1 Peter 1:14
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.
Here Christians are urged to be God’s obedient children. True faith produces obedience. According to Paul’s description in Ephesians 2:2, before our conversion, we were “the children of disobedience”. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, according to Romans 16:26, is “made known to all nations for the obedience of faith”. Christians’ grand principle for their life on earth is: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
The apostle Peter’s advice is that as obedient children of God, we should not be fashioning ourselves according to the former lusts. The Greek word, translated as “fashion” (susch?matíz?) here, appears only twice in the New Testament – here and in Romans 12:2. In Romans 12:2, the word is translated as “conform”. In both occurrences, they indicate a prohibition.
Our past conformity to lust must be broken. Our lust must not be allowed to fashion our lives. Peter calls us to be stringent and unrelenting non-conformists. Scripture repeatedly admonishes us to be unyielding to the promptings of lust and worldliness so that we may live in holiness and unto God’s glory. Pay attention to the following Scriptural admonitions, which echo Peter’s advice:
- “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Romans 6:12).
- “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
- “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24).
- “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22).
- “Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22).
The lust-filled life before conversion was evidence of our ignorance about God and His commandments. But now we who have believed in Christ to become God’s children have no excuse for living in lust, because we are no more ignorant of God’s Word. Christians are called not only to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word, but also to obey it and thereby to overcome lust.