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|NASB||1 Peter 1:13 ¶ 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.|
|1 Peter 1:13 ¶ So prepare your minds for action, be completely sober [in spirit--steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], fix your hope completely on the grace [of God] that is coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.|
|Subject: Set Your Hope on that Grace!|
Bible Note: A Study of 1 Peter 1:13...........................
Frequently in Scripture, theology precedes application. Paul used this pattern often - here is what we believe; therefore, here is how we should live. Peter does the same thing beginning in this verse.
There are only two commands in 1 Peter 1:13-16, "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed" and "so be holy in all you do." Here is the application of everything Peter has written up to this point about our salvation. Because of what we have received, and will receive in Christ, we must set out hope on that grace and be holy.
This theme will fill the rest of the letter. How should Christians respond to suffering in this world? We should respond to suffering by living holy lives in anticipation of the hope to be revealed in us at the coming of Christ.
Verse 13 includes two participles which provide more detail about what it means to set one’s hope fully on the grace to be given us. We are told that setting our hope fully on that grace includes girding up our minds and being completely sober.
"Girding up our minds" refers to a common custom among Orientals. When they would prepare for a long journey or a difficult task, they would tie their long flowing clocks up behind them with a belt that they might be better prepared for the task at hand. This is what Peter says Christians should do as we set our hope on this grace. We must prepare our minds for the journey. This speaks of a determined effort to reach our goal.
Christ is our goal and we are not going to let anyone or anything distract us from reaching that goal. We will not allow suffering to distract us. We will not allow persecution to distract us. We will not allow circumstances to distract us. Our minds our set on that future hope and we will reach it.
"Being completely sober" has both a figurative and a literal meaning. The word ‘sober’ refers to abstaining from wine. Thus, it can mean by extension to be self-controlled. This is definitely a part of Peter’s meaning here. Throughout this book, he will detail that ways in which we should live and the ways in which we should respond to those around us. This will require self-control and discipline.
However, I believe there is also a literal meaning here as well. The word ‘nepho’ is used three times in this letter (1:13, 4:7, and 5:8). 1 Peter 4:7 in particular that indicates that ‘being sober’ also means to literally stay away from alcohol and any other substance or activity which will distract us from our goal. Consider the context of 1 Peter 4:1-6:
"Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit."
Thus, the Christian live is to be characterized by a determined and sober resolve to live out the present reality of the future hope we have in Christ. We will not live like the world. We will not act like the world. We will not allow anything to distract us from our goal.
That is the proper response to suffering!
Your Brother in Christ,
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