“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
I beg you
“Beg” means to exhort or urge. This is a plea to pilgrims to live out the Christian life based on prerogatives of vv. 9-10. Peter is in the process of pleading (present tense) to the Asian Minor Christians and also to us.
Christians are citizens of heaven, therefore, they are sojourners and pilgrims (Phil 3:20; Heb 11:13). Their standards are different from this world.
“Urge” is the language of grace. “You shall…” is the language of law.
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 15:30 “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me.”
I Corinthians 1:10 “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
II Corinthians 6:1 “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”
II Corinthians 10:1 “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.”
Ephesians 4:1 “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.”
The language of grace is “I beseech, urge, plead.” You do not have to do this. You can go to heaven without this. The pity is that Christians do go to heaven without doing this.
God’s appeal is for us to live out the Christian life on the basis of his provision.
If we try to live the Christian life by operation bootstraps, we will fail. All of God’s appeals are made on his provisions. How well do you know God’s provisions for you?
If we never live out the Christian life, it may be that we have never drawn the provisions of grace into our lives.