., 1972.

Pickett, Fuchsia. Presenting the Holy Spirit. Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, 1997.

Reymond, Robert L. A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith. Nashville:

Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998.

Sproul, R. C. The Holiness of God. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1985.

Not by might, nor by power,

But by my spirit

Says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

© 2007-2022 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.

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