Defense Mechanisms

Jun 6, 2021    Dr. Tom Richter

Last week, I said that 1 peter is about hope and holiness. Because of your great hope, live a holy life. Be holy, for I am HOLY.

Now, based on what you associate with that word HOLY, you may or may not be excited about that.
Holy roller? Holier than Thou?
Colin Smith has found a list of what words or ideas people associate with the word HOLY:

hollow eyed gauntness
long robes
no sex
no jokes
hours of prayer
clean fingernails -What???
stained glass

...if any of these words come to your mind when you think HOLY, then no wonder this is NOT attractive! It will come as a great relief to know holiness in the Bible has nothing what so ever with ANY of these things.

Holy means to CUT, SEVER, or SEPARATE. If I cut my thumb off, I could hold the thumb up and say this thumb is HOLY, severed, apart, disconnected, a thing to itself. It is not tied up with anything else.

So when the bible says God is holy, he stands alone. He is not a product. Not a creation, -the creator.

We learned last week that holiness is a by-product of HOPE and I want to tackle this next passage in the same way by looking at it in reverse. Unholy living is a by-product of FEAR.

Peters audience had every reason to be scared. And we have, we think, good reasons for being scared.
When we get scared, all kinds of bad/unholy things happen, because we build up UNHOLY DEFENSES. Our defense mechanisms are sin.
It becomes a vicious cycle:
Sin leads to FEAR leads to sin…
-If I don’t think I will have enough, STEAL
-I’m AFRAID that you won’t like me, LIE
-I’m AFRAID you won’t think I’m good-HYPOCRISY
-AFRAID I will disappoint you, disappoint God- HYPOSCRISY
-I look around at others, AFRAID my life isn’t as good-ENVY
-AFRAID others will get noticed ahead of me- SLANDER
AFRAID you won’t love me-Malice, Deceit Hypocrisy, envy, slander!

We use these things as our DEFENSE MECHANISMS! And these are the very defense mechanisms Peter says you NO LONGER NEED. It will take time, and trust, because for so long this is how we are taught to defend ourselves when we feel afraid, but Peter is going to try to show us that YOU DON’T NEED THESE THINGS

Lets look at 1 peter 2:1 then we'll turn to 1 Peter 1:17