“as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance.”
not conforming yourselves to the former lusts
There was a time when the whole scheme of life for Asia Minor Christians revolved around lusts. They fashioned their lives around lusts. When they came to Christ, He changed their whole orientation.
What is in style spiritually? What is the pattern God wants us to use to trace our spirituality? The next verse says that we are to be holy because God is holy (v.15). Holy is the way God is. We should fashion our lives after Him. God wants us to mold our lives after that which is essential in character and thus complete or durable, not merely a form or outline.
The other time the New Testament uses “conforming” is in Romans 12:2,
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
In this verse, being outwardly conformed to the things of this age is contrasted with being transformed (or transfigured) inwardly by the renewal of the thoughts through the Holy Spirit’s power.
A similar distinction holds good in Philippians 3:21; the Lord will “fashion anew [or change outwardly] the body of our humiliation [earthly body], and conform it in its nature to the body of His glory [resurrection body].”
Fashion is a reflection of the lives we lead and the way we lead them. The business of fashion is the business of making our lives suit our times.
There are two standards by which we may fashion our lives – the world or God’s. To fashion our lives according to the world is to fix them to the “former lusts.” In this case, the Christian reflects the world with his life. If we fashion our lives according to fellowship with God, our lives will reflect His life. The next verse in First Peter says, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (v.15).
Before we became Christians, lusts drove us inevitability to frustration. We made a mess of our lives; why should we go back to that life? Ephesians 4:17-19 says,
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
This is a picture of those without Christ. They have no eternal purpose; their lives are “vain.” Their hearts are “blind.” This is God’s view of those without Christ, whether we are good or bad, clean or dirty, rich or poor, fat or thin, black or white, soldier or sailor, non-religious or religious.
God wants our dress to be up-to-date spiritually.
Some people keep up with the latest fashions. They buy the latest clothes and the newest car. They wear the current hairstyle.
When it comes to being in fashion spiritually, we are often way out of date. Our fashion of spirituality is passé. We live legalistic lives. Our Christianity is not in vogue. We do not embrace the true design of the Christian life. We would rather be religious than own a vital relationship with the Lord. When it comes to spirituality, we are old-fashioned. The old man is still in style.