â€œAs obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.â€ (1 Peter 1:14)
A graphic figure of speech often used in the Bible is the attribution of character traits to parental inheritance.
In our text, those who honor Godâ€™s laws are called â€œobedient childrenâ€â€”a term conveying the same sort of message as â€œchildren of light, and the children of the dayâ€ (1 Thessalonians 5:5), as well as â€œchildren of the kingdomâ€ (Matthew 13:38). In contrast, note Ephesians 5:6: â€œBecause of these things [that is, the sinful practices listed in Ephesians 5:3-5] cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.â€ A definitive passage is 1 John 3:10: â€œIn this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.â€
Those who are â€œby nature the children of wrathâ€ (Ephesians 2:3) can, of course, become children of God by the new birth. This becomes the greatest of all incentives toward a godly life. The biblical terms â€œregenerationâ€ and â€œborn againâ€ are widely misused today, but they represent wonderful, life-changing realities: â€œFor ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of lightâ€ (Ephesians 5:8).
Therefore, as in our text, we must no longer â€œfashionâ€ ourselves according to our former lusts, but according to our new life. â€œBe not conformed [same Greek word as â€˜fashionedâ€™] to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mindâ€ (Romans 12:2). No longer in darkness and ignorance, we now â€œhave lightâ€ as the â€œchildren of lightâ€ (John 12:36) and the â€œmind of Christâ€ (1 Corinthians 2:16) as children of wisdom (Matthew 11:19). We now have the very highest of all callings, as children of God, and we must â€œwalk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are calledâ€ (Ephesians 4:1). HMM