Listen:  111.1

Let’s read that wonderful exhortation from our Lord in 1 Peter 1:13-16, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”  Let’s consider some of the individual points of this exhortation from verse 13.

First, we are to “gird up the loins of our mind.”  Here are the words of Elisha to Gehazi in 2 Kings 4:29, “Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.”  In the times the scriptures were written, men generally wore long and flowing robes.  When it was time to walk more than just a little distance, or it was necessary to walk quickly, or work was to be done, men would gather the lower parts of their robes and tie them around their waists.  When the flowing garments were gathered together like this, it made it much easier to walk quickly and to walk greater distances.  On the night of the Passover, we have this instruction in Exodus 12:11, “And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.”  The men were to eat with their loins girded.  They were to be ready to move out in a moment’s notice.  The instruction here for us is to have our minds uncluttered from the things of the world and be ready to be used as the Lord directs.  The meaning of 1 Peter 1:13 is made a little clearer in the New American Standard version of the Bible.  That reads, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, may we all be ready, with our minds prepared, to live our lives to the glory of the Lord.

We are then told to be sober.  To be sober, in the general sense, means not to be under the control of alcoholic drinks.  While this is certainly part of the meaning of this verse, we are actually being told here to not be under the control of the world and its pleasures.  The Greek word for sober here is ‘nepho’.  This word is used six times in the New Testament.  Two times it is translated ‘watch’ as in 2 Timothy 4:5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”  So, our lesson here is that we not be under the influence of the world, but to consistently keep our minds on the Lord.  We read in Luke 21:34, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (partying), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.”

Lastly, from verse 13, we are told to, “hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  The believer on the Lord Jesus should be optimistic.  We should be forward-thinking.  We should fix, or rest our hope completely upon the grace of God that will be given to us at the return of the Lord Jesus for us.  The assurance of the Lord’s return should have a compelling effect on our lives.  It gives us the strength to endure all conflict, persecution, and tribulations of life.  We read of the purifying effect of this hope in 1 John 3:2-3, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”  So, may we keep our hope in the Lord’s things and not be distracted by a world that works to take that blessed hope away from us.

So, as believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are instructed to be uncluttered from the things of this world; we are not to be under the control or influence of this world; and we are not to lose our blessed hope by being distracted by the things of this world.  As we read in Titus 2:11-13, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”  (111.1)